Only those who do the will of the Father will get into heaven. Basically, those who aren’t hypocrites and truly have a heart for God.
Those who follow God’s law and Jesus’s teaching will have a firm foundation like someone who built his house on a rock. Those who don’t are like the foolish man who built his house on sand, so the house eventually fell under the strain.
The crowds were amazing as Jesus’s authoritative teachings.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 5: Matthew 7:21-29
12a) Only those who do the will of the Father will get into heaven. Basically, those who aren’t hypocrites and truly have a heart for God.
b) You have to walk the walk. It’s important to act on God’s Word and not just know it.
13a) Isaiah 28:16 says trust in God. 1 Corinthians 3:11 says that Jesus Christ is our foundation. You build your life upon God’s Word and Jesus’s teachings by doing your best to follow them.
b) By not following God’s laws, commands, and teachings. By being completely out for yourself. By doing evil.
14) It gives me hope, strength, and encouragement to keep going.
15) Your actions.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 5: Matthew 7:21-29
I love the foundation analogies because it’s so true. If you are grounded in God and His Word, no storm can penetrate or blow you over.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 5: Matthew 7:21-29
Jesus warns about those who do not have a heart for God. They merely say things without truly believing it. Saying Jesus is your Lord and Savior is not enough. You have to have a relationship with Jesus in order to be saved.
“In that day” or “On that day” refers to Jesus’s Second Coming.
Preaching is not enough. Just ask Judas.
Note that each house most likely looked the same from the outside; it was what was on the inside — the foundations — that mattered.
Your foundations will be shaken by life; it’s important that they stand the test with Jesus. (Proverbs 10:25)
We must be doers of God’s Word. We must seek out God. Doing nothing is almost as bad as doing evil. (Numbers 32:23) The results are the same.
The listeners had never heard these teachings before, and they had never seen the authority of God. Imagine! I’m sure Jesus had quite the presence.
Once your astonishment is over, it’s time to get to work, implementing the teachings.
Summary of The Sermon on the Mount
This concludes Matthew 5-7, Jesus’s longest recorded speech, the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is concerned with what was on the inside. During these times, the emphasis was on the front you portrayed to others. Those who were religious tried to outdo each other by fasting for show, praying in public, and wearing Bible verses strapped to their foreheads and left arms. We cannot fool God and fake religion. He knows that inside we are broken and need a Savior.
These three chapters are among the most studied in the entire Bible. Yet, Jesus says none of this is new. He comes to fulfill the Old Testament and lays out the one truth we must hold dear: we are to live for God alone. A heart living, not one of appearances.
I hope you enjoyed these chapters as much as I did. They are full of great heart advice and reminders of who is our king and who we live for.
The road to life has a small gate and is narrow and only a few find it. The road to destruction is wide and broad and many enter.
Watch out for false prophets whom you will know by the fruit they bear. They will bear bad fruit and can only bear bad fruit. Good trees bear good fruit, and bad ones bear bad. Bad trees are cut down and thrown into the fire.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 4: Matthew 7:13-20
9a) That the path to life (heaven) is only through him and not many will find this path. John 14:6 says he is the only way to God. He is the way, the truth, the life. Acts 4:12 says salvation is found only in Jesus.
b) They want to believe the path to heaven is more complicated than that, and they want to be able to do what they want without following God’s law and still gain access to heaven.
10a) They bear bad fruit. John 15:16 says God chooses those to be with Him to bear lasting fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the Spirit as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
b) You have to have the ability to discern those who are false prophets from those who are true; those with good hearts versus those who are bad. Judging is about ensuring you are holding yourself to the same standard when you judge others. Thus, by looking at people’s fruit/good deeds, this can help you discern the truth.
11) Be careful of smooth talkers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, and others who sound/say something that is too good to be true. Pray and discern to ensure you are not being led astray.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 4: Matthew 7:13-20
Good reminder that God chooses those who go to heaven, and that you have to be wary of false prophets.
