The Gospel is the Great Equalizer
I. WRATH: What does that MEAN? (1:18-32)
A. God is SEEN and REJECTED. (1:18-23)
B. People are “GIVEN OVER” to their choices. (1:24,26,28)
1. Wrath is God REMOVING RESTRAINT. (Jdg. 2:14; 3:8; 10:7)
C. The DOWNWARD progression toward DEATH. (1:24-32)
What actually is “the wrath of God”? Often we just view it as anger, and remember times when an authority figure in our life has been angry with us. If this is what it is for God, then it makes sense that we would try to find ways to soothe the anger, to placate God. But what if that’s not what the word wrath actually means?
1. Kid’s Question: What do you do when someone is angry with you?
2. How does this different understanding of wrath impact the way you see God?
II. But it’s NOT just “THEM”. (2:1-29)
A. The DANGER of passing JUDGMENT. (2:1-3)
B. Showing CONTEMPT for God’s KINDNESS. (2:4)
C. Religious ARROGANCE invites WRATH as well. (2:5-24)
D. The GOSPEL is about inner TRANSFORMATION. (2:17-29)
When we misunderstand wrath…we often, out of fear, want to deflect it on to someone else. But here’s the problem. When it comes to sin, we are all guilty. Religion and religious ritual and language can often become a way we elevate ourselves over others. The gospel cuts through that like a knife.
3. How does reading chapter 2 together with chapter 1 shape how you interpret what Paul is saying to the Romans?
4. What are some ways that we might “show contempt for God’s kindness”? How can we avoid doing that?
5. Has your understanding of the gospel been more about what we do, or about who we become? How can we know the difference?
III. Letting this GOSPEL take ROOT. (Mt. 13:31-32)
A. You can REFUSE the Gospel TWO ways. (Rom. 1:21-23; 2:21-32)
B. The true GOSPEL repels PRIDE. (2:17-24; I Tim. 1:15)
C. Let the KIND God do the JUDGING. (2:1-4; James 2:12-13)
D. Changing who we ARE, not just what we DO. (2:28-29; Col. 3:1-4)
Last week we saw that the gospel is for people. This week we’ve been reminded that we are all in need of what the gospel offers. So how can we let this gospel penetrate our hearts and grow? How can we cultivate the fruit that comes from a life lived out of the gospel?
6. Are there areas of your life where you might be “refusing the gospel” and not allowing it to take root? How can you respond to God in those areas?
7. What is the difference between knowing what is good and evil and “judging” people? How does this text lead us in our treatment of those who aren’t obeying God?
8. What do you sense God saying to you through this passage? How will you respond?