Everyday Theology - Romans 8:28-39 - Study Guide
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Throughout the Everyday Theology sermon series, we will explore foundational principles of the Christian faith in chapters 5-8 of the book of Romans. Rather than giving us only knowledge about God and His plan for restoring our relationship with Him through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, we will learn from Paul what it means to have more of God Himself and the life Jesus died to give us — right now and for eternity.
Each week, your group will watch a brief video teaching from one of the Cornerstone pastors, complementing the corresponding sermon for the week. The study guide includes a warm-up question designed to help your group focus on the primary Scripture passage and its theological implications. The discussion section will jump into the meaning and impact of Paul’s major points. We’ll wrap things up with questions that explore how the passage applies to us today as followers of Jesus in a modern and chaotic world. For more info and ideas on leading your group, visit our sermon series resource page.
Please also encourage your group members to check out Daily Steps, Cornerstone's companion devotional guide for individual reflection, prayer, and meditation on related Scripture selections throughout the week!
This week we recommend that you begin your group time together in prayer and then watching the study guide video before you discuss the warm-up question.
Watch this week’s video teaching from Matt Warner, pastor of Cornerstone’s Danville campus.
Mark Batterson said in his book If, “Spiritually speaking, the tipping point is when you believe, without any reservation, that God is for you. It’s the revelation that God doesn’t just love you, He likes you. He loves you enough to die for you.” Mark goes on to summarize the closing verses of Romans 8 with this simple statement: God is good + God is love = God is for you. Based on that equation, Mark asks, “What if you rejected everything about God that wasn’t God and accepted Him for who He is — God for you?
- Without analyzing it or trying to filter your response, what is your immediate, top of mind reaction to Mark’s question?
- Share with the group what it means to you or how it makes you feel that God loves you, likes you enough to want to be with you, and spends every moment of His existence being for you and not against you?
Read Romans 8:28-30 in at least two different translations. (Leader Tip: Click the link to see the ESV and TPT versions in parallel.)
In the video you just watched, Pastor Matt Warner said, “This verse doesn’t mean all that happens to us is good. Evil is prevalent in our fallen, broken world. But God is able to turn every circumstance into our long-range good.”
Verse 28 begins with, “And we know.” What is it that Paul, the author of Romans, thinks you should already know going into this verse? Is it only head knowledge or does it involve the heart and personal experience?
Why is it something that Paul thinks you should already know or be convinced of?
Matt used the phrase “long-range good.” What does that phrase mean to you in the context of your life and how you’ve seen God use or transform difficult circumstances?
In verse 28, Paul uses the word “called” as he describes people who follow after Jesus. He then goes on to remind us that God’s knowledge of us and His plans for us were in the works long before we existed. As you read the following verses together, compare each one to Romans 8:28-30, making note of how and why they reinforce each other or offer a further explanation about God’s knowledge and His plans for you.
In her sermon message, Pastor Diane Rutledge said that if we look at verses 28 and 29 together, we learn that God is working all things together to generate spiritual good for those who love Him. He accomplishes this by conforming us — in other words, shaping us or transforming us — to more closely resemble Jesus.
What are some surprising things you’ve learned about yourself or you’ve seen come out in others during times of crises or during intense pressure?
What kinds of changes in character, attitude, or perspective have you seen occur in yourself or in others who have allowed God to use difficulties and trials to shape and mold them to look more like Jesus?
Read Romans 8:31-39. Pastor Matt also said in the video that we may not understand what God is doing or why He is allowing it to happen, but because of His love for us, we can trust that He will not withhold the good He has promised us.
Sometimes we are not able to comprehend how much God loves us because of the inner critic that tells us we are not good enough. Why is that negative voice often so effective at creating doubts in our hearts and minds? What else contributes to us doubting that God loves us that much?
What are some ways we can overcome and silence that voice inside of our heads?
Look at verses 35-39 and make a list of everything that Paul says cannot separate us from the love of God. Most of the list is centered on physical dangers. What else would you add to it?
Now read Ephesians 3:17-19. Notice that Paul refers to height and depth again, but this time in reference to God’s love, rather than something that can separate us from His love. As you read these two passages together, what do you think Paul meant specifically by “height” and “depth” in Romans 8:39?
Verse 37 declares, “We are more than conquerors,” and it is sandwiched between the two lists of things that Paul says can never separate us from the love of God. Biblical scholars think that Paul placed it there as a reminder that in the midst of everything that could possibly happen to us, everything works together for good. Do you think of yourself as a conqueror? Why or why not?
When you think of all the things that can happen in life, how does the promise that you are already a conqueror in Jesus give you confidence?
What’s one thing that you’d like to have more confidence to deal with in the week ahead?
Conclude your time together by praying for one another to have more confidence while facing challenges of various kinds.
TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP
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Spend Time Alone with God
Daily Steps is a weekly devotional message designed as a companion to this sermon study guide. You will be guided as you spend time with God through personal reflection, Scripture readings, and prayer prompts.
DAILY STEPS - EVERYDAY THEOLOGY - ROMANS 8:28-39
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