BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 3, Day 3: Romans 5-16

Summary of passage:  When you don’t repent, you are storing up wrath on the day of judgment.  God will give to each person according to what he has done.  Eternal life, honor, peace, and glory to those who do good.  Wrath and anger, trouble and distress to evil-doers.  All will be judged.  Those who obey the law will be declared righteous on the Day of Judgment by Christ.

Questions:

6)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  God’s wrath.  Good and treasures in heaven I hope.

7a) Eternal life, honor, peace, and glory to those who do good.  Wrath and anger, trouble and distress to evil-doers.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I hope goodness.

8 )  Jesus Christ.

Conclusions:  Terse answers on the personal questions.  It’s hard to judge oneself.  In my eyes and from my limited perspective, I’m doing good.  I’m sure I’m failing though in places in God’s eyes.  The questions would better be worded, “What would a friend say about your heart attitude and storing up for God?”  Or even better if we were asked to pray about what God sees in us and have Him reveal it to us.

End Notes:  Those who condemn sinners are storing up the wrath of God, not merits.  God is the only one who can grant eternal life because none of us are good all the time.  Sin stains us.

Jews are first in line for the gospel (Romans 1:16), first in line for reward (Romans 2:10), and first in line for judgment.

The word indignation comes from the idea of “boiling up,” thus having the sense of a passionate outburst. The word wrath comes from the idea of a swelling which eventually bursts, and applies more to an anger that proceeds from one’s settled nature.

Paul is emphasizing how people are saved by faith not by deeds and if one “persists in doing good” this is proof of genuine faith.

All are equal in God’s eyes.  The word translated partiality in some translations comes from two ancient Greek words put together – to receive and face. It means to judge things on the basis of externals or preconceived notions.

“All who sin apart from the law” refers to the Gentiles.  God judges according to the light available to them.  Gentiles will not be condemned for not obeying a law they did not possess.  Their judgement will be on other grounds.

Some ancient rabbis taught that God favored the Jews.  Paul refutes this.

All that matters is if you’ve obeyed the law.  Hearing the law or knowing the law is not good enough.

Paul clarifies that even if you haven’t heard the law per se, you can be condemned unless you follow the law written on your heart (law for themselves or conscience, which is the law abiding in their hearts).  By nature, man has morals.  But this is not a substitute for God’s laws.

Your conscious is your morals but everyone’s conscious is different and it can become corrupted.  You still need to follow the law to gain righteousness.  Conscious (like God) can still be ignored.

You still will be judged since all of us have a conscious.  No one escapes.  Ignorance is not an excuse.  Jesus is the judge to whom we will all be accountable.  The Jews believe God is the one who will deliver final judgement on the world.

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BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 3, Day 2: Romans 2:1-4

Summary of passage:  We have no right to pass judgement on others cause we do the same things (hypocrites). God judges us based on Truth and He’ll judge us as well.  His kindness leads us towards repentance.

Questions:

3)  We have no excuse to pass judgment on others because we commit the same sins.  God bases His judgement on Truth (facts).

4)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Passing judgment in condemning others for sins when that is God’s job.  We should teach God’s standards instead of judging.  Our standards in judging is different than God’s standards.  I struggle with those who do things that to me is outrageous that I’d never do.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He has given me all I have including my family.  He sticks by me when I’m stubborn and do dumb things.  He waits on me to figure out how dumb I’m being.  He forgives me for that and loves me anyways.  I try to be patient with others and kind.  I try not to judge because that is God’s job.

Conclusions:  This teaching is everywhere in our folklore:  It takes one to know one.  The pot calling the kettle black.  Paul is warning us to not be hypocrites as we all sin (often it’s the same sins) and then we criticize others for it.  God will handle it.  Let it be.  You insult God by trying to do His job.

End Notes:  Paul is going to set forth principles that govern God’s judgment.  God judges according to:

  1. Truth (verse 2)
  2. Deeds (verse 6-11)
  3. Light a person has (verse 12-15)

This will lay the groundwork for Paul’s discussion of the guilt of the Jews (verses 17-29).

Having pointed out some of the worst crimes in Romans 1, Paul doesn’t excuse those who may be thinking they are better than those in Chapter 1.  Man is not so different from each other.  We are all the same:  sinners.  We all deserve God’s judgment/wrath upon us.

We should repent and not have a superior attitude.

This teaching is in accordance with Jesus’s teaching who in Matthew 7:1 condemns hypocritical judging, not judging per se.  This is a warning for Jews who were inclined to look down on the Gentiles because of their ignorance of the Old Testament and their immoral lives.

God has been good to us because He has not judged us yet.  He tolerates our present sin.  He has patience knowing we will sin again and again–every day of our lives.  These riches show God’s mercy upon us.

