BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 17, Day 2: Romans 9:30-33

Summary of passage:  Israel has been denied righteousness because they pursued it by works.  The Gentiles were granted righteousness because they had faith.  This is all according to God’s will.

Questions:

3)  Israel tried to earn righteousness by works and were denied.  The Gentiles had faith and were thus granted righteousness by God.

4)  Pursuing righteous behavior is trying to be more like Jesus, obeying God’s calling and His rules.  Only God can grant us righteous standing.  That is, only He can tell us if our behavior is right or wrong and give His stamp of approval or not.  We cannot make ourselves righteous before God.  Faith is what we need to be granted righteousness.  Faith in Jesus Christ as God’s Son and our Savior.  Without faith all you do is meaningless.

5)  A crucified Savior–Jesus Christ.  The fact Jesus died for our sins and his death covers our sins and saves us and thereby accepting this fact you are saved eternally.  Simple concept.  Hard to accept in its simplicity.

Conclusions:  Paul’s conclusion to Chapter 9, saying faith is the way to righteousness, not works, no matter who you are.

End Notes:  Israel missed the Messiah because they refused to come by faith.  The Gentiles found righteousness even though they weren’t necessarily seeking it.  Israel tried to work for the righteousness of God and couldn’t find it.  The Jews tried to justify themselves before God by performing works according to the law of righteousness instead of the righteousness of faith.  The Jews needed to seek righteousness by faith.

Paul does not use God as an excuse here and His right to choose.  Nope.  It’s all on the Israelites; they did not seek it by faith.  This is Paul presenting the problem from the side of human responsibility and not from the side of God’s right to choose.  Both are responsible for Israel’s unsaved state.

Israel was rejected because she failed to obey her own God-given law, which in reality was pointing to Christ.  She disobeyed, pursued the law–not by faith but by works–failing to believe.  Hence, God rejected Israel.

Paul has already shown in Romans that the only possible way to be saved is through faith, not the works of the law; and that this salvation comes only through the work of a crucified Savior – which was a stumbling block to Israel (1 Corinthians 1:22-23).

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BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 15, Day 2: Romans 8:28

Summary of passage:  God works for the good of all Christians.

Questions:

3)  Ultimately, the ability to be with God in His presence forever.  The good is justification, sanctification, and  glorification.  We are conformed to the likeness of Jesus who also intercedes for us.  He gives us all things.  He loves us and grants us eternal life with Him.

4a)  God works for the good of all Christians who have a God-given purpose.  Everything that happens to us has a reason for it even if we can’t see it.  And it’s for our good.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  “Lord, I know this suffering is for my good.  Help me to see that as I struggle to overcome it.  Help me to put this in your hands and to trust in your purpose in all things.”

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God is good.  God is in control.  God loves me.  God wants me to succeed.  I can put all my pressure, worries, and burdens on God’s shoulders.  I can live the life God wants me to live because of His grace.

Conclusions:  One of the most often quoted verses in the Bible.  It’s fitting we spend a whole day meditating on it.  Can you imagine if we could internalize this in every aspect of our lives what peace we’d have?

End Notes:  Even the difficulties in life are used for God’s overall plan for good.  Nothing can separate us from God’s love.  This verse should be read along with the next two paragraphs as people often think only good things are supposed to happen to us.  Paul says all things together.  For those who love Him and trust Him and He will manage the rest.

This is one of my favorite songs which prominently features this verse.  Enjoy!!

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 14, Day 4: Romans 8:23-25

Summary of passage:  We groan as we wait for our future glory.  Hope for what we don’t have makes it all the more sweeter when it arrives.

Questions:

9)  We/our bodies groan as we await Jesus’s Second Coming and the freedom he shall bring from death and decay.  Creation also groans (in the previous passage) for the same reasons.

10a)  We hope for what we do not yet have (in this case our future glory and resurrection and end of suffering) patiently.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Probably the same things we all wait and hope for.  On this side of heaven, an easier/better life away from suffering, pain, anxiety, fear, etc.  On the other side of heaven, Jesus and glory.

Conclusions:  This was merely an exposition on the previous verses as Paul says the same things in different ways with different analogies.

End Notes:  The firstfruits of the Spirit is we have a taste of what is to come as we experience a bit of Jesus’s glory here on earth, but we long for its fulfillment.  Same thing with adoption.  We await its fulfillment (Romans 8:15).  All with perseverance.

