For questions or comments regarding this study please contact Terry Evans at terryevans@upi.org


“The apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans is arguably the most influential work of literature in the history of civilization. As his only letter written to a church that he had yet to spend time with, Paul’s letter to the Romans is a master synopsis of his inspired theology that he would’ve spent a great amount of time expounding elsewhere among the churches he planted.”
— Terry Evans


Study 1: Good News Worth Sharing

 

  • Question #1: How can we live in a way that gives the name of Jesus the recognition and respect that His name demands and deserves?

 

  • Question #2: Do the words obligation, eager and unashamed come to mind when you consider sharing your faith in Jesus with others? Why or why not?

 

  • Question #3: What does Paul mean by an obedience that flows from faith (v. 5)? How might believing the gospel transform your motivation for obedience?

Study 2: The irreligious need the gospel

 

  • Question #1: Why does the world in general desire other things more than they desire God? What are some things in life that we have a tendency to set our hearts and minds on that we hope will bring us the most happiness and satisfaction in life?

 

  • Question #2: What are some ‘over-desires’ in this world? In what ways do we attempt to justify these ‘over-desires’?

 

  • Question #3: Why would Paul begin his gospel presentation with such a detailed definition of the wrath of God? What are some reasons why we should be honest and real about the wrath of God?


Study 3: The Religious Need the Gospel

 

  • Question #1: How do we know if we are rejecting the gospel by relying on our religion? Consider and discuss the questions below:
    • Do you feel that you are a hopeless sinner, whom God would have a perfect right to cast off this minute because of the state of your life and your heart?
    • When you consider how those outside the church live, do you shake your head and judge in your heart; or do you think: “I’m really no different than them; my sin just shows itself a little differently.”
    • Do you, deep down, think there is no invisible recorder or that God will generally accept you for who you are? Or have you accepted that you are condemned based on your own standards for others and that you need a righteous standing that you could never achieve on your own?

 

  • Question #2: What are the sins you are tempted to excuse in your own life while condemning them in others? What are ways we try and convince ourselves that we’re really not that bad?

 

  • Question #3: How can you live a life that makes Jesus attractive to the world around you? What is a practical way we can begin to help those around us who are oblivious to where they stand before God realize their desperate need for His grace as revealed through Jesus and what He accomplished?

Study 4: The Bad news

 

  • Question #1: What is your response to reading the spiritual diagnosis of our sinful condition given in v. 10-20? Do you agree or disagree? Why?

 

  • Question #2: How can people’s goodness be a greater hinderance to salvation than their badness?

 

  • Question #3: Is “getting saved” something you did or something Jesus has done for you? What difference does it make?

Study 5: The Good News

 

  • Question #1: Why is righteousness the mandatory requirement to stand in the presence of God as opposed to just being a really good person who does a lot of really good things? 

 

  • Question #2: What is our role in our salvation? What is the difference between justification and sanctification? Which comes first and why is that important?

 

  • Question #3: In your own words, take some time to paraphrase the apostle Paul’s description in Romans 3:21-26 of what God accomplished through the cross of Christ.


Study 6: The Origins of Justification

 

  • Question #1: If God were to ask you: “Why should I let you into heaven?,” what would you say?

 

  • Question #2: How would you define faith? What does it mean to believe God?

 

  • Question #3: How can we strengthen our faith in God? Why do we have more reason to believe God than Abraham did?

Study 7: The Results of Justification

 

  • Question #1: Is there anything in your life that leads you to doubt that you will reach your glorification by God? What is it that hinders you from living as someone who has experienced the outstanding privilege of having access to the God of the universe?

 

  • Question #2: Do you take pride in suffering? Why? Do you tend to view suffering as punishment? Do you prefer being comfortable over being closer to God?

 

  • Question #3: The Christian has nothing of himself to rejoice over in regards to his justification. So according to Paul in this particular passage, what are three things he mentions we ought to rejoice in and why?


Study 8: Why Salvation is In Christ

 

  • Question #1: How can we offer an explanation for how one person’s sacrifice can be considered an adequate payment for the lives of so many?

 

  • Question #2: How does your understanding of original sin, total depravity and total inability alter your view of the unbelieving world around you? How does it alter your view of the believing world around you? 

 

  • Question #3: How would you sum up the message of this passage in one simple sentence?

Study 9: Set Free From Sin

 

  • Question #1: Do you feel that sin no longer has power to control you like it used to? Explain.

 

  • Question #2: Why should a Christian no longer sin? What is the reason that he still does?

 

  • Question #3: What does it mean to “present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life?” And how do we do this?

Study 10: Slaves of God

 

  • Question #1: Do some research and define the terms legalism and antinomianism? How would you describe the Biblical position on God’s grace and God’s law which is found between these two opposite extremes?

 

  • Question #2: Why might Paul be somewhat apologetic of his use of this analogy in emphasizing his point (v. 19)? In what ways is slavery an insufficient analogy and not an entirely perfect explanation of the Christian life?

 

  • Question #3: In light of this passage, what would you say to someone who fears that becoming a Christian will restrict their freedom?

Study 11: The Purpose of God's Law

 

  • So if the Christian is ‘not under law’ for justification or sanctification then what is the purpose of God’s law in the Christian life?

 

  • What does it mean to be ‘in Christ’?

 

  • What is the application that we can gather from v. 4-6?

