Romans 12:3-21, Acts 2:42
Building deeper relationships with one another
- The word fellowship is quite an old fashioned one, not used much outside of Christian circles today. How would you describe fellowship to someone who wasn’t a Christian?
- Before Paul speaks about the fellowship, he reminds the Romans to focus on themselves individually (v.3).
- Why do you think we should look at our attitude to ourselves before we think about our relationships with others?
- What do you think it means to not “think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement”?
- Paul uses the image of the body to describe God’s people. Compare Romans 12:4-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:14-27. How does the metaphor of the body help us to understand our relationships with one another in EM, in GCCC and in the church as a whole?
- Positive body-image is a phrase used today to describe our physical bodies. Do you have positive-body image when it comes to the church, or do you tend to think negatively about church … or both?
- In v.9 Paul makes the statement “love must be sincere”
- How can you show and live sincere love?
- In the next verse he speaks about outdoing one another in showing honour. How does this attitude to others help cultivate sincere love?
- Paul urges the Romans to “practice hospitality” (v.13) – the word practice means to ‘pursue’ or ‘chase after’ something.
- Why do you think Paul makes hospitality such an urgent priority?
- Look at Hebrews 13:1-2. Hospitality (same word as in Romans 12) is translated as the “love of strangers.” How can you pursue hospitality?
- Look at v.15, it describes a deep connection between people, in all kinds of circumstances.
- Do you think you take the time to connect with people on this level? How can you do this better?
- Do you allow others to connect with you on this level? Why/why not?
- In the middle of the focus on fellowship together, Paul encourages perseverance (v.11-12). He uses three verbs: joyful, patient and faithful.
- Why do you think Paul felt is necessary to encourage the Romans to persevere when talking about fellowship?
- What could cause you to lose ‘zeal’?
- Look at Hebrews 10:23-25. What do these verses tell you about the importance of fellowship?
- Verse 18 speaks about the impact an individual can have on the group (“as far as it depends on you”)
- What does this verse tell you about individual commitment to God’s people?
- Do you appreciate the impact you can have on the community of God’s people (for better or worse)?
- What one thing can you do to prioritise fellowship with others? Commit yourself to putting this into action – it may help to tell someone else about your decision so they can remind you about it.