The presence of the Holy Spirit in believers is evidence of our present salvation and a pledge of our future inheritance.  We are already God’s children and we await our inheritance in Christ.

The redemption of our bodies (resurrection) is the final stage of our adoption.  We see the first stage in Ephesians 1:5 and the second is us living as God’s children (Romans 8:14 & Galatians 3:25-26).

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 12, Day 3: Romans 7:7-13

Summary of passage: The law reveals what sin is as man’s natural tendency is to break the law.  The law defined sin and therefore gave birth to sin and with sin the consequence of death ensued.

Questions:

6)  The law reveals what sin is as man’s natural tendency is to break the law.  The law defined sin and therefore gave birth to sin and with sin the consequence of death ensued.  Sin uses the law to cause us to rebel more.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  All sin is harmful, period.  In short, sin draws me away from God.  That’s the most potent consequence.  The rest is varied based on the sin.  You can both spiritually and emotionally harm your body, mind, and emotions.  Sin reveals what God is not and does not want and magnifies His holiness.  I respond by obeying Him with reverent awe.

Conclusions:  2 questions on some of the most key verses in all of the Bible.

End Notes:  Paul is now answering the question raised, “Well if the law is bad, is the law sin?”  Paul says, “No.  The law is good because it reveals sin to us.”  Sin, however, corrupts the law because of our natural tendency to break what is forbidden to us.  The desire is awakened by the prohibition.  Look at Prohibition in the United States.  Once a law is instituted we want to break it.

The word opportunity in the original is a military term meaning a base of operations where sin is awaiting a chance to spring from.

The weakness isn’t the law–it’s us.  We took something good–God’s law–and turned it to evil.

Paul was once alive because he didn’t know or understand the law like children.  He had not been put to death yet because of the law.  With the knowledge of law, it excited our rebellion, bringing sin and death.  Paul is either referring to the time before his bar mitzvah or before his conversion where the true rigor of the law became clear to him (Luke 18:20-21; Philippians 3:6).

The law does not deceive us.  It’s the sin that uses the law to cause us to rebel.  The truth sets us free from the deception of the law (John 8:32).

Sin kills us.  Satan tries to twist this by making sin seem like a good thing that God merely wants to deprive us of (Eve, anyone?)

There is nothing wrong with the law.  The law is holy.  The problem lies within man.  However, because of man’s nature, sin ends up corrupting the law so we must die to both (Romans 6:2; 7:4).

The law, however, is good because it makes our sin more pronounced so we recognize it!

Sin becomes utterly sinful by hiding within God’s good laws.

Explanation on BSF’s note (Romans 7:13-25):  Whether Paul is describing a Christian or non-Christian experience here has been hotly debated through the centuries.

Argument supporting non-Christian life:

  1. The use of the phrases such as “sold as a slave to sin”, “I know that good itself does not dwell in me” and “What a wretched man I am” which do not seem to describe a Christian experience
  2. the contrast between chapters 7 & 8, making it difficult for the other view to be credible
  3. the problem of the value of conversion if one ends up in spiritual misery.

Argument supporting Christian life:

  1. the use of the present tense throughout the passage
  2. Paul’s humble opinion of himself (vs 18)
  3. his high regard for God’s law (vs 14, 16)
  4. the location of this passage in the section of Romans where Paul is dealing with sanctification–the growth of the Christian in holiness.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 12, Day 2: Romans 7:1-6

Summary of passage:  Paul uses an example from the law (marriage) to explain what Christ’s death means.  In Jewish law, a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives.  If he dies, she is released from this law.  If she remarries while her husband is still alive, she is still bound to her first husband.  This is the same relationship when Christ died.  With his death, we (believers) were released from the law and free to serve in the Holy Spirit.

Questions:

3)  Christ’s death grants us the Holy Spirit within (basically Christ within), uniting us closer to him.  Baptism as well.  His death crucified our old life into something new.

4a)  His death freed us from the law.  We belong to Christ so we can bear fruit to God.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer I’m sick of answering:  I’m trying to walk the path God wants me to and that path walks me through work, family, community, etc.  The freedom is in my attitude and beliefs and steps on that path.

5)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  These are opposites in every facet of life.  We either live and work for God or the devil/death.  We either sin or we don’t (new way versus old way).  Life of the Spirit is avoiding all sin which is the old way of the written code (sinful nature).  I’m gonna take issue with “patterns”.  I walk in the Spirit with stumbles (sin) on that path.  There is no pattern to it.  It’s either you walk with God or you don’t.  You won’t be perfect in your walk with Him, but the pattern is the same.

