How did we see God move this week as we tried to live out the Spirit’s leading? What challenges did we encounter? What victories can we celebrate?

Romans 3:21-31 ESV 21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it– 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one– who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Recall from Sunday:

Romans 3:21-24 – Salvation is by grace

Romans 3:25-26 – Salvation is through faith

Romans 3:27-31 – Salvation brings unity

Reflect: What sticks out to you personally from the passage?

What impacted you on a personal level from Sunday’s sermon?

Luther really struggled with “the righteousness of God” being a standard he could never meet. Do you struggle with feeling like you can’t live up to God’s standards? What could you do to help remind yourself the righteousness of God is a gift to you in Jesus?

The gift of salvation can only be received by faith. Are there patterns in your life where you try to make God happy with you by what you do? Are there people in your life who think they’ll be ok with God because they’re just doing the best they can to be a good person? How can you help yourself, or your friends, see that we have to receive God’s grace through trust, not earn salvation by actions?

Salvation by grace through faith creates a level playing field which should produce unity. Do you find that you think too highly of yourself? Or too lowly of yourself? As you relate to others, what can you do to remind yourself that in the deepest sense you’re on the same level ground as anyone else when it comes to what matters?

Salvation by works can insidiously creep back into our thinking as we try to make God happy with us by what we do. If your group struggles with their acceptance by God, seek the Spirit to discern together how you can come to more deeply trust in what God has done for you.

If there are people in your group members’ lives who are trying to feel good about themselves by what they’ve done instead of trusting in Jesus, spend some time praying that God would reveal to them their need for his gift of grace. Ask the Spirit if there’s something you can do to help them hear and understand the gospel this week.