BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 18, Day 3: Romans 10:14-15

Summary of passage:  Paul says how awesome are those who spread the Good News so that others may hear and believe.

Questions:

6)  Matthew 28:18-20:  Jesus gave the Great Commission for all to go out and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  In essence, spread the Word!

Acts 1:8:  We are to be witnesses to Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 13:46-47:  We are to spread the light and bring salvation to the ends of the earth.

Romans 15:20:  We are to preach the Gospel to places where Christ is not known.

2 Corinthians 2:12-14:  The Lord opens the doors for us to spread the Gospel as we are an aroma to Him.

2 Corinthians 10:15-16:  As our faith grows, so does our ministry and we can spread the Gospel in circles around us.

7)  Isaiah is speaking of God’s people returning from exile with the Lord leading the way.  Paul applied this joyful cheer to the messengers who, like himself, bore the Good News of Jesus Christ.  So in essence all believers who spread the news.  The feet are beautiful because they are moving to spread the beautiful news of Christ.

8 )  Personal Question we’ve answered several times this year.  The good thing about repetition:  You won’t forget!!  My answer:  How is through nudges and whispers and putting people in my path whom He desires to be there.  All who haven’t heard of Christ are in despair (not just the places of destitute and dilapidation).  All who don’t believe are candidates for us to share Christ.

Conclusions:  Unnecessary to spend two days on these two verses.

End Notes:  [Same as yesterday’s]. Paul rightly observes that it all goes back to the preaching of the gospel, and preachers must be sent – both by God and the Christian community at large.

God could have chosen any means for the message of salvation to come, such as angelic messengers or directly working without a human preacher.  God’s “normal” way of bringing people to Jesus Christ is through the preaching of the gospel.

The feet speak of activity, motion, and progress, and those who are active and moving in the work of preaching the gospel have beautiful feet.

This is joyful cheer of those who are spreading the Good News.  It should bring us great joy when we spread the Gospel as well!!

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 18, Day 3: John 13:36-38

Summary of passage:  Peter, of course, asks Jesus where he’s going (none of them quite understanding Jesus’ words).  Jesus says they will follow him to where he’s going later.  Peter protests, saying he wants to go with the Lord now.  Jesus calls him on his bluff, saying he’s about to disown him 3 times in less than 24  hours!

Questions:

6)  Jesus says Peter is will disown him 3 times before the rooster crows.  Peter will be more able to strengthen his brothers, having been wrung through the wringer by Satan and then confessed his sin.  He can better relate to people having denied Jesus out of fear and then come to him stronger.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It gives me courage to do His will for my life when I am scared of losing income because I know He will bless me much more in the long term which will lead to me being able to touch many more lives than I do already.

Conclusions:  How many of us know a Peter in our lives?  Someone who is gung-ho on everything and then when the time comes to put the talk into action, they back down or freeze up or come up with an excuse.  How encouraging for us that even though we may freeze up in that moment for Jesus, he forgives us and strengthens us and moves us forward according to His will.  Great stuff!

End Notes:  Jesus tells Peter he will eventually follow him.  He just doesn’t mention the after you die part.

Peter is 100% committed as a disciple of Jesus.  He says he’ll lay down his life for him.  At this moment.  Later, he fails because he let emotion get in the way.

Peter’s denial of Jesus is not the same as Judas’.  Judas planned his and is deliberate.  Peter’s is in the heat of the moment, based on fickle passions, and is accidental.  It is still bad but not as bad as Judas’.  This is a whole different level.

Christ must die for Peter FIRST; then Peter can die for Jesus.

Peter denies Jesus off of very human emotions of being laughed at.  He was embarrassed.  The girl’s tongue is sharper than a sword!  Peter denies he even knows Jesus, let alone denying he will lay his life down for him.  Peter does go from bad to worse. However, Jesus forgives those who make very human mistakes (all of us) with the right heart.  Dark hearts (like Judas’) are not forgiven.

Jesus knows Peter’s heart here and says so!

The time is halfway between midnight and dawn is when the rooster crows.  It was the 3rd of 4 Roman nightwatches.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 18, Day 3: Various Passages

Summary of passages:  Various passages for the day.

