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Read Romans 1:1-15, then discuss these questions:
(1) Why did Paul want to go to Rome? What was the message that he was so eager to declare there? How did he hope that Romeís Christians would benefit from his visit?
(2) What do we learn from this passage about Romeís Christians? In what different ways does Paul describe them? Would you consider it right to describe yourself, and the Christians whom you know, in the same manner? Explain your reasons.
(3) Why do you think that Paul considered it necessary to pray so much for Romeís Christians?
Read Romans 1:16-32, then answer these questions:
(4) In this passage, what does Paul teach about the gospel (the good news about Christ)? Who can benefit from the gospel? Why must people Ďbelieveí the gospel; and what does it mean to Ďbelieveí? Compare your answer with Romans 10:9-13, James 2:19-23 and Romans 4:1-3.
(5) What reasons does Paul give to explain why people choose not to obey God? Why does he say in Romans 1:20 that there is no proper excuse for such behaviour? Is God right to be angry with us?
(6) Read Romans 5:8-9. Discuss the relationship between Godís anger and his love in those verses. What should we learn from Godís anger? How can we benefit from his love?
Read Romans chapter 2, then discuss these questions:
(1) Read Luke 7:41-42 and 1 John 1:8-10. Why is it so hard for us to recognise our own faults and errors? Why is it so important for us to do that?
(2) What does Romans chapter 2 teach us about the character of God as our judge? Compare your answer with Genesis 18:25, Exodus 34:6-7, Jonah 3:10 and 4:11, and Revelation 21:6-8.
(3) God is completely good, and he cannot approve of any evil act. Does that fact bring comfort, or cause fear? Compare your answer with Ezekiel 18:23. Read Romans 5:8 and 6:23. What does God offer us because of Christís death?
(4) Many people claim to follow the Christian religion, but they will not allow God to change their hearts (attitudes). What lesson should they learn from Romans 2:25-29?
Read Romans chapter 3, then discuss these questions:
(1) Discuss the kind of evil acts that might produce good results (verse 8). Why must Christians not do such things? Explain why Paul considered it necessary always to declare Godís message plainly (see 2 Corinthians 4:2).
(2) Why do people choose to do evil acts? What benefits do they expect to gain from such behaviour? What is the real effect of that behaviour? Read and discuss Psalm 73.
(3) Read Godís commands in Exodus 20:1-17. If we did not know Godís opinion about these matters, would our conscience inform us correctly about each of them? Explain your reasons.
(4) Read Romans 3:21-26. Why is Godís judgement against us all? What will God do for all who trust in Christ?
Read Romans chapter 4, then discuss these questions:
(1) Discuss how Paul contrasts our works (our efforts and actions) with faith (belief and trust in God). What do we need to believe in order to gain the benefit of Godís kindness? How can we obtain that kind of faith? Compare your answers to these questions with Romans 10:8-17.
(2) Read Davidís prayer in Psalm 51 when he asked God to forgive his sin (evil deed). How did David explain in that Psalm that he did not deserve God to forgive him? Why is it good news for us that we cannot earn a right relationship with God? Explain how God can forgive us because of Christís death.
(3) How did Abraham show his faith in God? Compare your answer with Hebrews 11:8-19. How should we show our faith in God?
Read Romans chapter 5, then discuss these questions:
(1) Compare Romans 5:5 with Hebrews 6:19. Why does the hope that God gives not disappoint us? Explain the nature of a Christianís hope. How can our hope become stronger?
(2) What good things does the passage tell us that Christ achieved by his death? Contrast these good things with the bad things that Adam caused by his evil act (see Genesis 3:1-19). Discuss the relationship between Adamís evil behaviour and the state of our world today. Explain how Christís decision to obey God will bring about the new world (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-5).
(3) Compare Romans 5:8 with John 3:16 and Mark 14:36. How does the death of Christ show the love of God? How can we benefit from that love? Compare your answer with Romans 1:16-17, 6:23 and 10:9.
Read Romans chapter 6, then discuss these questions:
(1) In which ways does a personís former life, before he becomes a Christian, differ from his life as a Christian? Discuss the changes that should happen in his attitudes, desires, ambitions and actions. How are these changes the result of the fact that Christ died for that person (5:8)? Discuss why these changes are not always clear in every Christianís life.
(2) Sometimes Christians suppose themselves to have the right to do anything, even if it is against Godís law. How would you answer such a person? Compare your answer with Paulís answer in 1 Corinthians 6:9-20.
