Preparing for the Sermon - Sola Fide
Prepare your heart for the Sermon by looking through these suggestions that will assist you in making the most of our time together hearing God's Word.
You will find suggestions for thinking more critically through the passage, meditating more intently on the text, and prayerfully seeking wisdom to deepen your understanding of the passage to be preached this Sunday.
- This Sunday, we’ll be studying the next Sola in our series on the Solas of the Reformation: Sola Fide (pronounced fee-day), Faith Alone. This Sola focuses our attention on the biblical truth that we are justified before God by faith alone. The passage that we will be studying together is Romans 3:21-31.
- Paul’s argument in Romans 1-4 is the argument of Sola Fide. In the first 2 and half chapters, Paul is demonstrating man’s need to be saved or justified. He summarizes that message in Romans 3:9-20, read this passage, to help you understand the context of our passage.
- Read Romans 3:21-31 and as you read notice all the references to the words “faith” and “belief”. Simply noticing this, what is the clear emphasis of this passage?
- According to vv. 20-22, what is the way that we receive the righteousness of God? Is it by works, or is it by faith? How do vv. 23-25 describe the way that God brings about our justification? Notice the words redemption and propitiation, how do these answer the previous question?
- How do vv. 27-31 clarify the relationship between the law and faith? What is their relationship? How does sola fide destroy human boasting?
- Is the teaching that we are declared right by God by faith alone contradict what you have thought/how you have lived before? If the doctrine of justification by faith alone is something you have known and believed for some time, what are some ways that you still live like you’re justified by works?
- Contemplate the context of our passage. Do you understand your state before a holy God? Do you acknowledge and agree with Paul’s conclusion about yourself and the human race in Rom 3:10-20? Have you seen yourself as someone whose mouth is stopped by the law of God and that you are accountable to God? Do you see yourself as totally depraved and in desperate need to be right with God with no ability to do so on your own?
- Think deeply on what was accomplished on the cross as taught in this passage. How does v. 26 summarize this teaching? How is it that God can be both just, and yet declare guilty sinners to be righteous?
- In light of the teaching of this passage do you have any reason to boast, particularly about your salvation? How does the truth that we are justified by faith alone exclude human boasting? In what ways have you been prideful or judgmental towards others concerning your salvation?