BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 26, Day 5: Romans 14:19-23

Summary of passage:  Paul reiterates getting along with others.  Don’t destroy someone’s belief over petty issues like food.  Avoid causing your brother to fail.  Keep your beliefs to yourself and don’t shame others into your beliefs.

Questions:

13)  It could cause others to stumble, feel shame and guilt and begin to doubt God and potentially sin.

14)  “Make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification.”  “Keep your beliefs about these issues between yourself and God.”

15)  “It is better for the stronger believer to not eat meat or drink wine or do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.”  The weaker believer should not “condemn himself by what he approves.”

16)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This has nothing to do with straying from God but the one thing I can think of is having candy in the house.  My kids eat candy and I don’t but my husband, who is trying to lose weight, can’t resist it. I’m becoming more cognizant of what I’m buying so he won’t stumble.

Conclusions:  Important passage.  We need to put others’ needs first.  Whether it’s not drink around those who struggle with drunkenness or not eat certain foods around those struggling with their weight/health.  It’s being considerate of others at its foundation.

End Notes:  Paul is not talking about catering to legalism here such as eating certain foods.

Keep your faith between yourself and God. You don’t have to parade it around weak Christians.  You can keep your standards and convictions.  However, you’re not permitted to flaunt it around others.

There are things God may challenge us to give up, but we go on approving them in our life – thus we condemn ourselves. It may not be that the thing itself is clearly good or bad, but it is enough that God speaks to us about the matter.

Each of us must ask: “God, what is there in my life hindering a closer walk with You? I want to know the happiness that comes from not condemning myself by what I approve in my life.” This takes faith, because we often cling to hindering things because we think they make us happy. Real happiness is found being closer and closer to Jesus, and by not being condemned by what we approve.

If we are troubled by something, it is likely sin, not faith.  We can check ourselves when we tend to justify things we permit this way.

Advertisements

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 26, Day 3: Romans 14:9-12

Summary of passage:  It is God’s job to judge and we are only accountable to Him.

Questions:

6)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Any that would be asked of me if it’s a stumbling block.

7)  It is God’s job to judge, not ours.

8 )  Each of us will give an account of himself to God.  If we judge others, we are accountable to God for that as well.

Conclusions:  No comment.

End Notes:  We live for God alone.  Stop worrying about your brother.  You have enough to answer for on your own.

Smith explains the Judgment seat:  “This is the bema seat, equivalent to the judge’s seat in the Olympic Games. After each game, the winners came before the judge’s seat to receive crowns for first, second, and third places. Likewise, the Christian’s works will be tested by fire, and he’ll be rewarded for those which remain . . . The judgment seat of Christ is only concerned with a Christian’s rewards and position in the kingdom, not with his salvation.”  All Christians will be judged and the judgement will be based on works (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15).

The quotation from Isaiah 45:23 emphasizes the fact that all will have to appear before God in humility, and give account of himself before God.  Since this is the case, we should let God deal with our brother.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 26, Day 2: Romans 14:1-8

Summary of passage:  Accept those who are new believers and fail without looking down on him or condemning him.  The Lord will strengthen him.  We all belong to the Lord and God knows our heart for what we do.

Questions:

3)  Without passing judgment.

4)  Whether to eat meat or not to eat meat.  Disputable is open to debate whether it is acceptable or not meaning there is no agreement.  Forbidden are those things that are outlawed, meaning there is a majority agreement on what is acceptable or not.

5)  God is the standard and we are to live for Him.  Both the weak and the strong should be motivated to serve the Lord and give thanks for His provision.

Conclusions:  Acceptance is the theme here.  Mankind is messy.  All of us.  We are all equal.  None of us is better than the other.  Paul reminds us to accept each other and let God handle the rest.

End Notes:  Paul warns us not to judge others whose faith is weak, usually a newer Christian or one ignorant of God’s ways.  He was probably addressing Jewish Christians in Rome who were continuing to observe the hallmarks of Jewish identity, such as dietary restrictions and the keeping of the Sabbath and other special days.  Their concern was not the same as that of the Judaizers of Galatia  They Judaizers thought they could put God in their debt by works of righteousness and were trying to force this heretical teaching on the Galatian churches, but the “weak” Roman Christians did neither.  They were wrestling with the status of the Old Testament regulations under the new covenant that Christ ushered in.

In Paul’s mind, the weak brother is the stricter one due to their legalistic attitudes and lack of love towards others.

Undoubtedly these weak ones did not see themselves as such. They probably saw the meat eaters as weak.  Legalism has a way of making us think that we are strong and those who don’t keep the rules the way we do are weak.

Paul reminds us it is God’s job to judge, not ours.  We must rise above these petty arguments and be united in our faith in Christ.  Christians do not agree on all matters pertaining to the Christian life, nor do they need to.  Fellowship should not be based on agreement.

By bringing in the aspect of observing certain days, Paul is talking more about principles than specific issues. It’s up to the conscience of the individual. But whatever we do, we must be able to do it to the Lord, not using “conscience” as an excuse for obviously sinful behavior.

