BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 6, Day 5: Romans 3:31

Summary of passage:  Faith upholds the law.

Questions:

11)  We can only be righteous if we are cleansed of our sins.  Jesus cleanses us of our sins so that we can live in Spirit.  For all of this to occur, we have to believe Jesus died for us.  Simple faith.

12)  One word:  Sin.  Sin occurs.  That’s what goes wrong.  God is holy.  He cannot abide sin.  Thus, we cannot be saved if we spit in His face and continue to purposely sin.

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He prods me when I’m on the wrong path until I turn.  And then He keeps prodding and adjusting my radius.  He is doing this now.  I know because I’m restless again.  When I get restless, it’s God saying “Um, yeah, you are not quite there yet.”

We all have free will to obey or not.  This is a gift from God as well.  If we wear His armor, we will persist and obey.  If we turn from Him, we will Fall.

Conclusions:   Notice how all of these questions refer to other passages. I’ve been in a pretty pessimistic mood this week if you couldn’t tell by my answers.

End Notes:  Paul will explore this more in Romans 4 (next week) but the law predicted the saving grace of faith and Jesus. Jesus establishes the law.

Antinomianism (Greek for “anti” against and nomos “law”) was a word coined by Martin Luther during the Reformation when people questioned salvation.  It means those who think they don’t have to obey the Law if they have Jesus.  God’s grace discounts moral effort.  Like I explained before, God cannot abide sin.  Purposely sinning goes against everything God says.  A new life in Christ means death to old evil desires (Galatians 5:24).

BSF referenced Romans 8:31, one of my favorite all-time verses.  Here’s Chris Tomlin’s song (again, one of my favorites) that uses this verse repeatedly.  Enjoy!

Conclusions to Lesson 6:  So we covered a whopping 5 verses.  But we read a ton more out of the Bible than just these. Next week we pick up the pace.  As much as I don’t really enjoy these slower lessons, it does allow the verses to sink in, for those of us who are drowning in “busy” work to catch up, and to explore more in depth what God is telling each of us.

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BSF Study Questions John Lesson 6, Day 5: John 4:43-54

Summary of passage:  Jesus departs Samaria after 2 days and heads for Galilee.  He was welcomed as the Galileans approved of what he did at Passover (turn over the money lenders’ tables) in Jerusalem.  He visited Cana again where he had turned the water into wine at the wedding feast.  He was approached by a royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum and was begged to heal him.

Jesus said unless the people see miraculous signs, they won’t believe.  Jesus healed the man’s son from a distance.  This was the second miraculous sign (the first being the water into wine at the wedding).

Questions:

10)  Jesus said unless he performs this miracle, the official will not believe.  He performed the miracle.  But the nobleman had to believe in Jesus’ words alone since the miracle was performed from afar.  True faith is taking Jesus at his word.

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus answers prayer even if your faith is not perfect.  Pray always and ask him.  He is waiting to answer and to strength our faith in him.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  First, the man asked.  You can’t receive if you don’t ask (Matthew 7:7-8).  The official had faith enough to come to Jesus or was desperate enough.  Many a believer comes to Jesus desperate for him.  The man believed in Jesus’ ability to do it.  Jesus can do anything.  The miracle turned the man and his household into believers.  Miracles change lives.  Believe Jesus can handle anything you are facing.  Give it to him.  Let him do the rest.

Conclusions:  Great lesson on faith.  Great lesson on miracles happening.  Great lesson on Jesus caring for the people no matter who they are and deepening their faith no matter where they are on their walk with Him.

End Notes:  This is the 2nd sign of 7 we will study (remember from our study of Revelation that 7 is the number of completion).  The first is the water turning to wine at the wedding in chapter 2.

Because the people knew him and Galilee is where Jesus grew up, they did not honor him.  However, we can be in danger of not honoring Jesus as well, a false sense of familiarity.  They were interested only in his miracles.  In essence, they were rejecting Jesus the Savior here instead of welcoming him.

Scholars debate if “his own country” means Judea or Galilee.  A case can be made for both.  Other Gospels relate to Galilee (Matthew 13:57 and Mark 6:4).

All Jews traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast (Exodus 23:14-17) as dictated by Jewish law.

Jesus had made His home in Capernaum (Matthew 4:13 and John 2:12). Though Jesus was at Cana (John 4:46a), the nobleman travelled the 20 or so miles (32 kilometers) from Capernaum to Cana.  He was probably an officer of Herod Antipas (Jesus’ eventual killer).

Jesus rebuked those who depended on signs and wonders before they would believe.  The you is plural so in general all Galileans.  Signs and wonders can be a good thing, but they should not prove God to us.  They do not change the heart.  Just ask the Israelites who were wandering the desert before coming the Promised Land.  So many miracles God did daily (like manna) and still they worshipped a golden calf.

