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.

Advertisements

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 11, Day 3: John 7:14-39

Summary of passage:  Still at the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus preaches.  All were impressed by his learning and Jesus says it comes from God and if you work for God it is truth, not honor for yourself.  Jesus says the people are trying to kill him, which they deny and say he is demon-possessed.  Jesus points out their hypocrisy, saying circumcision can be performed on the Sabbath but not his healing of a man who could not walk.

There are many who doubt he is the Christ, especially since they know Jesus and where he came from.  Jesus says he is from God.  Many try to seize him but they can’t because it is not Jesus’ time yet.  Some believed in him.  The Pharisees sent guards to arrest him.  Jesus says how he is only here for a short time and where he goes, they cannot come.  No one understood he was speaking of his death and resurrection.

Jesus continues speaking and on the last day of the Feast repeats his call for those thirsty to come to him and receive streams of living water or the Spirit.

Questions:

5)  Those who speak on his own do so to gain honor for himself but those who work for God speak the truth.  Those working for God will know his teaching is from God.

6a)  Healed the man who could not walk.  Keeping the Sabbath holy and doing no work.

b)  That they are hypocrites and do not follow the law of Moses and basically interpret it however they want.

7a)  God’s.  They didn’t know him because they don’t know God.  Men are of the devil, the darkness, corrupt, and blind to Him.  Their hearts are not His.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  All the difference.  I am inept on my own.  With him anything is possible.

Conclusions:  I love how Jesus points out man’s hypocrisy over and over again and points out their hearts to them.  If you don’t know God, you won’t know Jesus.  If you don’t know Jesus, you won’t know God.  And the Holy Spirit will never come either.  Love it!

End Notes:  The Jewish leaders questions Jesus’ credentials since they cannot question his content.  Jesus had never been the disciple of a recognized Jewish teacher.  Jesus never says he’s self-taught.  He’s God taught.  Just reading the words won’t cut it.  You have to obey God and the words will infiltrate your heart.

“The Jews” are distinct from “the crowds” (verse 12)–all of which are Jews.  “The Jews” usually refer to the leadership.

In this Gospel, only God is spoken of as “being” and Jesus (here).

Jesus tells them how he always keeps the law and none of them do.  Yet he is the one they are trying to kill when they are the guilty ones.

The “crowd” didn’t know Jesus was being sought for his healing of the man by the well so they thought he was crazy thinking he was wanted. They weren’t the leadership or those who knew of the plot.  The accusation of “demon-possessed” seems to have been a popular one back in the day as it shows up again in John in 8:48-52; 10:20-21)

Circumcision can be major surgery if one is older.  Jesus is saying you are cutting people on the Sabbath and I am making them whole.  Appearances can be deceptive (hence Justice wears a blindfold).

He cites the law of circumcision (Leviticus 12:3; Exodus 12:44) to show that work was done on the Sabbath, necessary work, which deeds of mercy fall into.  This law actually went back to Abraham (Genesis 17:10-12).  His point was that the leadership did not understand what the Sabbath meant.

The people from Jerusalem know Jesus is a wanted man and are wondering why he is still preaching.

Doubt of the Messiah again is routed in the Bible but twisted with man’s preconceived ideas of the Word.  Malachi 3:1 says that God’s messenger will come suddenly to the temple.  This was the kind of saying that made them think the Messiah would come out of nowhere to show Himself to Israel.  That he would just appear and be a magical being.  Even though God’s Word never says this this is the idea the Jews have built up in their minds.

Jesus is probably being sarcastic in verse 28.  “You know me; yet, you doubt!”  Jesus repeats he is from God.

Jesus could not be arrested until his time had come.  Till then he was protected by God. (John 7:46)

Many believed.  After all, who could do as much as Jesus has already done?

Jesus assures the temple guards he will go away–at the appointed time.

The people did not understand Jesus was speaking of heaven so they guessed the Greeks.  From the time of the exile, many jews lived outside the Holy Land and could be found in most cities throughout the Roman Empire.

