Love is the Foundation of the Gospel
I. The relationship between SUFFERING and GLORY. (v. 18-27)
A. The DYING body and GLORIFIED body. (v.12-18)
B. The SMALL and the BIGGER picture. (v.19-23)
C. We have HOPE and HELP. (v.24-27)
Suffering never feels glorious. Suffering seems to strip us of everything that we think we need, everything we think is important. It leaves us weak and wondering where God is in all of this. So why does Paul link suffering and glory in this text?
1. Kid’s Question: When have you felt suffering? What was it like?
2. What part of v.18-27 stands out most to you and why? What might God be saying to you through that?
II. What God is DOING in the GOSPEL. (v.28-39)
A. SHAPING us to be like JESUS. (v.29-30)
B. Doing that IN all THINGS. (v.28)
C. GOD is FOR us. (v.31-34)
D. His LOVE renews our REALITY. (v.35-39)
We’ve been focusing clearly on what Paul is saying about the gospel in this letter to the Romans. In the last half of chapter 8 he reminds his readers what God is doing in the gospel. This isn’t just a hobby for God, or some kind of charitable activity that He finds worthy of His time, He has a very specific agenda for us and for all of creation.
3. What about your life seems to the challenge the promise that God works for your good in everything? How can you reconcile your reality with the promise?
4. If being like Jesus is the goal, how have you seen God shaping you in that way in the past? How can you better surrender to that shaping in the future?
5. In your heart of hearts do you really believe that in all things God is for you? Why or why not?
III. CLINGING to the LOVE of God. (v.18-39; Rom. 8:1)
A. EXPAND our UNDERSTANDING of the gospel. (v.18-23; Eph. 1:9-10; Rev. 21:5)
B. Have FAITH that God is FOR us. (v.24-30; Mt. 10:29-31; Rom. 5:8)
C. RELY on and REST in the PROVEN love of God. (v.31-39; I Jn 4:16)
So how do we cling to the love of God as we see it in the gospel? What does it mean to actually live in the reality of the love God has for us? What are some things we can “fix our minds” on (remember last week) that can help our bodies learn to engage fully with the love of God?
6. Based on what you’ve read in this text, how would you explain the full expanded version of the gospel to someone who didn’t know what it was?
7. Is it possible that God can love you and allow pain to be a part of your life? Why would He do that? How can you best respond to those kinds of situations?
8. In what areas of your life do you sense the love of God? Where do you not? Why?