October, November, December 2017

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.

Lesson 1: The Apostle Paul in Rome (Romans 1 & 15, Acts 28)
Have you wanted to travel somewhere and life kept getting in the way? When you finally traveled there, it was a real joy, right? Or, maybe not. What if the trip involved seeing relatives you had never before met, or a relative that you had not seen in years? Would you consider carefully how you would approach them? Would you want to make the best impression? We start a new series of studies on Paul's letter to the Romans. This week we want to consider some of the issues that probably went through Paul's mind as he contemplated his letter and his visit. With that in mind, let's dive into our study of Romans and learn more!

Lesson 2: The Controversy (Acts 15)
This will be a shock. Our lesson this week, our second lesson in our study of Romans, has no readings in Romans! Here is what we are doing, and I think you will agree this is a good idea: to better help us understand Paul's letter to the Romans we are studying the background for Paul's letter. Our main study is the record in Acts 15 about the biggest controversy in the early Christian church. Let's plunge into our study and learn more!

Lesson 3: The Human Condition (Romans 1:18-3:20)
Have you ever thought about how much a belief in righteousness by faith shapes your entire view of God? Consider that righteousness by faith (grace) means that all human effort is flawed. Only God is perfect. This not only says something about how I am saved, but it says something about how I should view others. It says something about how I should view God's role in the universe. Our study this week about the "human condition" starts us down this road of considering the larger view of grace. Let's dive in and learn what the Bible has to teach us!

Lesson 4: Justification By Faith (Romans 3:1-9,19-28)
Have you had someone disrespect you? Have you disrespected others? Many years ago, I was trying to mediate a very difficult problem that arose between church members. At one point a church member called me a profane name. I knew he did not mean it because he was upset. A few weeks later, the member came to me and apologized. I didn't know what he was talking about at first because I had put it out of my mind. On the other hand, I can still recall a few incidents when someone intended to insult me. Why am I asking you about respect in a study on righteousness by faith? It is to help open your mind to the idea that righteousness by faith not only gives us the key to eternal life, it should radically change our attitude toward others. Let's learn more about this by diving into our study of Romans!

Lesson 5: The Faith of Abraham (Romans 4:1-17)
Do you have one belief that is at odds with the rest of your beliefs? For example, are all of your cars made by Chevrolet, but you always buy a Ford truck? That is how many of you may view the lesson this week. My father taught me to work hard and faster than anyone around me. It is difficult for me to relax for too long, I feel driven to do something. This view collides with righteousness by faith. It is a gift from God that I cannot earn. But then, if I think about this more carefully, I realize having a father with a strong work ethic was not my decision. The blessings and direction of God in my life have been a gift. Perhaps this is consistent with a right view of grace? Let's dig into what Paul teaches us about grace, so we can get God's teachings on this incredibly important subject right!

Lesson 6: Adam and Jesus (Romans 5)
Would you like to have more peace in your life? Worry, dread, anxiety, and apprehension are major factors in the lives of many people. The gospel promises peace. But, why is that? One main reason is that God loves us. The Ruler of the Universe loves you! How did that happen? Let's plunge into our study of Romans to learn more!

Lesson 7: Overcoming Sin (Romans 6)
Two weeks ago we learned that Jesus died to justify "the wicked" (Romans 4:5). That is great news, but it might lead us to conclude, "wicked is fun" (at least for the moment), so I can be wicked and saved. That is not the conclusion Paul wants us to reach. It certainly is not God's goal for us. God wants us to be walking towards righteousness instead of wallowing in sin. Let's dig into our study of the Bible this week and learn more!

Lesson 8: Who Is the Man of Romans 7? (Romans 7)
Romans 7 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. That may seem odd to you. Why not pick a chapter that pours out praise to God? Why not pick a chapter that promises peace and joy? I like those kinds of chapters too. The reason why I like Romans 7 so much is that it encourages me in my struggle with sin. Some will say that I should not be encouraged by it. Some will say that it is for beginning Christians, not old guys like me who have been in the faith for decades. Let's do what we do every week - jump into our study of the Bible and learn more about what God has to teach us!

Lesson 9: No Condemnation (Romans 8:1-17)
Let's review Paul's teaching for a minute. In Romans 5 Paul tells us that we are given eternal life as a result of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Next, in Romans 6, Paul explains that this gift of grace does not mean that we should go on sinning. Just because we died to the law, we are not given a license to sin. Next, in Romans 7, Paul teaches that although we should choose to avoid sin, he struggles with his sinful nature and we should expect to have to do the same. Finally, we come to our study for this week. Even though our struggle with sin is real, Paul tells us that if we are in Jesus, there is "no condemnation." Let's jump into our study of this terrific assurance!

Lesson 10: Children of the Promise (Romans 8:31-Romans 9:31)
Do you have friends or family that deliberately make your life difficult? Have they also rejected your faith? How do you feel about them? You want them to be saved and stop trying to hurt you? Paul feels this way about the Jewish people. He wants them to be saved - and it would be great if they stopped trying to hurt him! Let's jump into our study of Romans 9 to discover lessons about dealing with friends or family who sometimes seem to be the enemy.

Lesson 11: The Elect (Romans 10-11)
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!

Lesson 12: Overcoming Evil With Good (Romans 12 & 13)
Recall that last week Paul was concerned about his fellow Jewish countrymen? He wanted them all to be saved, but their failure to follow God's will had a positive side: it made it possible for Paul's special mission to the Gentiles. Paul wrote that Gentiles should be grateful for this special opportunity to be "grafted in" with those chosen to share the gospel. This week Paul continues with this thought by telling us that our gratitude for what God has done for us should work a change in our lives. Let's continue our study of Romans by plunging into Romans 12 and 13!

Lesson 13: Christian Living (Romans 14)
We come to the last study in our series on the book of Romans. This book is a blessing! As a practical matter, we will end with Romans 14 and not be able to cover that last two chapters of Romans. One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Romans 14. Perhaps it is because it allows us to be "holy hypocrites" - in limited circumstances. The great thing about this chapter is that Paul schools us on what is really important in our life for Christ. Let's dig into our study of the Bible and learn more!

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