The nobleman’s plea was based on need–not status.  This is what Jesus wants-to fulfill our needs not our wants.

Had Jesus gone with the man, the man’s unbelief would still exist.  This miracle is just as much about strengthening the father’s faith as it is about healing the child.  God is amazing!

Fun Fact:  Of Jesus’ recorded miracles, only 2 were done over a distance. The other is fulfilling the Roman centurion’s request (Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:2-10).  Note both are Gentiles and upper class.

Note there is no dramatic effects.  Jesus says simply, “Your son will live.”  No show or pomp.  That’s Jesus.

The nobleman believed before the evidence rolled in.  Exactly what we must do.

In faith, the nobleman walked home.  He did not run.  The nobleman’s faith was deepened by God’s power and personal experience of it.

In John the signs are given to lead the reader to faith (John 20:29-31). The relation between belief and signs is clear in John chapter 2 and chapter 4.

· The first sign persuaded His disciples

· The second sign persuaded a Jewish nobleman and his household

· The Samaritans believed without a sign

These first two signs take place at Cana of Galilee.  The first was a happy occasion–a wedding.  The second a horrible and tragic event–a dying child.  Jesus is there in both the ups and down of our lives.  Always and forever.

Map of Cana and Capernaum:

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 6, Day 5: Revelation 3:14-22

Summary of passage: To the church in Laodicea Jesus says he knows the church’s deeds which are only lukewarm or mediocre. They believe they are rich and have everything they need, but they are poor and lacking in God. He wants them to see their spiritual blindness, become righteous, and obtain his riches.  Jesus loves them and wants them to repent and choose him and receive eternal life.

Questions:

13a)  True riches are heaven and eternal life with God.  White clothing is righteousness–what enables you and me to stand with God–and salvation.  When you are clothed in God’s righteousness, you gain His spirit and character which gives you compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12) and love and forgiveness (Colossians 3:13 & 14).

b)  He will eat with them and sit with him on his throne.

14a)  Discipline by the Lord separates us from the unbelievers and saves us from condemnation with the world (1 Corinthians 11:32).  Discipline is what makes us God’s children (Hebrews 12:8).  It is for our good and what allows us to share in His holiness (Hebrews 12:10).  It produces righteousness and peace (Hebrews 12:11).  If God didn’t love us, He wouldn’t bother to discipline us, to teach us His ways, to save us.

God invites earnestness and repentance.  God looks for love in return for His care; compassion; surrender; a life of love for others.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God loves us enough to discipline us so we’ll turn to Him and walk in His ways.  We will gain the world if we do.  Gratefulness is the right response.  Humbleness.  An increased awe of Him.  More love and compassion for Him and His people.

Conclusions:  Good reminder of the importance and necessity of discipline in all of our lives. Good verses to use to explain to your children when they ask why their punishment is necessary.

End Notes:  The Greek word here for love is phileo which means friend (the same word Philadelphia comes from).  Earnest here is the same root word as hot used in Revelation 3:16.  Turn to Him and be zealous for Him.

Here’s the Great Invitation to us all:  Jesus standing at the door and knocking.  Only you can open the door and invite him in.  Will you?

Listen!  And you will hear his voice.

The “dine” or “eat” here was the Greek meal of deipnon, which was the main meal at the end of the day where the family would sit and linger and talk about the day.  It was supper where relationships were deepened and strengthened.

The invitation was to all–the individual–not the church here.  We each must accept Jesus.  Then we will sit on his throne (Luke 22:30; Rev 20:4; 22:5)

Laodicea is the worst of the churches (the only one not praised) promised the greatest reward.  This is hope for all of us that despite our sins we are loved and accepted and invited to be with God forever.  He pursues us to the end.

Quote of the Week:  “It is, in fact, God’s final punishment to leave a man alone.” (Barclay)

Map of Region with Laodicea: https://bleon1.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/38-seven-churches-of-asia.png

Conclusions to Lesson 6:  Scholars say Chapters 2 & 3 of Revelation are the most practical in the whole book since Jesus lays out what he expects of churches and thus you and me.

I love the hope throughout.  Most people think Revelation is a book of gloom and doom.  It’s not.  It’s a book of hope and love and salvation and wonderment.  It’s Jesus personified meaning we see all of him–his love, his judgment, his salvation, his condemnation.  So many times churches nowadays just speak of Jesus as love and ignore the judgment because it’s not politically correct to judge people and sadly Christian’s knowledge of the Bible has shrunken to the point that they don’t understand what true judgment is.

The Book of Revelation should be discussed more and in depth in churches these days.  It would go a long way to furthering our knowledge of Him in ways we can’t even imagine.

