Romans – The Path to True Righteousness

Why did Paul write Romans?

The overall theme of the book of Romans is good news or more accurately, great news! In today’s culture where much of our news is negative, Romans gives us good news – a good story that we call the gospel. Someone has counted that Paul mentions the gospel 60 times in his letter to the Romans. The gospel states that the righteousness of God is available. Though righteousness may not be a familiar word, it is the quality of being morally correct and justifiable and this explores how God’s righteousness is made available to sinful humanity.

Paul also describes what life is like when people pick their own path without following God. Worldy pleasures, pride, selfishness, lust, anger, depravity and idolatry all destroy the beautiful plan God has for our lives. But praise God, this bad news for how things really are can make the good news of the gospel (God’s redemptive plan to restore us to righteousness) even better!

The gospel, as presented in Romans, is not a plan for what man can do for God, but rather what God has done for mankind. It’s the story of Jesus who wasn’t just a good man but rather a God – Man.

Almost everyone who drives an automobile has been lost at one time or another. Some people stop, ask someone for directions and get on the right path again. Others won’t admit they are lost and they keep driving, hoping they will somehow get on the right path. Romans can be a life changing book for people who are willing to admit they are a lost sinner and need to find a new path.

Romans can be informally divided into four sections: 1) The Wrath of God 2) The Grace of God 3) The Plan of God 4) The Will of God. As you read through the book over the next few weeks, look for the theme of the passage each day. If you have never said yes to Jesus, Paul has an exciting, life-changing truth for you that we call the gospel. If you are a Christ follower, Romans will affirm your faith in the gospel and help you better understand the source of your hope and joy.

Throughout this study guide, you will find three icons that will indicate the following:

READ Each day there will be verses listed for you to read

MEMORIZE Each week there is a verse for you to work on memorizing. Memorizing scripture is a great way to internalize God’s truth and make it part of your daily life. Print the verse on a 3” x 5” note card and put the reference on the opposite side. Review it several times per day until you have committed it to memory. Then the Holy Spirit can bring it to mind to encourage you and give you power in your daily walk.

PRAY Each day there is a suggested prayer focus

Final thought: Some Bible scholars have described the book of Romans as the pathway to Christian Freedom.— The plan for how those of us who were slaves to sin became slaves of Christ. If you have never said “Yes” to Jesus, the book of Romans is a clear and concise presentation of the most important good news you will ever hear – i.e. the good news of Jesus Christ and what He did for you. If you are a Christ follower, the book of Romans will help you revisit the good news that fundamentally changed your heart and challenge you to share it with others.

If you don’t have a Bible of your own or your Bible is older or a different version than what we use at Grace, please feel free to take one from the auditorium, our gift to you!

Day 1 - Ashamed of the Gospel?

READ : Romans 1: 1 – 17

In the first seven verses of Chapter 1, Paul gives us a summary of his entire epistle to the Romans. In verse 1 he identifies himself as a servant of the Gospel. In verse 2 he tells us the source of the gospel – God himself. In verses 3 – 4 he tells us the subject of the gospel – he establishes that Jesus was both God and Man. In verses 5 – 7 he establishes the scope of the gospel – it is for everyone!

Q1. Using your own words write out a clear, concise definition for the gospel:

Q2. How would you explain the difference between “religion” and the gospel?

Q3. Paul was eager to get to Rome so he could preach the gospel. He says in verse 16 of Chapter 1 “I am not ashamed of the gospel”. Are you sometimes afraid to talk about your faith in the gospel to friends and family who desperately need to hear the truth? What could be the source of your fear?

Q4. Many people deny the truth of the gospel and some can react very negatively to your attempt to share what they desperately need to hear. What should you do if a friend refuses to listen to the good news?

MEMORIZE : Romans 1:16 “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”

PRAY : Lord, thank You so much for the work of the Holy Spirit in my life that allowed Jesus to make sense to me. Help me realize that the gospel can’t stop with me. Give me boldness to share the good news with those who have not yet said yes to Jesus that You bring into

my path. Father, help me to remember that my role in the gospel isn’t to convince sinners they are wrong. My role is to pray and lovingly share Your truth and let the Holy Spirit work in their hearts. Give me victory over my pride and my fear that keeps me from sharing.

Day 2 - Aren’t people mostly good?

Romans 1: 18 – 32

Many people feel there is no final judgment and even if there is, they will be alright with God because God is love. Even if they don’t listen to God’s truth, God will cut them some slack because they mostly tried their best. In this passage, Paul delivers some bad news – the human race has really messed things up. Paul wants us to know that God’s wrath is just as sure as his love. One day, God’s wrath will be directed against evil and those who suppressed the knowledge of truth as they pursued a self-centered path in life. Paul would caution us to never confuse God’s patience with a tolerance for sin. St. Peter will not be manning the gate to heaven as implied in many jokes – that’s God’s decision alone.

Q1: Some folks want to think only of God’s love. Why do many people refuse to consider God’s holiness, judgment, and wrath?

Q2. There seems to be a lot of evil in the world we live in. Why do some people seem to “get away” with their sin?

Q3: What would you say to someone who doubts the existence of God because there is so much evil in the world and a powerful God would rein down wrath and judgment?

Q4: Take a few moments to examine your life. In what areas of your life do sinful desires interfere with the righteous life that you know God wants for you? What are some steps you can do to break free from the sin in your life and start living a life worthy of God’s righteousness?

Romans 1:16

Father, I know You’re there but I don’t always live like I am aware of your presence. I
allow my worldly idols to take Your place on the thrown of my heart and control my actions. Please help me to treasure my relationship with You and treat it as the most important thing in my life. I want You to be my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night. Help me to live a life that reflects Your glory to a sick and dying world that desperately needs to understand that Jesus makes sense.

Day 3 - Do folks think I’m a hypocrite?

READ : Romans 2: 1 – 16

Satan has used religionthroughout the ages to keep countless people from truly saying Yes to Jesus and experiencing the benefits of a genuine relationship with Christ. People hide behind rituals and formalities but when God looks on their heart, He sees it as cold and sinful. Folks outside the church see many in the church as smug and selfrighteous. Those in the church can be quick to judge others but never truly examine the motives of their own cold hearts. The world has a name for these people who hide behind their religious affiliations. Hypocritesoften do more to hinder the mission of their church than corrupt politicians, illegal drugs, and immoral entertainment. Many folks in our culture today think it is good enough to just be considered religious”. They have stopped short of a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ and settled for a set of rules, traditions, and sacraments.

