What does it mean to be “under sin”? (3:9) Why do you think that Paul chose to use that specific language?
What are some things that this passage teaches about the doctrine of sin? What does it teach about the power of sin? What does it teach about the effects of sin on us, and in our lives?
A cursory glance a the world shows plenty of people (religious and non-religious) who are living lives that are (relatively) good, and moral, and upright. How are we to reconcile that reality with what we read in this passage?
What does Paul (quoting Psalm 14:1-3) mean when he says that “no one understands”? (3:11) How does sin affect our mind? How does it affect our ability to understand and think about spiritual things?
What does Paul (quoting Psalm 14:1-3) mean when he says that “no one seeks for God”? (3:11) How does sin affect our will, and our desires?
We are accustomed to speaking of unbelievers as “seekers.” In what sense is this true? How do we reconcile that reality (that many people appear to be searching for God) with Paul’s words (that no one seeks for God) here in 3:11?
What does Paul mean when he says that we have all together “become worthless”? (3:12) How do we reconcile that reality with the doctrine that all people are made in God’s image, and therefore have inherent dignity and worth? (Genesis 1:27-31, Genesis 2:7)
What does 3:13-14 (quoted from Psalm 5:9, Psalm 140:3, Psalm 10:7) teach about the importance of (and the potential danger of) our words? Why is it important for us, as Christians, to be careful with what we say, and to guard our words diligently? What are some ways that we can sin with our words?
3:18 teaches that sin keeps us from fearing God as we should. What does it mean to fear God? Why might some people have concerns or reservations about that kind of language? How can we cultivate a fear of God in our lives that it healthy and good?
What does Paul mean when he says that “every mouth will be stopped”? (3:19) Why is it important that we be silent before God when he renders his verdict of judgment against us? What kind of heart posture does that imply?
According to 3:20, what is the purpose of God’s law? Why did God give the law? Why is it wrong to seek to be justified in God’s sight through obedience to the law? How should we use the law of God in our lives instead?