Romans Week 4 Study Guide

Open:

Terry said that “humanity is not getting better with time.” This implies that it’s getting worse. Would you agree with his assessment? Why or why not?

Objective:

Our objective is twofold: First, to understand that the whole world believes in something as every human lives by faith. The truth about what you believe matters because believing a lie leaves you empty and ultimately means you’ve lived a wasted life. Second, to be encouraged to keep believing what is true, to value what is valuable, and to keep living with the end in mind.

Read:

Rom. 1:18-32, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.  Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

Study

What do you think/feel when you hear the phrase “God’s wrath”? What do you think many people hear or feel about the phrase “God’s wrath”?

“The wrath of God is being revealed.” Why does that happen according to verses 18-23? Why is it important that we see our danger apart from the gospel?

In verse 18 Paul says people “suppress the truth” why would they do that?

Think about some of your own experiences with God’s creation. What do these reveal to you about God?

What is the term used to describe the fact that some of who God is can be known from what he has made in the created universe? Who is it available to? What are its limitations?

What is dangerous about knowing God but not acting on that knowledge (vv. 21-23)?

In the passage we see people exchanging the glory of God for images of what God has made, exchanging the truth of God for lies, and exchanging the way God has designed human relationships for ways he has not. What were the consequences?

Three times in verses 24-32, Paul repeats the phrase “God gave them over.” What did God give them over to?

What is your mental picture of each of these three downward spirals?

Paul lists sins like envy and murder, arrogance and God-hating, faithlessness and ruthlessness in verses 29-30. What does the variety in this list suggest about the nature of sin?

What makes you uneasy about verses 18-32?

Paul concludes in verse 32 that these people deserve spiritual death. Why?

Apply:

Our passage is about a terrible exchange, the worse exchange ever, exchanging the truth and beauty of God for a lie.

What exchange have you made? Is it a really bad exchange, a life for a lie or a really good exchange a life for the truth?

Consider how you can encourage each other to keep believing what is true, valuing what is valuable, and living with the end in mind. Believe—value—do.

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