Session 6: Free
Suggested Week of Use: April 5, 2020
Core Passage: Romans 6:1-14
Adapted Group Plan for Virtual Groups
The following plan is an adaptation of the plan provided in the Explore the Bible Leader Guide, Daily Discipleship Guide, and Leader Pack download. It is abbreviated based on best practices for teaching online.
1. Study Romans 6:1-14.
Look for motivations for living a God-honoring life. Focus on Paul’s use of the image of baptism to explain salvation.
2. Create the group meeting id.
If needed, create a unique meeting id using the online meeting tool you selected.
3. Send an email or social media post to the group.
Suggested wording: We usually think of freedom in terms of being able to do what we want, but freedom has another side; the freedom not to act. Paul wanted the Romans to understand this side of freedom. Our freedom in Christ means we don’t have to live in guilt, and we don’t have to live in bondage to sin.
Read Romans 6:1-14 in your Bible and the comments for session 6 in your Explore the Bible Personal Study Guide. Reflect on how considering ourselves dead to sin and alive in Christ should impact how we view life. How can believers offer themselves as weapons in the fight for righteousness?
We will meet at (add time) using (name of online tool). Here is the link to our meeting: (add meeting id).
4. Listen to the Adult Leader Training Podcast.
Go to goexplorethebible.com/adults-training/ for an overview of the main points and some key ideas from this lesson.
5. Create a plan.
GREET people as they join and discuss things they look forward to doing once restrictions are lifted.
EXPLAIN that Paul addressed the issue of freedom in Romans 6. Note that Paul looked at the freedom believers have for not living with the guilt and bondage to sin.
Transition: As we review this passage, look for motivations for living a God-honoring life and where these motivations originate in a person’s faith in Jesus.
Option: Use the Extra! idea. See goexplorethebible.com/leaderextras
HIGHLIGHT: Romans 6 begins by addressing a faulty belief in the church in Rome that salvation gives a person the freedom to sin so that greater mercy can be received.
DISCUSS: How do people today express the attitude of being able to live as they please without consequences?
READ: Romans 6:1-14, highlighting key words and phrases that emerged during your personal study.
EXPLAIN: Paul used the ordinance of baptism to explain the relationship of Jesus’ death and resurrection to the salvation experience of the believer. Read the Key Doctrine: Baptism (PSG, p. 56; DDG, p. 51).
HIGHLIGHT: In our copies of the Personal Study Guide (or Daily Discipleship Guide), we find this question: How does the act of baptism demonstrate what has happened in the believer’s life? (PSG, p. 55; DDG, p. 51). Briefly share your response to that question, pointing to the symbolism of dying to our former way of life (the act of going under the water) and living a life that reflects the freedom we now have in Christ (being raised from the water).
EXPLAIN: Paul declared that sin has been rendered lifeless and powerless through Christ’s work on the cross. And His resurrection makes it possible for us to live beyond the reach of sin, if we live in the power of Christ.
HIGHLIGHT this paragraph in the Personal Study Guide on page 57 or from the Daily Discipleship Guide, Day 4 on page 54 and read it aloud: As a result of His resurrection, we are free from sin in this life and the next. We are justified (declared righteous), but we are also sanctified (set apart for God’s purposes) in God’s sight. We live in the power and presence of Jesus each day.
DISCUSS: How will considering ourselves dead to sin and alive in Christ affect our daily lives? What might a person considering themselves “dead to sin” look like today? (PSG, p. 57; DDG, p. 54)
HIGHLIGHT the phrases weapons of unrighteousness and weapons of righteousness in verse 13.
GUIDE: In what practical ways can you offer yourself as a weapon in the fight for righteousness? (PSG, p. 58) What does it require to live a righteous life every day? How might that impact a person’s ability to point others to Christ?
CHALLENGE: Using the second set of questions under In My Context (PSG) or Apply the Text (DDG), discuss ways of encouraging one another to die to sin and live for Christ. Ask: What actions might the group need to take in light of this discussion? (PSG, p. 59; DDG, p. 52)
If using the Daily Discipleship Guide, encourage the group to use the daily features in the week ahead to gain deeper insight into Romans 6:1-14.
RELATE: Invite the group to share prayer requests. Discuss needs group members have discovered in their neighborhood.
6. Focus on Relationships
Contact group members daily to simply pray with them. Encourage them to devote some personal quiet time with God this week to recount Jesus’ experiences during Easter week and focusing on the significance of His death, burial, and resurrection.
Be sure to send digital copies of the next session to group members who do not have a print copy. If using the Personal Study Guide, encourage them to read the passage and comments for session 7 prior to the next online gathering.
Send a message by Wednesday, asking the group to share ways they have been a weapon of righteousness this week.