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!

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BSF Study Questions John Lesson 10, Day 4: John 6:51-59

Summary of passage:  The word “flesh” did grab the Jews attention and began to argue how Jesus could sacrifice himself.  Jesus says whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood will have eternal life at Capernaum.

Questions:

8 )  The blood of the Passover lamb was the sign for God to passover their houses and not bring judgment on them.  It represents atonement for sins.

9)  The Jews ate the meat as the Lord’s Passover.  If the people ate of the meat and used the blood as atonement for sins, eating of his flesh and using his blood will atone for their sins as well.  Jesus’ was just forever, granting eternal life.

10)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  If you don’t eat and drink of him, you will have no life.  Whoever does eat and drink of him, will have eternal life and be raised at the last day.  You will remain in him and he in you.  Eating and drinking is what becomes a part of you, fuels your body, and grants you energy for life.  Having Jesus be my fuel, my energy, my everything encourages me to keep up the good fight even and always work for him.  It increases I believe little by little everyday as I see others struggle and suffer and life move on.

Conclusions:  Jesus says the same thing over and over again for us dunderheads:  eat of me and be saved.  A profound truth for all believers.

End Notes:  Scholars believe the Jewish leaders here willfully twisted Jesus’ words.  They are choosing not to believe him.  And we all know what those consequences are.  However, it was probable that some did take Jesus’ words as cannibalism.  Remember this is the time of Rome and barbarians.  These acts did occur and still do today.

Eating of flesh and drinking of blood also points to sacrifice.

Jesus is our food and drink.  When we truly receive him, he abides in us.  Eating and drinking is receiving.  We receive Jesus through faith.  We must actually take him in satisfy our hunger and thirst.

Jesus’ statements offended many.  They were meant to.  Jesus made his analogies stronger to emphasize his points.  He needs us to understand.

This whole conversation of the bread of life took place in a synagogue where Jesus was speaking no doubt on a Sabbath.

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

Summary of passage: A Lamb (Jesus) who had been slain stands near the throne surrounded by the living creatures and elders. He had 7 horns and eyes for the 7 Spirits of God. Jesus takes the scroll from God and the elders and creatures fall down in worship and prayers and song. Jesus made people into a kingdom and priests to serve God and reign on earth.

Questions:

8a)  They fell down before the Lamb and sang a new song of praise.

b)  The answer is in the three verbs:  because Jesus was slain, he purchased us for Him, and he made us into a kingdom and priesthood to serve God.

The main reason is because of Jesus’s work on the cross.  He is the only one who was fully God and fully man and able to sacrifice himself for us.  He is also the high priest and God’s Son, giving him the rank needed as well to open the scroll.  He is perfect with no sin allowing him to open the scroll.  His sovereignty over judgment gives him the power to open the scroll and reveal the future of the world to all.

“Purchased” means to cause the release of someone by paying the price.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It means everything to me (seems to be my ‘go to’ answer with these kinds of open-ended personal questions) and demonstrates the awe and gratitude I should have for Jesus’s work on the cross for me.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Every assurance.  These passages are just some that say we are God’s, given the Holy Spirit, and sanctified through the blood of Jesus.  It’s all about faith.  If you have faith in Jesus as the Savior, you are assured of eternal life and Salvation.

10)  Part-personal question.  My answer:  Believers in Jesus as Savior are a kingdom of priests.  It means we are set apart, held to a higher standard, and chosen to live differently.  It means we live out God’s words and ways in the hopes of shining light to others and bringing them into a relationship with Jesus.  It means I have nothing to fear for I will be with God forever.  Again, it means everything.

Conclusions:  Seems to be the application day to Day 3’s passage with the emphasis on personal questions here.  9 and 10 are similar but the difference is important.  We must not live in fear of the unknown or the future of what-have-you.  We have to have faith God loves us as much as He says He does.  We have to believe it.  Then, once we believe it, we can step into the kingdom He has for us and serve Him through serving His people and fulfilling His purpose for our lives.  Doing these two things (faith and Godly-living) will prepare our hearts for eternity.

End Notes:  Same as YESTERDAY’S.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 10, Day 4: Exodus 28-29

Summary of passages:  Exodus 28:  God is still directing Moses.  God decrees Aaron and his line will serve as priests and gives specifications for the garments to be worn.  God decrees how the Ephod should be made including having 12 stones, each with the name of a tribe of Israel, engraved and fastened to the ephod as a memorial to the Lord.  God gives directions for making the breastplate which also is to bear stones with the names of the 12 tribes on them as a memorial to the Lord.  He is to wear Urim and Thummim over his heart as the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the Lord.

Exodus 29:  God tells Moses how to consecrate His chosen priests through blood sacrifices, bread, and oil in an elaborate ceremony performed only once for each priest that lasted 7 days  Once done, God would be able to dwell among the Israelites and be their God.