Q1.  In our culture today, many people dont agree on what is right and what is wrong. How do you determine in your life what is right and wrong? How could you defend this to someone who feels the Bible is irrelevant in our culture?

Q2.  Hypocrites (twofaced people) alienate nonbelievers. Hypocrites often hurt the cause of Christ and restrict the advancement of the gospel. What steps can you take in your life to avoid being a hypocrite?

Q3.  Jesus was a righteous person – not a religious person. If someone asks you are you religious?”, what would you say? How can you help them see the difference between righteous and religious?

Q4.  What would you say if you were to confront someone who is involved in destructive behavior that is in clear violation of Gods law and truth and they say Dont judge me”? Is there ever a situation where God would have us judge the behavior of others?

MEMORIZE : Romans 1:16

PRAY : God, please reveal any hypocrisy in my life and help me eliminate it. Replace it with love, kindness, humility, and patience. Father, use Your word to guide me into a truer, deeper relationship with You. Make my life a perfect reflection of Your glory to this sick and dying world where I live. Help my conversation with others to be driven by genuine concern and love as I attempt to make Jesus make sense.

Day 4 - My good will outweigh my bad

READ : Romans 2: 17 – 29

Our society puts law breakers in jail but God seeks to permanently change law breakers. God has provided a way to condemn our sin and to destroy it without destroying us. In Chapter 2, Paul describes two more types of folks who reject the gospel. The first is a selfrighteous moralist. Outwardly, they are decent people who maintain a respectful façade. The second is a religious devotee who depends on performance, rituals, and knowledge of the truth. The pride of both of these types of people keeps them from accepting the grace and free gift that God wants to provide. They refuse to humble themselves, acknowledge that they cant do anything to save themselves, and reach out to accept the free gift that God provides through the death of Jesus on the cross.

Q1.  Judas Iscariot worked alongside Jesus but yet betrayed him. What similarities can you see in the life of Judas and the lives of many folks in the church today?

Q2.  Many Jews were counting on circumcision to set them apart and prove they belonged to God. Do you see a similarity to people today who are counting on baptism or church affiliation to prove the same?

Q3.  What is the best way to deal with a person who was raised in a faith that doesnt teach the true gospel of faith in Jesus alone? How do we lovingly share the gospel of Christ with folks who hold onto lies they have been taught?

Q4.  Why is hypocrisy harmful to the church?

MEMORIZE : Romans 1:16

PRAY : Dear Lord, help me to see that it is hopeless to search for justification in good living, religious affiliation, or empty ceremonies. Help me to live each day in the realization that
God is constantly looking at my heart to identify my true motive. Help my life to be a constant testimony to others about the grace of God and what He has done for me. Teach me, lead me, and comfort me with Your truth from Your Word. Let me live in such a way that I never quench the work of the Holy Spirit in me and through me.

Day 5 - Are you saying I’m not good enough?

READ : Romans 3: 1 – 20

A critical question that still dominates conversation in Israel even today is “What constitutes a Jew?” Is it Jewish ancestry? Is it the rite of circumcision? Is it knowledge or possession of the law? Paul makes the point in the Chapter that none of those things makes a Jew. What makes a Jew is faith in Jesus as the Messiah. In our western culture today, we might ask a similar pertinent question “What makes me a Christ follower?” Is it trying to be a good person and follow the golden rule? Is it being a member of my local church? Is it the fact I was baptized as a baby or I attend church when I can? Paul would argue in the same way that none of those things can make you right before God. The only thing that God accepts is belief in His Son and His sacrifice for you when He took your sins, was crucified, and rose again.

Q1: What would you say to a friend who argues that they constantly try to do the right thing, help poor people and have never been in trouble. They just can’t believe that God would treat them the same as someone who has committed terrible crimes against children.

Q2. Romans 3:10 says “…There is no one righteous, not even one.” What about all the nice people that you know – good neighbors, solid citizens, volunteers for good causes? What will happen to them?

Q3. Some folks believe that when we die, we just cease to exist. There is no after-life, no final accounting of our actions here on earth. What could you say to someone who believes that way? What does God have to say about that? Hint: Hebrew 9:27

Q4. If the gospel preaches that salvation is a free gift, why does the Bible tell us to “work out your salvation?” Explain the proper relationship between “free gift” and “good works”

MEMORIZE : Romans 1:16

PRAY : Dear Jesus, thank you for the greatest gift I have ever received – the free gift of Your sacrifice which paid my debt. I had no hope without You. The people I love had no hope without You. Now I have the hope of heaven. Lord, help the story of the gospel not to end with me. Help me honor and respect it and value it by sharing it with my friends, neighbors and family. I don’t want them to get one day closer to eternity without getting an opportunity to say yes to Jesus.

Day 6 - God’s Answer to Man’s Failure

READ : Romans 3: 21 – 31

“The righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3: 22 – 24.

This is God’s answer to man’s unsolvable dilemma. We often say “I’ve been saved” or ask the question “are you saved?” Perhaps it would be better to substitute the phrase “declared righteous”. It is something only God can do and He makes it His free gift to all who believe. It cheapens His gift and feeds our pride when we add things like good works, church membership, baptism, or any other human endeavor to what salvation requires. Paul reminds us that it is God’s free gift – no one can boast. If we become self-righteous and start to look down on people who are involved in sins of any kind – if we think “at least I don’t do that” – then we have denied what God has done for us.

Q1. Some people view God as distant and vengeful. Some people think God has an impossible standard and they will never measure up. How does God’s plan for salvation demonstrate His fairness?

Q2. Take a second to think about the best gift you ever received. What did you do to earn that gift? How does God’s free gift of salvation measure up against that gift?

Q3. Why do many people believe there is a catch to the gift of salvation? Why are they con- stantly trying to earn salvation? What motivates them to say “it just can’t be that simple”

Q4. Paul makes the point that the righteousness of God is not based on behavior. It is not something that you do but rather deals with your worth or standing in God’s eyes. How can a proper understanding of your value in God’s eyes free you from feeling that your worth is based on performance?

