In this section of Romans, the apostle Paul is writing to the church in Rome to teach them solid doctrine about their standing before God.
Icebreaker: Imagine that someone you know inherited $4 million a decade ago but still lives in a rat-infested shack with an outhouse and bums money from you. What is wrong with this picture?
1. Pray for insight. Then read the designated verses in Romans 6–8.
2. What stood out to you as you read? (Romans 6 follows this argument: All have sinned, but where sin increased, God’s grace abounded.)
3. What is the logical question that follows in Romans 6:1? How does Paul answer his own rhetorical question here?
4. Based on Romans 6:2, what is a believer’s relationship to sin now? What is the great promise in Romans 6:5?
5. What is the conclusion in Romans 6:11? (First Paul tells his readers that they are dead to sin – a fact to know. Then he goes a step further. Based on what he has just taught, he tells them to consider--or reckon--themselves dead to something and thus alive to something. Then they must decide to yield.)
6. According to Romans 6:15–23, we are all slaves to something. What are the options given here for whom we can serve?
7. In what way is yielding to something equivalent to being a slave to it?
8. To what sins do you find it easy to be enslaved?
9. Read Romans 7:1–5. Why is a marriage partner free to remarry after the other partner dies? How does Paul use this marriage analogy to picture our relationship to sin?
10. Contrast the before and after pictures for a Christian according to Romans 7:4–5. (Use one column for “then” and one for “now.”)
11. Read Romans 8:31–39. How has God demonstrated that he is “for” us (vs. 32)?
12. List things for which the accuser could justly criticize you before God – things for which you are guilty.
13. According to 8:33, what is God’s response to our list of faults? How does God see us, based on this verse? (To be justified is a legal term which means the negative balance against us on the ledger is wiped out and a huge deposit--equal to Christ’s righteousness--is credited to our account. So imagine the faults being first wiped away and then replaced by huge deposits.)
14. List some of the condemning voices in your life. Perhaps some of family members are “travel agents for guilt trips.” Maybe the condemning voice is your own. What are the voices saying?
15. According to verse 34, what assurance do we have in the face of such guilt?
16. Read vs. 35. What does Paul list as things which cannot separate us from the love of God?
17. Read Psalm 44, which Paul quotes in Romans 8:36. The point of the psalm is that, although the psalmist is living right, God is still allowing the trials to get harder. How might relentless trials make us feel we are separated from God?
18. According to Romans 8:37, who are we as believers? How is this possible?
19. Read verse 38. Paul continues the list of items which we might feel would separate us from God’s love. What are they? What is the grand promise in this verse? (Angels, principalities, and powers are all terms which generally refer to the spiritual--often evil-- realm. See Eph. 6:12.)
20. Spend a few moments repenting (turning from sin), then thanking God that you have been declared righteous. Offer yourself to Him for His glory. Spend a few more moments expressing your appreciation that nothing can ever separate you from His love.