Learning the Way - Romans 4:10-25
Paul seems to be addressing a disunity among Gentile believers and Jewish believers in Rome. They both were following Messiah, but there were other issues that were causing division. What are issues in our church, specifically, and in the larger church, generally, that cause division fruitlessly and/or over open-handed issues? What should your role be within these conflicts?
For Paul believing in God means have faith not in what we can see but what God has promised. How is having a hope that goes beyond all human hope of particular encouragement or comfort to you today? Can you think of ways recently that you have acted in faith when it was hard? Are you being called to do so right now?
Throughout this text, Paul uses Abraham as an example to prove his point regarding salvation and the law. For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness… It was not after, but before he was circumcised.
So, Abraham’s faith came first, then his obedience through circumcision. It isn’t circumcision (keeping the law) that saves him, just as it isn’t our works that save us. How does it make you feel knowing that there isn’t anything you can do that will make God love you more or less? Is your initial response positive or negative? What does this say about your view of God and your view of salvation?
As we make our way through the book of Romans, do you find yourself understanding more clearly our natural state apart from God, and the overwhelming steps He has taken to bring us back to Him? Does this clearer (hopefully) understanding make it easier for you to tell others about this good news? Do you think about God’s actions both corporately (the steps He has taken to bring us back to Him) and personally (the steps He has taken to bring me back to Him)? Reflect on this as a group.