Table of Contents

February 9, 2008
  1. Overview
  2. Romans 1:1-17
  3. Romans 1:18-32
  4. Romans 2:1-16
  5. Romans 2:17-29
  6. Romans 3:1-8
  7. Romans 3:9-20
  8. Romans 3:21-31
  9. Romans 4:1-12
  10. Romans 4:13-25
  11. Romans 5:1-10
  12. Romans 5:11-21
  13. Romans 5:20-6:14
  14. Romans 6:14-23
  15. Romans 6:23-7:4
  16. Romans 7:5-25
  17. Romans 8:1
  18. Romans 8:1-13
  19. Romans 8:13-17
  20. Romans 8:16-26
  21. Romans 8:28-30
  22. Romans 8:31-39
  23. Romans 9:1-6
  24. Romans 9:6-33
  25. Romans 10:1-13
  26. Romans 10:13-21
  27. Romans 11:1-15
  28. Romans 11:16-32: part I, part II
  29. Romans 11:33-36
  30. Romans 12:1-21
  31. Romans 13:1-8
  32. Romans 13:8-14
  33. Romans 14:1-23
  34. Romans 15:1-13
  35. Romans 15:8-33
  36. Romans 16:1-27

Week 36

February 9, 2008

Romans 16

Discussion question: Why does Paul take some time out to commend certain brothers and sisters in Christ? Why does God record this in His written Word?

Leader: for your review:
This is the practice that we, today, call an introduction or a reference letter. You can see examples of this everywhere in business, academia, relationships, etc. Paul is saying to the church at Rome that if they should meet these people, to welcome them, to make them feel at home. We are blessed that God has recorded this as part of the Scriptures for a few reasons. It makes us feel like we are part of a larger, catholic, body, reaching across not only geographic locations but also time. We know a little more about Phoebe, that she was helpful to Paul and the church, and we can relate to her. We also have examples to follow, we see that Mary was a hard worker and we can strive to be like her, we see that Prisca and Aquila saw past their own lives and focused on Christ’s church and we can seek that same perspective. We can see that those in the early church cared for one another, that they desired to serve the people in the church and that they desired relationships with those in the church. We also get a glimpse of the workings of the early church; Prisca and Aquila are first mentioned in Acts 18 and now we see them again here and also in 1 Corinthians 16 and 2 Timothy 4, so we see that people traveled and continued serving the church even if they were away from their home church.

Leader: for your review:
Commentators have done a lot of research into the actual names mentioned here by Paul, for instance, Rufus might be the son of Simon from Cyrene who carried Jesus’ cross according to Mark 15:21 since Mark’s gospel is commonly thought of as being written to the Romans and Simon was from a Roman province, the believers probably would have known of his household. Mark mentions Simon as being the father of Rufus, usually when a father is described in terms of who his sons are, the sons have greater importance or they are more well-known than the father, so it is possible that this Rufus was the same mentioned in Mark. Leaders are encouraged to pick up a few commentaries and read through some of the possible stories of who these people were.

Discussion question: Why is Paul so careful to admonish his readers to watch out for people who would seek to turn away from the teachings they had already heard in vv17,18? What does this tell us about the importance of proper teaching in the church?

Discussion question: Paul says that the God of peace will soon crush Satan. How does the description of God as “God of peace” match the fact that God will soon crush Satan?

Discussion question: Do you think there is any reason that Tertius put in his own greeting as this isn’t found in Paul’s other letters?

Discussion question: Why does Paul end his letter with a doxology? What is a doxology?

Discussion question: How does this point our hearts and minds towards our Lord Jesus Christ?

Week 35

February 9, 2008

Romans 15:8-33

Discussion question: v8 says Christ became a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God and to confirm His promises. What does it mean that Christ became a servant? Why is this important for the Christian life?

Leader: for your review:
Matt 15:24
Matt 10:5,6

Discussion question: Why did Jesus come to earth? Why did the creator of all things leave His dwelling place?

Discussion question: Why does Paul pray in v13 for God to fill us with belief so that we may abound in hope? Why is hope so important to the Christian?

Discussion question: What are the points that Paul has written about boldly in v15?

Discussion question: What does the passage from v14-21 reveal about Paul’s heart and what was important to him?

Leader: for your review:
Looking over Paul’s missionary life here would help a lot in this study. You can see the path he traced out was very planned with Jerusalem being the East-most point and Illyricum being the West-most point. Try and picture Paul in Illyricum looking out over the Mediterranean Sea, knowing that Rome and then Spain were so close and making plans to go there. It is interesting to study how Paul made plans and spoke of them as if they would definitely take place, yet he knew that it was only up to God to decide where he would go. But even in light of this, he did not just sit around waiting, he was active, he was planning, he was always thinking ahead.

Discussion question: What prevented Paul from going to see the church at Rome (v22)?

Leader: for your review:
1 Thess 2:18

Discussion question: It is interesting to see/think about Satan’s role/power on Earth, how can we be aware of the times when he is actively trying to keep us from accomplishing something?

Discussion question: Why was it important for Paul to go to Spain in v24?

Discussion question: In Acts 23:11, Paul has a promise from God that he will go to Rome. Obviously Paul trusted that that would occur, but he also seems confident that he would go to Spain. What can we learn about making plans from this?

Leader: for your review:
Paul was a dreamer, his eyes always in the clouds yet his thoughts always on his work. The plans he made were well thought out, “how can I efficiently spread the Word?” He went to the major cities of his day and planted churches that could be a means to go on to the next closest major city. Never cheapening the gospel or using it for means other than saving souls and sharing Christ, but also never going about his missions without a plan in place. The cities he chose to visit were typically large, intellectual centers, high traffic areas, and well-connected. Spain was, during Paul’s time, rapidly becoming a new center for intellectual thought, Lucan, Quintilian, and Seneca were all Spaniards. But it was also as far as Western Civilization reached. Jesus said that we are his witnesses to the remotest parts of the earth. Imagine what kind of lure Spain would have had to someone who wanted to see the name of Christ spread to all the ends of the earth. But we know that Paul did not think anything would happen apart from the will of God (Romans 1:10).

Discussion question: What can we learn about Paul from his prayer request in vv30-32? What can we learn about how God wants us to pray to Him?

Leader: for your review:
It is necessary
It is important enough that Paul uses the word “urge” to encourage us to do it
It is the result of knowing God’s love for us since we are urged to do it because of the love of the Spirit, the love that the Spirit has filled us with
It is a struggle and something we have to strive to do. This striving meaning we are to do it repeatedly, with a sense of the urgency of it, it is a battle
It is good to ask for prayers for yourself
Some prayers will be answered no
Paul prays for the furtherance of the gospel as the root of all things

Week 27

February 9, 2008

Romans 11:1-15

Discussion question: Why does Paul ask the question in v1 hasn’t he already shown and proven this point back in chapter 9?

Leader: for your review:
Not necessarily, the question is different. In chapter 9, Paul showed that God’s word had not failed because not all Israel is the true Israel as was shown through Isaac/Ishmael, Jacob/Esau. Paul showed that God chose His own people on a person by person basis and not as an entire nation/people group. Now he is answering the next human question that would come up, if God has chosen His people on a person by person basis and the Jews have rejected Christ, does that mean that God has now moved on from Israel and gone to the Gentiles and rejected the Jews?

Discussion question: Why does Paul bring up the fact that he is a Jew in v1, is it only to prove his point that God has not rejected His people?

Discussion question: Now that we know why Paul asked the question in v1, how exactly does he answer it? What is the answer and the explanation?

Leader: for your review:
Paul shows that God always keeps His remnant of people and uses the story of Elijah as an example. He shows that God will keep His people even when others have turned away. He is implying, without stating, that God will keep His remnant amongst the Jews while He brings the message of salvation to the Gentiles even though many Jews may reject it. This brings up the idea of Israel verses the Church. Are the two separate, is the church today what Israel was in the OT, are Jews who know Christ part of the church, will Israel be joined in with the church? This question will come up again at the end of chapter 11.

Discussion question: Who/What is the remnant during the present time in v5?

Leader: for your review
The question seems to be a continuation of what was said back at the end of chapter 9 when Paul quotes Isaiah. It may be that chapter 10 was a “tangent” that Paul took and then he brings it back in the beginning of chapter 11. Paul is also setting up the discussion for Israel which he concludes at the end of chapter 11. This idea of a remnant has been around since God began His work of creation/redemption. We saw it in the story of Noah, then Abraham’s descendants, then those that followed Moses, then those who would find the book of the Law during the kings of Israel, then God’s prophets during the captivity, in Acts when Jews would come to a knowledge of Christ. Now we are seeing it during our times, the Reformation, etc. It is an amazing story and testimony. God always has His remnant who follow after Him even when everyone else turns. Look up 1 Kings 18-19 for the story of Elijah.

Discussion question: Why does Paul add v6, it seems out of place?

