Questions for Sermon Discussion and reflection Romans 1:18-3:20

This is a longer passage, so for the sake of clarity it may be helpful to point out some of the key verses.  Feel free to use these to help guide your discussion.

1:22-23 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the Glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds, and animals and creeping things.  

“Exchange” is a marketplace word.  It means trading in one thing for another.  What would make a person make this sort of trade?

What are some of the things the culture around us trades in the glory of God for?

We spoke a little bit about idolatry, what do you think are some of the reasons humans are tempted toward idolatry?

Rom. 2:1-5   Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.  We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.  Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?  Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?  But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

In verse 2:1 paul turns his attention to the religious community.  How does that verse make you feel?

How does God’s kindness lead us to repentance?

Why is it kind to reveal sin that might make us feel bad?

Why might it be important to have a friend or friends who will reveal sin to us?

in 2:24 Paul paraphrases the Old Testament, “The name of God is Blasphemed among the gentiles because of you.”  Can you think of any ways that those outside the church may fail to understand the Gospel because of the Church?  How we fix that?

In 3:19 Paul says “… So that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world held accountable to God.”  Is this a comfortable thought or a painful thought?  How can we understand it as comforting?

Read this quote: “I am a sinner” without “I am loved in Jesus” leads to “humility” without confidence. “I am loved in Jesus” without “I am a sinner” leads to “confidence” without humility.  Why is it important to live with both humility and confidence?