Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson:
1. The words justice and judgment are similar but can convey differing meanings. How would you contrast a just person with a judgmental person?
2. Have you ever told a child, “Do as I say, not as I do”? What’s wrong with this type of thinking?
Read Romans 2:1-6.
1. Skim through these verses, underlining all second person pronouns (you, yourself). Turn back to Romans 1:21-32 and underline all third person plural pronouns (they, them, their). Who do you think the “they” and the “you” are?
2. Think of a time when someone you know used a different standard to judge a friend or family member than they used to judge someone outside of their group. Why is it a temptation to judge by association—whether someone is part of our group or not? According to verse 2, what should judgment be based on? What difference does that make?
Read Romans 2:7-10
3. Notice the relationship of Romans 1 and Romans 2. Compare Romans 1:16 to Romans 2:9, 10. From these chapters, what would you conclude was a major source of division in the Roman church?
4. Paul stopped talking about they and you and began talking about those who do good and those who do evil. List the different outcomes for those two groups. How would this way of looking at people (those who do good and those who do evil) have challenged the people in Paul’s day who were still comparing Jews to Gentiles?
Read Romans 2:11, 12.
5. In the early days of the church, Peter, a Jew, was led to allow Gentiles into the church. Compare his conclusions in Acts 10:34, 35 with Paul’s conclusions in Romans 2:11, 12.
6. It seems that some Jewish Christians in the Roman church bragged about being superior to Gentile Christians because they grew up studying the law of Moses (Romans 2:18). Construct an answer to that attitude using the ideas in verse 12.
7. The Jew/Gentle divide is usually not an issue in most churches today. What divisions do exist among Christians though? How can we work to bring unity based on Romans 12:1-12?