12 WORDS | 09.03.2017 | “Hope”

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Breaking Ground

How would you define “hope”? Is hope an important quality to have? Why or why not?


The Dig

Read Romans 8:24-25

What is this passage saying about hope?

Read Romans 7:15-20 (the passage from last week).

Now read through 7:25.

Paul uses the phrase “sinful nature” (or “flesh,” as it is sometimes translated) in verses 18 and verses 25. The Greek word used here describes our “false self”, the part of ourselves that is self-obsessed and oriented towards power and control. It’s the part of us that is reluctant to admit our powerlessness. It’s not necessarily “evil”, but it is definitely resistant to letting God take control.

Paul seems to indicate that this tension between our false self/sinful nature and the presence of God’s Spirit is an ongoing battle for him.

Are you surprised that Paul—a church leader—seems to indicate that this is an ongoing struggle for him?

How does this play out in your life?

How do you reorient yourself towards God? How often do you have to do this reorientation?

According to the first part of verse 25, who does the rescuing here?

What role do we play in this?

What do these verses and the idea of “hope” have to do with the “abundant life” that Jesus is offering us in John 10:10?


Getting Out of the Hole

A couple of options:

1. Try the “30 Day Experiment” that Eric described on Sunday: If you are a skeptic or are just unsure/unclear about who God is and where you may be at in your faith journey, then for 30 days pray a simple prayer that asks, “God, will you meet me right where I’m at today?”

Observe and reflect on the results.

2. Watch for areas of your life and/or situations that crop up where you are tempted to take back power from God. Remember: you don’t need to beat yourself up. Faith is often a journey of learning more about God and COMING TO BELIEF. When you become aware that you are taking back power, remind yourself that you are powerless to control your life.