BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 6, Day 4: Romans 3:29-30

Summary of passage:  God is the God of everyone.

Questions:

8 )  Gentiles are everyone who is not a Jew.  Because the Jewish rabbis had taught for generations that the Jewish people is special since they were chosen by God to be the bearer of faith and the keep of God’s laws.  They believed they were superior to others because they did believe in the One, True God in a world dominated by pagans.

9)  All throughout history people believed in the afterlife and in various gods.  Many think if they are good people they will get to heaven.  Many people worship other gods.  Many don’t even think.

10)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Easy:  There are not many ways to God.  It’s only Jesus.  The entire Bible says so.  Graciously?  Unsure.  You can’t convince someone with a hard heart to God to soften.  All you can do is speak the Truth.  God will (or will not) do the rest in His power.

Conclusions:  Question 8 is repetitive.  We’ve already studied why the Jews thought they were special.  Again, nit-picking this passage about only one way to heaven.  All Christians know this and accept this (or they’re not Christians).  We all know how others think.  What is the value in discussing it?  I would rather meditate on how much God loves me, the sinner, than waste time debating the fallacies of others.

End Notes:  God is the God of all and He justifies all the same–through faith.

Advertisements

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 6, Day 3: Romans 3:27-28

Summary of passage:  A man is justified by faith, not the law.

Questions:

6)  Faith by definition according to Webster’s Dictionary is “allegiance to duty or a person; belief and trust in and loyalty to God.”  Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines faith as “a true commitment of self to God, an unwavering trust in his promises, and a persistent fidelity and obedience.”

Today a lot of people have loose definitions of faith.  They say they have faith until the bad times hit and then God is thrown under the bus.  I also think people have half-hearted faith.  They lie to themselves or others when asked.  They don’t have faith in anything.  They wander through their lives, looking for something besides God.  If only they realized He is right here.  Always and forever.

7a)  Faith is believing in the unseen and taking God’s word at face value.  Faith is blind obedience.  Faith is stepping forward even though you cannot see the ground in front of you.  Faith is relinquishing control to God and believing He will keep His promises.  It’s believing the Bible as God-breathed.  It’s undeniable love.  Abel offered God a better sacrifice than his brother, Cain.  Noah built an ark and brought 2 of every animal inside.  Abraham moved an incredible distance for Ancient Times and became a father.  He offered Isaac as a sacrifice.  Joseph predicted the Exodus.  God’s people followed Moses to the Promised Land (despite hiccups along the way).  The prophets spoke God’s words despite dangers.  Rahab hid the spies.  The walls of Jericho fell.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Quit my banking job.  But I’m still not convinced I’m on the right path.  I’m restless and when I get restless I know it’s God trying to correct my path.

Conclusions:  Study of Hebrews 11 day and faith.

End Notes:  We cannot boast of anything we do for saving grace.  That is all God.  All it takes if faith, not boasting.

Martin Luther said, “Sola Fide”.  Latin for Only Faith.  That is all that is required.

James did not argue against this fact.  He was describing how works prove to others the saving faith of God for Christians are expected by God to do and be more.

Fun Fact:  When Martin Luther translated this passage, he added “alone” after “by faith”, which although was not in the original Greek (and has been taken out of modern versions of the Bible) accurately reflects this passage.

Fun Fact:  The New Testament draws all of its examples of faith from the lives of Old Testament believers and Paul rests his doctrine of faith on Habbakkah 2:4 in Romans 1:17.  Please see my collorary post on Paul’s Doctrine of Faith HERE.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 6, Day 2: John 4:31-34

Summary of passage:  The disciples, concerned about Jesus, asked him to eat something.  He replied how he has food to eat they know nothing about.  Mystified, they still insisted he eat.  Jesus explained he sustains himself by doing God’s work and finishing it.

Questions:

3a)  “Doing the will of God and finishing God’s work” i.e. dying for our sins and saving the world by faith and grace.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I find great satisfaction in knowing I’m doing God’s work on this planet.  Raising my kids, being a dutiful wife, writing for Him, working for Him, etc.  It’s what sustains me when the times are hard and motivates me when I have no will.

c)  Come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and accept him as your Savior.

4a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It’s easy in this world dominated by instant satisfaction to get lost in tasks that waste your time.  I have to stay focused and ask myself every day:  Is this for God or is it for me?  How does what I’m doing propel Him forward?  Is this meeting His goals?

b)  Love God.  Love others.  Spread the Good News and teach them to obey God.  Pray.  Give to the needy.  Do not worry.  Seek Him always.  Store treasures in heaven, not here.  Testify for Jesus.  Finish God’s work for my life.

Conclusions:  This passage is one where you want to hit the disciples over the head and say, “Don’t you get it?!  It’s Jesus, the Son of God, sent to die for our sins!”  We know that of course, but they didn’t.  This explains just how radical the idea is to the people of that time:  God sent his Son to die for us?  But why?  And that, my friend, is what the whole Bible tries to explain.

