BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 26, Day 4: Romans 14:13-18

Summary of passage:  Paul repeats to stop judging others and quit putting stumbling blocks in others’ way.  If someone believes something is unclean, fine.  Let it go.  If  you are having dinner with someone and you are eating something they disapprove of, stop eating it for that meal.  Don’t be a stumbling block.  What matters is serving God and have peace, joy, and righteousness in the Holy Spirit.

Questions:

9)  Stop judging others.  Don’t put stumbling blocks in others’ way or be a stumbling block.  Let things go.

10)  Jesus’s sacrifice eradicated all the old rules so now all foods are clean.  The person’s beliefs himself makes food unclean–no rules do.

11)  By not being thoughtful of the other person.  If you drink alcohol in front of an alcoholic, you are causing him or her to stumble.  Be considerate of others’ struggles.

12)  “Righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  God’s kingdom is not concerned with petty arguments.  God is concerned with the heart.

Conclusions:  Straight-forward passage with straight-forward questions.  Rise above the pettiness!

End Notes:  Paul summarizes Chapter 14 so far:  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus helped us to understand that we should not judge others according to a standard that we would not want to have applied to our self.  We still need to and have a responsibility for admonishment (Romans 15:14) or rebuke (2 Timothy 4:2). However, when we admonish or rebuke, we do it over clear Scriptural principles, not over doubtful things. We may offer advice to others about doubtful things, but should never judge them.

We might stumble or cause our brother to fall in two ways. We can discourage or beat them down through our legalism against them, or we can do it by enticing them to sin through an unwise use of our liberty.

Our freedom from Old Testament law is good unless we use it against another brother–then it is evil.

Love is the proper way to settle disputes.

Christ died for both weak and strong Christians.  Surely, we can adjust our behavior accordingly (1 Corinthians 8:11-13; 10:23, 28-29, 32-22).

This passage is another great example of Paul’s concern for the moral and ethical dimension of the Christian life.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 27, Day 4: John 19:38-42

Summary of passage:  Joseph of Arimathea, a secret follower of Jesus, asked Pilate for Jesus’ body.  Along with Nicodemus, the two of them prepared Jesus’ body for burial by wrapping it in strips of linen.  Jesus was laid in a nearby tomb.

Questions:

9)  Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Council and in good standing.  He was a follower of Jesus.  Nicodemus was also a member of the Jewish ruling council, a Pharisee, who came to Jesus previously to know him better.  He spoke up for Jesus as well.  Both were risking being thrown out of the synagogue by being near Jesus.

10a)  They lost a chance to get to know God’s Son here on earth and be near him.  They lost a chance to be eternally saved (we are never told these men confessed their faith in Jesus).  They gained political power here on earth.  Reputation.  Status.  Wealth.  All by staying quiet about Jesus.

b)  They risked their positions, their lives, their wealth, their status, their family, etc.  They gained the privilege of preparing Jesus’ body.  They showed their love towards Jesus.  They gained status in God’s eyes instead of man’s.

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I believe I follow Jesus fully.  Unsure of loved ones.  I’m just not that close to many in my family.

Conclusions:  Love how we see these 2 men come to full circle with Jesus.

End Notes:  God used these men to protect the body of Jesus.  Jewish custom was to bury the body before sundown and the start of the Sabbath.  All indications are that Joseph and Nicodemus did this work themselves instead of slaves.  This must have been difficult to remove the bloody body of Jesus from a hanging cross.  These 2 men who were religious leaders must have known they were fulfilling prophecy.  Can you imagine being in their place?  How awesome!

“One of the customs of the Jews in preparing a body for burial is the requirement to remove all foreign matter from the body and to carefully wash it.  Joseph and Nicodemus examined His entire body and found broken pieces of thorn all over the head. They saw His bloody, matted hair; the terrible bruising of the face, the areas of beard pulled out, the dry and cracked lips. They turned the body over to see His shoulders and arms are riddled with splinters; each one was removed with care. The back, from the shoulders down, was a bloody open wound from the terrible scourging suffered before the crucifixion. His hands and feet were smashed and bloodied. On the front – just beneath the rib cage – there was a gaping wound made from the spear thrust that confirmed His death.”  Taken from Enduring Word.com.  Can you imagine?

Jesus could have risen right then.  But instead he hung dead on the cross.  God’s perfect plan.

The burial of Jesus is so important it’s considered one of the essential components of the gospel itself (1 Corinthians 15:3-4):

· The burial fulfilled the Scripture of Isaiah 53:9 says, “And they made His grave with the wicked”; so that meant the Messiah would be buried in a grave – and He was

· The burial fulfilled the promise, the prediction of Jesus. Jesus said that He, like Jonah, would be buried away for three days (Matthew 12:40), and so it had to be fulfilled

· The burial demonstrated that Jesus was truly dead; it was proof of the glory of the coming resurrection.

