Romans 12

These small group studies of Romans contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Romans 12 Inductive Bible Study

I. Based on the truths learned in the first section of the book, we should offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God (1-2)

II. We are to use each of our unique God-given gifts for His glory (3-8)

      A. Because what we have is from God, we ought to be humble (3)

      B. Each member of the body has a different role (4-5)

      C. We are to use our God-give gifts (6)

      D. Use each specific gift to the fullest (6b-8)

III.    Qualities of the complete Christian (verses 9-21)

A.     Love (9-10)

B.     Passion (11)

C.     Heavenly-minded (12)

D.     Hospitable (13)

E.      Forgiving (14)

F.      Encouraging (15)

G.     Others-centered (16)

H.     Upright (17)

I.        Peaceful (18octr

J.       Patient (19

K.    Generous (20)

L.      Victorious (21)

Discussion Questions:

1. What is the “therefore” there for? Since we just finished the section on doctrine, let’s go around the table and have each person share one important doctrine you learned from the first 11 chapters. How can you make an application from this doctrine?

What does it mean to present our bodies as living sacrifices? How is this worshiping God? Are you doing it?

2. What does it mean to be conformed to this world? Why should we not be like the world? Who runs the world? Are you tempted to try to be like or be popular to those around you in the world? Why? Name one way the world tries to press you into its mold. In what area does the world try to press Christians into its mold? Name a few key issues where the world’s way of doing things is very different from God’s way. Since there is temptation and peer pressure all around us, what is the solution so that we won’t be conformed to the world? How can we renew our minds? What does it mean to prove what the will of God is?

3. What should our view of ourselves be? Where does our faith come from?

5. What other passages talk of believers oneness and unity? What application should we make from the fact that although there fare many believers, we are one?

6. Where do our gifts come from? Who has them? Why is the word grace appear here? What is the difference between spiritual gifts and natural talents? What other passages speak of spiritual gifts? What is their purpose? What does this imply about what Christians are to be doing? How does this relate to the first part of Romans, which teaches Christians what we are to know?

7-8 – Discuss each gift here and how they are to be used. Are you using your gift? How or why not? Why can you do to begin using your gifts? Will you begin using your gift? When? How?

How can we keep our spiritual fervor? (1 Peter 2:2 says that reading God’s Word will cause us to “taste” the Lord’s goodness. The more we read God’s Word with an open heart and let the Holy Spirit use it in our lives the more we will see God’s goodness and the more we excited we will be in our desire to serve Him.)

9. What is hypocritical love? Any examples on the Bible? Do you hate evil? What does the word cling mean?

10. What other Bible verses tell us to be unselfish and loving towards others?

12. Are you devoted to prayer? Discuss each quality for examples and practical ways to apply them.

13. What exactly is hospitality? Do you show hospitality to others? How can you do this?

14. What other verses tell us this principle?

15. What is the purpose of weeping with those who weep? What quality does this portray?

16. Why do many people not want to associate with the lowly?

17. When is it ok to pay back evil for evil? Verse 17 tells us to do what is right in the eyes of others. Why do we need to do this? Aren’t we supposed to do what is right in God’s sight?

18. What should we do if we try to reconcile or be peaceful with someone else, and they won’t have any part of it?

19. Why does vengeance belong to God?

20. What does this verse mean?

21. How can we overcome evil with good? Biblical examples?

How can we possibly have the power to practice all these qualities in our life? (1. Have the grace of God. 2. Get strength from the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:3). 3. Discipline ourselves (1 Timothy 4:7-8).)

Cross-references –

2. Col 3:10,16 – Being renewed. Titus 3:5, Renewal of the Holy Spirit. Psalms 1. Psalms 119:11.

1 John 2:15-17 – Do not love the world.
Matthew 5:13-16 – Salt of the earth and light of the world.
3. Grace given to me – 1 Cor 3:10, Galatians 3:9.
Spiritual gifts – 1 Cor 12, Ephesians 4:7-16
Different gifts:
Teaching – 2 Timothy 2:15-16, 2 Tim 2:2)
Exhortation –  2 Tim 4:2, Heb 10:24-25.
Giving – 2 Co 8:3-5, 9,11, Eph 4:28, Matthew 6:1-4 (give in “secret”)

10. Php 2:3-4
Persevering – James 1:4-5
Devoted to prayer – Daniel, 1 Thess 5:16-18
Hospitality – Heb 13:2
Humility – Proverbs 26:1-12 – Being wise in your own eyes is worse than being a fool. In other words it is better to know nothing than to think you know a lot.
Heap burning coals – Pro 25:21-22.


