Look What He's Done!

1. Look What He's Done!  |  04/07/24

Study questions

1.  There was tension between the Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians in the early church in Rome because the Jewish Christians thought everyone still needed to observe the Law of Moses (see Romans 2:11-17, 3:9,20). 

     a)  How do tensions arise in the church today?  

     b)  What do we do that lets tensions become disunity?

2.  Read Roman’s 1:1-6.  Paul was the chief enemy of the church, and now he describes himself as someone whose life mission is to preach the gospel and build the same church he once wanted to destroy.  How has God changed and transformed your life?

3.  “Experiencing grace brings responsibility”.  Reread verse 5.  What responsibility do we also receive when we received the grace of God that saved us?

4.  Read verses 7-15.  Look at verse 8.  Paul’s prayer shows his love for each person who was part of the church.  What do your prayers reflect?  

     a)  How can prayer bring unity?

5.  Read verses 11-12Paul was compelled to serve the church.  Look at these verses and discuss why.

6.  Read verse 1:16-17.  Think about Paul’s life.  Why could a self-righteous murderer preach about “righteousness from God”? 

     a)  What does this tell us about how we should deal with our ongoing sin?

     b)  What does this teach us about the power we can experience because of the gospel? 

7.  What’s in your life that feels too powerful for you to overcome?   

     a)  What false ideas/ways of dealing with your sin do you need to repent of and start approaching God’s way, instead of your natural way? 

     b)  How can you choose to live by the “righteousness that is by faith” instead? 

8.  Read verse 16.  Grading yourself on a scale of cold to hot, how eager are you to share the gospel? 

     a)  What might this reveal about how much you appreciate what Jesus has done for you?

     b)  Try memorizing this verse as a way of reminding yourself of what Jesus has done for you and wants to do for others.

2. The Great Exchange  |  04/14/24

Study questions

1.  Read Romans 1:18-32.  Michael talked about this passage as a diagnosis, and then a prescription about what to do.  But the prescription isn't something we can do for ourselves, we have to trust Jesus has done it for us.  We often avoid going to the doctor because we want to think we are fine.  Discuss how this relates to us and our sin problem.

2.  Discuss how God being creator gives Him the right to make and enforce the rules for us.

3.  How do we try and insist on living by “our rules” instead of “God’s rules”? 

4.  Eve eating a piece of fruit was enough to separate her from God.  Do you relate to the idea of thinking “Is my sin really that bad?”  What does that reflect about our view of ourselves and of God and His holiness?

5.  We suppress the truth when we act as if we do not need to honor and obey Him as the supreme creator.  How do you see that you still do that today?

6.  We always worship something.  John Calvin said, “Our hearts are idol factories”.  Martin Luther said, “Whatever your heart clings to and relies on is your god.”  What idols in your life do you default to?  How does God offer you this in a pure and perfect way? 

7.  What would change if you trusted that all of Gods rules are designed for you to flourish?

3. God Doesn't Have Favorites  |  04/21/24

Study questions

1.  Read Romans 2:1 and Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28.  Does the holiness of our Creator and Ruler differentiate between the degree of sin, and the presence of sin? 

     a). How do you see yourself in comparison with others?

2.  Read Romans 2:12-15.  We can’t even live up to our own standards kept within our individual consciences, let alone God’s laws.  Does this mean God wants to condemn all of us?  Why?/Why not?

3.  Read Romans 3:10-12,19-20We are all in the same boat when it comes to missing the mark with God.  How should that affect the way you see yourself and others -  people in the church; 'good' people living around you in the community who don’t follow God; and people who look and behave in ways that you might judge as being 'worse' than you (or even deserving of the bad situations they’re in)?

4.  What drives the way we judge others?  

     a)  What do you think God would say to you if He was to judge you?  

     b)  How might that reveal what you need to repent of?

5.  Read James 5:14-16.  Take time to reflect on your own thoughts and choices and desires.  Confess your sins to each other. Remind each other of the promise in verse 16.'

4. The Rescue  |  04/28/24

Study questions

1.  What is your response to the problem Paul brings up in the first two and a half chapters of his letter to the Romans?  Do you agree or disagree with him?  Why or why not?

2.  Tim Keller says, “Anger is not the opposite of love, hate is. And the final form of hate is indifference.”  Do you agree with him?  Why?/Why not? 

     a)  How does this idea relate to the way that God sees us?

