Week 49: Romans

Prepare these questions for Sunday, March 16, 2014.

The book of Romans is a letter written by the apostle Paul to the church of early believers in Rome. It is a great example of Paul's writing and it follows his standard pattern: Introduction of himself and his main ideas, a teaching section (chapters 1-11), a practical application section (chapters 12-16), and a closing with his travel plans and greetings. The church he was writing to was having conflicts between Jew and Gentile believers due to cultural and political issues in their past. Paul therefore wrote a lot about grace, how we all need God's grace, and how we should all be accepting of one another.

1. This conflict was a big deal and was preventing the early believers from being effective as the body of Christ. Read verses 2:1-16. What does Paul say to the quarreling people of Rome and how can this advice be useful for the church today?

2. The "Romans Road" is a tool for teaching and sharing the gospel with someone else. It is a series of 5 portions of Romans that summarize the message of Jesus. Read verses 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9-10, and 10:13. How could you use these verses to share your faith with someone else or to strengthen your own understanding of the Word of God?

3. Chapters 12-15 contain pretty great advice on how to treat those around us. Read chapters 12 and 13 and choose a verse or passage that resonates with you. How can you put this advice into practice in your own life?

4. The believers of the church in Rome were having a hard time reconciling the different ways that they worshiped God. The Jewish believers wanted to keep the old law concerning dietary restrictions, for instance, but the Gentile believers didn't think that was necessary. Read chapter 14 and 15:1-13. What does Paul say to do with these conflicts and how could this advice apply to the modern church?

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