NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.
Bible Passage: Romans 2:17-29
— How do people express self-righteousness today?
— What religious practices might a person point to today in an effort to prove their righteousness?
Food for thought:
Satan has some ingenious ways of convincing us that we are OK without Jesus. We may allow Satan to convince us that attending a church on occasion puts us over the top. We may even feel secure by giving to a worthy cause or by volunteering for a local charity. We might point to our family history and the reputation carried over generations. And we must not forget about the “comparison lie” where we compare ourselves to others who are much less moral or social conscious than we.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul addressed the notion that religious practices and family heritage secure salvation. He had already reminded his readers that the Gentiles were lost due to sin, and then he turned his attention to the people who depended on their Jewish heritage and religious practices for salvation. He pointed out that religious practices like circumcision were of no value if the Romans did not observe the law fully. In fact, Paul emphasized that God’s name was blasphemed by their lack of obedience to God.
These words come from Paul who had once depended upon this same heritage and practices for his salvation (see Philippians 3:4-6). If anyone knew of the trappings of self-righteousness, Paul did. He also knew the shortcomings of depending on heritage and religious practices for salvation. Faith in Jesus alone secures a person’s salvation. All other attempts to secure salvation are imposters, with Satan as the originator.
Explore the Bible
Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/ExploreTheBible.