Lesson Overview: Romans 2:1-29
This is lesson 3 of 6 in By Grace Through Faith.
- Main Point of the Passage: Paul explained that the person who tries to live by God’s standards will face the same judgment as the person who ignores them.
- Main Point of the Lesson: A person can’t get to Heaven by trying to be good.
- Main Application of the Lesson: Participants will stop depending on their morality or religious rule-following to make them right with God.
- Key Verse: “You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?” Romans 2:23
- Word Studies: Judgement in Romans 2:3, Law in RomanS 2:23
To prepare for this lesson, write your own answers to each of the questions below. You will share some of your answers with the group, but make it your goal to talk less than 20% of the Bible study time. Ask the questions, listen to your group, and let them carry the Bible study. You’ll be amazed.
Once everyone in your group is sitting in a circle, say, “Here’s the first question. Everyone answers the first question, and it’s just for fun.” Then read the first question, pause, and listen to your group’s answers.
Smile Question: In your opinion, what is the secret to good pancakes?
Share Question: Imagine asking 100 people how to get to Heaven. What do you think would be the most common answers?
Introduce the Passage: One of the startling teachings of the Bible is that a person can’t get to Heaven by trying to be good. In Romans 2:1-29, Paul explained that the person who tries to live by God’s standards will face the same judgment as the person who ignores them.
- Optional: Have a member of your group either recite the passage from memory or give a detailed summary of the passage from memory.
- Optional: Have a member of your group present their word study on the following word(s): Law in Romans 2:23, Judgment in Romans 2:3
Study Question: As we read this chapter, let’s look for answers to this question: Why might a person who tries to live a good life and follow God’s standards still face judgment?
Read Romans 2:1-29 in the following segments.
Possible answers include:
1-5, We judge others for doing the same things we do.
6-11, God judges people based on what they do…not just what they try to do.
12-13, Hearing God’s law isn’t enough…you have to obey it.
14-16, God knows even our secret sins.
- 17-24, Teaching others right and wrong only makes us more guilty for the wrong we do.
- 25-29, Being made right with God is something the Spirit does, not something we can do by obeying the Law.
Connect-the-Dots Question: Look again at verses 6-7. Paul said God “will repay each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality.” How would you respond to a person who says, “See, the Bible teaches that you can get to Heaven by trying to be good”?
Count-the-Cost Question: What type of experience might convince a person to stop depending on their morality or rule-following to get to Heaven and instead start depending on God’s mercy?
Let’s-Do-It Question: What do you think Paul is hoping a person will do in response to reading this section of his letter?
Prayer: Father, thank you that you provide a way for sinners to be justified. Teach us to depend completely on your mercy and not on our own morality to make us acceptable to you.