A LETTER TO THE ROMANS at NEW CITY CHURCH
The following content is based on the message “No Trespassing: How Jesus Overcomes our Sin” on 4/9/17 at New City Church in Phoenix, AZ. The following is not meant to be a full synopsis but rather a brief look at the main ideas. To use this Study Guide effectively you must listen to the message found at http://newcityphx.com/sermons/.
Leaders using these Study Notes for group study and reflection should read the Biblical text thoroughly before beginning, using this resource as assistance and not relying solely on this material for insight. We encourage all leaders to pray and ask the Spirit for revelation as they lead their respective community groups.
Pray and ask God to lead the discussion as everyone gets to share.
SCRIPTURE: ROMANS 5:12-21
SIN ENTERED THROUGH ADAM
Evil was already in existence with Satan and his followers, but evil did not exist on this planet. Adam was given several commands by God. The only “do not” command was the one that he broke. When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit they gained knowledge of good and evil leading to their own sin and death. Because Adam (“Adam” means “first man or humanity”) was the first created person, his sin had consequences for all who were to be born into the human race.
The result of Adam’s sin is the history of sinning on the part of all who enter the human race and sin themselves.
- How do you usually think of your life if you were Adam and Eve?
INCREASING THE TRESPASS
Prior to Moses, humanity was living in sin and they knew they were living in sin, which leads to death, but didn’t know how to remedy what was wrong with them. This is where the law came in through Moses.
- Talk about how frustrating it would be to live in the consequences of sin, without knowing what was wrong or what was causing your pain.
- How is giving the Law through Moses actually the graciousness of God?
Verse 20 might seem confusing because one might read it and think that God is trapping humans by providing the Law to lead to increased sin. However, remember in verse 13 Paul said that sin was already there. The Law made it clear what was sin and what wasn’t sin. It provided a standard to diagnose the problem—that we are broken and sinful.
The law was never intended to produce salvation but to convince people of their need for it.
- While it was given so that humanity could see God’s standard of right and wrong, what is usually the natural reaction of humans when a standard of right and wrong are placed before them? (i.e., what is your reaction when you are told not to do something?)
REACTION TO OUR OWN SIN
Just like Adam and Eve pushed blame for their sin, when we sin, we start denying that sin is sin. We deny that we are broken and/or we try to set ourselves free. We try to become our own savior. Then we make up our own Jesus, and Jesus becomes who we want—someone to fulfill our hopes and dreams not one to deal with our sin.
- When you realize that you are broken and sinful, what is your human reaction your own brokenness?
- Reading about Adam and the Law, it is evident that we are broken and sinful—each of us. How can you confess to each other how you are broken and sinful?
ADAM AND JESUS
Paul calls Adam a “type” of Jesus. This means Adam was a figure of Christ. In verses 15-21, there are 6 comparisons between Adam’s sin and Jesus’s redemptive work. Just as Adam was the first in humanity leading to the sinfulness of all, Jesus became the first in a “new humanity” where he has provided the free gift of justification for all who believe in him.
Even though people rebel. God redeems and restores. This is grace. This is Good News. This is what we need as humans!
- When you grasp the seriousness of the first Adam, how does that develop your own gratefulness for the second Adam—that is, Jesus.
- Talk about how God is restoring you and your image as a person.
- Pray with each other thanking God for his restoration.