Session 5: At Peace
Suggested Week of Use: March 29, 2020
Core Passage: Romans 5:1-11
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 5:1-11.
Note what Paul identified as benefits a believer gains through faith in Jesus. Reflect on how being justified through faith in Jesus gives a believer hope.
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 live with a basic understanding of “cause and effect.” With everything we see or experience we tend to look for some type of cause. Paul followed a similar line of logic as he walked his Roman readers through the reality of salvation and the Christian life. Sin has an effect and so does faith in Jesus. Faith in Jesus produces true peace.
Read Romans 5:1-11 in your Bible and the comments for session 5 in your Explore the Bible Personal Study Guide. Look for the connection between peace, hope, and grace.
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.
SEND the following message by email or text one day prior to the virtual meeting: Before we meet tomorrow, please read Romans 5:1-11 and look for the different things believers gain as a result of being justified. Also be sure to complete the Bible Skill activity for session 5 and that will give us a place to start in our online time.
GREET people as they join the meeting and inquire about their well being. Invite people to share how they see the principle of cause and effect playing out in their lives.
Ask: Why is it important to find the primary cause behind some type of event? How might a person go about identifying the specific cause that created a specific event? (PSG, p. 43; DDG, p. 41)
Option: Use the Extra! idea to direct the conversation about cause and effect. See go goexplorethebible.com/leaderextras
TRANSITION: “Therefore” is a transitional word that indicates how one thing leads to another. In the first chapters of Romans, Paul outlined the path to justification by faith. In Romans 5, he transitioned from cause to effect of justification by presenting practical matters of living faith each day.
SHARE insights you gained about justification by completing the Bible Skill. Emphasize that the word justification means being declared or treated as righteous.
SAY: Beginning in Romans 5, Paul shifts from terms like “you” and “they” to the first-person pronoun “we.” Where Paul had previously addressed those outside the faith, he was now focusing on people of faith who need to understand how their lives have been changed.
READ Romans 5:1-11. Highlight these benefits from the passage: (1) Peace with God; (2) Access to God; (3) Rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God and in afflictions (afflictions produce endurance; endurance produces proven character; proven character produces hope); (4) God’s love experienced; and (5) the Holy Spirit. Present a brief explanation of the significance of each element using the commentary and your personal study.
FOCUS on Romans 5:3-5. Call attention to the comments under Verse 3-5 in the Personal Study Guide or Day 2 in the Daily Discipleship Guide. Allow a few volunteers to identify a sentence or key idea from the comments.
DISCUSS: What is the relationship between peace and hope? How do they complement each other? (PSG, p. 46: DDG. P. 43) How does knowing one is at peace with God help a person endure difficulties? How does a difficult time grow a person’s faith?
SAY: Today’s passage includes Romans 5:8, the third milestone answering the question, How does God provide salvation? This is also the memory verse for this session. Read the verse aloud, and invite the group to reflect on the significance of each word and phrase.
Option: Read Romans 5:8, offering synonyms for each word or phrase as you do so. Consult various translation of the verse for potential synonyms.
SUMMARIZE the passage using this outline (from Podcast):
1. JUSTIFIED WITH BENEFITS (Rom. 5:1-5) Paul identified benefits of being justified by faith in Jesus: peace with God, hope, rejoicing in sufferings, experiencing God’s love, and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
2. JUSTIFIED THROUGH HIS DEATH (Rom. 5:6-8) Paul declared that justification is granted because Jesus died in our place. Jesus’ sacrificial death demonstrates the depth of God’s love for all humanity.
3. JUSTIFIED EQUALS RECONCILIATION (Rom. 5:9-11) Paul explained that by being declared just before God through faith in Jesus, believers have then been reconciled to God. Believers are no longer enemies but are now saved from the wrath of God and granted eternal life.
CALL ATTENTION to the phrases “we have peace with God” (5:1) and “we have received this reconciliation” (5:11). Emphasize the connection between the two phrases and note that these serve as a parenthesis to the point being made by Paul: All who accept the gospel find peace with God. (Note: This statement is printed under the title for this session).
REFLECT: Invite the group to personally reflect on the first question under In My Context (PSG, p. 50) or Apply the Text (DDG, p. 44): List adversities you are currently facing. How can you reflect the hope you have in Christ through these adversities?
If using the Daily Discipleship Guide, encourage the group to use the daily features in the week ahead to gain deeper insight into Romans 5:1-11.
RELATE: Invite the group to share prayer requests. Discuss ways the group can keep up with each other during this coming week.
6. Focus on Relationships
Contact group members daily to simply pray with them. When praying focus on the peace we have with God through faith in Jesus.
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 prior to the next online gathering.
Send a message by Wednesday, asking the group to share ways their faith in God is being strengthened.