Good read on false prophets.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 4: Matthew 7:13-20
As Christians know, the path to heaven is narrow and difficult and will not be easy to traverse. Jesus is telling his disciples to prepare for future hardships.
Being aware that there are false prophets is step one. Watch out for those who motivated purely by self-interest. Do these prophets teach God’s Word, are people growing in God, and do they live out God’s teachings?
Before judging others’ fruit, judge your own. Are you bearing good or bad fruit? You are either bearing one or the other. Those who bear neither good nor bad are considered bad.
“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.” If you ask God, He will give you good gifts like we would our kids.
Do unto others what you want done to you. This is the Law.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 3: Matthew 7:7-12
6) “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.” He promises that you will receive, you will find, and doors will be opened.
7a) That God cares for us more than anything even though we are evil.
b) Romans 8:28 says that God works through all things for our good. After all, God gave us His only Son and gives us all things in His grace.
8a) Be very gentle, listen, offer advice, help, be caring and compassionate.
b) Matthew 22:34-40 teaches us that the greatest commands are to love God and love your neighbor. God gave us the to show us how to live and to point to Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross for us. God gave us all of this out of His great love. When we love, we have God’s heart.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 3: Matthew 7:7-12
This is one of my favorite verses of the Bible. God makes things so simple, yet we humans complicate them so much. Ask, seek, and knock. Then love. That’s all it takes to be God’s.
A great read about the best way to live. Check it out!
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 3: Matthew 7:7-12
Jesus takes more time to teach us how to pray. When we ask, we receive, which is the reward of asking. When we seek God, we’ll find Him. He doesn’t hide from us. We knock at God’s door (heaven) to be let in. God opens the door in response to us knocking.
You enter into the Gospel like you enter an open door. While it is there, you have to ask for it and seek it out.
Sometimes you must keep asking, seeking, and knocking; God does not answer immediately. Prayer shows our dependence on God.
God wants to give us what we ask for and more.
The Golden Rule
The negative form of this was a popular saying in Jewish culture at the time. “You should not do to your neighbor what you would not want him to do to you.” Jesus turned a negative into a positive. Many cultures have a similar saying to the Golden Rule. Jesus wants us to take action.
You cannot break any of God’s laws by treating others as we want to be treated.
None of us can maintain this high standard except Jesus, but it is a worthy goal.
Jesus is still speaking his sermon on the mount. Do not judge others, and you won’t be judged. Quit being a hypocrite and judging others for it. Do not give your valuables to others who may trample them and tear you to pieces.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 2: Matthew 7:1-6
3a) Just that — Don’t judge others and think you are better than them when you are not.
b) Discernment by definition is “the ability to judge well” or in Biblical thinking “perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual guidance and understanding.” God helps you arrive at the best decision. Romans says that discernment is knowing the right thing to do and doing it. You will be able to know God’s will and be able to do it, too. Philippians says discernment is knowing what is best in order to do good and avoid sin. Hebrews says God blesses wise discernment.
c) Galatians says that believers should help those who have been caught in sin with a spirit of forgiveness. If you know about God, you must share it with others. Ephesians reminds us to be gentle, humble, and patient with others in love. Christians are to support one another, forgive each other, and help each other to be better discerners and walkers in God’s word.
4) You must be merciful because you yourself have faults, too, and are in need of mercy. James reminds us to speak and act as though you will be judged.
5) I judge others when they do behavior I think is not right. I have to remember that I probably do the same things, am a sinner, and I’m in need of mercy, too.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 2: Matthew 7:1-6
I love being reminded about how wrong judging is and to not do it. It’s such a human thing to do, to think better of yourself than others, but in God’s eyes, we are all the same. We need to look at others as such, too.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 2: Matthew 7:1-6
You will be judged the same way you judge others. That being said, approving of others’ behavior is not the same as judging. This verse does not say you have to approve, only not to judge and/or treat others differently because of what they do, say, or believe.
