BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 10, Day 4: Romans 6:5-10

Summary of passage:  We are united with Christ in his death and resurrection.  We are no longer slaves to sin since Christ’s death has freed us from sin.  Since Christ rose from the dead, he lives!  As do we.

Questions:

9)  In death, resurrection, and life.

10)  The old self (our sin nature) is you before you accepted Christ as your Savior–the one patterned after Adam and who rebels and resists God and His commands.  Once you believe in Christ you were inhabited by the Holy Spirit and changed.  You are made new in righteousness and holiness!

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I thank God for all aspects of choosing me to be saved, making me holy and righteous and able to stand before God for all of eternity.  I know He’s set me free from sin.

Conclusions:  Weak lesson.  Very, very weak especially since two questions are on different Biblical passages.

End Notes:  All three are essential:  united with Christ in death, resurrection and life.

Your old self must die because it can never measure up to God’s standards.  Once Christ died and was resurrected our new self is obedient to God and seeks Him out.  Evil is still in us but now we abhor it and it has no power over us.

You may ask:  Why do we still sin then if our old self is dead?  Our old self is distinct from the flesh, which is our inner desires, passions, and impulses that play out in our mind, our will, and our emotions.  This is the daily battle we must fight to overcome.

The flesh is remnants of your old self. It is influenced by the world, which is in a constant battle to overcome God, and the devil attacks us through the flesh.

Our job/challenge is to strengthen our new self in order to overcome the flesh. We do this through prayer and Bible study and God’s words and being cognizant of it.  It will increasingly exert itself to where this struggle is lessened and lessened.

Jesus’s death broke our slavery to sin and death since now we have eternal life.

Our new life is a life we live to God–we live the life God wants not the life we want. Ezekiel predicted this in Ezekiel 36:26:  “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

We now want to do God’s will and with practice and perseverance we will overcome!

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BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 10, Day 3: Romans 6:1-4

Summary of passage:  Paul pauses to answer any questions and to clarify:  No!  We don’t go on sinning just because grace is bigger than sin! When we’re baptized, we’re baptized into Christ and his life and death.

Questions:

6)  Believers.  We became different people when we died to sin.

7)  Water baptism is us identifying with Jesus’s death and resurrection.  It’s a spiritual death and a renewal, receiving the Holy Spirit.  Baptism depicts graphically what happens as a result of the Christian’s union with Christ, which comes with faith–through faith we are united with Christ just as through our natural birth we are united with Adam.  It gives the believer entry into the righteousness and new life in Christ through an identification with Christ himself.

8 ) Part personal Question.  My answer:  Once we accept God’s grace and gift of Jesus into our life we are born again with the Holy Spirit and therefore our relationship with sin is permanently changed. We have died to sin and cannot live any longer it it.  For the most part, I lead a guilt-free life, knowing God has forgiven all my sins.  I strive to do His will in my life.  I pray and listen and obey (I’m not perfect in this mind you).  I abhor sin.  I strive my best not to sin.  I live a life full of contentment knowing where my home is.  I try to share this with others through my example.

Conclusions:  This is an important concept to get:  As believers all of our sin is washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ.  We are given a new self (which we’ll explore in the next lesson) when we accepted Jesus and were baptized. He now lives inside all of us, setting us apart for all of eternity.  It doesn’t get any better than that!

End Notes:  [Same End Notes as YESTERDAY]  In verses 3:21-5:21 Paul explains how God has provided for our redemption and justification.  He next explains the doctrine of sanctification–the process by which believers grow to maturity in Christ and are made holy.  He treats the subject in 3 parts:  1) freedom from sin’s tyranny (ch 6)  2)  freedom from the law’s condemnation (ch 7)  3)  life in the power of the Holy Spirit (ch 8)  This will be Chapters 6:1-8:39

Throughout history, you’d be surprised who twisted these verses (and Paul’s words) to justify their wrong-doings (this is why Paul is harping on this topic).  The Russian, self-proclaimed monk Rasputin for one said “I’ll sin more to earn more forgiveness.”  If you don’t know much about Rasputin, he’s a fascinating character (albeit evil one) in history who led a bizarre life of immorality, but heavily influenced the last Imperial family of Russia.  In essence, he was a very good con man, which was unfortunate for the Royals and some scholars even say he contributed to their downfall.

Paul often used this writing technique:  He pauses in the middle of an argument to answer objections or questions that may be occurring to the reader.

