1.We started by talking about the conclusion of this section that Paul gives: All of us are under sin.
A: It would have been easy for readers to think that Romans 1 people were under sin, but challenging to think that all people are under sin. Why is that such a difficult truth for us to believe?
B: We were challenged to ask ourselves whether we understand the severity of our position apart from God’s rescuing grace. What happens when a person understands that they (and all other people) are under sin?
2. Next we looked at Romans 3:10-12 to see how sin impacts who we are because we are under sin.
A: In v. 10, we read that we are unrighteous. Just looking at Luke 10:27, we see that we fail to live up to the standards of the command in this one passage. Why is it important that we humbly admit our unrighteousness?
B: In v. 11, we read that we lack understanding. We talked about how we lack understanding specifically of ultimate truth & God Himself. LOOK AT EPHESIANS 4:18. How does sin blind us to truth?
C: We then looked at v. 12 & the fact that we don’t do good. It was said that often we do good things in form, but fail to do them for the right reason. What’s an example of doing something good in form, but with a poor motivation?
3. We then talked about Romans 3:13-17 & how sin infiltrates into what we do.
A: In v. 13-14, the way our speech is corrupted in described vividly. How do words serve both to give life & encouragement/death & destruction?
B: We were asked to examine how we use words: how can you make better use of your words this year?
C: At the end of v. 6, we see that Jesus bears our iniquity. We were warned to not only have sympathy for Christ, but to savor Christ & His work. How can we regularly remind ourselves of how good it is that Christ took the punishment for our sin?
4. The reason for all that is described in v. 10-17 is then given in v. 18: no fear of God.
A: It was said that to fear God is to have a proper, Biblical view of God that leads to awe of God & delight in God for His greatness over all things. What are ways that you can have an awe of God & delight in God?
B: We were all challenged then to think of practical ways we can be pressed to see our awe of God & delight in God increase in 2018. What are some ways you hope to grow in the grace & knowledge of our Lord in 2018?
5. We ended in Romans 3:19-20 & giving up self-righteousness.
A: We see that the point of the law isn’t to puff us up, but to expose us as sinners incapable of rescuing ourselves. It is easy for all of us to hold tight to our forms of self-righteousness…why is self-righteousness such a difficult idol to crush?
B: We ended with a quote from John Gerstner: “Nothing can keep a sinner from Christ but his delusion...that he has good works of his own that can satisfy God...All (sinners) need is need. All they must have is nothing...But alas, sinners cannot part with their “virtues.” They have none that are not imaginary, but they are real to them. So grace becomes unreal. The real grace of God they spurn in order to hold on to the illusory virtues of their own. Their eyes fixed on a mirage, they will not drink real water. They die of thirst with water all about them.” TAKE TIME TO PRAY THAT YOU WOULD EXPERIENCE GOD’S GRACE & SEE YOUR “VIRTUES” FOR WHAT THEY ARE & GOD’S REAL GRACE FOR WHAT IT IS.