1. In the first part of the sermon, we talked about the tension between God’s sovereignty & human responsibility.
A: How does Acts 2:23 highlight both of these ideas (sovereignty & responsibility) as being true? Do you find it encouraging that the Bible is comfortable in affirming both?
B: How is it reassuring to know that nothing happens that catches God off-guard? Why is it important to believe that human actions & activity matter greatly?
2. We then talked about v. 25-29 & God’s plan concerning Gentiles & Jews.
A: When talking about the Gentiles coming to faith in Christ, Paul quotes from Hosea to highlight God’s work in taking people far away & showing them mercy. How does seeing the New Testament & the Old Testament tying together encourage you to read all of Scripture, not just the New Testament? What’s the benefit of reading all of Scripture as one interconnected work?
B: One of the points mentioned on Sunday concerning Paul’s quoting from the Old Testament was that it shows that God never fails. We heard that, “God is committed to His cause, God is committed to His purposes…You can and you should stake everything on the sureness of God.” What are ways you’ve seen it to be true that God never fails? What are ways you can stake everything on the sureness of God?
C: Next we talked about v. 27-29 & the plan of God towards Israel, that, “a remnant of them will be saved.” How does believing that anyone being saved is a demonstration of God’s mercy change how you read those verses?
D: We also talked about the certainty of this plan is based in God…as any promise or commitment is only as good as the one who gives it. What are ways people doubt God’s faithfulness or commitment?
E: Before moving into the final section, some questions were posed to consider all that had been said thus far in Romans 9. The key question was: Are you thankful that God saves some or do you have to admit that you believe God must save all? Why is that such an important question to answer? What are the implications of answering it each way?
3. We then moved to v. 30-33 and talked about the importance of our response to Christ.
A: Paul talks first about the response of the Gentiles: faith. Biblical faith is hearing the gospel & responding in belief to the truth of the gospel. Faith is not abstract, it is grounded in the gospel! Why is it important that people understand Biblical faith is connected to Biblical truth?
B: The Gentiles’ response is countered in the second half of v. 32 by the response of Israel…they pursued it, “as if it were based on works.” It was said that works is the default path of goodness for every person. How do you see this in our world today, people trying to earn their way to right standing?
C: Several examples were given of, “If I do _____, then God will be good with me.” What are some examples that come to your mind?
D: It was said that the strength of Biblical faith is not in the quality of the faith, but in the quality of the object of the faith: Jesus Christ. Why is vital that people understand this component of Biblical faith?
E: Based on what we read in v. 33, we heard that people either see Jesus as the stumbling block or the solid rock. The issue comes down to how we understand righteousness: as a gift from God or something we’re trying to earn. What are the ways that it is good & freeing to see righteousness as a gift from God?
F: We ended the sermon with a word of warning: don’t try to earn your way to right standing before God & don’t think that your response isn’t important…both paths lead to death! What is the third way seen in Acts 16:31 & John 1:12…how does this path highlight the sovereignty of God and the importance of our response?