BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 14, Day 3: Romans 8:19-22

Summary of passage:  All of creation (everything outside of man like earth and the animals) awaits Jesus’s Second Coming (the liberation of the bondage man created with the First Sin and the glorious freedom promised).

Questions:

6)  Creation is everything outside of man like the earth and the animals.

7)  Everything is subject to death (the plants and animals).

8 )  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus’s Second Coming.  No where does this passage talk about “proper creation care”, “idolizing nature”, or “trusting in people’s efforts to renew the planet” which wasn’t a concern 2000 years ago when Paul wrote these words.  This question does not make sense to me (so if it does to you, please leave a comment) and in my opinion has nothing to do with this passage.  In my life, I have little time to worry about renewing the planet or the few who idolize nature.  Frankly, it’s none of my concern.  I have way too much going on in my own little world to worry about others and their problems.

Conclusions:  I have no clue how BSF got question 8 from this passage besides out of nowhere.  Paul is simply saying everything will be renewed when Christ comes again.  Period.  None of this other stuff.  Baffled to say the least.  The rest of the questions on this lesson as well don’t make much sense.  Worst Lesson of this study so far for me.

End Notes:  Isaiah 11:6-9 describes what will happen in that day as the lion lays with the lamb.

Was subjected to frustration refers to Genesis 3:17-19 and God subjects creation in hope refers to Genesis 3:15.

The physical universe is not destined for destruction (annihilation) but for renewal.  Living things will no longer be subject to death and decay as they are today under the Fallen World.  I think this is BSF’s intended point in Question 8 is to get us to come to this conclusion (basically not to believe the doomsdayers who say the world is going to end–it’s not) but the way BSF went about it was convoluted, befuddled, and confounding.

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BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 13, Day 4: Romans 8:12-14

Summary of passage:  Since believers have the Spirit of Christ indwelt, our responsibility is to live according to the Spirit.

Questions:

9)  To live according to the Spirit of Christ because we are sons of God and are now holy.

10a)  By living according to the Spirit and submitting to it.  Loving your neighbor.  Giving up all earthly sins such as sexual immorality, impurity, evil desires, greed, idolatry, anger, rage, malie, slander, lies, etc.  Instead, be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient.  Forgive each other.  Let peace reign in your hearts.

b)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  We’re to let the Spirit reign and not the flesh.  I need help in loving others and self-control when I’m angry and self-control with my words.

Conclusions: Stretched the questions since only 2 verses.  In essence:  Live a Godly life as God’s children.  Period.

End Notes:  Paul reminds us the flesh leads to death.  We are often deceived in this because in the moment living according to the flesh feels good.

When you become a son of God, the Spirit leads.  The Spirit leads us into truth, love, faithfulness, holiness, repentance, usefulness, and Jesus-like.

God is the creator of all but not all are His children.  You must believe in Jesus as His Son and Savior.  When this happens, the hallmark is a life led by God’s Spirit.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 13 Day 3: Romans 8:5-11

 Summary of passage:  There are those who live according to sin and those who live according to the Spirit.  The sinful mind rebels against God.  The Spirit mind obeys God and experience life and peace.  The Spirit lives within those who belong to Christ.  Our Spirit is alive by righteousness and God will give life to our mortal bodies through the Spirit as well.

Questions:

6)  Those who live according to the sinful nature and those who live according  to the Spirit.  Sinful nature people have their minds set on what nature desires.  These people are set on death and hostile to God and do not submit to God’s law.  They can never please God.  Spirit people have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  Spirit people live in life and peace.

7)  Part personal Question we’ve answered before:  The fruits produced by the Spirit are:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  The mind is focused on heavenly things not earthly things.  I hope others say they see God in me, but I can never be sure since in my mind I fail too much daily to be Godly.

8 )  Part personal Question that doesn’t necessarily encourage me today:  Your spirit is alive through righteousness and your physical body will rise as well through the Spirit.  We are controlled by the Spirit, not by our sinful nature.  All who have the Spirit belong to God/Christ.  In general, I’m encouraged every day by the Spirit that lives in me, who guides me, and empowers me to get out of bed every day and face this fallen world that sometimes weighs me down with its brokenness.  It’s hard to put into words God’s amazingness.

