BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 18, Day 5: Romans 10:18-21

Summary of passage:  Israel heard the Good News, but chose to be disobedient and obstinate.  Instead, the Gentiles believed when the Good News was revealed to them.

Questions:

12) God revealed Himself to the Gentiles in an attempt to make the Israelites jealous and then turn to Him.  Hearing is listening to words but no action.  Understanding is knowing what the words mean but no action.  Believing is taking action and agreeing with the words.  For example, “Go pick up your room.”  My kids hear the command.  They understand it.  Then they ignore me and don’t do it.  Same with God.  “Believe in my Son.”  The Israelites heard this.  They understand it’s meaning.  But they turned their backs on Christ.

13)  The Israelites who did not believe in Christ.  The Gentiles who heard the Good News.

14)  Personal Question we just answered in Question 8.  My repetitive answer: Where is everywhere I encounter others whom He puts in my path whom He desires to be there.  I encourage others just by listening and sharing God’s truths about love and comfort and purpose, etc.

Conclusions:  Paul is saying Israel has no excuse for they have heard the message and declined.

End Notes:  Israel is ignoring God and the prophets, Moses and Isaiah, making them more accountable and responsible.  This, however, God knew.  God’s chosen people ignored Him, all the more heart-breaking to God.  He holds out His hands and they slap it away.  He continues to reach out to His people in spite of their disobedience.  Same for us.  God hurts when we reject Him.

Conclusions BSF Romans Lesson 18:  Not a lot of verses covered and a simple message by Paul:  All have heard the message and it is simply have faith in Christ.  Nice respite and should be fairly quick to complete.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 18, Day 3: Romans 10:14-15

Summary of passage:  Paul says how awesome are those who spread the Good News so that others may hear and believe.

Questions:

6)  Matthew 28:18-20:  Jesus gave the Great Commission for all to go out and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  In essence, spread the Word!

Acts 1:8:  We are to be witnesses to Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 13:46-47:  We are to spread the light and bring salvation to the ends of the earth.

Romans 15:20:  We are to preach the Gospel to places where Christ is not known.

2 Corinthians 2:12-14:  The Lord opens the doors for us to spread the Gospel as we are an aroma to Him.

2 Corinthians 10:15-16:  As our faith grows, so does our ministry and we can spread the Gospel in circles around us.

7)  Isaiah is speaking of God’s people returning from exile with the Lord leading the way.  Paul applied this joyful cheer to the messengers who, like himself, bore the Good News of Jesus Christ.  So in essence all believers who spread the news.  The feet are beautiful because they are moving to spread the beautiful news of Christ.

8 )  Personal Question we’ve answered several times this year.  The good thing about repetition:  You won’t forget!!  My answer:  How is through nudges and whispers and putting people in my path whom He desires to be there.  All who haven’t heard of Christ are in despair (not just the places of destitute and dilapidation).  All who don’t believe are candidates for us to share Christ.

Conclusions:  Unnecessary to spend two days on these two verses.

End Notes:  [Same as yesterday’s]. Paul rightly observes that it all goes back to the preaching of the gospel, and preachers must be sent – both by God and the Christian community at large.

God could have chosen any means for the message of salvation to come, such as angelic messengers or directly working without a human preacher.  God’s “normal” way of bringing people to Jesus Christ is through the preaching of the gospel.

The feet speak of activity, motion, and progress, and those who are active and moving in the work of preaching the gospel have beautiful feet.

This is joyful cheer of those who are spreading the Good News.  It should bring us great joy when we spread the Gospel as well!!

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 18, Day 2: Romans 10:14-15

Summary of passage:  Paul says how awesome are those who spread the Good News so that others may hear and believe.

Questions:

3)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Someone preaches to others about Christ, they listen, and then they believe and call upon the Lord.  I grew up in the church so my memories are vague.  I’ve always believed in Christ but I’m sure someone had to tell me about the Lord and I listened and then believed and call/called upon Him.

4)  The Good News is that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead, justifying us before God, and granting us eternal life.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To share the Good News with all through my life and through giving God the credit in my life and through flat-out sharing who Christ is.