Questions:

6)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  By God’s Will Jesus took on our suffering as a guilt offering to satisfy God and to justify us (Isaiah).  Jesus says he must suffer, be killed and risen to life (Matthew).  Acts says God planned Jesus’s death for His purposes.  “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”  Romans–no mention of suffering here though except through death.

Truthfully, I haven’t and I don’t believe I can ever come close to expressing my gratitude and appreciation for what Jesus has done on the cross for me.  I try to though by doing His will in my life, putting Him first, caring for His people and creatures and all He has given me, giving the glory to Him for all the good in my life, thanking Him repeatedly, and trying to live the life He wants me to by being like Jesus.

7)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  This is the exact same question as Lesson 3, Day 4 Questions 10b & 11a & Lesson 4, Day 5 Question 15 & in Lesson 12, Day 4 Question 11a.

In Mark Jesus says we must deny ourselves and take up our cross daily to follow him in order to gain eternal life.  Acts tells us if we suffer for Him, it makes us worthy.  Suffering allows us to know Christ more and the power of his suffering and fellowship with him and becoming more like Jesus.  (Philippians)

Suffering increases your faith no doubt about it.  Through faith, we know Him more, depend on him more, and love Him and His ways more.  It makes us more like Christ and our gratitude grows along with our character.  I have definitely experienced all of this and more through various trials:  bankruptcy, death, hard times, moving, etc.  But the gains have SO been worth it and eternity is near.  A life led for others is richness indeed.  See yesterday’s LINK for more purposes of suffering.

Conclusions:  Day of recounting our sufferings as we’ve seen/done in previous lessons.  Feel beaten down and we still have 2 more days of this!

End Notes:  Brief Note on Mark 8:34-38:  This passage is often misunderstood.  Denying yourself and taking up your cross simply put means we surrender ourselves to Christ and take up His will.  In the first century, the cross meant crucifixion.  It meant death.  It didn’t have any traditions or rituals or fuzzy or spiritual feelings attached to the cross and it wasn’t a symbol or associated yet with Jesus and Christianity.  The cross was death.  Period.

Deny self, take up cross, follow Jesus means:  We cannot save ourselves; hence, we follow the one who can save us–Jesus.  This is why we deny ourselves–to find life.

See this LINK.  Great reference for suffering in the Bible and its purposes in the passages quoted.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 18, Day 3: Numbers 5:1-6:21

Summary of passage:  Numbers 5:  The Lord told Moses to send away those who were unclean with infectious skin disease or otherwise outside camp so they would not defile the camp. Restitution must be made if another man wrongs another says the Lord.  If a man suspects his wife has been unfaithful, he is to bring her to the priest who will perform a ceremony where if she is guilty she will be cursed with barrenness or with miscarriages.  If she is not guilty, she will be free of guilt and will bear children.

Numbers 6:1-21:  If a man or woman wants to make a vow of separation to God, he or she must not drink alcohol, not shave their hair or cut it, and not go near dead bodies.  After his period of separation is over, offerings are made and the hair is shaved off.

Questions:

6a)  He commanded the Israelites to send away anyone with an infectious skin disease, a discharge, or who is ceremonially unclean because of a dead body.  He commanded the Israelites to make full restitution for wrongs committed.  He commanded the Israelites to resolve their marital questions about faithfulness through a mediator (the priest).

b)  It set God’s people apart from the prevailing cultures around them.  The Egyptians who were famous for embalming and worshipping the dead and the Phoenicians who used sex (discharge) in religious ceremonies.

c) It cleared their name if they were suspect and innocent.  In ancient times, women could be killed if suspected of being unfaithful.  This ensured men could not kill their wives–innocent or guilty–because of adultery.

7a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Publicly declaring yourself to God.  Visually being different from those around you so others can see your dedication and your testimony to the One, True God.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Every Christian is set apart from others as they walk with the Holy Spirit as their guide.  Yes, as I try to discover God’s will for my life and follow that instead of doing my own thing as prevalent in today’s society.  I try to walk His walk and do His calling.  Currently, my family and I are looking into sponsoring a child through Compassion International.  It’s something I’ve been thinking about since the Compassion Experience recently came to my area a few months ago and after that I felt it was His will for my life to do that.  It’s following God’s promptings in all aspects of your life that set you apart–not the big things but the little things.