MEMORIZE : Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

PRAY : Dear Lord, the Bible tells me that God’s righteousness has been given to me. This great
truth is a struggle for my heart and my mind to fully understand. I almost can’t believe
that this could be done for me. My debt is paid in full and my status before You is assured. You have declared me forever worthy of a place in Your family – a permanent seat at Your table. My position doesn’t depend on my behavior. Thank you Lord, help me to fully understand and appreciate your sacrifice on my behalf.

Day 7 - It’s always been justification by faith

READ : Romans 4:1 – 12

Anyone who studies the character of God will learn that God values hard work and discourages laziness. However, in the realm of salvation He greatly discourages hard work or work of any kind. The reason is that we cannot add to what Christ has already done and God will not be a debtor to anyone. Pride drives some folks to try and put God in a position where He would be forced to say “thanks for your hard work on that salvation thing. I guess I owe you one.” In order to make the point to his predominately Jewish audience, Paul uses this section to make the case that two of the most important Jewish patriarchs – Abraham and King David – were justified by their faith in God alone. It wasn’t working hard to keep the law. It wasn’t keeping the feasts or circumcision. Faith alone has always been God’s plan for salvation – from Abraham to the present day. Justification (God’s righteousness) comes by faith and it is a free gift.

Q1.  The Bible teaches that salvation is predominately a work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit must help people see that the gospel makes sense. What’s our role in helping Jesus make sense to folks?

Q2.  What would you say to someone who admits they have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard but they feel they can’t say yes to Jesus until they clean up and deal with some issues in their lives?

Q3.  How would you deal with a person who is living in sin and feels that the things they have done in life are so bad – so despicable – that even God can’t forgive?

Q4.  Some people struggle with the issue of how God will deal with isolated people who live in remote areas where they never hear the name of Jesus. What could you say to help them with this issue?

MEMORIZE : Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

PRAY : Dear Lord, what amazing grace You have shown me. I know that my sins are not counted against me because they were counted against Jesus. When You look at me, You don’t see any sin I have ever committed – You see only the righteousness of Jesus. Wow! Let this truth wash over me and bring me constant joy. I don’t want to obey Your laws out of fear or a sense of obligation but rather because I understand the depth of Your love and sacrifice for me. I praise God for the continuing work of the Holy Spirit in my life that reveals God’s truth and gives me joy and love for others.

Day 8 - It’s All about that Faith, bout that Faith

READ : Romans 4:13 – 25

In this section, Paul uses the example of Abraham to show his readers that God’s fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham was about his faith – not conformance to the law. After all, Abraham lived some 430 years before the law was even given. Abraham was counted righteous because he believed God and the promise even when it appeared it would be impossible for him to father a child. Paul keeps stressing the point that no one can keep the law – the law only shows where we are falling short. Paul is trying to tell his readers “Follow the example of Abraham. Believe God’s promise through faith. Quit trying to earn your way to heaven. You will fail.”

God has forever decided that a relationship with him can only be achieved by grace through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Any other path to get right with God leads nowhere. We must trust and respond in faith to what God has already done. Just like Abraham, we need faith to believe in the promise and follow the path God has created through the death of His son.

Q1.  Spend some time thinking about your faith. Take some time to put into words some of the specific things you believe in. Do you sometimes have doubts concerning what you believe about God?

Q2.  Read the text again and look for specific comments about Abraham’s faith. How did Abraham receive God’s promise?

Q3.  Would you assess your faith as strong or weak? What specific steps can you take in an effort to increase your faith in God and his promises?

Q4.  Think of someone in your life who has been an example to you through their faith. What evidence did you see in their life that proved to you that they had great faith?

MEMORIZE : Romans 3:23

PRAY : Lord, I know that without faith it is impossible to please You. I know that you want me
to trust You in every aspect of my life. Reveal to me areas where I am not pleasing You
in my faith and in my walk in life. I pray that the Holy Spirit will do a great work in me to increase my faith and make me an example to others. I don’t want to just trust You when times are good. I want to be strong and press on even in the darkest of times so You can be proud of me and someday give me a “Well done”.

Day 9 - Now for the Good News

READ : Romans 5:1 – 11

Sometimes romantic relationships end with “I hope we can still be friends”. Paul uses this section of Romans to encourage us with how good our relationship with God can be. God has embraced us with His love and favor and He did it when we were still enemies. Rather than live in fear and worry about our salvation, we rejoice because we can be at peace with God. Our salvation isn’t performance-based or conditional. Life on earth will not always be idyllic or trouble-free because God still uses experiences on earth to teach us perseverance, character, and hope.

Most folks on earth look only to a reward or gratification down here. What can I buy? Who can I impress? When’s my next promotion? When we say yes to Jesus, we learn that our prize, our eventual reward, will come later when we see Jesus and get to live eternally with Him. Until that day, we rejoice in the knowledge we are justified, reconciled, at peace, and counted as a friend of God

Q1. Paul repeatedly encouraged his readers to think about the hope they had in Jesus. What do you hope for? Do you think about your eternal hope often and does it encourage you?

Q2. The first 11 verses of Romans 5 describe several details of a healthy relationship with God. What are some of the specific aspects listed that should give us great confidence and encouragement?

Q3. Would your friends describe you as a positive person who is full of joy? Jesus wants us to live each day with joy. What specific steps can you take in your life to have more joy?

Q4. Paul certainly had his share of trouble because he preached the gospel – prison, beatings, confrontations. In verse 3 he said that we should rejoice when we have problems and trials. Is that really possible? What is usually your attitude when you are experiencing trials and difficulties in your life?

MEMORIZE : Romans 3:23

PRAY : Thank you, Jesus, for being faithful and coming to the cross to die for me so that I can be at peace with God. Thank you for the hope and joy which I can have if I open up to You and trust Your promises. Help me to live a life that brings glory to my heavenly Father and convinces people that Jesus really has made a difference in my life. Let my joy be a beacon to all I encounter and let my light shine before others so that it is obvious that Jesus really does make sense.

Day 10 - Which team are you on?

READ : Romans 5:12 – 21

In this passage Paul makes the point that just as surely as Adam’s sin brings death, Christ’s accomplishment at the cross brings justification and life. Sin entered the world through Adam and the sin nature has been passed down to his descendants. Every one of us started life with
a selfish and self-centered nature. Death entered the human race because of Adam’s sin. Adam is the head of a team of fallen, sin-natured people that are destined for death.