Conclusions:  Question 6 you can basically copy verbatim verses 5-8 and have the answer.  Basically, if you have Christ, you have the Spirit.  The Spirit is God’s gift to us to guide us, lead us, be with us, comfort us, and strengthen us–to have God with us always.

End Notes:  You know if you’re in the Spirit or the flesh by where your mind is.  The flesh or sinful mind battles against God because it does not want to submit.  The law is powerless to help us in this battle.  You will never please God as long as the flesh is winning.

With the gift of the Holy Spirit, believers have the power to defeat the flesh.  If you are a Christian, you have the Spirit.  If not, you do not.  Simple.

However, you may still miss out on living the Christian life because you are not in tune with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).

How do you know if you have the Spirit?  Are you striving to be more like Jesus every day?

Our Spirit is alive because of Jesus abiding inside us and we will experience resurrection in the Last Days because of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 12, Day 4: Romans 7:14-20

Summary of passage:  Sin makes man do what he does not what to do–evil things.

Questions:

8 )  Paul is unspiritual because he is corrupted by sin.  All believers have the seeds of rebellion in their hearts.  The law is holy because it has its origin in God.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Sin is man’s nature and the struggle to overcome that is only won through Jesus’s death and the Holy Spirit within fighting daily.

10)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Lose my temper too much.  Help others more.

Conclusions:  Again, I feel like so much is here and BSF does a poor job of pulling it out with these personal questions.

End Notes:  “I am” suggests Paul is describing the personal Christian experience here (see YESTERDAY for in depth on this analysis).

“Unspiritual” is usually translated as carnal.   Carnal uses the ancient Greek word sarkikos, which means, “characterized by the flesh.” In this context it speaks of the person who can and should do differently but does not. Paul sees this carnality in himself, and knows that the law, though it is spiritual, has no answer for his carnal nature.

“Sold as a slave to sin.”  Very, very strong description that many refuse to accept it as descriptive of a Christian.  However, it may graphically point out the failure even of Christians to meet the radical, ethical, and moral demands of the gospel.  It also shows the persistent nature of sin.

Paul is in bondage under sin and the law can’t help him.  The law can only help if he is innocent, but Paul knows that he’s guilty and that the law argues against him, not for him.

Paul is not saying how we hold no responsibility and sin is to blame for our actions.  No.  He’s merely pointing out how great control sin has over our lives.

You can be carnal and still be a Christian.  It’s the awareness of our fallen nature, our acknowledgment and hatred of it in ourselves, which leads to praising and loving God.

Paul describes in verses 15-19 his feeling of helplessness.  He wants to do what is right and indeed knows what is right but under his own power he cannot.  The law gives us no power to keep them; it merely tells us what is right and wrong.

This paradox of recognizing we are sinners, owning our sin, and repenting of it comes from the law and not from our Christian nature.

What is the law anyways?  To most of Paul’s audience, the word law stands for the huge collection of rules and rituals detailed in the Old Testament.  Whenever he starts talking about “the new covenant” or “freedom in Christ”, his Jewish listeners want to know what he things about Moses’ law.  Does God still require obedience?  That’s what all of chapter 7 discusses.

Thanks to his years as a Pharisee, Paul knows Moses’ law well. This chapter, the most personal and autobiographical in Romans, reveals Paul’s thoughts on this issue.

When the Law is Helpful:  Paul never recommends discarding the law.  He sees it reveals a basic code of morality, an expression of behavior that pleases God.  The law is good for one thing:  exposing sin.  Rules such as the Ten Commandments are helpful, healthful, and good.

When the Law is Helpless:  The law has one major problem:  After proving how bad you are, it doesn’t make you any better.  Paul’s conscience is very sensitive from his legalism days.  This makes him feel guilty.  This law that shows us our failures cannot provide the power to overcome them.  The law or any set of rules leads to death.