We have finished studying the letters John wrote to the churches, giving them Christ’s words.  We will take a break for the next two lessons and study Acts and Daniel before we jump into the next major section of Revelation which is Christ as judge and his judgments upon man.

Commonalities in the Letters and Patterns:

  1. Character of Christ
  2. Commendation
  3. Complaint
  4. Correction
  5. Conclusion

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 6, Day 5: Exodus 15:1-21

Summary of passage:  Moses and the Israelites sing a song of praise and worship to the Lord after the final defeat of the Egyptians.  They exalt Him for defeating the Egyptians by parting the waters of the Red Sea.  The enemy boasted and God brought them down.  God redeemed His people in unfailing love and strength.  All of the nations will know and tremble once they hear of what happened here.  Miriam and the women sang God’s praises as well.

Questions:

10a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  verse 2:  “The Lord is my strength and my song…I will praise him and … exalt him.”  Verse 7:  “In the greatness of your majesty, you threw down those who opposed you.”  Verse 11:  “Who is like  you–majestic in holiness, awesome in glory?”  Verse 13:  “In your unfailing love…and strength you will guide them”

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He is always there, waiting to help me and love me when I need Him most.  He is omnipotent and omniscient and knows everything about me.  He sees me.  He knows me.  He is present.  He protects me, shelters me, provides for me.  He wraps me in a big hug when no one else will.  His blessings are beyond what I deserve.  My greatest gift is praise and worship to Him.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  By being faithful.  Praising Him.  Thanking Him.  Praying.  Serving. Obeying.  By living a Godly life.

11a)  God will lead the people He has redeemed and guide them to His holy dwelling.  Israel’s enemies would be as still as stone, allowing God’s people to pass by.  Israel will have the Promised Land once again.

b)  God led Abraham to the Promised Land.  God cared for His people in bringing them to Egypt.  He will do the same now.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God has done everything for me and I know He will continue to do so.  I have so many hopes for the future it is ridiculous.  I feel like I’m in a lull now, but I am praying and waiting on Him to do great things.  I would like to write an impactful novel, raise good, God-fearing children, be a dutiful wife, care for all that God has given me (which includes material things and pets), and continue to live in His light.

Conclusions:  Nice break from all the reading!  Nice reflection day since most all are personal questions.  It’s good to think about these things in our lives because often we don’t stop and do so.  It was nice just to pray and think about how much God has done in my life and His promises for the future.

I am wondering though:  Is “Moses and the Israelites” just the men praising God since Miriam then took the women?  I’m confused.

End Notes:  This song is thought to have been spontaneous and a new song unto the Lord.  It is all about God, nothing about Moses.  God is their strength, not He gives them strength.

Parts of this song is found in Scripture 3 times.

The right hand (considered the hand of skill and power) is used in the Bible over 50 times.

This song shows the Israelites definitely knew who God was if the Egyptians still haven’t.

God’s enemies did hear of this event as Rahab the prostitute said so (Joshua 2:10).

This is the first mention of Miriam by name.  Numbers 26:59 seems to indicate Moses had only this one sister.  We also will study later this year that it was not only Aaron who caused trouble for Moses; Miriam did as well.  She is called a prophetess because she received divine communication as did Moses as the prophet.

Scholars are divided on whether the men and women were separated as are ancient recordings on such.  There is arguments on both sides but I think most think men and women were separated.  It would seem to fit the culture to have men and women separated.  Some suggest Moses and the men sang the chorus while Miriam and the women sang the refrain.  Vocal wise, this makes sense since men have low voices and women have high voices.

I find it strange all the women have tambourines.  If this were me, I’d leave that behind when I fled Egypt.  But maybe tambourines were integral in the worship of God, so they brought them.

Fun Fact about Passage:  This is the first song recorded in the Bible.  Can you imagine?  Millions singing at once to God.  Amazing!!

My take away from the Exodus out of Egypt:  God did it.  No one else.

More Celebrations of God:  Psalm 78 & 105

Fun Fact:  The Book of Exodus shows a greater proportion of miracles (direct, supernatural acts of God) than any other part of the Bible except the Gospels.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 6, Day 5: Matthew 5:33-48

Summary of passage:  Jesus says to not swear oaths.  He says not to strike back against evil doers.  Instead, give to the one who asks you and go the extra mile.  He says to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you as God does.  Be perfect as God is perfect i.e. be like God.

Questions:

12a)  You shouldn’t need to swear by anything.  Your word should be enough.  God is a part of every word we breath; thus, oaths are unnecessary.

b)  You shouldn’t have to emphasize what comes out of your mouth if you speak from the heart.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That you don’t take the Lord’s name is vain.  That’s all I can come up with.  Otherwise, not sure what commitment I have made.  Maybe to speak truthfully and from the heart.

13a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Would be better if I loved my neighbor and made peace with my enemies.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Bless me more.

