Video Teaching: Romans 12:9-21
In the second half of Romans 12 Paul continues to describe the transformation that takes place in our lives through the mercy of God . Paul’s words encourage us to live a life of sincere love—an unstoppable love that knows no bounds.
WATCH THE TEACHING - (Find the teaching on DVD, The WLC App or search ‘Transformed to Love’ on YouTube)
LIVING IN THE TEXT: Read Romans 12:9-21
· In verse 9, Paul talks about agape love, a love that has self-sacrifice at its core. This is the same love that led Jesus to give up His life for us on the cross. Talk about the different ways people might define love today. In what ways are these meanings like Paul’s idea of love, and in what ways are they different?
· In verse 11, Paul shows us that this self-sacrificing love for others begins in the body of Christ. Share a time when someone in the body of Christ showed you love when you did not expect it. How did that experience shape you?
· In verses 11-13, Paul shows us that sincere love does not lack zeal but lives fervently in service of the Lord. This fervent attitude allows us to be “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.” This attitude can lead us to give to those in need and be hospitable to strangers. Paul wants us to see that living out this kind of love actually energizes our lives in service to God. Where might an absence of this love in your life be leading you to feel burned out? Where in your life do you feel as though living out this love is giving you energy in your service to God?
· In verse 14 Paul talks about those who might mistreat or persecute us because of our faith in Jesus. Instead of responding to them negatively, Paul shows us that we should bless them instead. Paul’s words may remind us of a time when Jesus showed his persecutors love. As they were nailing him to a cross Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them...” (Luke 23:34). Share a time when you felt mistreated for your faith in Christ. What things make it hard for you to bless people that mistreat you?
· In verses 19-20 Paul quotes from the book of Proverbs and calls us to care for our enemies. Proverbs says that this “will heap burning coals on his head.” In other words, our enemies will recognize our care for them and begin to be transformed themselves. Paul explains that this is a better course of action because even if the person does not change, the Lord will take care of avenging the mistreatment. Share how Paul’s reason for caring for your enemies comforts you or frustrates you. Talk about the fears that hold you back from caring for your enemies.
· In verses 16-21, Paul tells us that we will not win a victory over evil by expressing more evil. Instead, evil can only be conquered by good. Doing good according to love leads to peace, harmony, and friendship. However, the world we live in does not exactly follow Paul’s line of thinking. Share how the world tries to lead you into repaying evil with evil. Talk about things you can do to help pull your focus toward repaying evil with good.
Spend some time pray for your church to live in love as the body of Christ and for God to give you the willingness to show love to those who are new, different, or difficult to deal with.
Two important ways that we can show love to those who have less than ourselves is by serving through things like feeding the homeless or reaching by telling neighbors and friends about our faith in Jesus. If you have not done so, talk about ways in which your small group can serve and reach out to others.