BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 16, Day 3: Matthew 15:10-20

Summary of passage:  Jesus told the crowd  it is what comes out of their mouth that makes them unclean not what goes in, referring to the tradition of washing your hands before eating that the Pharisees gasp at in the previous 9 verses.  The disciples are agasp that Jesus would speak to the Pharisees so and Jesus tells them  that they are blind guides and if they are followed, all will fall.

Peter has no idea what Jesus just said and Jesus basically calls him stupid.  He says that food is just food.  But words come from the heart and reveal who you are.  For evil dwells in the heart which is such things as evil thoughts, murder, theft, adultery, sexual immorality, etc.  Eating with unwashed hands had nothing to do with the heart.

Questions:

6)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It is what comes out of your mouth that makes you unclean not what goes in for what comes out of your mouth evinces the heart.  It matters what comes out of my mouth for it truly reveals the heart.  It’s an area I struggle with and it’s one of my goals for this year to be more encouraging.

[If you read Mark 7:20-23 as well, you'll get the whole explanation.]

7a)  That the Pharisees were offended by his retort and everyone knew not to offend the powerful Pharisees in that time.

b)  That every plant not rooted in Him would be pulled up by the roots and that they (the Pharisees) would fall into the pit (hell).  Basically, they were going to Hell.

c)  That those who followed the Pharisees would fall into the pit as well (go to Hell).

d)  Apparently, he was “dull” according to Jesus.

8a)  Evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Evil thoughts (we’ve all had them), sexual immorality, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly (who isn’t foolish at some point in their lives–remember the teen years?).  Hell, I’m still foolish at times.

I’ve been guilty of most human sins (thank God not murder though!).  I’m still guilty of these at various times in my human life.  I try to confess them (which is hard for me–pride, ya know) but I do and I do receive His forgiveness/cleansing.  And I feel I commit less and less sin as I continue to grow and walk with Him.  And this brings me great comfort.

Curious, I looked up the definition of lewdness, wondering if I had been guilty of it (yep, I have been).  It’s “evil, wicked; sexually unchaste or licentious; obscene, salacious” (looked up this one too.  It’s:  “arousing or appealing to sexual desire or imagination; lascivious, lustful”).

Just to clarify since we’re getting “personal” here:  I was date-raped in college while still a virgin. After that, I entered a severe depression where I did have multiple sex partners (less than 10 I’m talking here) in search of something–probably God or a void that was ripped from me.  It was a time in my life where I was lost, confused, bitter, and vengeful.

After I met my husband, I have been sexually pure since then (thanks to my husband and God).  If you’ve been following my blog long enough, you’d know this about me, but I haven’t mentioned it in quite a while so I thought I’d let you all know here :)

Conclusions:  I could almost see the disciples gasping when Jesus chastised the Pharisees as evinced by their words in verse 12.

I was cheering Jesus here.  He literally lays it out for the disciples and they are still “duh” and Jesus calls them on it.

Surprisingly, I liked the last question.  Not sure why especially since it brought up times in my life I’d rather not remember.  I think because it points out how flawed we truly are and how much we do need a Savior.  Without Jesus, we are all hopeless and doomed for we can never overcome our sinful nature.  But Jesus gives us hope.  And I personally cannot imagine my life without him.

And we carry all these sins in our heart and they come out our mouth.  Again, it pointed out my deep need for Jesus and God’s grace in my very flawed life.

End Notes:  This passage makes it clear that all foods are kosher, which Jesus anticipated his blood would do (Acts 10:15 clarifies this), and nullifies all the food laws from the Old Testament and from the laws the priests made as well.

If it is not rooted in God, it will be uprooted.  Period.

One scholar said the greatest plague God can send on mankind is someone who leads them astray.  On the other hand, it is our responsibility as well to not be led astray by knowing God and His laws.

We are defiled from the inside out–not the other way around.  Spurgeon said “The heart is the cage from whence these unclean birds fly forth.”

This reminds me of the song From the Inside Out by Hillsong United.  The lyrics say:

“My heart and my soul, I give you control,

Consume me from the inside out, Lord.”

Later:

“And the cry of my heart

Is to bring You praise

From the inside out

Lord, my soul cries out”

I can’t say it any better.

About these ads

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 16, Day 3: Genesis 18:16-33

Summary of passage:  After visiting Abraham at his tent and partaking of food and water, the men get up to leave.  Abraham walked with them aways.  The Lord wonders if He should hide from Abraham what He is about to do–namely destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.  For Abraham will become a great and powerful nation and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.  For He has chosen Abraham to keep the way of the Lord.

