BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 15, Day 4: Romans 8:31-35

Summary of passage:  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He gives us all things.  He justifies.  Jesus intercedes for us.


9)  Part personal Question.  My answer:

If God is for us, who can be against us?  No one.

How will God not also give us all things?  He does.

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?  No one.

Who is he that condemns?  No one.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  No one.

Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  No.

God is all things.  He’s in charge.  Nothing happens without His approval.  He is omnipotent.  All else pale in comparison.

10)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m not sure I’m struggling with any at the moment but “If God is for us, who can be against us?” is one of my favorite quotes from the Bible because it reminds me I can do all things in Him.

Conclusions:  Anyone get anything out of the questions?  The passage, yes.  The questions, no.  For the first time in my eight years of doing BSF I’d say you could skip these two questions and not miss one thing.  So sad by this!  Do read my End Notes for the goodies especially the part on the “if”.  Just because people think God is with them does not mean He is.

End Notes:  If all we had were the first few chapters of the Book of Romans, some might believe that God was against us. Now that Paul has shown the lengths that God went to save man from His wrath and equip him for victory over sin and death, who can doubt that God is for us?

Note the two-letter preposition “if”.  This is not saying God is with everyone (terrorists and cults think God is with them).  God is only with you if you’ve accepted His Son, Jesus, as Lord and Savior.  If you are in Christ Jesus, then God is for you.

Even if others are against us, does it matter?  You + God = unconquerable

God gave us the ultimate gift (His Son), so why wouldn’t He give us all the small gifts as well?  This is a common argument used by Paul from the greater to the lesser similar to Romans 5:9-10.

With Jesus we are secure from all charges (God has already proclaimed us ‘not guilty’) and condemnation.

The God within (the Holy Spirit) can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.  Remember this always when you’re down.  God can do it.  And let Him!

And, of course, we can’t forget this AMAZING song!

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 15, Day 4: John 11:32-44

Summary of passage:  Mary then went to meet Jesus as well. Jesus wept with the mourners. He told the people to remove the stone away from his tomb. He thanked God and told Lazarus to come out, which he did still wearing his grave clothes.


9)  “For the benefit of the people standing here that they may believe that you sent me.”  It’s important for us so we know everything Jesus does is for us and to clarify to us that Jesus’ power is from God.

10a)  “Come out.”  “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

b) Our spirits will all rise from the dead just like Lazarus’ physical body rose.  Jesus will conquer death.

11)  John 10:10: Jesus gives us life to the full.

John 17:1-2:  Jesus gives eternal life to all those chosen by God.

Ephesians 2:1-5:  We are alive in Christ and saved by grace.

Colossians 3:1-4:  Christ is our life who gives us glory.

1 Thessalonians 4:16:  Those dead in Christ will rise first.

I like Colossians because it emphasizes our glory in eternal life as chosen by God.

Conclusions:  For me, lackluster.  Question 11 was repetitive.

End Notes:  Same as yesterday’s.  Mary’s response to Jesus is the same as Martha’s. Is it out of faith or criticism? We don’t know and aren’t told here.

Jesus was moved as God is by our tears and pain. All the mourners would have been wailing. It is culturally acceptable 2000 years ago to cry unlike in our era, which is taken as a sign of weakness.

Fun Fact: The word for “wept” (the only place this form is used in the entire New Testament) that Jesus did is a quiet one. It is not a wail.

“Moved in the spirit” is more properly translated “groaned.” This phrase literally means in the Greek “to snort like a horse”. It implies anger at the Devil and “was troubled” implies tenderness for the mourners.

Jesus was so moved an involuntary groan escaped his heart. He shares in our grief and he does something about it. Lazarus being raised from the dead is what he does for all of us.

I find it fascinating how somehow tears became a sign of weakness. Abraham, Jacob, David, Jonathan, Hezekiah, Josiah, and Jeremiah the weeping prophet all wept in the bible along with Jesus. It’s a very human emotion/reaction and yet we work to suppress it. The ancient Jews wailed loudly for days when a loved one passed. Jesus dignified tears and if we are to be more like him, why not cry?

The ancient Greeks believed in emotionless gods and the inability to feel.

“Deeply moved” is used twice in this passage.

“What ifs” cause more grief in this life cause it’s all in the mind.

They needed to believe to see the glory of God. Otherwise, they would miss it.

Mary and Martha acted on their faith by removing the stone. Jesus used a loud voice so all could hear him. Lazarus listened as we all are when Jesus commands.

Lazarus would have been wrapped tightly in linen much like the ancient Egyptians wrapped their mummies. These “grave clothes” he would need again unlike Jesus who left his behind. Also, Jesus had man assist in the miracle by commanding them to remove the clothes.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 15, Day 4: Revelation 11:7-14

Summary of passage:  The 2 witnesses will be killed by the beast from the Abyss when they have finished their testimony.  Their bodies will lie in the street of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days.  They will be gloated over by the unbelievers because they had tormented them.  Then God raised them to life and rose to heaven in a cloud.  An earthquake struck, killing 7000 people, terrifying the survivors who thanked heaven.  This is the second woe.


