Lesson 7

Romans 9–16; Acts 21–26; Colossians


The following assignments include various learning activities, such as questions, lists, essays, charts, comparisons, contrasts, and surveys. To receive credit for this lesson, you must complete the number of assignments indicated below and submit them to your institute instructor or administrator. You may submit your work either electronically or on paper, handwritten or typed.

Each lesson should take approximately 60–90 minutes to complete, the same amount of time you would typically spend in a weekly institute class. Since reading the scripture block listed in the lesson heading is expected of all institute students prior to class, the estimated time for each assignment does not include the time you need to spend reading the scripture block.

Complete assignments 3, 4, and one of the remaining assignments:

1.  Romans 9–11. Righteousness and Faith

Read Romans 2:13–15, 28–29; 9:6–8, 21–25. Explain in writing how Paul used these verses to teach that it is not enough to be born into the Church or into the seed of Abraham to receive exaltation. How does 2 Nephi 30:2; Alma 5:14, 19, 26 help you understand Paul’s teachings? How do we become children of the promise?

Read Romans 9:9–13 and the institute student manual commentary for Romans 9:11, “How Does the Law of Election Operate?” (p. 332); commentary for Romans 9:13, “Did the Lord Hate Esau?” (pp. 332–33). Esau was born through the righteous lineage of Abraham and Isaac. Write a paragraph describing how Paul used the example of Jacob and Esau to teach the doctrine of election or foreordination.

Read Romans 10:1 and describe what Paul’s “heart’s desire” and “prayer to God for Israel” was. How did Paul’s desire compare to Nephi’s intent in 1 Nephi 6:4 or Enos’s stated desire in Enos 1:9?

Read Romans 10:9–13 and the student manual commentary for Romans 10:9–10, “Can One Achieve Salvation Simply by Confessing with the Mouth?” (p. 333). Then describe in writing what Paul taught was necessary in addition to confessing with our mouths.

Read Romans 10:17 and write a statement about where faith comes from. Describe a time in your life when hearing or reading the “word” strengthened your faith.

Paul taught that the natural branches of the olive tree represent the Jews and the wild branches represent the Gentiles. Read Romans 11:2, 5–24 and the student manual commentary for Romans 11:17–24, “The Grafting in of the Wild Olive Branches” (p. 334). Then answer the following questions:

  • How does Jacob 5:16–18 help in understanding why it was necessary to graft wild branches into the olive tree?
  • What do these verses along with Jacob 5:47; 6:4 teach you about the Lord and His dealings with His children?

2.  Romans 12–16. Live as Saints Should Live

Read Romans 13:11 and look for what is “nearer.” Read Ezekiel 3:20; Doctrine and Covenants 14:7 and explain in writing what we must continue doing to work out our salvation.

In Romans 12–13 Paul gave much counsel that leads to salvation. Read each of the following verses and list what Paul taught would help lead to salvation:

Read Romans 14:1–13; 15:1–3. Then write answers to the following questions:

  • What cautions did Paul give about judging?
  • People may have different opinions and practices, but what is most important to remember? What additional insight comes from reading Doctrine and Covenants 38:25–27?

Read Romans 15:25–26, 31; 16:2, 15. Write the term Paul frequently used to refer to members of the Church in his day.

3.  Acts 21–28. Paul’s Example of Courage and Conviction

After three successful missionary journeys that took him into many lands, Paul returned to Jerusalem even though he knew it was dangerous to do so. Read Acts 21:10–14, 22–25, and answer the following questions in writing:

  • Who was Agabus? (see also Acts 11:28).
  • What did Agabus prophesy concerning Paul?
  • How did Paul respond?
  • What consequences did Paul know would come if he followed the Spirit’s direction to go to Jerusalem?
  • How did Paul’s friends react to his commitment?
  • How did this demonstrate Paul’s commitment to Christ?

Study Acts 21:26–26:32 and write answers to the following questions:

  • What did Paul do that led to his arrest?
  • What did the Lord say when He appeared to Paul following Paul’s examination by the Sanhedrin? How has the Lord helped you “be of good cheer” during difficult times?
  • What did Paul say that caused Felix to tremble?
  • Why didn’t Felix let Paul go?
  • What happened when Paul “appealed unto Caesar”?
  • Review Acts 26 and compare the differences in the reactions of Festus (a Roman) and Agrippa (a Jew) to Paul’s testimony. Which of them said, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian”? What prevents people today from fully accepting the truth when they hear it?
  • In which situation that you read about do you think Paul demonstrated the greatest courage? Why did you choose this example?
  • Who do you know who has the courage to stand up for what he or she believes even in the face of opposition? Read the student manual Points to Ponder section “You Can Prepare to Act with the Same Courage That Paul Exhibited in Presenting the Message of Jesus Christ” (pp. 346–47). Write a paragraph explaining what you could do to develop that kind of courage.

Acts 27–28 recounts how Paul took many opportunities to teach and bless others because of his faith and courage. After reading these chapters, write your answers to the following questions:

  • What happened when the master of the ship rejected Paul’s counsel?
  • What motivated the centurion to disregard Paul’s counsel?
  • Why do some people occasionally disregard our Church leaders’ counsel? What have you experienced that has helped you know of the importance of following Church leaders’ counsel?
  • How does 2 Nephi 9:20; Amos 3:7 help explain how Paul could know that all of the passengers would arrive on land safely even though the ship would be destroyed in the storm? How was this prophecy fulfilled? How did Paul use his priesthood power while on the island of Melita? What does this incident suggest about the purpose of priesthood power?

Read Acts 28:16–31 and the student manual commentary for Acts 28:16–31, “What Do We Know Concerning Paul’s Activities While He Was Imprisoned in Rome?” (p. 343). Describe in writing what we know about Paul’s imprisonment in Rome. How did he turn this trial to his advantage? What can we learn from Paul about being a faithful witness of Jesus Christ?

4.  Colossians 1–4. Becoming New Creatures in Christ

Make a list of names, titles, and phrases used by Paul in Colossians 1:13–2:7 to describe the Savior. What did Paul teach that Jesus Christ has done for us? What do these verses teach about the responsibilities we have to receive the blessings of the Lord?

Write Helaman 5:12 next to Colossians 2:7 in the margin of your scriptures. After reading these two scriptures, write a paragraph explaining what it means to be “rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith.”

Read Colossians 2:8, 18 and the student manual commentary for Colossians 2:18–19, “What Does Paul Mean by the Worshiping of Angels?” (p. 345). List at least four means of deception Paul warned the Saints about in Colosse. What does 2 Nephi 9:28–29 add to what Paul warned?

Read Colossians 3 and make a list of what we should “put on” and “put off” or “mortify.” Make a chart like the following one and place your findings in the corresponding column:

Read Colossians 3:15–21 and identify in writing several ideas that would help families live in greater harmony. Then answer the following questions in writing:

  • What specific counsel did Paul give to children, parents, husbands, and wives?
  • What did Paul teach about the importance of hymns?