Paul’s concern here is that people will misuse God’s grace and use God’s forgiveness of their sins as an excuse to continue sinning (like Rasputin did).  It’s God’s job to forgive and our job to sin, right?

This explains the early church’s emphasis on an angry God, His wrath, and the law because man has no motivation to stay the straight and narrow path.

Paul points out that when we accepted Jesus our relationship to sin has changed; therefore, we have died to sin and a life of sinning is incompatible with life.  Paul will explain this in detail but his point is clear:  Before, we were dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1); now we are dead to sin.

In New Testament Times baptism so closely followed conversion that the two were considered part of one event.  Baptism is closely associated with faith although not the means by which we enter into a faith relationship with Jesus.

The ancient Greek word for baptized means “to immerse or overwhelm something.” When a person is baptized in water, they are immersed or covered over with water. When they are baptized with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11Acts 1:5), they are “immersed” or “covered over” with the Holy Spirit. When they are baptized with suffering (Mark 10:39), they are “immersed” or “covered over” with suffering.  Here, Paul refers to being baptized – “immersed” or “covered over” – in Christ Jesus.

Being baptized with water is us identifying with Jesus’s death and resurrection.  It’s not cleansing here as Paul uses the term.  In essence, you can’t die and rise again without it changing you.  It’s akin to almost dying.  You’re changed when you have a near-death experience. We die spiritually and rise with Jesus!

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 10, Day 2: Romans 6:1-4

Summary of passage:  Paul pauses to answer any questions and to clarify:  No!  We don’t go on sinning just because grace is bigger than sin! When we’re baptized, we’re baptized into Christ and his life and death.

Questions:

3)  Paul had just explained that God’s grace is bigger than our sins and no matter how great our sins, God’s grace and Jesus’s death and resurrection are greater to justify us all.  He wants to clarify to all that continuing to choose sin because you know God will forgive you is a sin!

4)  God is not happy.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Honestly, this thought has never occurred to me.  I’ve never read Romans before nor have I heard a lecture on this topic.  Hence, I’ve never sinned with that thought ever.  Again, honestly, they don’t really strengthen me (this idea).  I know sin is evil and against God so I in my human fallacy choose God instead.

Conclusions:  Questions were great up until question number 5 where it got personal and didn’t apply to me (and I’m sure to many of you).  Who purposely sins?  As Paul explains, then they are not right with God when they do.

End Notes:  In verses 3:21-5:21 Paul explains how God has provided for our redemption and justification.  He next explains the doctrine of sanctification–the process by which believers grow to maturity in Christ and are made holy.  He treats the subject in 3 parts:  1) freedom from sin’s tyranny (ch 6)  2)  freedom from the law’s condemnation (ch 7)  3)  life in the power of the Holy Spirit (ch 8)  This will be Chapters 6:1-8:39

Throughout history, you’d be surprised who twisted these verses (and Paul’s words) to justify their wrong-doings (this is why Paul is harping on this topic).  The Russian, self-proclaimed monk Rasputin for one said “I’ll sin more to earn more forgiveness.”  If you don’t know much about Rasputin, he’s a fascinating character (albeit evil one) in history who led a bizarre life of immorality, but heavily influenced the last Imperial family of Russia.  In essence, he was a very good con man, which was unfortunate for the Royals and some scholars even say he contributed to their downfall.

Paul often used this writing technique:  He pauses in the middle of an argument to answer objections or questions that may be occurring to the reader.

Paul’s concern here is that people will misuse God’s grace and use God’s forgiveness of their sins as an excuse to continue sinning (like Rasputin did).  It’s God’s job to forgive and our job to sin, right?

This explains the early church’s emphasis on an angry God, His wrath, and the law because man has no motivation to stay the straight and narrow path.

Paul points out that when we accepted Jesus our relationship to sin has changed; therefore, we have died to sin and a life of sinning is incompatible with life.  Paul will explain this in detail but his point is clear:  Before, we were dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1); now we are dead to sin.

In New Testament Times baptism so closely followed conversion that the two were considered part of one event.  Baptism is closely associated with faith although not the means by which we enter into a faith relationship with Jesus.

The ancient Greek word for baptized means “to immerse or overwhelm something.” When a person is baptized in water, they are immersed or covered over with water. When they are baptized with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11Acts 1:5), they are “immersed” or “covered over” with the Holy Spirit. When they are baptized with suffering (Mark 10:39), they are “immersed” or “covered over” with suffering.  Here, Paul refers to being baptized – “immersed” or “covered over” – in Christ Jesus.

