BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 9, Day 5: Romans 5:20-21

Summary of passage:  The purpose of the law was to show man his sin more so that God could show man His need for grace and a Savior more.

Questions:

10a)  If no one states the rules/laws, how would you know you are breaking them?  How would you know what God expects if He doesn’t state it?  Sin needed to be defined.  One can’t rely on self (which is full of sin) to say what’s right and wrong.  The law amplified our sins, showed us our need for a Savior, and in God’s perfect timing (when man was ripe to receive), God sent Jesus to save us.

The law draws clear lines between right and wrong and man (like little kids) want to cross those lines to test what they can get away with.  Hence, man sins even more because of man’s sinful nature.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  As more and more sins are acceptable or tolerated (i.e. homosexuality, murder, rape, etc) more and more people follow the crowd and the power of crowd mentality.  As thus, our need for a Savior grows as our sins grow.

11)  Personal Question that really shouldn’t be asked.  My answer:  Generically, I know I’m a faulty parent.  I also know I’m a good parent.  But with God’s grace He’ll overcome my sins in my parenting and allow my children to grow up to awesome individuals.

12)  Heaven(Kingdom of God/Jesus where grace reigns through righteousness, leading to eternal life through Jesus) and hell (Kingdom of Satan where sin leads to death).  They dwell permanently in each.

Conclusions:  Again, too little here to justify 4 questions (hence the personal nature of such).  Anyone else wish BSF would cut the study instead of add “fillers” to lengthen it?  6 months would be good.  Then they could throw on Galatians or something smaller to make it a full year.

End Notes:  Compared to God’s holy standard, sin stands in stark contrast, which was the purpose of the law so man could see that.  However, God’s grace super-abounds (“increased all the more”) to cover man’s sins.  Thus, we can’t sin more than God can forgive.  However, we can reject his forgiveness.

Sin reigns in death.  Grace reigns through righteousness, granting eternal life, because of Jesus. Titus 2:11-12 tells us how to live (not sinning purposely) but living righteously.

Grace is not a license to sin.  Grace challenges us to overcome it through the power of Jesus!

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BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 9, Day 3: Romans 5:14-19

Summary of passage:  Death reigned since Adam’s sin but so has life through Christ since Jesus’s death!  Adam’s sin condemned man but Jesus’s gift of sacrificial life justifies us!  Disobedience made us sinners; obedience makes us righteous.

Questions:

5)  Adam and Jesus are the same because in one act they brought universal consequences.  Adam brought sin and death when he ate the apple and Jesus brought eternal salvation through his death.  Condemnation was brought versus justification.  Adam disobeyed which led to sin for all; Jesus obeyed which led to justification for all.  God’s gift of eternal life (brought through Jesus) has no comparison to the life of sin brought through Adam.  The good trumps the bad a gazillion to one!

6)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Eternal life, justification, righteousness before God.  Paul keeps repeating this using different words and variations so us stupid humans will get it!  Like above, how can words describe God’s gift of salvation?  Eternal gratitude and desire for Him and to obey and do His will in my life.

7)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Disobedience and consequently sin unites people to Adam.  Obedience and consequently salvation unites people to Christ.  Christ because in my heart I know He is Lord and Savior to which I have confessed and believe and trust and obey.

End Notes:  If interested in verse 14 commentary, see YESTERDAY’S lesson.  It’s so interlinked with verses 12 & 13 that I didn’t want to try to separate the explanation out.

Paul is continuing his contrast of Adam and Jesus.  What it boils down to is this:  Adam bit apple.  Death consequence to all men.  Jesus died a sinless death AND rose from the dead.  Eternal life consequence to all men WHO believe.

We can say Jesus and Adam are both kings, each instituting a reign.  Adam has death reigning.  Jesus has life reigning.

Death is a 100% guarantee (unless Jesus comes again of course and you are still alive).  Paul is saying Jesus’s reign of life is even more than 100% guarantee.  God’s grace is infinitely greater for good than is Adam’s sin for evil.

Verse 18 Paul summarizes.  These verses has both Adam and Jesus known as the two men.  Between them they represent all of humanity and you are either identified with Adam or Jesus.  We are all born under Adam.  We are born again when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

This idea of Adam and Jesus as two representatives of the human race is sometimes called Federal Theology, or Adam and Jesus are sometimes referred to as Federal Heads. This is because under the federal system of government, representatives are chosen and the representative speaks for the people who chose him. Adam speaks for those he represents, and Jesus speaks for His people.

