BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 25, Day 4: Romans 13:12-14

Summary of passage:  Put aside sin (orgies, drunkenness, sexual immorality, debauchery, dissension, jealousy, etc) and put on Jesus (the armor of light).


10)  I don’t know about normalized but it’s more ignored.  These behaviors are so widespread now that I think society has given up the fight.  We are so overwhelmed with the prevalence that we can’t handle it so we choose to ignore it.

11)  The opposite of verse 13:  sexual purity, abstinence or moderation in drink, compassionate, helpful, etc.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I do tend to get jealous when others do things I want to do or follow in my footsteps because I like to think I’m unique.  I tend to hold back instead of be forthright and giving.

Conclusions: More ways Paul encourages us to be good people and godly.  Remember our time here is limited.  Avoid sin.  Walk with Jesus.

End Notes:  Putting aside darkness (sin) and putting on light is a metaphor with putting on clothes (which we all do).  Put on Jesus (the armor of light) every morning!

Spurgeon explains this passage: “The rags of sin must come off if we put on the robe of Christ. There must be a taking away of the love of sin, there must be a renouncing of the practices and habits of sin, or else a man cannot be a Christian. It will be an idle attempt to try and wear religion as a sort of celestial overall over the top of old sins.”

The night is the present evil age.  This is a clear teaching of the nearness of the end times (1 Corinthians 7:29; Philippians 4:5; James 5:9, 1 Peter 4:7; 1 John 2:18).  Early Christians did not believe Jesus would return within a few years.  Instead, they saw the death and resurrection of Jesus as the events that began the last days (Hebrews 1:1-2).  “The night is nearly over” is the next great event in God’s plan, which is the Second Coming.  The day is when Jesus does come and ushers in the consummation of the kingdom.

The armor of light allows us to both defend and attack like in battle.

We have to work to not let sin creep into our lives since it is our nature to sin.  This is part of being present so you can stop sin in its tracks!

When we clothe ourselves with Jesus, he becomes our partner and helper and he works through us (not for us) to combat sin.

Fun Fact: God used this passage to show Augustine, the great theologian of the early church, that he really could live the Christian life as empowered by the Holy Spirit – he just had to do it. And so do we.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 25, Day 2: Romans 13:8-10 with Romans 12:9-21; 1 Corinthians 13:1-8

Summary of passages:  Romans 13:8-10:  Love others and you will fulfill the law.  Love your neighbor as yourself.

Romans 12:9-21:  Paul offers sage words for living:  Love others.  Honor others above yourselves.  Always serve God.  Be joyful, patience, and faithful.  Share with those who are in need.  Practice hospitality.Bless your enemies.  Be happy with others and sad with others.  Be humble and mindful of others.  Do what is right.  Don’t seek retribution.  Be at peace with all.  Let God handle judgment/revenge.  Be kind to your enemies.  Overcome evil with good.

1 Corinthians 13:1-8:  Everything is meaningless (faith, generosity, speaking in tongues, etc) without love.  Love is patient, kind, protects, trusts, perseveres, and never fails.  It does not envy, boast, be prideful, envious or rude.  It keeps no record of wrongs, it’s not easily angered, and it’s not self-seeking.  Love rejoices in truth and does not delight in evil.


3) To love is the one debt that is never paid off.  No matter how much people have loved, they are under obligation to keep on loving. Because out of our selfishness we hurt others instead of love.  Our nature is sin, not love.  We cannot love one another perfectly.  It’s impossible.  Only Jesus can.  Hence, our perpetual need for Christ in our lives.

4)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Legalistic is when you do things because they are the law.  It’s strict adherence, or the principle of strict adherence, to law or prescription, especially to the letter rather than the spirit.  It’s when you put the law above all else including mercy, compassion, and moral values.  Loving obedience is following the law but with the heart.  Paul says here to let love lead the way with grace and mercy at the forefront.  We see this when even though people break laws they are not punished out of mercy and compassion.  Personally, I do lean towards legalistic.  I like laws and like others to follow them.  However, mercy and grace have a place.  It’s a balance we all need.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Others in general.  It reveals how selfish I truly am.  I’m not in denial of this.  I pray about it and make small steps daily towards the kind of love Jesus is/shows/gives.

