Christ Alone

But how they stumble at Christ, who trust in their works, it is not difficult to understand; for except we own ourselves to be sinners, void and destitute of any righteousness of our own, we obscure the dignity of Christ, which consists in this, that to us all he is light, life, resurrection, righteousness, and healing. But how is he all these things, except that he illuminates the blind, restores the lost, quickens the dead, raises up those who are reduced to nothing, cleanses those who are full of filth, cures and heals those infected with diseases? Nay, when we claim for ourselves any righteousness, we in a manner contend with the power of Christ; for his office is no less to beat down all the pride of flesh, than to relieve and comfort those who labor and are wearied under their burden.

John Calvin, Commentary on Romans, 380


9.10.2017 Put It into Practice

  1. In what way did God comfort, correct, or encourage you through His Word and church today?
  2. Romans 9:22 makes it clear that God wants to be known as a God of wrath and power. How are God’s wrath and power known?
  3. Mercy shines brightly against the backdrop of wrath and power. What is God’s ultimate reason for revealing his wrath and power? See 9:23.
  4. In what ways do you experience the mercy of God?
  5. In cases where people survive war, cancer, or fatal car crashes there is often a sense of “why me?”. Why did I survive? When you think of your own salvation do you feel like you are worthy or unworthy? How can you cultivate a more biblical understanding of salvation and mercy?
  6. Why is a reference from the book of Hosea helpful at this point in Romans 9? If you are not familiar with it, read the book of Hosea and then answer this question.
  7. In what ways do you experience the riches of God’s glory?
  8. If you are not a Christian, what does it mean to be not God’s people, not beloved, and not a child of God?
  9. If you are a Christian, what does it mean to be a part of God’s people, beloved, and one of the children of God?

9/3 Put It into Practice; Romans 9:19-24

  1. In what ways did God comfort, encourage, or correct you today?
  2. The absolute sovereignty of God can be bitter-sweet. What does that mean? What do you think about the sovereignty of God?
  3. Does any person deserve mercy? Does any person deserve to be saved? Use Romans 9:15 and 16 to answer these questions.
  4. Explain how Paul arrived at the response of verse 19. What has the Holy Spirit been saying that raises this issue?
  5. Have you overemphasized God’s love to the neglect of his justice? Have you overemphasized God’s wrath to the neglect of his love? What can you do to keep God’s love and wrath in their proper places?
  6. What point is Paul making by talking about a potter and clay in verse 21?
  7. Read verses 22 and 23. What does God want us to know? What can you do to increase in your knowledge and experience of this, the true God?
  8. Where are you neglecting justice in your life?
  9. Where are you neglecting mercy in your life?
  10. How does the gospel of Jesus Christ empower justice and mercy?

8/27/2017 Discussion Questions

  1. In what ways did God comfort, challenge, or correct you today?
  2. Read Romans 9:14-18. What is the main point of the passage?
  3. How does Romans 9:14-18 fit into the argument of Romans 9:1-13? Do verses 14-18 clarify, explain, or advance what has been said in verses 1-13?
  4. Why would 9:6-13 suggest that God is unjust (9:14)? (LifeChange, Romans, 137)
  5. According to Romans 9:15, what are some of the essential aspects of God’s character that direct his purpose and will? (LifeChange, Romans, 137)
  6. Reread Romans 3:19-20, 23-24. Does any person have a right to be chosen by God or receive His mercy? Why or why not? (LifeChange, Romans, 137)
  7. Someone might object that a person cannot be blamed if God hardens his heart (9:18-19). Why is this objection wrong, in view of God’s status and character (9:15, 20-21)? (LifeChange, Romans, 138)

Sermon Discussion Questions 8/20

  1. In what ways did God comfort, correct, or challenge you in our time together today?
  2. What is the difference between the spiritual and physical Israels?
  3. How can you help the children of Mambrino embrace the righteousness of Christ for themselves?
  4. According to Romans 9:11, why did God choose Jacob? What reasons did not influence God’s election of Jacob?
  5. Use the concordance in the back of your Bible to look up several verses that talk about the elect. Read those verses and write down your observations. Focus more on what the text says than what you think it means. What questions do you have?
  6. In Luke 14:26 Jesus tells his disciples, “If anyone does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, es, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” What does it mean to hate? How does this work in your own life?
  7. When you share the gospel with someone and he/she points to the near total rejection of Jesus by the Jews as a reason not to believe, how will you respond? Use the argument of Romans 9:1-13.

The God of Romans 9

Our common theme in worship is the infinite worth of God and his purpose to “make known the riches of his glory for the vessels of mercy” (Rom 9:23). Our confidence in evangelism comes from God’s freedom to “have mercy on whomever he wills” (Rom 9:18). Our commitment to world missions is fueled by the passion of God to exert his sovereign power “so that [his] name may be proclaimed in all the earth” (Rom 9:17). And the ground of our conviction that God is reliable in all of life is this: No matter what heart-wrenching perplexities we face, “it is not as though the word of God has failed” (Rom 9:6).

John Piper, The Justification of God