BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 22, Day 5: Romans 12:6-8

Summary of passage:  God has given each of us different gifts.  Let us use our gifts (whatever they may be) for His glory and to the best of our ability.

Questions:

12)  1 Corinthians 7:7b:  Each person has his or her own gift from God.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6:  Each gift we have works to glorify God.

Ephesians 4:11-13:  God gave us each different works of service to build each other up and mature to the fullness of Christ.

1 Peter 4:10-11:  We should use our gifts to serve others, administering God’s grace and speaking as if we are speaking the very words of God.

13)  Prophesy:  “let him use it in proportion to his faith.”  If one hears a word from God, share it.

Serving:  “let him serve”  If one is called to serve in an area of church, serve.

Teaching:  “let him teach”  If one is called to teach, teach.

Encouraging:  “let him encourage”  If one is blessed with encouraging words, share them.

Contributing to the needs of others:  “let him give generously”  If one is called to contribute to the needs of others (which we all are to a certain degree), do so!

Leadership:  “let him govern diligently”  If one is called for leadership, govern according to God’s principles.

Showing mercy:  “let him do it cheerfully”  If we need to show mercy, do so with a kind heart in forgiveness.

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He’s given me some of these and others not listed.  I’m always teaching my kids like in homeschool or in daily living.  I teach other how to workout correctly with my fitness/CrossFit jobs.  I serve others be it my family or in my work.  I donate to charity groups.  I serve on a local board and hope one day to be on the Town Board and mayor of my town.  I’m not the best at encouraging but I try.  Same with mercy.  I also write via this forum and my novels.  Every day is an opportunity to do His will in all areas of life and in the areas in which we are gifted.  Do you take advantage of it?

Conclusions:  Great reminder and verses to remind us all that we each have a different purpose here on this planet for Him.  We each have different gifts to use for His glory.  We need to take advantage of these and use them for Him and give Him the glory for all we accomplish for Him.  Is it for Him or for you?

End Notes:  The ancient Greek word for “spiritual gifts” is charismata, which means a gift of grace. This term was apparently coined by Paul to emphasize that the giving of these spiritual gifts was all of grace.

Spiritual gifts are given at the discretion of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:11 says, But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

Paul is careful to warn us against being proud of our gifts and exalting them/us instead of God.

Prophecy:  God may give us something to say to an individual or church body that stretches our faith. If we can’t prophecy in faith and trust that God has really spoken to us, we shouldn’t do it at all.

Prophecy in the Biblical understanding, isn’t necessarily “fore-telling” in a strictly predictive sense. It is more accurately “forth-telling” the heart and mind of God, which may or may not include a predictive aspect.

This warns us against flippant, “stream of consciousness” prophecy that has no difficulty saying, “Thus says the Lord” at the drop of a hat.

In proportion to our faith: The ancient Greek text actually has “the” before faith. Paul may be cautioning that prophecy must be according to the faith, in accord with the accepted body of doctrine held among believers.

Some take the proportion of faith to be the proportion of the faith of the audience of the prophecy; this has truth also.

This was a warning that meant more in Ancient Times as many claimed that God spoke to them and then their words were not from God or Biblically-based.  This was a warning against false prophets.

Ministry can be seen as serving in practical ways and not necessarily as a pastor or priest. Paul sees this as important ministry from the Holy Spirit as well.

Teaching has in mind instruction, while exhortation encourages people to practice what they have been taught; both are necessary for a healthy Christian life.

When someone who is called and gifted to be a giver stops giving, they will often see their resources dry up – having forgotten why God has blessed them.

It is easy for leaders to become discouraged and feel like giving up, but they must persevere if they will please God by their leadership.

It can be hard enough to show mercy, but even harder to be cheerful about it. This reminds us that the gift of showing mercy is a supernatural gift of the Spirit.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 22, Day 3: Romans 12:4-5

Summary of passage:  All Christians form the body of Christ, acting as a whole with different functions.