Being baptized with water is us identifying with Jesus’s death and resurrection.  It’s not cleansing here as Paul uses the term.  In essence, you can’t die and rise again without it changing you.  It’s akin to almost dying.  You’re changed when you have a near-death experience. We die spiritually and rise with Jesus!

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 10, Day 2: John 6:41-42

Summary of passage:  The Jews began to grumble, questioning how Jesus who is the son of Joseph, a common carpenter, could be the Son of God.

Questions:

3)  That Jesus’ birth was a miracle from God and that it fulfilled Old Testament prophecy.  All the miracles Jesus performed, God’s blessing when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.

4)  Essential.  If you don’t believe Jesus is the Son of God and that he was just a man, then you won’t have eternal life.  If Jesus Christ was not virgin born, then He was not God in the flesh and was therefore only a man possessing the same sinful nature that every person has.  God put aside His eternal glory to become man.  God revealed Himself in Jesus.  To not believe in Jesus (and thus his heavenly nature) means you don’t believe in God.  Consequences:  Damned for eternity.

Conclusions:  Shortest and easiest lesson thus far.

End Notes:  Six times in this immediate context Jesus says that he ‘came down from heaven’ (6:33, 38, 41, 50, 51, 58).  Why would anyone say this if it were not true?

The Jews are probably the Galileans here.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 10, Day 5: Revelation 5:11-14

Summary of passage:  Angels encircled the throne and the living creatures and angels and sang.  Then every creature in heaven and earth and in the sea sang and the elders fell down and worshipped.

Questions:

11a)  Part personal question.  My answer:  Power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and praise.  He is worthy because he died for our sins and thereby justified us for God.  It means everything to me.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Worship includes unrestrained singing and praising and shows me I need to be more vocal in my worship as well.

12a)  Angels and every creature in heaven and earth and in the sea.  Because Jesus is the Savior who paid the penalty for man’s sins.  He is the Creator as the Triune God.  All should praise him for they would not exist without Him.

b)  Genesis says God created man in his own image and gave him the power to rule over all creatures on land and in the sea.  Psalms reminds us that God created everything and knows everything and all belongs to Him.  In essence, as the Creator of the Universe, all is His and He rules over all and He can snuff us out if He so desired.

Who But God Could Create Such Marvels?

Who But God Could Create Such Marvels?

13a)  He heard every creature in heaven and on earth and in the sea singing praises to Jesus and God, honoring and glorifying them forever.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Christians worship Him, honor Him, and give Him the glory.  Animals exist–do what God gave them the ability to do.  Man cares for the animals as God has ordered him too.  As God is in control of non-Christians as well, they respond to His will unknowingly and therefore we see more of God’s creations cared for and this in turn inadvertently praises and honors God.

Conclusions:  Too many personal questions that were repetitive.  11a is the same as 6b in this Lesson and essentially 8c.  We looked at worship in Lesson 9 Day 5 similarly to 11b.

End Notes:  In Revelation 5:9-10, only the elders are singing the song of the redeemed because as far as we know angels are not redeemed.  Here, it is the angels turn to praise Jesus because of his ability to redeem (1 Peter 1:12 and Ephesians 3:10).

The number of angels is infinite.

The ancient Greek word for worship entails complete submission.  Being in a time of kings, people were accustomed to bowing down before the one who rules over them.  Here, the elders fall down and completely submit to their ruler, the One, True God.

Fun Fact:  Revelation 5:9, 12 appears in Handel’s Messiah Part 3.

Conclusions to Lesson 10:  In chapter 5, we see God and Jesus in heaven on the throne being worshipped and praised for all they have done and created.  We see Jesus as the Lamb given the power and authority over the rest of history.  Emphasis on worthiness and worship and the main reason we do worship God and Jesus–because they did create the universe.  Without life, we can’t do anything.  Everything we are is His.

Here we will take another break from Revelation and go to Joel and 2 Peter before we return to Revelation Chapter 6 where Jesus will open the seals of the scroll, which will usher in the Day of the Lord.  These are still events which will be in the future.  Joel and Peter prophesized this event and thus we will study what they said before we study what John says.  The number 7 will dominate the rest of the book of Revelation and our study.

Great outline HERE

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 10, Day 3: Revelation 5:6-10

Summary of passage:  A Lamb (Jesus) who had been slain stands near the throne surrounded by the living creatures and elders.  He had 7 horns and 7 eyes for the 7 Spirits of God.  Jesus takes the scroll from God and the elders and creatures fall down in worship and prayers and song.  Jesus made people into a kingdom and priests to serve God and reign on earth.