Can you judge others’ behavior? Yes. But you must do so in the same manner that you want to be judged. Since a lot of people judge others by different standards than they judge themselves, it is often best not to judge at all.
Jesus uses an example to drive home his point. A plank is much larger than a speck. We are often blind to our own faults, but can see the smallest faults in others. In short, we are hypocrites. First, fix your own faults before you worry about others’.
Still, Jesus said we must use discernment to not give precious things to those who will not appreciate them. Or, do not give unbelievers holy things.
Bible scholars say that pearls are precious items. Do not give them to those who don’t want to receive them.
In sum, don’t give all of your precious strength and valuables to those whom God has not prepared to accept him. Look for those who are ready to receive Christ.
Abram traveled to Egypt because there was a famine in the land. He pretended Sarai was his sister so that he would be treated well and his life would be spared (selfish). Pharaoh took Sarai for his wife, not knowing she was married. Abram prospered while in Egypt. Then God struck Pharaoh and his household with disease because of this. Pharaoh sent Sarai away and told Abram to leave when he found out the truth.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 8, Day 5: Genesis 12:10-20
11a) They went to Egypt because of a famine. Abram pretended Sarai was his sister so that he would be treated well and his life would be spared.
b) That God will protect you and will make His plans for your life happen.
12) Personal Question. My answer: God wanted Abram out of Egypt so He made Pharaoh kick them out. God’s will is done despite our decisions. God will protect you when you follow Him.
13) Personal Question. My answer: Just try to persevere through it in a Godly manner (not take your stress out on your family or others) is all you can do.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 8, Day 5: Genesis 12:10-20
Abram obviously is selfish and has no integrity. If they knew Egypt was like this, why go in the first place? If they had faith in God’s plan for them, He would protect them. Pharaoh should have killed Abram for what he did.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 8, Day 5: Genesis 12:10-20
Abram thought he knew better than God to move when God did not tell him to do so. As a result, he compromises his integrity, defiles his wife, and almost dies anyway. While in Egypt, they acquire Hagar who will be trouble all her own later on.
While Sarai was Abram’s half-sister (Genesis 20:12), Abram lied and he justified it to himself. How often do we do this?
Unsure how many women today would agree to become the wife of another.
Knowing Sarai was where the line of the Messiah would come from, unsure how much God appreciated Abram at this moment.
Still, God is faithful. He protected Abram and Sarai and used the Egyptian Pharaoh to move them again. God knows what He is doing even when we obviously do not.
Abram left Haran at age 75 with Lot, his wife, and all the people and possessions they had acquired in Haran. God appeared to Abram when he reached Shechem, telling him he will give his offspring this land. Abram built an offering to God here. He built another altar to God at Bethel. Then he continued towards the Negev.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 8, Day 4: Genesis 12:4-9
9) Abram obeyed, but brought along others and his possessions, which God did not say to do. Still, by faith (being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see) Abram obeyed and was blessed (just being chosen was the best blessing ever).
10a) He obeyed God. He left everything he ever knew and some of his family for a land of unknowns and living in tents. He had kids out of faith. All with no idea how to do this except through God.
b) Personal Question. My answer: Unsure if I’m waiting on anything specific for God to fulfill. I just know He shows up and guides me. I pray and take action when prompted.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 8, Day 4: Genesis 12:4-9
Taking the small steps is what leads to great things.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 8, Day 4: Genesis 12:4-9
Most of us know Lot’s tale (which is coming up in Genesis 13-14). Abram probably regretting bringing him along in disobedience to God’s exact instructions.
Canaan was not the best place either. It was full of sin. He stopped first at a tree. Shechem means “shoulder,” and is roughly in the middle of Canaan. Most names of places are named after a landmark, which is what Bible scholars believe here. We will see Shechem a lot when we get to Jacob.
Since God had commanded all the people to spread out and He did so after the Tower of Babel, people lived in Canaan. Like most of us, we’re not going to voluntarily moved. It would take 400 years for God’s promise of this land to come true.
