“August 5–11. Romans 1–6: ‘The Power of God unto Salvation’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“August 5–11. Romans 1–6,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2019
Record Your Impressions
Consider giving class members a few minutes to search Romans 1–6 for a verse they particularly like. Then they could share the verse they chose with someone sitting nearby.
Have your class members ever faced ridicule for their beliefs? Invite them to read Romans 1:16–17 and think of instances from the book of Acts where Paul showed he was not ashamed of the gospel. What are some things that make us unashamed to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Invite class members to share experiences in which they or others showed that they were not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
How do we evaluate our own discipleship? Paul’s counsel to the Romans can help us remember to focus not on completing a checklist of tasks but on “the heart [and] the spirit” (Romans 2:29). To help your class understand Paul’s counsel, you could write the text from Romans 2:28–29 on the board. Replace the word Jew with Latter-day Saint and the word circumcision with the covenant. What does this change add to our understanding of Paul’s teachings? You could also discuss examples of things we do as Church members that are more meaningful and powerful when done “of the heart, in the spirit” (Romans 2:29). For example, see Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk about home teaching, “Emissaries to the Church” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 61–67), or Elder Neil L. Andersen’s talk about missionary work, “A Witness of God” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 35–38).
There may be people in your class who need help understanding Paul’s teachings in these chapters about faith, works, and grace (see also this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families and the Joseph Smith Translation for these chapters in the footnotes and the Bible appendix). How can you help them learn from each other? Consider presenting the following two scenarios to help class members understand that we should not see our good works as a way to prove our worthiness, nor should we see Christ’s grace as a reason to excuse our mistakes and sins. Invite class members to search for truths in Romans 3:20–31; 5:1–2; 6:1–2, 21–23 that could help Gloria and Justin. What other doctrinal truths in “Additional Resources” would help them understand the importance of both performing righteous works and trusting in the grace of Christ? You could ask class members to share what they found or role-play a conversation.
You have a friend named Gloria who feels overwhelmed in her efforts to be a faithful disciple. She works hard to do everything she feels she should do, but she often worries that her efforts fall short. “Am I good enough?” she wonders. “Will the Lord accept me?”
You have a friend named Justin who doesn’t worry too much about making righteous choices. He believes in Jesus Christ, he attends his church meetings, and he is a loving father and a good neighbor. However, he has chosen not to live the standards that would qualify him for a temple recommend. When family and friends try to encourage him to prepare for the temple, he responds, “I’m a good person. I have faith in Christ. He already paid the price for my sins, and I don’t think He’s going to keep me out of the celestial kingdom over such minor issues.”
While we should strive to follow the commandments, obedience to God’s laws alone will not save us (see Romans 3:27–31). Even with our best efforts, we “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). For that reason, we all need Jesus Christ, whose grace allows us to be forgiven of our sins and enables us to continue doing good works. As Paul taught, “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20).
President David O. McKay shared an analogy about a boy who began to drown while swimming with his friends: “Fortunately, one with presence of mind and quick action, jerked a long stick from a willow fence and held one end of it toward the drowning lad [who] grasped it, held on tightly and was saved.
“All the boys declared that the venturesome lad owed his life to the boy who furnished the means of rescue.
“This is undoubtedly the fact; and yet in spite of the means furnished him, if the lad had not taken advantage of it, if he had not put forth all the personal effort at his command, he would have drowned, notwithstanding the heroic act of his comrade” (David O. McKay, “The Gospel of Work,” Instructor, Jan. 1955, 1).
Addressing the question of whether we are saved by faith or works, Christian author C. S. Lewis wrote: “It [seems] to me like asking which blade in a pair of scissors is most necessary” (Mere Christianity, 148).
J. Devn Cornish, “Am I Good Enough? Will I Make It?” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 32–34
“Salvation cannot be bought with the currency of obedience; it is purchased by the blood of the Son of God [see Acts 20:28]. …
“Grace is a gift of God, and our desire to be obedient to each of God’s commandments is the reaching out of our mortal hand to receive this sacred gift from our Heavenly Father” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Gift of Grace,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 109–10).
D. Todd Christofferson, “Abide in My Love,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 48–51
“If grace is a gift of God, why then is obedience to God’s commandments so important? Why bother with God’s commandments—or repentance, for that matter? …
“Our obedience to God’s commandments comes as a natural outgrowth of our endless love and gratitude for the goodness of God. This form of genuine love and gratitude will miraculously merge our works with God’s grace” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Gift of Grace,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 109).
“In addition to needing grace for your ultimate salvation, you need this enabling power every day of your life. As you draw near to your Heavenly Father in diligence, humility, and meekness, He will uplift and strengthen you through His grace (see Proverbs 3:34; 1 Peter 5:5; D&C 88:78; 106:7–8). Reliance upon His grace enables you to progress and grow in righteousness” (True to the Faith, 78).