The Messy Middle
Listen to audio version
Bible Passage: Romans 3:21-26
- The speed limit is a common law to break. What does it feel like to be stopped for speeding?
- Read Romans 3:21–26. How would your neighbors respond to the phrase “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (verse 23)?
- Are you ever tempted to compare your sins to others? Why would we do that?
- How does this passage break down barriers between people? Jews and Gentiles? Christians and non-Christians?
- Does the idea that Jesus justifies “freely by his grace” (verse 24) make it easier or harder to talk about sin in our lives?
- Read Romans 12:1–2. As Jesus presented himself as a sacrifice (Romans 3:25), Paul encourages us to “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice” (verse 1). What are real ways that you sacrifice for your neighbors?
- There is an old saying that says “Jesus loves you just the way you are, and he loves you too much to leave you there.” A life with Jesus is a life of transformation (verse 2). What does it mean to be transformed and not conformed? How has Jesus transformed your life?
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit. We confess that without Jesus we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and action, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole hearts; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.