6)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The fulfillment of the law is perfect obedience to God and since love is the greatest commandment and the ultimate test it would fulfill God’s desire for us.  Love is the greatest gift (besides His Son) God has given us.  Imagine how our lives would be if we approached every person, every problem, every sin, everything out of love.  We would be compassionate, generous, forthright, and amazing people like Jesus.

Conclusions:  1 Corinthians 13:1-8 is one of the most famous Bible verses and one of my favorites.  It sums up love beautifully and perfectly.  Paul was definitely a gifted and God-led writer.  I love how BSF brings up the fact we are to love with a heart of grace and mercy and not be such a stickler when it comes to the law.  Remember Jesus came to replace the law which wasn’t working and was imperfect with his perfection.  What did Jesus bring?  Love.  Great stuff here!

End NotesRomans 13:8-10:  The only debt we are to hold (both to others and to God) is to love another.  No, this isn’t against borrowing money as Jesus permitted borrowing in Matthew 5:42.  This is just referencing love.

Paul echoes Jesus’ words as recorded in Matthew 22:36-40. This is one of the two commands upon which hang all the Law and the Prophets.

Love your neighbor means to love the people you actually meet with and deal with every day. It is easy for us to love in the theoretical and the abstract, but God demands that we love real people.

Spurgeon says about this passage:  “No man can compass the ends of life by drawing a little line around himself upon the ground. No man can fulfill his calling as a Christian by seeking the welfare of his wife and family only, for these are only a sort of greater self.”

Love is the fulfillment of the law: It is easy to do all the right religious “things” but to neglect love. Our love is the true measure of our obedience to God.

Mosaic law:  Both moral and social responsibilities.

Romans 12:9-21:  (Taken from Lesson 23 Days 3, 4 & 5)

Other translations say:  “Let love be without hypocrisy”.  This isn’t real love at all.  However, I firmly believe in “fake it till you make it.”  Some people are hard to love, but treating them with dignity and respect can grow into love.

We are to hate evil AND cling to what is good.  Most of time we pick only one to do.

Be affectionate and genuine to one another.

This is simply a call for good manners, right?  A lot of kids nowadays have no manners at all.

We are also called to work hard.

“Spiritual fervor” can be translated as “boiling.”

The call to hope in the Bible usually has in mind the call to our ultimate home with Jesus.  Everything we do must be with an eye towards heaven.  Difficult times and troubles do not excuse us to abandon our hope and love and prayer.  Just because we’re having a bad day doesn’t mean you should make others have a bad day.  Always cling to Jesus and what he offers.  It’s a cause for joy (1 Peter 1:3-9).

Leon Morris explains patient as: “denotes not a passive putting up with things, but an active, steadfast endurance.”  Enduring triumphantly which is necessary for Christians because affliction is our inevitable experience (John 16:33; 2 Timothy 3:12)  Tribulation/affliction: “denotes not some minor pinprick, but deep and serious trouble.”

“Faithful in prayer”:  One must not only pray in hard times, but also maintain communion with God through prayer at all times (Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).

God’s people is sometimes translated as “saints”, which all believers are.  The idea here is practice what you preach. Put into action what you believe.  The ancient Greek word for hospitality is literally translated “love for strangers.” In addition, “given” (translated for us as practice) is a strong word, sometimes translated “persecute” (as in Romans 12:14).  The idea is to “pursue” people you don’t know with hospitality.  This is love in action, not just feelings.

We are not to hate anyone, even our persecutors.  Matthew 5:46For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? Persecution can be from inside the church as well.  Jesus told us the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service (John 16:2).  Inquisition anyone?  Holocaust?

