Sermon & Small Group Resources
This is the sixth sermon in our Romans series looking at the first eight chapters of the book. Preacher: The Rev'd Adam Lowe. Bible Reading: Romans 3:21-31.
Next Steps this Week
BIBLE READING: ROMANS 3:21-31
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
- Have you ever been rescued by someone? How did it feel to have to put your trust in someone?
- What does it mean for you for Jesus to be your rescuer?
READ Romans 3:21-26
- Paul begins this section with the two words ‘but now’. What shift in emphasis does this signal?
- Can you give a summary of the various dimensions of the problem? (Try to take some time to identify and discuss at least four aspects of the problem.)
- What is meant by ‘all have sinned’? Do you think most people readily accept this? Why or why not?
- What is good about facing the reality that we all fall short of God’s glory?
- What are the various things about righteousness that we are told in these verses? What is the significance and meaning of each? What is actually meant by “God’s righteousness”?
- What is actually meant by ‘redemption’? What did the ancient process of redeeming involve?
- To whom is God’s righteousness made available? By what means is it offered?
- What is meant by Christ being presented “sacrifice of atonement”? How does this relate to the Old Testament idea of the ‘mercy seat’? At what cost does it come to us and God?
- How does God’s solution address each and every aspect of the problem earlier outlined?
- How does anyone receiveGod’s righteousness? What sort of certainty does that give us?
- What are the implications of being declared ‘justified’ through Jesus? At what point in time can we be confident about that verdict?
- How would you define ‘faith’? How is faith not about the quality of our trust, but the trustworthiness of whom we place our trust in? How does this stop us from trying to earn salvation?
- If you had one minute in a lift to explain how someone can be ‘right with God’, what would you say?
READ Romans 3:27-31
- Why do we have no reason to boast? How can we be on guard against boating?
- What does Paul mean by our role in ‘upholding the law’?
APPLY (this week): How can you grow in recognising Jesus as your only rescuer?
Heavenly Father, we thank you that you sent your Son to die for us, in order that we may receive your righteousness and be saved. Thank you for your right and just character and the way that you have demonstrated your righteousness through your plans of salvation. Please help us to put our fierce trust in Jesus, relying on his work on the cross for our rescue from the power of sin and death. Amen.
- ‘Bible Basics – Justification” by Foothill Kids
- ’Justified by Faith’ by Tim Keller (Free)
- ‘How can Unrighteous People by put right with the righteousness of God?’ by David Cook
- ‘Jesus’ by Ray Galea
- ‘D.A Carson on Faith in Romans 3:21-31’ by Don Carson
- Online Course (Six-Parts) on Romans with N T Wright (payment required):
- ‘Why Trust in a Cross’ by Don Carson
- ‘Righteousness through Faith’ by Beck Miller (Sermon number 4)
- 'The Righteousness of God’ by Andrew Price
- ‘The Assurance of Salvation’ by Stephanie Judd
Helpful Books and Articles
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