9a)  They were killed, refused burial for 3 1/2 days, and their bodies were left in the street of Jerusalem to gloat over. After the 3 1/2 days, God breathed life into them, they stood up, and struck terror into the inhabitants.  They they went up to heaven in a cloud while all looked on (like Jesus being hidden in a cloud Acts 1:9).

b)  God sent an earthquake that destroyed 1/10 of the city and killed 7000 people, which terrified the survivors so much they gave glory to God.

10a)  John 11:25-26:  Jesus says whoever believes in him will live and never die.

John 14:1-4:  Jesus says he is preparing a place for us and he will come back and take us there to be with him.  If you trust in God and in him.

1 Corinthians 15:20-28:  Paul says all in Christ will be made alive and will be risen from death but only after he (Jesus) has put all his enemies under his feet.

Philippians 3:20-21:  Paul says we will all be transformed once Jesus comes again and our citizenship is in heaven.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:  Paul explains that all people in Christ (those who die before Christ comes again and those still alive at the time of the Second Coming) will be risen forever.

1 John 3:2:  John says believers are children of God and when Jesus appears again we shall be like him.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We’ve had this question before (Lesson 7 Day 5, Lesson 13 Day 5).  Any unbeliever I may have contact with.  Family members I’m unsure are saved.

Conclusions:  Very literal questions.  No discussion of identity of beast even though this is the first mention of the beast as the major opponent of God’s people in the final days of the Great Tribulation.  Emphasis instead on God’s almighty power over the beast and eternal life.

End Notes:  Who is the beast?  Most scholars say it is Satan.  We first saw the Abyss in Revelation 9 during the first woe where most probably Jesus was given the key to the Abyss and unleashed locusts and the king of the locusts onto the world.

Some say the beast is the Roman Empire.  The Romans destroyed hundreds of towns when they invaded Judea in the first century AD.  This interpretation then has this passage meaning Christians are being killed by the Romans and being gloated over.  When Jerusalem fell in 70 AD, part of the city fell as the Romans surrounded them, leading to an outcry to God.

Note how the 2 witnesses accomplish their task before being killed.  This speaks to us.  Each of us is given a task by God and we won’t die until it is completed.  We are witnesses who give testimony.

The city is Jerusalem.  Sodom references immorality and was destroyed by God.  Egypt was the land of  oppression and slavery and was overcome.  The great city is probably Babylon which is the headquarters of Antichrist (Revelation 16:19, 17:18, 18:10, 18:16, 18:18, 18:19, 18:21).  Israel is identified spiritually with Sodom in Isaiah 1:9-10, Jeremiah 23:14, and Ezekiel 16:46-49.

“Figuratively” is better translated from the Greek as “spiritually”.  The spiritual state of Jerusalem is being judged.

People were gloating because they could not stand to hear the truth.  Every people, tribe, nation, and language will see.  This could reference our modern media age.

For a dead body to lie in view was considered the worst humiliation a person could suffer from his enemies (Psalm 79:3-4).

Jesus ascended in a cloud when he went back to the Father in heaven.  An earthquake struck as well after Jesus’s ascension.  Earthquakes are messages of judgment.  Here, God is not finished yet at the third woe is “coming soon.”  Crying out to God was too late.  At some point, judgment is rendered.  Don’t be left out in the cold.  Turn now!

The population of Jerusalem in the first century is estimated to be about 70,000 to 100,000, which 7000 would be 1/10 of the population.

The third woe is coming in Revelation 12:12:  the inhabitants of the earth will experience Satan’s fury as he is banished.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 15, Day 4: Leviticus 10:1-7

Summary of passage:  Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu were consumed by fire from the Lord for offering up unauthorized fire against the Lord’s commands.  Their bodies were carried outside of camp.  Moses said the priest may not mourn these two but the Israelites may.


8a)  “They offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to His command”  They were killed by God.

b)  Part personal question.  My answer:  God honored the people when they worshipped correctly with His presence.  He punished the people when they worshipped against His command.  Worship is paramount to God and He expects to be obeyed explicitly not implicitly.  God takes worship seriously as we are to do as well.  God’s ways, not ours.

9a)  Before the Lord, one is unworthy to speak words.  There is nothing we can impart to God so why bother.  Good lesson for all of us that sometimes silence is better than idle chatter.

b)  Moses told what to do with the body and how to mourn properly so as not to offend the Lord.  Mourning would have meant that God was wrong in what He did.  He also told them not to leave the Tent of Meeting.  He reminded them of God’s holiness.