Conclusions:  All questions we’ve answered before.

End Notes:  Paul rightly observes that it all goes back to the preaching of the gospel, and preachers must be sent – both by God and the Christian community at large.

God could have chosen any means for the message of salvation to come, such as angelic messengers or directly working without a human preacher.  God’s “normal” way of bringing people to Jesus Christ is through the preaching of the gospel.

The feet speak of activity, motion, and progress, and those who are active and moving in the work of preaching the gospel have beautiful feet.

This is joyful cheer of those who are spreading the Good News.  It should bring us great joy when we spread the Gospel as well!!

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 18, Day 5: John 14:8-14

Summary of passage:  Here, Philip really doesn’t get it and Jesus chastises him for it.  He asks Jesus to show him the Father and Jesus answers by saying he has seen the Father since the Father is in him.  He will do whatever they ask in his name to bring glory to the Father.

Questions:

11)  “even after I have been among you such a long time.”  “How can you say” such a thing.

12)  He is speaking God’s words, doing God’s work through miracles, and anyone who asks of him he will do it in God’s name.  Jesus was at the beginning and the Word and he is the Word and the Word is God so thus Jesus is God.  He is light.  He is the way, the truth, and the life.  He is God.

13)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Anyone who has faith in him.  He grants them whatever they ask.  Those in Christ will accomplish his will–which is greater than our will.  We can accomplish great things with Christ at our backs.  The Holy Spirit is the help Jesus has promised us.

Conclusions:  I almost think Jesus wants to hit Philip over the head he’s so dense.  He’s spent 3 years with Jesus and still doesn’t get it.  You’d think he’d at least get the fact Jesus is God but he doesn’t.  Jesus, exasperated, lays it out for Thomas and us.  He is God and believe in him will lead to great things in your life.

End Notes:  Philip wants to physically see God with his eyes.  Philip was so close to Jesus yet still did not understand him.  Many are like this today.

Jesus repeats himself again, saying all he says and does is by and through God.  I wonder how often he said this that’s not recorded.  Mankind is dense, aren’t we?

“I tell you the truth.”  This is the 1st of 3 assurances Jesus will give his disciples on the night of his arrest. He says this is not the end but the beginning of much greater works.  He expected the disciples to carry on his good works after he’s gone.  This will be with the power of the Holy Spirit in them.

After Peter’s speech at Pentecost more people believed than all combined under Jesus’ recorded ministry.  Christianity is now spread throughout the entire world.  This is what Jesus meant.

Jesus will do anything you ask for in his name–true to his character and in his will–not yours.  Prayer aimed at carrying forth the work Jesus did.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 18, Day 2: John 13:31-35

Summary of passage:  Once Judas leaves, Jesus’ death is cemented.  He declares now the Son of Man and God are glorified.  He tells his disciples they cannot go with him.  He commands them to love one another as he has loved them.

Questions:

3)  He speaks of being glorified by his death and resurrection and the results:  all those who believe in him will go to heaven with the Father.  Many today think if people idolize you or you did something big you will gain fame and fortune.  In reality, no one cares.  All that really matters is the glory we will receive in heaven from knowing and believing in Christ.

4a)  Jesus tells them to love one another as he has loved them.  This is different than love one as you’d love yourself because the love of Jesus is infinitely more.  Also, this is directed to loving the disciples.  We extrapolate this to loving fellow Christians.  Difference is explained in the End Notes.

b)  John 15:9-12:  If you love one another as God and Jesus love you, you will remain in Jesus’ love and have complete joy.

1 John 2:9-11:  If you hate, you live in the darkness and do not know where you are going because you are blinded.  If you love your brother, you live in the light and nothing will make you stumble.

1 John 3:16-18:  Jesus loved us enough to die for us and so must we love others.  We must have pity on those in need.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  My immediate family.

Conclusions:  I liked 4b the best.  John’s further explanations of the love of Jesus help to give us concrete ideas to know more what the love of Christ looks like.

End Notes:  The cross in Roman times meant humiliation, condemnation, and death.  Jesus here is pointing out it means glory for him.  By dying, we see the heart of Jesus and his love.  We know him.  By knowing him, he is glorified.

