Sermon/Study Guide: Romans - Christianity 101
Author: Steve Hixon
Table of Contents
|In Romans 8 Paul teaches about the four specific ministries that the Holy Spirit has in our lives: (1) He subdues our flesh (5-13), and (2) He witnesses to our sonship (14-17). Now in this passage He (3) guarantees our inheritance (18-25), and (4) helps our weakness in prayer (26-27).|
|WHAT DOES IT SAY?|
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
|WHAT DOES IT MEAN?|
Verse 18. How does Paul compare our present sufferings to our future glory? (see also 2 Corinthians 4:17)
In verses 19-22 Paul mentions "creation" 4 times. What does he mean by that term?
Look up the word "groan" in the following passages, where the same Greek word appears, and note how it is used:
Mark 7:34 ("deep sigh")
2 Cor. 5:2,4
Hebrews 13:17 ("burden")
James 5:9 ("grumble")
Read and compare 2 Corinthians 5:1-4 to verses 23-25 here:
Word Study: "firstfruits"|
"Firstfruits" has a rich meaning in the Bible. Using a Bible dictionary and concordance, answer these questions:
What does the word mean?
What Jewish feast focuses on firstfruits? (see Exodus 23:16, 34:22, Leviticus 23:15-21 - hint: the feast has 3 names)
When is that feast in relation to Passover?
How does that relate to what happens in Acts 2?
What does firstfruits mean in 1 Cor 15:20, 23 and in Proverbs 3:9?
So - what does firstfruits mean here in Romans 8?
Verse 23: How does 2 Corinthians 5:5 relate to the ministry of the Spirit?
Verses 24-25. Using this context, write a definition of "hope"
"When we stumble over our words, the Spirit straightens out the syntax. When we pray with muddy motives, the Spirit purifies the stream. When we see through a glass darkly, the Spirit adjusts and focuses what we are asking until it corresponds to the will of God."
The point is that we do not have to have everything perfect when we pray. The Spirit reshapes, refines, and reinterprets our feeble, ego-driven prayers.
|The Holy Spirit "groans"|
In your own words, explain the ministry of the Spirit in verses 26-27:
What truth does Romans 8:34 add to this picture?
Read John 17 for a glimpse of how Jesus prays for us.
What stands out the most to you?
|LIFE RESPONSE: What Does it Mean to Me?|
What has been one of the most difficult times in your life?
Did you grow from it, or did you just experience the pain?
"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." (Hebrews 6:19)
Sometimes life on earth actually seems to be pretty good, and we donít necessarily find ourselves "longing" for heaven every day. But what event or situation in your life has caused you to cling to hope like an anchor?
Guidelines for Sufferers1. Follow Christís example, entrusting yourself to God rather than hating those who cause you pain. (1 Peter 2:23-25)
2. Donít surrender to fear. (1 Peter 3:14)
3. Focus on the fact that Christ is Lord and ultimately He is in control. (1 Peter 3:15, 16)
4. Keep on doing what is right. ( 1 Peter 3:16, 4:19)
5. Rejoice, not that you are suffering, but that in suffering we participate in Christís sufferings. (1 Peter 4:13)
6. Remember - we suffer for a little while. Our destiny is to share in His eternal glory. (1 Peter 5:10)
Revell Bible Dictionary
How do verses 28-29 encourage you in your prayers?
Have you ever gotten "hung-up" on having to pray a certain way, or according to a formula?
What have been some of your most meaningful experiences of prayer?