(3) What does Romans chapter 6 teach us about the true meaning of the ceremony called baptism?
(4) Discuss how you might use Romans 6:23 to explain the gospel (the good news about Christ and his death) to someone.
Read Romans chapter 7, then discuss these questions:
(1) Read Psalm 1, Psalm 19:7-11 and Psalm 119:97-104. What benefits do we gain from a knowledge of Godís law?
(2) Read Matthew 5:17-20 and James 2:8-12. What was the attitude of Christ and the first Christians towards Godís law? Compare this with what Paul says in Romans 7:12. Is it possible for our lives to please God if we do not obey his law?
(3) Discuss the difference between Godís law and our conscience. What can Godís law show us that our conscience cannot? Show how Paul explains this in Romans 7:7-10.
(4) ĎIn Romans chapter 7, Paul places the responsibility for our evil deeds, not on Godís law, but upon our own wrong desires.í Discuss this statement. Then read James 1:13-17.
(5) In what ways do the natural desires of our human bodies cause us to do wrong things? Contrast this with the good things that Godís Holy Spirit brings about in the lives of his people. Read Galatians 5:16-25. How do we allow the Holy Spirit to direct our lives?
Read Romans chapter 8, then discuss these questions:
(1) Discuss the work that God does by his Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians. Why do Christians need the Holy Spirit? What happens if a Christian chooses to depend on his own strength and skills, and not on Godís Holy Spirit? How does a Christian receive the Holy Spirit? How does a Christian allow the Holy Spirit to direct his life?
(2) Discuss what it means to be a child of God. What is the great honour that Godís children will receive in the future? When will this happen, and how will God bring it about? What should be our attitude while we wait for God to do this?
(3) Read Romans 8:28-30 again. In verse 28, for whose benefit is God working? What has he decided to achieve through their lives? Can you give an example of how God defeats the evil schemes of wicked people to do this work? Compare your answer with Romans 9:17.
(4) Answer each of the questions in Romans 8:31-35. What does Paul prove by these questions? Compare your answer with Paulís answer in Romans 8:37-39. Who has the benefit of these promises?
Read Romans chapter 9, then discuss these questions:
(1) What has God done that makes Israelís people different from the other nations? In what ways have Israelís people behaved in the same manner as people from other nations?
(2) Read Genesis 12:1-3. Why is Abrahamís family, which became the nation called Israel, so important in Godís plan? Show how Godís promises to Abraham passed to Isaac and Jacob.
(3) Discuss what God said to Pharaoh in Romans 9:17. Can anyone successfully oppose Godís plans? What can happen to the person who tries to do that ?
(4) Read verse 29 again. Why did God not destroy Israel completely, like Sodom? What plan is he carrying out by means of those people who remain loyal to him? Read Zechariah 12:10 to 13:1 and Romans 11:25-27.
Read Romans chapter 10, then discuss these questions:
(1) Paul discusses here right and wrong opinions about righteousness (true goodness). Distinguish between these ideas. Why is it not possible for our relationship with God to depend on our own good deeds? Why is Christís death so important for Christians?
(2) Compare Romans 10:9-13 with Romans 1:16-17. What do all these verses teach us about the gospel (the good news about Christ)?
(3) What advice would you give to someone who cannot believe? Where does belief (or faith) come from? How can we grow in faith? Compare your answers with Romans 10:14-17.
(4) Romans 10:19, 11:11 and 11:14 speak about jealous thoughts that are good. Why do we usually consider jealous thoughts to be wrong? What is different about the jealous attitudes in these verses? When is it right to desire something that someone else has?
Read Romans 11:1-24, then discuss these questions:
(1) Why did it seem at the time of Elijah that Israelís people were losing their relationship with God? Why did it seem at the time of Paul that a similar thing was happening? What does Godís reply to Elijah mean? What does Paul say about those of Israelís people who were opposing the Christians in Romans 11:28? What is the situation of Israel now?
(2) Discuss Paulís word-picture of an olive tree in verses 17 to 24. What right do people who are not from Israel have to receive a relationship with God? How, then, can they have that relationship? Why must they not become proud about their relationship with God? What should their attitude be? Compare your answer with 1 Peter 2:9-10.
Read Romans 11:25-36, then discuss these questions:
(3) Compare verses 26-27 with Romans 1:16. What does Paul teach that God will do for Israel, and when? Compare your answer with Jeremiah 31:31-37 and Zechariah 12:10 to 13:1.
