The Discover Together Series

The Discover Together Series

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An Introduction to Paul’s Letter to the Christian Church at Rome
Turn with me to the letter to the Romans. I am turning to Romans for a very special purpose. We do not come to this Study page for entertainment – nor do we ‘attend church’ for entertainment - but to be edified - to be built up - encouraged - strengthened - fed and nourished - sacramentally - by God's Holy Word – and of course, to Worship.
We come open and eager and prepared to receive all of God's truth. This ‘introduction’ is a longer article than usual.
Romans - although spiritually deep - and regarded by many as very deep, spiritually speaking - it is also simple enough for each of us to digest and understand.
Let me tell you about three men whose lives were profoundly influenced by the Book of Romans.
In the summer of 386 AD the Prof. of Rhetoric at Milan was brilliant intellectually, but morally he was in a mess. He heard a child saying "Tule Rege Tule Rege" - take up and read - take up and read - and he picked up Romans Chapter 13 and read verses 13 and 14. Walk honestly - put on the Lord Jesus Christ. It was Augustine - the man who was to become St Augustine. His life was changed!
We must not despise nor ignore the history of the Church. We have 2,000 years of history - and yet I remember discovering about 15 years ago that it is not church history - it is Kingdom History - because each time there is a major development, it is the Kingdom of God breaking through.
Take November 1515 - Martin Luther was lecturing on Romans - an Augustinian Roman Catholic Monk - and he came across the Righteousness of God. Through Grace and Mercy, God justifies us. "I was re-born - I went through open doors into paradise. This passage of Paul in Romans became the gateway to heaven."
So began the Reformation - Calvin - Zwingli – John Knox in Scotland.
Then on 24 May 1738 - there was that Anglican Clergyman - who was not as yet converted - in St Paul's London in the morning - and in Aldersgate on the Sunday evening - when the preacher was reading the Martin Luther's Preface to the Book of Romans - when his heart was strangely warmed. It was John Wesley of The Methodist Church.
He never meant to leave the Church of England - but very seldom can an old formal system cope with the New Wine of the Holy Spirit, which God gives.
Read it through. During these coming days, study it.
St Chrysostom had it read to him twice a week. Bengal said - "This is the Festal Epistle". Take it and read it. It has been said that Romans is PURE EVANGELISM because it is the PURE EVANGEL - and yet so much is not mentioned.
Martin Luther went on to say - "Christians should memorise it." Yet some Christians have never read it through once.
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, take us only to the Cross and the Resurrection.
In Romans we have all of that - plus Pentecost and what followed.
It is a clear pure Gospel. There is only ONE GOSPEL. This is the heart of our Christian Faith.
It was written around 56/58 AD - when Paul was on his third and last missionary journey - in Corinth - in the home of Gauis. Paul had seen the Gospel work. Paul was no longer a young man - he was experienced and mature - and he knows the Gospel.
Why did he write the Gospel? Why did he write the Gospel in a letter? Why did he send a letter to Rome? Why is it in our Bible?
We know he used an EMANUENSIS - a stenographer - a secretary – writing in longhand. Paul is pouring it out - and someone is writing it down.
There are greetings - personal notes - the main subject - personal notes again - and further greetings. He sent it by Phoebe, a deaconess in the church at Cenchrea - she carried one of the most important parts of our Bible.
Unlike the other letters - Romans is written to a church Paul did not found and never visited. He had never seen these people - yet we have the personal names of men and women - they were like friends - 35 to 40 members of the Church.
Romans does not deal with local problems - not like Corinthians. Paul writes about subjects and topics. He does not commend, command, criticise or rebuke.
Rome - we do not know who first preached in Rome. Was it Peter? There is no mention of him. If Peter had preached there surely Paul would have mentioned this.
In Acts 2 - at Pentecost - there were visitors from Rome. We do know that there were some 40,000 Jews in Rome. Were some converted on the Day of Pentecost? For many years it was largely a Jewish Christian Church in Rome.
Claudius became Emperor and got fed up with the Jews over ‘Crestus’. Around 54 AD he issued an edict - "Jews must leave Rome" - 40,000 had to leave - ethnic cleansing is not new. The Jews have always been hounded.
Every Jewish Christian had to leave Rome - and we read of that Christian couple Aquila and Priscilla moving to Corinth - and Paul would hear of the Church of Jesus Christ in Rome - so it became a Gentile Church.
Two years later Nero invited the Jews back to Rome. The Gentiles were now running the Church. The Jews, who had been running the Church, were returning. Problems arise when newcomers arrive.
Jews began the Church in Rome - Jews had to leave - Jews then return - no wonder there was some tension. And no wonder Paul goes on to say - "Don't boast you Gentiles - and Jews do not think of yourselves as superior".
Why did Paul write to them? Because of his godly ambition - Paul was called to be the apostle to the Gentiles.
Paul was based at Antioch - and his ministry had spread from Antioch - and there was this new centre in Rome. He wants to get to Rome - to the centre - to build you up!
He wanted to strengthen this key church - and give them a spiritual injection!
Then he so wanted to go to Spain - Chapter 15 verse 24 - spreading the Gospel - planting churches - all over the Roman Empire. He needed a praying base, which could support him. Antioch was too far to go and report back. Rome was to become his new headquarters.
But the church there must know that the missionary, or apostle, was going to preach the true Gospel. Now we are gradually beginning to see why he wrote Romans - to help them - and to make them a base for him to travel further west.
Paul sends his sermon on ahead. He preached to them in a letter - just in case he did not manage to get to them in person - and he almost didn't make it - physically speaking. Through this letter he has helped thousands - as he puts his preaching in writing.
What is it all about? LAW occurs some 70 times. Chapter 1 verses 16 and 17 is a summary. It is all about the Gospel - the Good News of being saved - and being right with GOD - Salvation and Righteousness.
Chapters 3 and 4 contrast the way of faith with the way of works - 5 and 6 contrast the way of life with the way of death - 7 and 8 contrast the way of the Spirit with the way of the flesh - the way of the Gospel with the way of the law. The Gospel is based on the Cross of Jesus Christ - whereas the law is based on the Commandments - and that way of getting right with God does not work. It cannot work.
This is 'bad news' - we need so much more than 'try to live a good life'!
It is faith not works - life not death - Spirit and not the flesh - and the Cross and not seeking to keep the Commandments.
As a Pharisee, Paul knew the way of ‘trying’ did not work.. Did it bring him pardon? No. Did it bring him peace - or forgiveness? No. Did it bring him power in his life? Never.
Then he met Jesus - he came to the Cross - and there was pardon - peace - baptism - power.
In this one Book there is one lesson - to learn the right way of getting right with God - and for many it is a very hard lesson to learn. You do not just turn away from your own badness but from your own goodness too. That is why some people do not come to have real living faith in Jesus Christ - and Romans deals with that.
Our goodness is dung - s**t. Our righteousness is filthy rags. We need the righteousness of Christ - this necessary goodness we can receive from Jesus.
Romans is the longest letter we have from this period - some 7,000 words.
This is NOT a summary of all his preaching – there is no explanation of the Kingdom of God - little mention of the resurrection and ascension of Jesus - or about the Church - no mention of the significance of bread and wine - repentance and being born again is absent - and he says nothing about heaven and hell. So this is NOT a summary of all his preaching - nevertheless it is highly significant and vitally important for the faith - our faith.
Augustine, Luther, and Wesley's hearts were strangely warmed and touched - and lives were influenced. May that happen to us.
“Almighty God, warm our hearts as we come to Your Word – touch our lives afresh as we seek to serve a rebellious and sinful world. Enable us to have a firm grasp of our Christian Faith – a solid grounding - so help us to grow and mature – as we give You thanks and praise for those who have gone before us.” Amen.
(This week's "Word from Scotland" - previous articles may be found at Studylight.org and liveasif.org in the 'Archives' - warmest greetings, in Christ Jesus.)
Hot off the press--now available for summer and fall studies--How to help women overcome anxiety in an unstable world.

This summer's project is a study on 1 & 2 Thessalonians. It should be ready late spring or early summer 2020.
We are planning to use the Galatians study in our Bible study group next week but I cant find the videos, except for the introduction. Please help.
One of our small groups at church are going to use The Discover Together Series for Galatians. I was wondering if you all have any tips or advice I should give the group facilitator since this is her first time using these books?
Hi all. I am a small groups pastor and am recommending the Discover Together Series to some of our women's small groups.

However, I noticed that some of the lessons in the books have 25-30 questions. Maybe I am missing something, but how is a small group supposed to work through 30 questions together in one lesson? Should they divide up the lesson? Skip questions?

Any feedback on what other groups have done with success?

Thank you.

www.discovertogetherseries.com
Encouraging and equipping Christian women with meaningful Bible studies led by popular Bible study mentor Sue Edwards.

The Discovery Series currently contains 16 Bible studies that teach women biblical principles and timely life lessons. For either individual or group use, each study digs into a specific book of the Bible while offering inspirational sidebars and some contain supplemental teaching videos featuring Sue Edwards. Complete the lessons to grow your knowledge of the Bible and watch the videos to gain historical and cultural background of Bible lands and people.

Operating as usual

08/04/2021

I'm delighted to announce that my latest Bible study will be released August 17. If you have bought into the lie that life here on earth is going to get better and better without Jesus's return to set up his Kingdom, you may be getting discouraged and hopeless about now. The truth is there's reason to look joyfully and expectantly toward the future that will boost your energy and stamina now. Learn all about it by actually getting into God's Word, Paul's letter to the Thessalonians and to us.I

I'm delighted to announce that my latest Bible study will be released August 17. If you have bought into the lie that life here on earth is going to get better and better without Jesus's return to set up his Kingdom, you may be getting discouraged and hopeless about now. The truth is there's reason to look joyfully and expectantly toward the future that will boost your energy and stamina now. Learn all about it by actually getting into God's Word, Paul's letter to the Thessalonians and to us.I

03/16/2021

Chaotic. Angry. Helpless. How often do we encounter these emotions in our world today? It's tempting to despair. What kind of future can we look forward to? Will the next world be any better? In reality, it's going to be dazzling, action-packed, relational, and free from pain and darkness. Find out more in my new 8 week-study in the warehouse in July, ready for fall studies.

Chaotic. Angry. Helpless. How often do we encounter these emotions in our world today? It's tempting to despair. What kind of future can we look forward to? Will the next world be any better? In reality, it's going to be dazzling, action-packed, relational, and free from pain and darkness. Find out more in my new 8 week-study in the warehouse in July, ready for fall studies.

06/06/2020

Got Anxiety? Here's a resource.

God never wants His daughters to be entangled in a web of fear, worry and anxiety. Here's a 6 week Bible study with two additional focused lessons on anxiety designed to help.

[06/06/20]   Got anxiety? Here's a resource.

05/05/2020

My new Bible study to help women overcome anxiety and worry in these trying times. Let God's Word minister to you and others through an incredible love story that has nothing to do with romance. Publication date: May 19

[01/25/20]   Here is why we need to help women to understand, love, and live the Scriptures. I hope these resources help you guide the lost.

[01/25/20]   Why women need help to understand, love, and live the Scriptures. May these resources help.

01/20/2019

Hot off the press! JAMES, Discovering God's Delight in a Lived-Out Faith. Help women interpret James through a lens of grace while inspiring them to overcome bad habits and sinful patterns that drag them down and destroy their joy. Put the lesson into practice with a "Get Up and Go" activity.

08/03/2018

Hot off the press for anyone who ministers for Jesus by teaching in any context. For vocational and lay leaders everywhere in church, parachurch or the academy.

[07/06/18]   Our radio broadcasts on Organic Mentoring will be re-aired July 9-11 on FamilyLifeToday or click below. Based on our research with younger women to learn what works for them in mentoring today.

http://familylifetoday.com/series/organic-mentoring/

06/19/2018
06/16/2018

What fun to see my studies at the Gospel Coalition Women's Conference in Indiana this weekend.

05/08/2018

The new "James, Discovering God's Delight in a Lived-Out Faith" cover for an inspiring study from the brother of Jesus to be released the end of January 2019

[04/02/18]   I just finished writing two deeply inspiring Bible studies that have enriched my faith--James, Discovering God's Delight in a Lived-Out Faith, and Hosea (yet to be named) as it's not that far in the editing process. They're investments in my year long sabbatical from teaching at DTS and I've loved the process. What a privilege to be used by God to take women deep into His heart and mind. Praying these will be catalysts to deepen your intimacy with the One who loves and created you. Blessings,
Sue

[02/20/18]   Today, I'm joining a group of woman leaders to discuss the "Me too" movement and ways to help the Christian community wholeheartedly protect and value women without unfairly destroying the reputations of our brothers. It's a thorny path but we need to walk it together for the good of all and the glory of God. Please pray for me and these women as we seek God's guidance.Thanks, Dr Sue

[02/14/18]   Today is about love--and the greatest example is Jesus! Be blessed.

02/13/2018

Kregel Publications

Discover Together, Sue Edward's insightful Bible studies series for women, has two brand new entries! "Galatians" and "Ecclesiastes" are both now available.

Take a look--and take a big step forward in your walk with God.

http://www.kregel.com/biblical-studies/ecclesiastes/
http://www.kregel.com/biblical-studies/galatians/

01/05/2018

Discover Galatians & Ecclesiastes!!! Galatians takes you to an entirely new level of understanding grace and our freedom in Christ. Ecclesiastes answers the questions in Solomon's Journal: What's the meaning of life and why am I here? Both hot off the press. Amazon or Kregel Publications. More at www.discovertogetherseries.com

12/03/2017

Such joy to spend time with dear friend/mentor Alice Mathews (seated) and other others in Boston last week.

10/20/2017

Such fun to create this video with my co-author Jodie Niznik. Galatians in January

[10/18/17]   My new co-author Jodie Niznik and I are being filmed tonight for the introductions to our two new Bible studies Galatians and Ecclesiastes to be released in January. To really grasp grace or to learn wise and foolish paths from Solomon's journal--check them out.

09/16/2017

I'm rejoicing: See my two new studies so women can actually study the Bible will be out in January. Here is Galatians. Available from Kregel.com in January.

08/07/2017

A delightful surprise this morning: My former DTS student Sarah Helder sent me a picture of her shared devotional time with her son. Two aspects of my ministry intertwined--teaching DTS students and writing Bible Studies. God is so good.

[08/05/17]   It's time for women who love Jesus to determine a fall Bible study that will enrich their relationship with Him. What's your criteria? Consider studying a whole book of the Bible so that you up the chance that you will not take God's truth out of context. Work through an entire book or letter in a study that touches your head, heart and hands. Make sure it's life giving and if possible meet with other women to share your insights, struggles, heartaches, victories, and hopes for the future. God's Word is His Love Letter to YOU! Don't take it for granted or minimize it's impact on your mind, your emotions, and your actions and attitudes. Lord, guide my sisters to a life-giving interactive place where they can discover Your truths for themselves. Love to all. Sue

[05/04/16]   I'd love your prayers as I begin, with the help of two high octane seminary interns (Carolyn Harris and Cynthia Hester), a discover together study on Solomon's journal, Ecclesiastes. It's my summer project along with publishing a study on Galatians with Jodie Niznik, our women's minister. Lots of marvelous collaboration and digging into these two beautiful books of the Bible this summer. Please pray that we can create resources that will take women deep into the heart of God and that they will fall in love with Jesus more deeply through the work of the Holy Spirit. Blessings to all. Sue

12/04/2015

Discover joy in community!

11/30/2015

Now available!

[11/27/15]   "Philippians, Discovering Joy Through Relationship" comes out today!!! A fresh look at Paul's relationships with God and with fellow Christians that strengthens him for the journey ahead---and it can do the same for you and your community. Order on Amazon or from Kregel Publications (616-451-4775) or ask for it at your local bookstore.

[11/18/15]   Hear professors @sueedwardsdts and Barbara Neumann share how they came to faith through the influence of older women @FamilyLifeToday

[11/10/15]   Just saw my "Philippians, Discovering Joy Through Relationship" study and I'm thrilled to announce this new study will be available on November 27. It's our relationship with God and with others that is the greatest source of joy in our lives, and Paul shows us what that looks like in his beautiful letter to the Philippians. My hope and prayer is that this look into God's heart will encourage many to elevate their relational connections in a busy world that often ignores the personal. Blessings to all.

[11/08/15]   God worked in marvelous ways this weekend where I spoke on "God's Big Ask: Walk With Her" at Emmaus Bible College in Iowa. Guess who did the worship for the conference and a concert afterwards? Sara Groves, one of my favorite artists and singers. We all celebrated God's great work in all our lives together! A weekend I'll always treasure.

[09/04/15]   I've just completed the Leader's Guide to our new study: Philippians: Discovering Joy Through Relationship coming out mid to late fall. I LOVE this study! The focus is on our relationship with the Creator of the universe and how that bleeds out into our relationships with others--both needed for an abundantly full Christian life dedicated to God's glory. But it's not happening without our life line to His love letter. So dig in and expect to be transformed and blessed.

[04/05/15]   He is Risen!! What a glorious truth we proclaim today. As we ask God to help us draw nearer to Him in the coming year, consider walking with other women through God's Word. It's His Love Letter that reveals so much of who He is and how to live for Him. Join me and other women as we connect through feasting on His Love Letter together. Make this Spring a new spiritual awakening as you deepen your faith together.

[01/28/15]   Just enjoyed one of those insightful fun conversations with Rebecca and Jeff (KCBI) about "Organic Mentoring". God orchestrated my connection with Rebecca who had been praying for a mentor for over a year. We found we have tons in common, a natural click. To learn more about this new mentoring approach, tune into KCBI 90.9 FM Dallas and online, January 29 (between 7:30 and 8 am) and January 30 (between 6 and 6:30 am). When we let God drive our mentoring relationships, He works wonders. Blessings, Sue

[11/10/14]   Our series on Daniel is over. Thank you to all the participants!

Our Story

The Discovery Series currently contains 12 Bible studies that teach women biblical principles and timely life lessons. For either individual or group use, each study digs into a specific book of the Bible while offering inspirational sidebars and supplemental teaching videos featuring Sue Edwards. Complete the lessons to grow your knowledge of the Bible and watch the videos to gain historical and cultural background of Bible lands and people. Two new studies, Ecclesiastes, Discovering the Meaning of Life in a Meaningless World, and Galatians, Discovering Freedom in Christ Through Daily Practice, co-authored with Jodie Niznik are hot off the presses and available in January 2018. Also, Sue is creating two new studies while on her year long sabbatical from teaching courses at seminary--James and Hosea. Become a biblically literate woman who loves and understand God’s Love Letter to her and share the experience with others. Who you become and what you do depends on it!

Blessings, Sue

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Got Anxiety? Here's a resource.

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Proverbs, Volume 1: Discovering Ancient Wisdom for a Postmodern World
Proverbs, Volume 2: Discovering Ancient Wisdom for a Postmodern World
Ephesians: Discovering Your Identity and Purpose in Christ
Luke: Discovering Healing in Jesus' Words to Women
Psalms: Discovering Authentic Worship
1 Peter: Discovering Encouragement in Troubling Times
Revelation: Discovering Life for Today and Eternity

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Dallas, TX
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