One may object: “But I never chose to have Adam represent me.” Yes, you did–with the very first sin you committed. Hence, Jesus stands apart.

So, once you are old enough, you choose: Adam who brings judgment and condemnation or Jesus who brings grace and justification and thus life.

The important thing to note is not all are given free life.  The gift of life is presented. However, you must choose to receive it (verse 17).  The idea that all men are saved by the work of Jesus whether they know it or not is called universalism.  Paul never propounds this belief.  He clearly states not all will be saved in all his writings.  NIV Bibles take out the word “free” to avoid this confusion.

Verse 19 sums up this entire section:  Since we were made sinners by one man, we can be made righteous by one man!  Praise God!  This is God’s fairness and justice in play.  Paul is about to discuss our change in character (sanctification) in chapters 6-8.

To be clear:  none of us can stand by ourselves.  Remember, we are filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) in God’s eyes without Jesus.  To choose to do so is death.  I choose life!

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 9, Day 2: Romans 5:12-14

Summary of passage:  Sin entered the world through Adam and death as a consequence.  Death and sin has been in the world ever since.

Questions:

3)  Adam.  In Genesis (not in this passage in Romans), God warns Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil because he will die if he does.  God curses man because of this sin, initiating death to all of mankind and enmity (the devil) into the world.  Pain in childbirth came and man was cursed to work for his food.  Man was banished from the Garden of Eden forever and under sin forever.

4)  That people are born good.  We are all born sinners.  I believe this because we are told so in the Bible multiple times (like verse 12) and because of man’s nature–selfish, prideful, greedy, lustful, etc.  After Original sin of Adam, all were born sinners.

Conclusions:  I realize we gotta spread 16 chapters of Romans out over 30 weeks, but this was another “duh” day (as evidenced by the number of extra passages BSF had to send us to).  If you’re a Christian, question 4 was dumb.  Everyone wants to think they’re good, but deep down we’re evil.  Only Christ makes us good.  I fail every day and I readily acknowledge that.  It’s a good way to stay humble.

End Notes:  Romans 5:12-21 is a contrast between Adam and Christ.  Adam introduced sin and death into the world; Christ brought righteousness and life.  These two verses sum up the comparison that ends in verse 18.  Furthermore, these two men also sum up the message of the book up to this point:  Adam stands for humanity’s condemnation (1:18-3:20) and Christ stands for the believer’s justification (3:21-5:11).

pattern  Note both are one act: biting the apple (universal ruin), dying on the cross (universal blessing).  What a lesson for us on how powerful (and consequential) our actions can be!

Significantly, Adam is responsible for the fall of the human race, not Eve.  Eve was deceived when she sinned, but Adam sinned with full knowledge (1 Timothy 2:14). Death entered through Adam and has never left.  And it won’t until the Second Coming.

All men are subject to death and therefore subject to sin–even babies–through Adam.

Is this fair?  No.  But is it fair to be made righteous by the work of another man?  Yes!  Since we are made sinners by the work of another man.  If we aren’t made sinners by Adam, then it isn’t fair for us to be made righteous by Jesus.

Most people don’t want to admit babies and kids are sinners.  But think about this:  did you teach your child to be bad?  No.  By nature, they just are.

If babies are sinners, does that mean that they go to hell if they die?  Not necessarily.  First, we know that the children of believers are sanctified by the presence of a believing parent (1 Corinthians 7:14). Secondly, David had the assurance that his baby would meet him in heaven (2 Samuel 12:23). Finally, we know that at the end of it all, God, the judge of the entire world, will do right (Genesis 18:25).

If there are children of unbelieving parents in heaven (we don’t know), it is important to understand that it is not because they are innocent. It’s because of God’s grace and mercy that He let them in.  We are are guilty and undeserving of salvation.  It’s all God!

Sin and death were in the world before the Law was given–even to those who didn’t sin.  However, the Law cannot save us–people still died.  Death still reigned.

Paul says Adam is like Jesus because both were sinless and both brought eternal consequences to the world!