1. Paul speaks in this section on justification by faith alone by using Abraham & David as examples.
A: Rather than “agree to disagree” with his opponents, Paul feels that the issue of justification by faith alone is one to hold onto tightly. What are issues that we believe are primary issues of the faith, central to the faith? What do we consider to be secondary issues within the Christian faith? How do we know which category an issue fits into?
B: As Paul engages his opponents on justification by faith alone, he does so by going to the Bible. How does this serve as an example of how we are to respond to others when facing issues of our own time? What are ways we can be better informed & formed by the truth of the Bible?
C: In v. 4-5, we see the difference between a works-based faith & a grace-based faith. What would we be able to earn based on our works alone? How does what we would be able to earn make God’s grace all the more beautiful?
D: In v. 5, we spent time talking about the quality of faith versus the object of faith. Why is it such good news that the Christian faith is built on the object of faith rather than the quality of our faith?
E: We also talked about the great exchange that is seen throughout this text…that our sins are IMPUTED onto Christ, he takes all our sin & in exchange his righteousness is IMPUTED onto us, we are counted as righteous! One way to think through the importance of a statement is to consider if it weren’t true…so what happens if this great exchange wasn’t true? What would be different? Would Christians have hope/security?
F: In v. 9-12, Paul goes back to Abraham & explains how Abraham was counted as righteous BEFORE circumcision…not BECAUSE of circumcision. What are rituals, heritage, or accomplishments that people try to base their reason for right standing before God upon?
2. We concluded the sermon by talking about Paul’s repetition of the major themes in Romans thus far.
A: So far we’ve seen that: 1) Everyone, Jews & Gentiles, has sinned against God & stand as guilty before God. 2) No sinner can move themselves from guilty to righteous on their own efforts, 3) A sinner is only moved from guilty to righteous through faith in Christ alone. Which of these themes is most challenging for you to believe consistently?
B: Pastor Nate talked about how we are often “Truth Amnesiacs”. We quickly forget the truth of gospel…what are ways that Christians can quickly forget the truth of the gospel?
C: We were challenged to consider this question as we ended: what are we doing to repeat the gospel over & over again so that we would remember it?