Questions:

7a)  God

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It’s hard to relate this when the passage is specifically relating to priests and I have not been chosen by God to be a priest.  Hence, I’m assuming BSF is relating this to the work God has chosen each of us to do for Him, but I feel this question out-of-place when we are discussing priests in the passage.  My work is writing in whatever form that may take and raising my kids to be His kids and being a good wife to my husband and taking care of the animals He has called me to care for as well as home, etc.

8 )  Titus 3:5; Hebrews 9:14:  Titus says God saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.  Hebrews says the blood of Christ cleanses us.

Galatians 3:27:  If you accept Jesus, you are clothed in Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Titus 3:6:  Corinthians tells us that God anointed us and set his seal of ownership on us and his Spirit in our hearts.  Titus says God poured out the Holy Spirit (see previous verse for context) on us through Jesus.

Romans 3:25:  Through faith in Jesus and in his blood, Jesus is our sacrifice of atonement.

1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:5-6:  Peter says believers are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation who belong to God.  Revelation says Jesus has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom and priests to serve God.

Basically, only Aaron and his descendants could be priests and they had to go through elaborate ceremonies involving the sacrificing of animals in order to be cleansed enough to be near God and to meet with Him.  With Jesus’ blood we don’t have to go through all of the cleansing rituals for we are cleansed through Jesus forever.  We are all priests who can approach God and be near Him.

Conclusions:  The last 2 days have been killers in terms of reading and I feel these passages are being rushed for the sake of just getting through the material.  The fact they are boring to read doesn’t help much.  Here is where one may be tempted to skip out on these lessons and these weeks due to the length of the assignments (count me in, here) and the fact we are coming up to Thanksgiving is a good excuse.  And questions like number 8 here do not help the situation (anyone else utter an “Ughhhh! upon seeing this question?).  To do Exodus 25-31 properly and these questions, you need hours.  Many will skip the work here for time is something many of us have little of.  Not sure that is wise.

One suggestion:  skim the readings.  It’s a lot of regulations laid down and if you’re tempted to skip entirely, just skim.  You’ll get the gist pretty quickly.  These are passages worth re-visiting however when you do get time (like next summer).  Just suggestions in order to finish these mammoth lessons.

Another suggestion which I do frequently:  do half the lesson only and then return.  For example on this day, I only read Exodus 28 and did question 7.  One, I just didn’t have the time to do the rest.  Two, I was about to bang my head on the table repeatedly because I had just finished Day Three, which took me 2 hours.  Split these lessons up when you get frustrated.  Return fresh either later in the day or the next day.  Use the seventh day of the week to catch up.

Preview:  We do get a breather in Lessons 11 & 12 which is much less reading before reading the last 5 chapters in Exodus to finish it up before our Winter Break.  Use these easier weeks to catch up on the past two weeks of massive material and if you wish, to go ahead and work on the last five chapters of Exodus.

No one said BSF was easy and that’s why I’m here:  it pushes you to do more and learn more which I love.  But we all get fatigued. Pray for strength to power through this during the holidays for Winter Break will be here before you know it and we can all breathe again and be refreshed for Leviticus in January!

End Notes:  Exodus 28:  Priests were birthrights.  The priestly garments are beautiful as God and heaven are beautiful. The ones who made the garments were promised the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Note how the priests are to minister to God first just like today.

The ephod was like an apron or a suit of armor worn over the head.  See picture HERE  The placing of the 12 tribes on the shoulders reminded the priest that his first work was God but his second was the people and to love the people.  The names are inscribed on precious gemstones, showing how precious we are to God.

Scholars do not know what Urim and Thummim are but they guess them to be stones that may have been used for discernment of God’s word.  The words mean “light and perfections” and are mentioned in several places in the Bible.

The bells on the robe were for the sake of the people who could not see the priest inside the Most Holy place.  The people would know the offering was accepted if the bells rang for the priest had not been struck dead.

The High Priest was adorned.  The other priests wore simple tunics.

Nakedness was a tribute of other priests worshipping other pagan gods.  Hence, this command may be to thwart this.

Note the contrast between this High Priest and Our High Priest, Jesus, who came simply and unadorned.

Short five-minute video showing all pieces of the clothing while reading the Exodus 28:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyAa6nh-hN0

Short four-minute video clip of T.D. Jakes explaining Urim and Thummin and how it applies to us today:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGuGXKdZSIo

Exodus 29:  Described here, the consecration actually takes place in Leviticus 8, which set aside the priests for God and required sacrificial blood and fellowship bread.  This was a public ceremony that took place one time only.  After the cleansing, they were clothed, freely, like we are clothed in Christ at no cost to us.  Then the priests were anointed like we are with the Holy Spirit.

