Reconciliation — News Not Advice — Part 4

Instruments of the Passion - the nails of crucifixion
Leo Reynolds
BY-NC-SA | Flickr

According to the early church, the death of Jesus is at the very core of the Good News. Why? How can one more death – even the death of Jesus – be good news in a world filled with too much death and violence already? Pastor Luke teaches from Romans 5:1–11 in “Reconciliation,” part 4 of his 5-part series “News, Not Advice.”

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

OPEN. 1. Have you ever “crashed” an event that you weren’t invited to (or hadn’t obtained a ticket for)? What would you do if someone crashed a party at your house?

Read Romans 5: 1–11.

UNPACK. 2. What does the Apostle mean by “peace with God” (v. 1): no more conflict? —no more anxiety? —both? —something else?

3. If we have peace with God, is it a concession that Jesus had to wring out of a reluctant God? What verses in this passage support your view?

4. In verses 3–5, is Paul saying that we should enjoy suffering? How would you describe what Paul means? Do you agree with him?

5. It’s possible to endure something by willpower alone. (“I won’t give that person the satisfaction of seeing me complain.”) How is the type of endurance that Paul writes about different from that kind of endurance?

6. Read Genesis 3: 17–18 and Romans 8: 22–23. Who is the “we” who are weak in v.6? Based on your answer how would you interpret the word “world” in John 3: 16 or 2 Corinthians 5: 19?

7. Who are “the ungodly” in v. 6? What makes them “ungodly?” How does God look on “ungodly” people? (Consider verses 8, 9, and 10.)

8. What made it the right time (v. 6) for Christ to die for the ungodly? Were they ready?

9. If we already have “peace with God” and been “justified” and “reconciled” by Christ’s death, then what does Paul mean when he says that we will be “saved” through Christ (v. 9) or by his life (v. 10)?

APPLY. 10. What does it mean for you to be someone who has peace with God? Be specific.

11. What is Christ’s life saving you from? What does it save you for?

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