BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 13, Day 5: Romans 8:14-17

Summary of passage:  Since we are God’s children, we are heirs of God and Christ and share in his sufferings and glory.

Questions:

11)  We are Christ-like.  We are heirs of God and Christ and share in his glory.  We relate to God as Christ did.

12)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  God knows what we need before we ask. God values us.  He disciplines us so that we can share in His holiness, peace, and righteousness.  We are loved and like God.  God has provided me with everything I need and more.  He cherishes me and takes care of me and loves me.  He grows me.  He walks with me and holds my hand and picks me up when I fall.  God is there always for me.

13)  Personal Question.  My response:  I don’t doubt God’s love.  I don’t understand it, but I know He loves me always.  With Christ, we are with God forever.  There is nothing to fear.  Only love.

Conclusions:  Overall, Lesson 13 was weak with repetitive questions.  Paul repeats himself a lot here and BSF would have been better not spending an entire lesson on these 17 verses.

End Notes: Living under the law brought fear.  Paul says now we are in close kinship with God and call Him Abba!

In the Roman world of the first century AD, an adopted son was a son deliberately chosen by his adoptive father to perpetuate his name and inherit his estate; he was no inferior in status to a biological son.

Under Roman adoption, the life and standing of the adopted child changed completely. The adopted son lost all rights in his old family and gained all new rights in his new family; the old life of the adopted son was completely wiped out, with all debts being canceled, with nothing from his past counting against him any more.  Hence, Paul’s listeners would have completely grasped what a privilege this is and its meaning.

Jewish law stated that at the mouth of two or three witnesses everything had to be established (Deuteronomy 17:6). There are two witnesses to our salvation: our own witness and the witness of the Spirit.  We know if we’re God’s children or not.

In sum, we relate to God as Christ did since we are in Christ.  Awesome!

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BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 13, Day 4: Romans 8:12-14

Summary of passage:  Since believers have the Spirit of Christ indwelt, our responsibility is to live according to the Spirit.

Questions:

9)  To live according to the Spirit of Christ because we are sons of God and are now holy.

10a)  By living according to the Spirit and submitting to it.  Loving your neighbor.  Giving up all earthly sins such as sexual immorality, impurity, evil desires, greed, idolatry, anger, rage, malie, slander, lies, etc.  Instead, be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient.  Forgive each other.  Let peace reign in your hearts.

b)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  We’re to let the Spirit reign and not the flesh.  I need help in loving others and self-control when I’m angry and self-control with my words.

Conclusions: Stretched the questions since only 2 verses.  In essence:  Live a Godly life as God’s children.  Period.

End Notes:  Paul reminds us the flesh leads to death.  We are often deceived in this because in the moment living according to the flesh feels good.

When you become a son of God, the Spirit leads.  The Spirit leads us into truth, love, faithfulness, holiness, repentance, usefulness, and Jesus-like.

God is the creator of all but not all are His children.  You must believe in Jesus as His Son and Savior.  When this happens, the hallmark is a life led by God’s Spirit.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 13 Day 3: Romans 8:5-11

 Summary of passage:  There are those who live according to sin and those who live according to the Spirit.  The sinful mind rebels against God.  The Spirit mind obeys God and experience life and peace.  The Spirit lives within those who belong to Christ.  Our Spirit is alive by righteousness and God will give life to our mortal bodies through the Spirit as well.

Questions:

6)  Those who live according to the sinful nature and those who live according  to the Spirit.  Sinful nature people have their minds set on what nature desires.  These people are set on death and hostile to God and do not submit to God’s law.  They can never please God.  Spirit people have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  Spirit people live in life and peace.

7)  Part personal Question we’ve answered before:  The fruits produced by the Spirit are:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  The mind is focused on heavenly things not earthly things.  I hope others say they see God in me, but I can never be sure since in my mind I fail too much daily to be Godly.