STudy 12: The Power of the Spirit

 

  • Question #1: John Stott writes, “law-abiding Christian behavior [is] the ultimate purpose of God’s action through Christ” (Stott, 221). Would you agree or disagree with this statement? Why?

 

  • Question #2: What are some practical ways in which we might ‘put to death’ the sinful nature by the Spirit?

 

  • Question #3: In what ways might a slave’s relationship to the head of an estate differ from that of a son. Which would you say more accurately describes your relationship to God?

Study 13: Groaning for Glorification

 

  • How should Christians have a unique approach and perspective on the environment and nature?

 

  • According to v. 23, what do we have in store for us in our future glorification? What are reasons we fail to ‘groan inwardly’ for this glorification?

 

  • How are Christians sometimes too casual with the practice of prayer? What are some practical ways we can improve our practice of prayer?

Study 14: Confidence in the Eternal Faithfulness of God's Love

 

  • What effect should the promise of v. 28 have on the way we view life’s circumstances? What are the two conditions given for receiving this promise?

 

  • What does v. 29-30 tell us about God’s ultimate purpose in history, and how does it shed light on what our ultimate ‘good’ is in v. 28? 

 

  • The apostle begins with ‘we know’ this to be true (v. 28) and ends with ‘I am convinced’ this is true (v. 38). What are reasons we lack confidence in God’s plan, purpose and love? How can we ‘know’ and be ‘convinced’ of God’s faithfulness? (see Genesis 50:20; Jeremiah 29:10-14; Acts 2:23, 4:27-28) 

Study 15: Halfway: Overview and Outlook

 

  • Up to this point in the letter, what has had the greatest impact or influence on your understanding of the gospel and your faith in the work of Christ? What changes has this letter caused or created in your life thus far?

Study 16: God's Sovereign Election

 

  • The Israelites had great privileges concerning God's plan and purpose in history. What are some privileges that we have had which would make our rejection of Christ a great tragedy as well?

   

  • Who is Israel? Who are the remnant? Would it be fair to say that of all professing Christians only a remnant will be saved? Why might those who are more concerned about religion have more difficulty believing the gospel? 

  

  • According to this chapter, what is the reason why anybody is ever saved? What is the reason why anybody is lost? In what ways can the doctrine of God’s sovereign election have beneficial effects on the way you live your life? 

Study 17: Israel's REsponsibility

 

  • What is the accusation against Israel in v. 3? How is it possible to want to please God so much that you reject his love for you displayed in the gospel? How can a professing 'Christian' be guilty of this?

 

  • Why can't righteousness  be obtained through the Law? How can righteousness be given through faith? Why is preaching the gospel necessary if God elects who will be saved?

 

  • What is the concluding reason for Israel's unbelief? How have the Gentiles received salvation and what is the reason for their inclusion?

Study 18: Restoration and REdemption for 'All'

 

  • What does it mean to be ‘hardened’ by God? How does the word ‘retribution’ in v. 9 answer the objection that it’s unfair for God to harden a person’s heart and mind toward the gospel?

 

  • What are some of the things we can observe and learn from the olive tree illustration in v. 17-24? What two big purposes does it seek to serve?

 

  • Why is it important for our understanding of God and our worship of God to never be separated? How has your study and understanding of these three chapters (9-11) impacted your perception of your salvation and influenced your worship of God?

Study 19: A New Relationship to God and the Church

 

  • Question #1: How is our mind renewed? How may we discern what is the will of God? What might be some improper motivations for becoming a Christian or living a Christian life?

 

  • Question #2: How do we develop a sober judgement of ourselves? What two things must we observe? How has God gifted you specifically and in what ways might you use this gift as a living sacrifice?

 

  • Question #3: In observing the Twelve Ways We Ought to Love One Another, what is one principle that stands out to you and what is a practical way to begin applying that principle specifically and immediately?  

Study 20: A New Relationship to the World

 

  • What is the gospel centered response to being mistreated by others? Why is simply not retaliating and simply not taking revenge an insufficient response to our enemies?

 

  • What is the gospel centered response to our current government? In what ways might you need to exhibit more respect and honor for our governing authorities? What is a gospel centered way to resist an evil government’s corruption? (study the Biblical examples of resistance listed in the commentary)  

 

  • What are practical ways we can love our neighbors (those within our circle of everyday life)?

Study 21: A new Unity Among the Church

 

  • How do we properly discern what matters of the Christian faith are essential versus which ones are non-essential? What are the essential doctrines and practices of the Christian faith?

 

  • How do you typically view Christians who hold to certain practices or regulations that differ from your convictions? Do you ever feel as if your ‘brand’ of Christianity is better than others? How can you begin to ‘make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification’? 

 

  • What are some issues that divide Christians today? How would Paul’s principles here in this portion of Scripture apply to these issues? 


Study 22: The Apostle's Purpose, Plans and Praise

 

  • Discuss the difference between the call to make disciples versus an objective to seek Christian conversions? What life adjustments or alterations might we need to make in order to commit ourselves to making disciples who are acceptable offerings to God sanctified by the Holy Spirit (v. 15:16)?

 

  • Who’s struggle can you join in immediately by devoting yourself to intentional and consistent times of prayer on their behalf? How will you begin praying for them?

 

  • How has the apostle’s letter to the Romans encouraged and challenged you in your gospel proclamation and your gospel perspective on how to live your life?