Questions:

7)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  The human body.  The body works together for one goal, which is the health and function of the human body.  So are Christians. We all have different functions in the body, working together for Christ.

8 )  Each member depends on the other member to function properly and efficiently.  Each member has its own unique skills, designs, and qualifications to contribute to the smooth functioning of the body.

Conclusions:  Inherently self-explanatory passage.

End Notes:  The church is a unified whole with distinct members.  In the body of Christ there is unity but not uniformity (unity within diversity).  There is a delicate balance between unity and individuality.  Both co-exist but not at the expense of the other.  Christ is our common ground.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 22, Day 3: John 16:12-15

Summary of passage:  The Spirit of truth will guide you to truth and will tell you what is to come.  He will make known to you things from the Father.

Questions:

5)  The Holy Spirit will reveal what God wants to say to them and to us to write down.  All Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16)

6)  God guides the Holy Spirit and uses the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to us.  He brings glory to Jesus by revealing Jesus to us as well.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Similar to question 6.  The Holy Spirit guides us and reveals what is to come.  My writing career.

Conclusions:  Good emphasis about the Holy Spirit guiding us through Jesus and God (they are all one anyways).

End Notes: Jesus is saying he has much more to teach them but does not have the time.  Therefore, the Holy Spirit will finish his work, which will ultimately lead to the New Testament.

Guiding us into all truth means both the New Testament writings and us personally today.

The Holy Spirit’s purpose is to reveal Jesus.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 22, Day 2: John 16:5-11

Summary of passage:  Jesus explains the Counselor (Holy Spirit) will come to them once he is gone, which is for their good.  The Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.

Questions:

3a)  Because only then can the Holy Spirit come to guide them and indwell and convict the world of sin, expose righteousness, and judge the devil.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  In person.  Then I would know without a doubt my life would be Christ led.  I think I would have less doubts.  But there are advantages and disadvantages either way.  In reality, we have the Holy Spirit only so growing that is the key.

4)  Sin:  The Holy Spirit shines light in the darkness, exposing the evil.  With the Holy Spirit, one lives by the truth and by the light, which can be plainly seen to unbelievers.  The Holy Spirit cleanses unbelievers to  live a sanctified life.

Righteousness:  Sins pollute us and make us feel unclean and prideful.  The humble are exalted and those who admit they are sinners.  Those who keep the law and God’s commands become conscious of sin, repent, and therefore righteous before God.

Judgment:  God judges sinners but those who confess in faith are sanctified before God. The devil blocks unbelievers from seeing the light.  Through faith, grace, and mercy, we became alive in Christ and obedient to God.

Conclusions:  Back to John after 1 John is such a relief.  Much smaller chunks of the word to intake and digest.

End Notes: Peter had asked this question earlier (John 13:36) and Thomas asked a similar question (John 15:5). Peter was diverted immediately and he made no real attempt to find out where Jesus was going.  He had been concerned with the thought of parting with Jesus, not with that of the Master’s destination. He was only thinking of what it meant for himself for Jesus to leave.  Grief had distracted them.

Jesus does not say why the Holy Spirit would not come until after his departure.

Nevertheless (But in the NIV) is one of the great words of the Bible, meaning despite all of that.   “It tell you the truth” is to emphasize Jesus’ words.

The Holy Spirit will be better for believers than his physical presence–Jesus could now be with every believer every moment of the day.  Our belief is greater since we can’t see Jesus.  We understand Jesus better.  We obviously are closer to him.

Sin is the truth about man, righteousness is the truth about God, judgment is the inevitable combination of these two truths.  Apart from sin’s convicting work, people can never see themselves as sinners.

“Convict” in the Greek means to expose, refute, and convince.  The Holy Spirit would bring the truth and a realization of man’s shame and hopelessness without God in their lives.

