BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 9, Day 3: Romans 5:14-19

Summary of passage:  Death reigned since Adam’s sin but so has life through Christ since Jesus’s death!  Adam’s sin condemned man but Jesus’s gift of sacrificial life justifies us!  Disobedience made us sinners; obedience makes us righteous.

Questions:

5)  Adam and Jesus are the same because in one act they brought universal consequences.  Adam brought sin and death when he ate the apple and Jesus brought eternal salvation through his death.  Condemnation was brought versus justification.  Adam disobeyed which led to sin for all; Jesus obeyed which led to justification for all.  God’s gift of eternal life (brought through Jesus) has no comparison to the life of sin brought through Adam.  The good trumps the bad a gazillion to one!

6)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Eternal life, justification, righteousness before God.  Paul keeps repeating this using different words and variations so us stupid humans will get it!  Like above, how can words describe God’s gift of salvation?  Eternal gratitude and desire for Him and to obey and do His will in my life.

7)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Disobedience and consequently sin unites people to Adam.  Obedience and consequently salvation unites people to Christ.  Christ because in my heart I know He is Lord and Savior to which I have confessed and believe and trust and obey.

End Notes:  If interested in verse 14 commentary, see YESTERDAY’S lesson.  It’s so interlinked with verses 12 & 13 that I didn’t want to try to separate the explanation out.

Paul is continuing his contrast of Adam and Jesus.  What it boils down to is this:  Adam bit apple.  Death consequence to all men.  Jesus died a sinless death AND rose from the dead.  Eternal life consequence to all men WHO believe.

We can say Jesus and Adam are both kings, each instituting a reign.  Adam has death reigning.  Jesus has life reigning.

Death is a 100% guarantee (unless Jesus comes again of course and you are still alive).  Paul is saying Jesus’s reign of life is even more than 100% guarantee.  God’s grace is infinitely greater for good than is Adam’s sin for evil.

Verse 18 Paul summarizes.  These verses has both Adam and Jesus known as the two men.  Between them they represent all of humanity and you are either identified with Adam or Jesus.  We are all born under Adam.  We are born again when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

This idea of Adam and Jesus as two representatives of the human race is sometimes called Federal Theology, or Adam and Jesus are sometimes referred to as Federal Heads. This is because under the federal system of government, representatives are chosen and the representative speaks for the people who chose him. Adam speaks for those he represents, and Jesus speaks for His people.

One may object: “But I never chose to have Adam represent me.” Yes, you did–with the very first sin you committed. Hence, Jesus stands apart.

So, once you are old enough, you choose: Adam who brings judgment and condemnation or Jesus who brings grace and justification and thus life.

The important thing to note is not all are given free life.  The gift of life is presented. However, you must choose to receive it (verse 17).  The idea that all men are saved by the work of Jesus whether they know it or not is called universalism.  Paul never propounds this belief.  He clearly states not all will be saved in all his writings.  NIV Bibles take out the word “free” to avoid this confusion.

Verse 19 sums up this entire section:  Since we were made sinners by one man, we can be made righteous by one man!  Praise God!  This is God’s fairness and justice in play.  Paul is about to discuss our change in character (sanctification) in chapters 6-8.

To be clear:  none of us can stand by ourselves.  Remember, we are filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) in God’s eyes without Jesus.  To choose to do so is death.  I choose life!

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BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 9, Day 2: Romans 5:12-14

Summary of passage:  Sin entered the world through Adam and death as a consequence.  Death and sin has been in the world ever since.

Questions:

3)  Adam.  In Genesis (not in this passage in Romans), God warns Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil because he will die if he does.  God curses man because of this sin, initiating death to all of mankind and enmity (the devil) into the world.  Pain in childbirth came and man was cursed to work for his food.  Man was banished from the Garden of Eden forever and under sin forever.

4)  That people are born good.  We are all born sinners.  I believe this because we are told so in the Bible multiple times (like verse 12) and because of man’s nature–selfish, prideful, greedy, lustful, etc.  After Original sin of Adam, all were born sinners.

