This term we’re working through the 12th chapter of Paul’s famous letter to Rome.

Through these 21 verses, Paul starts trekking down from the mountain peaks of the ‘mercies of God’ into the day-to-day lives of Christians. 

In this series we will explore what genuine faith looks like, how justice can flow, where mercy triumphs over judgment and how real transformation happens in a community shaped by God

We will see that God wants us to live well, so that we can be truly alive in Him: to move from dead, dry religion, to living in the full vibrant colour God intended for our lives.


Here is how the verses will be split up in our 13-part sermon series:


Date11 AM Series & Passage11 AM Preacher11 AM Notes
10 SepRomans 12:1-2AndyKids graduation
17 SepRomans 12:3GuyNew member session #1
Romans 12:4-8AndyNew member session #2
Romans 12:9KeeganFoodbank Sunday
8 OctRomans 12:10Andy 
Romans 12:11Guy 
22 OctRomans 12:12Andy 
29 OctRomans 12:13Taylor 
Romans 12:14Sam MillerOpen Doors: Persecuted church
Romans 12:15GuyNew member session #1
Romans 12:16AndyNew member session #2
26 NovRomans 12:17-18Chris Kilby 
3 DecRomans 12:19-21GuyFoodbank Sunday

Framework for discussions

After having a general catch up, there are two approaches you can take to Life Group discussions. 

  1. Discovery Bible Study
  2. Passage-based questions


1. Discovery Bible Study – this approach can be used with any passage of Scripture that you choose to look at. The key aim of these is for people to come away with specific actions they would like to put into practice in coming weeks and for the group to catch up about these in future weeks. The main questions are always the same and the ‘roles’ should be shared across the group on the night. 

This style of discussion requires no preparation and no prior knowledge of the passage.

SUGGESTION: On the night assign people different roles depending on their confidence levels.


2. Passage-based questions – these are questions that are designed for more in-depth discovery of the meaning of a text. These are best to help people grow together in their knowledge of God and awareness of how the truth affects their lives. 

This style of discussion requires a bit more preparation and/or prior knowledge to help steer the conversation. 

SUGGESTION: Encourage everyone to look at the list of questions and suggest which question they’d be interested to discuss.



General catch up questions

Since last time we met, what has God done that you are thankful for?

Over the last week what has caused you stress or pain?




Role 1 – Someone asks around the group, ‘How have you been able to put into practice what we’ve learned together recently?’

Role 2 – Someone read the passage

Role 3 – Someone else read it again in 1 or 2 other translations (try NIV, NLT, CSB, ESV, KJV).

Role 4 – Someone restate the passage, from memory, in their own words.

Role 5 – Someone else asks these basic questions:

  • What does this passage teach us about God?
  • What do we learn from this about ourselves?
  • How are these truths relevant to your life right now?
  • What could you do to be changed by this truth (this week)?
  • Who would you like to share this truth with?


Role 6 – Someone writes down what people would like to commit to do in the near future, for further discussion next week.




Mercy. Paul anchors the whole of Romans 12 in “God’s mercy”. Read Romans 3:21-26; Ephesians 2:4-8; Luke 1:50; and Deuteronomy 4:31-what is God’s mercy?

Mercy. What connection does Jesus’ crucifixion have to the mercy of God?

The World. Paul calls his readers not to “conform any longer to the pattern of this world*”. Read Romans 3:10-18 – how does Paul describe the pattern of this world? Why is it so easy or tempting to be twisted into those ways of behaving? 

_* In context, “world” means the default outlook of all human beings that is indifferent and/or hostile to God’s rule; and is unduly influenced by Satan. _

Offering our lives. Paul urges Romans to “offer up their bodies” to God. How do we see Jesus do this in His life? What would you need to sacrifice in order to offer each part of your life more fully to God?

Renewing our minds. Paul urges Christians to “be transformed by the renewing of their minds”. How do you keep your mind renewed rather than letting them it be influenced by unGodly ideas and beliefs?

Self evaluation. How are we meant to think about ourselves, in light of God’s mercy?

Humility. Do you think humility is a virtue in society today? Describe the power of real humility in a person and a community. 

Sober-thinking. Why are we tempted sometimes to think of ourselves too highly (or lowly)? How does the gospel of Jesus’ death and resurrection help us avoid having too high or low opinion of ourselves?

Gifts. Spend some time discussing the gifts God has given to everyone in the group. Start by asking each person what they think God has gifted them to do and then ask others to comment on what they believe are that person’s gifts. 

*If you’d like to read a really helpful blog about one-body and gifts, click here.

Gifts and comfort-zones. If we’re mainly meant to do what we are ‘gifted at’, does that mean we don’t need to step outside of our ‘comfort zones’? Can you think of any examples from Scripture that show someone requiring supernatural boldness to do something that they are naturally good at?

Gifts and responsibilities. In Romans 12:3 Paul says ‘For by the grace/gift given me I say to every one of you’. This doesn’t sound like Paul is talking about the skills/talents that God had given him, but rather the responsibility. But he uses the word ‘gift’. How might this adjust our perception of ‘God-given gifts’? 

The list of gifts. Paul tells the Romans to “use” or “exercise” their gifts. Try and come up with a definition for each named gift (listed below). Share any examples of how you have seen/benefited from any of these gifts at Westminster Chapel.

  • Prophecy*
  • Serving
  • Teaching
  • Encouraging/exhorting
  • Giving financially
  • Leading
  • Showing mercy


*New Testament prophecy is a message spoken publicly by a Christian containing information the speaker believes they have received from God that they did not otherwise know or learn through ordinary means. NT prophecies are subservient to the Bible and (unlike OT prophecies) are not infallible.  If anyone wants more information, please speak to your Life Group Leader or one of the Elders.


Fake Love. What is insincere or hypocritical about the “loving” actions in the following passages: Mark 14:43-45; 1 John 3:14; 1 John 3:16-18; and 1 John 4:20. What examples of insincere or hypocritical love have you experienced or can you think of?

Hating evil. Why does Paul tell the Romans to “hate what is evil”? Is this incompatible with the first part of verse 9? Give some practical examples of things Christians are meant to hate.

Clinging to good. Why do you think Paul tells the Romans to “cling to good” rather than just “do good”? What are some practical ways you can apply this verse in your day-to-day life?

Discernment. How can you learn to tell the difference between good and evil, in situations that are not clearly ‘black or white’? Where else does the Bible talk about this and how does that help us answer the question above? (1 Tim 1:5, Heb 5:14). 

We are Family! Paul emphasises that we should think of our church as family. What difference does that make compared to thinking of it as a society, a club or a religious institution?

Showing honour. What are some ways that we can show one another how valuable they are? 


Zeal. Paul calls the Romans not to be lazy. What else did he say on this topic and why? (see Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 4:28; Acts 20:34-35; Titus 3:14; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13)?

Works. How do you square the verses in question 1 with Paul’s other writings that salvation is by grace through faith not works (Ephesians 2:8-9)?

Spiritual fervour. Translators disagree about whether Paul is saying the Romans should serve in a fervent spirit (ie with individual enthusiasm) or by the Holy Spirit’s fervour (ie God inspired enthusiasm). Could it be both at the same time? How can we practically seek the Holy Spirit’s help and empowerment?

Serving the Lord. Paul calls the Romans to channel their efforts and enthusiasm into “serving the Lord”. Why do people in cities like Rome and London need this reminder? Looking back at the previous 10 verses and Colossians 3:17, what are some ways we can serve Jesus?

  1. Joyful in hope. Paul urges the Romans to enjoy thinking about the hope they have. Read Romans 5:1-5; Romans 6:7-10; and Romans 8:18-25. What reasons for hope has Paul already shared with his readers?


  1. Patient in affliction. How does our future hope, the Father’s  sovereignty (see Romans 8:28 & 35-39) and the Holy Spirit (see Romans 8:14-15) help us have patience when things are tough? Which of these have you found most helpful in your own struggles?


  1. Prayer. What role does prayer have in helping us rejoice and be patient?


  1. Faithful in prayer. Why do you think Paul tells the Romans to be faithful/steadfast in prayer instead of just telling them to pray? How do you try to ‘keep going’ in your prayer life?
  1. Share with the Lord’s people. Paul does not overlook helping those outside the church (e.g. verses 14 and 20), but he does prioritise sharing with believers in the church family. Why might this be? (see John 13:34-35)


  1. Share with the Lord’s people in need. Thinking about all ages, what practical, emotional and spiritual needs exist in a church like Westminster Chapel? What are some ways that we can meet these needs?


  1. Hospitality. This word (Greek, philoxenia) literally means “love of strangers” and typically relates to providing food / rest / lodging. In a city like London, what are some practical ways you can show hospitality to unbelieving friends, colleagues or strangers (whether or not you are the host)?


  1. Hospitality. What impact do you think the Chapel Sunday lunches have on our church community?


  1. Pray. The Sunday cooking and clear up teams serve faithfully but need more helpers to carry the load. Please pray God would bless them for their faithfulness and that new helpers would emerge to share the load. Could your Life Group commit to cook/wash up from time to time?
  1. Persecution. What examples of religious persecution have you heard of, seen or experienced?


  1. Bless. The Greek word for bless (Eulogeite) means to speak well of / seek the good of, whereas the word for curse (Katarasthe) means to speak doom over someone. How did Jesus bless those who cursed Him? What does this tell us about Him and ourselves? (See Romans 5:7-10; Luke 23:34)


  1. Bless. How is it even possible for us to bless those for whom our natural reaction is to curse? What other encouragements do Paul and Jesus give in Romans 8:35-37; Matthew 5:43-48; and Matthew 11:26? Can you think of any others?


  1. Bless. In what practical ways can we help one another to do really difficult things, like blessing people who are making our lives harder? 
    1. (please bear in mind that if you find yourself in an abusive situation then you should seek help and advice straight away)


  1. Pray. Look up the Open Doors Prayer Diary for this week ( and pray together for our brothers and sisters around the world.
  1. Rejoicing and weeping: Do you find it easier it to rejoice with other people or weep with with them? What are some unhelpful responses we might have to both?


  1. Rejoicing and weeping: Jesus is a High Priest who understands our emotional highs and lows. How does this affect the way you take your feelings to God? (see Hebrews 4:14-16).


  1. Rejoicing and weeping: Paul encourages the church to really understand one another’s pain. See Matthew 9:36; John 11:35; 1 Corinthians 12:26-27; 1 John 3:17; Ezekiel 36:26-27 and discuss how this works. 


  1. Rejoicing: Sometimes celebrating good things is slightly neglected. What are some practical ways to keep ourselves rejoicing together?


  1. Weeping: What are some of the ways God can use our own sorrow to help others as we weep with them?  See also 2 Corinthians 1:3-6.
  1. Harmony. Some translations of this verse emphasise the literal meaning of “being of the same mind”, whereas others focus on the practicality of “living in harmony”. Which expression makes most sense to you? How do both ideas connect to Romans 12:1-2?
  1. (Dis)Harmony. What are some obstacles to living in harmony in church life, especially within a diverse central London church? What practical things can we do to work through these challenges? See also Romans 14:13, 19; Romans 15:5-6; and Philippians 2:1-4, 14 for ideas.

  1. Pride. How would you define pride? Why do you think Paul includes this immediately after calling the Romans to live harmoniously? How can pride impact our unity of mind and purpose?

  1. Associating with the humble. How did Jesus model and endorse associating with the humble? See Luke 1:52-53; Luke 6:21-22; Luke 14:14-16? Why is this good news for us?

  1. Conceited. Paul calls the Romans not to be “conceited” or “wise in their own eyes”. What can we do to guard against being conceited? 
  1. Do not repay evil. Verse 17 is not hard to understand, but it is hard to apply. Why do we find it hard and what help do we get from Jesus’ teaching and example? See Matthew 5:38-42; 1 Peter 2:23


  1. Repay evil? When is it right to overlook another’s sin and when is it right to speak up to allow others to investigate and/or punish the evildoer? See Romans 13:1-6, Acts 16:35-40.


  1. In the eyes of everyone: Why is it important to consider other people’s perception of our response to being wronged? See also 1 Peter 3:14-17. Do you have any personal examples of being impacted by someone else’s response or another person being impacted by your response?


  1. Live at peace. What does it look like to be a peacemaker? Paul adds two caveats to living at peace: (a) if it is possible and (b) where it depends on us. In what circumstances may these caveats apply?
  1. Beloved. Why do you think verse 19 is the only verse in the chapter where Paul addresses the reader as “beloved” or “dear friends”?  What can we learn from this about how to engage with one another on tough subjects?  


  1. God’s wrath. What does it mean to “leave room for God’s wrath” against our enemies? Using the quotation in verse 20 from Proverbs 25:21-22 as a starting point, think of some practical ways you can leave room for God’s wrath.


  1. Burning coals. Commentators vary on how good deeds cause hot coals to be heaped on the heads of our enemies. A persuasive interpretation is that the wording is symbolic of pain caused to the wrongdoer because of shame or contrition (similar to 1 Peter 3:16). Read 1 Peter 3:13-17 and try to break down each of the individual commands Peter calls the suffering Christians to do. Which resonates most with you?


  1. Overcome. According the whole of Romans 12,  in what ways can we overcome evil with good? Spend some time praying through them and that you might be able to put them into practice.