Sin is unbelief, the rejection of God and His Son, which the Holy Spirit reveals.  Jesus was righteousness which the Holy Spirit reveals.  The Holy Spirit reveals that Satan will be judged.  The Holy Spirit works in the world and in hearts to reveal these truths to all.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 22, Day 5: Revelation 17:15-18

Summary of passage:  The angel tells John that the woman is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.  The waters are the peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages.  The beast will kill the prostitute according to God’s purposes and allow the beast to rule.

Questions:

12)  God is in control and He’s the one who puts it into their hearts what to do.

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God is in control here and always to accomplish His purposes here on earth.

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Knowing God wins makes it easy to proclaim His glorious name.  I’m not experiencing persecution at this time and haven’t really.  Knowing God’s word helps me see through deception.

Conclusions:  Question 12 & 13 are redundant and the same.  Question 14:  It’s not about knowing God wins; it’s about knowing God.  Weak lesson.

End Notes:  We are told who the woman is:  “the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”  Some scholars say this is Rome and in the minds of the first century Christians it was definitely Rome.  Still, futurists say the city could be Jerusalem or the entire world system.

All the people will come together under the Antichrist until God turns their hearts to destroy the great city.  They will turn on themselves and destroy the prostitute.  Scholars say this is probably during the mid-point of the Tribulation.

God is the one orchestrating all of this as the angel states.  He is using the ten kings to judge the prostitute.

In the next chapter we will see Babylon’s destruction.

Conclusions to Lesson 22:  The most powerful lesson here in Revelation 17 is one we often forget:  God orchestrates world events.  He makes world leaders act for His purposes.  God is a God of action.

Secondly, we see that God wins and therefore, as Christians we win.  We cannot be defeated by Satan.  Emmanuel, God is with us, and if we’d keep that in mind–the big picture–our everyday circumstances and trials will be nothing but chaff in the wind.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 22, Day 3: Revelation 17:3-6

Summary of passage:  John was then carried away into the desert where he saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast with 7 heads and 10 horns.  The woman was dressed as royalty, dripping in jewels.  She held a golden cup filled with her adulteries.  She had written on her forehead “Mystery, Babylon the Great, The Mother of Prostitutes, and of the Abominations of the Earth.”  She was drunk with the blood of the saints who bore testimony to Jesus.

Questions:

6)  The woman was riding on the beast.  She was “dressed in purple and scarlet and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls.”  The beast was “covered with blasphemous names and had 7 heads and 10 horns.”  The woman held a golden cup full of her adulteries and had written on her forehead “Mystery, Babylon the Great, The Mother of Prostitutes, and of the Abominations of the Earth.”  She was drunk with the blood of the saints who bore testimony to Jesus.

7a)  She’s the corrupter of men and she’s drunk with the blood of the saints, those who bore testimony to Jesus.  She persecutes God’s people and revels in it.

b)  2 Chronicles and Jeremiah tells us how God uses Babylon as punishment for His disobedient people.  Daniel 5 tells how the King of Babylon did not honor God and instead insulted God by drinking from His sacred objects from the temple and praising false gods instead of God.  Same here.  The woman is false religion personified and she’s riding the Antichrist.  Babylon is a country known for its false gods and the one God chose to judge His people.  It’s appropriate then since she’ here to bring punishment for disobedience to Him.

8 )  Part personal question. My answer:  God’s “things” is Him and the actions we do for Him.  Material, glittering goods are just that–things of the earth we enjoy here but not in heaven and which often we spend too much time acquiring.  Our focus should be on God and His “things” which is loving others and being like Jesus.  The glittering things are meant to seduce us away from Him.  I’m more drawn to God’s things for they are everlasting.  All else falls away.

Conclusions:  Question 8 highlighted the seduction of man by Satan and how it’s all a just a farce and a show.  None of it is real.  Satan is out for blood as this passage clearly shows and if we’d remember that visual of him drinking our blood, we’d probably sin less.

