THE SUNDAY SCHOOL ANSWER
- Key Verse
- For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. (Romans 7:18)
- READ THE CHAPTER
So many times Christians complicate what is so incredibly simple. We have a Savior who provides everything we need spiritually, emotionally, and physically. When in doubt, just wait on Christ.
ReflectionsI had the privilege of growing up in a church. I went to Sunday school and quickly learned that "Jesus" was typically a good answer for most questions. After time, I slowly found that this was not enough for many of the questions asked by my church leaders. I learned to think through my answers and to reference passages in the Bible in support of them. I had matured past my one-word answer "Jesus" and thought I would never go back to such childish responses. That is what I thought until I studied Romans 7.
The end of Romans 7 is probably one of my favorite passages of the Bible. I find it so encouraging that such a godly man had struggles that I identify with: "For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." (Romans 7:15b, ESV) The first time I read that in junior high I put a star next to the verse with the words: "That's me." Paul continues, "So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand." (Romans 7:21, ESV) I live by this verse. I know everything I ever try to do for God will be contested by some distraction. Everything Paul says hooked me because of how much I identified with him. What really bothered me was the conclusion to his struggle: "Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:24-25, ESV)
Is that it? Why not discuss strategies to overcome coping devices or to reveal how he has learned to separate himself from his sinful struggles? Is there no special advice from a man as influential as Paul? Such a Sunday school answer really bothers me. It also shows a great problem I have. I want to have a strategy -- a new insight or a fresh perspective on how to handle sin biblically. Many times, I fail to see that I do not need to know any more. No strategy or new insight can replace reliance on Christ.
Discussion Questions1. Is Jesus a good enough answer for my struggles?
2. What am I complicating in my spiritual life?
3. What do I look for in sermons, quiet times, and Bible studies?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
Romans 2-7 (May 28-June 1)
Read Romans 5:1-11.
Verse 1: What did Jesus Christ do for you?
Verse 2: What can we confidently and joyfully look forward to?
Verse 3: What helps you rejoice when you run into hard things?
Verse 4: What is character?
Verse 5: What do you need to do to receive the Holy Spirit?
Verse 6: Are you a sinner?
Verse 7: Would you be willing to die for someone who wasn't good?
Verse 8: How does it make you feel that Christ died for you even though you are not good?
Verse 9: What does it mean to be made right in God's sight?
Verse 10: WOW . . . we get to be friends with God when we accept the gift of His Son's sacrifice! How does it feel to know that God is your friend?
Verse 11: Have you accepted Christ's sacrifice for your sins?
Activity: God being our friend is a pretty amazing thing. Talk as a family about what all that means. Discuss all the ways His friendship impacts your life. Then discuss how that can help each of you in being a better friend to others.