This three week mini-series in Romans 10-12 seeks to pay particular attention to Paul’s original context and our current context in much of the Western world. Each week’s reading describes a different kind of step Christians are both called and empowered to make in our walk with Christ, both individually and as congregations. Given the timing of this series for folks in the United States, when many are either getting in their last vacations of the summer or starting a new school year, this series is not designed with the expectation that everyone will be present every week. Each service can stand on its own. It would even be possible to build a whole three week series exploring or working out the implications of just one of the three themes presented.
August 13 // Romans 10:5-15
Inigo Montoya’s most repeated and memed line from The Princess Bride is “”You keep using that word…. I don’t think it means what you think it means.” What did Paul mean by “faith?” And what does faith, as Paul meant it, both require of us and empower us to do?
August 20 // Romans 11:1-2a. 29-32
“For the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:2a, NRSV). Often this text is used (and not entirely improperly) to support doctrine about the permanent nature of spiritual gifts, baptism, and ordination. Once the Spirit has acted, what the Spirit has done cannot be undone, we say. But in context in Romans 11, in the wider context of the whole letter, and, as N.T. Wright argues in his book, Justification, in the context of God’s plan to save the whole world through the promises begun with Abraham and his descendents, something much bigger is at stake. And it calls us, as Christians, to step toward rather than away from persons of other religious who are also Abraham’s descendants.
August 27 // Romans 12:1-8
We step out into our own identity in Christ. We step toward others in our extended family in Abraham. And we step forth, both within the community of the church and toward the wider world, in the power of the spiritual gifts we have been given, whatever these may be. And we step forth not to assert ourselves, our superiority, or our gifts. We step forth, letting the life-giving power of the Spirit flow through us and these gifts within the community of the church and into the world God is out to save.
NOTE: This download will not include hymn suggestions or additional resource links.
Those will be added to the website.
About This Package:
As we noted in the series overview for “The Apostle’s Tale,” we’re scaling back a bit on our offerings during the Season after Pentecost so we are able to move much further ahead with our full suite of offerings beginning with Advent 2017.
To that end, this series package includes sermon notes, planning notes (with series, service, musical and visual suggestions), and a series of .jpg images you may wish to use or adapt for slides, bulletins, or social media cover art. The images are public domain, so you are free to use them as you wish without further attribution. This series and the series graphics also include a Twitter hashtag if you wish to use it: #ThreeSteps.