The sin offering was the bull which symbolically took the sin from Aaron and his sons as they laid their hands upon it.  The burnt offering was the ram which also represented the sins of the people.

The consecration offering involved the applying of blood to their ears (which heard God’s laws), their hands (which did His will), and their feet (which follow Him).  This all took place on the right side because the right side is considered our best side since most of us are right-handed.  The oil represented the Holy Spirit.

The wave offering showed devotion to God.  Then the priests could eat once they were cleansed and atoned for.  This showed the continual, inner relationship we need to have with God.

All new priests performed this ceremony which took 7 days.  Then sacrifices were made twice daily, at the beginning and end of each day.  These were performed up until New Testament times so the presence of God would be near them.

God consecrates so that He can dwell among us.  It is a long, arduous process, but so ever worthwhile.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 10, Day 4: Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56

Summary of passages:  Matthew 9:18-26:  While Jesus was still at the feast thrown for him by Matthew, a ruler came to Jesus and asked him to bring his dead daughter back to life.  Jesus and his disciples went with the man.  A woman came up to Jesus while he was following the ruler and touched his cloak, believing she would be healed of her bleeding problem with just a touch.  Her faith healed her.  A crowd was around the dead girl.  Jesus banished the crowd, took the girl by her hand, and raised her up.

Mark 5:21-43:  Mark explains Jesus was by the lake when Jairus, a synagogue ruler, pleaded with Jesus to heal this daughter who was dying.  Jesus went along with a large crowd.  The woman who touched Jesus cloak had been sick for 12 years and had spent all of her money to get better to no avail.  She touched Jesus cloak and without his consent she was healed.  Jesus, realizing power had gone out from him, searched the woman out.  He told her her faith healed her.

In the meantime, Jairus’ daughter had died.  Jesus said to believe in him.  Jesus allowed Peter, James, and John to follow him to the man’s house that was full of mourners wailing.  Jesus kicked everyone out except the father, the mother, and his 3 disciples.  He took the girl by the hand and she stood up.  She was 12 years old.  He ordered them to not tell anyone.

Luke 8:40-56:  Jesus was welcomed by a crowd but almost crushed by them as he followed Jairus.  The woman who had touched him was afraid and fell at Jesus’ feet.  The child’s spirit returned at Jesus’ touch.

Questions:

10a)  She had been bleeding for 12 years (Matthew 9:20; Mark 5:25; Luke 8:43).  She believed if she but touched Jesus’ cloak she would be healed (Matthew 9:21; Mark 5:28; Luke 8:44).  Immediately touching his cloak, she was healed (Matthew 9:21; Mark 5:29; Luke 8:44).  Her faith healed her (Matthew 9:22; Mark 5:34; Luke 8:48).

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That her faith healed her.  Simple and absolute faith.  Immediately upon a touch she was healed.  God works immediately.  Mark and Luke say Jesus didn’t approve the healing ahead of time.  This shows me the power of our faith and that faith alone will answer our prayers since we are all part of God’s people with the indwelt Holy Spirit.

11a)  He was a synagogue ruler.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It appears to be so.  In Mark and Luke’s account, we are told she was dying when he went to Jesus.  It is most likely she was sick beforehand for some time.  A healthy 12 year old usually just doesn’t up and die.  In ancient times, yes, this scenario is more probable.  But because she was a daughter of a wealthy ruler she was probably insulated from a lot of ailments of the time.

Jairus is begging and pleading.  These are the actions of a desperate man.  Also, Luke says this was his only daughter.  He is probably desperate to save her.  And Jesus is the only one to do it.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus does not judge or say no.  He shows compassion upon the man.  Jesus soothed the man, telling him to not be afraid and to just believe (Mark 5:36; Luke 8:50), something incredibly hard to do in the midst of a dying loved one.  To have faith that God’s will be done.  Jesus knows Jairus’ faith is small since he believes Jesus must touch the girl to save her so Jesus heals a woman on the way to strengthen Jairus’ faith.

Jesus loves us despite how our faith in him wavers and our trust wanes and we fall under attack. Jesus and God meet us where we are in our walk.  He came when the man asked even though he didn’t have to because Jesus loved the man enough to do so.

Conclusions:  As in the case of the paralytic, we see it is faith, simple faith, that heals.  The woman was healed instantly with her faith.  We can assume Jairus had faith as well since his daughter was raised from the dead.

God isn’t demanding, is He?  He could ask anything of us from hard physical labor to tortuous math problems.  Instead, He merely demands we believe in Him.  And yet belief for man in the unseen is very difficult.  So many stumble.  Yet, with faith, you will be picked up.

End Notes:  The woman was ceremonially unclean and had been for 12 years.  She wasn’t allowed to touch another human being; hence, she opted to touch Jesus’ clothes secretly.  She touched him in faith–not a casual touch or an accidental bump.  She reached out to who he was.