Teaching Points –

Intro – As we discussed at the end of last week, this is the turning point in the book. The first 11 chapters focused mostly on doctrinal truths. We were learning the foundation of the Christian faith. In John 5:24, we learn that someone must hear and then believe. In other words, we must first know the truth and then we can act on that knowledge. Just knowing the truth is not enough, but without knowing the truth, our lives can’t be changed either. Let’s go around the table and each person summarize one doctrine we learned in the first chapters of Romans, and how that doctrine effects your life.

I. Verses 1-2 All the glory belongs to God. Based on all of the theological truths in the first chapters, Christians are to respond practically by dedicated our lives in service to our Lord. This is the wise response. Jesus said the foolish person who listened, but didn’t put in to practice His words was like a person building a house on the sand. We want to be like the wise builder who builds his house on the rock. Remember what God has done for us. Though we were totally depraved, on our own, without any hope, and destined for His wrath, He called and justified us because of His choice. It was His initiative, not ours, His grace not our work. Notice the course of action we should take in response. It is not just a small step like donating a bit of money to earthquake relief, buying some blankets for a poor person, singing a song of praise, going to church every now and then, or wearing Christian jewelry. Neither does it necessarily require some huge ministry accomplishments like moving to Afghanistan to become a missionary to some poor tribes, transcribing the Bible into 10 languages, or pastoring a congregation of ten thousand. Those things are fine, but God actually requires much more than that. He doesn’t just want your money, your possessions, or your time. He wants your life. We are to be living sacrifices. That means we are to give him all of energy, thoughts, and actions, all of the time. We are to serve Him in a thousand small ways every day. It is almost like being married and letting your wife get her way every time. Of course a wife might want something wrong, but God always wants what is right. We are to put His will above ours in every area.

Holy. Our lives are also to be holy. OT sacrifices were to be unblemished and pure. God wants to use clean vessels, not dirty ones. We should be like David and ask for clean hands and a pure heart.

2nd, we are not to be conformed to this world. We have discussed this concept many times before. Part of the problem is that we just don’t recognize how evil and contrary to God’s ways that the world really is. The world system is controlled by Satan, God’s arch-enemy. He uses the education system, government, peer pressure, cultural influences, friends, family, and relatives to brainwash unbelievers and believers alike. Many believers have parents and teachers telling them to stop pursuing God and start pursuing money, or telling them to stop waiting for a Christian spouse and get married quickly, or not to discipline their kids because it is child abuse. In what way are you tempted to be conformed to the world? When you make plans for your life, such as going to college, getting a Masters, moving to another city to take a better job, buying a house, finding a spouse, etc. do you just follow the same path as your friends in the world or do you stop to think if God has a better or different way of doing things? If you just follow the world without thinking twice because “that is how it is done” or because “in China people…”, then you may find you are on the broad path that leads to destruction.

But. One of the all time key words of the Bible. Paul doesn’t leave us hanging wondering if we don’t follow the world’s way, what should we do? He gives us the perfect alternative, renew our minds. Charge your minds with the energy from God’s ultimate battery pack, the Bible. Wash away the world’s influences and instead study God’s way. Remember that from the time of the Fall, the world’s systems are corrupted and cursed. We need to renew our minds to understand God’s original purposes, will, and design.

II. Verses 3-8 To some spiritual gifts are a source of pride, like with the Corinthians. We look at our spiritual gifts, our abilities, our service to God and think how good we are and how fortunate God and the church are to have someone as dedicated and talented as we are. But Paul takes great pains to show that these gifts are just that, gifts. They are given by the grace of God and we must receive and use them humbly. In addition, we see again that the church includes many people, but is to united together, serving one another. Each person has his own role.

Beyond this, we learn two important things.

1. What are we to do with them? We are to use our gifts and not let them go to waste.

2. To what degree or how are we to use them? We are to use our gifts fully in accordance with God’s purposes.

In this section we learn about the source of gifts and purpose of gifts. The source is not people and certainly not demons. The source is the Holy Spirit, Jesus, God the Father. In short, the Trinity. If He is the source they are also for Him and always to be conducted in accordance with His will and in His way. These gifts are supernaturally bestowed on believers. There are three general categories of gifts, verbal, serving, and sign gifts. The verbal gifts are for the purpose of speaking to edify the church such as teaching, preaching, prophecy, knowledge, wisdom, etc. Serving gifts include things such as leadership, giving, mercy, faith, and discernment. The sign gifts included miracles, healing, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. So there all kinds of gifts and perhaps even combinations of gifts, but the same God gave all of them. Therefore there is no basis for pride that one’s gift is better than another’s. Later in the chapter it shows that every gift and every believer is vital and has a distinct and important role to fill.

Although there are many gifts, the purpose of all the gifts is the same. That is the common good. They are for the building up of the body so that the body can better glorify the Lord and reach the world for Him. Review questions and cross-references.

This is a good reminder for all of us.

1.       We need to be unified.

2.       We have the same goal and need to be working for it.

3.       You have a special gift from the Lord.

4.       You should be using your special gift by actively serving others.

For reference from the other gift passages-

1. Each one of us. Every believer has received God’s grace in the form of spiritual gifts. This is important. Every believer has at least one, not just some of us. What’s more it is from Christ and He measures out the type and kind to give.  Since He is the one giving, He can give different levels to different people. Two people might be gifted in preaching, but he might gift one more. Notice also the word “gift”. This means is it is freely given and completely undeserved. The giver is Christ.
2. Verse 8 comes from Psalms 68:18. Originally it was a victory hymn by David commemorating the victory over the Jebusites in Jerusalem. According to Macarthur, Paul is applying this to Christ as an analogy of what Christ did when Christ ascended. It has three parts. The ascension is Jesus’ return to heaven, His victory over death and Satan. His captives would be the victory over Satan and death. These are both defeated and awaiting their final destruction. The gifts to men would be these spiritual gifts referred to by Paul. So just as the conquering David gave spoils of victory to the soldiers, Christ gives us spiritual gifts.
3. Descended refers to His incarnation. He came to the lower parts of the earth from the upper parts of heaven. Basically he came down.
4. The specific gifts – Discuss each one and what it means. Do all of these still exist today? Why/why not? When did they stop?
5. Gave some. These people were given by God to the church to meet their spiritual needs. He gave them the gifts to accomplish their work and they in turn were a gift to others. Read cross-references.

them all the tools they need.
2. The who of the gifts. But who is doing the work? The saints are the ones doing the work of service. They are not sitting and watching the pastors/teachers do it. They are to be involved themselves. They each have a task. The pastors job is to help the saints learn how to do the work and encourage them along the way. Unfortunately in most churches around the word 10% of the people do 90% of the work (don’t know the exact stat; estimate). You have the congregation/audience who go to church each week. They get there just on time or late and leave right afterwards. They may make a few comments about the lovely sermon or drop a few bucks in the offering plate, but basically they are uninvolved and don’t participate. They are listeners. Meanwhile the pastors and teachers labor all week putting together different classes, studies, sermons, lessons, often times directing the choir, clearning the church, preparing materials, visitining the sick, conducting weddings, dedicating babies, conducting funerals, etc. The balance of work is disproportianate. Every believer must be involved in serving the Lord. How about you? Are you? I really want all of you to think about this and consider if you are really involved serving God in your local fellowship. If not, you need to fix the situation. This Sunday go up and ask why you can do to help or volunteer for a specific ministry. If they say no, tell them what you learned in Ephesians and ask them to really think about what you can do. They may say no the first time out of politeness. Whatever they give you to do, do with all your heart. Do not consider it is below you or unworthwile. Eventually as you serve your special gifting will become apparent.
3. The result of the gifts (specifically the speaking gifts here) – Maturity. They help the entire body grow to maturity soak in the knowledge from God. They are a protection against wrong doctrine and false teachers. Discuss in detail and verse by verse.

III. Verses 9-21 This is a very broad passage covering MANY qualities that Christians are to have. We could spend a week on each one since we see many of the major characteristics the Bible teaches us to follow including:

1. Love.
2. Hate evil.
3. Loving what is right.
4. Be unselfish.
5. Be diligent.
6. Be fervent.
7. Serve the Lord.
8. Rejoice in hope.
9. Persevere through trials.
10. Be devoted to prayer.
11. Practice hospitality.
12. Bless those who persecute you and do not return evil for evil.
13. Be compassionate and concerned.
14. Be humble.
15. Be considerate.
16. Be peaceful.
17. Do not take revenge.

Go through and discuss verse by verse, character quality by character quality.

This list is basically a summary of the passage. Because it includes so many characteristics it is very likely that some of them may be our strengths. We might read through and think we are doing well in this area and that area. However, I am sure none of us can read through the list and conclude we are doing well in all of these areas. I suggest we look through it real quick on our own and mark the three worst areas where we see the most need for improvement. One thing you could do at home this weekend is to write down one or two specific things you can do to improve in that area and then apply it in the following week.

Study Romans 13

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