Conclusions:  Loved going to Lamentations and Amos.  I love the book of Lamentations and it’s not studied enough.  It is the book we should all turn to when a tragedy befalls us or a loved one as we see God’s justice and mercy and compassion clearly–and gives us hope when we cannot see (or we choose not to see) hope.

No matter how good we think we are we must remain grounded in God or we could fall off the wagon at any time just like Aaron’s sons here.

End Notes:  Nadab and Abihu came in an unauthorized way with fire made by themselves and not God’s fire and perhaps even into the Most Holy of Holy Places.  They may even have been killed in the Most Holy of Holies (“before the Lord” could mean this).

Fire judges and purifies and Satan himself will try to deceive us with fire (Revelation 13:13).

As priests, they are held to a higher standard.  What Aaron did at Mount Sinai with the golden calf was worse than this offense.  But that was before their consecration.

A CENSER is a vessel for burning incense swung in religious ceremonies amongst some religions such as Catholicism and others.  This was holy incense used inappropriately by Nadab and Abihu with dire consequences.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 15, Day 4: Matthew 14:22-36; Mark 6:45-56

Summary of passages:  Matthew 14:22-36:  After feeding the 5000, Jesus made the disciples go ahead of him in a boat while he dismissed the crowds.  Then he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.  The boat was a distance away from shore so Jesus walked on the water to get to the boat.  The disciples thought Jesus a ghost and were afraid.  Peter decides to ask the ghost to allow him to walk on water if the ghost is really Jesus.  So Peter does.  But Peter becomes afraid, loses faith, and starts sinking.  Jesus then grabs him and reprimands him for his lack of faith.

Then the disciples worshipped Jesus and declared him the Son of God.  They reached Gennesaret on the other side of the Sea of Galilee where the people recognized Jesus and brought him their sick, which he healed.

Mark 6:45-56:  Mark reveals that the disciples were straining against the oars so Jesus was about to walk by them when they were all terrified.  Jesus told them to not be afraid and he climbed in their boat.  They were amazed for they had not understood about the loaves and had hardened hearts.  All throughout the region people came and the sick were healed.


10a)  He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.

b)  Mark says that after the feeding of the 5000 miracle, the crowds began to believe him to be the Prophet so Jesus, knowing they intended to come and force him to be king, withdrew to a mountain by himself.

11a)  Jesus preached to a huge crowd in Bethesaida and fed them all and healed them all.

b)  Both just as we are to do.

c)  He prayed probably for strength in his ministry and to commune with the Father.  He probably thanked him for the strength and healing powers he had, the ability to do his Father’s will, and for his needs being fulfilled.  He probably asked for more people to heal and for more strength to persevere to the end.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Thank God for everything:  my needs being met and my desires; for all my blessings. I will ask for the ability to continue in His work and pray for others and their needs as well.

Conclusions:  I’m wondering why we didn’t read John’s take on the walking on water (John 6:16-24) but we read John’s reasoning for Jesus’ seeking solitude.  I’m confused especially since we read all the passages in the previous days.

John’s is significantly different than Matthew and Mark’s.  Would have liked to have explored that instead of questions on prayer that although helpful for new believers are intuitive for believers who are close to God.

[Note:  We read John’s take tomorrow; however, in my opinion, the passage is still left thoroughly unexplored.]

End Notes:  John just mentions this passingly but this is extremely important:  after the miracle of feeding the 5000, the crowd was probably in an uproar, excited and agitated for what was to come.  Jesus just provided bread as God had done, the first sign many of these people had of him.  Think of mob mentality and how easy it is to get caught up in the emotion of the moment.  Jesus and his disciples had to escape before it got out of hand.  It was not yet time to reveal himself as the Messiah and Jesus still had much work to do.  He couldn’t afford to get derailed here.

The fourth watch of the night would have been somewhere between 3 and 6 am.  We can assume Jesus was praying that entire time.

Peter’s walk is a picture of faith.  He believes in Jesus and follows him but the moment he began to doubt Jesus and his ability to save him, Peter began to sink.  But Peter called out to Jesus for rescue and protection and Jesus answered.  So it is with us as well.  Even if we are sinking, salvation is there, waiting for us to take it by the hand.

We can learn from Jesus when he asks Peter, “Why did you doubt?”  We should ask ourselves the same question for our doubt is often ill-founded.  We must examine ourselves so the next time we trust instead of doubt.  For with God, there is NO reason to doubt.

John tells us that as soon as Jesus got in the boat, “immediately the boat reached the shore”.

So did Jesus land in Gennesaret as Matthew and Mark say or Capernaum as John says?  It’s hard to say.  Gennesaret was also a region as well as a town in Jesus’ day.  Scholars don’t really know mainly because they don’t really know the exact location of these towns and the borders of the regions.  Here’s two sites I found helpful but ambiguous in answering the question: