Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! — Romans 7:25
Hi, friends! Welcome to week one of the Romans: In the Grip of Grace OBS with our friend and teacher Max Lucado! We are so excited to get started on this amazing study into this fantastic book. And by “we” I mean “I” ðŸ˜€ but I hope you join me in that joy!
If you’re brand new to FaithGateway Online Bible Studies, I’m so glad you’re here! I’m Laurie McClure, editor at FaithGateway and one of your OBS leaders. I’m a full-blown Jesus-girl, a writer, a single mama after being married for a long time, a beach walker, and my home is filled with animals: a dog, three cats, and too many Holland Lop bunnies to count (they multiply… well, like rabbits!). If we could meet in person, I’d welcome you into my upstairs living room and we’d study our Bibles and have pizza and laugh a lot. Instead, we get to meet virtually every week and I’ll be writing to you on Wednesdays to cheer you on through the study and share some of my observations and key takeaways as we go.
Pastor Max is a spectacular human being who breaks down the Bible unlike anyone else I’ve ever known. I love how personal Max is with the stories; he just takes you there in your mind, right? I can’t think of a better teacher for Romans!
In this book Paul, our un-hero, shares the gospel with the Romans.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? — Romans 7:24
Paul’s just like us. He knows he’s a sinner. Isn’t that wonderful? It’s completely unrelatable when a teacher gets up and acts like his sweat doesn’t stink! Paul enters in with us on equal footing and reminds us of where we stand with the Lord without the blood of Jesus.
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. — Romans 3:23
We have nothing to boast about. Oh, how we need the Messiah!
For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. — Romans 1:18
The problem we all face is that our sin, our ungodliness and unrighteousness results in God’s wrath. ~ Max
God’s love is so humongous! His love is beyond our wildest imaginations! He loves us too much to not be angry that our sin drives us away from Him and from others as well as hurting ourselves and others. That wild love reaches out to us… even unto His own death on a Cross.
God gets mad because our disobedience leads to self-destruction. ~ Max
Wishing God away or ignoring Him (hedonism) doesn’t work.
If you think you can judge others, you are wrong. When you judge them, you are really judging yourself guilty because you do the same things they do. — Romans 2:1
Pointing fingers won’t do. Unless we’re pointing at ourselves. Comparing ourselves positively against others is a huge mistake (so is negative comparison).
We can’t earn our way (legalism). So… what can we do? What’s the answer? We’re stuck.
What we need is a circumcision of the heart!
Salvation is God’s business, and God’s alone. ~ Max
Choosing to revel in the pleasure of sin won’t solve our problem. Neither will pointing out the sins of others or legalistically attempting to earn a solution with our own good works. ~ Max
Can you guess Who we need?
We need Jesus. It’s that simple.
Jesus is our Hero! He’s our Friend, our Savior, our Messiah, our Healer, our One and Only.
Amen and amen!
This week in your study:
- Then, watch the video for session one of Romans: In the Grip of Grace on our study home page and take notes in your study guide on pages 1-8 and stick around to go through the questions afterward!
- Grab your Bible and enjoy your personal study this week on pages 9-16.
- Join the conversations about this week’s teaching and get to know our community in our private Facebook group.
Scriptures this Week: Romans 1-2
Companion Reading in the Book (optional extra): Preface to Chapter 3
Prayer for the Week
Jesus, we love You! You are our Hero. Thank You for entering into humanity to rescue us, to know our experience, to feel firsthand what it’s like to be us, to suffer and tire, to thirst and feel lack. It’s unimaginable that You would do that for us. We are sinners in need of You. Help us to seek Your face during these weeks in particular. Give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and minds to learn from Your Holy Spirit. We want more of You. We love You! Amen.