Conclusions:  No where is the separateness of God’s people from Him more noticeable than here in the pages of Numbers.  As we see Israel’s struggle to become close to God and still never succeeded, those of us in the here and now on this side of heaven should be falling to our knees, praising God for His son, for His way of finally being with Him.  Jesus is the only way to bridge the gap between God and man.  Sometimes in our culture we take that too casually.  Yes, God is approachable and wants to be with us.  Still, reverence He requires and sometimes I think we are too casual with God.  Here, in Numbers, we are reminded of just how privileged we are to be with Him and we need to remember that when we are with Him–in prayer and every day as we follow the Holy Spirit.

End Notes:  Numbers 5:  God dwelled with His people.  He could not tolerate sin.  Hence, these commands to rid the camp of unclean people.

Numbers 5:11-31 was God’s way of dealing with jealousy in a marriage.  This trial is reflective of other “trials of ordeal” common in the Middle East at this time.  This is the only one in the Bible and there is no Biblical record that this was ever performed.  This ceremony was mostly show and to imbibe a guilty conscience if one was cheating on their spouse.  It does demonstrate how God thinks about jealousy:  enough to initiate a ceremony to combat it.  Jealousy in a marriage ends many.  God knows that and wanted us to know that as well.

Chapter 5 speaks to purity:  of heart and with others.  So make restitution today if you need to and be pure all of your days in relationships.

Numbers 6:1-21:  The Hebrew word for Nazirite means “set apart”.  Death is the consequence of sin; hence, the separation during the Nazirite’s vow so he or she would not be near sin.

Samson’s strength came from his vow of separation.  He did drink and touch dead bodies, but it was when his hair was cut by Delilah that he lost his strength. (Judges)

If the vow was broken, then one had to start all over again.

Famous Nazirites:  Samson, John the Baptist, and Paul.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 18, Day 3: Matthew 17:1-13

Summary of passage:  Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him up on a mountain where he was transfigured before them.  Moses and Elijah appeared, talking with Jesus.  Peter offered to build each a shelter.  God enveloped them in a cloud and said “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.  Listen to him!”  The disciples were terrified.  Moses and Elijah had disappeared.  Only Jesus remained.

Jesus told them as they walked down the mountain to not reveal what they had seen to anyone until after his resurrection.  Confused as usual, the disciples wonder why does the Law say then that Elijah comes first.    Jesus tells them that Elijah has already come and gone but no one recognized him.  It was John the Baptist.

Questions:

6a)  Because Moses was the first great lawgiver and as such he is representing the Law and Elijah was the first great prophet and as such he is representing the Prophets.  These two are chosen to show how Jesus now supercedes them.

b)  “They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.” Basically, the resurrection and what it meant.

c)  First, that Jesus was meant to suffer and die for all of mankind.  Two, that Jesus wouldn’t die. He’d always be living with the Father in heaven as Moses and Elijah would.

7a)  Well, we learn from Mark and Luke that Peter had no idea what he was saying.  But the overall effect was the suggestion put Jesus on an equal level as Elijah and Moses.

b)  Peter was rebuked by God and interrupted because Jesus is above Elijah and Moses not equal. God had to make that very clear as exhibited by Peter he obviously needed that clarification.

c)  Listen to Jesus was God’s command.  This taught us that:  1)  Jesus was God’s Son (Psalm 2:7).  2)  God loves Jesus  3)  God is well pleased with Jesus (Matthew 12:18 which quotes Isaiah 41:1-4).  4)  Him you shall hear (Deuteronomy 18:15) and he will proclaim justice to the nations (Isaiah 42:1).

[Note:  I broke up the love and well pleased which I would imagine is probably put together by BSF but I thought that fact God loves Jesus was very significant since the greatest commandment given to us according to Jesus in Matthew 22:37-38 is to “love the Lord your God will all your heart” and your neighbor.  Love as God loves.]

8a)  He came “before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes” or before Jesus.

b)  He preached the truth, told others to repent and turn to the Lord.  He was thrown in jail for his teachings, beaten and tortured, and eventually died for his beliefs.  The same for Jesus.

c)  Jesus says Elijah “will restore all things”, future tense.  This refers to the fact that Jesus has not died yet so people have not yet been restored to God.

Conclusions and End Notes:  I covered a lot of this analysis yesterday.