Conclusions:  I realize we gotta spread 16 chapters of Romans out over 30 weeks, but this was another “duh” day (as evidenced by the number of extra passages BSF had to send us to).  If you’re a Christian, question 4 was dumb.  Everyone wants to think they’re good, but deep down we’re evil.  Only Christ makes us good.  I fail every day and I readily acknowledge that.  It’s a good way to stay humble.

End Notes:  Romans 5:12-21 is a contrast between Adam and Christ.  Adam introduced sin and death into the world; Christ brought righteousness and life.  These two verses sum up the comparison that ends in verse 18.  Furthermore, these two men also sum up the message of the book up to this point:  Adam stands for humanity’s condemnation (1:18-3:20) and Christ stands for the believer’s justification (3:21-5:11).

pattern  Note both are one act: biting the apple (universal ruin), dying on the cross (universal blessing).  What a lesson for us on how powerful (and consequential) our actions can be!

Significantly, Adam is responsible for the fall of the human race, not Eve.  Eve was deceived when she sinned, but Adam sinned with full knowledge (1 Timothy 2:14). Death entered through Adam and has never left.  And it won’t until the Second Coming.

All men are subject to death and therefore subject to sin–even babies–through Adam.

Is this fair?  No.  But is it fair to be made righteous by the work of another man?  Yes!  Since we are made sinners by the work of another man.  If we aren’t made sinners by Adam, then it isn’t fair for us to be made righteous by Jesus.

Most people don’t want to admit babies and kids are sinners.  But think about this:  did you teach your child to be bad?  No.  By nature, they just are.

If babies are sinners, does that mean that they go to hell if they die?  Not necessarily.  First, we know that the children of believers are sanctified by the presence of a believing parent (1 Corinthians 7:14). Secondly, David had the assurance that his baby would meet him in heaven (2 Samuel 12:23). Finally, we know that at the end of it all, God, the judge of the entire world, will do right (Genesis 18:25).

If there are children of unbelieving parents in heaven (we don’t know), it is important to understand that it is not because they are innocent. It’s because of God’s grace and mercy that He let them in.  We are are guilty and undeserving of salvation.  It’s all God!

Sin and death were in the world before the Law was given–even to those who didn’t sin.  However, the Law cannot save us–people still died.  Death still reigned.

Paul says Adam is like Jesus because both were sinless and both brought eternal consequences to the world!

Prayer Requests for Week of October 29th, 2017

Hey all!

Please either email me (atozmom.wordpress@gmail.com) or post your requests in the comments below.  Feel free to post praises as well.  I love hearing these!

Mine is the same as last week’s: Prayer for my husband and his new job.  Prayer for me in my job situation.  I feel like God is calling me (again) to do something else.  I’ve been applying for jobs so pray God puts me where He wants me.

Please keep these requests coming.  I feel God wants us all to pray more for each other.

God bless and have a great week!

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 8, Day 5: Romans 5:9-11

Summary of passage:  We are reconciled to God through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Saved.  Rejoice!

Questions:

10)  We are justified by the blood of Jesus, saved from God’s wrath.  We are reconciled to God because of Jesus.  We are saved through Jesus!  We rejoice in God because of this!

11a)  According to Webster’s Dictionary, reconciliation means “to settle to friendship or harmony; to settle, resolve.”  Zondervan’s definition is “the act of restoring harmony, bringing again into unity or agreement what has been alienated.  There is need for reconciliation between God and human beings because of the alienation between them, which is caused by sin but God provided Jesus as the means.”

One more definition:  “to put an end to hostility”.

b)  We are reconciled to God because it is our sin that created the enmity.  We are changed through Christ so we can be reconciled as we become more Christ-like.  Reconciliation is of God through Christ to the sinner.

12)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Christ’s death atoned for our sins, justified us before God as we received Christ’s righteousness through God’s grace.  Through Christ’s resurrection, we received eternal life.  I will perpetually thank Him and use my life to do His will and shine light to others.

Conclusions:  Paul reiterates again how Jesus’s death reconciles us to God so that we can be with Him forever.

End Notes:  Humans are enemies of God, not the reverse.  Thus the hostility must be removed from humans if reconciliation is to be accomplished.  God took the initiative in bringing this about through the death of his Son (verse 11 & Colossians 1:21-22).