From birth to death, we are connected to one another and we are to live for the Lord always.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 26, Day 5: John 28-30

Summary of passage:  Jesus was given a drink of wine before he pronounced, “It is finished” and died.

Questions:

11)  His last thought and words of this world is for us, saying his work is finished for us to be with God.  Awesome!

12a)  His asking for the drink and acceptance of it show it is done.  He was at peace and he willingly gave up his spirit when all was done.  What we don’t see is God laying upon Jesus’ shoulders our guilt and sins and wrath and Jesus accepting it for us in our place and paying the penalty or consequences of it–death.  When this is satisfied, Jesus speaks.

b)  The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  This is the curtain separating God from His people that only the High Priest was allowed to enter.  Now we are all allowed to be with God since the blood of Jesus has cleansed us of our sins.  We can enter into a personal relationship with God with no barriers, physical or spiritual before us.

13)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  It means Jesus’ work to die for our sins so we are forgiven, justifying us before God, being righteous, so we can be with God, is finished.  It means eternal life and life with the Holy Spirit.  It has given me peace and confidence to go forth and do God’s work despite opposition and the world’s ways.  God has and will bless me.

Conclusions:  Good lesson on the meaning of Jesus’ death.

End Notes:  Being thirsty is a real torture and Jesus needed to wet his throat in order to make his last pronouncement.  This is not a drugged wine.  It’s the wine of those standing around waiting for the crucified to die.  It’s the common drink all drank in Ancient Times.  Hence, we all thirst for God in our deepest and darkest moments.

This is one word in the ancient Greek (tetelestai), announcing our debt paid and our peace made with God, His wrath against man satisfied.  This is a triumphant, victory cry.  The power of Satan, sin, and death is overcome.

One word changes everything–the most important word ever spoken in all of history for mankind. It’s like “Yes” to a marriage proposal.  “Good-bye” to someone.  “Guilty” in a court of law.  Nothing can compare.

Bowing his head is Jesus at peace.

Jesus willingly gave up his spirit.  No one took it from him.

Jesus’ last week of life takes up 1/3 of the Gospels.  All are writing with hindsight and understand his death. Can you imagine how it would read otherwise?  At this point, understanding if far, far away.  The Son of God die?  Impossible!  Jesus will live again.  The Holy Spirit will come.  All will be clear.  For now, only John stands by his side.  And women.  Women who loved him despite any danger to their lives.

Jesus experienced anything we can ever experience:  trivial irritations in life, hard work, poverty, pain, fear, rejection, humiliation, defeat, despair, and death.  How can we not fall in love with him?

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 26, Day 4: John 25-27

Summary of passage:  At the cross was Mary, Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, Mary, Mary Magdalene, and John.  Jesus tells his mother John is her son and tells John his mother is his now. John cares for Jesus’ mother from here on out.

Questions:

8 )  John’s focus is on the more personal and how Jesus’ death affects those closest to him.  He shows how even at death Jesus is thinking of others as he commissions John to care for his mother.  John is focusing on individuals.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus honored his Father and obeyed his Father to the cross, accepting the physical pain of death out of love for us.

10)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I would grow closer to God and my life would be more joyful and fulfilling.

Conclusions:  Would have liked to focus more on the women at Jesus’ feet and the disciple rather than on myself.  And on how Jesus gave his mother into John’s care.  How awesome!

End Notes:  Mary must have been suffering almost as much as Jesus to see her son dying before her eyes.  She had to have been weeping and calling out to God herself.  All these women were there to support Mary.

This was the author John’s humble way to refer to himself in the story, as he does four times in his Gospel (John 13:23, 19:26, 21:7, 21:20). John told us that he was at Jesus’ crucifixion and saw these things with his own eyes (John 19:35).

Jesus never once thought of himself.  It was always about us.

Jesus did not call Mary mother probably to spare her more pain.  He also didn’t need to be specific.  Both Mary and John knew what Jesus was asking of them.

We know Mary had other children with Joseph who could have cared for her into old age (Matthew 12:46-47, 13:55-56, John 2:12 and 7:3-10).  Instead, Jesus chose John for the job.  What an honor!  Scholars speculate reasons for this:  Jesus knew John would outlive his siblings.  His siblings were not yet believers and Jesus wanted her with a believer.  He did this to honor John who was the only disciple to stand at the cross of Jesus.  He did this to show you can care for others outside of blood bonds.  Who knows?  It could be all of these reasons.

Great summary of who was at the cross with biblical references to try and reconcile the different accounts in the Gospels HERE

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 26, Day 3: John 19:23-24

Summary of passage:  The soldiers divided up Jesus’ clothes, fulfilling prophecy.

Questions:

6)  He was humiliated by being crucified naked.

7a)  Jesus took all of our sins to make us righteous so that once again we can stand before God as Adam and Eve did, sinless, with no shame or fear.

b)  Personal question.  My answer:  We are completely forgiven, able to stand before God once again, justified and righteous and rich in God.  I am overwhelmed.