8 )  Part personal Question that doesn’t necessarily encourage me today:  Your spirit is alive through righteousness and your physical body will rise as well through the Spirit.  We are controlled by the Spirit, not by our sinful nature.  All who have the Spirit belong to God/Christ.  In general, I’m encouraged every day by the Spirit that lives in me, who guides me, and empowers me to get out of bed every day and face this fallen world that sometimes weighs me down with its brokenness.  It’s hard to put into words God’s amazingness.

Conclusions:  Question 6 you can basically copy verbatim verses 5-8 and have the answer.  Basically, if you have Christ, you have the Spirit.  The Spirit is God’s gift to us to guide us, lead us, be with us, comfort us, and strengthen us–to have God with us always.

End Notes:  You know if you’re in the Spirit or the flesh by where your mind is.  The flesh or sinful mind battles against God because it does not want to submit.  The law is powerless to help us in this battle.  You will never please God as long as the flesh is winning.

With the gift of the Holy Spirit, believers have the power to defeat the flesh.  If you are a Christian, you have the Spirit.  If not, you do not.  Simple.

However, you may still miss out on living the Christian life because you are not in tune with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).

How do you know if you have the Spirit?  Are you striving to be more like Jesus every day?

Our Spirit is alive because of Jesus abiding inside us and we will experience resurrection in the Last Days because of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 13, Day 2: Romans 8:1-4

Summary of passage:  Those who have Christ Jesus in their hearts are now free from condemnation and live according to the Spirit.  With Jesus’s death believers were set free.  He served as our sin offering forever and did what the law could not do due to man’s sinful nature.

Questions

3a)  Before Jesus’s death, it was not possible to be free from the Law (that is why God’s people lived under the law).  Now, after Jesus’s sacrifice we are free from the Law and under no condemnation or death and are saved.

Condemnation according to Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary describes the judgment against someone or treating a person as guilty.  It could also refer to the specific penalty for the guilt.

In this passage, Christ made salvation possible by bearing the sin of men and women, because thus he “condemned sin” (Romans 8:3); that is, he showed the guilt of sin and bore its consequences, so that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

b)  Personal Question I could do without.  My answer:  It doesn’t.  The only changes are the ones I constantly pray/ask for:  to make me more like Jesus.  To catch my shortcomings/sins before they happen.  To not judge or condemn others quickly.  I know I am free and harbor no guilt.

4)  God sent Jesus who brought the Holy Spirit to us to guide us.  God was in charge of sending His Son to save us forever from our sins and implant the Holy Spirit in our hearts to be our guide.

5)  We fulfill the righteous requirements by being washed in the blood of Jesus.  The how is accepting Jesus as our eternal sacrifice.  The Holy Spirit serves as our guide in obedience to God’s “laws” (way we should behave).

Conclusions: Paul finally goes into the Great Hope:  our life now with Jesus as our Savior!  Such a gift God has given us all with the Holy Spirit.  So amazing!

End Notes: Since God the Father does not condemn Jesus, neither can the Father condemn those who are in Jesus. They are not condemned, they will not be condemned, and they cannot be condemned.

The “Therefore” is Paul proving his argument logically.

“In Christ”:  Christ is in believers by His Spirit, and believers are in Christ by faith.

If you are not in Christ, then you are condemned.

Romans 8 is the peace from the conflict of Romans 7.

We are free from the guilt and power of sin.

Paul uses the word “law” in several different ways in Romans.  Here, it means controlling power.  God’s law (Romans 2:17-20; 9:31; 10:3-5).  The Pentateuch (Romans 3:21).  The Old Testament as a whole (Romans 3:19).  Principle (Romans 3:27).

The law guides us and teaches us and we obey out of love of God and by the power of the Holy Spirit, but it can never please God nor sanctify us.

Manson said, “Moses’ law has right but not might; sin’s law has might but not right; the law of the Spirit has both right and might.”

The law detects sin; Jesus defeats sin.  The law is weak because of human nature.  Hence, Jesus came “in the likeness of” meaning Jesus can’t be sin in order to defeat sin.  Jesus was righteous and since we are in Jesus we hence are righteous as well.  Jesus is our substitute.

Those who walk according to the Spirit means their life is directed by the Holy Spirit in continued and progressive motion.  Obedience is on display, not rebellion.  The flesh is always present, but it is powerless.

Fun Fact:  Romans 8 begins with no condemnation; it ends with no separation, and in between there is no defeat

Prayer Requests for Week of November 26th, 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: Prayer for my husband and his new job.  Prayer for me in my job situation.  I’ve started another part time job from home that I would like to turn into full time.  Pray for success in my home business and God’s blessings.

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

God bless and have a great week!

I Am SO Grateful…

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!

Wow!  What an amazing year it’s been!

I want to say with all my heart how grateful I am for each and every one of you.  When I started this blog eight years ago, I never dreamed it would become what it has.  I hope it has touched you all in some small way, stimulated your thinking, offered up advice, and enlightened you in your journey on this side of heaven as you prepare for the other side of heaven.

There’s been ups and down but with perseverance as Paul has said comes growth and hope and character. You all have stuck with me and supported me both by visiting my blog and by donating on my sidebar.  I truly can’t thank you enough.  There have been many times I’ve asked myself why I keep doing this and the answer has always come around to you all.  You hold me accountable as much as I hold you accountable.

I’ve finally found what I’ve been seeking:  a home-based business that provides me with the lifestyle I’ve always dreamed of AND given me the freedom to still be there for my kids.  Passions that I can’t live without (BSF, CrossFit, coffee!).  A husband that loves and supports me in everything.  Kids who are good-hearted and kind to others (although not always to each other).  Family that is there in emergencies.  Animals to care for who fill me with love and compassion and restfulness I dearly need.  And God whose hand is always holding mine and leading me every step of every day.

And you all!  Each comment you leave enriches me beyond words.  Thank you for taking time out of your busy-ness to share here and be authentic and open and loving.  Your thoughts, passions, and advice is greatly appreciative as are your corrections as well.  You share a small portion of your life here and in turn I have blossomed because of it.

I’m grateful for Lissette Trahan.  Lissette’s amazing poetry as such a blessing in my life (and I hope yours).  She’s come on as a contributor and shared her heart, and I sincerely hope you are enjoying her words as much as I am.  Check out her work under “Lissette’s Lyrics” either on the top menu or the sidebar.  She has an amazing gift that she’s sharing with all of you.

I’m right where God has placed me (and so are you).  Everything He has done has led to this moment and to the next moment and so forth.  He will continue to lead me.  Everything in my life is for His good.  Everything in your life is for His good.

Beginning next week, I’ll start a new segment entitled “Saturday’s Snippets” where I’ll share little thoughts from what I’m learning in my life.  Sometimes Biblically based.  Sometimes not.  Little nuggets to grasp onto when sometimes that’s what we desperately need.  Similar to my summer devotions, they will be pithy and crisp.

On this amazing and beautiful day of Thanksgiving, my hope and prayer is for you all to live life to the fullest, following God’s plan for your life, living in the present, creating an amazing future, filing the past where it belongs, and living consciously, not unconsciously.  Life is too short to do otherwise.

God bless you on this day of Thanksgiving–a day for Him and by Him.  Grateful for all you have and all you don’t have.  Grateful for all that is coming.  Grateful for Him to be in control.  Grateful for Him to bring us home.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 12, Day 5: Romans 7:21-25

Summary of passage:  Man’s nature cannot help but sin (a war between the mind and the body/flesh) and be a slave to sin.  But through Jesus Christ we are rescued from sin’s power.

Questions:

11)  He’s very distressed.  He feels powerless (“wretched”), desperate, and overwhelmed like we all do at times at his inability to overcome sin.  He probably feels tired from the constant battle of mind and flesh.  We should feel the same: crying out against our self and unto God.

12a)  Jesus is the answer.

b)  As we’ve discussed in depth this week, the law pushes us to sin more as it’s our desire to break rules.  Jesus is the only one who has the power to overcome our nature.  Otherwise, under our own power, we are helpless to live in sin.

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Sin is always in my life and I feel like all my prayers to overcome sin are desperate.  I perpetually pray to have less of a temper and to soften my words towards others when flippant, indifferent answers arise.  The prayer is simple:  Jesus, give me your power to overcome sin.  I need you.  Come and fill me and let the Holy Spirit lead the way–not me.  I can do all things THROUGH you alone.

Conclusions:  The answers to these questions are done in 5 minutes.  The in-depth study I do afterwards is hours long.  This chapter is packed with our need for Jesus.  Please take the time to dwell on what Paul is saying and to not feel helpless and overwhelmed when you sin–for as Paul states we will sin because of our nature.  Rely on Christ.  Rely on Christ.  Rely on Christ.

End Notes:  We never know how hard it is to stop sinning until we try.  C.S Lewis said, “No man knows how bad he is until he has tried to be good.”

The real self (inner self) is the one who delights in God’s law.  The impulse towards sin is a different law.

The old man is not the real Paul; the old man is dead. The flesh is not the real Paul; the flesh is destined to pass away and be resurrected. The new man is the real Paul; now Paul’s challenge is to live like God has made him.

Again, here’s the debate:  Was Paul a Christian during the experience he writes about here?  Some look at his struggle with sin and believe that it must have been before he was born again. Others believe that he is just a Christian struggling with sin. In a sense this is an irrelevant question, for this is the struggle of anyone who tries to obey God in their own strength. This experience of struggle and defeat is something that a Christian may experience, but something that a non-Christian can only experience.

Morris quoting Griffith Thomas: “The one point of the passages is that it describes a man who is trying to be good and holy by his own efforts and is beaten back every time by the power of indwelling sin; it thus refers to anyone, regenerate or unregenerate.”

Sin wins when you try to win the battle yourself.

The ancient Greek word wretched is more literally, “wretched through the exhaustion of hard labor.” Paul is completely worn out and wretched because of his unsuccessful effort to please God under the principle of Law.

Note how the great saints always speak of how bad they are, not how good.

Fun Fact:  Paul has referred to himself 40 times since Romans 7:13. In the pit of his unsuccessful struggle against sin, Paul became entirely self-focused and self-obsessed. This is the place of any believer living under law, who looks to self and personal performance rather than looking first to Jesus.

The words “Who will deliver me” show that Paul has given up on himself, and asks “Who will deliver me?” instead of “How will I deliver myself?”

“Body of death” is figurative for body of sin (6:6; 8:10) that hung on Paul like a corpse and from which he could not gain freedom.

Some commentators see a reference to ancient kings who tormented their prisoners by shackling them to decomposing corpses. Paul longed to be free from the wretched body of death clinging to him.

“It was the custom of ancient tyrants, when they wished to put men to the most fearful punishments, to tie a dead body to them, placing the two back to back; and there was the living man, with a dead body closely strapped to him, rotting, putrid, corrupting, and this he must drag with him wherever he went. Now, this is just what the Christian has to do. He has within him the new life; he has a living and undying principle, which the Holy Spirit has put within him, but he feels that everyday he has to drag about with him this dead body, this body of death, a thing as loathsome, as hideous, as abominable to his new life, as a dead stinking carcass would be to a living man.” (Spurgeon)

“Through” means that Paul sees Jesus standing between himself and God, bridging the gap and providing the way to God.”Lord” means Paul has put Jesus in the right place – as Lord and master of his life.

The last half of verse 25 is the summary of verses 13-24.  “I myself” is the real self–the inner being that delights in God’s law (vs 22).  “Slave to law of sin” is how Christians must reckon with the enslaving power of their sinful nature as long as they live–until “the redemption of our bodies” (vs 8:23).

Jesus does not take away the struggle; he only provides the victory over sin, hate, death, and all evil as we surrender our lives to Jesus and let Him live out victory through us.

Paul shows that even though the law is glorious and good, it can’t save us – and we need a Savior. Paul never found any peace, any praising God until he looked outside of himself and beyond the law to his Savior, Jesus Christ.

The law taught us what to do, encouraged us, and told us sin was our problem.  But it couldn’t save us–only Jesus can.  He is the answer!