· The burial was important because burial spices and preparations protected His holy body from decay; as it was said in Psalm 16:10: You will not allow Your Holy One to see decay

· The burial pushed both Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus to proclaim their relationship with Jesus in public

· The burial and the days of Jesus in the tomb tested the faith and devotion of the disciples; it made them die a certain kind of death for those days they knew Jesus lay in the tomb

· The burial and the days of Jesus in the tomb proved Jesus defeated not only sin, but also death. The burial and the empty tomb show that Jesus conquered sin and death

· The days in the tomb were important because there was important work for Jesus to do during that time in the tomb. 1 Peter 3:18-20 tells us that Jesus went and preached to the spirits in prison; though there isn’t as much explanation on all this as we would like to have, it seems that as the body of Jesus lay lifeless in the tomb, His Spirit went to Hades, the abode of the dead. There He led the faithful dead to heaven, in light of His then-completed work on the cross. He also preached a message of judgment and coming condemnation to the evil spirits that were imprisoned in the depths

· The burial shows he was buried with us, in the humiliation of utter humanness. We are buried with Him – spiritually by faith, ceremonially by baptism. He identified with us; we by faith identify with Him.  [Again, summarized from enduring word.com]

The myrrh and aloes were an extravagant amount of money.

Matthew 27:60 tells us that this tomb belonged to Joseph of Arimathea himself.  A rich man like Joseph would probably have a tomb that was carved into solid rock; this tomb was in a garden near the place of crucifixion.

A typical tomb of this type had a small entrance and perhaps one or more compartments where bodies were laid out after being somewhat mummified with spices, ointments, and linen strips. Customarily, the Jews left these bodies alone for a few years until they decayed down to the bones, then the bones were placed in a small stone box known as an ossuary (picture HERE.) The ossuary remained in the tomb with the remains of other family members.

The door to the tomb was typically made of a heavy, circular shaped stone, running in a groove and settled down into a channel, so it could not be moved except by several strong men. This was done to ensure that no one would disturb the remains.

Adam fell in a Garden.  And so we are redeemed in one.

Spurgeon points out that the tomb was empty so no one could say Jesus’ body had touched the bones of a prophet and so sprung to life.  Every detail recorded was super important to the Jewish people at that time too all would know–Yes, He is King!

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 27, Day 5: Revelation 22:1-5

Summary of passage:  We see the river of life running through the middle of the New Jerusalem.  On each side of the river stands the tree of life, bearing 12 kinds of fruit.  The curse is lifted.  God and Jesus will dwell in the city.  We will see God’s face and be marked.  God will be the light and we shall reign forever.

Questions:

12)  The River of Life.  Other waters in the Bible:

In the Garden is a river that flows from Eden and nourishes the land (Genesis 2:10-14).

Exodus 17:6 & Numbers 20:11 when Moses strikes the rock and water flows out for the people to drink.

John 19:34:  Jesus is pierced and water flows to rid us of our sins.

Psalm 46:4-5:  A river gladdens the city.

Ezekiel 47:5-12:  A river flows from the house of God with miraculous properties.  It reverses the deadly saltiness of the Dead Sea and produces healing fruits on its banks.

John 4:10-14:  Whoever drinks of Jesus’s water will never thirst again.  It will spring up and offer eternal life.  John 7:38 says believers have streams of living water flowing within them.

13a)  Both disobeyed God’s order to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and were deceived by the serpent.

b)  Everything.  Life with God by their side.  Paradise.  Eternal life.  No sin.  No evil.

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Everything.

Conclusions:  Weak.  Hope Lesson 28 has more than this to these 5 verses.  Question 12 was good and interesting, but you’ll have to research it to get the most out of it.  So google away!

Here we see prophesy and God’s promises fulfilled.  What a way to end the Bible!  God is so, so good as all of Scripture culminates in His glory and mercy and our salvation.

End Notes:  Prophets used a river as a symbol of richness, provision, and peace (Isaiah 48:18, Zechariah 14:8, Ezekiel 47:1-9).  Water is a basic need for life on earth.  The idea is in heaven there shall be no want.

The water is clear, again a sign of perfection and purity.  It is a gift from God.

Note how the Bible began with the tree of life (Genesis 3:22-24) and now we end with one.  God is awesome!

Scholars differ on whether this is one tree or a series of trees or one tree reaching over the river.  No matter.  The idea is restoration.  The tree shows man is restored to God again with full access and fellowship with Him.  Ezekiel 47:7,12 prophesies trees as well.

The tree bears fruit, which we can eat.  Again, scholars differ here but most agree we will eat in heaven but we won’t have to to survive.  Jesus enjoyed food after his resurrection (Luke 24:41-43, John 21:12-14) and angels ate with Abraham (Genesis 18:6-8).  It could be used as a communion or for fellowship with Jesus.

Why is healing needed in heaven?  Here, the Greek word used also means “health-giving”, a much better translation than healing.

The Millennial earth will still have curses (Isaiah 65:20) just less.  Here, all are gone forever.

We will serve God, not sit around idle, and reign forever (Daniel 7:27; Revelation 3:21).

We shall see God’s face (1 Corinthians 13:12, 1 John 3:2)!  Imagine!  In ancient times criminals were banished from the presence of the king.

Revelation 3:12 is fulfilled:  Those who remain true to God shall be marked.

The Lord shall be our everlasting light (Isaiah 60:19-20)

Conclusions to Lesson 27:  Such messages of hope to believers.  We’ve read about the coming suffering and judgments but the light at the end of the tunnel is God and we get to walk toward it and in it all of our lives.  Every other minor want/problem/complaint pales in comparison to our future.  If only we could keep that in our minds in the day-to-day heartaches and trials.