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Aug 30, 2020

People’s Barriers to Faith and How to Care About Them

Passage: Romans 1:18-25

Speaker: Steven Cooper

Series: Share: Practical Steps for Living on Mission

Category: Sermon

Message Summary:

Romans 1 teaches us that we all suppress the truth. We Christians do this, and so do non-Christians. Our love for our neighbors helps them to stop suppressing the truth. We do this by listening, understanding, and caring for them. In these ways, we image God’s kindness that leads people to repentance (Romans 2:4). Non-Christians throw up three kinds of barriers, and each requires something different from us in response:

  • Emotional barriers require our gracious presence to engender curiosity.
  • Intellectual barriers require our gentle sharing of information, to provide understanding.
  • Volitional barriers require our prayers and persuasion, so that a person would trust Jesus for their salvation.

When we provide these things for our non-Christian neighbors, we help them move from being Cynics to Curious to Understanding and to finally to Trusting in Jesus for their salvation.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Help each other do the homework assignments for the last 2 weeks.

    Week 1—write out your testimony and thank someone from your spiritual journey.

    Week 2—listen to someone else’s spiritual journey (1 Christian and 1 non-Christian) and share your testimony with someone else (with 1 Christian and 1 non-Christian).

  2. According to this passage, how does God express His wrath in the present? How is this different than how you normally think about God's wrath?
  3. Share an example of an emotional barrier to Jesus you have witnessed. How could your presence help break down that barrier?
  4. Share an example of an intellectual barrier to Jesus you have witnessed. How could your gentle sharing help break down that barrier?
  5. Share an example of a volitional barrier to Jesus you have witnessed. How do your prayers and persuasion break down that barrier?
  6. Share prayer requests for the non-Christians in your life.

Passage (Romans 1:18-25):
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.