1: In Romans 1:28-32 Paul lists many sins that the people who have turned from God involved themselves in. However believers are in no place to judge them, for we are still sinners and still commit some of the very same things.
4: (Probably directed towards Jewish Christians) Paul is saying that even as God’s chosen people, the Jews are also to repent of their sin and turn to Jesus. We all need Jesus regardless of our race, social status, power, etc.
Question: Why should God’s love, kindness, and patience lead us to repentance? What things have lead you to repent and seek God’s forgiveness for your sins?????
6: While salvation is by grace alone through faith in Christ, our actions do have eternal value. Elsewhere the New Testament talks about rewards that will be received in heaven for our good works, as well as different degrees of punishment in hell for those who have rejected Christ.
11: Again we see that God shows no partiality. Even the Jews need to turn and believe in Jesus. There is no other way in which people can be saved except through Christ (Acts 4:12).
There was the belief among some Jews that as God’s chosen people, they did not have to trust in Christ for their salvation. Paul is making it quite clear (as Jesus did himself) that only those who follow Christ will be saved. Everyone will be rewarded/judged on a level playing field.
Question: The Jews who thought they didn’t need Jesus are comparable today to many who have grown up in or have gone to church for a long period of time and consider themselves Christians simply because of that fact. Yet only those who trust and follow Jesus are true believers. Was there a time in your life when you realized this for the first time (that following Jesus is a lifestyle, not a Sunday event)? What was it that changed your perspective?
12-15: The Jews had the Law of Moses that clearly showed them what was and was not sin. The Gentiles (everyone who is not Jewish) did not have the law, yet they still violated their conscious and would do things that they knew were still wrong. Therefore, whether they had God’s law (the Jews) or didn’t (the Gentiles) everyone still sinned. Even people who do not believe in God will admit to you that they are not perfect (thus proving Paul’s point).
24: Because the Jews had the law and still repeatedly turned from God in the Old Testament, the Jews therefore made a mockery of and blasphemed God in front of the Gentile nations.
Question: The quote, “you may be the only Bible someone ever sees” comes to mind here. In what ways do you need to be more sensitive to this fact in your life? Where are the areas where you a prone to misrepresent God and how he has called you to live?
The point Paul is making here is that by being Jewish (and circumcised) does not make one any better than one who is not Jewish and uncircumcised. What matters is whether or not we follow Jesus and honor God with our lives by how we live.
Question: His praise is not from man but from God (verse 29). Following Jesus is a lifelong pursuit. How does seeking praise from God rather than man cause you to live differently?