Lesson Overview: Romans 3:1-31
This is lesson 4 of 6 in By Grace Through Faith.
- Main Point of the Passage: Paul explained to the Jewish Christians in Rome that righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ is far better than righteousness through the law.
- Main Point of the Lesson: Righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ is far better than righteousness through the law.
- Main Application of the Lesson: Participants will depend on the grace of Christ for righteousness, not their agreement with God’s law.
- Key Verse: “For we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” Romans 3:28
- Word Studies: Faith in Romans 3:20 Justified in Romans 3:20
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: What was the toy your friend had and you wanted when you were a kid?
Share Question: How does it affect a child to know a parent loves them even when they do wrong?
Introduce the Passage: Righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ is far better than righteousness through the law. That’s what Paul explained to the Jewish Christians in Rome when he wrote Romans chapter 3.
Righteousness is right standing with God. Most people assume righteousness comes through the law–if you do what God says, he’ll accept you. But Paul explains the problem with that approach in verses one through eighteen: nobody does what God says. As long as we depend on our own obedience to God’s law, we’ll never achieve righteousness.
Read Rom. 3:1-18.
- 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): Faith in Romans 3:20 Justified in Romans 3:20
Study Question: Why is righteousness through faith better than righteousness through the Law?
Possible answers include:
The law subjects all people to God’s judgment. (v. 19)
No one will be justified in His sight by works of the law. (v. 20)
The law brings knowledge or awareness of sin (but not the remedy) (v. 20)
- Righteousness by faith is what the law prepared us for. (v. 22)
- Righteousness through faith is for everyone. (v. 22)
- Everyone falls short of righteousness if it comes through the law. (v. 23)
- Righteousness by faith is a free gift. (v. 24)
- Righteousness by faith is not just for Jews (v. 29-30)
- Faith actually upholds the law (v. 31)
Connect-the-Dots Question: In verse 26, Paul says God sent Jesus “to demonstrate [God’s] righteousness at the present time.” How did Jesus’ death on the cross show that God is righteous or just?
Count-the-Cost Question: How can a person tell whether they’re depending on the law for righteousness or depending on faith?
Let’s-Do-It Question: If you realize you’re depending on the law for righteousness, what should you do?
Prayer: Father, forgive us for convincing ourselves we can earn our way to you. Help us experience the freedom and security of depending on your grace for righteousness. Amen.