3.  Read Romans 3:21-26.  What is different about this passage compared to Paul’s thoughts in the previous chapters? 

     a)  Does humanity’s situation here seem as hopeless as it was at the end of chapter 1?

4.  Read Hebrews 2:14-15.  What does this passage say about what Jesus has done for us? 

     a)  Have we done anything to contribute to this? 

5.  Read Leviticus 16:15-19.  How does this part of the day of atonement connect to what Paul is talking about in Romans 3?

6.  Paul says in Romans 3:22 that, “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.  And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.” (NLT)  Do you believe this to be true about yourself?  Why or why not?

7.  God’s righteousness given to us provides us with a new status, a new family, and a new future.  Which of these is hardest for you to accept?  Why? 

     a)  Which is easiest to accept?  Why? 

5. It's a Level Playing Field  |  05/ 05 /24

Study questions

1.  What things in your past can make us feel like we are at a disadvantage or advantage with God? 

2.  Read Romans 3:27-30.  What does this passage teach us about boasting in the church, and favoritism with God?

3.  Read Romans 4:1-16.  Discuss what it means for our faith to be “credited to us as righteousness”. 

4.  How was Abraham the Father of both the circumcised (Jews) and uncircumcised (Gentiles)? 

5.  Verse 4 says righteousness is a gift.  So what should our response be to a) judging the worthiness of others or ourselves, to be forgiven?  b) grading our faith in comparison to others’?

6.  Read verse 16.  How does salvation by grace relate to our salvation being “guaranteed”? 

     a)  What confidence does that give you?

7. Read Romans 4:18-24.  How do we sometimes take things into our own hands because we DO have faith? 

     a)  Why do we try and gain approval by serving God? 

     b)  Discuss the balance between having faith and taking initiative.

8.  Read verse 17.  Share with each other the things you think are impossible for God to do in your life.  Pray for each other.

6. Justification  |  05/ 12 /24

Study questions

1.  Think about your own experience of being forgiven by someone.  Did you ask for forgiveness, or was it just given?  How did it make you feel?

2.  How does your experience of being forgiven by people flavor the way you view your own forgiveness from God? 

     a)  How does this play out practically? 

3.  Read Psalm 103:8-14, and Hebrews 10:11-14.  How/Why can we be sure our forgiveness is permanent?

4.  Read Romans 5:1-2, 6-8Describe what it means to be justified. 

5.  How is being justified different than being saved?

6.  How would your everyday life be different if you lived in the full assurance of being justified?

7. Our Response to God's Grace  |  05/ 19 /24

Study questions

1.  Read Romans 6:1-7.  What would you say to someone who is a believer but is continuing to choose a sinful lifestyle?  Support your thoughts with evidence from the Scripture.

     a)  What responsibility do we have for approaching other believers in our life, about their sin?

2.  How would you respond from Scripture (Romans 6) to a Christian friend who says a little sin is no big deal because they’ll just confess it, and be forgiven?

3.  Read James 1:14-15.  We are not victims to our sin. Christ has won victory over it and He lives in us; and we have died to it.  So how can we practically take responsibility for our sinful choices, as believers?

4.  Romans 6:15-23 says we are “Slaves to righteousness” and “slaves to God”?  Now read Matthew 6:24 How is the root cause of us tolerating sin, an issue of heart allegiance?

5.  Verse 22 says that the outcome of intentionally living to please God is holiness.  Is holiness attractive to you?  Why/why not?

6.  Why is ongoing sin less of a problem than our response to it, or our attitude toward it?

8. The Struggle Is Real!  |  05/ 26 /24

Study questions

1.  Read Romans 7:1-6.  In chapter 6 Paul used the the illustration of slavery to describe how we've died to our sinful nature.  Now in chapter 7 Paul now uses marriage to illustrate the same point but with an added nuance: we now belong to Jesus.  What are the implications of this aspect of being a Christian?

     a)  See verses 4-5.  What things we must put to death, and what comes to life as a result?

2.  Read Romans 7:19-23.  Paul’s point wasn't to condemn us but to show us that we can’t do it without the Spirit controlling us.  How does this change our perspective on our sin?

3.  How are our choices actually decisions about who and what we give control of ourselves to (our 'allegiance' - 6:17)? 

4.  Read Galatians 5:16-17.  What are the things you don’t want to do, that you still do? 

     a)  What are the trigger moments for you?  

     b)  What are some different choices you could make in those moments that would help you avoid those habits and behaviors altogether? 

     c)  Where does God’s Spirit and strength come into this situation?

