This week, we continued in our Romans series, the Power of the Gospel. Pastor Chris taught on the wrath of God, and the difference between living in cheap grace verses biblical grace. When we understand just how bad life outside of Christ is, we deeply appreciate the good news of God’s love and grace. However, it’s possible to live in cheap grace that is not submitted to God’s word and authority. The Lord desires for us to live in biblical grace that leads to repentance and trains us in godliness.

The book of Romans is divided into four sections:

  1. The wrath of God (1:1-3:20)
  2. The grace of God (3:21-8:39)
  3. The plan of God (9-11)
  4. The will of God (12-16)

1. Benefits of the Word of God

Romans 2:29–3:1 (ESV)
29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. 1 Then what advantage has the Jew?
Or what is the value of circumcision?

Deuteronomy 14:2 (ESV)
2 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

Romans 3:2 (ESV)
1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.

2 Timothy 3:15 (ESV)
15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 4:2 (ESV)
2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

Someone who reads the Bible four or more times a week is:
– 59% less likely to view pornography
– 30% less likely to struggle with loneliness
– 74% less likely to gamble
– 407% more likely to memorize scripture
– 228% more likely to share their faith with others
– 231% more likely to disciple others

2. God is Faithful to Bless or Judge

Romans 3:3-4 (ESV)
3 What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”

Isaiah 55:6–7 (ESV)
6 “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

3. Only Two Options: Heaven or Hell

Romans 3:5-6 (ESV)
5 But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could God judge the world?

Wrong View
Law of Fairness

Correct View

“One reason sin flourishes is that it is treated like a cream puff instead of a rattlesnake.” – Billy Sunday

4. Biblical Grace vs. Cheap Grace

Romans 3:7–8 (ESV)
7 But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8 And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

Ephesians 2:8 (ESV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

Titus 2:11–14 (ESV)
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

5. Depravity of Character, Conversation, and Conduct

Romans 3:9-17 (ESV)
9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” 14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 in their paths are ruin and misery, 17 and the way of peace they have not known.”

Ephesians 4:18 (ESV)
18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.

Philippians 2:21 (ESV)
21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 140:3 (ESV)
3 They make their tongue sharp as a serpent’s, and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah

Psalm 10:7 (ESV)
7 His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.

6. Submission to and Reverence for God

Romans 3:18–20 (ESV)
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

Romans 3:21 (ESV)
21 But now…

Discussion Questions:

  1. Pastor Chris shared some pretty impressive stats about the power of the Word and its effect on us. How is your Bible reading going (no condemnation here, just honest evaluation). If you struggle to get in the Word, discuss in your group some creative ways to read/memorize the Scriptures and make time for the Lord.
  2. Have you ever found yourself justifying sin, or living in the “law of fairness” (telling God how things should be)? How can you come into agreement with what God says is right or true?
  3. Cheap grace is living however you want and thinking God will just forgive you no matter what (this can also sound like “but I’m a good person”). Biblical grace is knowing we are not good, repenting and allowing the Lord to train us in godliness. Are there ways you have reduced God’s grace to cheap grace? How can you return to Biblical grace?

Application Questions:

  1. This week, sit with the Lord and evaluate your character, conversations, and conduct. Allow the Lord to show you ways are you still living apart from Him? Ask Him how you can move toward holiness in each of these areas?
  2. When we understand how bad the bad news is (sin and its consequences), we experience how good the good news is (the Gospel). Spend time reflecting on how much Jesus has truly saved you from! Repent of anything He brings up and thank God for his grace!

Join us for an in-person service at City Central Church in Tacoma, WA
Sundays at 9am + 11am