Jesus Christ is the head of a team of redeemed people that have eternal life. If you say Yes to Jesus, you are on His team. You are declared right with God and you have eternal life – not some day, but today. You will never die – you will transition to a new address but you already have eternal life. Only those who say yes to Jesus can move from Adam’s losing team to the winning team of Jesus Christ.

Q1. Imagine you are sharing the gospel with a friend and you tell them that all they must do to be declared righteous before God is to have faith in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. What would you share with them if they said “it just can’t be that easy. I’ve done too many bad things in the past.”

Q2. Most people will acknowledge they are a sinner. People have an inherent sense of right and wrong and they will admit they have fallen short. What would you say to someone who says “I don’t feel I’m all that bad. I’ve always tried to treat people fairly and do the right thing? I’m better than most.”

Q3. What two things came into the world because Adam chose to sin by disobeying God? Does it seem fair or reasonable to you that both of those punishments have been passed on to you?

Q4. In verses 15 – 17, Paul contrasts Adam and Jesus. Read these verses again and list the effects of Adam’s trespass and God’s gift of Jesus

MEMORIZE : Romans 3:23

PRAY : Jesus, thank you so much for Your sacrifice. You willingly gave up Your place in heaven and came to this earth to live a perfect life. You allowed yourself to be crucified for my sin and three days later, God raised You from the dead. Because of You, I don’t have to face death. Please help me live a life of love and compassion in front of those who still need a Savior. I want a faithful life that attracts people to the winning team because of my love, my joy, my kindness, and my encouragement.

Day 11 - More sin, just add more Grace. Not so fast my friend!

READ : Romans 6:1– 14

Freedom is said to be the supreme desire of the human heart and God created us to be free. Sin took away our freedom and put us into bondage. Jesus died to give us back our freedom. If we say we are “dead to sin”, does it mean we can’t sin? No. it means sin has lost its power over us. We aren’t a slave to our sin nature anymore. If we are dead to sin and if sin has no power over us, can we just keep sinning with no consequences? Isn’t our sin just going to be wiped away in the end so it doesn’t seem like a big deal. This thinking misses the point. Why would Christ followers want to keep on sinning when Christ’s righteousness has been assigned to them?

Apart from grace, people can only try to meet God’s expectations by their own effort and they are sure to fail. Grace empowers believers to live up to what God desires. God’s glorious plan of salvation brings an end to the rule of sin over humanity, while His resurrection overcomes death.

Q1.  What would you say to a non-believer who feels that Christ followers are hypocrites because they still sin? Perhaps they know professing Christ followers who don’t seem very different at all. What then?

Q2.  Read 6: 6 – 7. Do you really feel free from sin? If you still carry around sin from your old life before Christ came in, what steps could you take to make it truly part of your past?

Q3.  Read 6: 11 – 13. Examine your life and determine if there are any specific ways you can put these commands to work.

Q4.  If you are a Christ follower, you are united with Christ. You should think and act differently than before. Think of some recent examples of how you behaved differently due to your union with Christ.

MEMORIZE : Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

PRAY : Father, thank you for allowing me to be buried with Christ and putting my old, sin nature to death. I praise You for raising me to life with Christ and putting me under grace rather than the law. Help me to be secure and confident in my new life and in my new nature.

Help me to live a life free from the bondage of old sins and old habits that keep me from being mature in Christ. May the life I live make You pleased and be an asset to Your kingdom.

Day 12 - Whose slave are you?

READ : Romans 6:15– 23

In this passage, Paul uses the powerful imagery of a slave to describe the effects sin has on our lives. Most people would describe themselves as free and independent thinkers but in reality we are all a slave of Satan (sin) or Jesus (righteousness). A Christ follower can’t continue in a lifestyle of sin, living as though nothing is different except that they will go to heaven when they die. Sin devastates everything – including the life of a believer. How so?

Sin makes you a slave. Sin makes you ashamed – it’s difficult to go about your day with joy when you feel shame. Sin spreads death wherever it goes – perhaps to your friends and family who are impacted by your sin. Sin robs us of the excitement and blessing of serving God effectively. Only God knows the blessings and opportunities we miss because we are deliberately allowing things in our lives that we know are wrong. We can’t be ready to take the battle to the enemy if there is sin in our camp.

Q1. Do you currently have a behavior in your life that you could classify as a bad habit? Can you remember a time in your life when you kicked a bad habit? What steps did you use?

Q2. What does Paul list as some of the affects in the life of a Christ follower if they keep on sinning?

Q3. What does it mean to be a slave of God? What behaviors in your life would you have to change to become a better slave of God?

Q4. Why do non-believers choose to be slaves to sin? Why do folks continue to struggle with sin even after they have said yes to Jesus?

MEMORIZE : Romans 5:8

PRAY : Lord, thank you for salvation but I want the full measure of Your grace. I want You to
have all of my life, not just a part. I want to be free from sin, Satan, and death. I gladly
offer my life to You and chose to be a slave to Jesus and His gospel. I want the Holy Spirit
to teach me all the realities of what it means to be a slave to Christ. Please give me victory over my old sin nature and habits that I can’t kick in my own strength. Show me how to walk in freedom and the full, rich life that Jesus wants for me.

Day 13 - It wasn’t my fault - the devil made me do it

READ : Romans 7:1- 25

In Chapter 7, Paul is very open about his personal battle with sin and describes it as a conflict,
a struggle and a daily war. We struggle with living up to what we know we ought to be. We struggle with repeated personal failures even when we confess and vow to “never do that again.” We struggle with admitting that the war with in-dwelling sin is on-going and we are barely making it.

For all of us, there are only three things we can do with our sin. We can deny our sin like so many do. We can try to deal with it on our own even when we know that doesn’t work. Lastly, we can admit it and turn to God and Jesus Christ for forgiveness. In order to achieve victory, we need to be honest and humble. Honesty says “I am a wretched sinner” and humility says “I cannot save myself.” Struggling with sin doesn’t make you a bad person or a loser. You shouldn’t compare yourself to other Christ followers who seem (on the outside) to have it all together. The struggle with sin makes you a good candidate for grace.

Q1.  Do you struggle with sin in your life or have you just come to accept it because it’s been there so long? Take a few minutes in quiet prayer before the Lord and ask him to reveal sin in your life.

Q2.  Read verses 14 – 21. What are some of the ways that Paul describes his personal battle with sin?

Q3.  Do you sometimes get discouraged in your effort to break free from a pattern of repeating sin? Does it seem like no matter how hard you try to stop a certain sin, it just continues to creep into your life?

