Learning the Way - Romans 2:17-29
Romans 2:17, “But if you call yourself a Jew…”
Paul begins this passage by slowly but deliberately calling out the Jewish believers at Rome. He reminds them that while they’ve been boasting in a variety of things (their Jewish heritage, their knowledge of the Torah, etc.) they’ve been neglecting one of their primary callings: showing the rest of the world the one true living God. While Paul is speaking specifically to Jewish believers, his message is still relevant to us. Discuss with your group the ways we are guilty of doing the same thing as a church, as a small group, and as individuals. In other words, if Paul were to write a letter to Church on the Way, what would he call us out on?
Romans 2:21, “you then who teach others, do you not teach yourselves?”
When you read scripture or hear it preached, how do you actively apply it to your own life, or are you like the man who looks at his face in the mirror, but goes away and at once forgets what he looks like?
The sermon spoke a lot about moralism which can be described as the belief that the Gospel can be reduced to improvements in behavior. Moralists often want to keep their lives nice and neat, which often leads to them separating themselves from the things of this world to avoid being ‘contaminated’. Are there areas in your life that this is true?
Romans 2:24, “...The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
As mentioned above, these Jews had become so distracted in their boasting, that they’d neglected their true mission. We likewise can be guilty of this, and this can lead to us becoming the kind of Christian that no one wants to be around. But God calls us to lead lives that make others wonder what is different about us! (1 Peter 3:15) Our lives should be attractive to the lost! (Have you ever considered that?)
We’ve probably all encountered a Christian who made us want nothing to do with Christianity because of their lack of love, but have you ever encountered another believer that was such an encouragement to be around that you just wanted to spend more time with them? To learn from them and grow with them?
Which of these do you consider yourself to be? Do people far from God seek you out because they see something in you that they can’t explain but want to know more about? If not, what needs to change? Would you admit that to your group and ask for their encouragement and prayer?
Romans 2:29, “But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.”
Take some time as a group to meditate and talk about Christ’s ultimate circumcision, being cut off completely from God as he bore the weight of our sin on the cross. How does this move you to praise and love Him?