Questions:

6a)  Jesus

b)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus was slain to pay the penalty for our sins so we can be justified before God and have eternal life.  It means everything to me.

7a)  Jesus is standing in the midst of the throne, central, for all to see.  He is not literally standing on the throne.  He is next to it and all are encircling him.  God was giving Jesus all power and all authority.

b)  Completeness or perfection.  Seven eyes represent omniscience and seven horns represent omnipotence.  Throughout the Bible eyes represent knowledge and wisdom and horns represent power.   So having 7 of them means Jesus here has perfect knowledge and complete power.  Seven spirits is fully God and fully Jesus as the Holy Spirit.  All in one as the Triune God.  7 Spirits of God (Rev 1:4).

7 Spirits as fully God could also refer to all the characteristics of God (Isaiah 11; 2 Peter 1:5-7).

Conclusions:  You may have noticed my go-to answer is “everything” (Lesson 5 Day 4).  I have given up trying to put into words what Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross means to me.  The depth, the impact, the consequences are indescribable.  The grace, the mercy, the sanctification, eternal life.  The English language (and all languages) cannot encompass this meaning.

Great lesson to a great passage.  Every word here has meaning.  How amazing this vision would have been!  Anyone else want to be a modern-day John?

End Notes:  “I saw”.  We see these words repeated over and over again by John.  It’s a reminder to us that he is reporting exactly what was revealed to him without embellishing any facts or details.

The word John used in Greek for lamb means “little lamb”.  This is the first of 29 times this word is used in Revelation, but it is only used 1 elsewhere in the New Testament (John 21:15).  The Lamb is living but has sacrificial marks on him.  Except for Revelation 13:11, all refer to Jesus as the Lamb.  Lamb seems to be a preference John had to refer to Jesus.

The Lamb is seen in Scripture as “standing” (Acts 7:56, 5:31) as here or “sitting” (Mark 16:19).

In verse 5, the elder announces a Lion and a Lamb shows up?  John was surprised.  Most people think of Lions as ferocious and kings but a Lamb in humble, gentle, and full of trust and love–exactly the qualities God wants to exhibit.

The language has Jesus as just being slain.  Before God, Jesus has always just been slain, his sacrifice for you and me fresh and new, a continual sacrifice for each new generation. In the Greek, there is no doubt. The Lamb was slain.  For Jews, the lamb was a sacrificial animal.  They would have immediately grasped the impact these analogies contain.

The horn is an ancient Jewish symbol for power and strength so 7 horns is complete or absolute strength.  The fourth beast we read in Daniel (Daniel 7:7, 20) had 10 horns.

Seven eyes of the Lord:  Zechariah 4:10 and 3:9.  See everything completely indicates absolute sovereignty.

Right hand was the dominate hand in Scripture and represents power.  Here, God is giving Jesus His power.

This is the only time we see the court fall down before Jesus.

The harp is really a zithern or kind of guitar.  This passage gave rise to the idea of angels in heaven with harps as seen in world-famous paintings.  Worship is accompanied by music like when we worship in church.

The golden bowls of incense are prayers of the saints the elders are merely holding NOT prayers for the saints or by the saints or to the saints.  We get the picture of the worth God has for the prayers of the saints.  We’ll revisit these prayers in Revelation 8:3.

“Saints” in Greek means “holy ones.”  Used 13 times in Revelation (Rev 5:8, 8:3, 4; 11:18; 13:7, 10; 14:12; 16:6; 17:6; 18:20, 24; 19:8; 20:9), this is John’s term of choice to designate those who belong to Jesus Christ throughout the ages.

New song meaning good or pleasing.  Song about man’s redemption.

We are kings and priests thanks be to our belief in Jesus.  He sanctified us and elevated us.

Chapter 6 of Revelation begins judgment by the Lamb.

Fun Historical Fact:  Roman emperors were proclaimed in Latin vere dignus, meaning “You are worthy.”  Only God is worthy.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 10, Day 2: Revelation 5:1-5

Summary of passage:  In Revelation 4, we see God is sitting on the throne.  Here, we’re told He is holding a sealed scroll.  An angel asks, “Who is worthy to break the seal?”  No one in heaven or on earth can so John weeps.  Then an elder cries out,”The Lion can”, meaning Jesus.

Questions:

3a)  “A scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.”

b)  He wept because “no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.”  The scroll will introduce the next phase of history and if it can’t be opened, then history will not take place.  Further, some scholars suggest he cried because the promise in Rev 4:1 would not be fulfilled to him.  I tend toward the former, being much more significant (history not moving forward) than the latter.

4)  Part personal question.  My answer:  Jesus is the Son of Man as he’s the predicted messiah from the tribe of Judah and from David’s line.  Jacob calls Judah a lion’s cub in his prediction of the future in Genesis 49 and that the ruler will come from his line.  God tells Nathan in 2 Samuel 7 that He will raise up an offspring from David who will establish the throne of God’s kingdom forever.  In Isaiah we see Jesus called the “Root of Jesse”.

Both these prophecies have to be fulfilled for Jesus to be the Messiah, which Jesus meets.

I learn how God has told the people repeatedly of His plans for the future and how God has and will fulfill His words.

[The Messianic title Lion of the tribe of Judah see also Isaiah 31:4 and Hosea 11:10. The title Root of David comes from Isaiah 11:10 and Romans 15:12 and is repeated in Revelation 22:16.]

5)  Part personal question.  My answer:  In this passage, Jesus triumphed by being able to open the scroll and usher in the new history.  In the long run, Jesus triumphed over death and sin by dying on the cross for us, thus justifying us before God and allowing us to live eternally with the Father.  He will also triumph at the Second Coming when he ushers in the New World where Christians shall reign eternally with Jesus here on earth.

It’s significant to me because I know where my future lies.  I know I am forgiven.  I know I am His.

Conclusions:  I like the emphasis in Revelation on our future and Jesus’s victory.  We are being bombarded with hope–something we all need.  Something we all need to hear repeatedly especially when it seems everywhere we turn is evil and destruction.  God wins.  And because God wins, we win.  There is no greater message than this.

End Notes:  “And I saw”.  This is the first of 39 times this phrase is used by John.  It’s a reminder to us that he is reporting exactly what was revealed to him without embellishing any facts or details.

In Revelation 4, we focused on the throne.  Here, we will be focusing on the scroll.

It is significant that writing was on BOTH sides of the scroll.  In ancient times, only one side of the scroll was usually written on.  The rolls were on both sides and the scroll was read horizontally with the left hand holding the scroll and right hand unfurling it.  As it was read, the part having been read would be re-furled up in the left hand.  Using the average amount of writing that would fit on a scroll at this time, the Book of Revelation would fit on a 15 foot long scroll.  This scroll was unusual indeed.

After being written, a scroll would be wrapped with string and then have wax seals put on the string.  Important documents were written on papyrus scrolls and sent this way.  Only the proper people in the presence of witnesses could open the scroll and read it (at this time there were only few people who could read anyways).  Here, there are 7 seals, all of which must be opened before it could be read.

Scholars have debated for centuries what is written on this scroll.  Lots of ideas have been proposed but the best that fits is the history of the universe, God’s will.  In Roman times, wills were sealed seven times.  The idea:  God holds in His hands everything.

Furthermore, connecting with the Old Testament (see Lev.25:25,47-49; Ruth 4:3-14), Jesus is man’s kinsman-redeemer, man having forfeited the right to rule earth in the Garden of Eden.  Jesus has paid our debt through his blood (Rev 5:6), driving Satan out, and thus re-instating God’s plan for mankind.  Hence, this scroll is God’s plan coming to fruition, being opened only by the Redeemer.

Was Israel the focus here?  God has not forsaken His people (Ps.94:14; Rom.11:1-2) nor will He neglect His future plans and purposes for them (Rom.11:25-27).  After the Tribulation, all of Israel will be saved, giving time for the Gentiles to come to Jesus.  Paul makes clear in Romans 15 when he quotes Isaiah 11:10 that the Gentiles are included in God’s promises.  Hence, John weeps for all Jews and Gentiles alike.

The emphasis here is who can open it not what it contains.  And that is Jesus alone can open it.

This is the first of three “mighty angels” in Revelation (others are in 10:1 and 18:21).  Scholars have speculated as to the identity of the angel.  Again, no one knows.  Their function is a duty from God; their identity is not important.

The angel issues a challenge no created creature can answer.

A lion is strong and the king of the animal world.  A fitting image of Jesus.

The NIV translation has the verb in verse 5 as “triumphed.”  Some have “overcome”.  In actuality, in Greek a better translation is “to conquer completely.”