An International Center for Fellowship and Learning

Romans – Lesson 15: Misguided Zeal

Scripture Reading: Romans 9:30-10:21

Introduction:

For 15 centuries the Jews had followed the Mosaic Law, the Levitical priesthood, and all the practices associated with them.  Now, Jesus has come to change all these things and institute new practices centered around Him.  All these old things are no longer necessary, and the center of their faith should no longer be with old practices, but instead, be concentrated on the words of Jesus and His ministry.  Giving up these long-established traditions is hard.

Paul is telling them that a new revolution has taken place and that an entirely new manner of life has been set before men, by God.  The righteousness of God, which He wished to make effective in the lives of men, is made available under new conditions of the risen Christ coming to live His life in the hearts of those whom He has redeemed.

The world is full of religious people: Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and many others.  Many of these people are zealous, dedicated and sincere.  But are zeal and sincerity enough?  Are there many paths to God or just one?

Paul continues to wrestle with the problems of Israel’s unbelief.  Having considered the problem from the standpoint of divine election, he now focuses on Israel’s, and on our own, responsibility to believe the gospel.

Lesson Questions:

  1. Have you ever known a sincere and devout non-Christian?  How do you respond to his or her zeal?
  2. From Romans 9:30-33, why was Jesus more of a stumbling stone to the Jews than to the Gentiles?  What hindered the Jews from obtaining true righteousness?
  3. From Romans 10:1-4, many people believe religious zeal and sincerity are all a person needs to be saved.  How would Paul respond to this belief?  Is anyone now made righteous by keeping the Law?
  4. In Romans 10:6-8 Paul rewords Deuteronomy 30:11-14 in order to describe righteousness by faith.  How do verses 6-8 stress the simplicity of this righteousness?  How does it differ from the righteousness by law (Romans 10:5)?
  5. First-century Christians publicly confessed that “Jesus is Lord” at their baptism.  Why do you think public confession (Romans 9:9-13) is important to the belief in one’s heart?  What specific exercises of faith are absolutely necessary for man to be saved (Romans 9:8-10)?
  6. From Romans 10:14-15, why is it so important that we be involved in the great commission?  Why is it so necessary to preach the Gospel?
  7. From Romans 10:16-21, what is revealed about the reasons for Israel’s unbelief?  Did Israel have any valid excuse for their lack of faith?
  8. How patient was the Lord with Israel’s rebellion (Romans 10:21)?