Romans: Deeds


Scripture verse: “(He) will render to each one according to his deeds.”


  1. Students should memorize the verse and understand its meaning.
  2. Students should understand the concept of heaven and hell.


Background on the book:

The letter to the Romans was written by the Apostle Paul around AD 55-57 while he was in Corinth on his 3rd missionary journey.  Since there was no public post office in the Roman Empire, Paul used the upcoming visit of a Christian in Corinth, Phoebe, to Rome by ship to send his letter. He addressed his letter to all believers, both Jews and Gentiles, living in Rome.  Paul had not yet visited Rome, but he wanted to share a detailed explanation of the Gospel message.  He hoped to visit Rome after he went to Jerusalem; in fact, he did visit Rome but not in the way he had planned. (How?) Find Rome, Corinth, and trace Paul’s 3rd missionary journey on a map.


Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


  1. Review the background of the book of Romans, our first epistle.


  1. Read the verse out loud, in the context of vs. 2-16.  Read also Romans 1:18-21, James 1:21-27, Romans 3:9-19. Can you find examples in the Old Testament of God’s judgment? (Adam and Eve, Noah, Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s wife, Passover, David/Absalom, Belshazzar…)


  1. Discuss the concept of God’s judgment: What do you say to the person who asks, “If God is loving, how could He send people to hell?” Is this even the right question or should we ask instead, “Why would anyone reject God’s love?” Does God really want anyone to go to hell? (John 5:24, II Peter 3:9) What about predestination? Do we really have any free will? What about the people who have never heard of Jesus? How does Paul argue that all men are without excuse? (No one can look at nature without knowing there is a God.) How does God judge? Can we fool God? Is it enough to look good on the outside? Is it enough to feel good about God in one’s heart, no matter how one lives? Karl Marx said that religion is the opiate of the people and that dwelling on heaven and a reward in the afterlife keeps us from seeking justice on earth? Comment. If all have sinned, how then can we escape God’s judgment? (blood of Jesus) What was the purpose of sacrifice in the Old Covenant Temple? Who is the Lamb of God?


  1. Discuss the concept of heaven and hell: Is there any reason to believe in hell? What about reincarnation; do we get a second chance, or third…? What is heaven like? Boring? What is hell like? What do you think about when you think of the afterlife? Should we think more about the here and now or about the afterlife? Will the afterlife be more or less real than our earthly lives? (I Corinthians 13:12) Will we scare people into heaven by talking about hell? For references, read Matthew 25:46, Luke 16:24-26, I Cor. 1:18, Phil 1:23-24, and II Peter 2:4-9.
  2. Close with prayer.