Romans: The World Needs the Gospel

Sermon & Small Group Resources

This is the fifth sermon in our Romans series looking at the first eight chapters of the book. Preacher: The Rev'd David Browne. Bible Reading: Romans 3:1-20. 

Download the Small Group Questions, Going Deeper, and Sermon Transcript (PDF).

Next Steps this Week


What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.

What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: 

     “So that you may be proved right when you speak
        and prevail when you judge.” 

But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just! 

What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. As it is written: 

     “There is no one righteous, not even one; 
         there is no one who understands;
        there is no one who seeks God. 
     All have turned away,
        they have together become worthless;
    there is no one who does good,
        not even one.” 
     “Their throats are open graves;
        their tongues practice deceit.” 
    “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 
         “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 
     “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 
         ruin and misery mark their ways, 
    and the way of peace they do not know.” 
         “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.


Download in PDF format.

WARM-UP Questions

  1. Are people fundamentally good or bad? Why do you think this is the case?
  2. What do you think is the hardest thing for non-Christians to understand about Christians?

Read Romans 3:1-8

  1. Who is Paul addressing in this passage? What are the objections that he deals with here?
  2. In what ways had the Jews been ‘entrusted with the words of God’?
  3. What are our modern-day objections to faith? 
  4. How would you respond to someone who said something like: “I’m saved by grace through faith, so it doesn’t matter what I do with my life, because God loves me for who I am not what I do”?
  5. In v.8 Paul says, “their condemnation is just!” What do you think he means by this? 
  6. What can we learn about dealing with people’s objections to the Gospel from this passage? 

Read Romans 3:9-18

  1. How do you feel about Paul’s claim that all are under sin? Why do you feel that way?
  2. In v.2 Paul seems to say Jews have an advantage but in v.9 he seems to say Jews have no advantage over Gentiles. What do you make of this? 
  3. Verses 10-18 are quotations from different Psalms with a quotation from Isaiah thrown in for good measure. Why do you think Paul uses the Jewish scriptures in this way? What is he trying to prove? 
  4. What are the effects of sin on our world? How does sin affect your thoughts, life, and relationships?
  5. What are the consequences of sin in v.16-18?
  6. Why is sin a problem? Why can’t God just forgive us and get over it?

Read Romans 3:19-20

  1. Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t need the Gospel? What impact should this have on our lives?
  2. How could you talk about God to a neighbour who felt they didn’t need God because they’re good?
  3. How can a biblical understanding of ‘sin’ inform the way we think about and treat people around us?

APPLY (this week): How can you ‘run to Jesus’ this week and remind yourself of our universal need for Jesus to save us?


Saving God, thank you that you do not treat us as our sins deserve. Thank you that you are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. Please help us to have compassion on our neighbours, to love like you love, and never forget our need for your forgiveness in our lives. Holy Spirit would you help us to flee from sin and run to Christ, this day and every day. Amen.



Making a set of cards using this PDF. Play a game of snap. Shuffle the cards. Dish them out to each player until there are no cards left. Players are to keep their cards in the hands, with the pictures face down. Players take turns going around the circle, placing a card face-up on the centre pile. If a proceeding card matches the previous one, they are to ‘snap’ by being the first to slap their hand over the pile of cards. If they success (be the first), they pick up the entire pile of cards. The winner is the person with the most cards in this game. As you play, try to identify each picture and how it fits into the letter of the Romans so far.