End Notes:  John now is carried from heaven to earth in his vision.

This is the same beast we saw in Revelation 13:1.  The Antichrist.  The fact she’s sitting on the beast suggests she is supported by him and she is in some way dominating him and controlling him.  To earth she appears religious.  God clearly sees otherwise.

She is richly adorned.  As you may recall, only Roman Emperors can wear purple togas and only the rich were allowed to wear a purple outline on their togas.  Scarlet also was a costly cloth.

Roman prostitutes frequently wore a headband with their name on it.  Despite her appearance, she is nothing but a prostitute.

This woman is NOT the woman from Revelation 12 who represented God’s people, Israel.  Here, she is false religion and idolatry. The two women are meant as contrasts–God versus Satan.

She is the literal city of Babylon but the mystery of the other Godless cultures.  She is the mother of what Satan devised against God.  The beast will rebel against her and bring about her ruin (Revelation 17:16).  Revelation 16:6 describes the prostitute in the same way.

Jeremiah describes prostitutes (Jeremiah 4:30) and Babylon (Jeremiah 51:7-8) in the same manner.

John was amazed because of the ferventness of the religious persecution.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 22, Day 4: Matthew 21:33-46

Summary of passage:  Jesus tells the Pharisees another parable.  A landowner planted a vineyard, put a wall around it, dug a winepress, and built a watchtower.  Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey.  When harvest approached he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.  The tenants beat his servants and killed them.  They even killed his son.

The Pharisees said the landowner should kill the tenants and find new ones.  Jesus said that the kingdom of God would be taken from them and given to people who will produce fruit.  The Pharisees understood the parable and knew Jesus was talking about them but they couldn’t arrest him because of the people.

Questions:

9a)  God

b)  Isaiah says it’s the house of Israel and the men of Judah.  I was thinking earth.

c)  Unbelievers

d)  Believers or prophets

e)  Jesus

f)  AD 70 when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple

g)  New believers who would give the landlord his share of the crops (the fruit) or give him their belief in Jesus as a Savior.  Or the apostles and the early church (the new tenants) who would bear fruit for God, serve Him, and give Him all the glory as deserved.

10a)  Psalm 118:22-23

b)  1 Peter 2:7-8:  The stone and rock are Jesus who is rejected by builders which has become the capstone and will cause unbelievers to fall

Romans 9:32-33:  The stumbling stone, stone, and rock are Jesus who will cause unbelievers to stumble and fall.

1 Corinthians 1:23:  Jesus is the stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.

c)  By not believing in Christ as God’s Son and Savior

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Romans 9 says one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.  Ephesians says believers will be joined together and rise to be a temple as the Holy Spirit indwells them.  It is encouraging to know with God will never fall or stumble but will rise.

Conclusions:  My one quibble is Ephesians does not talk at all about how people reject and stumble over Christ.  In fact, none of the passages really do.  They merely say that people will stumble and fall.  We have to infer that this is because of their unbelief.

I know we have studied stone and block before and its meaning, I believe last year in Acts.  I think we would have been better off examining Mark and Luke where the parable of the tenants is told. Especially Luke where the people cried out to never let this be.  Interesting.

End Notes:  Other places the Bible mentions the vineyard as Israel:  Deuteronomy 32:32, Psalm 80:8, Jeremiah 2:21, and Isaiah 5:1-7.

Jesus is condemning the Pharisees here as the tenants who are plotting to kill him.  They deserve judgment and punishment as they themselves state.  Jesus clearly states that he is finding new leadership or tenants who will carry on his work, specifically the apostles and the early church.

Other stones in the Old Testament depicting Jesus:  The stone of Isaiah 8:13-15 that people stumble over, the foundation and cornerstone of Isaiah 28:16, and the stone of Daniel 2:34, 44-45 that destroys the world in rebellion to God.

When we fall we surrender to God or you can reject Jesus and be crushed by judgment.