The Feast of Tabernacles lasted eight days.  During the  first seven days water from the Pool of Siloam was carried in a golden pitcher and poured out at the altar to remind everyone of the water God miraculously provided for a thirsty Israel in the wilderness.  Most probably on the eighth day there was no pouring of water – only prayers for water – to remind them that they came into the Promised Land.

On the eighth day the people ceased to dwell in the tabernacles and was probably no feasting. Philo says it was a solemn conclusion.

This was the last feast-time Jesus would spend in Jerusalem before the Passover of His death. This was the last day of the last feast; the last time He would speak to many of them before His crucifixion.

Notice Jesus said IN A LOUD VOICE.  This was the most important thing he said the entire time so you’d better listen (personally, I can’t picture Jesus screaming so this must have been a sight!).  Also, teachers usually sat so Jesus standing was to draw attention.

The celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles emphasized how God provided water to Israel in the wilderness on their way to Canaan. Jesus boldly called people to Himself to drink and satisfy their deepest thirst, their spiritual thirst.

Anyone is invited.  Since there is no water being poured out on the 8th day of the feast, this was an impressive statement indeed.  Jesus is the water.

Drinking is a common act.  All of us can drink.  But do we drink of the right stuff?

If you trust in Jesus, living water will flow from your heart and into your life and the life of those around you. Revelation 22:1 (which was not written yet at this time) speaks of waters flowing after the End Times perpetually.  What a picture!

The Greek is “out of the belly”.

Zechariah that one day a fountain would be open to the house of David, and living waters would go out from Jerusalem (Zechariah 13:1, 14:8); and of Isaiah that God would pour water upon the thirsty (Isaiah 44:3, 55:1).

The Spirit is not yet given until after the Ascension and Pentecost (Acts 2)

“Given” was added.  The true meaning is “it was not yet spirit”.  It is more a sense of “working” and “dispensation”.

“Glorified” is Jesus’ exaltation, crucifixion, and resurrection.  The fullness of the Spirit’s work depends on Jesus’ prior work of salvation.

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 The Life of Moses Lesson 11, Day 3: Exodus 32:15-24

Summary of passage:  Moses went down Mount Sinai with the Tablets in his hands.  Joshua had waited for Moses on the mountain a bit away and he thought there was a war going on.  Moses said it was singing.  Moses was so angry when he saw the sin of the people that he threw the tablets down and they broke.  He burned the calf and made the Israelites drink the powder it made.  Moses asks Aaron how he let the people sin.  Aaron tells Moses the story, but blaming it on how evil the people are and how a calf just “came out”.

Questions:

6a)  “The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.”

b)  That both were meaningless and broken without faith.  Breaking of the tablets was a powerful visual to what the people had just done.  Drinking of the calf showing the people that that god was nothing and could be obliterated and that the gold they had made it from would now be lost forever.

7a)  Because Moses left Aaron in charge of the people while he was on Mount Sinai

b)  He blamed the people, saying they are prone to evil, and he was just doing what they asked him to do.  He says the calf was a miracle and it just happened.  How many times have you used this excuse?

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I say a lot that I’m working on it and God will forgive me.

Conclusions:  Did not get a lot of out of this.  Thinking wasn’t stimulated today.  I think if the people had sincerely repented God would never have threatened to kill them.  But God knew their hearts and it appears no one (not even Aaron) is sorry.  I wonder sometimes if we know how close we are to death if we’d act differently.

End Notes:  Joshua is correct:  there was a war going on down below–a spiritual war.

It is Moses’s anger that will keep him from the Promised Land (Numbers 20:10-12).  It is a problem he has all his life.

Aaron has no idea how great his sin was.  He tries to calm Moses down and then lies to Moses about his part.  He tries to make it seem as if a miracle produced the calf when it reality it was his hands, his workmanship.  Why one would lie to the man closest to God ever is beyond me but Moses doesn’t buy Aaron’s excuse at all.