We see a parallel here between justify and reconcile:

v9                                           v10

justified                                reconciled

by his blood                         through the death of his Son

shall we be saved                shall we be saved

Jesus’s death saves us from God’s righteous wrath.

saved through his life.  This refers to the unending life and ministry of the resurrected Christ for his people (Hebrews 7:25)  Since we were reconciled while we were God’s enemies, we will be saved because Christ lives to keep us!

Think of what God will do now that we are friends and not His enemy!  The blessings!  This reconciliation happens right now. God’s wrath towards us is gone, replaced by loving corrections and guidance.

All because of and through Jesus.  Period.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 8, Day 4: Romans 5:6-8

Summary of passage:  Christ died for sinners, a very rare occurrence indeed.

Questions:

8a)  Powerless, sinners, ungodly.  Why wouldn’t it be good news?  Is it bad news when someone sacrifice’s their life for someone else?  So rare is this that it usually makes the news like a father rescuing his son from dying or a mother pushing her kids out of the way of a car, etc. Usually you’ll only give your life out of a deep, profound love.  It’s good news because Christ died for all of us who are all undeserving.

b) Part personal Question. My answer:  We were dead until Christ made us alive.  By grace, through faith, a gift.  The three words are painfully obvious why:  we have no power, we are sinners,  we are ungodly.  I do not fight this cause I know it’s only by God’s grace that I’m in Him.  I know I’m a sinner and need Jesus.  I’m under no delusions.  Overcoming sin is a daily struggle and I can only do it with God.  I totally surrender.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Christ gave his life for strangers because he loves us so much.  I’m not the best with other religions, but I believe most of them teach that you can overcome sin and be a good person through your own sheer will—on your own through your own power (like Confucianism and Buddhism).  You can attain “the One” by yourself.  Also, most believe man is fundamentally good.  Not Christianity.  Only here do we need a Savior and we admit we are imperfect sinners.  Only here are we humble.

Also, most pagan gods do not love their subjects and their subjects are afraid of the gods.  Take Roman and Greek gods.  There were many of them (polytheism as opposed to monotheism) and they were worshiped by their people and required sacrifices to appease them.  God gives one sacrifice (Jesus) out of love so that we may be with them.  No one could be/live with their gods of the day.  In essence, God gives us hope to live forever.  The Ancient Greeks and Romans had no hope outside of earthly circumstances nor no eternal life.

Conclusions:  Not the best lesson because these verses are clear-cut and self-explanatory.  The questions are “duh”.  And I’m just not familiar enough with other world religions to be much help on the last one.  I got enough to worry about just focusing on my religion!

End Notes:  The greatness of God’s love goes to the undeserving (which Paul just spent the first 2 1/2 chapters of the Book of Romans explaining that is ALL of us).  God loves us because HE wants to, not because of who we are.

As always, God’s timing is perfect.  The world was prepared for the arrival of Jesus.

The Greek word “for” is “huper” which means “in behalf of”, “instead of”, “for the sake of”.  Jesus died instead of us–in our place.  This is a much more rich translation that “for”.

Since we all are ungodly, Christ died for us all.  Why wouldn’t it be you?

Righteous man is only upright in his own character.  A good man thinks of others and is kind and caring.  That’s the difference here in Paul’s mind.  His point is God’s love is beyond any man’s love because of this sacrificial aspect.

God can give no greater proof of His love for us than sacrificing Himself for us.  The cross is therefore the ultimate show of man’s hatred for God (remember the scorn Jesus faced?)  The height of man’s hatred can’t defeat the height of God’s love.  Awesome!

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 8, Day 3: Romans 5:3-5

Summary of passage:  We rejoice in our sufferings since suffering produces perseverance, character and hope.  God has given us the Holy Spirit whereby He pours out His love to us.

Questions:

6a)  Believers rejoice in suffering because suffering produces perseverance, character, and hope.  This is all because of God’s love poured out unto us by the Holy Spirit.

b) Personal Question. My answer:  If we didn’t suffer, we wouldn’t need God as much.  We seek Him more and seek to understand Him and His ways more in our suffering.  Otherwise, we’d be complacent in our faith.  I refuse to give up.  I keep putting one foot in front of the other.  All through God’s power.  Some days are rougher than others.  But keeping Him my focus and my light guides my way.