The Lord said the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that He himself will verify it.

So the men (other two presumably angels) went towards Sodom while the Lord remained next to Abraham.

Abraham challenges God repeatedly not to wipe away the righteous with the unrighteous, reminding God that He should only judge the wicked and not lump the righteous in with the same judgment as the wicked.  [Abraham's got some guts here.]

The Lord says He will spare the city if He can find 50 righteous people.  But the Lord cannot find any.

Abraham does say he is nothing but dust and ashes and repeats how he is unworthy to request such a thing.  But Abraham does anyways.

The Lord leaves and Abraham returns home.

Questions:

7)  Because Abraham was God’s chosen one (Isaiah and Genesis say).  We (humans and Abraham) are God’s friends (Isaiah and John) and are no longer servants.  And friends tell each other everything; they have no secrets.  God chose man.  James tells us “he (Abraham) was called God’s friend.”

Think about this:  you are so close to God that you are walking next to Him as Abraham is doing.  You are God’s friend and confidant.  It would be natural for God to tell you His plans.  It’s why God created man in the first place.  It’s how God treated Adam in the Garden.

God told Abraham about Sodom because it is what friends would do–share and bond.

8 )  Mark says to consider carefully what you hear.  John says the Holy Spirit within will guide us.  John 8:47:  “He who belongs to God hears what God says.  The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”  John 10:27  “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

Consensus seems to be that to hear God we must be God’s.  We must have the Holy Spirit within.  If you are not a believer, you will not hear God.

9)  God punishes the wicked and not the righteous.  He provides a way out for the righteous.  God listens to the outcries against the accused and then verifies before He judges.  God listens to our prayers for the wicked and offers up repentance.  God is just; punishment will come to those who do evil.

10a)  Lot and his family are spared.

b)  To show Abraham that He listens to prayers, that He is fair, and that He answers prayers.

c)  No.

d)  “The Spirit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” when we do not know what to pray for.  For God knows our hearts and our minds and the Spirit intercedes or guides us in accordance with God’s will.

e)  Personal Question.  My answer:  If we do not ask, we do not receive.  Abraham asked and asked and asked.  He did not give up.  For in his heart Abraham loved those people. Same for us.  We must ask and ask and ask.  For God will answer. (Matthew 7:7-8).

John 15:16:  “I chose you..and the Father will give you whatever you ask in my (Jesus’s) name.”

Abraham reminded God of who He was.  This is powerful in prayer.  And Abraham was specific.  We must be as well.  General prayers won’t get the job done.  Abraham was persistent; he did not give up.  He kept negotiating with God.  This revealed Abraham’s heart and how he loved those people (and their evil-hearts) so much he begged for their lives.

This is what God wants–to see our heart when we pray.  And if our hearts and motives are in sync, then we shall receive.

Conclusions:  I love thinking about me as God’s friend.  We think of God as a Father and a judge.  But He is also our best friend, the one we can confide anything to, the one who only wants the best for us and will do anything to help us.

God chose us to be His friends and to make known to us things–if we obey God and do what He commands (John 15:14).

So I will ask for more and pray more and talk to God more–as a friend and not just as “God–the Almighty and Ruler of the World.”  For that is what He desires.

I liked the discussion on hearing God.  Many people think they should hear God and when they don’t they get frustrated and turn from Him.  It’s not that He’s not speaking; it’s that we are not listening (if we are believers).  God won’t speak to you if you don’t know Him.

Asking is key.  To receive we must ask.  Same with hearing God.  Not hearing Him?  Ask Him to hear Him.  What do you have to lose?

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 16, Day 3: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 with Revelation 13:6-13

Summary of passages:  2 Thessalonians 2:1-12:  Paul in His Second Letter to the Thessalonians says the day of our Lord will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed.  He will oppose and exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming to be God.

The secret power of lawlessness is already at work but he is being held back and will be continued to be held back until he is removed.  The lawless one will be revealed and Jesus will then overthrow him.  We will see the coming of the lawless one by witnessing the counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders and other deceiving evils.  The unbelievers refuse to love the truth so God will send them a delusion so they will be condemned.

Revelations 13:6-13:  The beast opened his mouth to blaspheme God and was given power to conquer the saints in war.  He was given authority over all people.  All unbelievers will worship the beast whose name is not written in the book of life.

Another beast emerged with 2 horns like a lamb but spoke like a dragon.  He was the first beast’s helper who made everyone worship the first beast.  He performed miraculous signs including fire coming down from heaven.

Questions:

6)  Not until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.

7)  He will oppose and exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

8a)  Counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders and in every other sort of deceiving evil in accordance with the work of Satan but sent by God as punishment for their unbelief.  God sends this lie (the lie He is not God) as punishment for their unbelief but again it is man’s free will to choose to believe it or not.  Those who choose not to believe in God will be judged for all of eternity.

b)  The same way it has happened for all of eternity.  Because of people’s refusal to open their eyes and see and accept God’s truth He allows them to be deluded by the Devil and things of this world and not His world.  For instance, they worship and serve created things instead of the Creator.   Although they know they will have death if they do these things, they continue to do so and approve of others who do so as well.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Know God’s truths and engrave them into your heart with steel.  Pray and pray some more. Read and study God’s words.  Use it as a shield against the Enemy.  Accept God’s truth, what Jesus did for us on the cross, and reject the world’s acts as much as possible.  Make God your center and the delusion will be repelled like a dog is to ultrasonic sounds.

Conclusions:  Great warning to us how the Devil is everywhere and will try to make us fall at every turn.  We must be vigilant in our walk with God and not stray off His path for it is all too easy.  We must be aware that the lawlessness one will come and be prepared for it by becoming more and more like Jesus every day of our lives.

The man of lawlessness is also referred to as the Antichrist and many scholars believe it will be a human man.

The beast of the Revelations passage also refers to the man of lawlessness.  They are one in the same just called different names.  The beast, the man of lawlessness, and the Antichrist are all the same person who will come instead of Jesus to lure people into wickedness.  We (humans) are unsure what this person/thing will look like so there are many descriptions of him throughout the Bible.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 16, Day 3 Isaiah 40:3-5

Summary of passage:  Isaiah as the Lord’s messenger calls the people to prepare the way for the Lord by raising up the valleys, leveling mountains, smoothing out the rough ground so the road is straight so the glory of the Lord can be revealed and all mankind can see it.

Questions:

5) To prepare the way for the Lord and remove every obstacle in His path (raise up the valleys, level mountains, smooth out rough roads so they are straight) so the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all mankind will see it.  Prepare our hearts as well for Him.

6) Both John the Baptist and John were baptizing people in these passages, the ultimate sign of accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior.  So, they were preparing the people (their hearts, minds, and souls) for Jesus’ coming.  John the Baptist wore clothes made from camel hair and ate locusts.  We all must prepare for God in mind, body, and soul.

7a) Exodus 24:17  a consuming fire on top of the mountain

Luke 2:9  an angel

Matthew 17:1-8  Jesus was transfigured.  His face shone like the Sun and his clothes were white

Hebrews 1:3  The Son is the radiance of God’s glory

b)  2 Corinthians 3:7-18  Verse 18 “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

If we accept Jesus, we are the glory of the Lord.  We see God’s glory all around us as we live out His words.

Conclusions:  I love how BSF takes a topic (here, the Glory of God) and makes us really think about it where as otherwise it just passes through our minds like any other words spoken.

I looked up glory in the dictionary and got a myriad of responses:  giving someone glory (praise, honor, or worship); a distinguished quality or asset; great beauty, magnificence; the splendor and beatific happiness of heaven.

As we’ve learned, no mortal can look fully on God because of his glory.  Moses only saw his back.  Isaiah saw the Lord on His throne with seraphs flying around Him, praising Him.  God hovered in clouds above the people.

Then, God sent His son, Jesus, who if you think about it was the glory of God incarnate, walking amongst us and throngs of people wanted a touch of just his clothing.  Then Jesus was transfigured by God with divine radiance.

I quoted 2 Corinthians 3 where we all reflect God’s glory since we are part of God’s creations.  People believe you can see God’s glory in Nature all around us.  The wonderment of how it all works around us and we have no control of it.  God’s glory in the Heavens, the stars, the moon, the Sun.  Everywhere you look really.  Since God created it all (for his pleasure and perhaps for his glory) you can say the glory of God is all around us.

I like to believe we all carry a bit of God in us–in our very souls–the part that makes us good instead of falling into our inherent tendencies of evil.  So, we are God’s glory.  He takes pleasure in us in that sense.

Nature too is an absolute miracle and when you’re watching a sunrise over the Pacific Ocean or examining the perfect uniqueness of a snowflake, who can’t help but think it’s all God’s glory?

I’d love to hear your opinions on the glory of God, where He dwells, and how it can be seen.