Note the girl was 12 and the woman suffered 12 years.  Coincidence?  Not when Jesus is involved.

Everything Jesus did was for the benefit of others.  Never did he act selfishly.

Fun Facts:  Jesus calls no one else “daughter” that is recorded in the Scripture.  What an honor!

This is the only healing where power is mentioned as flowing out of Jesus.  Elsewhere, he just heals.  Would be interesting to see this happen!

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 10, Day 4: Genesis 11:26-32; Acts 7:2-8

Summary of passages:  Genesis 11:26-32:  The account of Terah from the line of Shem who was Abram’s (later Abraham’s) father.  Lot was Abram’s nephew.  Abram married Sarai (later Sarah) and she was barren (had no children).

Terah, Abram, Sarai, and Lot left Ur for Canaan but settled in Haran where Terah died.

Acts 7:2-8:  Stephen tells us the back story:  God appeared the Abram/Abraham while he was still in Ur in Mesopotamia before he left for Haran and told Abram to leave Ur and to go to Canaan.  So he went to Haran.  Then after Terah, his father, died God sent Abram to Canaan.

God gave him no inheritance in Canaan but He promised him his descendants would possess the land.  God told Abram his children would be strangers in the land and would be enslaved for 400 years.  But God would punish that nation and afterward they will come back to Canaan to worship Him.  Here, God instituted the covenant of circumcision as a sign of this covenant.

Then Abraham had Isaac whom he circumcised.  Isaac had Jacob who became the father of the twelve patriarchs.

Questions:

7a)  Ur, a city in Mesopotamia where the Chaldeans or Babylonians ruled at that time (approximately 2091 BC).

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That God told Abram beforehand that they would suffer and be enslaved before they would have their inheritance of the land.  Also, the covenant of circumcision was a sign of this promise.

8a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I learned that Lot was Abram’s nephew and was one of those chosen along with Abram to share in God’s inheritance of Canaan.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This one is pulling teeth.  Not sure how the facts of Abram’s calling encourage my family.

Conclusions:  My favorite part of this lesson was writing the summary.  The rest I could have done without.

I gave up on 8b after 20 minutes.  Couldn’t think of one thing.

This one was definitely a filler lesson in my opinion.

Map of Abram’s Journey out of Ur to Canaan:  http://www.israel-a-history-of.com/old-testament-map.html#Peninsula.

Recommendation:  If you are interested in map work, I would purchase a good Bible Atlas.  The one I own is Zondervan’s Atlas of the Bible by Carl S. Rasmussen.  This has a much, MUCH better map of Abraham’s possible route than I could find on the Internet as well as detailed background information, dates, and what’s going on in the known world in the same time period.

I’m sure there are many more wonderful ones out there but the detail given in a book is invaluable to me as I need to picture Abram trekking through the desert in order to understand a world more than 4 millenia before mine.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 10, Day 4: Hebrews 3:7-19

Summary of passage:  The Holy Spirit warns not to harden your hearts against Him like the Israelites did in the rebellion where they tested God and God got so angry He swore they would never enter His rest.  Instead, encourage one another daily so none of you will be deceived by sin.  Have confidence in Christ.  Do not be like the Israelites who irked God because they did not believe.

Questions:

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Many things exist today to squander our time.  Internet, TV, video games, cell phones, and a plethora of activities to do that did not exist 100 years ago.  By not doing my best at what God has called me to do.  By not completing the tasks He has set before me.  By wasting away time until before you know it none is left.

13a)  The people rebelled (verse 15), sinned (verse 17), disobeyed (verse 18), and did not belief (verse 19).  He was angry with them for 40 years and did not allow one of them to enter His promised land.  Their bodies fell in the desert and never had rest.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  My hardest has been God will provide and God will never forsake me.  There have been times in my life when I think He’s not there and He has left me.  I’m not for sure though how this has worked against me.  I think it makes me depressed and anxious, angry and bitter.  But deep down I know God is still working in my life.  It is mostly the fact I don’t want to acknowledge Him because I don’t like what He is doing in my life.

Then I look back and see God where I hadn’t before and gain re-newed faith in Him.  The joy doesn’t instantly return but it at least is present again.

Conclusions:  I liked reading Numbers again.  I like the OT.  It has some of the best life lessons for us.  It gets frustrating though reading the stupidity of some of the Israelites who never learned to trust in God after seeing Him for themselves.  I think if I saw God or heard His actual voice, I would never question again (at least I hope so!).

I also liked the squandering time question since all of us face this in an increasingly complex world in which we live.  It’s a good reminder to keep our eyes looking up and not down and listening to Him and not others.

I liked the message in Verses 12-13 about encouraging one another in this world full of sin.  We need to do more of that.  And on a daily basis.  For it’s in the little decisions we make daily that the Devil creeps in and compounds our problems.

Great lesson today.