Even now in sin Aaron is defiant.  Little did he know how close to death he was (Deuteronomy 9:20).

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.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 11, Day 3: Genesis 12:1-3

Summary of passage:  God calls Abram to leave his country (Mesopotamia) for the land He will show Him (Canaan).  God promises Abram to make him into a great nation and He will bless him.  He will bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him. ALL people on earth will be blessed through Abram.

Questions:

5a)  I (I being God) will:

1) Make you into a great nation.  This is the Jewish People and the Old Testament chronicles this through Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and down to Christ. Genesis 13:16

2)  Bless you.  Philippians 4:19  “God will meet all your needs…in Christ Jesus.”

3)  Make your name great.  Abram is honored by Jews, Muslims, and Christians.  I would wager most people know who he is.

4)  You will be a blessing.  Matthew 28:19-20.  I think the biggest blessing we can be is to tell others about Jesus.

5)  Bless those who bless you.  Matthew 16:19

6)  Curse those who curse you.  I see this in God’s punishment of the nations who are against Israel (Babylon, Assyria, etc) as attested throughout the Bible, history, and today.

7)  All peoples on earth will be blessed through you.  Through Jesus and our faith the Gentiles are children of Abraham. Galatians 3: 7-9, 14-18,29, Genesis 22:18, Acts 3:25-26

b) I’m using Genesis 17 for all of these, where God re-affirms His covenant with Abram (ham) and gives him the sign of circumcision to seal the covenant.  Joshua 21:43-45 confirms Israel took the land and that “every one (promise) was fulfilled.”

6a)  Ephesians 1:3:  Every spiritual blessing

b)  Ephesians 1:18:  Know the hope He has called us to and the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints

c)  Ephesians 2:6-7:  Raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realm; Shows us the incomparable riches of His grace

d)  1 Corinthians 2:9-10: We receive His Spirit so we may know what God has prepared for those who love Him (us)

e)  Psalm 16:5-6, 11:  We have an assigned portion that is secure and pleasant which is a delightful inheritance.  Know the path of life, the joy in your presence, eternal pleasures

Conclusions:  A lot of looking up and researching with the challenge question.  Writing out God’s promises is a powerful reminder that God is for us–not against us (Romans 8:31).  He is our greatest cheerleader and our greatest protector against the enemy.  God is good despite all the bad that sometimes surrounds us.

With these promises, He expects us to be a blessing.  We must show God’s love.  Always.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 11, Day 3: Hebrews 5:1-10

Summary of passage:  Every high priest is selected to represent them to God, offer gifts and sacrifices, deal gently with ignorant people and those who are going astray, and offer sacrifices for his and others’ sins.

A priest is called by God.  Jesus was called to be a high priest.  Jesus’ prayers and petitions were heard by God because he submitted.  He learned obedience through suffering and once made perfect brought eternal salvation to those who obeyed God.

Questions:

6)  1)  He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray.  2)  He must offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as for the sins of the people.  3)  He must be called by God.

Yes.  Sacrifices are now communion.  Most are called by God, love people enough to have patience and guide them, and pray for forgiveness of sins when both the people and himself sin (so be able to admit mistakes).

7)  God appointed Jesus as a high priest.  He submitted to God’s will.  He offered up prayers and petitions with compassion to God.  He learned obedience through suffering.  He granted man eternal salvation if they were obedient.

8a)  Eternal salvation

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This question is difficult because it’s hard to know what or even if we are a blessing to others since most of the time they do not tell you personally.  You must also know if what you are doing or not doing is in obedience to God or not.  You must know if it is God and not the Devil who is tempting you to disobey or if it’s God telling you to quit doing something.  This is the crux.

Conclusions:  Once again, I see the importance of prayer in this lesson.  Pray, pray, and pray some more.  Read, read, read, and read some more of God’s word.  Then pray again.  We need daily grounding in Him in order to be all He calls us to be.

Jesus prayed, obeyed, and submitted.  We must pray, obey, and submit.  My new mantra: Pray, obey, submit.