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March 11 - God's Awesome Righteousness (Romans 3:1-8)

Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.

Adult Education

Brandon Jordan will continue his class on the doctrine of vocation at 10:00am in the youth room. This is a 10 week study discussing the doctrine of vocation and in particular how it deals with the gospel in our "workplaces." Are all jobs the same (sacred and secular)? What does our work ethic/interaction with coworkers reveal about our view of the gospel? We will also have some of our own members here speak about their work and how the gospel is applied. Over 10 weeks we hope to answer these and a few more questions that will allow us to find greater purpose in what we do day to day. 

Bryan Launer will continue his class on Understanding the Heart in Adult 1 at 10:00am. This class explores what Scripture says about the heart, why it's so important, and how you can better understand your own heart and help others. The first four weeks will be identical to his class in the Fall, but the second half will include a case study on anxiety. 

Romans 3:1-8

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written,

“That you may be justified in your words,
    and prevail when you are judged.”

But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world? But if through my lie God's truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

Sermon Summary

In our passage this Sunday, Paul addresses some of the erroneous ideas his fellow Jews have. Paul points out that: 1) The advantage that the Jews had over every other nation was that they were given the word of God, and the truth of that word testifies to God’s faithfulness, with circumcision being a token of that faithfulness. 2) There is the mistaken thinking among some Jews that if people do not believe in the significance of the circumcision or in the oracles of God, somehow it makes the faithfulness of God without effect. The fact that we do not rise to the level of His perfect righteousness does not implicate God and call His righteousness into question. 3) It is a twisted form of logic to conclude that since our unrighteousness displays the righteousness of God, (even if only by contrast) He has no right to inflict His wrath on us, and also that good will abound more if we sin more. 4) He (Paul) was being slandered by those who say that he is anti-law because of his message of God’s grace.

Review and Apply

1) What advantage(s) with regard to living out the Christian faith do people living in this nation have, compared to people in other nations?

2) The Jews were confident that they had a good standing before God because they are His covenant people, with circumcision being a sign of that “good standing.” What are some of the things that are part of living the Christian life that we tend to put our trust in for our righteousness?

3) How would you address the statement “I don’t believe a God of love can be wrathful.”?

4) How will you answer someone who asks you “What do you mean when you say that God is righteous?”

5) Explain why our being “saved by grace” does not give us license to ignore the requirements of the law so we can do whatever we want.