Summary: Questions for application in small group Bible study


[Verses from Romans 4 unless otherwise stated]

Earlier on today some of us talked to two dear Jehovah’s Witnesses, Simba and Natasha, both from Zimbabwe. They really confirmed just how stuck human religion is: stuck in a slavery of works-righteousness, where people think they can placate God’s wrath against their sin by doing good works. The reality is, only faith in the Lord Jesus Christ can save us.

So let us meditate on his perfect sacrifice, made for us in 33AD, 1970 years ago. There are three points to help us focus.

1. Faith + works >> salvation WRONG!

This is because

a. No one does good or seeks God (3:10-12)

b. even the ‘good’ deeds we do attempt in the flesh are corrupt (Isaiah 64:6)

c. and we have broken the whole law (James 2:10).

d. So we are cursed if we rely on keeping the law (Galatians 3:10)

e. and no one can be justified by their own works anyway (3:20)

f. because otherwise we might boast (2).

2. Faith >> salvation >> works RIGHT!

This is because

a. Even Abraham and David, men after God’s heart , only received his forgiveness (7,8,15) and righteousness (3,5,6,9,11,13,16,22!!) through faith.

b. If the works of the law could achieve anything, what is the point of faith (14)? The need for faith shows the inability of law to save (7:10).

c. We are dead and need to be effectually called by a God “who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do no exist” (17), i.e. our spirits .

d. It is all of God

i. the law (7:12) we couldn’t keep, prompting…

ii. the Saviour’s death for us(25), requiring…

iii. the gift of faith to trust in Him (Ephesians 2:8).

3. Our reactions to God’s promise

a. It’s hard to believe (18)

b. Especially when we look at our limitations (19)

c. But possible when God enables us to consider His strength (20, 21)

d. We are to be as confident in our salvation as Abraham was, because righteousness comes by faith to anyone who believes (23,24).


1. If Jesus gave up everything for us and was accursed on the tree, is there any way we can repay him?

2. Apart from the promise of righteousness by faith, what are some of God’s other promises we can consider this week?

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