BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 19, Day 2: Romans 11:1-10

Summary of passage:  God did not reject His people.  They have rejected Him, but not all of them.  God has chosen a remnant (the elect) by grace and the others hearts’ were hardened towards Him.


3)  God has chosen some to believe in His Son.  Paul was chosen despite not believing in Christ in the beginning and Elijah was chosen as well, being the only one left standing.

4)  A remnant is those chosen by God through grace to believe in Christ.

5)  Part personal Question. My answer:  God shows grace to the elect or those chosen.  It is all by God’s grace that we are chosen.  It is out of our control.  He knows all.

Conclusions:  A lot more here.  We are studying this same passage tomorrow so we shall see what that brings.  Please see End Notes for more in-depth analysis.

End Notes:  In the Old Testament, the Jews and Israel are God’s elect, those chosen to be those whom God revealed Himself and His will to, and through whom he could exhibit and declare to the world his purposes and salvation.  In the New Testament, Jesus is the Elect One, and through Him the church, replacing the old Israel in the purposes of God.  This new race is mostly composed of poor and ordinary people (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).

The question as to whether the Jews are, as a people, still the elect of God is faced by Paul here in Romans 9-11 in the light of the salvation of God in and through Jesus.  In chapters 9 & 10 Paul painfully admits that, on the whole, the Jews did not believe in Christ.  Despite all the advantages of Old Testament history, they “stumbled over the ‘stumbling stone'” (Romans 9:32).  In chapter 11, Paul goes back over that history and asks whether it was futile.  Will the Jews come to believe in Christ some day?  Did their tragic experience produce any advantage for the rest of the world?  This chapter clearly shows God’s eternal love for his chosen people.  Paul will conclude with a poetic outburst, celebrating God’s mysterious ways of working on earth.

Paul answers in Chapter 11:  If Israel’s rejection of the gospel was somehow both consistent with God’s eternal plan (Romans 9:1-29) and Israel’s own choosing (Romans 9:30-10:21), then does this mean that Israel’s fate is settled, and there is no possibility of restoration?  No!

For one, Paul is a Jew and he has been saved. We first look to ourselves for God’s grace.  There is a remnant of Jews who embrace Jesus and like Elijah, God will work through them for the sake of the others.  God often works in small groups and in the first century Jews believers in Christ were small and in Elijah’s time it was just him!

A remnant is “something left over”.  In the Bible, it’s those who would survive God’s judgement and become the new, true Israel.  The elect are those whom God has chosen for salvation out of His great love, not merit.

And it is by God’s grace (not works), and elect was chosen.  God enlightens whom He so chooses because He’s God and can do whatever He wants.  The Jews of Paul’s day were so secure in their idea of being the chosen people that the very idea became the thing that ruined them.  This spiritual dullness had continued since Isaiah’s day.

The passage from Psalm was probably originally spoken by David concerning his enemies; Paul uses it to describe the results of the divine hardening.


BSF Study Questions John Lesson 19, Day 2: John 14:15-20

Summary of passage:  Obey Jesus out of love for him.  The Father will send us the Spirit of Truth (Holy Spirit) to be with us and in us and we will live.


3)  He says distinctly in verse 20 “I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (through the Holy Spirit).  Jesus explains the Holy Spirit as a Counselor God will send to be in you and he will be of the same kind.

4)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus says the Holy Spirit lives with you and will be in you and that the disciples will know him.  “On that day” meaning Pentecost when the Holy Spirit is given to believers is when the relationship will change.  I have the Holy Spirit.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That I will live because Jesus lives.  It’s great comfort to know I’ll be in heaven with the Father.

Conclusions:  Some days I feel as if I’m not much help and this is one of those days.  The questions were broad so it’s hard to narrow it down.

End Notes:  This is the first in a series of important passages about the Holy Spirit since Jesus has not mentioned it before.

Love is not just an emotion or a feeling.  Jesus says love is an action, doing, keeping his commandments.  This shows you love him.  Love, like faith, cannot be separated from obedience.  You don’t have to enter a convent and give up everything.  It’s simple.

Here is the 2nd Assurance:  Jesus will ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to help believers.

