It's Thursday, February 1, 2018.  These verses from the book of Romans form the very foundation of the Gospel (the Good News) of Jesus Christ.  Paul has made clear up to this point that ALL of humanity, both Jew and Gentile, is unrighteous by nature or at its very core.  Because of this, we are incapable of living righteously.  If perfect righteousness is needed to be in right relationship with God, who then can be saved?  Read and learn about the revelation Paul received from God concerning “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe”.  - Chris Adomanis

CONNECT
(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_If you conducted a survey in your neighborhood or at your workplace, how would people answer the question “How does a person get into Heaven”?

PRAY
Heavenly Father, how easily we forget “from whence we came”.  If it wasn’t for your gracious gift of faith, we would be living futile lives, without purpose; without hope.  May the mercy you showed us spur us to share your amazing redemptive plan to all we come into contact with on a daily basis.  Amen.

DISCOVER [Romans 3:21-26]
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's
righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)
_The phrase “the righteousness of God” has been used several times in the first three chapters of Romans.  How would you define it?
_What does it mean to “believe” in verse 22?
_”Justification” and “redemption” are legal terms.  How would you define their use in verse 24?  
_The Greek word for “propitiation” is the same word used in the Old Testament for the Mercy Seat on top of the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:17-22).  What does that mean to you?

+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and how does the gospel compel me to respond with a simple step of action/obedience?  (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
_ Are there individuals or people groups you condemn or judge because of their sin?  Repent and ask the Lord to soften your heart, remembering “it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith”.

+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them, how can we help?
_Who in your life TODAY is the Lord prompting you to share the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
_Do you have someone in your life TODAY that challenges you (and you challenge back) to be an effective witness for Christ?