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May 26, 2024 | Pastor Jeff Cloeter

Grace > Self-Improvement

We live in a world that places ultimate value on self-improvement and self-sufficiency. But what happens when you reach your limits? When you're a wreck? When you fail and can't seem to get out on your own? The beginning of Romans chapter five challenges the notion that it's all on us: "While we were sinners Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Paul applies grace to the burden and gives peace to people weary of the "do more" culture.


Romans 5:1-11

Peace with God Through Faith

5 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person - though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die - 8 but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.


For Adult Homes & Groups

1. Think of some inspirational self-improvement quotes like “The best investment you can make is in yourself.” When does self-improvement become a burden instead of a help?  

2. In what ways do you see people working overtime to be “pretty, popular, or productive?” 

3. Paul says, “While we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Name an example of your “while.” “While I was ________ Christ died for me.” 

4. How is Romans 5:6-8 good news to someone crushed by the “hustle” culture?


For Families with Kids

1. Read Romans 5:1-11; Make it a goal to memorize 5:8 this week together.

2. Re-read verses 1-2. What are some of the blessings of justification? 

3. In verses 6, 8, and 10, what three words are used to describe “us” before Jesus? How did Jesus change them for the better so we no longer have those labels to describe us before God?

4. What do verses 6-8 tell us about God’s heart and love? 

5. Why do you think God wanted to tell us about His love for us? Make it a goal this week to tell someone close to you about God’s love for them. Here are some ideas: Write a card, send a text, draw a picture, plan a play date, or invite them to church next Sunday.

Series Information

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