God’s goodness and kindness towards the wicked (and us) is to lead us to repentance.  We choose.  He doesn’t make us.  Everything He gives us we don’t deserve.  For that alone, we must repent and lead a new life in Christ.  The Jews have misconstrued this patience to be a lack of intent to judge.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 3, Day 5: John 2:23-25

Summary of passage:  Many people saw Jesus’ miracles and believed in him.  However, Jesus knew the heart of all men and would not entrust himself to them.

Questions:

11a)  The disciples knew truly in their hearts who Jesus was.  The Passover believers believed with their minds and not their hearts.  They believed in the spectacular miracles, not in the person who did the miracles.

b)  Those who go through the motions of belief in Jesus but don’t actually have the heart for him.  You see this everywhere from church to work to schools to vacations and every day life events.

12)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus knows these are the very people who are gonna kill him later.  He also is not fooled by their half-hearted belief.  I think Jesus entrusts himself to us every day when he gives us the Holy Spirit and we are his representatives here on earth for others to see.  It is our responsibility to live the life he wants for us, to live His life.

Conclusions:  Great emphasis on the importance of true belief and the depth of Jesus’ love for Fallen mankind.

End Notes:  Superficial belief is a start and better than nothing.  However, it’s not enough for Jesus.  We must always strive to know him better and deeper.

He doesn’t put too much faith in his followers for he knows us.  He is not misled.

Isn’t it amazing how God still loves us even though he knows man?  From here on out, John tells us Jesus is letting us know he knows everything about us.  He is the One.  There can be no doubt.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 3, Day 2: John 2:1-12

Summary of passage:  Jesus performs the first of his miraculous signs the day after having called Philip and Nathanael.  He attends a wedding in Cana still in Galilee.  Jesus’ mother told Jesus there was no more wine.  Jesus replied his time has not yet come.  Still, Jesus told the servants to fill 6 stone water jars with water and hand them to the master of the banquet.  The water had been turned into wine.  He then goes to Capernaum with his mother, brothers, and disciples and stays for a few days.

Questions:

3a)  The wine ran out.  In ancient times, it was custom to feed guests until they were full.  To run out of wine would have been a major faux pas.  The newly married couple would forever feel shame and be known for what happened at their wedding day.  Wine was also a symbol of joy, so the subliminal message would have been “We’re not happy.”

b)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  No.  Not to jump the gun and be patient and wait for Jesus to make the first move.  That doesn’t mean not to ask.  It just means to be patient.  Mary looks at Jesus expectantly.  We should not expect things from Jesus.  All we are is in His grace alone.  We must remember that when life doesn’t go our way and we’re tempted to blame God.

4)  He performs the miracle anonymously and without pomp.  He doesn’t stand up and announce to the whole wedding party:  “Hey, everyone!  I’m about to turn water into wine.  Everyone look at me!”  No.  Jesus performs miracles with no expectations of acknowledgment or anything in return.

Jesus is showing how he’s better than the Old Covenant if you think of Jesus as the wine and the Old Covenant as the water (See End Notes for more detail on this).

5)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  It seems to indicate that the disciples believed in Jesus when they saw his glory through this first recorded miracle.  They believed before but this miracle deepens their faith just like ours is deepened when we see God in our lives.  Jesus is building up his men for their important work to come.

Conclusions:  Once Jesus decides it’s go time, it’s go time.  He doesn’t dilly-dally around and waste time.  He knows his time is limited here on earth.  This is a great lesson for us all.  Do God’s work for your life now.  You never know when you’ll be called home.

End Notes:  Note Jesus calls Mary “woman” and not mother.  There is a shift in their relationship as Jesus embarks on his plan for the world.  It’s like when our kids grow up.  We’re always parents, but we cut the cord and let our children make their own decisions.  This Greek word indicates this change between the two.

These are one of the few recorded words of Mary in the Bible.  Note what they are:  “Do whatever he tells you.”  What wisdom and advice for us today!

Jesus’ “hour” is his destiny of his death on the cross and John pictures Jesus moving towards it (John 7:6,8,30: 8:20).

The 6 stone jars show detail and show how Jesus uses what’s at hand.  He uses us right where we are today!

Note how Jesus didn’t just conjure up the water.  He uses man to aid him.  Like today when we’re called for Jesus’ work.  This is very typical in Jesus’ miracles and we’ll see this throughout the book of John.  Imagine the servants’ joy.  They didn’t do the miracle, but they shared in it’s joy.  They were blessed by obedience.

The master of the feast would have been angry if the wine ran out.  The servants showed courage in carrying the water to him.

Note how Jesus makes “choice wine”.  Jesus makes the best and goes above and beyond expectations.  We should expect the best when Jesus is involved.

Note Jesus’ first miracle is a miracle of conversion:  water to wine.  Old Testament law to New Testament law.  Cleansing from the blood of Jesus.  Old life to new life.  The water is God under the Old Covenant.  The wine is Jesus under the New Covenant.