Fun Fact:  Jesus says “glory” 5 times here in 2 verses.

Fun Fact:  This is the only place in the Gospels Jesus calls his disciples “little children” or “my children”.  This is in the sense of how we are all God’s children.

Note how Judas is absent during these most intimate words of Jesus.  These words are for those with God’s heart.

The Greek word for “new” here means freshness.  The command is not new (in fact it’s been around since Moses.  See Leviticus 19:18) as in just invented but is seen in a different, fresh way.

Spurgeon points out the difference between this command and the one in Mark 12:31 BSF had us read:  “We are to love our neighbor as ourselves, but we are to love our fellow-Christians as, Christ loved us, and that is far more than we love ourselves.”

Jesus is defining love from his example, not as we humans often view it.

Jesus said that love is now the distinguishing mark of his disciples and of all of Christ’s followers.  It wasn’t that love for the outside world was not important or relevant, but it wasn’t first. There are other measures of discipleship, but they come after this mark.

Our standard is now Christ’s love for us.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 18, Day 4: Various Passages

Summary of passages: Various passages for the day.

Questions:

8 )  Part personal Question.  My answers:

Psalm 73:26-28:  God is the strength, refuge, and portion forever when flesh and heart fail.

Proverbs 3:11-12:  God disciplines those He loves.

Romans 5:3-4:  Suffering produces perseverance, character, hope, and love through the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:17:  Suffering allows us to share in Christ’s glory.

Philippians 3:8-9: (Read verse 10 as well)  Sharing in Christ’s suffering produces more knowledge of Christ, fellowship with him, becoming more like him, and attaining resurrection from the dead.  Giving up or losing all things results in a gain of Christ and righteousness through belief in the Savior.

Hebrews 5:8-9:  Suffering produces obedience to God and eternal salvation for believers.

When you have nothing, all you have is Him.  You rely more on God and the Holy Spirit.  You know him more and become more like Christ.  It humbles you to the point you cry out to God.  And that is what God wants–all of you.  This I’ve experienced throughout my life’s trials and tribulations and my current closeness with God.  Life is amazing when you have Him and nothing else.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  When I was in college, I had a hard time concentrating because songs kept playing over and over in my head.  I wondered where God was during this time and cried out to Him repeatedly.  However, He never left me and eventually they went away as I channeled my thoughts towards Him.  It strengthened me and I knew He never left me.  Now I know He’s always there even when we are hit with inexplicable events in our lives.

Conclusions:  God is more concerned about character rather than comfort.  Suffering is small compared to knowing Christ.  Suffering teaches us the greatest good of Christian life is not absence of pain but being Christ-like.  The important thing to take away is this:  there is a purpose in suffering.  God has a purpose.  You may not be able to see it now but through faith you will persevere and emerge stronger and more dependent on Him.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 18, Day 2: Genesis 3; Romans 8:18-22

Summary of passages:  Genesis 3:  The serpent tricks Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit which God had said not to eat from because if they did, they would die.  He tells her she will be like God.  She falls for it, gives some to Adam, committing the first sin in the world.  God comes along, sees his creation hiding from Him, and curses the serpent and man.  She will have pain in childbirth and be under Adam.  He will toil the land and both shall die.

Romans 8:18-22:  Verse 17:  “We share in his (Christ’s) sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”  We wait in eager expectation to be liberated from decay and brought into freedom.

Questions:

3)  Because we are all sinners and with sin comes suffering.  And because Christ suffered.  Romans 8:17 says we suffer because Christ suffered and so we may have some of Christ’s glory.  Had this question in Lesson 12, Day 4 Question 11a.  Very similar question in Lesson 4, Day 5 Question 15.

4)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We had this question (Lesson 11, Day 2, Question 5).  Bankruptcy.  Depended on Him to bring us through.  He has.  Prayed.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This passage reminds us to look beyond our present circumstances to our future home in heaven where we will be saints with crowns on our heads, forever worshiping God, surrounded by His glory.  Past suffering is for our good.  It strengthens us and increases our faith and makes us more like Christ.  (Excellent post HERE with reasons for suffering.  Very succinct with all the Bible passages).

