The questions for this week’s study were written by Adam Geurkink.
- As you pray for your study today, ask God to use His Word in your life as the writer of Hebrews prayed in Hebrews 13:20-21: “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
- Read Romans 3:21-23
- Up to this point in his letter, Paul has laid out how everyone lives (and dies) by some kind of law. For the Jew it is the law given to Moses on Mount Sinai and for gentiles and Jews before the law given to Moses, it is our conscience or natural law. By whatever law we live, Paul makes clear that we fail to keep the law, and are thus under God’s just judgment and penalty. God’s perfect holiness and character demands justice. What two words in 3:21 give us reason to hope for God’s mercy from the just condemnation Paul has described in the previous 2 and a half chapters?
- “The righteousness of God” was a phrase that used to terrify Martin Luther, but later became a great comfort to him. What does “righteousness” mean and why would it terrify him if not understood properly in this passage?
- The Law has been described as a mirror that shows us who we are, compared to what we should be. It has been said “you don’t use a mirror to wash your face, the mirror only shows you where the dirt is”. If the mirror is the law, what is it that cleanses us?
- It is common to hear people say “nobody’s perfect” and “everyone sins”. Does God demand perfection from us?
- If you answered yes to the above question, and Paul is right when he says “there is no one righteous, no not one”, where do we have any hope of acquiring the perfection He demands? Can this righteousness be found within us or do we have to look outside of ourselves to find it?
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