The wine was after the water, from the water, and better from the water–all indicative of Jesus.  This first sign points to the redemption of creation from all its trials, allowing the wine of joy to flow fully as the prophets had announced (Isiah 35:1-2; Joel 3;18; Amos 9:13).

John always refers to Jesus’ miracles as “signs”, which speaks to the action not the marvel.  There are 7 signs in the book of John (the number of completion), which reveal Jesus’ glory and point to the completion of salvation.  The large catch of fish is in the epilogue.

Map of Cana HERE

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 3, Day 5: Acts 7

Summary of passage:  Stephen begins his defense by citing history.  He reminds the Sanhedrin that God appeared to Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia and told him to go to Haran.  So he did.  Then God told him to go to Canaan and he did.  God promised him he and his descendants would possess that land even though at the time Abraham didn’t.  They would be enslaved for 400 years but afterward they would worship Him.

He gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision.  Isaac was born.  Isaac had Jacob who became the father of the twelve patriarchs.

He retells the story of Joseph, how these same patriarchs (Joseph’s brothers) sold him into slavery into Egypt.  But God was with him and Joseph became Pharaoh’s right-hand man.  Famine struck Canaan so Jacob and his whole family went to Egypt to survive and live with Joseph.

Their ancestors grew over this time but became oppressed by a different ruler of Egypt.  Around this time, Moses was born and he was brought up by Pharaoh’s daughter and educated in the Egyptian ways.

When Moses was 40 he visited his fellow Israelites and interceded when one was being mistreated by an Egyptian and killed the Egyptian.  However, the Israelites did not trust Moses so he fled to Midian.

Another 40 years passed when an angel appeared to Moses in the burning bush where God then spoke to him.  God told him he was sending him back to Egypt to rescue his people, the same people who had rejected Moses before.

He led them out of Egypt and wandered for 40 years.  During this time, the people still questioned Moses leadership and decided to make a golden calf to follow instead.  God got mad at this and told them they would be punished by exile in Babylon (much later on in history).

Moses had the tabernacle and it remained in the land until the time of David and Solomon built a dwelling place for it and the Lord.  But Stephen says God does not live in houses built by men.

Now Stephen attacks the Sanhedrin, accusing them of resisting the Holy Spirit and persecuting prophets and ultimately killing Jesus.

Of course, the Sanhedrin weren’t happy with this attack.  But Stephen looked up and saw the glory of God and Jesus at His right hand.  Appalled the Sanhedrin attacked Stephen and stoned him to death.  Stephen prayed for the Lord to forgive his attackers, while Saul looked on–something of profound significance coming up.

Questions:

13a)  Stephen is being charged with blasphemous words against Moses, the law, customs, the temple, and God.  He is laying out the history of Abraham and Moses, careful to mention how the people had rejected Moses and to highlight how God was behind both of them.

b)  But the people rejected God’s chosen men time and time again, citing examples of the golden calf and angering God, including rejecting Moses even with the presence of the Tabernacle.

c)  Even today,  you (the Sanhedrin) resist the Holy Spirit, persecute and murder prophets (Jesus), and disobey God’s laws just like  your ancestors of the past.

14a)  Accused of blasphemy against God, Stephen used God’s words and God’s history to show how it was they who were not obeying God, not him.  Ever since Abraham, the people have resisted God’s chosen people (here I am assuming Stephen is counting himself as a chosen person of God) and continue to do so.  Basically, they are hypocrites.

b)  Stephen was calm and angelic.  The Sanhedrin were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.  Stephen used words as his weapon. The Sanhedrin used stone.

15)  Stephen looked up to Heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

16a)  Yes.  Death by stoning is a horrible way to go.  Jesus suffered in death and so did Stephen but Jesus was with him so I’m sure the pain was dulled by this knowledge.

b)  Saul

c)  Lord Jesus

Conclusions:  I can’t support my answer to 16a but it seems at least by the Notes from Lesson 1 and the little circle, BSF is implying suffering is a part of victory so since Jesus suffered, so did Stephen.  Plus, I can’t imagine being hit by one stone, let alone enough to kill you.

I love Stephen.  He’s one of my favorites in the Bible.  Here’s a guy who loves the Lord, does the Lord’s work, and is blessed by the Lord to do so and yet he’s picked on for doing so and ultimately killed because of it.  And he didn’t really do anything when compared to Jesus.  I would wager someone or some people just didn’t like him and wanted him gone.

Yet the Lord is with him to the very end.  Awesome!