Q4.  Have you ever felt that you will never get victory over sin in your life, so why even try? If trying harder isn’t the answer, what is? (See verse 25 and get excited about what’s coming in Romans 8).

MEMORIZE : Romans 5:8

PRAY : Father, as I get closer to You I see more clearly the ugliness of sin and its damaging effects in my life. I know that You call me to be like Jesus and I will never completely please You if I allow un-confessed sin in my life. I pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to help me

identify and gain victory over temptation. I need Your grace and Your power to help me break free from these ugly habits and habitual sins that have plagued me for so long. Please give me victory over this old sin nature and make me new.

Day 14 - Under new Management!

READ : Romans 8:1 – 17

Do you ever wonder “what does God really think of me?” After the sobering words of Chapter 7, Paul gives us great news in Chapter 8. He starts with the assurance that we are no longer condemned by God and ends with the declaration that we can never be separated from God. God places the Holy Spirit in charge of the process of taking us from death and a slave to sin into our new position of freedom and union with Jesus. Satan was our old boss – the Holy Spirit is our new boss. Our old manager controlled us with sex, money, worry, and fear. Our new boss empowers us with love, joy, peace, and patience.

The Holy Spirit first works to change our mind-set (vs. 5 – 8). Satan wants us to think temporal- ly (about things of this world) but God wants eternal issues to dominate our mind. In verses 9 – 13, Paul describes the work of the Holy Spirit in changing our nature and giving us victory over our sin nature. Lastly, in verses 14 – 17, Paul encourages our heart with the details of our new position in Christ. We are now considered a joint heir with Jesus – a true child who is encour- aged to call God, Abba (i.e. Daddy).

Q1. Describe the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. What does the Spirit want to do in our lives if He is free to work on our behalf?

Q2. What does it look like to set your mind on things of the flesh? What dominates your mind when you have an earthly mind-set? What things cause you worry or stress?

Q3. What does it look like to set your mind on heavenly (eternal) things? How would it change your life if you were to concentrate more on heavenly things and less on earthly things?

Q4. Consider this: There are only two things in this world that are eternal – God’s word and people. What changes could you make in your life today to focus more on these eternal things?

MEMORIZE : Romans 5:8

PRAY : Father, thank you for the hope and confidence I see in the life You want for me as described in Romans 8. I pray that the Spirit is free to work in me and change my mind,
my mission, and my status in the family of God. Free me from the cares of this world that dominate my thoughts. Help me to increasingly focus on eternity and my life with You. Help me to live each day dominated by the inspiration that “I have only one life and only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Day 15 - The Infinite Love of God!

READ : Romans 8:18 – 39

In this passage, Paul is attempting to describe to believers just how much God loves us. A complete understanding of the depth and size and permanence of God’s love for each of us is liberating and powerful. No one will ever be able to separate us from God’s love. God’s love will not grow cold with the passage of time. God’s love is not conditional – it is never based on our performance. God’s love is our foundational strength as we navigate days composed of uncertain events.

God’s love is the root and motivation for our love for others. Without a good understanding of just how much God loves us, we will never be empowered to love others as we should. All true love begins with this – God in Christ loved us. He adopted us into his family and then commands us to imitate his love as we fulfill his command to love others. God’s love can give us victory over today’s circumstances and tomorrow’s worries. Why does He love us so much? Some day we will be able to sit down next to Jesus and ask Him.

Q1. Do you really love God? Is He your treasure and the most important thing in your life? What things in life do you put in front of God? Children? Job? Hobbies? Social media? Traditions? Sports?

Q2. One role of the Holy Spirit is to help sustain us as we suffer trials and suffering and frustra- tions. What specifically does the Holy Spirit do for us during periods of trial? (8:26,27)

Q3. Some folks feel that trials and frustrations in life are evidence that Jesus is distant. They question how much He really loves if He is letting them suffer. What could you say to encourage them?

Q4. Romans 8 has been identified as one of the greatest chapters in all of God’s word. Re-read the chapter and list specific truths that can affect your attitude and actions in the coming week.

MEMORIZE : Romans 5:8

PRAY : Lord, why have you chosen to love me? I know I have never done anything to deserve Your love. I truly believe that everything that happens in my life is either caused by You or permitted by You and that’s fine with me because I know how much You love me and want the best for me. Help the realization of how much God loves drive me to be loving and kind to other people. I want to love others, not because they always deserve it, but because Jesus first loved me and gave Himself for me.

Day 16 - At least God should be fair!

READ : Romans 9:1 – 10:21

In Chapter 9 of Romans, Paul deals with the divine sovereignty of God. Paul makes a case for God’s right to chose and that His choice is always just. Paul expresses “great sorrow and unceasing grief” over the lost condition of the people he loved – the Jews. Many people ask the question “how can a loving God send anyone to hell? How is that fair?” Paul answers this sincere question in 9:20 – 24. The created being doesn’t have the right to tell the Creator what He can and can’t do. This humble understanding of the nature and position of God is critical to a proper relationship with our heavenly Father.

Chapter 10 develops the idea that man has an inadequate understanding of God. Many folks think God is less righteous than he really is and therefore they should have no trouble meeting the level of righteousness that God requires. Chapter 10 also develops the idea that sinners don’t understand the character of God. They don’t understand how lost they really are. They don’t understand the righteousness of God that comes through Jesus Christ. God loves, sure, but God is also holy.

Q1.  Have you ever talked with someone who felt God had failed them? Perhaps they are mad at God because he didn’t treat them fairly? What can you say to them to change their thinking about God?

Q2.  Chapters 9 and 10 make it very clear that God is sovereign and God makes choices. Many folks think of God in human terms and decide that God has to be fair? How should a fair God treat sinners?

Q3.  Many folks don’t really see a need for a savior because they don’t think they are really lost. What convinced you of your need to say yes to Jesus? How can you help others see what God really requires?

Q4.  Read 9:17. Why did God put Pharaoh in charge of His people? Does God have the right to display wrath or mercy in your life? Do you sometimes question God’s love for you when you have troubles?

MEMORIZE : Romans 10:9 “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

PRAY : Lord, help me to understand Your character. I want to know You better and never question the plans You have for me. Help me to live each day with joy and confidence in Your love for me.

