BSF Study Questions John Lesson 17, Day 3: John 13:12-17 and Philippians 2:1-10

Summary of passages:  John 13:12-17:  When he is finished, he dresses and sits with them. He explains that they need to serve others and no one is greater than they.

Philippians 2:1-10:  Be like-minded with Christ, having the same love, spirit, and purpose.  Be humble, consider others better than yourself.  Make yourself nothing, being a servant and humble.  God exalted him.

Questions:

5)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Only slaves washed feet because it was considered a lowly task.  You are blessed when you perform humble tasks for others.

6a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Sacrifice my time and energy for others through my work and this blog and my kids and family and my writings.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It’s nice when you hear you’ve impacted others since we don’t hear it enough.  Some of us never hear it and some of us never experience the blessings from helping others.  But God knows.  And that’s what I cling to.

Conclusions:  This one was all personal so answers will vary widely.  For me, I’m feeling very unrewarded in my life right now; hence, the short answers.

End Notes:  John 13:12-17:  Jesus explained his actions so he was sure they got it. They needed to have the same attitude and service as him. We must wash one another’s feet–do for others. Following Jesus’ example, doing the acts of service leads to blessings.  We must be willing to perform the most menial services for one another.

Philippians 2:1-10:  Paul is asking rhetorical questions, saying if you’ve received the things he mentions, then you have a responsibility to do what he’s about to describe.

Spurgeon says of this passage:  “The Holy Spirit is the physician and Christ is the medicine.”

The word comfort in this passage is the ancient Greek word paraklesis, which is more than soothing sympathy. It’s strengthening, helping, making strong. The Latin word for comfort (fortis) means “brave.” The love of God in our life makes us strong and brave.

Fellowship is the ancient Greek word kononia, which means the sharing of things in common. We share life with the Spirit of God that we never knew before. The Holy Spirit fills and guides and moves in our lives in a powerful and precious way.

Paul’s idea here is this is real gifts for Christians to enjoy from Christ.

Paul wants the Philippians to be united for Christ in this passage.  Basically, quit working from the mind-set of self and grandiose and work for others.

Nature or form of God means essence.  Jesus took the form of man but remained in essence God (since he is God).  By becoming man, Jesus became obedient and died the most despicable death at that time–crucifixion.

Because of this, God elevated Jesus to the highest place and given him the highest name (Yahweh) and all will submit to him.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 17, Day 3: Revelation 13:7-10

Summary of passage:  The beast was given power and authority over the saints and every tribe, people, language, and nation.  All non-believers will worship the beast.

Questions:

6)  “He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them.  And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation.”  All non-believers worshiped the beast (“all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world”).

7)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  It is a book or a listing of all of those who have accepted Jesus as the Son of God and believe he died for our sins and cleansed us of sin thereby being justified and who will then live with God forever in heaven until Jesus comes again and we dwell on earth once more. Yes because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and repented of my sin.

More Bible Passages and explanation HERE

8a)  John 15:18-27:  The world hates us because they hate Jesus and there’s nothing we can do about it. However, they are guilty of sin and with the power of the Holy Spirit, we are to stay true to our testimony about Jesus.

Romans 15:4-5:  God gives us endurance and encouragement through the Holy Spirit and through His word so that we may glorify God with one heart and mouth (verse 6).

2 Corinthians 6:4-10:  Through our example including out endurance, patience, kindness, truth, genuineness, sorrow, and joy we commend ourselves and not put any stumbling block in anyone’s path (verse 3).

Colossians 1:9-14:  God gives us strength to have great endurance and patience and to live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way and to know His will in our lives.

1 Timothy 6:11-12:  We should flee from the world’s teachings and pursue instead righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.  To fight the good fight of the faithful and take hold of eternal life.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  If I didn’t have God, I would have no life, no ambition, no drive, no will and I truly don’t know how unbelievers make it in this world without Him.  He holds me up when all I want to do is fall.  He catches me when I do fall and stands me back up.  Sometimes He puts one foot in front of the other for me when I have no will of my own to do so.  He has done it all through all things (His word, power, Holy Spirit).  I have done nothing.

Conclusions:  Was sorely missing my favorite endurance passage in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 where we need to run in such a way as to get the prize and run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1).