(4) Read Genesis 12:1-3. How will Abrahamís family truly become a great nation? How will that family bring Godís kindness to people from every nation? Discuss how Paul understood these promises.
(5) Read again Romans 11:33-36. Can you show from your own experiences in life that Godís wisdom is much greater than your own wisdom? Discuss some of the astonishing ways that God has worked in your life.
Read Romans chapter 12, then discuss these questions:
(1) If the natural desires of our bodies are wrong (7:18-19; 8:7-8), how can our bodies please God? Discuss how God changes his people by his Holy Spirit. Compare your answer with 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and Galatians 5:16-26.
(2) Why does Paul warn Christians not to act more boldly than their faith (belief and trust in God) allows? How can we increase our faith? Compare your answer with Romans 10:17.
(3) Read Matthew 5:43-48 and 1 Corinthians chapter 13. Describe the kind of love that Christians should show to other people. Why should Christians do this? What kind of reactions can they expect from other people? How should Christians behave when someone is angry with them? Discuss what Christians should learn from the character of God.
Read Romans chapter 13, then discuss these questions:
(1) What responsibilities has God given to rulers and governments in this world? How should Christians behave towards them? What should a Christian do if he lives in a country with an evil government? Read 1 Corinthians 4:9-13. Why did Paul urge Christians to obey the government?
(2) Should Christians pay taxes? Discuss Christís answer in Mark 12:13-17. How did Christ deal with the men who collected taxes? See Mark 2:13-17 and Luke 19:1-10.
(3) Why can we not truly love other people if we neglect Godís commands? Why is it not possible for someone to carry out Godís commands properly without an attitude of love?
(4) Read Mark 13:32-37 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8. What does the Bible mean by this word-picture of a Christian as someone who is awake?
Read Romans chapter 14, then discuss these questions:
(1) What attitude should Christians have towards those Christians with whom they disagree? Can we declare our own strong opinions, and still show love towards them? Why do Christians not need to agree about everything? What are the matters that all Christians should agree about?
(2) Read Mark 9:42 and 1 Corinthians 8:9-13. Explain how one Christianís actions can spoil another personís relationship with God. Give examples of the kind of behaviour that we should avoid for this reason.
(3) Explain what days you consider to be holy, and your reasons. What special things do you do on these days? Do you consider that these activities express well your love and respect for God? In what way are all days holy for a Christian?
Read Romans 15:1-13, then discuss these questions:
(1) Read Romans 14:1-10 again. What matters were causing Romeís Christians to argue? What was Paul asking God to do for them in 15:5-6? How do the passages that Paul refers to in 15:9-12 teach this same lesson?
(2) Discuss what you can do to help Christians in your own church to develop in their relationship with God. What would be good to pray for them?
(3) When we try to advise weaker Christians, why do our words sometimes only cause arguments? Why do such arguments often fail to achieve any worthwhile result? Discuss how we should deal with such matters.
Read Romans 15:14-33 then discuss these questions:
(4) Discuss the special work that God had given Paul to do. To whom was he speaking; and what message was he giving to them? Why did he need to travel so much, and why was he hoping to go to Spain? What was God doing in peopleís lives by means of Paulís work, and what evidence was there of this?
(5) What was the purpose of the gift that Paul was taking to Jerusalem? Why did Paul consider this to be such an important and special gift?
Read Romans 16:1-16, then discuss these questions:
(1) What evidence is there in this passage of the work that women did in the first Christian churches?
(2) Read more about Aquila and Prisca in Acts 18:1-4; Acts 18:24-28 and 1 Corinthians 16:19. Discuss the kinds of work that people may do for God when their church does not employ them as leaders. What work were Aquila and Prisca doing for God? Why does Paul recommend them so strongly?
(3) Why is it important for Christians to be friendly and to greet each other? Compare your answer with Psalm 133 and with Balaamís words in Numbers 24:5-6.
Read Romans 16:17-27, then discuss these questions:
(4) Whom is Paul warning against in verses 17-18? How can we protect ourselves from such people and from the wrong things that they teach?
(5) Compare verse 20 with Romans 8:31-39 and Genesis 3:15. When will the devilís power end? Discuss the passages like Psalm 110 and Revelation 19:11-16 and 19:19-20 which describe Christ as a great hero in battle. How do such passages help us to trust the promises of God?
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© 2018, Keith Simons.