Calling of Abram
God told Abram again of His promises, backing it up with the land itself. Remember Abram bought his burial plot here. Genesis 23:14-20
Note Abram built an altar, which served as a meeting place between God and Abram before churches. From the beginning of time, we see how important it is to have your own place to meet with God and Jesus and remember their blessings in your life. Hebrews 13:15 (Hebrews 13:10)
Abram lived in a tent. Culture tells us to strive for material goods when our homes are in heaven. Strive to live here just good enough to live well in heaven. Hebrews 11:16
The Lord called Abram to leave his country and his people to journey to a new land with this promise:
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 8, Day 3: Genesis 12:1-3
6a) The Lord called Abram to leave his country and his people to journey to a new land with this promise:
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
b) God appeared to Abram while he was still in Mesopotamia before he lived in Haran and called him. This shows that Abram only made it half-way, and he took his father as well.
7) Isaiah 41:8-10 says we are chosen by God, He is with us, He will strengthen us. Matthew 4:18-22 says Jesus calls Peter and Andrew and he will make them fishers of men. Matthew 19:28-30 says that at the Second Coming those who followed him will also sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes. Anyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, or chidlren for his way will receive 100 times as much and will inherit eternal life. Mark 8:34-36 says you must deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Jesus and you will gain eternal life. John 14:15-20 says if you obey Jesus’ commands, you will receive the Holy Spirit to guide and protect you.
8a) Personal Question. My answer: We just moved as well for a better life and pivots in our careers. I plan on many things, including growing closer to God and doing His will in my life.
b) Personal Question. My answer: God’s call never seems to get any easier in life. It’s just a matter of surrender. Knowing that God is behind it all gives me the strength and courage to persevere.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 8, Day 3: Genesis 12:1-3
To us, this is no big deal; people move all the time. However, in ancient times, it was extremely rare for people to travel more than a mile or so outside of their towns and villages. They relied on their family to help them survive. After all, tilling the land is no easy way to live. Thus, when God called Abram to leave both his family and his land for some distant, unknown place, this was a big deal.
his explains why Abram disobeyed God and took family members and why he made it only half way. Perhaps his father could not travel any more. Like I said yesterday, while this is not full obedience, it is better than none at all.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 8, Day 3: Genesis 12:1-3
I typed out the verses because they are so famous and they are good to memorize for us. This promise is repeated here from when God first called Abram.
When God says “I will,” it will be done.
We see Abram growing in faith; this is what we should do as well. We will never be perfect. The point is you journey towards God, one step at a time.
Abram was promised a land, a nation, and fame. All of the major religions (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism) honor him.
Note God’s promise to bless those who blesses His people, and to curse those who curse them. This promise is made to the Jews who are and always will be God’s chosen people. Gentiles were adopted later. God always protects the Jews as history shows, from the Greeks and the Romans to Hitler’s Germany. The moral of the story is: don’t mess with God’s people. The nation of Israel, as tiny as it is, has all of the power in the world because God will never abandon them.
God also promises to make Abram a blessing. If you are a Christian today, no matter your denomimation, you can thank Abram and God. Galatians 3:8-9). (Revelation 5:9)
The line of Shem is followed here. The account of Terah from the line of Shem who was Abram’s (later Abraham’s) father. Lot was Abram’s nephew. Abram married Sarai (later Sarah) and she was barren (had no children).
Terah, Abram, Sarai, and Lot left Ur for Canaan but settled in Haran where Terah died.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 8, Day 2: Genesis 11:10-32
3) “he became the father”, “lived and had other sons and daughters.” They went about their lives.
4) Nothing really. These lists are quite boring.