I love how all of this is God’s plan since the creation of the world.  I love the comfort from this.  He’s in control and I don’t have to be.  I lean on Him and His strength and He does the rest.  Great lesson.  Great reminder on enduring with His power.

End Notes:  We are told in Revelation 12:17 that the dragon is gunning for us–believers.  Here, we see “war” will come in the form of the beast.  Just who are the saints?  It depends on which view of the millennium you hold.   Pre-tribulationists believe these saints are God’s people who come to Christ after the church has been raptured. Post-tribulationists believe these saints are God’s people who are on the earth before the final rapture, including what we think of today as the “church.”

In the Roman empire, all were required to offer up a pinch of incense to the emperor and declare loyalty to him, declaring Caesar Lord.  This is what the end dictator will do.  It’s not hard to imagine when one things of Hitler, Stalin, or Mao.

The Book of Life is all God’s redeemed.  The rest face the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).

“The Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world” reminds us that all of this is God’s plan.  He planned Jesus’ death to save us before we were even created!  He chose us before we were born (Ephesians 1:4), wrote our names down in the Book of Life before we were born (Revelation 17:8), and prepared heaven for us in advance (Matthew 25:34).  If that doesn’t give you comfort in this harried world, nothing will.

Here, other translations have “lead into captivity” in verse 10.  This conveys the idea that if you lead others to sin, you will be held accountable.  Personal responsibility still applies despite God’s having predetermined history.

Another meaning to verse 10:  It’s hopeless to fight against God.  If you are destined to go into captivity, you will go or if you are destined to die, you will.  The saints are to wait on God for this to happen.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 17, Day 3: Genesis 21:1-7

Summary of passage:  The Lord gave Sarah and Abraham a son whom Abraham names Isaac (which means he laughs).  Isaac was circumcised at 8 days old.  Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.  Sarah said God has brought her laughter and everyone who hears about Isaac will laugh with her.

Questions:

7a)  The Lord did for Sarah what He had promised at the very time God had promised.

b)  Abraham in hope believed that God had the power to do what He had promised.  He was strengthened in his faith and gave the glory to God.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  “This week” I haven’t experienced any new spiritual awakening.  However, I am trying to be more trusting and more faithful and maybe a spiritual awakening will occur.  But if it doesn’t, I know at least I’m growing closer to God and that’s all that matters to me.

8 )  John 3:3-6:  We must be born of water and the Spirit to enter the kingdom of heaven.  We must have the Holy Spirit indwelt to enter the kingdom of heaven (believe in God and Jesus as the Son).  Isaac was born of a woman but because of the Spirit.

Romans 4:17-25:  Abraham had hope and faith that Isaac would be born just like we have faith and believe Jesus died for our sins so we could be reborn.

James 1:18:  He gave us birth through the word of truth.  Because of God’s words Isaac was born and so are we–through faith in God’s words.

1 Peter 1:23-25:  We have been born again through the living and enduring word of God which is imperishable (eternal) as Isaac was born.

In general, Isaac’s birth was a miracle of God and came about because of the faith and belief Abraham and Sarah had in God to do the impossible.  The same is for us.  We have faith and believe Jesus died on the cross for us so thus we are declared righteous and justified in God’s eyes.

Conclusions:  Basically, believe in the God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit and you will be born again like Isaac was born because of Abraham and Sarah’s belief and God’s miracle.

I absolutely cringe every time I read “this week” in a question as if a change is supposed to miraculously happen inside of me and there’s something wrong with me if it doesn’t. Like I’ve stated before, I just can’t see the changes or “awakenings” God does in me.  I’m too close to myself and too selfish and blind probably to realize it.  But I know He is working.  How?  Couldn’t tell you.  When?  Definitely not “this week” in my view.  Why? Cause He loves me.  And that’s all I need to know.

Overall, didn’t like this lesson.  We read the passage and immediately got sent to other parts of the Bible.  I was kind of just hoping to hold Isaac the baby for a bit after all this build-up and anticipation and revel in God’s goodness and greatness instead of being distracted with how a real birth compares to a spiritual birth.  Couldn’t that have waited?

I’d take a study any day of God’s greatness over my spiritual birth (granted, a symptom of God’s greatness but nothing when compared to Him).  But that’s my opinion, of course.

End Note:  One commentary I read on this passage compared the birth of Isaac with the birth of Jesus with some rich scripture references.  Now THAT would have been a great question for this passage.