BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 11, Day 3: Romans 6:15-16

Summary of passage:  Paul concludes again that we don’t sin just because God forgives.  We are like slaves and we are slaves to the one we obey.  It’s up to us if it’s God (who leads to righteousness) or Satan (who leads to death).

Questions:

6)  Paul starts by asking us what do we say and conclude.  In verse 1, Paul is focusing on the argument that one goes on sinning so grace may increase.  In verse 15, Paul focuses on the fact we should sin because we are under grace and forgiven.  Also, note the subtle difference in verb tense (more pronounced in the ancient Greek:  “go on sinning” and “sin”.  Verse 1 is talking about perpetual sinning.  Verse 15 is speaking of an occasional sin here and there.  More explanation in End Notes.

7a)  Under Satan, you will forever sin because of human nature.  Under God who offers us righteousness through grace we are forgiven and our sins are washed away.  We are free from our sins and will thus serve righteousness instead of sin.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Slave to righteousness because I accept Jesus as my Savior who through God’s grace forgives my sins, cleanses me, and thus makes me righteous before God.

Conclusions:  I groaned on 7b and felt like a school kid forced to recite the class rules for the thousandth time.  It’s basically asking you if you’re saved.  A yes or no would have sufficed or better yet a question on the passage.

End Notes:   Wuest explains the verb tense in verse 1 & 15:  “The verb in verse one is in the present subjunctive, speaking of habitual, continuous action. The verb in verse fifteen is in the aorist subjunctive, referring to a single act.”  Again, the answer is no.  Sin and a saved life do not go hand in hand.

Paul is saying in verse 16 that you serve someone so why not Christ instead of the devil (obedience versus sin)?  You can apply this across the spectrum such as slave to food or others’ approval or success or wealth, etc.

It seems the question came from those who were afraid that the doctrine of justification by faith alone will remove all moral restraint.  Paul rejects this idea and shows in the following verses how Christians don’t throw morality to the wind.  Instead, they exchange sin for righteousness as their master.

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BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 11, Day 3: Joel 2:12-27

Summary of passage:  God pleads with His people to repent with their hearts and with fasting, weeping, and mourning.  He is compassionate and will relent.  Everyone gather and fast and offer offerings to God.  God will take pity on His people and bless them with crops and wine and oil and abundance.  He will drive out the northern army and repay them for the locust plague.  The people will have plenty and praise Him.

Questions:

6a)  Because we have sinned against Him which cannot go unpunished by a righteous God and He is omnipotent.  Judgment reveals truth; otherwise, how would we recognize good from bad?  Basically, God sets the rules and we abide by them or face the consequences He chooses.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  If you believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior, you are saved.  If you ask for forgiveness, you are forgiven.  If you repent, God washes you.  If God is first, you are His.

7a)  Repent with their hearts and with fasting, weeping, and mourning.  Offer up offerings to Him.  Gather the people and call a sacred assembly and consecrate them.  Let the priests weep and beg for the Lord to spare His people.

b)  “Gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love.”

8 )  The Lord will take pity on His people and send them abundance:  grain, wine, oil, fruit, vineyard, green pastures, and plenty to eat.  He will drive out the northern army.  He will repay them for the locust years.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  His punishments are for our good so we’ll turn to Him.  It’s not meant in an evil way or just to see us suffer.  It’s so we’ll remember who’s in charge.  Judgment keeps us abiding in Him and constantly striving to be worthy of Him.  It keeps us walking towards Him all of our lives–one step at a time.

Conclusions:  Number 6 has nothing to do with this passage and the answer is not in this passage. Otherwise, great passage where we see all of God–God the judge and God the compassionate, full of mercy and grace and forgiveness.  We need to understand both to understand God.

End Notes:  In the Old Testament, both men and women tore their clothes as a sign of sorrow and mourning (some in the Middle East still do).  Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Elijah, David, and Job all did.  Here, Joel was emphasizing change on the inside not on the outside.

We repent because of God’s kindness (Romans 2:4).  Joel emphasizes this by listing all the blessings God will give if the people repent.

