Introduction: In many ways the Gospel of Jesus is completely
different than traditional culture. Hard work, self-sufficiency,
getting points for wanting to do things right even though you have it
wrong – these are all contradicted by our study today when it comes
to salvation. Let’s plunge into our study of Romans and see if we can
better understand God’s message for us about salvation!
- The True Gospel
- Read Romans 10:1-4. Can you be zealous (working hard) for
God and still not be saved? (Apparently.)
- What, in addition to working hard, is required?
(Knowledge. This is bad news for those who are not
concerned with getting the gospel right.)
- Let’s be sure we understand this correctly. Paul
tells us that belief in Jesus’ work on our behalf is
the key to righteousness. Hard work for God, coupled
with a misunderstanding of the gospel is the road to
being lost. Is that right? Do you know people who are
on that road?
- Look again at Romans 10:4. What does Paul mean when
he says that Jesus is the “end of the law?” (Jesus
ended the condemnation of the law. That is why those
who believe in Jesus are saved, and those who believe
they must keep the Ten Commandments (and all other
law) as their means of salvation are lost. Why are
they lost? They have not accepted what Jesus has done
and therefore the condemnation of the law remains for
- Read Romans 10:5. Did you once believe this? That those
who are true Christians obey the law and thus show they
are righteous? Do you still believe it?
- Read Romans 10:9-12. What is the true formula for
salvation? (Confessing that Jesus is Lord and believing
that God raised Jesus from the dead.)
- Let me ask you two questions. Could this be any
clearer? Do you believe it?
- Let’s look again at Romans 10:11. Are you still
concerned about the obedience side of being a
Christian? If so, what do you think this means? (If
we trust Jesus, we will obey Him. This teaches us
that obedience to God’s law keeps us from being put
to shame. Our relationship with God has the salvation
aspect (believing and confessing) and the practical
living aspect (obeying and living better).)
- Our Opportunity
- Read Romans 10:14-15. What is our obligation with regard
to this gospel message? (To tell others so they will hear
- Read Romans 10:16-18. Will all who hear the gospel accept
- Notice that Romans 10:18 is a quotation from Psalms
19:4. Do you recall what is the “voice” in Psalms 19?
(Read Psalms 19:1-4. The heavens declare not just the
glory of God, but Paul tells us that they declare
- Why do you think that is true?
- Read Romans 10:19-21. Did Israel, who heard the gospel,
not understand the gospel? (The implied answer is that
Israel did understand, and they rejected the message
because they chose to be “a disobedient and obstinate
- Isn’t this “disobedient and obstinate people,” an odd
phrase for people who rejected justification by
faith? Aren’t these the people working to keep the
law? (They are disobedient and obstinate because they
rejected Jesus and His work on their behalf.)
- Notice that these verses refer to Israel being
“envious” and “angry.” Why is that? (Those who were
not chosen to be God’s messengers believed in Jesus.)
- Is that still true today – that those who are
hammering obedience to the law as the means of
salvation are envious and angry about those who
are saved by grace alone?
- The Elect
- Read Romans 11:1-4. Will we know how many people remain
faithful to God in the midst of persecution?
- Read Romans 11:5-6. Why do you think that Paul compares
those who believe in salvation by grace alone to those who
- Why does Paul compare those who promote salvation by
works to those who “bowed the knee to Baal?” (It
makes perfect sense in that idol worship is
worshiping what you have made – which is logically
the equivalent of “worshiping” your obedience to the
- Read Romans 11:7-10. Who are the “elect” here? (Not those
who were originally elected, Israel, but rather the
Gentiles who were not originally elected to be God’s
people to share His gospel.)
- Why would God hinder anyone from understanding the
gospel? (Read Romans 11:11-12. I do not understand
precisely what Paul is writing, but what is clear is
that Israel can be saved – and indeed, the gospel
being passed to the Gentiles is a means for doing
- Read Romans 11:13-16. What is Paul’s hope for the Jewish
people? (They will become envious of what God is doing
through the Gentiles and will accept faith in Jesus.)
- Let’s get back for a moment to our discussion of God
giving a “spirit of stupor” ( Romans 11:8) to Israel.
Were the Jews performing their role to share God with
the world? (No. In general, they failed to understand
the connection between the sanctuary service and
Jesus’ mission and message.)
- If God did nothing, what would be the result?
(His mission would fail.)
- Instead, those “blinded” to the truth
persecuted those who accepted Jesus. The
persecution that followed scattered the new
Jewish believers around the world. Does this
make Paul’s “stupor” and “they could not see”
comments make sense to you?
- Read Romans 11:17-21. What sin is Paul describing that we
should avoid? (Arrogance.)
- Paul tells us that we should be afraid of what God
might do. Why? Haven’t we been discussing God’s great
love and mercy towards us? (That appears to be the
point, we cannot be arrogant because grace is a gift.
If we teach some works must be done to receive the
gift, then we can be “cut off” just like the Jews
were cut off for promoting works over the gift of
- Let’s skip down a few verses. Read Romans 11:25-27. What
prophecy is Paul making about the future of Israel? (At
some point Israel will accept Jesus.)
- Read Romans 11:28-32. How has God “bound all men over to
disobedience?” (We are all sinners. After the decision of
Adam and Eve, we were born with a sinful nature. God has
shown mercy on all of us.)
- What other point is Paul making in these verses? (The
fact that the Jewish nation turned away from God’s
call simply reflects the fact that we all are sinners
and God continues to offer His mercy to all of us.)
- Read Romans 11:33-36. As we discussed Romans 11, were you
having trouble understanding all of what Paul has written?
How do these quotations from Isaiah 40:13 and Job 41:11
help to explain our difficulty? (While God wants us to
study His word to know Him better, there comes a point
where we simply say “I’m not sure that I understand. God
is God and I am not.” At that point, our response should
simply be that we trust God.)
- Friend, Paul’s message this week is that the gospel message is
easy. Salvation comes from confessing that Jesus is Lord and
believing that God raised Jesus from the dead. If we
complicate it, and arrogantly claim that it requires more, then
we are in mortal danger of being cut off, just like Israel.
Even if you have complicated the gospel in the past, the great
good news is that God still holds out His hand to Israel, and
He holds out His hand to you. Will you come back to the simple
message of salvation by faith alone?
- Next week: Overcoming Evil With Good.