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!

  1. The True Gospel

    1. Read Romans 10:1-4. Can you be zealous (working hard) for
      God and still not be saved? (Apparently.)

      1. What, in addition to working hard, is required?
        (Knowledge. This is bad news for those who are not
        concerned with getting the gospel right.)

      2. 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?

      3. 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

    2. 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?

    3. 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.)

      1. Let me ask you two questions. Could this be any
        clearer? Do you believe it?

      2. 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).)

  2. Our Opportunity

    1. Read Romans 10:14-15. What is our obligation with regard
      to this gospel message? (To tell others so they will hear
      and understand!)

    2. Read Romans 10:16-18. Will all who hear the gospel accept

      1. 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
        about Jesus.)

        1. Why do you think that is true?

    3. 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

      1. 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.)

      2. 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.)

        1. 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?
  3. The Elect

    1. Read Romans 11:1-4. Will we know how many people remain
      faithful to God in the midst of persecution?

    2. Read Romans 11:5-6. Why do you think that Paul compares
      those who believe in salvation by grace alone to those who
      survived persecution?

      1. 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

    3. 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.)

      1. 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

    4. 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.)

      1. 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.)

        1. If God did nothing, what would be the result?
          (His mission would fail.)

        2. 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?

    5. Read Romans 11:17-21. What sin is Paul describing that we
      should avoid? (Arrogance.)

      1. 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

    6. 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.)

    7. 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.)

      1. 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.)

    8. 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.)

  4. 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?

  5. Next week: Overcoming Evil With Good.