“Counselor” is the ancient Greek word parakletos.  The idea is someone called to help someone else or it could be an advisor, a legal defender, a mediator, or an intercessor.  It’s often translated as “Comforter” which comes from the Old English and Latin.

The devil is the accuser.  Hence, “Helper” for the Holy Spirit.

“Another” means in the same kind.  So the Counselor is in the same kind as Jesus and the Father and hence, the Trinity.  Besides Jesus in essence.

The Holy Spirit will not be temporary–he will be with us “forever.”

The Spirit is characterized by truth in essence and action.  He brings people to the truth of God.  All three persons of the Trinity are linked with truth.  The world takes no notice of the Spirit of God.

The Holy Spirit was already with the disciples (Jesus) but it would be in them (John 20:22).  Acts 1:8 tells us the disciples will receive power when they receive the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit eliminates the distance between Jesus and ourselves.

Jesus’ 3rd assurance:  He will not leave them as orphans, but will come to them.  To the Hebrews, the disciples of a particular teacher called him father; his scholars were called his children, and, on his death, the disciples were considered orphans.

Jesus repeats this promise from 14:3 and fulfills it when he rises again after the cross.

Because Jesus lives is the only reason we still live.  The Holy Spirit allows us a union with God here on earth.


BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 19, Day 2: Revelation 14:1-5

Summary of passage:  Jesus is standing on Mount Zion with the 144,000.  A loud roar came from heaven and a new song was sung by the 144,000 redeemed who are blameless, pure, followed Jesus, and purchased and offered as first fruits to God.


3a)  John saw Jesus and the 144,000 redeemed standing on Mount Zion.  He heard a sound from heaven like a roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder and like harpists playing their harps.  He also heard a new song being sung by the 144,000.

b)  They had been redeemed from the earth.  They did not defile themselves with women and were pure.  They followed the Lamb wherever he goes.  They were purchased from among men and offered as first fruits to God.  They’re blameless and no lie has ever crossed their mouths.

4)  Believers were purchased by the blood of the Lamb, cleansed and justified, and marked with a seal to be redeemed to heaven and have eternal life with God.  God chose us ahead of time to follow Jesus. (Ephesians).  We were redeemed or purchased through Christ’s blood (1 Peter).

5a)  By treating our bodies as a temple of the Holy Spirit, refraining from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18), and honoring God with our bodies.  We are imitators of God and live a life of love, avoiding sexual sin, impurity, greed, obscenity, foolish talk, coarse jokes; instead, living a life of thanksgiving and holy.  We obey and live as children of light (good, righteous, and truthful).  We are wise, making the most of every opportunity, filled with the Spirit instead of wine, speaking to others with psalms, hymns, and songs, thanking God always, submitting to Him (Ephesians 5:12-21).

Be Christ-like with love, spirit, and purpose.  Treat others better than yourself and put others first.  Have a Christ-like attitude, be a servant, humble, obedient, and act according to God’s purpose.  Don’t complain or argue and be glad and joyful.  (Philippians).

We do not lie, we confess our sins and are purified. (1 John 1)

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Loving others who are hard to love.  Guarding my mouth sometimes and speaking only praises.  Not complaining.  Being humble.  Putting others first.  Serving.

Conclusions:  We were all over the place in the Bible with only one question on Revelation.  We’ve explored this topic before this year in our study on how we are to live in Lesson 7, Day 5 when we read Ephesians 4.  We saw it in Lesson 8 Day 2 with how Daniel stayed true to God.

Going to other places in the Bible can be a good thing, but I feel like sometimes during this study that’s all we do.

Also, these week-long breaks make it harder for me to remember where we were at in Revelation.  Stopping and having to go back two weeks to remember what had just happened, so I have context for this week takes valuable time.  It feels like a stop, jerk, and go again motion that jars me and reorienting myself is frustrating.

End Notes:  Revelation says history will end with a loud bang.  Yet John repeatedly says this will bring peace on earth as God rules over a restored heaven and earth.  Here we see the heavenly choir again sandwiched between tribulation and judgment like an interlude.  This is to reassure us that all creation will once again be in harmony.