Be considerate of the feelings of others instead of waiting on them to be considerate towards you.

Conceited here is pride again.  Other translations say “Do not be wise in your own opinion”, which is thinking you are always right.  Again, reminders from Paul to step outside of ourselves and see others before ourselves.

Matthew 5:38-45. We are to love our enemies and treat well those who treat us badly.

Note Paul’s caveat:  If it is possible.  It may not always be possible since we cannot control others.  But he says do your part.

If you trust God, then you know it’s not necessary to avenge.  God will handle it.

Do good to your enemies.  “Heaping burning coals on his head” most likely refers to a “burning conviction” that our kindness places on our enemy.  It may bring about his repentance.  Or, some think it refers to the practice of lending coals from a fire to help a neighbor start their own – an appreciated act of kindness.

Either way we see that we can destroy our enemy by making him our friend.

Great read on God’s vengeance and the heaping coals HERE

1 Corinthians 13:1-8:   The Corinthians were enamored with spiritual gifts, particularly the gift of tongues. Paul reminds them even the gift of tongues is meaningless without love.  It is nothing but empty noise.

The ancient Greek word translated tongues has the simple idea of “languages” in some places (Acts 2:11 and Revelation 5:9). This has led some to say the gift of tongues is simply the ability to communicate the gospel in other languages, or it is the capability of learning languages quickly. But the way tongues is used here shows it can, and usually does, refer to a supernatural language by which a believer communicates to God. There is no other way to understand the reference to tongues of angels.

In Paul’s day, many Jews believed angels had their own language, and by the Spirit, one could speak it. The reference to tongues of angels shows that though the genuine gift of tongues is a legitimate language, it may not be a “living” human language, or may not be a human language at all. Apparently, there are angelic languages men can speak by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Poole has a fascinating comment, suggesting that the tongues of angels answer to how God may speak to us in a non-verbal way: “Angels have no tongues, nor make any articulate audible sounds, by which they understand one another; but yet there is certainly a society or intercourse among angels, which could not be upheld without some way amongst them to communicate their minds and wills to each other. How this is we cannot tell: some of the schoolmen say, it is by way of impression: that way God, indeed, communicates his mind sometimes to his people, making secret impressions of his will upon their minds and understandings.”

Prophecy, knowledge, and faith to do miracles are likewise irrelevant apart from love. Paul, quoting the idea of Jesus, refers to faith which could remove mountains (Matthew 17:20).   Yet even with this kind of faith we are nothing without love.

Excellent commentary on legalism HERE

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 25, Day 2: Revelation 20:1-3

Summary of passage:  An angel bound Satan in chains and threw him into the Abyss (hell) for 1000 years after which time he will be set free for a short time.


3a)  An angel coming down from heaven with the key to the Abyss.

b)  1000 years and then he’d be set free for a short time.

4)  God is the one who has power over Satan and controls him and limits his actions.

5a)  John says how Satan corrupts people to carry out his desires.  Satan is a murderer and a liar.  2 Corinthians says how Satan has blinded unbelievers so they can’t see the light.  1 Peter says to be alert because Satan prowls around looking to devour people.  In essence, Satan is always lurking, ready to snatch us if we’re not grounded in God.

Note:  We looked up these same verses in Lesson 16 Day 2 Question 4 with almost the exact same question with regards to God’s protection over the pregnant woman.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We’ve had this question many times before.  I know God wins so I have the utmost confidence I am doing His work.

Conclusions:  I like the emphasis on how Satan’s power is limited and we must keep that in mind when bad things happen in this world.  God is the one in control and Satan is under His thumb.  There is a TON here so please keep reading for more insights.

End Notes:  These last 3 chapters of Revelation reflects many of the subjects and themes of the first 3 chapters of Genesis.

This is an unidentified angel.  Thus, it is not Michael, Gabriel, or Jesus.  This speaks volumes to the importance of the devil.  He’s dealt with by you and me.  He holds a key which symbolizes authority and power over the Abyss, presumably given by Jesus since he’s the one in possession of the key (Revelation 1:18).  Chains represent imprisonment and binding.