Joel repeats himself in Joel 1:14 but adds how everyone must stop what they are doing and repent now.  He uses the bride and bridegroom as an example because it’s one of the most important events in people’s lives.  God comes first.

The leaders of the church (priests) must lead the people in begging for forgiveness.  Joel gives them a great prayer example in verse 17:  Ask God, remind Him you are His, and say how His forgiveness will bring Him glory to unbelievers (other nations).

Verse 21:  Rejoice ahead of time.  Know God will answer your prayers and thank Him for it.

Ancient Israel did not have irrigation systems.  They were totally reliant upon rainfall for their crops to prosper. God will restore all.

God can give you back even the years you wasted in sin just like with the locust years.  The wasted blessings and fruits may still be yours if you turn to Him.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 11, Day 3: Matthew 10:5-16

Summary of passage:  Jesus sends out his 12 disciples, telling them to go to the lost sheep of Israel and not the Gentiles and preach that Heaven is near.  They are to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse and drive out demons freely.    They are to take no gold for they will find shelter amongst the people.  Stay with worthy people and forget those who do not heed your message.  It will be like sheep among wolves so be shrewd and innocent.

Questions:

5a)  Jesus told the disciples to go to the lost sheep of Israel and to not go to the Gentiles or any in the town of the Samaritans.

b)  John 4:22:  The Samaritans worship what they do not know; the Jesus worship what they do know.  Basically, the Jews knew God and Jesus; the Samaritans did not.  Their time has not yet come (verses 21 & 23)

Matthew 28:19-20:  Jesus told them after his death to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all his commands.

Acts 1:8:  It’s all in God’s time for all (Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and all the ends of the earth) will be Jesus’ witnesses and receive the Holy Spirit.

Romans 1:16; 2:9-11:  Jesus came first for the Jews and then the Gentiles.

6a)  To go to Israel first, to preach the kingdom of heaven is near; to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons.  To do this freely and rely on the people for your support.

b)  Freely you have received, freely give.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Probably poorly, I’ll admit.  I don’t like to give anything freely, really.  I must admit I have a heavy negative connotation with the word “free” because nothing is free in this life and it affects my giving.  I am stingy with my time, my kids, my resources, my abilities, my gifts, etc when I shouldn’t be.  Luckily, my husband is better at this so I can learn from him.

I do not have a naturally generous spirit.  Something I definitely need to pray about and work on.

d)  Everyone who believes in him.

7a)  Not to take any money for the journey and to rely on others for their keep.  Stay at the house of worthy people and ignore those who won’t heed the message.  Be shrewd and innocent.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To give more freely since everything I have is His anyways.  Be more serving.  To have a better attitude when I am called to serve.  To be open to His call.  Believe that I can do more than what I am doing; that I do have a bigger impact on others than just one out of billions on this earth.  Shake off the naysayers of this world and follow Him.  For God will deal with those later.

Conclusions:  I don’t understand BSF at times.  Both today and YESTERDAY the verses they sent us to were incomplete in my humble opinion.  If you read before and after, you’d get a deeper sense of what BSF is trying to teach.  In Question 5b, the point is that Jesus came first for the Jews and then for the Gentiles, which explains Jesus’ command in Matthew to not go to the Gentiles just yet.  It is clearer if you read more verses.

Yesterday, the same with the shepherd analogy especially the Jeremiah passage.  We see God as the shepherd and we see the failings of his chosen people (the Levites) to be the shepherds to the people.  But if we read more in the given passages, we’d have a greater understanding of that.

Please see my post on the SENDING OUT OF THE APOSTLES.  This was not mentioned at all by BSF (maybe in the notes) but I deemed it important enough to post a topic on it.

End Notes:  There was a ton of work to be done amongst God’s people first.  Yes, Jesus died for all but we must still remember Israel is God’s chosen people since the beginning of time.  He starts with them.

Jesus’ message is “the kingdom of heaven is near” which must be given freely with no expectation of monetary rewards by those bringing it.  Those who do not receive this message are responsible for their decision so do not worry about it:  shake it off.

Jesus warned they will face persecution; yet, they are to not retaliate and to use their wisdom to survive.