End Notes:  The disciples were rightly concerned about Jesus’ health.  He just finished a long walk from Judea.  His body needed sustenance.  Jesus’ point was there’s more to life than physical needs:  spiritual needs that bread alone won’t satisfy.  Jesus is saying, “My strength and nourishment is God.”

Jesus points out what’s most important here:  God’s will, not the fine details of serving others, etc.  Only doing God’s will will satisfy the human soul.  Period.  It refreshes weary souls like Jesus’.  Man’s own desires are lackluster in comparison.

John frequently records how Jesus depends on the Father and is doing His will (3:34; 5:30; 6:38; 8:26; 9:4; 10:37-8; 12:50; 14:31; 15:10; 17:4)

Notice the AND.  Doing the will of God and finishing it.  Remember Jesus’ last words?  “It is finished.” (John 19:30)  Once we can utter these words as well, heaven will come.  Great stuff!

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 6, Day 5: Revelation 3:14-22

Summary of passage: To the church in Laodicea Jesus says he knows the church’s deeds which are only lukewarm or mediocre. They believe they are rich and have everything they need, but they are poor and lacking in God. He wants them to see their spiritual blindness, become righteous, and obtain his riches.  Jesus loves them and wants them to repent and choose him and receive eternal life.

Questions:

13a)  True riches are heaven and eternal life with God.  White clothing is righteousness–what enables you and me to stand with God–and salvation.  When you are clothed in God’s righteousness, you gain His spirit and character which gives you compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12) and love and forgiveness (Colossians 3:13 & 14).

b)  He will eat with them and sit with him on his throne.

14a)  Discipline by the Lord separates us from the unbelievers and saves us from condemnation with the world (1 Corinthians 11:32).  Discipline is what makes us God’s children (Hebrews 12:8).  It is for our good and what allows us to share in His holiness (Hebrews 12:10).  It produces righteousness and peace (Hebrews 12:11).  If God didn’t love us, He wouldn’t bother to discipline us, to teach us His ways, to save us.

God invites earnestness and repentance.  God looks for love in return for His care; compassion; surrender; a life of love for others.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God loves us enough to discipline us so we’ll turn to Him and walk in His ways.  We will gain the world if we do.  Gratefulness is the right response.  Humbleness.  An increased awe of Him.  More love and compassion for Him and His people.

Conclusions:  Good reminder of the importance and necessity of discipline in all of our lives. Good verses to use to explain to your children when they ask why their punishment is necessary.

End Notes:  The Greek word here for love is phileo which means friend (the same word Philadelphia comes from).  Earnest here is the same root word as hot used in Revelation 3:16.  Turn to Him and be zealous for Him.

Here’s the Great Invitation to us all:  Jesus standing at the door and knocking.  Only you can open the door and invite him in.  Will you?

Listen!  And you will hear his voice.

The “dine” or “eat” here was the Greek meal of deipnon, which was the main meal at the end of the day where the family would sit and linger and talk about the day.  It was supper where relationships were deepened and strengthened.

The invitation was to all–the individual–not the church here.  We each must accept Jesus.  Then we will sit on his throne (Luke 22:30; Rev 20:4; 22:5)

Laodicea is the worst of the churches (the only one not praised) promised the greatest reward.  This is hope for all of us that despite our sins we are loved and accepted and invited to be with God forever.  He pursues us to the end.

Quote of the Week:  “It is, in fact, God’s final punishment to leave a man alone.” (Barclay)

Map of Region with Laodicea: https://bleon1.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/38-seven-churches-of-asia.png

Conclusions to Lesson 6:  Scholars say Chapters 2 & 3 of Revelation are the most practical in the whole book since Jesus lays out what he expects of churches and thus you and me.

I love the hope throughout.  Most people think Revelation is a book of gloom and doom.  It’s not.  It’s a book of hope and love and salvation and wonderment.  It’s Jesus personified meaning we see all of him–his love, his judgment, his salvation, his condemnation.  So many times churches nowadays just speak of Jesus as love and ignore the judgment because it’s not politically correct to judge people and sadly Christian’s knowledge of the Bible has shrunken to the point that they don’t understand what true judgment is.

The Book of Revelation should be discussed more and in depth in churches these days.  It would go a long way to furthering our knowledge of Him in ways we can’t even imagine.

We have finished studying the letters John wrote to the churches, giving them Christ’s words.  We will take a break for the next two lessons and study Acts and Daniel before we jump into the next major section of Revelation which is Christ as judge and his judgments upon man.

Commonalities in the Letters and Patterns:

  1. Character of Christ
  2. Commendation
  3. Complaint
  4. Correction
  5. Conclusion