This Sunday we were on chapter nine of Romans. We’re using The Complete New Testament Resource, Volume 1 from Youth Specialties as a launching pad for the series; Chris Z taught the middle school while I taught the senior high. You can also follow along by listening to our podcast feed (we record the senior high teaching).
Chapter nine is one of the more challenging passages in the New Testament, bringing up issues of election, predestination, free will, Calvinism, Arminianism, faith, God’s choosing some and hardening others. Ultimately, I wanted kids to come away with three thoughts:
- Whether we believe in free will, or predestination, our responsibility stays the same – to love God, and share Him with others.
- We are never going to fully understand God, and that’s a good thing. This is where faith comes into play – we believe and trust in God, even though we don’t fully know or understand everything about Him.
- On issues like this, even if we disagree with one another, we need to do so with love and grace – not let it be divisive.
A great follow up activity would be to read the chapter together and use the following questions as a launch pad to discussion:
- Did the Jew’s ancestry guarantee favor with God?
- Did God’s choice of the nation Israel make him unjust? On what basis did God make His choice?
- Can we question God’s choices?
- Verses 20-21 give perspective on our ability to fully understand God. What is your reaction to them?