I loved the synopsis of the history of Genesis and Exodus as well as we see how people resisted God’s word throughout the ages.  It seems like the people were just dumb back then (I mean who makes a golden calf when Moses is up talking to God face to face, right?) but you see the same kind of thing today.  People rejecting God’s word over and over again.  Ironic, isn’t it, how we still haven’t learned from the past.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 3, Day 2: Acts 3-4

Summary of passages:  Acts 3:  Peter and John were heading to the temple to pray when they ran into a crippled beggar.  He asked them for money and Peter exclaimed, “Look at us!”  The beggar did and Peter said he would give the man what he had and told him to walk in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  He pulled him to his feet and the beggar began to jump around and praise God.  The people who saw the beggar were filled with awe at what had happened to him.

All the people were astonished and came running to Peter and John.  Peter asks them why they stare at them as if they were the ones to heal the man.  It was through Jesus, the one you disowned and killed and God raised again, by faith in Jesus that this man walks.

God fulfilled his prophecies.  Repent, turn to God so your sins can be wiped clean.  Jesus will remain in heaven until the time of restoration.  Peter quotes Moses and Abraham who spoke of Jesus, telling the people to listen and turn from your wicked ways.

Acts 4:  The priests and the Sadducees arrest Peter and John because they were teaching people Jesus rose from the dead.  But many heard and more were converted.

The next day the pair was brought before the Sanhedrin (a group resembling the group Jesus was brought before) and asked by what power they healed.  Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, speaks the truth, “It is by the name of Jesus Christ whom you killed that this man is healed.  Salvation is found only in Jesus.

The learned men were astonished these so-called unschooled, ordinary men could heal.  They could do nothing since everyone had seen the man healed.  The Sanhedrin want to stop them from speaking in Jesus’ name but when they asked Peter and John to stop, they refused. Reluctantly, the two were let go since they could not deny a miracle had taken place.

Peter and John returned and prayed, saying “God, you made it all; you proclaimed through David how the rulers gather against you but they did what you had decided beforehand.  So enable us to speak your word with boldness and to heal through Jesus.  God filled them with the Holy Spirit.

All the believers shared their possessions.  The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of Jesus.  No one went without.

Questions:

3)  1) You must have faith to give faith.  Peter says, “What I have I give you.” (Acts 3:6)  Peter takes the man by the hand and he walks.  Peter had faith in Jesus and gave it to the man.

2) Once you have faith you must use it and proclaim it.  “He jumped to his feet and began to walk.  He walked, jumped, and praised God.” (Acts 3:8)  Once Jesus is in your heart you must use it to follow God’s plan for you.  John 10:10  “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

3) “Faith comes from hearing the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17  Peter heals the man in the name of Jesus.  When  you hear or read the word of God you are healed in many ways just like this man was when he heard the name of Jesus.

4) From Ephesians 2:8, God’s grace saves us and the Holy Spirit prompts us to do good works.  The crippled beggar was healed because God chose to heal him through his grace.  The beggar believed and Peter believed and God chose to reward them because He loved them and loves us.

4a)  The name of Jesus is powerful.  It heals (3:6).

Jesus is referred to as God’s servant (3:13); the Holy and Righteous One (3:14); the author of life (3:15); Peter explains “It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given complete healing” (3:16); God’s holy servant (4:27, 30)

b) “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (4:12)

5) The were astonished and confounded how unschooled, ordinary men could perform such miracles.  They had been with Jesus and performed an indisputable miracle.  All the rulers could do was threaten them.  They could not harm them for they were now loved by the people.

6a)  They praised God and listed his accomplishments (“you made the heaven and the earth and the sea”).  They quoted God’s words (Psalm 2:1,2).  They told God what was happening through telling him the travesties that were occurring against him and Jesus (conspiring against him).  They recognized it was God’s will and said so (verse 28). Finally, they asked for what they wanted (consider the threats and stretch out your hand and perform miracles in Jesus’ name).

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m trying to say “your will, not mine” more.  I praise God for His goodness and His goodness in my life.  Then ask for what I want in a humble way if it is God’s will and in His timing.

7)  They shared what they had with others and each had a good heart (one for God).  They testified to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and much grace was showered on them.  No one was in need for those that had gave when needed or gave to those who could give to those needy.

Conclusions:  Challenging lesson that’s for sure.  Question 3 I think will get a lot of you thinking.  I also liked the prayer model.  It’s something we all know but it’s hard to remember in the rush we have in our lives to take the time and pray properly when we do pray.

That being said, I think ultimately God doesn’t care how you pray.  Even if it’s just, “God, help me” it’s something, which is better than nothing.  For God knows your heart and what you mean even when you don’t or can’t say it.

I enjoyed the various names Jesus is called.  It’s helpful for me to remember exactly what he has done for us. Sometimes the word Jesus is not enough.  He’s talked about so often we can become immune almost to his power. The phrases “God’s holy servant” and “author of life” emphasizes just exactly who Jesus is and the power he has in our lives.