Leader: for your review
This could be a reminder or a setup for v7-10 to show again why the Jews have not attained salvation.

Leader: for your review
The greek word used in v7 for hardened is a very strong word, only used in a few other places in the NT (when the disciples argued over what Jesus meant when he said beware of the leaven of the Pharisees). It means to grow over calloused, or petrify. An example would be, when a bone breaks and it is not set properly, the bone will grow back connected but will grow this extra layer of hard material to harden the bone. Paul is using it to show how strong the hardening is.

Discussion question: In v8-10 it seems God causes those whom He hardens to have a spirit of stupor, eyes to see not and ears to hear not and this again brings up the question of God’s sovereignty but this time we see in v4 that God’s chosen people were those who haven’t bowed the knee to Baal, implying God chose them based on something they did (or in this case didn’t do), how do we reconcile this? Can we reconcile this?

Discussion question: What is the application of this in our lives?

Leader: for your review
The application question of this might be held off until the end of chapter 11 when we see God’s place for Israel to be grafted in. But, this should give us hope in that God’s plan will be carried out (Isaiah 55:11) and that He was gracious to allow those who aren’t Jews to be a part of His plan.

Week 25

February 9, 2008

Romans 10:1-13

Discussion question: What does it look like to have a zeal for God but not in accordance with knowledge, v2?

Discussion question: What does it mean when Paul says that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes? Is this similar to the questions he asked in Chapter 6:15

Discussion question: How does the OT passage quoted in verses 6-7 relate to what Paul says in verse 6, that the righteousness based on faith speaks as those OT passages say it does?

Discussion question: Verse 9 is often used as an overall summary of how one is saved, that if you believe and confess, you will be saved. Do you agree that it can be summed up as such?

Discussion question: What are your thoughts on verses 11-13, are they comforting to you?

Week 26

February 9, 2008

Romans 10:13-21

This may be a good time for a very frank question: Have you called on the name of the LORD? verse 13. 1 Cor 1:2 – seems to imply we should call on the LORD continually, not just once. Not that we need to be saved every day or anything like that, but rather than our prayers indicate an absolute reliance on God.

Leader: for your review
Joel 2 is an amazing chapter that discusses God’s plan for Israel as a people and His plan for all mankind. This topic of Israel in comparison with the Church is going to come up again in chapter 11, it’s good to start thinking about it now. For instance, in Joel 2, God talks about His plan of redemption for Israel in v21-27 and then in v28 He says He will pour out His Spirit on all mankind…does the all in v28 really mean all or does it mean all of one people group or does it mean all humans but only some of them (the elect)?

Leader: for your review
v14,15 Should really be read together with no breaks, “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!””
c.f. Is 52:7

Discussion question: Is this section a tangent of Paul’s to tell us that we need to send people so they can preach to those who have not heard so that they can believe?

Leader: for your review:
It helps his argument that even though some Jews have not believed, it doesn’t not nullify the Word of God (9:6) He quotes Isaiah when he says the good news has been brought to captive Israel and then quotes him again (Is 53:1) that some have not believe their report. So by spelling out the steps of belief, Paul shows that we must hear the entire gospel being preached to us by sent preachers and that we must believe in what we hear and we must call on Him according to what we have heard.

Now that Paul has listed the steps, he can go back to his argument that some have heard and have not believed and this does not mean the Word of God has failed in the case of the Jews.

The great thing about this section is that Paul uses an argument and at the same time shows us how we are to see and perform evangelism.

Discussion question: What does this lead us to do in terms of evangelism?

Discussion question: What is your role in evangelism today?

Discussion question: What is the “word of Christ”?
Col 3:16 – Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Eph 5:26 – so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.
John 15:3 – you are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
John 17:17 – Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.
Eph 6:17 – …and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God; and the Word was God.
1 John 1:1-2 – What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life–and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us–
Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of go for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteousness man shall live by faith”

Leader: these are the OT quotes given in the following verses:

v18 – Ps 19:4
v19 – Deut 32:21
v20 – Is 65:1
v21 – Is 65:2

Leader: for your review
v18-20 Show the other side of the great mystery: God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. We see in ch9 that God hardens some and softens others and in ch10 that He holds out His hand all day long to a disobedient people (1 Tim 2:4 “God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth). We cannot know or understand how this is, we simply rest in the fact that it is God’s way as the following verses tell us: Matt 11:25, John 6:35-37, Acts 13:38-48

John Stott on Evangelism

December 4, 2007

Here is a good post on Romans 10-11.