Session 9: Saved
Suggested Week of Use: April 26, 2020
Core Passage: Romans 10:5-15
The following plan is an adaptation of the plan provided in the Explore the Bible Leader Guide, Daily Discipleship Guide, and Leader Pack download. It is abbreviated based on best practices for teaching online.
1. Study Romans 10:5-15.
As you study Romans 10:5-15, note Paul’s use of Old Testament Scripture to present God’s message of salvation. Examine Leviticus 18:5; Deuteronomy 9:4; 30:12-13; Isaiah 28:16; 52:7; Joel 2:32; and Nahum 1:15 in their original contexts.
2. Create the group meeting id.
If needed, create a unique meeting id using the online meeting tool you selected.
3. Send an email or social media post to the group.
Suggested wording: People try all kinds of things to be right with God. In some cultures, sacrifices are offered to appease the gods. People bathe in sacred rivers and meditate on sacred mountains. Others bow down before statues and burn incense. Paul answered this age-old question. Salvation is available only to those who call upon Jesus. Our salvation is rooted in the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus and available only through His completed work on the cross. In this week’s lesson, we’ll discover that salvation has always been granted through faith.
Read Romans 10:5-15 in your Bible and the comments for session 9 in your Explore the Bible Personal Study Guide or Daily Discipleship Guide. Reflect on God’s grace shown in making salvation available in Christ through faith alone.
We will meet at (add time) using (name of online tool). Here is the link to our meeting: (add meeting id, password: xxxxx).
Reminder to be sent the day prior: What are some ways people try to gain God’s favor? This week we’ll dig deeper into the Book of Romans and learn how salvation is granted through faith alone. We will meet at (add time) using (name of online tool). Here is the link to our meeting: (add meeting id, password: xxxxx).
4. Listen to the Adult Leader Training Podcast.
Go to goexplorethebible.com/adults-training/ for an overview of the main points and some key ideas from this lesson.
5. Create a plan.
GREET people as they join and invite them to identify ways they have attempted to gain favor with a family member, friend, or coworker. After all have had opportunity to report, ask: How do people try to gain God’s favor? Why do people try to gain God’s favor (see PSG, p. 77; DDG, p. 73).
TRANSITION: In Romans 10:5-15, Paul explained what brings favor with God. God wants a right relationship with us and offers a way. Salvation is and has always been available to all people through faith in Christ.
Option: Use the Extra! idea. See goexplorethebible.com/leaderextras.
INTRODUCE: Romans consists of two distinct sections: chapters 1–8 build a theological framework for salvation; chapters 12–16 address practical challenges of Christian living. In between these two sections, Paul included an extended sidebar (an excursus). Chapters 9–11 focus on the role of the Jews under the new covenant based on faith. The old covenant was based on a sacrificial system, but Jesus’ death ushered in a new era. Paul believed the original chosen people continued to have a role in God’s kingdom if they believed in Christ.
CONTRAST: Paul stated in Romans 10:4 that “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Then starting in verse 5, he contrasted the law and faith using Old Testament Scripture. Paul quoted from Leviticus 18:5 to make the point that obedience to God’s law is required for righteousness. Anything less than perfect obedience falls short. He then quoted from Deuteronomy 9:4 and 30:12 to make his point that righteousness comes by faith alone.
READ: Building on this foundation, read Romans 10:5-10 and ask the group to listen for the action verbs. Identify the key verbs in verses 9-10 (confess, believe).
EXPLAIN: In verse 8, Paul linked Moses’ words in the Old Testament to the message of faith (the gospel) he has been explaining in Romans. Then in verse 9 he defined the message of faith (confess and believe in Christ), and in verse 10 he explained its importance. His point was that salvation is not the result of our own efforts.
DISCUSS: Call attention to the comments about Romans 10:9-10 in the PSG on page 81 or on Day 2 in the DDG on page 77. Review the comments pointing to key sentences that help you better understand what Paul was saying. Highlight the paragraph that begins with the word Ultimately. (Ultimately, this two-fold demonstration of faith through confession and belief represent two sides of the same coin. You can’t have one without the other.) Emphasize that salvation is not merely an intellectual exercise; it involves the mouth (confession) and the heart (personal trust). Say: Paul said a person gains salvation through believing and confessing. Based on verses 9-10, how would you describe the relationship between confession and belief? Why are both necessary?
TRANSITION: In verses 11-13, Paul shifted to identifying who can receive salvation.
READ: Before reading aloud Romans 10:11-13, explain that Paul based his message on the words of the prophets Isaiah (Isa. 28:16) and Joel (Joel 2:32) to say that everyone, Jew and Greek, who calls on the name of Jesus will receive salvation.
DISCUSS: Paul made the point that all people are saved in the same way; there is not one way of salvation for one group and another way of salvation for a different group. What makes this so wonderful and so difficult at the same time?
READ: Read Romans 10:14-15 and invite the group to note the progression in Paul’s questions.
GUIDE: Using rhetorical questions, Paul explained God’s plan for sharing the gospel. He began with the goal of calling on the Lord for salvation and worked backward to sending. Call attention to the progression as each question builds off the previous question (send, preach, hear, believe, call on). His main point was that if people are to call on the Lord for salvation, then someone must go and share the gospel with them.
DISCUSS: What makes the feet of a person who shares the gospel so beautiful? (PSG, p. 84; DDG, p. 75) The Greek word that is translated beautiful can also mean “timely.” What makes the gospel message so timely in light of the current events in our world?
SUMMARIZE: Direct the group to review the Summary Statements on page 85 of the PSG (p. 76 in the DDG). Invite the group to contemplate living out these statements as believers. Ask: Which of these challenges you the most today? Explain.
CHALLENGE: Answer the third set of questions on page 85 of the PSG (p. 76 in the DDG): Believers can support missions through praying, giving, and going. How can you participate more actively in each of those areas? What obstacles do you need to overcome? Discuss with the group ways of participating in each of these areas while practicing social distancing.
6. Focus on Relationships
Contact group members daily to simply pray with them. Pray specifically for the people they identify who need to know about Jesus.
Be sure to send digital copies of the next session to group members who do not have a print copy. Encourage them to read the passage and comments for session 10 prior to the next online gathering.
Send a message by Wednesday, encouraging anyone with doubts about their faith to reach out to you or another church leader.