14)  Galatians 5:16:  Live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of a sinful nature

Ephesians 4:22-24:  Put off your old and put on your new self to be more righteous

Philippians 2:12-13:  God will work in you according to His purpose

Philippians 4:8:  Think about pure, noble, right, lovely, admirable things

Conclusions:  Didn’t get a lot out of this as you could probably tell from my answers.  I was thinking on 13a I should have put “worse” and should say that in class just to emphasize the poor quality of the question.  If we love our neighbor and enemies more, then obviously our relationships will be better.   Also, on b I should say “curse” or something.  Obviously, if we obey God’s commands, we receive blessings in return.

Be perfect means here to be more like Jesus and keep all of God’s commands not just a chosen few that suit you.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 6, Day 5: Genesis 5:25-32

Summary of passage:  Methuselah became the father of Lamech who was Noah’s father. Noah fathered Shem, Ham and Japheth.  All lived long lives.

Questions:

11)  Methuselah and he was 969 years old.

12)  God kept Seth’s descendants alive longer than others so they would have a chance to repent before he sent the flood (right after Methuselah died).  Also, Seth’s descendants lived right after the Fall.  God had intended man to live forever so because it was so close to the Fall, God kept man alive longer.

I would speculate God wanted the earth populated so he allowed man to live longer so he could procreate more.

Also, the atmosphere/environment was very different before the flood destroyed everything.  Think of the differences say in the times of Dinosaurs and Ice Ages.  The world was a different place.  Everything was teeming with life.  No pollutants or hazards in the environment.  Probably little illnesses and diseases as of yet.  Abundant food.  We don’t hear of starvation during this time.  Genetically, there probably wasn’t a lot of harmful mutations yet.  God is still very, very close to His people here–physically–so they lived longer.

As more and more generations passed, more and more turning from God entered the world.  Sin accumulated.  Thus, I would say God decided to shorten man’s life in accordance.  To lessen the evil we do to ourselves and in the world.

Ultimately, it’s God’s will and grace that determines how long we live.  The rest is just speculation.

Conclusions:  The only day I liked in this lesson.  It shows how everything is God’s will and is in His grace.  Perfect lesson for me today.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 6, Day 5: Acts 13:42-52

Summary of passage:  Paul and Barnabas were invited to speak the next Sunday at the synagogue.  The people followed them and talked to them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.  The next Sabbath almost the entire city showed up to hear the word of the Lord.  The Jews were jealous that so many showed up to hear Paul speak and spoke against them.  Paul and Barnabas answered them saying we spoke the word of God to you first but you rejected it so we turned to the Gentiles as commanded by God.

Many believed and the word of the Lord spread throughout the region.  But the Jews continued to come against them, expelling them from their region.  So, Paul and Barnabas went to Iconium filled with the Holy Spirit.

Questions:

13)  Beginning in grace of God is not enough.  People must continue in it after they have faith in the Lord.  Grace is a foundation of what God gives to us and what He calls us to show to others.  Paul is urging the people not to stop after the beginning.

According to my Bible Dictionary, grace is the unmerited favor of God toward sinners whereby He has provided for their redemption.  He extends favor to all who have faith in Christ as Lord and Savior.

Grace is a major theme of Paul’s.  He identifies it as the instrument through which God has effected salvation of all believers.  Grace is also regarded as the sustaining influence enabling the believer to persevere in the Christian life.  It is not the initiatory act that secures salvation but that which maintains it throughout a Christian’s life.

All of the above is from Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary by J D Douglas and Merrill C Tenney under grace.

14)  Verse 46 “Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.”

Acts 18:6  “…Your blood will be on your own hands!  I am clear of my responsibility.  From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

Acts 19:9  “Some of them became obstinate.  They refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way…”

b)  Isaiah 49:6  That the Gentiles will be granted eternal salvation

15a)  They converted many Gentiles but were ridiculed and persecuted by the Jews.  Yet they continued on in joy to Iconium to deliver the Good News there as well.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I pray about it.  Seek advice.  Listen.  Then follow what God has laid on my heart to do.

Conclusions:  This is a great lesson for us today as well.  Some people will believe in Christ.  Some won’t.  Our responsibility is to share the Good News.  It is up to the listeners to decide (Free Will) for themselves.  It is not our responsibility (Acts 18:6) like Paul was saying.  We are called to share.  Ultimately, it is the individual’s responsibility to believe.

Then joyfully, we continue on our journey in life to the next place and the next ears God puts us in contact with and do the same thing over again:  share Him with others.

Map of Iconium:  http://www.ccel.org/bible/phillips/CN217ACTSPaulOne.htm

So not too far from Pisidian Antioch to Iconium.  Now I can feel like I’m traveling along with these two as I trace their route!