We last saw the 144,000 in Revelation 7 (BSF Lesson 13) where we learned they are the remnant, a group of believers (some say Messianic Jews some scholars say a mix of Jews and Gentiles) who were sealed or protected from the tribulation and have been martyred for their faith (we know this because they are in heaven).  Here, the beast has not defeated them and they emerge victorious.  Revelation 7 shows the 144,000 at the beginning of the Great Tribulation and here we see them at the end of it.

Again, the 144,000 is representative of all God’s people.  Yes, they are a specific group, but in the end, we will share in God’s glory as well.

Coming up in Revelation 14, we will find out what happens to the beast and does he defeat the followers of Christ (no because of the 144,000).

Mount Zion is the place where Christ gathers his redeemed and begins his rule over earth (Psalm 48, Isaiah 24:23, Joel 2:32, Obadiah 17 and 21, Micah 4:1, 4:7).

Satan copied the idea of the seal (Revelation 13:16-17) from God.

The sound from heaven like the road of rushing water and a loud peal of thunder is the voice of God (Revelation 1:15 and 4:5).

The elders have harps (Revelation 5:8).  Worshiping God and singing Him a song transports us to the foot of God at His throne.  Note the song was learned on earth and no one else can sing it but the 144,000.  Part of our job here on earth is to learn this song by accepting Jesus and drawing close to him.  Only then once we are saved will we have the new song in our hearts.

Identity of the 144,000:  are they symbolically pure (virgins) or are they literally?  Up for debate.  They could be celibate just during the time of the Great Tribulation or could be celibate meaning without engaging with pagans.

The term “virgins” is not used in the NIV.  The Greek word parthenos can be both men and women so the 144,000 are a mix of men and women.

Israel is referred to as a virgin in the Bible, reinforcing some scholars belief that the 144,000 represents all believers (2 Kings 19:21; Isaiah 37:22; Lamentations 2:13; Jeremiah 18:13; 31:34, 21; Amos 5:2).

We see them described as first fruits.  First fruits was the first portion of the harvest offered to God in the Old Testament (Leviticus 23:10-14).  The nation of Israel is said to be the first fruits (Jeremiah 2:3), bringing the Gentiles to God.  In the New Testament we see first fruits being used to describe Christ rising from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20) or the first converts in a region (Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:15).  Hence, some scholars believe all believers are considered as the first fruits (or choice offering) to God.

God often speaks of the purity of His people in terms of sexual immorality as Paul does in 2 Corinthians 11:2.

However, here, most scholars agree the 144,000 are Jews who came to faith in Jesus during the Tribulation and who now will serve as the first fruits of God’s harvest and bring in the rest of the Jews.  They are holy and pure, not of the world.  Ultimately, remember, they will bring in all of us–the church (See End Notes on Lesson 13, Day 3 for more discussion of the 144,000).

Fun Fact:  This is the only place in Revelation we see “Mount Zion” used.


BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 19, Day 2: Numbers 11:1-3

Summary of passage:  The people grumbled about their hardships.  The Lord heard them and sent fire to burn the outskirts of the camp.  The people cried out to Moses who prayed to God and the fire died down.


3a)  Ungrateful, complaining, not content in Him, lack of faith in God

b)  God heard the people complain and he was angry so he sent fire to burn the outskirts of the Israelites’ camp.

4a)  They cried out to Moses

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I usually get mad and pout and question God’s ways and I cry out to Him.  I get frustrated and ask why.

c)  Psalm 16:6:  This is a reminder that my inheritance is in heaven and it is a much better place than here.

Psalm 37:7:  This is a reminder to wait patiently on God and His ways and to not worry when men succeed in their wicked ways.  Trust Him.

Philippians 4:11-12:  This is a reminder to be content with what you have and where you are at.  Verse 13 is the famous one:  “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”  I can endure with Him.

Conclusions:  A very short lesson today and a short reading.  A nice break.  We are not told exactly what the complaints were about (moving all the time, carrying heavy loads, eating the same food day-in and day-out, etc) but whatever it was it made God angry enough to send fire!  We all have the same complaints about our daily hardships.  Still, we must trust–which is much easier said than done.

