Introduction: 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!

  1. Peace

    1. Read Romans 5:1. What brings us peace with God? (Faith in
      Jesus justifies us.)

      1. Imagine that your spouse is very angry with you.
        Your response is that “Harry’s wife” or “Mary’s
        husband” is a good spouse and that therefore your
        spouse should stop being angry with you. Do you
        think that would work? (Of course not! That would
        make it worse because the “good spouse” would make
        you look even worse.)

        1. Why doesn’t it work that way with Jesus? The
          fact that He lived a perfect life should make
          my life look even worse!

    2. Read Romans 5:2. This text explains why Jesus’ perfect
      life does not make things worse for us. What does it
      suggest? (Jesus gives us access to grace. I think grace
      is a cross between being cheerful and charity. We are
      given a gift, a gift of entering the cheerful presence of
      God. Our God who should be unhappy with us because of our
      sin, is not because Jesus has covered our sin.)

      1. Notice the last part of Romans 5:2. Why are we
        happy? (We rejoice because now we have the hope of
        living in the glory of God. Living with Him in
        heaven and the earth made new. When our spouse or
        our boss is unhappy with us, it affects our
        attitude. Because Jesus has changed our situation we
        should feel joy because we have been given the hope
        of a great future.)

    3. Read Romans 5:3-5. Wait a minute. We were doing so well.
      I was as happy as I could be. God was happy with me. And,
      I did not have to work for that happiness! Now, Paul
      talks to me about some unpleasant stuff. Why does Paul
      talk about suffering?

      1. When you were reading all my “happy talk” you might
        have groaned and said, “Be serious!” Have you ever
        had someone say that your faith is not “very
        realistic?” Not “practical?” (Paul realizes that
        all of this “happy talk” bumps into the reality of
        life. Sometimes we are not rejoicing and sometimes
        we are not very happy. Nasty things happen in life.
        Paul gives us the answer to how to rejoice in
        unhappy times.)

        1. What is the answer to unhappy times? (That
          difficult times make us better. They give us
          character and hope.)

          1. Why does character give us hope? (Have you
            ever seen an immature person? They have a
            hard time dealing with life. I think Paul
            is saying that maturity of character helps
            us to hold on to hope. Suffering leads to
            perseverance which develops character
            which leads to hope.)

      2. What does the Holy Spirit have to do with hope?
        (Suffering is not pleasant. We want it to end. The
        Holy Spirit gives us hope that God loves us. We hope
        for God to rescue us here. If we stick with God, He
        pours His love into our hearts by His Holy Spirit.)

  2. Love

    1. Read Romans 5:6-8. How common is it for someone to die
      for someone else?

      1. If you were faced with such a decision, what factors
        would you weigh? (Logically, you would ask yourself
        whose life is more important. If someone was lazy
        and evil, it would not cross my mind to give up my
        life for that person.)

        1. Why does Paul talk about the rare instance in
          which someone would die for a righteous person?
          (Jesus’ death for us makes no logical sense.
          God illogically died for a bunch of sinners.
          This proves God’s gift was not powered by
          reason, but by love.)

    2. Read Romans 5:9-11. Should we be worried about God’s
      wrath – His unhappiness with us?

      1. What logical argument does Paul construct to teach
        us that we should not be worried? (Paul just told us
        it made no logical sense for God to die for a bunch
        of sinners. However, if our God was willing to do
        that, imagine how much more confident we can be when
        Jesus made us acceptable to God. If God loved us
        enough to save us when we were bad, imagine how He
        will treat us when we look like Jesus! Praise God!)

  3. The One Man Solution

    1. Read Romans 5:12-14. Who is the “one man?” (Paul must be
      talking about Adam.)

      1. How responsible am I for the sins of Adam?

      2. Read Deuteronomy 24:16. God tells me that I should
        not die for the sins of another. So, what is Paul
        saying? (Although I did not help Adam to sin, the
        text suggests that humans independently sinned –
        “all sinned.”)

      3. What does Paul mean when he says that “sin is not
        taken into account when there is no law?”

        1. If it was not sinful to kill before the giving
          of the Ten Commandments, how do we explain
          Cain’s punishment? See Genesis 4:1-14. (If you
          consider the story carefully, Genesis 4:6-7 is
          a command from God to Cain. Cain must master
          his anger by doing what is right.)

        2. If sin was not taken into account, why did
          death reign on earth before the giving of the
          Ten Commandments? (Paul teaches us that sin is
          not tightly tied to the law. Humans sinned
          before they had the Ten Commandments written

        3. What about this “accounting?” “Sin was not
          taken into account when there is no law?” Isn’t
          death the accounting for sin? (Paul seems to
          say there are two kinds of sin. The first sin
          is breaking one of the Ten Commandments or any
          other specific command of God. If you have no
          specific commands, then you cannot break one.)

          1. Read Romans 2:14-15. What kind of law and
            what kind of sin is described here? (This
            is the second kind of sin. This involves
            things that we naturally know are sinful.
            Paul wants us to know that sin is a
            pervasive problem for humans. A problem
            which is not tightly tied to the Ten

    2. Why do you think Paul separates sin and death from the
      law?(Paul is making it harder for anyone to claim that
      they are righteous because of keeping the law. If you are
      to be perfect on your own, you not only have to worry
      about the Ten Commandments, you have to worry about
      things which are naturally wrong. Jesus expands the sin
      concept ( Matthew 5:28) to situations where we have not
      done anything, but have improper thoughts! Thus, Jesus is
      the only answer to our sin.)

    3. Read Romans 5:15-17. Who is the “one man” antidote to
      sin? (Jesus.)

      1. Why is Jesus’ gift more powerful than Adam’s sin?
        (Jesus mopped up a lot more sin than just Adam’s
        sin. Humans were sinful before the law was given.
        After the law was given, they had even less excuse
        for sin because God’s will was clearly stated.
        Jesus took care of all sin – that practiced before
        the law and that which resulted from the application
        of the law.)

    4. Read Romans 5:18-19. Does this mean that we are all
      automatically saved? Is it the opposite of all humans
      being automatically lost because of the sin of Adam? (If
      we look back at Romans 5:15 we are told that the “gift is
      not like the trespass.” Salvation is a gift – and that
      suggests that it must be received. Just like Deuteronomy
      24:16 tells us that we do not die unless we embrace the
      sin of Adam, so we do not have eternal life unless we
      embrace the gift of Jesus’ perfect life and sacrificial
      death on our behalf.)

    5. Read Romans 5:20-21. God wants sin to increase? How do we
      explain adding the law? (God wanted us to be more aware
      of His rules for living. He wanted us to be more aware of
      the nature of sin. At the same time God increased grace
      to cover all of our sins.)

      1. Does this suggest that the law is nullified? That
        God does not care about the law? (The fact that
        Jesus died to satisfy the demands of the law shows
        its importance. If God was going to nullify the law,
        He would have done it before He suffered a painful

    6. Friend, God’s grace is the greatest gift you will ever be
      given! Will you, right now, accept the gift? Will you
      repent of your sins and ask God to cover them with the
      blood of Jesus?

  4. Next week: Victory Over Sin.