Note the angel is “coming down” from heaven and Satan is on the earth.  Again, Satan serves God’s purposes.  God is high above, in control.  He conquers Satan, not us.

Jude 6 tells us fallen angels are bound with everlasting chains, awaiting judgment for the great Day.

We first saw the Abyss in Revelation 9:1-3 when either Satan or an angel (good or evil) was given the key and he opens it and releases locusts into the world as part of the Trumpet Judgments.

Satan is bound up and is unable to “deceive the nations anymore.”  This DOES NOT MEAN he’s not deceiving individual humans.  1 Peter 5:8 tells us Satan will continue to deceive us until Christ returns.  In all of Revelation, the Dragon or Satan has been raising up nations to war against Christ and deceive the world.  Daniel 2:44 says the nations or kingdoms will end and this is what we are witnessing here.  Isaiah 14:15 predicts this as well.

Any temptation to sin during the Millennium must come from within those people who are born after the kingdom begins. It’s assumed that all of Satan’s demons or fallen angels are also imprisoned at this time (Isaiah 24:21-23).

God’s word is our most powerful weapon since Satan can no longer deceive the nations with his lies.  Counter lies with Truth.  Always.

Explanation of the Millennium or 1000 years:  Millennium is straight out of Latin:  “mille” means a thousand and “annum” means a year.  It is used 6 times by John in the book of Revelation.  There are many different views of this Millennial period and if it is literal or not.  Here are some arguments made:

Postmillennialists believe the church will bring about a time of peace and prosperity before Christ returns in this age through the preaching of the gospel.  This was a popular 19th century view.  This period will end with Christ returns, the dead are resurrected and final judgment is administered.

Premillennialists believe Christ will return to earth and reign for 1000 years which will be a time of peace and prosperity before the millennial earth.  Satan will be bound up during this time before his final revolt when he is set free.  This is the predominate view of today supported by Psalm 72, Isaiah 2:2-4, Isaiah 11:4-9, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Luke 1:32-33, Matthew 5:18, Luke 19:12-27, among many, many other passages.  Scholars here point to more than 400 verses in more than 20 different passages in the Old Testament which deal with this time when Jesus Christ will rule and reign personally over planet earth.

This view has people left on earth after the rapture and the Great Tribulation who will face judgment (Matthew 25:31-46) and be deemed worthy to enter Jesus’ Millennial kingdom or be sent to Hell for all of eternity.

Amillennialists believe this time period is not literal; it is figurative, a spiritual reign.  Christ is reigning right now in heaven not on earth.  This was the predominant view since Augustine and held by the early Roman Catholic church right up until the Reformation.

What do we know about the Millennium?  Israel will be the leading nation on earth (Isaiah 2:1-3, Ezekiel 17:22-24).  Jesus will reign  (Isaiah 2:1-5; 9:7; Zechariah 14:9) with no war  (Isaiah 2:1-5). King David will rule over Israel (Isaiah 55:3-5, Jeremiah 30:4-11, Ezekiel 34:23-31, Ezekiel 37:21-28, Hosea 3:5).  Israel will be blessed (Amos 9:11-15; Isaiah 62:2-3) and the temple will be restored (Ezekiel 40-48, Ezekiel 37:26-28, Amos 9:11, Ezekiel 20:39-44).  Saints will have jobs Luke 19:11-27, Revelation 20:4-6, Revelation 2:26-28; 3:12,22, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3). God will be number one (Zechariah 13:1-9).  There will be no sickness nor disease (Isaiah 29:18).

It is also the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12:2-3) and David (2 Samuel 7:16) will be fulfilled (Luke 1:31-33; Romans 11:15, 29)

How long is the 1000 years?  No one knows.  Many see these numbers as symbolic and they point to the fact most of Revelation’s numbers are symbolic in nature.  In early Christian writings 1000 years was used figuratively for the eternal blessing of the redeemed.  However, it could be a literal 1000 years where Jesus reigns victoriously and shows a world without Satan and the absolute holiness of God.

In Sum:  Satan will be bound and there will be peace for 1000 years before he is released for “a short time” to do evil once again.  Is this the time of Jesus’ reign on earth? You decide.

Note Satan’s 4 names in verse 2:

1)  Dragon  The persecutor of Christ and his people (Revelation 12:17)

2)  Ancient serpent  (Genesis 3:13)  the one in the garden.

3)  Devil  Slanderer or accuser (Revelation 12:10)

4)  Satan  Adversary.  Enemy of God, God’s people, and God’s creation.

We’ve read this before in Lesson 16:  Revelation 12:9:  “The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.”

Fun Fact:  1000 is 10 to the third power.

What’s important here?  Regardless of the 1000 years interpretation, Jesus will return and Jesus will establish his kingdom here on earth.  The rest is all speculation and ultimately not important.  Jesus is coming!  That’s all we need to know!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 25 Day 4: Numbers 28-30

Summary of passages:  Numbers 28:  God tells Moses to review the offerings with the people:  the burnt offerings, the Sabbath offerings, the monthly offerings, the Passover offerings, and the Feast of Weeks offerings.

Numbers 29:  God reviews more laws and regulations with the people, this time the offerings for the Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles.

Numbers 30:  Moses discusses vows made to God and when one vows to the Lord, one must stick by it unless it is made by a daughter and her father or husband forbids it then it is not binding.  Any vow made by a widow or a divorced woman stays.  If a husband says nothing, then the vow stays for the wife but the husband bears the guilt if she doesn’t stick to her vow and he didn’t nullify it.


7a)  It’s always important to review so you don’t forget–it’s what happens in school all the time. Review before a test.  Here, God wants to make sure the new generation knows the offerings to the detail before they entered the Promised Land.  They needed to know the central place atonement has in their lives and without atonement they could not be with God.

b)  God expects His people to remember His laws and regulations and to follow them and abide by them exactly.  In doing so, this shows the people’s reverence for God.  Same for us.  When we worship, it is about Him and honoring Him.  God expects the same from all of His people no matter the point in time at which we live.

8 )  Making a vow before the Lord should be taken seriously.  It is interesting that the man has final say.  This shows protection of the woman just like God protects us.  I wish more women would accept protection of their man instead of fighting it.  Most men yearn to do nothing more than protect their wife, a role God has given them.

Conclusions:  Relatively easy lesson as it is all stuff we have covered before.  I like how God includes this as it’s an important lesson for us all how we must be reminded of things because we easily forget.  The Israelites are about to take the steps that they have been preparing for their entire lives; God wants to make sure they know what’s important (worshipping Him) before they get caught up in the hubbub of moving!

I liked the vows chapter.  Like I said, I wish more women would be receptive to men as their protector as God is our protector.  Someone has to be the final decision maker.  Two people can’t both have the final say.

End Notes:  Numbers 28:  God commands an animal be sacrificed for our sins every morning and night to remind the Israelites of who’s important in their lives.  Every Sabbath an additional lamb was sacrificed in the morning and at night.  The importance of atonement for our sins is here and omnipresent as it should be in our own lives.

Numbers 29:  The Feast of Tabernacles was a celebration of God’s rich provision for the Israelites.  It celebrated God’s faithfulness to His people during the Exodus.

Note the lamb is the most common sacrifice–anyone see Jesus here?  The sacrifices listed here and in Numbers 28 was immense (over 1000 animals) and these are just the sacrifices the priests made for the people.  This does not include the individual sacrifices the people offered.  Can you imagine the expense?  And yet it was never enough!  Only Jesus was/is enough!

I can just picture the priests as this being their primary job–to offer sacrifices for the people and make atonement.  Little time left would have been for the preaching of God’s Word.

Numbers 30:  God takes our vows seriously so we need to be careful what we swear by.  God himself made vows (Luke 1:73, Acts 2:30, Hebrews 3:18, 6:13, 17) as did Jesus (Matthew 26:63-64).

The man was accountable for the woman’s fulfillment of her vow.  Authority always comes with accountability.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 25, Day 5 Isaiah 56:9-57:21

Summary of passage:  Israel’s watchmen (leaders) are blind, ignorant, mute, lazy, gluttonous, drunks, and self-satifying.  They seek their own way for his own gain.  The righteous suffer at their hands but God will bring them peace.  The watchmen mock the righteous when they themselves have turned to idols, lusting after them, human sacrifices, and pagan symbols.  They have forsaken God and even though abandoning God has wearied them, still they turn to idols.  The watchmen no longer fear God nor remembered Him instead relying on their own works.  When they cry for help, let your idols whom a mere breath of the wind will blow away save them!

But he who makes God his refuge will inherit the land and possess God’s holy mountain.  For God lives in a high and holy place but he also lives with those who are contrite and lowly in spirit.  He will revive such people.  God will not accuse nor be angry forever for He knows the spirit of man will grow faint before Him.  Therefore, God will comfort, guide, heal man, creating praise on man’s lips.  God offers man peace.  But for the wicked there shall be no rest.


10a)  Israel’s watchmen are the leaders of God’s people.  They have disregarded God’s people in favor of drink and gluttony.  They turn their own way and seek their personal gain instead of God’s way.  What’s worse is they are supposed to be looking out for the people whom they have abandoned spiritually.  The watchmen ignored the righteous people but God says they will enter into peace.  The watchmen sneered at the righteous and persecuted them, thinking them better when the watchmen have turned to idol worship and would sacrifice their own children.  They have embraced pagan symbols behind closed doors and worshipped Molech.  Despite receiving nothing in return from these foreign gods, the watchmen do not turn to the One True God.  In essence, the watchmen have committed spiritual adultery.

b)  God says when those with false hearts cry for help, their idols will save them–these same idols that the wind will carry off!  They do not fear God nor remember Him.  They trust in themselves.  No peace will be granted for the wicked.  Yet those who make God their refuge will inherit the land and possess His holy mountain.

11)  Contrite means grieving and penitent for sin or shortcoming.  Lowly in spirit is humble.  Constantly ask God for forgiveness for our sins, to be constantly striving to be better and do better.  To be humble before God and others.  To appreciate God’s great works in our lives.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God will live with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit and revive those person’s spirits.  I think I feel God’s presence more in my life.  I strive to be better more and be like Jesus.  I think I’ve been revived by God shining through me and in His purpose for my life.

Conclusions:  I love how God calls out those who disobey Him and who persecute the righteous.  He rakes His supposed watchmen vehemently; yet, at the same time, He assures his people He will not accuse forever nor be angry.  He understands “for then the spirit of man would grow faint before me–the breath of man that I have created.”  The fact that God himself would love man enough to consider how the human spirit can only take so much blows my mind!

God is multi-dimensional.  He condemns and judges yet always in love and not relentlessly.  He will comfort us, heal us, and offer us peace–things man desperately needs.

The first part of Isaiah was tough for me at least.  It’s hard to hear over and over again how man fails and God judges.  And God knows this!  Yet these last two lessons have been such a breath of fresh air to my soul.  To fully grasp Jesus’s suffering for me.  To have God declare He will be my husband.  To have God promise not to be angry at me.  To read Romans 1:16-17 and know I am righteous through no ability of my own but just because God made me so.  Amazing!

At least for me who has been consumed by the book of Isaiah, it’s good to be reminded that Isaiah is just one book of the Bible.  Just one.  There are many, many more that speak of God’s love for me as well as Isaiah.  And God planned that on purpose.  To know repercussions and consequences; yet, also how everything is from His extreme love for me.