5/21 Sermon Discussion Questions

  1. How did God speak to you through His Word today?
  2. In what way are you encouraged to take one step toward Jesus? How should your life change because of what you heard, sang, or prayed?
  3. Thinking of your past, in what ways have you taken God’s good things and used them for evil (think about your good God-given roles and responsibilities like friend, church member, worker, spouse, child, etc)? How have you misused those good things and God’s good commands? How do you feel knowing these times demonstrate a sinfulness beyond measure in you?
  4. Use verse 25 to explain why Jesus is absolutely necessary for every day living.
  5. What does the Apostle Paul say about himself, apart from the Spirit, in verse 18. How would seeing yourself this way effect the way you pray and read the Bible?
  6. When was the last time you knew the right thing to do but it felt like everything inside of you was fighting against it? What did you do?
  7. Explain the tension between the ages; the already but not yet dynamic of the Christian life.
  8. Why is it impossible for the law to justify any one?
  9. What is it impossible for the law to sanctify any one?
  10. How is the law helpful when it comes to justification and sanctification?
  11. How does Jesus deliver us from our bodies of death?

Salvation and Football

prescottBear with me as I use football to explain the glories and struggles of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ Jesus alone.

Concerning salvation and football, some of us limit what it means to be saved by Christ to being baptized. We are like those who limit what it means to play football to a bunch of guys who wear jerseys. Surely football includes jerseys, and salvation includes baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and membership, but salvation is gloriously more than initiation.

Concerning salvation and football, some of us limit what it means to be saved by Christ to speaking in tongues. We are like those who limit what it means to play football to a bunch of guys holding up signs, making signals and calling plays. Surely football includes signs, and salvation includes communication with God, but salvation is gloriously more than speaking in tongues.

Concerning salvation and football, some of us limit what it means to be saved by Christ to keeping the law. We are like those who limit what it means to play football to a bunch of guys following the rule book or play book. Surely football includes rules and plays, and salvation includes commands, but salvation is gloriously more than keeping the rules.

As we seek to understand salvation, our football illustration breaks down. Playing football is something a person does in his own strength. Surely he wears his team’s jersey, communicates to his coaches, and follows the rules, but he needs no outside strength. A football player doesn’t need the power of the Spirit to play the game. He simply plays the game. Salvation, on the other hand, while also including the signs (baptism, Lord’s Supper, and membership), communication (prayer), and the rules (the law of Christ), a person cannot be a Christian in his/her own strength. We need the Holy Spirit for every act of faith.

This week, on Sunday the 21st, we will look in Romans 7:13-25. Surely there we see the inability of any person, even a Christian, to keep the law in his/her own strength. Our flesh is weak. We need to learn to follow the Spirit (Romans 8). This, I believe, is no second blessing or Spirit baptism. This is discipleship; learning to follow the Lord according to the power of the Spirit within you at regeneration.

5/14 Discussion Questions for Romans 7:7-12

  1. How did God speak to you through His Word today?
  2. In what way are you encouraged to take one step toward Jesus? How should your life change because of what you heard, sang, or prayed?
  3. Explain the idea of mulishness. Where do you see mulishness in your life?
  4. Is the law bad or evil in and of itself? Defend your answer with Romans 7:12
  5. What does verse 7 say the law does? How does that work?
  6. What does verse 8 say sin does? How does that work?
  7. Why do sin and the law work together this way?
  8. Christian, use your conversion to explain Romans 7:9 and 10.
  9.  Why is personal conviction of sin like dying?
  10. How should this passage shape the way you use the law and gospel with your children?

Killed by the law

pharisee-and-tax-collector-luke-18-9-14

I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. Romans 7:9

When the commandment came it killed forever the proud Pharisee thanking God that he was not as other men and sure of his merits before God. It killed off the happy sinner, for it showed him the seriousness, not so much of sin in general as of his own sin. The coming of the law in that sense always kills off our cheerful assumption of innocence. We see ourselves for what we really are, sinners, and we die. This is not the death “to sin” of which Paul wrote earlier (6:2). That is a saving death, a death we die in our union with Christ, a death that fees us from our bondage to sin. Here the thought is rather that to realize that we are not good and decent people in God’s sight is a death. It marks the end of self-confidence, self-satisfaction, self-reliance. It is death

Leon Morris, Pillar Commentary, 282

What is so attractive about sin?

RC Sproul writes,

What is so attractive about sin? Why would any creature made in the image of God be tempted by sin? Why would we be inclined to steal what belongs to somebody else? Why would we bear false witness against our neighbor? We are tempted because in the temptation is the offer of happiness, and the pursuit of happiness is given us as a constitutional guarantee. The Devil never says, “Do this and suffer” or “Do this and die.” The passions are so excited by sin that we come to believe that unless we act on our passion, we will be denying ourselves fundamental happiness.

Sin is attractive because it brings us pleasure. It brings pleasure but never happiness. That is the monstrous lie of the father of lies: “Do this, and you will be happy.” It is impossible for sin to bring happiness to a child of God, yet we do not believe it. “I will not be happy unless I do this” and “I will not be happy unless I have that”–this is how sin deceives us. The serpent told Eve, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:4-5). In other words, “You do not know what happiness is, Adam, and you do not know what pleasure is, Eve, until you taste the fruit.” Satan tells us that God is withholding happiness and that we have a right to be happy.

5/7 Discussion Questions

  1. How did God speak to you through His Word today?
  2. In what way are you encouraged to take one step toward Jesus? How should your life change because of what you heard, sang, or prayed?
  3. Legalism says the rules are good and I am good because I keep the rules. Where do you see legalism in your own life? Consider how you think about others who are different and how you think about your sin.
  4. Antinomianism says the rules are bad and I am good so I can do whatever I want. Where do you see antinomianism in your own life? Consider the ways you think God’s rules or the government’s rules are stupid.
  5. Christianity says the rules are good and I am bad so I need Jesus. Why is Jesus necessary for forgiveness and obedience?
  6. Use Romans 7:1-6 to describe the role and power of the law.
  7. In what ways does the law bind us or hold us captive (Rom 7:6)?
  8. Explain salvation or conversion using the marriage example of Romans 7:1-4.
  9. What would it look like for you to consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus?
  10. Ask God to show you how to obey according to the Spirit rather than the written code (7:6). Ask Him to enable you to obey joyfully rather than out of fear of failure. Look for one specific act of obedience you could do this week (Romans, LifeChange Series, page 100).