Lesson - January 22, 2017

Acting Right in Difficult Situations

Romans 12:14-21


14  Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.

15  Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.

16  Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

17  Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.

18  Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

19  Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,”   says the LORD.  20  Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”

21  Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.


1.   When you pray for those who persecute you, what are you asking God to do in their lives?  Explain how this helps to accomplish the will of God. (12:14)



2.  What is the practical benefit to being happy with those who are happy, and weeping with those who weep?  (12:15)



3.  Can we obey our instructions to live in harmony with each other without disobeying God’s other commands?  (12:16)  Explain




4.  Why is being honorable so important to the follower of Jesus?  (12:17)




5.  How are we to treat our enemies?  Why is that so important? (18-20)




6.  In reference to the verses in our text, what are some ways in which you could let evil conquer you? (12:21)  





7.  What is the benefit to you conquering evil by doing good? (12:21)



Lesson - December 18, 2016

We Have a Story to Tell

Romans 10:14-21


14  But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

15  And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

16  But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “LORD, who has believed our message?”

17  So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

18  But I ask, have the people of Israel actually heard the message? Yes, they have: the message has gone throughout the earth, and the words to all the world.”

19  But I ask, did the people of Israel really understand? Yes, they did, for even in the time of Moses, God said, “I will rouse your jealousy through people who are not even a nation.  I will provoke your anger through the foolish Gentiles.”

20  And later Isaiah spoke boldly for God, saying, “I was found by people who were not looking for me.  I showed myself to those who were not asking for me.”

21  But regarding Israel, God said, “All day long I opened my arms to them, but they were disobedient and rebellious.”


1.  What are some things that you as an individual can do to help other people believe in Jesus?  (10:14)


2.  What are some things that our church can do to send people out into the community with the message about Jesus?  (10:15)



3.  Why do you think that not everyone welcomes the Good News?  (10:16)



4.  What is the message that believers need to be telling about Christ?  (10:17) 



 5.  How did Paul answer the argument that the Jews have not had adequate opportunity to hear       

God’s message? (10:18-21)



6.  What do you think caused  the Gentiles to respond to the message of God differently from the the Jews? (10:18-21)



7.  Who in our society resembles the unbelieving Jews of Paul’s time?



8.  Where and how can we find opportunities to tell the Good News about Christ?


Lesson - December 4, 2016

Israel's Unbelief  

Romans 9:1-33


1 ¶  With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it.

2  My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief

3  for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed — cut off from Christ! — if that would save them.

16  So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.

19  Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?”

20  No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?”

21  When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into?

27  And concerning Israel, Isaiah the prophet cried out, “Though the people of Israel are as numerous as the sand of the seashore, only a remnant will be saved.

28  For the LORD will carry out his sentence upon the earth quickly and with finality.”

29  And Isaiah said the same thing in another place: “If the LORD of Heaven’s Armies had not spared a few of our children, we would have been wiped out like Sodom, destroyed like Gomorrah.”

30 ¶  What does all this mean? Even though the Gentiles were not trying to follow God’s standards, they were made right with God. And it was by faith that this took place.

31  But the people of Israel, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the law, never succeeded.

32  Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law instead of by trusting in him. They stumbled over the great rock in their path.

33  God warned them of this in the Scriptures when he said, “I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. But anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”


1. What situation made Paul feel sad and anguished? (9:2-3)


2. How far was Paul willing to go for his fellow Jews? (9:3)


3. What determines how God bestows favor on people? (9:16)


4. What right do we have to question God? (9:19-21)


5. By what means have the Gentiles (non-Jews) obtained righteousness? (9:30)



6. What kept Israel from obtaining righteousness? (9:31-32)



7. Over what has Israel stumbled? (9:33)


8. How can a person have great zeal for God or religious activities and yet be misguided? 


Lesson - November 27, 2016

The Gospel and Eternal Security

Romans 8:28-39


28  And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

29 ¶  For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

30  And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

31 ¶  What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?

32  Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?

33  Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one--for God himself has given us right standing with himself.

34  Who then will condemn us? No one--for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

35  Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?

36  (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)

37  No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38  And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow--not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

39  No power in the sky above or in the earth below--indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.


1.  For whom does God promise to work all things for good? (8:28)



2.  What does God want each person to become? (8:29)



3.  How can God produce good results from bad situations?



4.  What can Christians expect God to do for them?



5.  How can we be confident that we will not be condemned? (8:33-34)



6.  What things will be unable to separate us from the love of Christ? (8:38-39)



7.  What gives Christians confidence as they go through hard times?


Lesson - November 20, 2016

Future Glory

Romans 8:14-27


14  (NLT) For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

15  So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”

16  For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.

17 ¶  And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

18  Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.

19  For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.

20  Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope,

21  the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.

22  For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

23  And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.

24  We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it.

25  But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

26 ¶  And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

27  And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.


1. What does the Spirit of God lead the children of God to do? (8:14-16)



2. What does it mean that we are heirs of God’s glory, and we share His suffering?  (8:17-18)



3. What is the created world waiting to see? (8:19-21)



4. To what human experience did Paul compare his waiting? (8:22-23)



5.  How are we to respond to this waiting time? 



6. How does the Spirit help us in our weakness? (8:26)




7. For whom does the Spirit intercede? What is the Spirit asking for from the Father? (8:27