5.  Read Romans 7:24-25In your mind, how do you think of yourself in relation to sin? - as a victim/slave or as someone who can overcome because of God’s Spirit’s power in you? 

     a)  How could understanding the truth these verses are teaching, change the power sin has over you? 

     b)  How might your choice also allow you to experience more of God’s presence and power?

9. The Spirit Led Life  |  06/ 02 /24

Study questions

1.  Why do we need to live by faith, in the same way we were saved by faith?

2.  Read Romans 8:1-4.  How would you use this truth to speak with someone who was struggling with shame over their past life decisions?

3.  Romans 8:2 says the law of the Spirit gives life.  Now read verses 5-11.  What does “life” mean?  

     a)  What do these verses tell us we need to do to experience that life?

4.  Verse 7 says that we can live in ways that are “hostile to God.”  How is the direction and focus of our heart shown by our attitude towards holiness?

5.  Read verses 12-14.  Discuss your response to the notion that you have an “obligation” to “put to death the misdeeds of the body.”

6.  Verse 14 says we are to be “led” by the Spirit.  Think about what it means to be led (e.g. leading a business, an army, an animal, someone dancing).  How does being led by the Spirit change us?

7.  Read verses 14-17What’s the difference in the way we relate and respond to God (and what He asks of us) if we think of ourselves as His slave, versus His child, versus a co-heir with Him? 

10. More Than Conquerors!  |  06/ 09 /24

Study questions

1.  Read Romans 8:31.  Spend time reflecting on the truth that 'God is for you'.  What does that give you confidence to do in your life right now? 

2.  Read Romans 8:33-34.  Who/what sometimes makes you feel condemned?  

     a)  Why is it significant that this verse says Christ was raised and is at Gods right hand?  

     b)  Why is He interceding for you?  

     c)  What difference does the truth in these verses make to the things that you tend to feel condemned by?

3.  Read Romans 8:35.  What is your response to the truth that nothing can thwart God from loving you? 

4.  Read Romans 8:35-37.  What are the difficult things in your life right now? 

     a)  How can His constant love for you change the way you go through that?

5.  What is Gods love doing in your life right now? 

     a)  How is your relationship with Him changing you?

11. Israel's Rights  |  06/ 16 /24

Study questions

1.  Read Romans 9:1-5.  What was the purpose of all the things the Jews had been given in verses 4-5? 

     a)  What things did God put in your past to turn you to Him?

2.  Read verses 6-16.  The Jews did all the right things according to the Law, but that didn’t mean they were in a right relationship with God.  Why?

3.  Read verses 15-18.  Discuss the theology of God's sovereignty taught in these verses.  It would have raised obvious questions for the original readers, what questions does it bring up for you?

4.  Read verses 19-25 and answer the question in verse 19: “Why does God still blame us for our sin?” 

5. How would you answer someone who argues that there’s no point in praying or sharing the gospel because God's sovereignly chosen who He's going to save? 

6.  Read John 3:16-20, 2 Peter 3:9 and Ephesians 2:8.  Now fast-forward to Romans 10:14-18How does God’s sovereignty intersect with our free will?

7.  Does Gods sovereignty make him unfair? 

     a)  How does verse 20 inform your thinking, and change your emotional response?

8.  How can the truth that God is sovereign give you confidence this week?

13. God's Plan for Israel  |  07/ 07 /24

Study questions

1.  Read Romans 11:11-12God planned for Israel to love Him and invite others from outside their nation, to know Him too.  When the Jews rejected Him, why did they still feel righteous/chosen?

     a)  Why did they continue keeping the laws and making customary offerings?

     b)  What does that show they were trusting in for right standing with God?

     c)  How can we be the same today?

2.  Read verses 17-18. How do we stay aware of grace as the only reason we have a relationship with God?

3.  Read verses 19-21 What does spiritual entitlement look like?

     a)  What are some ways we try and use God for our own interests?

     b)  When we are spiritually entitled, how does our attitude to our own sin change?

     c)  How does our view of others change?

4.  Read verse 32.  How does this relate to God’s overarching plan beginning at Creation?

5.  Read verses 33-36.  What should our response be to mystery and unanswered (for now) questions about God, things that happen, and the way He works?

     a)  Now spend a moment reflecting on the things you struggle with about God.  Can you give up the need for answers, and trust Him because you understand His “unsearchable” nature?