We were in the fourth week of our series in Student Quest this week on the book of Romans. We’re using The Complete New Testament Resource, Volume 1 from Youth Specialties as a launching pad for the series. Matt O led the middle school while I led the high school group. If you want to follow along, you can listen to the high school teaching on our student ministry podcast. In this fourth week, we took a close look at chapter four. At the heart of the chapter is the issue of traditions and rituals that the Jewish believers had grown up practicing and their place in the Christian faith. Paul wasn’t denying their significance, but he was hammering the point that they aren’t required as we are saved by faith. He accomplishes this by using Abraham as an example and the Old Testament scriptures to document that God considered him righteous based on his faith, long before he was circumcised (a big deal in the Jewish community) and centuries before the law came into being. A great follow up activity would be to read 4:1-5, 16-17, 23-25 together and use the following discussion questions:
- What did Abraham do to have God declare him righteous?
- What does the average person think is the way to get God’s approval?
- What religious rules are thought to be what God requires us to do?
- Why would faithful, religious Jews reading or hearing about being justified by faith be shocked, angry, or strongly opposed to Paul’s message?
- What rules would be shocking for Baptists to hear they should or shouldn’t be doing?
- Which nation or race are God’s people?
- What makes it possible for a person to be forgiven and declared not guilty by God?