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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 11: The Election of Grace *
Introduction: Paul reports that the Jews were "zealous for God," but
that their zeal was "not based on knowledge." ( Romans 10:2) Have you
seen Christians who are excited about being a Christian, but who
don't understand God's word? We all have. That, however, seems an
unlikely charge against the Jews. The target of Paul's comments
studied God's written word. Pharisees, like Paul, memorized huge
portions of the Bible. Somehow, they still missed the mark when it
came to knowing God. Let's dive into our study today. We do not want
to miss the mark when it comes to knowing and understanding God!
- End of the Law
- Read Romans 10:1. Last week we discussed the issue of
"election" and God's "hardening" of human hearts. The
question was whether everyone was eligible to be saved,
or only those "elected" by God? What does this verse
suggest? (Paul is praying that his fellow Jews be saved.
If it were not possible because of election, I'm sure
Paul would not waste his time.)
- Read Romans 10:2-3. I've never read that the Jews of
Paul's time did not know their Bibles. Quite the
contrary, they seemed to be diligent students of God's
word. What did they miss? (They missed Jesus. Instead of
knowing "the righteousness that comes from God" (which is
Jesus) they "sought to establish their own" (which is
keeping the law to be saved.)
- Paul uses a very interesting term. He says the Jews
"did not submit to God's righteousness." If you keep
the law to be saved, are you a rebel? Have you
refused to submit?
- Read Romans 10:4. Are the Ten Commandments dead? If not,
what does it mean when it says the law has seen its "end"
because of Jesus? (The context shows that the idea of
keeping the Ten Commandments as a means to salvation is
dead. This was the problem tripping up the Jews. Instead
of depending on the law, faith in Jesus "for everyone who
believes" is the path to salvation.)
- Have the Ten Commandments lost all relevance to the
life of the Christian? (Read Romans 7:12 and Romans
3:31. The answer is "no," the law is not dead. It is
"holy, righteous and good." The problem with this
great and holy standard is that without Christ's
obedience on our behalf, the law only condemns us.
Jesus has ended all argument that the law provides a
means of salvation.)
- New Salvation
- Read Romans 10:5-8 and Deuteronomy 30:9-14. Was keeping
God's law too difficult for His people? (If you read all
of Deuteronomy 30, you will see that God asked His people
to choose Him. God's people did not obey Him, and when
Jesus came they did not choose Jesus, instead most
- How can God say in Deuteronomy 30:11: "What I am
commanding you today is not too difficult for you or
beyond your reach?" Isn't that the opposite of
Paul's message that we cannot earn salvation by
keeping the law? (Read Deuteronomy 30:19-20. This
sounds much like Paul's challenge in Romans 8:12-14
to choose a life led by the Spirit and not a life
led by our sinful nature.)
- Read Romans 10:9. What does this say about the ability of
everyone to be saved? Are only some elected to
- Does it require a trip to heaven or to hell to be
saved? (Paul tells us that some things have not
changed. Choosing Jesus is right in front of us. It
is a choice that each of us can make.)
- Read Romans 10:10. Why are both our heart and our mouth
involved in the salvation process? (It is a matter of
belief and a matter of declaration.)
- Read Romans 10:11-13. Does God harden the hearts of some
so that they cannot believe? (No. Paul clearly writes
"everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be
saved." The "election" and "hardening hearts" discussion
of Romans 9 was difficult to follow. Here, Paul makes the
truth very clear: All who confess Jesus will be saved.)
- Making the Call
- Read Romans 10:14. What is Paul's challenge to us? (To
tell others about Jesus so they have the opportunity to
- What does this text suggest about what it means to
call on the name of Jesus? (Calling is not just the
act of speaking. It means believing in Jesus.)
- Read Romans 10:15. Is telling others about Jesus our only
obligation? (We need to help send others to bring the
good news about Jesus.)
- Receiving the Call
- Read Romans 10:16-21. Why do people reject the good news
of Jesus? (Pride. Obstinance. Rebellion.)
- Read Romans 11:1-4. Have God's chosen people now been
rejected by God? Are they no longer elected for
salvation?(This is further confirmation of the idea that
all can choose salvation. Even though most of the Jews
rejected Elijah's message, God did not reject His people.
Instead, He knew those who still served Him.)
- Read Romans 11:5-6. If you are obeying the law to secure
your salvation, it this just a small theological problem
that is not that important? (No. Claiming grace is the
means of "election" for salvation!)
- Read Romans 11:7-10. Oh no! Now we read that God made
Israel dumb, blind and deaf when it came to the gospel -
and if that were not enough, hardened their heart. Did
these people have a desire to know God? (Paul says they
sought salvation "earnestly!")
- Read again Romans 10:21. What is the only reasonable
conclusion about free choice regarding salvation?
- Read Psalms 69:20-23. Whose heart is broken?
(This is a Messianic prophecy. Psalms tells us
that as Jesus was being crucified, "a table"
was being put in front of the Jews. God gave
the Jewish nation the greatest show of love and
the greatest gift. Yet Jesus' love and
sacrifice resulted in them hardening their
hearts, and closing their eyes and ears to
truth. This is how Paul can write "God gave
them [the 'stupids']." This is not what God
intended, but it is how the gift was received.)
- Read Romans 11:11-12. Once God's people hardened their
hearts and closed their eyes and ears was their eternal
destiny fixed? (No! Friend, just as Israel still had the
chance to turn to Jesus, so we have the chance even if we
have rejected Him in the past.)
- Read Romans 11:13-21. Of what should we be afraid? (We
cannot be arrogant about our salvation by faith. Just as
those who thought they could save themselves by works
were arrogant, so we can become arrogant and lose our
- Read Romans 11:22. Is "once saved always saved" supported
by Romans? (How could we be "cut out" of the salvation
tree if salvation was a "once for all" decision?)
- Read Romans 11:23. Notice how God describes the mental
state of the unbeliever. What is the default position:
belief or unbelief? (I love this. Unbelievers "persist"
in unbelief. It sounds like they make a continuing effort
to resist belief in Jesus. I have a mental picture of
pulling a donkey along - the donkey persists in
- Read Romans 11:25-27. Is this a prophecy?
- What does the "full number of the Gentiles has come
in" mean? (It sounds like the gospel being preaching
to the entire world.)
- Before the Second Coming of Jesus, after the gospel
is preached world-wide, will the Jewish nation be
- Read Romans 11:28-31. What does this add to the
idea of the conversion of the Jewish nation?
(God's gifts and call are "irrevocable." The
offer to accept Jesus as the Messiah stands. I
view this as a prophecy, and look forward to a
revival of Christianity in Israel. What Paul
means by "all Israel" (v.26), I do not know.)
- Read Romans 11:33-36. How confidently can we say that we
understand God? (Our job is to praise and trust God.
While we should ever want to know God better, and try to
learn all that we can, we need to understand that
completely knowing and understanding God is "beyond our
- Friend, you have been elected by grace. Will you accept
that election? Or, will you persist in rejecting grace
and depending on your own works for salvation?
- Next week: Love and Law.
* 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.