Day 17 - You are a branch, not a root

READ : Romans 11:1 – 36

At the time of the writing of Romans the Jews had been blessed by God in many ways but they came to worship the law rather than the source of the law. Because they were unwilling to humble themselves and accept Jesus as God’s gift of grace, God opened salvation to the Gentiles. In chapter 11, Paul assures the Jews that God will still be faithful to His covenant with His chosen people. To insure that Gentiles don’t become arrogant concerning their place in God’s overall plan of salvation, Paul develops a metaphor based upon the structure of a tree. He wants the Gentile readers to know that they are a branch that has been grafted into the tree of life that God is bringing about. The Jews are the root of the tree. Branches are important but a tree starts with a root and a tree can’t live without roots.

When the Gentiles rejected God and disobeyed Him, God chose Abraham and his descendants as His special people. Currently, the disobedience of the Jews has enabled God to extend mercy to Gentiles. When that purpose has been fully achieved, He will once again show mercy to Israel corporately.

Q1. Why do some folks respond to the gospel and say yes to Jesus while others constantly reject the good news? If you have said yes to Jesus, what made you respond to the gospel?

Q2. What did the chapter 11 passage teach us about the future of the Jews? What does God have in store for Israel as He prepares to establish His kingdom here on earth?

Q3. God is sovereign (Read 11:33 – 36). He is the One to whom all creatures are accountable. What does the sovereignty of God mean to you? Are there parts of your life where you don’t allow God to be sovereign?

Q4. In the final 4 verses of Chapter 11, Paul bursts forth in a doxology of praise as he describes the awesome God that he serves. Note all the characteristics of God that Paul lists in the final 4 verses.

MEMORIZE : Romans 10:9

PRAY : Heavenly Father, thank you so much for bringing me to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I praise You for the perfect way You have dealt with Your chosen people of Israel and the way You are currently working with all people. Teach me Your character – Your

holiness, Your love, Your wisdom and especially Your sovereignty. I want You to reign supremely in my life. I don’t want to withhold any part of my life from Your control and Your plan.

Day 18 - How can I know God’s will for my life?

READ : Romans 12:1 – 13

One of the most frequent questions faced by Christ followers is, “How do I determine the will of God for my life?” In the first eight verses of the passage, Paul lists six steps necessary to walk in God’s will – present your body, renew your mind, humble your heart, exercise your faith, find your place, and use your gift. Many Christ followers are interested in knowing God’s will but in reality, they aren’t interested in surrendering to God’s will. Most of us are greatly influenced by peer pressure but God wants us to think differently and not conform to the world’s standards.

We may be blessed with talents and skills but God wants us to be humble and always give him the real credit. Also, a false humility, thinking too lowly of yourself, can provide a convenient excuse which keeps us on the sidelines. God guides people in life when they step out in faith. God’s word assures us that God equips his children with spiritual gifts. If you know your gift(s), use them. If you aren’t sure, study passages like I Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4 and Romans 12 and ask God to reveal them to you.

Q1. What does it mean to be a living sacrifice?

Q2. What does the passage tell us about getting along with each other?

Q3. Are you a patient person? Is it difficult for you to be patient and wait for God to act on your behalf when you face trouble or uncertainty?

Q4. What does it mean to serve God with all your heart? How has God gifted you uniquely to serve his kingdom? Prayerfully listen to God and ask Him to lead you to where He would have you serve Him.

MEMORIZE : Romans 10:9

PRAY : Lord, I know that in every situation of life You always want the best for me. I know that I will be most satisfied when I am in the center of Your perfect will for my life. I don’t want to hold on to the things of this world but rather offer my life as a sacrifice to You and Your kingdom. Increase my faith and reveal my spiritual gifts so I can better serve You. As I consider all that You have done for me, help me to sincerely desire Your will for my life and not spend another day spinning my wheels or going my own way.

Day 19 - The Specifics of Love in Action

READ : Romans 12:14 – 21

In this passage we see that Paul is concerned for the image of the Church within the world. His admonition to us today would be to live so that Jesus makes sense to the folks where we live. Sincere and unconditional love among the body of Christ is the determining factor for a successful witness. Our love is to be genuine and never hypocritical – if you have been wronged or hurt, ask God to help you get over it, forgive others, and reach out in sincere love. Put your trust in God’s righteous justice and leave the matter with him. Don’t confuse tolerance with love. Don’t just love with words, include action.

Paul also tells us to hate evil and cling to good. Genuine love does not love everything. We don’t have to love everything that our culture tells us is proper. He cautions us not to become lazy
in our service to the Lord. He also commands us to live in peace with everyone as much as it depends on us.

Q1. How would you describe your prayer life? Is it consistent and persistent or is it more dependent on conditions in your life? What do you need to change in your prayer life to make it pleasing to God?

Q2. Conflict in this world is inevitable. Disagreements and conflict with family members,
friends and co-workers will happen. What advise does Paul give in vs. 18 and 19 for handling conflict?

Q3. One of the toughest challenges Christ followers face is to bless those who are persecuting us. Have you ever faced a physical or emotional bully in your life? How would Jesus want us to deal with bullies?

Q4. Our culture is increasingly good at confusing evil and good. The standards of some fellow Christ followers can be hard to distinguish from worldly standards. Where have you let your standards degrade?

MEMORIZE : Romans 10:9

PRAY : Lord, I so want to love the world as You have commanded. In my own strength, it is impossible for me to love people, especially those in my life who are treating me badly, in a way that would honor You. I need the power of the Holy Spirit in my life to love people. All too often I am self-absorbed and I have become lazy toward the things I know I should be doing for Your kingdom. Help me to dump my bucket of pain that I carry around, to forgive and see those who have hurt me in a different light. As much as it depends on me, let me live in peace and harmony with everyone in my life.

Day 20 - I live here, but it’s not my home

READ : Romans 13:1 – 7

As Paul sat down to write Romans, folks lived under a tyrannical and oppressive governmental system. Paul spends some time instructing his readers (and us) on how they should live and react. The authority that governments exercise is delegated to them by God. When we subject ourselves to the authority of the government, we are demonstrating our willingness to be obedient to God. One of the purposes of the government that God places in power is to act as His servant of wrath and justice against the evil that exists in this world until He returns to live and rule with His redeemed followers.

Government is not only to provide for our defense and security, but also to provide certain common services that we all need such as schools, relief agencies, utilities etc. Paul makes a case for paying our taxes to God’s established government so it can carry out the function of providing services and security. Paul commands us to submit willingly to the control of Government because its authority has been established by the God we love and serve.

