Confessing Jesus is Lord

Life Group Discussion Guide for Romans 9:30 – 10:13

The History of Israel

Romans 9-10 gives us a history of the nation of Israel’s covenant with God. They were chosen from amongst all of the peoples of the earth to be the vessel to bring God’s salvation. The story of the people of Israel should give us a warning for our own relationship with God.

We could spend all of our energy asking “Why Israel and not the Franks, the Chinese, or the Americans?” God is under no obligation to give us an answer. He has been absolutely just and absolutely gracious with the people from every race, region, language, and background.

Paul grieved over the truth that sharing DNA, culture, and religion with Jesus did not guarantee obedience to Jesus. We come to find out that having a special relationship with God also carries with it a special responsibility toward God. Those who were closest to Jesus had a harder time receiving him as Lord than those who were born into families who knew nothing about the Law of God.

Lordship Salvation?

Religious people do not reject God because they are ignorant of him, they are ignorant of God because they reject him. This is a pithy way of summing up the discourse of Romans chapters 1-3. Religious people and non-religious must both come to believe and confess Jesus as Lord and savior.

“Righteousness has to do with what we become, and salvation has to do with what we escape.” – John MacArthur 1

People get off track when they think that righteousness and salvation are interchangeable. They also miss the mark when they fail to see that righteousness always follows salvation.

John MacArthur has pastored the same church in Los Angeles for 50 years. Earlier this year he was recounting the four biggest theological controversies in which he has been involved over those fifty years. It’s difficult to imagine today, but in the 1980s there was a tremendous dispute in the United States over whether a person had to make Jesus Lord over his life in order to be saved. This was known as “Lordship salvation.”

People who rejected “Lordship salvation” mistakenly believed that this amounted to salvation by works. 1 Corinthians 12:3 tells us that it is only by the work of the Holy Spirit that a person can say “Jesus is Lord.” You will NEVER find a person who is destined for salvation who does not honestly seek to place Jesus on the throne of her life.


  • How does the Gospel turn religion upside-down (Rom. 9:30-33)?
  • Have you ever seen zeal for God misplaced, either by yourself or by someone around you (Romans 10:1-3)?
  • What are some ways that people over-complicate religion (Romans 10:6-7)?
  • How is it possible to miss Jesus when he is right under your nose (Romans 10:8)?
  • How would you use Romans 10:9-10 to tell somebody the plan of salvation?
  • Does confessing Jesus is Lord lead to a change in a person’s life?
  • Why are people comfortable speaking about faith as a concept, but uncomfortable speaking about faith as obedience to Jesus?
  • Why might it be tempting to believe you can be saved without confessing Jesus as Lord?

Related Message: Why Religion Can’t Make Sense of God


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Jonathan Pugh

Associate Pastor: Life Groups & Church Partnership
Jonathan Pugh

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  1. John MacArther, Romans 9-16, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Chicago: Moody, 1994, 72

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