Life Lessons from Romans: God's Big Picture

Life Lessons from Romans: God's Big Picture

by Max Lucado

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Overview

The Max Lucado Life Lessons series continues to be one of the bestselling study guide series on the market today. This updated edition of the popular New Testament and Old Testament series will offer readers a complete selection of studies by Max Lucado. Intriguing questions, inspirational storytelling, and profound reflections will bring God's Word to life for both individuals and small-group members. Each session now includes a key passage of Scripture from both the NIV (formerly NCV) and the NKJV, and the guides have been updated to include content from Max's recent releases (2007–2016).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310086413
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 02/13/2018
Series: Life Lessons
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 258,012
File size: 854 KB

About the Author

Since entering the ministry in 1978, Max Lucado has served churches in Miami, Florida; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and San Antonio, Texas. He currently serves as teaching minister of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. He is America’s bestselling inspirational author with more than 130 million books in print.

Follow his website at MaxLucado.com

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Twitter.com/MaxLucado

 

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

RIGHT WITH GOD

In the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed — a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

Romans 1:17

REFLECTION

The book of Romans offers an expanded and detailed look at God's special plan for the human race. It will show you the "before and after" conditions of your life in relation to Jesus Christ. As you begin this study, consider your lifestyle before you became a Christian. What are some of the major changes that Christ has made in your life?

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SITUATION

The apostle Paul wrote this letter to a group of Christians in Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire, to lay out his Christian doctrine after years of missionary work. Although he had not yet visited Rome, he thought highly of the believers there. He wanted to spend time with them, just as he had done with the many fledgling churches around the Mediterranean Sea. This letter was Paul's way of saying, "Here are all the central lessons I would teach you if I were with you." In his opening comments, he describes the glory and power of the gospel of Christ.

OBSERVATION

Read Romans 1:16–32 from the New International Version or the New King James Version.

New International Version

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed — a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

New King James Version

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

EXPLORATION

1. What does Paul mean when he says he is "not ashamed of the gospel" (Romans 1:16)?

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2. In what ways does God reveal himself to people (see also Psalm 19:1, John 14:10, 26; Acts 14:17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; and 1 John 5:13)?

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3. How does Paul say that some people have provoked God to anger?

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4. How and why is the truth of the gospel hidden from some individuals?

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5. What happens when God lets people go their own way?

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6. How does Paul say people can find freedom from the bondage of sin?

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INSPIRATION

Behind him, a trail of tracks. Beneath him, a pounding stallion. Before him, miles of trail to cover. Within him, a flint-rock resolve.

Squinty eyed. Firm jawed. Rawboned. Pony Express riders had one assignment — deliver the message safely and quickly. They seized every advantage: the shortest route, the fastest horse, the lightest saddle. Even the lightest lunchbox.

Only the sturdy were hired. Could they handle the horses? The heat? Could they outrun robbers and outlast blizzards? The young and the orphans were preferred. Those selected were given $125 a month (a good salary in 1860), a Colt revolver, a lightweight rifle, a bright red shirt, blue trousers, and eight hours to cover eighty miles, six days a week. Hard work and high pay. But the message was worth it.

The apostle Paul would have loved the Pony Express. For he, like the riders, had been entrusted with a message.

"I have a duty to all people," Paul told the Roman church (Romans 1:14 NCV). He had something for them — a message. He'd been entrusted as a Pony Express courier with a divine message, the gospel. Nothing mattered more to Paul than the gospel. "I am not ashamed of the gospel," he wrote next, "because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16).

Paul existed to deliver the message. How people remembered him was secondary. (Why else would he have introduced himself as a slave in Romans 1:1?) How people remembered Christ was primary. Paul's message was not about himself. His message was all about Christ. (From It's Not About Me by Max Lucado.)

REACTION

7. How does Paul describe your condition before you accepted Christ as your Savior?

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8. How would you describe righteousness to a new believer?

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9. Based on this passage, what is required to be right with God (see also John 14:6)?

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10. In what ways have you seen the righteousness of Christ transform a person's life?

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11. In what areas of your life do your sinful desires tend to interfere with living a righteous life?

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12. How does this passage encourage you to live by faith?

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LIFE LESSONS

Whether we are new in our faith or have trusted in Christ for years, all of us struggle with the tendency to fall back on our righteousness, our "track record" or ability to do and be good, rather than placing our hope in Christ. Really understanding that Jesus wants our complete trust is an ongoing process. Putting faith in Jesus is a starting point, but it isn't the end of it. Each day is a fresh opportunity to acknowledge and experience living by Christ's righteousness.

DEVOTION

Father, forgive us for being witnesses of your majesty and yet living as though you do not exist. Forgive us, Lord, when we put more hope in the things of this earth than in the incredible promises of your heaven. Have mercy on our hardened hearts. Transform us into your likeness.

JOURNALING

If you recently trusted Christ, what lessons in living by faith have you learned? If you've been a believer for a while, what disciplines have you learned about keeping your faith lively?

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FOR FURTHER READING

To complete the book of Romans during this twelve-part study, read Romans 1:1–32. For more Bible passages on righteousness, read 1 Samuel 26:23; 1 Kings 10:9; Habakkuk 2:4; Zephaniah 2:3; Malachi 4:2; Romans 8:10; Galatians 3:11; and 2 Timothy 3:16.

CHAPTER 2

KNOWING CHRIST

All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous

Romans 2:12–13 NKJV

REFLECTION

In the last lesson, you saw how in the beginning people deliberately rebelled, and now every generation experiences the results of that rebellion. Repentance is the first step that begins the journey home, and the gospel offers the hope for that journey. What steps have you taken recently to deepen your relationship with Christ?

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SITUATION

Paul was aware that his audience had a divided worldview — Jewish and Gentile — and that he needed to get the attention of two kinds of thinking. In this next part of his letter, he addresses the self-confident Jewish mindset that assumed a special place in God's plan, as well as the Gentile mind that was proudly self-reliant. Both ways of thinking needed to undergo a change of perspective by seeing the human condition from God's holy perspective.

OBSERVATION

Read Romans 2:1–16 from the New International Version or the New King James Version.

New International Version

1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God "will repay each person according to what they have done." 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.

12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Life Lessons from Romans"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Max Lucado.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

How to Study the Bible, v,
Introduction to the Book of Romans, ix,
Lesson 1 Right with God (Romans 1:16–32), 1,
Lesson 2 Knowing Christ (Romans 2:1–16), 11,
Lesson 3 A Priceless Gift (Romans 3:21–31), 19,
Lesson 4 The Faith of Abraham (Romans 4:13–25), 27,
Lesson 5 Victory Over Sin (Romans 6:15–23), 35,
Lesson 6 Not Guilty (Romans 8:1–17), 43,
Lesson 7 God's Perfect Plan (Romans 10:1–15), 53,
Lesson 8 Called by God (Romans 11:1–15), 61,
Lesson 9 One Body, Many Parts (Romans 12:1–13), 71,
Lesson 10 True Love (Romans 13:8–14), 81,
Lesson 11 Supporting One Another (Romans 14:13–23), 89,
Lesson 12 Let It Shine (Romans 15:14–21), 97,
Leader's Guide for Small Groups, 105,

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