Conclusions:  Please see the link above.  Guaranteed you’ll find a reason for suffering you’d never thought of before.  Not sure why we needed to read Genesis especially since we spend a week on Genesis 3 in the study of Genesis.  We all know sin entered the world through Adam and Eve.  And Romans was missing Verse 17 which says what verses 18-22 was trying to say in a more understandable way.

End Notes:  Genesis 3 (Taken from my previous study):  Note that God instructed Adam to not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Then God created Eve. Eve must have been told by Adam but she was not instructed by God. Hence, she was chosen by the serpent to tempt as she was the weaker link. We don’t know what Adam said to Eve but Adam was standing right there. He knew it was wrong. Eve disobeyed God and Adam.

Also, if Adam had been chosen to eat first, Eve might have had an out by saying she was only obeying her husband, the head of the household. Hence, God allowed Eve to be tested first.

Eve doesn’t even seem to know the name of the tree and exactly what God said since she uses the word “touch” instead of “eat” as God did. This is not an excuse. But it does fall upon Adam to communicate to her God’s commands.

Eve was truly deceived by the devil; Adam sinned in full knowledge of what God had said. (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:22; 1 Timothy 2:14).

I was always told it was Eve’s fault man sinned. But upon close examination Adam bears most of the burden. He was right there (Genesis 3:6) the entire time. At any moment either one could have ran from the serpent. But neither did. It just shows how powerful and cunning the devil truly is. And what we must fight against daily.

If Adam and Eve could be tricked and disobey–those who actually walked with God–then we must be extra vigilant and strong in the Word in order to resist.

God addresses Adam first as the head and one could argue it is Adam who bears the brunt of the responsibility for the sin since Adam is the head of woman. Interesting since in popular culture you always hear how it was Eve’s fault.

We see here that God never abandoned us, even when we sinned. He always had Jesus planned to save us. It’s hard to comprehend: why would God create us if He knew we would Fall? Only God can answer that. He must think we are worthy in some way. Sometimes I wish I believed but a piece of that worthiness.

I had never thought of us being born with a wariness to Satan before. So we’re born with a natural rebelliousness towards God but a natural distrust of Satan. Again, we must choose. Naturally, we gravitate towards serving ourselves (like children). But we learn to choose and no choice in life is more important. The outcome of our life depends upon this choice.

Romans 8:18-22:  Note how the glory is already in us.  It is just waiting to be revealed. Cool to think about!!

All of creation is awaiting the Second Coming.  Isaiah 11:6-9 is the famous passage where the lion will lie down with the lamb.  What a picture of the future heaven!

End, End Note:  Day 4 of this lesson asks us specifically to look at Romans 8:17.  It’s appropriate here as well.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 18, Day 3: Numbers 5:1-6:21

Summary of passage:  Numbers 5:  The Lord told Moses to send away those who were unclean with infectious skin disease or otherwise outside camp so they would not defile the camp. Restitution must be made if another man wrongs another says the Lord.  If a man suspects his wife has been unfaithful, he is to bring her to the priest who will perform a ceremony where if she is guilty she will be cursed with barrenness or with miscarriages.  If she is not guilty, she will be free of guilt and will bear children.

Numbers 6:1-21:  If a man or woman wants to make a vow of separation to God, he or she must not drink alcohol, not shave their hair or cut it, and not go near dead bodies.  After his period of separation is over, offerings are made and the hair is shaved off.

Questions:

6a)  He commanded the Israelites to send away anyone with an infectious skin disease, a discharge, or who is ceremonially unclean because of a dead body.  He commanded the Israelites to make full restitution for wrongs committed.  He commanded the Israelites to resolve their marital questions about faithfulness through a mediator (the priest).

b)  It set God’s people apart from the prevailing cultures around them.  The Egyptians who were famous for embalming and worshipping the dead and the Phoenicians who used sex (discharge) in religious ceremonies.

c) It cleared their name if they were suspect and innocent.  In ancient times, women could be killed if suspected of being unfaithful.  This ensured men could not kill their wives–innocent or guilty–because of adultery.