Conclusions:  Could Question 4b be any broader?  Question 5 has one answer:  opposites and I think we all can see that. There’s not a variety of ways to say it.

End Notes: In Romans 6:14, Paul told us that you are not under law but under grace. After the discussion in Romans 6:15-23 regarding practical implications of this, he now explains more completely how it is that we are no longer under the dominion of the law.

The ancient Greek wording here has no word “the” before law. This means Paul speaks of a principle broader than the Mosaic Law, which includes our innate law of creation and conscience.

Paul makes the point that death ends all obligations and contracts.  It decisively changes a person’s relationship to the law.

In Romans 6:3-8, Paul carefully explained that we died with Jesus and we also rose with Him, although Paul there only spoke of our death to sin. Now he explains that we also died to the law.  Paul wanted to make it clear to all that the law does not dictate our living nor sanctification before God.  We can’t do anything to win salvation.  With this freedom, however, we aren’t free to sin as Paul has carefully explained.  We are free to be married to Jesus and serve God and His will, not ours.

The law’s power to condemn no longer threatens believers.

Under the law, we did not bear fruit to God. Instead we bore fruit to death, because the law aroused the passions of sins within us.  The fruit of our union with the law was a physical and spiritual death–a separation from God.

To bear fruit to death: Paul will explain this problem of the law more fully in Romans 7:7-14.  We can only bear fruit to God if we’re free from the law because the law stimulates sin since the natural human tendency is to desire the forbidden thing.

Sinful nature is usually translated sinful flesh, which refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.

When we are united to Christ the fruit of holiness is produced.

Verse 6 summarizes Romans 7:1-5.  The law does not justify nor sanctify us.  With Christ’s death, we are released from the law and free to serve God better.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 10, Day 5: Romans 6:9-11

Summary of passage:  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:

12)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus was raised from the dead.  He cannot die again since he defeated death through this act.  He died to sin and its power forever.  He lives now to God.  Sin now no longer has power over us either and we are now alive to God in Christ (righteous and sanctified and justified).

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  In my home, community, work, and church, my life is the same:  sin’s power is broken.  I live for God.  He rules.  The end.

Conclusions:  There is nothing new here and BSF is obviously out of questions to ask since we just regurgitated yesterday’s lesson.  Now I see how answering only 6 questions has come about:  because of the repetitive nature of these questions!

End Notes: [Pulled from YESTERDAY]

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!

We are dead to sin but alive in Jesus.

Summation of Romans 6:1-11:  Spirit baptism brings the regenerated person into a redemptive relationship through his participation in and identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and the subsequent infusion of the merit of that death and resurrection into the life of the believer, by which he may live as one dead to sin but alive to God.

Fun Fact:  The first occurrence in Romans of “in Christ”, which is often found in Paul’s writings.  True believers are “in Christ” because they have died with Christ and have been raised to new life in union with him.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 9, Day 4: Romans 5:18-19

Summary of passage:  Adam’s sin condemned man but Jesus’s gift of sacrificial life justifies us!  Disobedience made us sinners; obedience makes us righteous.

Questions:

8 )  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Eternal hell, earthly death, judgment, wrath, anger, trouble, distress, destruction, punishment, abandonment by God, the lake of Fire.  Basically, life without Jesus at the end will be tortuous.  It motivates me to tell unbelievers about their fate if they don’t turn.

9a)  Jesus’s death on the cross

b)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  A life of obedience and faith, peace, blessings, contentment, eternal life, experiencing the love of God, a life with God, God’s power in us to do His will, a purpose.  I try my best to rely on God and live out His principles amongst the sin of this world.  I feel very blessed and honored and although I’m not perfect I hope my intent is seen by others.

Conclusions:  Did we need another day on these two verses?  Repetitive from yesterday and personal with no meat.  The questions are the same just with different words and the answer is evident:  Jesus=life.  Adam=sin & death.  Choose.

I do like the reference verses because I’d never be able to find these on my own.  This is one of the changes I’m most grateful for from BSF because you used to have to find these on your own and at the time I didn’t know the Bible at all when I first began.  Albeit time consuming, it’s fun to read all these topics sprinkled throughout the Bible and how God and Jesus touch on the same themes over and over again.

End Notes:  [Notes from yesterday repeated here.]  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!