The disciples are confused because they know Elijah is prophesied to come first (Malachi 4:5) which they believe but they just saw Elijah standing next to Jesus on the mountain and Jesus came first.  Hence, the background to their perplexity.

Scholars say the Malachi passage better refers to the Two Witnesses in Revelation (Revelation 11:3-13) and Jesus’ Second Coming.

Another example of how God knows more than us mere humans and despite our best efforts to figure out God’s Word, mysteries still remain.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 18, Day 3: Genesis 22:1-19

Summary of passage:  God calls Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac as a burnt offering in the mountains of Moriah. So Abraham faithfully takes Isaac to where God calls him, bounds his son, and prepares to kill him.  On the journey, Abraham tells Isaac that God will provide the burnt offering.

An angel of the Lord stopped Abraham before he killed Isaac, saying he has proved he fears God because he didn’t withhold his son from Him.  God provided a ram instead to sacrifice.  The angel says because of Abraham’s faithfulness the Lord will bless him and make his descendants as numerous as the stars and will rule over the cities of their enemies.

All nations on earth will be blessed because of Abraham’s obedience.  Then Abraham went to Beersheba.

Questions:

6a)  In Verse 2, God acknowledges how much Abraham loves his son when He says, “whom you love” and we all know you can’t hide anything from God so I would wager it was obvious how much Isaac meant to Abraham.  Abraham assured Isaac God would provide the sacrifice (verse 8) so he was confident this would all work out in the end.

And at any time Isaac could have run away once he realized what was happening but he didn’t.  So he trusted his father and God to know this would turn out alright.

b)  Both Isaac and Jesus willingly offer up their own life under Free Will for the Father. They obey Him and trust in Him and His ways and plans.  Both accept the lot God has chosen for their earthly lives and do not fight it.  God is first in their lives and their actions prove so.

7a)  Solomon built the temple of the Lord on Mount Moriah where the Lord had appeared to his father David.  It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David.  David built the altar so the Lord would stop the plague on Israel, which the Lord sent as punishment for David’s disobedience when he counted the fighting men (or conducted a census) in Israel and Judah.

b)  The simple answer:  Through Christ’s death and resurrection where he bore our sins so we may be right before God.

Because of Abraham’s obedience and faith and his willingness to sacrifice his only son we were all blessed by God and included in His plan for salvation through Jesus Christ.  God loved us so much He sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  We should all be assured of God’s love for us at the magnitude of this sacrifice.

Conclusions:  Gee, wouldn’t it be nice if all nations were blessed because of my obedience? I thought.  Then I realized they are.  Because everything we do affects others. It may not be as monumental as having all nations blessed because of our actions, which allowed the Gentiles to be included in God’s covenant but it’s significant nonetheless.

When we obey God and fulfill His purpose for us here on earth, God is pleased and our rewards are multiplied in heaven.

It is still hard to grasp God’s love even though God uses the strongest love we humans have–that for our children–as His comparison.  God’s love is greater which is hard to imagine.  But we get the idea.  As most of us would fail the child sacrifice test, we can understand just a bit how much God gave when He gave his only Son.

Other parallels with Isaac and Jesus:  Both carried wood up the hill to their imminent death.  Both were sacrificed on the same hill.  Both were risen again after three days.  We see this in Isaac because God pronounced Isaac dead when He told Abraham to sacrifice him.  On the third day (verse 4) Isaac rose again when God interceded for him. Cool, huh?

Explanation on 2 Samuel 24:10-25:  This was one of those passages you had to read the whole chapter of 2 Samuel 24 to understand what is going on here.  And THEN you still had to know the history to understand (which I, of course, was too curious not to look up).  Because I was thinking, “What’s so wrong with a census?  We do that every 10 years?”

Exodus 30:12 states:  The Lord tells Moses, “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the Lord a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them.”

In ancient times you only had the right to count what was yours.  This is what God is saying.  The people are His and only He had the right to order a count and even then ransom money had to be paid to atone for the counting.

Here, David directly disobeys God (which many scholars attribute to the devil’s influence on David who tempted him), lets pride creep in as he thinks some of the reason Israel has prospered is due to him and not God, and ordered a census to be taken without asking God.

Thus, in God’s infinite mercy, He ordered David to build this altar on Mount Moriah to atone for his sin of the census and spare some of God’s people (specifically Jerusalem) the plague.