BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 9, Day 5: Hebrews 2:1-4

Summary of passage:  We must pay more careful attention to God’s gift of Salvation and the Holy Spirit lest we drift away.

Questions:

10a)  To pay more attention to what we have heard (Bible and God) so that we do not drift away.

b)  That Jesus is our salvation

11)  Everything in our culture entices us to drift away.  Turn on the TV and you see sex, drugs, and evil as glorified.  Jesus is never mentioned (unless you’re on a Christian station or movie) and has been banned in most places (schools, etc) and labeled as not politically correct.  Nothing in our culture helps us hold onto the gospel.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He showed His love when He sent His son to die for us so we can be with Him and when He granted us the Holy Spirit within.  I can try to remember this daily and be grateful for it even when I have no gratitude in my heart for anything around me.  I can never give up hope that this too shall change and hold onto God’s promises with everything I have.

Conclusions:  I’m really not for sure what Lesson 9 in Hebrews has to do with the Acts of the Apostles.  Nothing written here has been proven to be written by one of the Apostles we are studying.  I no where near filled up all the white space.  I’m thinking this is a filler lesson in my opinion. Not to dismiss it’s message; it’s one we all need reminding of.  I’m just wondering how this fits into the study of Acts.

Question 11 was just depressing for me as an American to think about. How our culture is so anti-Christ.  I found nothing positive in the mainstream culture.  Nothing.  I’m hoping other cultures are not this way but I don’t know since all I know is mine.  Maybe I’m too pessimistic but this has been my experience recently.

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BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 9, Day 4: Hebrews 1:4-14

Summary of passage:  Jesus is superior to the angels because God called him his son; God said he is the Father to Jesus; Let all God’s angels worship him; God makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire.

God has set Jesus above your companions by anointing him with the oil of joy.  His throne will last forever and righteousness shall be his scepter.

God will always remain, unchanging, as the Creator of heavens and the earth.

Jesus sits at God’s right hand; no angel does.

Angels are ministering spirits, sent to serve those who will inherit salvation.

Questions:

8 )  1) God claimed Jesus as His son.

2)  God said He is the father of Jesus.

3)  God said let the angels worship Jesus.

4)  God has set Jesus above his companions by anointing him with the oil of joy.

5)  God set Jesus at His right hand.  Jesus has sat down, having completed his work.  The angels on the other hand never sit, always standing the presence of God, their work never finished.  They are still serving.

6)  God gave Jesus the authority of righteousness (judgment) which will be the scepter of His kingdom.

7)  God made his angels out of wind and fire to be His messengers.

8 )  God says Jesus shall remain, unchanging, forever.

9)  God calls Jesus “God” Verse 8, which is quoting Psalm 45:6-7

9a)  That angels are God’s messengers made from wind and fire.

b)  I think angels are idealized.  People picture dead relations as angels, which is not true since angels are created beings different than humans. But because of movies, psychics, and not wanting to tell little kids the truth misconceptions abound.  Thus, these wrong notions lead people to elevate angels above Jesus/God.  Some people would rather believe such things because they cannot let go on Earth.

To be honest though, I don’t think many people ponder angels much beyond the angels in the birth of Jesus story.  God sent an angel to Mary and Joseph. He sent an angel to the wise men to announce Jesus’ birth.  That’s probably the extent of most people’s knowledge of angels.

Or people picture angels floating around Heaven without thought as to their place.

Therefore, I’m not sure how many people actually do elevate angels.  I just don’t see much thought here.

c)  If people do, then it’s dangerous because it could turn into borderline worship.  Only one being deserves our worship:  God.  Not his servants or messengers.

Also, not all angels are good.  Some angels are sent by Satan.  One must be careful when dealing with celestial beings.

Conclusions:  Great lesson for planting a seed to think about and understand angels and their role in the Bible and God’s universe.  I believe most people think about angels only in passing (if at all).  The key is in understanding their role in the Bible.

Still, this lesson left me wondering if perhaps I’m missing something in the angel debate. Maybe angels are elevated in other religions I just don’t know about.  You’d think since BSF spent a whole day on angels (and on the same passage as yesterday), this would be a problem with people.  For me, it’s not.  Never has been.

Thinking I’m missing something, I did some research and discovered yep, I’ve been missing stuff.  Here’s a great article on culture’s view of angels.  I guess I just don’t get out much to know this stuff!

http://bible.org/article/angels-god’s-ministering-spirits

Here is a quick synopsis on angels with references:

http://www.gotquestions.org/angels-Bible.html

End Note:  After doing my own research, I would have liked to have seen more passages referring to angels for us to ponder. Now, I do think there are tons of misconceptions out there (including  misconceptions among Christians since I had some) about angels.  This is a great topic to explore more in depth if you have time.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 9, Day 3: Hebrews 1:4-14

Summary of passage:  Jesus is superior to the angels because God called him his son; God said he is the Father to Jesus; Let all God’s angels worship him; God makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire.

God has set Jesus above your companions by anointing him with the oil of joy.  His throne will last forever and righteousness shall be his scepter.

God will always remain, unchanging, as the Creator of heavens and the earth.

Jesus sits at God’s right hand; no angel does.

Angels are ministering spirits, sent to serve those who will inherit salvation.

Questions:

6a)  Psalm 2:7; 2 Samuel 7:14; 1 Chronicles 17:13; Deuteronomy 32:43; Psalm 104:4; Psalm 45: 6-7; Psalm 102:25-27; Psalm 110:1

b)  The author is making the point that God’s plan, unfolding from the beginning of time, has now culminated in the visit of His Son to Earth.

In reference to angels, the author is proving through God’s word that Christ is superior to angels.  In Old Testament times, people freely accepted the existence of angels and accorded them respect.  The Jews were familiar with all the stories of angels helping Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Balaam, and Daniel.  It was common practice to worship angels due to this fact.

Here, the author shows that angels were God’s servants who served God’s purposes and not vice versa.

(All information in Question 6 taken from my study Bible, Zondervan, New International Version).

7a)  Isaiah 7:14

Isaiah 40:3

Malachi 3:1

Isaiah 50:4:  “…He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.”

Isaiah 61:1-2:  “…He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…”

Isaiah 35:3-6:  “…Be strong, do not fear; your God will come…he will come to save you.”

b)  The Old Testament shows how God had planned everything from the beginning.  How He had planned to send His son, Jesus, to die for our sins so we may be with God in the end.  It is important documentation of God’s all powerful authority and reign over this world and His people as we read the events that unfolded before our time.  Without the Old Testament the significance of Jesus would be very hard for us to grasp for we would only know a world with Jesus and not know of the times before Jesus and how fundamentally transforming his coming was to us humans here on Earth.

Conclusions:  Noticed on 7a I picked the ones from Isaiah.  Remember talking about comfort in the book of Isaiah last year and how God constantly comforted His people in their need?  Great words to hear over and over again:  “Be strong, do not fear, he will save you.”

Great job, BSF, in reminding us what we need to hear.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 9, Day 2: Hebrews 1:1-3

Summary of passage:  In the past God spoke to His people through prophets and other ways but in our times He has spoken to us through His Son whom He appointed as the heir of all things and through whom He made the universe.  The Son radiates God’s glory, represents God’s being, and sustains all things by His word.  Jesus purified our sins and now sits at the right hand of God in Heaven.

Questions:

3a)  To convince people to not waver in their belief in Jesus as Son and Savior.  To move beyond a wishy-washy attitude toward Jesus and have firm faith and commitment in Jesus, who he is, and what he has done for us.

b)  Christ is faithful as a son.  If we hold to our courage and the hope, Christ will be faithful to us.

Those who have faith in God and Jesus enter a rest.  We are called to enter that rest and not be disobedient to God.  (read before 4:11 beginning at 4:1 to understand what the author’s talking about here).  We must hold firmly to our faith in Jesus.

We must take hold of the hope offered to us by God because of His unchanging nature of His purpose.  Paraphrase:  God keeps His promises to us which gives us hope and encouragement (Again, read between 6:1-18).

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Pray for me.  Quote me Bible passages that remind me of God’s purposes for my life, of God’s goodness, and of God’s unwavering faith in me. Reminding me there is light at the end of the tunnel despite the muck I’m swimming in.

4)  Jesus is God’s Son whom He appointed heir of all things and through whom He made the universe.  Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory, His exact representation, and the sustainer of all things by his powerful word.  After Jesus saved us from our sins, he sat down at God’s right hand in Heaven.

5)  Jesus saved us from our sins and forgives us.  He sustains us through the tough times through his powerful word.  He is there in our darkest times, the light of God’s glory, giving us light by which to see.

Conclusions:  I think the underlying message here should be:  if we have faith, then we can rest in God and who He is and nothing else (difficult circumstances such as loss of job, spouse, health, etc) should matter.  If we hold fast to God, everything else will vanish as quickly as a spring storm.