Romans 7 shows the struggle when an imperfect person commits himself to a perfect God.  How can I ever get rid of my nagging sins?  The invisible sins (lust, anger, coveting) can be just as toxic as the outward sins (stealing, adultery, murder).  In the face of God’s standards, all of us feel helpless and that is precisely Paul’s point and confession.  No set of rules can break the terrible cycle of guilt and failure.  We need outside help and Chapter 8 brings it!  Hint:  The Holy Spirit!

We will be spending 3 weeks studying Chapter 8–hope!

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 11, Day 5: Romans 6:19-23

Summary of passage:  We now offer our bodies in slavery to righteousness, which leads to holiness and eternal life.  Sin leads to death.

Questions:

11)  In essence, people want to be free to do whatever they wish with no repercussions.  This is just not reality. Under your own strength, you can’t do anything.  True freedom is living under God’s strength to overcome sin.  Following our own path is a slave to Satan.  It’s not how we were designed to live.  It’s a lie Satan tells you to keep on sinning.  When you do your own thing, Satan is in charge.

12)  Slave to sin: death.  Slave to God: holiness and eternal life.

13a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Sin leads you to feeling broken and hopeless, unworthy and guilty, shameful and evil.  God uses these experiences to make you yearn for Him and His ways.  He replaces those feelings with hope and worthiness and holiness.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Gratitude (my stock answer).  A desire to do His will through His strength.  Be more like Jesus every day.

Conclusions:  Question 13 is repetitive and could have done without it.  Question 11 is too broad.  It’s any sin.  Weak lesson.  Paul is basically repeating himself as well to emphasize how we now are free in Jesus.

End Notes:  The “human terms” is Paul apologizing for using slavery as his example from human lives because so many back then were slaves or if not slaves per se in essence slaves because Rome dictated their lives, but it was an accurate description of his point.

Paul speaks of habits when he says “impurity to ever-increasing wickedness”.  The longer you do something, the more ingrained it is and the harder to change.  In times of temptation, we must remember ever-lasting life.

Slavery to God produces holiness, and eventually eternal life.  There is no eternal life without holiness (Hebrews 12:14).

We must fight against every occasional sin because the benefits (life) far outweighs death!  This is Paul’s answer to Romans 6:15.  Remember, it’s a gift, not earned.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 11, Day 2: Romans 6:12-14

Summary of passage:  Sin is not your master since you are under grace.  Offer yourselves and your bodies to God, not sin, as instruments of righteousness.

Questions:

3)  We are alive through believe in Jesus Christ.

4a)  Negative:  “do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.”  “Do not offer parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness.”

Positive:  “Offer yourselves to God” and “offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.”

In this instance, lasting change has to have both:  you cannot keep your evil ways AND be instruments of God.  You have to consciously lessen the evil and increase the good.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Any time I sin I’m giving myself up to sin and every time I choose God I’m giving myself to Him.  This is a daily, minute occurrence with no glaring examples that come to mind.  It could be when I’m being selfish or prideful or even mean.  This could be as well when I’m compassionate, giving, and kind.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God is with me always and I can draw upon His power and the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome sin.

Conclusions:  Weak.  Very, very weak.

End Notes:  This is a call by Paul to Christians to live in the freedom Jesus’s blood provides us as many are unsure.  Paul says stop yielding to the fleshly desire to sin which leads to a life of discouragement, fear, anxiety, and defeat.

We are dead to sin and alive to God.  We must refuse to let sin reign in our lives and offer ourselves to God.

The parts of our body–eyes, ears, mouth, lips, etc–must be used for good and not given in to sin.  You could think of “instruments” as weapons.  How God used David’s hands to slay Goliath.  Later, how David allowed his eyes to be used for sin when he gazed upon Bathsheba.

Once we take away the sin we must use them for something–righteousness–offered to God.

The priests in the Old Testament consecrated their bodies to God. Sacrificial blood was applied to the ear, to the thumb, and on the big toe, showing that those parts of their body (and all other parts) belonged to God and were to be used for His glory (Exodus 29:20).  The idea is the same.