End Notes:  The Israelites had just been set apart of God, cleansed, separated, and blessed and given Him himself to guide them and He dwells with them and the first thing they do when they set out is complain.  God is very disappointed indeed.

It’s ungrateful and lack of faith in Him for the here and now.

What the complaints were about is unimportant since they are not mentioned; the complaints speak to the state of the Israelites hearts just like our complaints speak to ours.

Fire, the light by which the Israelites see at night, is now the enemy here as it brings justice to God’s people.

Some scholars say the Israelites should have cried out to God directly, but I disagree.  They were so used to Moses speaking for them it was natural for them.  Plus, I’m sure they were afraid and as in all of our readings of the past, when the Israelites are afraid of God, they reach out to Moses (whom God chose to be their intermediary for Him) to speak to God.


BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 19, Day 2: Matthew 18:1-5

Summary of passage:  The disciples asked Jesus who is the greatest in heaven and Jesus said a little child and told them to become like little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven; to humble yourself and welcome the child in his name.


3a)  Change to become like a little child–humility

b)  Matthew 5:3-4:  Blessed are the poor in spirit and those who mourn

John 1:12-13:  Those who receive Jesus as their Savior and believe in him will become children of God and be born of God

John 3:3-6:  One must be born again to see the kingdom of God; born of water and the Spirit.

4a)  “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last and the servant of all.”

b)  Humility

5a)  Believers

b)  Part Personal Question.  My answer:  Children, those unable to defend themselves such as the disabled and us.  We are the least.  Be humble.  Welcome all.  Be generous and kind.  Follow the Golden Rule.

c)  God and Jesus.

Conclusions:  Not for sure how much I got out of this besides to be humble and if I have Jesus, I am changed.

End Notes:  Note Jesus didn’t just pompously say “Me!”  Instead, he called forth a child, a symbol of his nature.

Scholars say this also speaks to Peter who is declared by the Catholic Church to be the first Pope.  If Peter was to be revered as Popes are, then Jesus would have said so here.  Personally, I just don’t know that much about the Catholic faith to comment on this either way.  This was just mentioned in several commentaries I read on this passage so thought I’d throw it in.

Children in ancient times were seen more as property than as people.  They could be bought and sold at will.  They belonged to the parents until they were married.  This was probably shocking to the discipled to hear.

Jesus changes man’s nature of pride and selfishness into a nature of humility and selflessness–into little children.


BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 19, Day 2: Genesis 24:1-9

Summary of passage:  Abraham had his servant swear not to get a wife for Isaac from the Canaanites but from his country and his relatives.  Abraham said not to take Isaac back to his fatherland and that God would send an angel before him to find the wife.


3a)  In every way.  God will make his descendants as numerous as the stars.  They will take possession of the cities and all nations will be bless because of Abraham. (Genesis 22:16-18)

b)  From Psalm:  Blessed are those who take refuge in Him (Psalm 2:12).  Blessed is the man who does not walk with in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  Blessed are those who delight in the Lord and who meditates on the law.

Psalm 37:  They will inherit the land; He makes his steps firm;  man will not fall for the Lord upholds him in His hand.

Malachi:  God throws open the floodgates of blessings when the tithe is brought.

Ephesians: Blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  With my sweet babies and my husband being home for a stretch of time.  With my band.  With my friend whom I saw a movie with.  With job opportunities.  Maybe for a way for me to do something outside the home.  Options for schools.  Nice park weather.  Food, clothing, shelter.  My dog.  Many more.

4a)  By directing his children (Isaac) to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just so that the Lord will bring about what He has promised to Abraham.  By getting a wife not of foreign birth who would know the One, True God.

b)  Finding one from the Canaanites because of they were pagan worshippers.  And having Isaac go back to the “home” country from where Abraham came from.  Isaac had to stay to fulfill God’s desires for man.

c)  Our number one priority is to raise our children to know the Lord.  He must be first in their lives.  We must raise them to follow God’s laws and not the ways and laws of the world.  They must strive to be more like Jesus every day of their lives and to do what he would do.

5)  He makes sure his son has the right wife pleasing to God.  He keeps his son in the Promised Land so he and his descendants can inherit it.  He shows his servant that the Lord will guide him in his quest.

