The questions for this week’s study were written by Adam Geurkink.
- Take a moment to pray. Praise God for His Word and ask Him to teach you its truth, just as the psalmist prayed in Psalm 119:12-16, “Praise be to You, O Lord; teach me Your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from Your mouth. I rejoice in following Your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways. I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your Word.”
- Read Romans 3:25-31
- God gave the nation of Israel a complex and elaborate system of sacrifices for the atonement of sin as a nation and individually. However, Hebrews 10:3 states it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. In Romans 3:25, Paul says that “God put forward as a propitiation by His blood (Jesus’) to be received by faith”. What does propitiation mean and how is it different than the ceremonial rites of the Israelites in the Old Testament?
- How does the satisfaction of God’s wrath by the sacrifice of Jesus (propitiation) show God’s righteousness? Do you think Jesus’ sacrificial death had to happen to show God’s righteousness? Why or why not?
- God has revealed to us in His word and through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, His plan for redeeming mankind. Seeing this plan as Paul describes it, how is God both “just” and the “justifier” as described in 3:25?
- C.S. Lewis says in his book “Mere Christianity” that pride is the sin that leads to all other sins. If boasting is the outward expression of pride, why can we not boast over others about our salvation?
- 3:28 states the Christian understanding of how a person is justified before God and how he is not. Is there anything else, besides faith, that justifies a person, or does it require faith in Jesus, alone?
- There was, at the time of Paul’s writing, an enormous cultural gap in the early church between the Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians. What do you suppose a gathering of Christians would have looked like when the Jews(who were deeply entrenched in Jewish custom like circumcision) and the Gentiles (who may not have known who Moses was) got together?
- Is it helpful to be able to look past the differences between Christians (political, social, national, etc..) when we realize that we all come to Jesus on equal ground by faith only?
- Probably the most common objection to justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is that it will lead to moral chaos. If we know that obedience to the law is not required to be reconciled to God, do we then have license to live disobedient lives? How does Paul answer that? When you realized the gift of salvation given to you by God in Christ Jesus was free, was your response one of sinning more, or did you find you were being more obedient out of gratitude?
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