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Sabbath School Lessons on Romans
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 6: Expounding the Faith *
Introduction: Can you remember a time when someone you loved was
unhappy with you? What if your spouse is unhappy with you? It
doesn't feel good, does it? What about the time when your boss was
unhappy with you? That caused worry because your boss could create
real problems. God is somewhat like our boss and our spouse wrapped
up together. God should be the last person that we want to have
unhappy with us. However, since He is a perfect God and we are
sinful humans with have a serious problem. This week we learn about
how Jesus' perfect life and death for our sins reconciled us to God.
We also learn something new about the nature of sin. Let's jump
right into our study of Romans and learn more!
- Read Romans 5:1. What brings us peace with God? (Faith in
Jesus justifies us.)
- Imagine that your spouse is very angry with you.
Your response is that "Harry's wife" or "Mary's
husband" is a good spouse and that therefore your
spouse should stop being angry with you. Do you
think that would work? (Of course not! That would
make it worse because the "good spouse" would make
you look even worse.)
- Why doesn't it work that way with Jesus? The
fact that He lived a perfect life should make
my life look even worse!
- Read Romans 5:2. This text explains why Jesus' perfect
life does not make things worse for us. What does it
suggest? (Jesus gives us access to grace. I think grace
is a cross between being cheerful and charity. We are
given a gift, a gift of entering the cheerful presence of
God. Our God who should be unhappy with us because of our
sin, is not because Jesus has covered our sin.)
- Notice the last part of Romans 5:2. Why are we
happy? (We rejoice because now we have the hope of
living in the glory of God. Living with Him in
heaven and the earth made new. When our spouse or
our boss is unhappy with us, it affects our
attitude. Because Jesus has changed our situation we
should feel joy because we have been given the hope
of a great future.)
- Read Romans 5:3-5. Wait a minute. We were doing so well.
I was as happy as I could be. God was happy with me. And,
I did not have to work for that happiness! Now, Paul
talks to me about some unpleasant stuff. Why does Paul
talk about suffering?
- When you were reading all my "happy talk" you might
have groaned and said, "Be serious!" Have you ever
had someone say that your faith is not "very
realistic?" Not "practical?" (Paul realizes that
all of this "happy talk" bumps into the reality of
life. Sometimes we are not rejoicing and sometimes
we are not very happy. Nasty things happen in life.
Paul gives us the answer to how to rejoice in
- What is the answer to unhappy times? (That
difficult times make us better. They give us
character and hope.)
- Why does character give us hope? (Have you
ever seen an immature person? They have a
hard time dealing with life. I think Paul
is saying that maturity of character helps
us to hold on to hope. Suffering leads to
perseverance which develops character
which leads to hope.)
- What does the Holy Spirit have to do with hope?
(Suffering is not pleasant. We want it to end. The
Holy Spirit gives us hope that God loves us. We hope
for God to rescue us here. If we stick with God, He
pours His love into our hearts by His Holy Spirit.)
- Read Romans 5:6-8. How common is it for someone to die
for someone else?
- If you were faced with such a decision, what factors
would you weigh? (Logically, you would ask yourself
whose life is more important. If someone was lazy
and evil, it would not cross my mind to give up my
life for that person.)
- Why does Paul talk about the rare instance in
which someone would die for a righteous person?
(Jesus' death for us makes no logical sense.
God illogically died for a bunch of sinners.
This proves God's gift was not powered by
reason, but by love.)
- Read Romans 5:9-11. Should we be worried about God's
wrath - His unhappiness with us?
- What logical argument does Paul construct to teach
us that we should not be worried? (Paul just told us
it made no logical sense for God to die for a bunch
of sinners. However, if our God was willing to do
that, imagine how much more confident we can be when
Jesus made us acceptable to God. If God loved us
enough to save us when we were bad, imagine how He
will treat us when we look like Jesus! Praise God!)
- The One Man Solution
- Read Romans 5:12-14. Who is the "one man?" (Paul must be
talking about Adam.)
- How responsible am I for the sins of Adam?
- Read Deuteronomy 24:16. God tells me that I should
not die for the sins of another. So, what is Paul
saying? (Although I did not help Adam to sin, the
text suggests that humans independently sinned -
- What does Paul mean when he says that "sin is not
taken into account when there is no law?"
- If it was not sinful to kill before the giving
of the Ten Commandments, how do we explain
Cain's punishment? See Genesis 4:1-14. (If you
consider the story carefully, Genesis 4:6-7 is
a command from God to Cain. Cain must master
his anger by doing what is right.)
- If sin was not taken into account, why did
death reign on earth before the giving of the
Ten Commandments? (Paul teaches us that sin is
not tightly tied to the law. Humans sinned
before they had the Ten Commandments written
- What about this "accounting?" "Sin was not
taken into account when there is no law?" Isn't
death the accounting for sin? (Paul seems to
say there are two kinds of sin. The first sin
is breaking one of the Ten Commandments or any
other specific command of God. If you have no
specific commands, then you cannot break one.)
- Read Romans 2:14-15. What kind of law and
what kind of sin is described here? (This
is the second kind of sin. This involves
things that we naturally know are sinful.
Paul wants us to know that sin is a
pervasive problem for humans. A problem
which is not tightly tied to the Ten
- Why do you think Paul separates sin and death from the
law?(Paul is making it harder for anyone to claim that
they are righteous because of keeping the law. If you are
to be perfect on your own, you not only have to worry
about the Ten Commandments, you have to worry about
things which are naturally wrong. Jesus expands the sin
concept ( Matthew 5:28) to situations where we have not
done anything, but have improper thoughts! Thus, Jesus is
the only answer to our sin.)
- Read Romans 5:15-17. Who is the "one man" antidote to
- Why is Jesus' gift more powerful than Adam's sin?
(Jesus mopped up a lot more sin than just Adam's
sin. Humans were sinful before the law was given.
After the law was given, they had even less excuse
for sin because God's will was clearly stated.
Jesus took care of all sin - that practiced before
the law and that which resulted from the application
of the law.)
- Read Romans 5:18-19. Does this mean that we are all
automatically saved? Is it the opposite of all humans
being automatically lost because of the sin of Adam? (If
we look back at Romans 5:15 we are told that the "gift is
not like the trespass." Salvation is a gift - and that
suggests that it must be received. Just like Deuteronomy
24:16 tells us that we do not die unless we embrace the
sin of Adam, so we do not have eternal life unless we
embrace the gift of Jesus' perfect life and sacrificial
death on our behalf.)
- Read Romans 5:20-21. God wants sin to increase? How do we
explain adding the law? (God wanted us to be more aware
of His rules for living. He wanted us to be more aware of
the nature of sin. At the same time God increased grace
to cover all of our sins.)
- Does this suggest that the law is nullified? That
God does not care about the law? (The fact that
Jesus died to satisfy the demands of the law shows
its importance. If God was going to nullify the law,
He would have done it before He suffered a painful
- Friend, God's grace is the greatest gift you will ever be
given! Will you, right now, accept the gift? Will you
repent of your sins and ask God to cover them with the
blood of Jesus?
- Next week: Victory Over Sin.
* Copr. 2010, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.