Conclusions:  Jesus’ death and our faith in him as the Savior justifies us.  Jesus being stripped is merely a symbol of us taking on a new life in Christ when we accept what he did for us.

End Notes:  Like cops today, Roman soldiers hung around after Jesus was crucified to keep the peace and ensure Jesus died.  Normally, people were crucified naked.  In Jewish custom, those stoned were afforded a loin cloth.  These soldiers either stripped Jesus while he was on the cross or took his clothes when he was stripped ahead of time.  This shows us Jesus let go of everything so he could be poor and us rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).

Jesus’ main tunic was well made and the soldiers did not want to tear it.  They would probably sell it later and divide the proceeds.  This shows Jesus as a high priest.  Exodus 28:31-32 has the High Priest wearing a seamless garment.  This fulfilled Psalm 22:18.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 26, Day 2: John 19:18-22

Summary of passage:  Jesus was crucified between 2 criminals.  A sign reading “Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews” hung above Jesus.  It was written in Latin, Greek and Aramaic.

Questions:

3)  “Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews”.  Because he wasn’t the King of the Jews according to the religious leaders and it felt like Pilate was mocking the Jews.

4)  Psalm 72:1, 8, 11, 17:  Jesus bring justice, righteousness, rule over earth, all will bow down to him, and his name will endure forever.

Matthew 2:1-2, 6:  Jesus was born king of the Jews to shepherd Israel.

John 4:42:  Jesus is the savior of the world.

John 6:51:  Jesus gives eternal life with his death.

John 11:51-52:  Jesus died for all to bring them together and make them one.

Revelation 5:9:  Jesus saved all with his blood.

Jesus is King over all and it was written in all the possible languages anyone who witnesses his death would know so all would know he had come to save all of them.  Jesus’ death is meant to save all.

5)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus took away our sins with his death, forgiving us, and giving us eternal life with God.  There is nothing else in this world more important.  It gives me meaning and purpose to do His will.

Conclusions:  Jesus died for all our sins.  Painfully and sacrificially. He has always been and will always be our king.

End Notes:  Crucifixion:  The Persians invented crucifixion, but one could say that the Romans perfected it and made it an institution. It was practiced by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Macedonians, and the Egyptians as well.  It was the form of execution reserved for the worst criminals and the lowest classes. It was so dreaded in the pre-Chrisitian era that the cares and troubles of life were often compared to a cross.  Crucifixion was designed to make the victim die publically, slowly, with great pain and humiliation. This was the form of death God ordained for Jesus to die, and the death that He submitted to in the will of God.

Crucifixion was so awful and degrading that polite Romans wouldn’t talk about it in public. The Roman statesman Cicero said of crucifixion: “It is a crime to bind a Roman citizen; to scourge him is an act of wickedness; to execute him is almost murder: What shall I say of crucifying him? An act so abominable it is impossible to find any word adequately to express.” The Roman historian Tacitus called crucifixion “A torture fit only for slaves.”

In Ancient Times everyone knew how tortuous crucifixion was.  John and the other Gospel writers did not have to spell it out for us so they didn’t.  Plus, they wanted to convey the facts and not get bogged down in the emotions of the moment.  Plus, Jesus suffered both spiritually and physically so describing the physicality of crucifixion would take away from the much more important spiritual aspect.  Roman citizens were exempt from crucifixion.

According to Dr. William Edwards in the Journal of the American Medical Association, death from crucifixion could come from many sources: acute shock from blood loss, being too exhausted to breathe any longer, dehydration, stress-induced heart attack, or congestive heart failure leading to a cardiac rupture.  When a person is suspended by two hands, the blood sinks rapidly into the lower extremities.  Blood pressure drops and heart rate speeds up.  If the victim did not die quickly enough, the legs were broken, and the victim was soon unable to breathe and died of suffocation.  However, this usually took 2-3 days to die.  The body was usually left as a deterrent to criminals.  It would decompose and be eaten by animals.

Constantine outlawed the practice in 337 AD out of veneration for Christ.  However, the Japanese adopted it in the 1500’s and it is still legal in some countries today as a method of capital punishment.  The word excruciating comes from the Latin word for crucify.

Jesus was crucified alongside other sinners.  One was saved, the other lost.  So it goes throughout all of time.

A placard  was according to Roman custom. The crime was written out and the title hung around the victim’s neck as he carried his cross to the place of death.  The title was then placed at the top of the cross so all would know the reason for the crucifixion and be warned what happens to criminals.  The execution took place outside of city walls and probably along a popular road so the max amount of people would see it.

Jesus’ crime was who he was.  He didn’t do anything.

Aramaic was for the common folk and Jews.  Latin was for the learned.  Greek was for the Greeks.  The three languages in use at the time and place of Jesus’ death.  This would serve as a model that all are intended for Jesus’ message, death, and salvation.

The religious leaders objected because they didn’t believe Jesus was the king of the Jews and if he was, it was insulting to the Jewish people.  Pilate stood by his pronouncement and once the sentence had been pronounced, it was against Roman law to change it.  John recording this shows Jesus kingship is final and unalterable.