1: The Apostle Paul in Rome – Discussion Starters

1. The Apostle Paul’s letter. What tragedy occurred in Galatia that urged Paul to hurry to Rome? What issues threatened the unity of Christian believers in Rome as it had in Galatia? Do you ever get the feeling that more than anything else, early Christians in the region we call the Holy Land needed strong leadership to keep the church from splintering? What about today? Does your heart ever long for a clearer message–or a stronger way to convey God’s message with the world?
2. Paul wanted to go to Rome. Paul seemed to be overwhelmed by a longing to meet with Christians in Rome. Why? What was Paul inspired to do about the fact that the part of the world where Christianity got its start was woefully lacking in dedicated leadership? What might have happened if Paul stayed in one place for years and let other Christians lay the foundation for the church? Is it just as important today for us to work from an established base of Seventh-day Adventist doctrine and practices?
3. Paul in Rome. Paul’s prayers were answered, and he made it to Rome. As much as he longed to go to Rome, how disappointed do you think Paul was to arrive in the city as a prisoner? What do you think he must have done to deserve this kind of treatment? How was it possible for Paul to declare that his imprisonment was a blessing? Do you ever feel yourself led into a set of circumstances that go against your longings? How can you find comfort in such an outcome?
4. The “saints” in Rome. How was it possible for a congregation of Christian believers to spring up in Rome? Do you think of yourself as a saint? Should you? What characteristics define a saint? If being a saint means being called by God, isn’t everybody called to follow God? What is the difference between a saint called by God and a person who has missed the calling?
5. The believers in Rome. How (or by whom) was the church in Rome established? What explanation(s) can you think of to explain how an active, vibrant Christian church was established in Rome without any visits or encouragement by an apostle of Christ? Does the church you attend possess the good qualities of the Roman church, such as
(1) plenty of “goodness”
(2) an abundance of knowledge
(3) the ability to encourage and admonish fellow believers
What are you doing–and what can you do–to help establish these qualities as pillars for your church? 

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons