growth group week TWELVE:
Growing through grace

Week 12
Day 1: Acts 19-20
Day 2: Acts 21-22
Day 3: Acts 23-24
Day 4: Acts 25-26
Day 5: Acts 27-28

Memory verse:
Romans 6:6

knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

Focal passage: Romans 6
We now come to Romans 6:1-8:18 to what is called sanctification. What we have looked at so far from Roman's 3:21-5:21 deals with our position in Christ which has to do with our past sin that has been completely forgiven through the cross of Christ. As we now move on to the section of sanctification we are looking at our daily walk with God and how through grace we can overcome sin and experience victory in our lives. The most important thing to remember about sanctification, or growing in Christ, is that it is based on grace alone. Often times it’s easy to look back at our past sins and know that they have been forgiven and recognize that it is through grace alone. But it is harder to understand that it is only by grace, not by our works, that we are going to overcome sin in the present. Sanctification is just as much a part of the work of the cross as justification, redemption, propitiation and reconciliation. Many of us understand that the forgiveness of sin (justification) is completely a work of grace. But when it comes to growing in Christ (sanctification) we mistakenly think it depends upon us. But the reality is, it is just as much a work of grace as the others. You might ask then, “What is the part that I have to play”? The answer is obedience. But obedience is accomplished through faith in Jesus Christ who has already accomplished a victory for us. In fact, Paul tells us in Titus 2:11-14 that the grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lust, and it teaches us to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age. So we know God's grace produces holiness in the life of a believer. It does not produce an apathy or a relaxed view toward sin. 
This is exactly what Paul opens Romans 6:1 with …“what shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not”. And in verse 6 Paul says… “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” The first key to having victory over sin is to “know” that on the cross Jesus broke the power that sin had over you before you were a believer. Before you were a follower of Jesus you were controlled and dominated by your sin (Ephesians 2:1–3; 4:17-19). In fact, Jesus went so far as to say that we were slaves of sin (John 8:30-36). But here in Romans 6:6 Paul tells us that our sinful nature and the power it had over us was broken on the cross. When he says “that the body of sin might be done away with” he is referring to our sinful nature. The words “done away with" could be translated “rendered inactive”. Here's the reality. It no longer has the power over you unless you return back to it and begin to obey it. But we have a choice now when, before we were followers of Jesus, we had no choice and were absolute slaves to sin. But now we can turn from sin and follow Jesus. We can say no to our sinful cravings. 
In Romans 6:12 Paul says “do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts”. You see we can allow sin to control us again. Paul goes on in verse 13 to declare “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” The power of sin has been broken but if we present ourselves again to sin we will then become slaves again (Romans 6:16). This is the key to sanctification. Knowing that the power has been broken through the cross and through obedience to the Lord we can experience victory over our sins and become slaves of righteousness instead of slaves to sin.

1. Do you feel like you understand the power that sin had over your life before you were a Christian? And now that you are a Christian that its power has been broken? Discuss.

2. Share some examples of how you've had victory over sin since you became a Christian.

3. Share some areas where you're still struggling with certain sins and pray for one another for God's victory.

Write down any questions that you might have concerning sanctification. See if you guys as a group can answer them from the word of God. If you need any help send them to one of the pastors at CCSG that you feel most comfortable with so they can help answer your questions.

Action steps:
Get accountable with one another over the areas of sin that you are not experiencing victory in.
Commit to pray for one another over these areas. 
Commit to holding one another accountable in these areas and encouraging one another to overcome the sin.
Remember Jesus broke the power of sin now it is our job to obey Him to experience the victory.