We present ourselves to God as being alive from the dead. This first has the idea that all connection with the previous life – the old man – must be done away with. That life is dead and gone. Secondly, it has the idea of obligation, because we owe everything to the One who has given us new life!

“For sin shall not be your master”:  Spurgeon said that these words give us a test, a promise, and an encouragement.

1) It is a test of our claim to be Christians. Does anger have dominion over you? Does murmuring and complaining? Does covetousness have dominion over you? Does pride? Does laziness have dominion over you? If sin has dominion over us, we should seriously ask if we are really converted.

2) It is a promise of victory. It doesn’t say that “sin will not be present in us,” because that will only be fulfilled when we are resurrected in glory. But it does promise that sin will not have dominion over us because of the great work Jesus did in us when we were born again.

3) It is an encouragement for hope and strength in the battle against sin. God hasn’t condemned you under the dominion of sin – He has set you free in Jesus. This is encouragement for the Christian struggling against sin, for the new Christian, and for the backslider.

Law clearly defined God’s standard, and shows us where we fall short of it. But it cannot give the freedom from sin that grace provides. Remember that grace reigns through righteousness (Romans 5:21). Grace (not law) provides the freedom and the power to live over sin.

This shows again that a life lived truly under grace will be a righteous life.

For the Jews, their life was completely about living under the Law.  Now Paul says after Jesus we live under grace.

Paul has answered his question from Romans 6:1. Why don’t we just continue in habitual sin so grace may abound? Because when we are saved, when our sins are forgiven, and God’s grace is extended to us, we are radically changed. The old man is dead, and the new man lives.

In light of these remarkable changes, it is utterly incompatible for a new creation in Jesus to be comfortable in habitual sin. A state of sin can only be temporary for the Christian. As Spurgeon is credited with saying: “The grace that does not change my life will not save my soul.”

John states the same idea in another way: Whoever abides in Him does not [habitually] sin. Whoever[habitually] sins has neither seen Him nor known Him . . . Whoever has been born of God does not[habitually] sin, for his seed remains in him; and he cannot [habitually] sin, because he has been born of God (1 John 3:6 and 3:9).

The changes may not come all at one time, and they may not come to each area of one’s life at the same time, but they will be there and they will be real and they will be increasing as time goes on.

You cannot sin for you love God. We are changed and free through grace.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 10, Day 4: Romans 6:5-10

Summary of passage:  We are united with Christ in his death and resurrection.  We are no longer slaves to sin since Christ’s death has freed us from sin.  Since Christ rose from the dead, he lives!  As do we.

Questions:

9)  In death, resurrection, and life.

10)  The old self (our sin nature) is you before you accepted Christ as your Savior–the one patterned after Adam and who rebels and resists God and His commands.  Once you believe in Christ you were inhabited by the Holy Spirit and changed.  You are made new in righteousness and holiness!

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I thank God for all aspects of choosing me to be saved, making me holy and righteous and able to stand before God for all of eternity.  I know He’s set me free from sin.

Conclusions:  Weak lesson.  Very, very weak especially since two questions are on different Biblical passages.

End Notes:  All three are essential:  united with Christ in death, resurrection and life.

Your old self must die because it can never measure up to God’s standards.  Once Christ died and was resurrected our new self is obedient to God and seeks Him out.  Evil is still in us but now we abhor it and it has no power over us.

You may ask:  Why do we still sin then if our old self is dead?  Our old self is distinct from the flesh, which is our inner desires, passions, and impulses that play out in our mind, our will, and our emotions.  This is the daily battle we must fight to overcome.

The flesh is remnants of your old self. It is influenced by the world, which is in a constant battle to overcome God, and the devil attacks us through the flesh.

Our job/challenge is to strengthen our new self in order to overcome the flesh. We do this through prayer and Bible study and God’s words and being cognizant of it.  It will increasingly exert itself to where this struggle is lessened and lessened.

Jesus’s death broke our slavery to sin and death since now we have eternal life.

Our new life is a life we live to God–we live the life God wants not the life we want. Ezekiel predicted this in Ezekiel 36:26:  “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

We now want to do God’s will and with practice and perseverance we will overcome!