1.We started by recapping the first few chapters of Romans & a question that this section leads us to ask.
A:We see from Romans 1-3 that on our own, we stand before God as guilty. Pastor Nate alluded to Isaiah 64:6, take a moment to read that passage. What are ways that we see people continuing trying to work their way to right standing before God? How have you realized that your efforts are futile to make yourself right before God?
B: It was said that Romans 1-3 leads to this question: “How can sinful man become right before a perfectly righteous God?” The answer provided by every other belief system is ultimately one that’s man-centered & works-based. How do we see this to be the case in other religions?
C: We heard that what makes Christianity distinctive is that righteousness is realized through divine achievement, not human achievement. How does this reality lead to praise of God, rather than praise of yourself?
2. Next we looked at Romans 3:21 & the good news of God’s righteousness being imputed.
A: Pastor Nate spent time talking about how this verse highlights MONERGISM, rather than SYNERGISM. Why is it important to see that righteousness is the work of God alone, rather than a work of both God & you? Why is it hard for us to believe that God alone has done what’s necessary for us to be made righteous?
B: The second part of v. 21 shows us that this news is built on the foundation of the Old Testament. How does the Old Testament point us to see our sin & look forward to rescue from God? What are resources that help us to read the Bible as one big story, rather than trying to pit the Old Testament against the New Testament? (KIDS & ADULTS: JESUS STORYBOOK BIBLE)
3. We then talked about Romans 3:22-23 & who receives righteousness & how they receive it.
A: Righteousness is received by faith in Christ. It was said that Christian faith isn’t based on the quality of the faith, but on the quality of the OBJECT of the faith. Why is this such good & reassuring news for us?
B: In v. 22-23, we see that this righteousness is “for all who believe” & yet “all have sinned & fall short of the glory of God.” We see that we are all are in the position of not being good enough to be right on our own, but not being bad enough to not be saved by God. Why is it important & necessary for us to believe both of these to be true? How can you live more faithfully in light of both of these truths?
4. In Romans 3:24-25, we see the great exchange & how it is accomplished.
A: V. 24 speaks of both our justification & redemption. What does it mean to be justified? What does it mean to be redeemed? What are the acts of justification & redemption based upon in v. 24?
B: In v. 25, we see that Jesus’ work on the cross serves as our propitiation. Jesus’ work satisfies the wrath of God. Why is it so vital for us to define terms, like propitiation, that we read within the Scriptures? What happens when we fail to do the work of defining & understanding Biblical wording?
5. We ended with a challenge to consider whether or not we have put our faith in the person & work of Christ.
A: Looking at the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-9, we see that he is transformed by the power of the gospel. How have you been transformed by the power of the gospel? What are evidences of God’s grace in your life? What are evidences of God’s work in the life of other followers of Jesus Christ around you?
B: Based on Luke 19, we were specifically challenged to think through how we spend our money. Zacchaeus is changed in significant ways in how he viewed & spent his money because of the gospel. How can you approach money in a way that reflects valuing gospel advancement?