5) Personal Question. My answer: the fact that my ancestors were born, lived, had kids, and died.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 8, Day 2: Genesis 11:10-32
Admittedly, I got nothing here, so I’m praying you did. When we did Genesis last, BSF skipped verses 11-26 and did not ask about them.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 8, Day 2: Genesis 11:10-32
We see Abraham here for the first time. He is featured more than 312 times in the Bible with 272 verses dedicated to him. Wish that were me. Admittedly, Abraham if the father of nations. It takes a lot to explain that and I’d say that makes him pretty important, indeed. We’ll be studying him and his line for the rest of the year.
Too many of us try to live up to Abraham’s faith. In truth, we do; our stories just aren’t recorded in the Bible. Abraham was called God’s friend (2 Chronicles 20:7); (Isaiah 41:8).( James 2:23 ) We can all be God’s friend. We are all great in God’s eyes.
FUN FACT:Sarai Abram’s wife means ” controversial.”Abraham ” means ” Father.”
What we don’t see here is that Abram is called while still in Ur Acts 7:2-4. This is important. Abram leaves Babylon to go to Ur at God’s calling. However, he brings other family members (not God’s calling), and he makes pitstop in Haran (part way there). Terah means “delay” and Haran means “barren,” which was Abram’s life in Haran.
While many fault Abraham for stopping, the important part is that he started. This is all we have to do: start. One step at a time in God’s will.
Summary of passage: Noah’s sons are Shem, Ham, and Japheth and from them came the people who were scattered over the earth. Noah got drunk and naked. Shem & Japheth covered him up. Noah cursed Ham (the father of Canaan and the one who told of his nakedness) when he found out he had tattled to be slaves to his brothers. At the same time, he blessed his other sons, asking for Canaan to be Shem’s slaves and Japheth’s territory to grow and live in Shem’s tents as Canaan is Shem’s slaves as well.
Noah died at age 950.
12a) It seems to me Shem and Japheth loved their father more. They didn’t tell of his situation but instead did their best to cover up their father. Proverbs says “love covers over all wrongs” so even if getting drunk was wrong love makes it disappear.
b) Proverbs 17:9 says “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” Ham told his brothers (and not in a loving way–in a mocking way) of his father’s nakedness and what happened to him (which we don’t know) and Shem and Japheth covered their father’s offense in love. When Noah wakes, he is so mad he curses Ham and his descendants–in effect separating the brothers because like Cain and Abel I’m sure jealousy and dissension arose amongst them.
God does not like the man who stirs up dissension amongst brothers. It appears there was something else going on here we just don’t know about. I think there was dissension before this incident. Sibling rivalry if you will. Either way love was missing in Ham’s heart.
c) Personal Question. My answer: I should respond in love. Not engage in gossip.
13) Noah curses Canaan to be slaves to his brothers. Commentators say that Genesis 9:27 predicts the Messiah coming that God (Jesus) will dwell in the tents of Shem. The land of Canaan is the land where Sodom and Gomorrah lie and is known for its evil. It is also the land Moses will flee to and the land God gives Abraham. So in one way it could be a warning not to mix with the Canaanites.
We don’t know why Ham was condemned and the others were blessed. Many believe there was underlying sin here that something bad (such as sexual abuse) happened to Noah while he was sleeping and Ham boasted of it to his brothers. However, all of this is speculation. All we know is what the Bible says: Ham boasted; Shem and Japheth covered with love; Noah’s reaction.
Conclusions: The lesson I got out of this is the difference in acting out of love or acting out of self and how gossip, boasting, and pride lead to dissension between close friends. Whatever happened Shem and Japheth loved their father more and were blessed because of their actions. This is my take-away: love leads to blessings.
Question 13 is a challenge because even bible commentators don’t agree on what the curse means and its implications.
An interesting lengthy paper on the curse found here:
Interesting Side Note: This curse is what was used to justify slavery of Africans who were believed to be the descendants of Ham and thus preordained to be slaves. This is what was believed and taught by early Americans. I found this fascinating because early Americans (and others who enslaved) truly believed this verse justified their actions. Great example of how misinterpreting the Bible can have devastating consequences or the pitfalls of using the Bible to justify extreme behavior.