7a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Publicly declaring yourself to God.  Visually being different from those around you so others can see your dedication and your testimony to the One, True God.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Every Christian is set apart from others as they walk with the Holy Spirit as their guide.  Yes, as I try to discover God’s will for my life and follow that instead of doing my own thing as prevalent in today’s society.  I try to walk His walk and do His calling.  Currently, my family and I are looking into sponsoring a child through Compassion International.  It’s something I’ve been thinking about since the Compassion Experience recently came to my area a few months ago and after that I felt it was His will for my life to do that.  It’s following God’s promptings in all aspects of your life that set you apart–not the big things but the little things.

Conclusions:  No where is the separateness of God’s people from Him more noticeable than here in the pages of Numbers.  As we see Israel’s struggle to become close to God and still never succeeded, those of us in the here and now on this side of heaven should be falling to our knees, praising God for His son, for His way of finally being with Him.  Jesus is the only way to bridge the gap between God and man.  Sometimes in our culture we take that too casually.  Yes, God is approachable and wants to be with us.  Still, reverence He requires and sometimes I think we are too casual with God.  Here, in Numbers, we are reminded of just how privileged we are to be with Him and we need to remember that when we are with Him–in prayer and every day as we follow the Holy Spirit.

End Notes:  Numbers 5:  God dwelled with His people.  He could not tolerate sin.  Hence, these commands to rid the camp of unclean people.

Numbers 5:11-31 was God’s way of dealing with jealousy in a marriage.  This trial is reflective of other “trials of ordeal” common in the Middle East at this time.  This is the only one in the Bible and there is no Biblical record that this was ever performed.  This ceremony was mostly show and to imbibe a guilty conscience if one was cheating on their spouse.  It does demonstrate how God thinks about jealousy:  enough to initiate a ceremony to combat it.  Jealousy in a marriage ends many.  God knows that and wanted us to know that as well.

Chapter 5 speaks to purity:  of heart and with others.  So make restitution today if you need to and be pure all of your days in relationships.

Numbers 6:1-21:  The Hebrew word for Nazirite means “set apart”.  Death is the consequence of sin; hence, the separation during the Nazirite’s vow so he or she would not be near sin.

Samson’s strength came from his vow of separation.  He did drink and touch dead bodies, but it was when his hair was cut by Delilah that he lost his strength. (Judges)

If the vow was broken, then one had to start all over again.

Famous Nazirites:  Samson, John the Baptist, and Paul.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 18, Day 2: Numbers 1-4

Introductory Note:  Leviticus dealt exclusively with the Laws given to Moses.  Exodus happens in one year.  Leviticus in one month.  Numbers in 38 years!  Numbers opens with the people still at Mount Sinai, preparing to continue their journey to the Promised Land.

We will be taking a much more in-depth (and hopefully relaxed!) approach to the study of Numbers, taking a full 8 weeks or 2 months to read through it and digest and study it.  The reading should not be quite so overwhelming as in the study of Leviticus.

Summary of passage:  Numbers 1:  God spoke to Moses at the Tabernacle two years after the Israelites left Egypt.  He directs Moses to take a census of the people, divided up into their Tribes.  They also counted those who were eligible to serve in Israel’s army.  The Levites were not included in the census or the draft as they were God’s chosen to care for the Tabernacle.

Numbers 2:  God directs the Israelites to camp around the Tent of Meeting within his own tribe with the Levites and the Tent of Meeting in the center.

Numbers 3:  God gives directions for the tribe of the Levites.  They are to forever care for the Tent of Meeting and the tabernacle.  God has chosen them in place of the firstborn and told Moses to count them.  Each descendant of a son has a different task and items they must care for.  There were more sons than Levite sons (273 more) so the 273 had to be redeemed with 5 shekels for each one and given to Aaron and his sons.

Numbers 4:  God told Moses to specifically take census of the Kohathites of the tribe of Levi who are to care for the most holy things.  The Gershonites of the tribe of Levi are to carry the curtains of the tabernacles.  The merriness are to carry the frames of the tabernacle.  They were counted as well.