Conclusions:  Surprisingly, I did like 3c.  It’s always good to remember our blessings because so often we forget them in the humdrum of life.  It was a good exercise to write them down so we do realize we are incredibly blessed even when we don’t feel blessed at all.

The blessings God has for us are innumerable and it would behoove us to remember that (me at least).

Great reminders on responsibilities we have as parents to raise our kids right.  This goal can easily get lost in the day-to-day caretakings of our children whose needs are immediate.  Great prayer to start the day with!


BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 19, Day 2: 1 Corinthians 8-9

Summary of passage:  1 Corinthians 8:  Paul is answering another question of the Corinthians and first Paul cautions the Corinthians that knowledge can be deceiving.  You think you know when in reality you may not.  But love builds up and supersedes knowledge.

So with respect to eating food for idols:  we (Christians) know there is only One, True God.  But others do not.  Albeit it’s okay for Christians to eat food sacrificed to idols (because we know it’s just another cow basically) others who do not know God are committing a sin because they are looking at it in a religious sense.  They are following the Christians’ example.  (You know, the ubiquitous saying amongst children “But so-and-so ate the apple so why can’t I?”)

This food Christians ate brings us no closer to God; but it brings those unbelievers farther from God.  So Paul says to be careful in exercising your freedom when it could hinder those away from God.  Paul says this is a sin against Christ:  doing something we know can pull others away from Him.  Christians must sacrifice for others.

1 Corinthians 9:  Paul declares he is an apostle with the right to be supported by the church.  By right Paul can share in what he reaps just like a soldier, a farmer, and a shepherd share in what they reap.

But Paul says he did not use this right because it might hinder the gospel of Christ.  It is commanded by the Lord that Paul can receive support but he himself is choosing not to. He boasts of this!

Paul preaches the gospel because he is compelled to spread the Word.  He becomes all things to all people in order to win people for the Lord and share in an eternal reward and not an earthly one.  Paul refuses all things that would hinder his reward or him finishing the race.  His crown is one that will last forever in this race we all run.  Paul runs and fights all for an eternal prize to which he won’t be disqualified from.


3a)  Basically, we’re talking about actions speak louder than words and how if you do something others think it’s okay for them to do it as well (crowd mentality).  You show others your knowledge and beliefs by acting as such.  It is our responsibility to lead by example and not provoke others to sin even if we ourselves don’t.

Paul’s example is eating food sacrificed to idols.  It is technically okay to eat this food because you believe in the One, True God.  However, others watching you may not and they see you do it so they do it, not knowing it’s consequences because of lack of knowledge.

We are called to lead others by example especially in terms of kids.  It’s like when you accidentally get something for free like you walk out of the grocery store not having paid for something and then you realize when you get to the car they missed it.  Is it okay to not pay for it?  Yes.  It was their mistake.  But is it right?  No.  It is a form of stealing and you must go back in and pay for the item.

b)  Personal question.  My answer:  Cussing (which I’m working on by the way and have improved on).  Drinking (some people cannot handle mood altering substances).  Eating unhealthily (My body can handle fatty foods.  Others can’t).  Everything in my behavior since my kids are always watching.

4a)  Verse 12 & 19  So he could win as many people as possible.  He became all things to all men in order to win them (verse 22)  All for the sake of the gospel and its blessings, not an earthly reward (verse 23).

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We must adapt to those around us in order to bond with them and ask nor receive nothing in return in order to spread the Good News to as many as possible.  Commonality goes a long way to win trust of others and if you receive nothing in return it makes a bold statement that your are not just preaching for a free meal.

We must keep in mind what the goal is.  Not a free meal.  But an eternal prize.  We can get caught up in the accolades of this world and the prizes but Paul says we are working for an intangible goal, one we cannot see until we reach heaven.

Conclusions:  I like 1 Corinthians 8 because it takes into account our actions and others.  We do affect other people and our actions do have consequences, many of which we cannot see.  Society today tells us it’s all about me.  Well, it’s not.  And this passage is a great example of why it isn’t.

The prize is the end game.  Finish strong.  Always keep eternal rewards in mind which will last as opposed to temporal earthly rewards which will all fade away in the end.