Q1. Sometimes governments sanction behavior that goes against your moral code (perhaps slavery, abortion, divorce, etc). What should your response be to laws that you don’t agree with?

Q2. Many of us have heard the story of the Boston Tea Party. In response to taxation without fair representation, citizens rose up to protest. Do you think God approved of what they did? What about a civil rights march concerning the way African – American folks were being treated in the Deep South?

Q3. Is it ever appropriate for a Christ follower to resist a law put into place by a legitimate government? Record your answer before you refer to what Peter said in Acts 5:28 – 29.

Q4. What attitude do you think Paul would want us to have toward paying our taxes? What if we knew our tax money was going to support causes and behavior we don’t support? (abortion, wars)

MEMORIZE : Romans 10:9

PRAY : Lord, it encourages my heart to know that You are in charge of the government that rules this country that I love. Help us to be good citizens and to show honor and respect to those You have placed in charge. Help me to have the proper attitude and seek to be a peacemaker in public debate.

Day 21 - Want to please God? – Love People

READ : Romans 13:8 – 14

At the time Paul wrote the epistle to the Romans, love was in short supply for the people under the cruel oppression of a relentless Roman emperor and a mighty military machine. Simply stated, Paul’s message in these final verses of Chapter 13 is : act in love toward people and you won’t hurt them. Paul tells his readers to get going now, don’t delay. Don’t waste time on activities that are incompatible with love – activities and emotions such as endless good times, self-indulgence, stress and jealousy. Stop worrying about keeping the Ten Commandments; start acting in love toward everyone by showing courtesy, kindness, compassion, humility, generosity and patience.

Q1. What does the word “love” mean to you? Based on today’s verses, what do you think “love” meant to Paul? How is your definition different or similar to Paul’s?

Q2. Many folks can’t come to grips with the thought that a holy God can display wrath toward sin and yet be characterized as loving and kind. How could you explain this apparent conflict to a non-believer?

Q3. In what ways do you demonstrate your love for the people in your life?

Q4. Think of a person in your life who needs to feel God’s love. How can you demonstrate God’s love to that person? What specifically can you do for them to show love?

MEMORIZE : Romans 8:38,39 ”For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

PRAY : God, I desperately need Your help to carry out Your command to love the people in my life – even my enemies. Help me to see the people around me who are in desperate need of Your loving touch. Honestly Lord, some days I don’t feel like loving people. Give me strength to act in love even when I don’t feel like loving and also when I’m dealing with folks who don’t seem very lovable. Let me feel confident in Your love for me so I can share with those in my life who need to feel God’s love.

Day 22 - Can’t we all just get along?

READ : Romans 14:1 – 13

In today’s passage, Paul weighs in on two issues that were facing the church in Rome. Even though he doesn’t tell us all the specifics, one thing is clear: the groups were dividing over nonessentials. Perhaps these nonessential issues could better be described as matters that were not critical to Christian belief or practice. The on-going disputes between these two factions in the church were causing injury to the body and the desire of Christ to advance the gospel.

Paul’s main concern is not to dictate a position on celebration of Jewish holidays or eating meat offered to idols. Most concerning to Paul is Christ followers who display a critical spirit and judgmental heart toward others – especially those that he would call weaker brothers. Paul would likely rebuke the attitudes and critical spirits of many who criticize and judge their fellow Christ followers. He would probably say “Your Christian brother is a servant to his Master, he is answerable to God, not you. Who put you in charge of God’s truth? Don’t judge your fellow Christ followers.”

Q1. In this passage what are the two disputing issues? What were the two groups doing to each other as they argued over the two issues?

Q2. Some of the issues folks in the church argue about today could be classified as “non- essentials” – i.e. beliefs and practices neither required nor forbidden in Scripture. Make a list of current things that are essential. What about non-essential things? Baptism? Music style? Rapture timing? Bible translation?

Q3. How would Paul want us to treat fellow believers who participate in things that we don’t believe in? Example: You abstain from alcohol but your friend thinks it is alright to drink moderately.

Q4. The dominate doctrine in American culture today is tolerance. Many argue that your truth is ok for you but not for them. How can we speak to others who deny God’s clear truth from scripture?

MEMORIZE : Romans 8:38,39

PRAY : Lord, help me to separate Your essential truth from that which could be described as non-essential. Help me to be loving and kind in my attitude toward others. May my words and thoughts always be edifying as we work together to help the gospel go forward among those who need Jesus.

Day 23 - What’s My Liberty Supposed to Look Like

READ : Romans 14:14 – 23

Paul wrote today’s passage out of a concern for unity within the church so the church can concentrate on the true mission of spreading the gospel of Christ. He warned his readers to not deliberately shock or build stumbling blocks for their brothers or sisters. He told them not to deliberately do things that would offend others, or even make them feel uncomfortable. He wanted us to think about others, not ourselves. He also asked us to give up our rights when they threaten the peace or hinder the growth of another individual. Paul’s advice is to never act from doubt. Act only from conviction, by the Word, and by the Spirit of God. When in doubt, don’t.

Paul wants folks outside the church to look at Christ followers and see righteous people who are characterized by peace and joy. These gifts are not driven by circumstances. They aren’t achieved only from experiences. They are gifts, given by our God. If they are foundational to the way we live our life, they can be the basis of what makes Jesus make sense to others. They make the life of a true Christ follower attractive to those who are seeking something different in this world.

Q1. Why is it more important to maintain unity than to maintain personal rights?

Q2. What issues cause debates or even conflict in our church today? How should believers handle controversial issues in a way that edifies rather than hurts the church?

Q3. What are some issues that are not worth fighting over? What beliefs are you not willing to compromise?

Q4. What should we do if we aren’t sure if a certain behavior is right or wrong? (Hint:14:22,23)

MEMORIZE : Romans 8:38,39

PRAY : Lord, I ask for wisdom. I want to know Your truth. I want to be very clear in my mind and communication when I am dealing with essential beliefs. Help me to be strong in my faith and truly helpful to those that are weak. I don’t ever want to cause others to stumble but help me to never compromise Your truth just to get along.

Day 24 - I’ve Got Your Back Brother

READ : Romans 15:1 – 13

In the first part of Chapter 15, Paul continues his teaching on what is wrong or right for Christ followers. Paul encourages us to not insist on our own way but rather to give in and preserve unity. Paul also tells those that are strong in their own faith not to confirm the weakness of faith we see in our weaker brothers. Please you neighbor when you can, but for his own good, always challenge his position with scriptural truth so he examines and possibly changes his viewpoint. Paul refers us to how Jesus handled the same situations in his time on earth – the perfect son of God always knew when the time was wrong for a compromise.

There has probably been no greater conflict in the life of the church than that which existed between Jews and Gentiles – they often hated each other. Paul encourages these new Christ followers, who came from such diverse backgrounds and traditions, not to separate. He said they didn’t need to split, fight, sue one another, or give up. They were encouraged to work the problems out and God would be honored and glorified when they worshipped in harmony.

Q1.  Why does Paul push so hard for unity within the body? What is the ultimate goal of unity?

Q2.  Prayerfully consider your personal faith. In what areas do you think your faith is strong and on a firm foundation? Are there any areas where your faith might be weak? How can you get stronger?

Q3.  What if someone in your circle picks a non-essential area (clothing, or perhaps length of hair) and makes it a major issue that is leading to conflict. How could you deal with this issue and help them examine their position? How could you lead a discussion that would help everyone grow in unity?

Q4.  Reread Paul’s tremendous prayer for Christ followers in Rom. 15:13. Meditate on these words and give the Holy Spirit an opportunity to encourage your heart with this message of hope and true joy.

MEMORIZE : Romans 8:38,39

PRAY : Lord, I pray for unity and harmony at Grace – Norton and all congregations that meet to worship You and spread the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ. We know that true unity
will only be achieved in our church when we yield our rights and our desires to the Holy Spirit. Help those who are strong in their faith to help those who are weak. May there never be any divisions that restrict the gospel.

Day 25 - On the Road Again!

READ : Romans 15:14 – 16:27

The book of Romans is a book that deals primarily with doctrine. Some folks call it the greatest doctrinal book ever written. In today’s passage, Paul switches from a doctrinal study to share personal information with his readers. Paul shares details of what he has devoted his life to ever since that day when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul’s ministry was widespread in the ancient world – what an impact that man had for the kingdom of God! Paul’s ministry changed lives back then and it is still changing lives today. If you have said yes to Jesus, you have the hope of eternal life due in part to the ministry of Paul. Paul was pleased with how God was using him but never took the credit for himself. Paul’s life and ministry were constantly characterized by the power of God to change lives. Paul’s life was a struggle and our lives are often a struggle also. Paul would agree that prayer is the answer. Prayer is the best way to engage the enemy and hold your own in spiritual warfare. Paul solicited prayers for his ministry and directs us to be in prayer for the ministry today. The kingdom of God moves forward against all enemies when God’s people are faithful in prayer.

Q1. The Apostle Paul might just be the greatest missionary in church history. Whom does he credit for his evangelistic efforts? How do we go about boasting in God rather than ourselves?

Q2. Not everyone is called to be a missionary like Paul but all of us are called to spread the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. What part are you playing in spreading the gospel? What hinders your witness?

Q3. In verse 14, Paul lists three specific confidences he has in the ability of the Roman Christ followers to share the gospel. What are they? How would you assess your abilities in these three areas?

Q4. Are you sometimes reluctant to talk about God? What is the root cause of your reluctance to share the gospel? What can you do to be more out-going with the truth God has revealed to you?

MEMORIZE : Romans 8:38,39

PRAY : Lord, please clear away all obstacles that are keeping me from effectively sharing the gospel with others. Give me courage and confidence to face adversity wherever You send me. Let me feel the power of the Holy Spirit in my witness. Give me a burden for the folks You love and help me sacrifice my comfort and my resources in the effort to confront them with the truth of the gospel.

APPENDIX

The Roman Road

The Roman government was particularly adept at building a system of roads. Improved travel led to improvement in spreading the gospel as missionaries, like Paul, went to new locations to talk about Jesus. Paul gave his life to preaching the gospel. Why would he ever take on a life of hardship, danger, imprisonment and eventually martyrdom? He did it because he loved people and he wanted to be faithful to his Lord who had done so much for him.

The bad news of the gospel is that all men are sinners, separated from God spiritually because of their sin and rebellion, and that all are headed for eternal judgment. The good news of the gospel is that Christ died for sinners and rose on the third day to break the power of death. Paul wrote Romans to spread the good news that anyone who says yes to Jesus no longer has to live under a death sentence. We can have a relationship with our Creator who loves us and wants to restore the relationship which was broken by sin.

I Peter 3:15 tells us to “always be prepared to give an answer for the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” The gospel presented in Romans is the source of our hope. Every Christ follower should be ready to share the truth of the gospel with non-believers when the Holy Spirit brings an opportunity into our path. The book of Romans presents a clear path to the gospel and someone has labeled it the Roman Road. You can use the Roman Road to help you explain the gospel in a clear and coherent manner.

In your Bible, on the first page of Romans, make the note “Romans 3:23 starts the Roman Road.” Next to Romans 3:23 write “Roman 5:12”. Next to 5:12 write “Romans 6:23”. Next to 6:23, write “Romans 5:6 – 8”. Next to 5:6 – 8 write “Romans 10:9 – 13”. Next to 10:9 – 13 write “Romans 8:36 – 39”. Next to 8:36 – 39 write “Romans 12:1 – 2”. If you have an oppor- tunity to share the gospel, you can use the Roman Road to keep you on track and provide the authority for your words.

That’s the Roman Road. A clear scriptural presentation to a non-believer of where they currently are because of sin and where God wants to take them. God doesn’t ask us to be eloquent debaters or have the ability to answer all questions. He doesn’t ask us to win arguments and show folks they are wrong. He does however ask us to love people enough to care about their eternal soul. He does expect us to care enough about people to pray for them and specifically for opportunities to share the gospel and to work to build relationships with non-believers that give us that privilege.

God doesn’t expect us to have the skill or impact of Paul but He does want to work through each of us. Too many Christ followers don’t demonstrate a passion for spreading the good news. God wants us to be a friend, pray for people, and know our stuff and if we do that God can use us to spread His good news to people who are headed for eternal separation. If you know Jesus as your Savior, don’t let the gospel stop with you!

We hope you’ll find that Grace is somewhere that you can feel comfortable to explore faith, ask questions, grow spiritually, and connect with others. And most importantly, of course, we hope you connect with God!