Questions:

3a)  To take inventory of the men eligible to serve in the army.

b)  They are God’s chosen to are of the tabernacle and all of its furnishings.

c)  603,550

d)  2 million

e)  God promised Abraham to make his descendants as numerous as the stars.  He promised to give them the Promised Land and to defeat their enemies.  Having a large army goes a long way towards that.

4a) The Tent of Meeting or the tabernacle

b)  This would be a huge reminder that God (who dwelled in the Tent of Meeting) is to be the center of their lives.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God mostly except when I fall into selfishness.  I hope my family and friends would agree with me.

5a)  Three.  Eleazar and Ithamar and Aaron (the high priest)

b)  The tribe of Levi.  “They are to perform duties for him (Aaron) and for the whole community by doing the work of the Tabernacle.  They are to take care of the furnishings.”

c)  At the foot of Mount Sinai when the Israelites had made the golden calf.  They were set apart because they repented at the foot of Mount Sinai and answered Moses call when he asked for those who “is for the Lord to come to him.”  They did as Moses commanded.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That each had a role to play and an assigned task and all contributed to the care of God’s tabernacle and the worship of God in the process.  We all have a role to play; the trick is figuring out that role in your church.

Conclusions:  Good lesson as we see God continue to prepare the Israelites for what they will face ahead (enemies) and what they will do once they arrive in the Promised Land (worship Him).

It’s important for us to take inventory as well–see where we are at in our walk with God and make plans to grow with Him.  God was preparing His people for what was to come as He does us.

Everyone had a role to play in God’s plan.  No one is left out.  Each role is dependent on the others doing their roles as well.  Good passage for us when we question God’s role for us–He does have a plan for each and every one of us.

End Notes:  Numbers 1:  Note how the count is done by families.  From the beginning God emphasized the importance of family.

There are still 12 Tribes of Israel as Joseph was given a double inheritance (Genesis 48:5-6) by Jacob even though the tribe of Levi was exempt as the keepers of the tabernacle.

Note Nahshon (verse 7) is the same as the one in Matthew 1:4–Jesus’ line.

In Numbers 26 at the end of this time in the desert, this census is repeated and the number of men is almost the same.  We’ll see why as we study the book of Numbers.

Numbers 2:  Before the tents were pitched randomly.  Here, God changes all that.

Judah, the tribe of Jesus, is first and closest to the tabernacle on the east.  Their standard (flag) is said to be a lion.  Reuben is closest on the south with their standard said to be a man.  Ephraim was first on the west side, their standard said to be a calf.  Dan was first on the north side, their standard being an eagle.  The Levites in the middle the closest to the tabernacle.  This was the marching order as well.

These are the animals that surround God’s throne in Revelation 4:7.

God is a God of order.  Nothing is arbitrary.  Everything is planned even if we don’t see it.

Numbers 3:  Confusion point:  Only descendants of Aaron could be priests.  There were other Levites who were not descended from Aaron.  We see in this chapter they were assigned other roles in relation to the tabernacle, but they could never become priests.  These Levites were the support that allowed Aaron and his sons to minister to the Israelites–just like in a church today.

Levi’s three sons:  Gershon, Kohath, and Merari are the heads of the Levite tribe.

Aaron and Moses camped on the east side of the tabernacle, closest to the entrance.

There is a discrepancy here in this chapter in the number of Levites, which scholars attribute to a translation error.

The number of firstborns is low; hence, scholars think this is the number of firstborns born since leaving Egypt.

Numbers 4:  Only those between the ages of 30 and 50 did the actual work in the sanctuary. This was considered the prime of a man’s life and God wanted the best.

Aaron and the priests had to pack the furniture itself since it was considered holy before the Kohathites could transport  it.  This is why the ark and things were transported with poles since it was forbidden for non-priests to touch these items.  Eleazar was appointed by God to be in charge of the furnishings of the tabernacle as the now eldest son of Aaron.

Ithamar supervises the coverings of the tabernacle, which is the responsibility of the Gershonites.

Fun Fact:  The Hebrew title of Numbers is “In the Wilderness” as it covers the time the Israelites are In the Wilderness.

Fun Fact:  “The Lord spoke to Moses” is repeated in Numbers over 150 times in 20 different ways.