Want to learn more about Romans? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
Great news! We begin a new series of lessons on one of
the most important books of the Bible – Paul’s letter to the church
at Rome. Do you recall starting a new job where you wanted to make a
good impression? If you were the boss, it was important for you to
make the right impression so that the people under you in the
company would help you make the business a success. Paul’s letter to
the Romans is something like that. He has never been to this church.
He is coming, and he wants his relationship to begin on the right
note. How should he start out? Let’s jump into our study and see
how Paul does this!
Today I was in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan hiking
to some magnificent waterfalls. There has been a lot of rain and the
water going down the falls is just wild. The river’s power is
awesome. Looking at the beautiful scenery and the incredible power
of the river made me think about our Creator God. Paul talks about
this in the first two chapters of Romans. What Romans says about
the relationship of nature to God leads naturally into the subject
of the relationship between humans and God’s law. One of the hot
issues of Paul’s time was whether certain of the laws kept by the
Jews applied to the Gentile converts. Let’s jump into our study of
the Bible and see what we can learn about nature, law and grace!
We left off last week in the midst of confusion! Paul
told us in Romans 2:13 that “those who obey the law … will be
declared righteous.” Then Paul quickly added in Romans 3:12 “there
is no one who does good, not even one.” Are we all lost? Are we
doomed by our nature? Whatever happened to the idea of the inherent
goodness of humans? Can we live a good life? Let’s dive into Romans
and see if we can follow Paul’s line of reasoning and continue our
exploration of God’s plan for our salvation!
Last week we were left in a terrible state! We decided
that we were no better than all of those “obvious” sinners and that
our deeds deserved death. Worse, there was nothing that we could do
about it because “no one will be declared righteous in His sight by
observing the law.” Romans 3:20. This week we get to the good news –
someone has already done something about our sin problem. Let’s run
to Romans and find out more!
After we learned last week that keeping the
law has nothing to do with our salvation, Paul announced
that this did not “nullify the law.” Instead, we read that
by this doctrine “we uphold the law.”(Romans 3:31) On the
face of it, that seems completely wrong. If the law has
nothing to do with salvation, how does that uphold it? A
mother says, “Son, your father had nothing to do with your
birth or your upbringing.” If you were the father would you
think that “upheld” you? Of course not! Yet Paul teaches
us that grace upholds the law. Let’s dive into our study
of Romans to see if we can follow Paul’s continuing line of
argument about grace and law!
Can you remember a time when someone you loved was
unhappy with you? What if your spouse is unhappy with you? It
doesn’t feel good, does it? What about the time when your boss was
unhappy with you? That caused worry because your boss could create
real problems. God is somewhat like our boss and our spouse wrapped
up together. God should be the last person that we want to have
unhappy with us. However, since He is a perfect God and we are
sinful humans with have a serious problem. This week we learn about
how Jesus’ perfect life and death for our sins reconciled us to God.
We also learn something new about the nature of sin. Let’s jump
right into our study of Romans and learn more!
The law has taken a beating in our last few studies!
Not only is it not the key to salvation, it is not even a
description of all sin. The law may seem down and bloodied, but it
is not out, because sin is still in the picture. This week we begin
Paul’s argument about the importance of right behavior. Does this
involve the law? If not, what does it involve? Let’s dive into our
study and find out!
Last week, we learned that upon baptism in Jesus, we
“died to sin.” (Romans 6:2) We learned that this meant that we were
“set free from sin.” (Romans 6:18) How did that work out for you
this past week? Did you find that you had a sin-free week? Did you
enjoy living a perfect life? If not, what do you think is the
problem? If you had paid closer attention last week would you be
free from sin? Or, are you having a problem measuring Paul’s
writings against the reality of your life? Since the Bible is the
true and faultless word of God, we need to dig deeper to find out
what God is trying to teach us. Let’s dive into Paul’s continuing
Last week, Paul finally got around to being brutally
honest about life. His mind was a slave to God, but, he admitted,
his sinful nature a slave to sin.(Romans 7:25) I was glad to hear
that I was not the only one struggling with sin! Bet that made you
feel a lot better about your own struggle with sin. But, the bad
news for you and for me is that we still have this sin problem. We
don’t want to be slaves to sin. Paul describes our collective
situation as being “wretched.” (Romans 7:24) What can we do? Do we
need to do anything? Let’s plunge into Paul’s continuing discussion
about sin and salvation and see what we can learn!
Look around and you find hardships. Natural disasters.
Loss of jobs. Human disasters. Some hardships are so terrible that
I do not like to think about them. Consider the miners who have been
trapped alive underground for more than two weeks. I just read that
those on the surface were able to get air, water and food to the
miners. But, rescuers project, it will be four months before those
miners can be rescued! Other disasters are of a spiritual nature.
What does God say about the hardships that we face? Do we have any
control over our lives? Let’s jump into our study of the Bible and
Paul reports that the Jews were “zealous for God,” but
that their zeal was “not based on knowledge.” (Romans 10:2) Have you
seen Christians who are excited about being a Christian, but who
don’t understand God’s word? We all have. That, however, seems an
unlikely charge against the Jews. The target of Paul’s comments
studied God’s written word. Pharisees, like Paul, memorized huge
portions of the Bible. Somehow, they still missed the mark when it
came to knowing God. Let’s dive into our study today. We do not want
to miss the mark when it comes to knowing and understanding God!
Do you feel out of breath? We have been going through
some heavy mental lifting! We’ve worked our way through Paul’s
complex and wonderful discussion of a very simple matter – that we
are saved by grace and not by works. So many Christians stop there.
We need to get our second wind and press on because Paul has much
more to say about how Christians saved by grace should live in a
pagan world. Deep breath: let’s plunge back into our study of the
Bible and learn more!
We have come to our last study in Romans and I am sad.
What a great discussion we have had about our salvation! I have
learned more about God’s will, and if you have been with me each
lesson, I trust that you, too, have advanced in your knowledge of
this important topic. This week we learn about the advantage of
being a hypocrite. Well, perhaps not. I’ll let you decide. Let’s
dive into our study of the Bible once again to see what we can