7)  God is with us always through the power of the Holy Spirit.  When we’re broken, the Holy Spirit puts the pieces back together.  It leads and we follow. Our path in life is taken care of.  Worries fall away and God shines.  Hope is the promise of a better tomorrow.  We all know where we’re spend eternity—the ultimate hope.  Everyday hope is where we find the peace of God in our steps.  It’s the courage to get out of bed in the morning and the courage to face the day.  Hope.

Conclusions:  One of the most often quoted verses in the Bible.  We all need a bit more perseverance, character, and hope and the daily struggle to achieve that is what makes life worth living.

End Notes:  Continuing from verse 3 where Paul says to rejoice  in the hope he now says to rejoice in tribulations (real hardships) in life.  Paul knows what he’s talking about, having been persecuted, beaten, imprisoned, etc.  These tribulations give us endurance (perseverance) to grow in our faith with God.

Hope is the confident expectation and blessed assurance of our future destiny and is based on God’s love, which is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit and objectively demonstrated to us in the death of Christ.  Paul moves from faith (verse1) to hope (verse 2, 4-5), to love (verse 5).

Tribulations give us more character and more hope.  The easy life does not.  We must be stressed (like muscles in the body) in order to grow.

God pours His live into us through the Holy Spirit, which continues to live in us.

Everyone who is a Christian has the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9). But not every Christian lives in the fullness of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), and not every Christian walks in the Spirit (Romans 8:4-5).  Which are you?

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 8, Day 2: Romans 5:1-2

Summary of passage:  We have peace with God because of faith that grants us justification. We rejoice in the hope of God’s glory!

Questions:

3)  The best way to think of this is to think of the opposite:  war with God.  Peace is a relationship of harmony, calmness, and love.  War is antagonistic, belligerent, angry, and on edge.  The only way to peace is Jesus Christ.  Feelings come and go; they waver. They ebb and flow.  Highs and lows.  God’s peace is steady, constant, and omnipresent.  It transcends time.  Deep within nothing else matters.

This is not subjective but objective.  It’s a new relationship with God.

4)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Through Jesus you have access to God, the Father.  As the writer of Hebrews states, we are able to approach the throne of grace with confidence and receiver mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.  We should be grateful for Jesus.  We should shine light/him wherever we go.  We should be confident in what God is asking of us in our life.  God should be the center of all that we do.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Circumstances don’t matter.  Only God matters.  We know where our home is so if we kept that in mind what happens on this side of heaven is nothing in comparison.  All our troubles should fade away and with God as our center they will.  A work in progress indeed!

Conclusions:  With only two verses we should expect personal questions.  Furthermore, Paul is continuing from Chapter 4 with a summary so there’s not a lot new here.

End Notes:  Paul is going to launch into the benefits of being justified by grace alone.

1) Jesus’s sacrifice gives us peace with God, satisfying His wrath.  Careful here:  this is the peace with God, not peace of God (Philippians 4:7). Peace with God grants us eternal salvation through Jesus Christ.  Peace of God is what believers experience in their earthly life when they rely on Him.

Jesus is our peace (Ephesians 21:4).  Life is still a battle but not against God.

2)  We are granted grace by faith through Christ and given access to God.  Grace (God’s undeserved favor towards us) is not only the way salvation comes to us, it is also a description of our present standing before God.  You don’t have to prove your worth to God.

The Proper Attitude of Man under Grace according to William Newell:

– To believe, and consent to be loved while unworthy, is the great secret

– To refuse to make “resolutions” and “vows”; for that is to trust in the flesh

– To expect to be blessed, though realizing more and more lack of worth

– To testify of God’s goodness, at all times

– To be certain of God’s future favor; yet to be ever more tender in conscience toward Him

– To rely on God’s chastening hand as a mark of His kindness

– A man under grace, if like Paul, has no burdens regarding himself; but many about others

Rejoice is normally translated boast. It means “a triumphant, rejoicing confidence.”

J.B. Philipps translates hope as happy certainty.