BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 3, Day 2: Romans 2:1-4

Summary of passage:  We have no right to pass judgement on others cause we do the same things (hypocrites). God judges us based on Truth and He’ll judge us as well.  His kindness leads us towards repentance.

Questions:

3)  We have no excuse to pass judgment on others because we commit the same sins.  God bases His judgement on Truth (facts).

4)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Passing judgment in condemning others for sins when that is God’s job.  We should teach God’s standards instead of judging.  Our standards in judging is different than God’s standards.  I struggle with those who do things that to me is outrageous that I’d never do.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He has given me all I have including my family.  He sticks by me when I’m stubborn and do dumb things.  He waits on me to figure out how dumb I’m being.  He forgives me for that and loves me anyways.  I try to be patient with others and kind.  I try not to judge because that is God’s job.

Conclusions:  This teaching is everywhere in our folklore:  It takes one to know one.  The pot calling the kettle black.  Paul is warning us to not be hypocrites as we all sin (often it’s the same sins) and then we criticize others for it.  God will handle it.  Let it be.  You insult God by trying to do His job.

End Notes:  Paul is going to set forth principles that govern God’s judgment.  God judges according to:

  1. Truth (verse 2)
  2. Deeds (verse 6-11)
  3. Light a person has (verse 12-15)

This will lay the groundwork for Paul’s discussion of the guilt of the Jews (verses 17-29).

Having pointed out some of the worst crimes in Romans 1, Paul doesn’t excuse those who may be thinking they are better than those in Chapter 1.  Man is not so different from each other.  We are all the same:  sinners.  We all deserve God’s judgment/wrath upon us.

We should repent and not have a superior attitude.

This teaching is in accordance with Jesus’s teaching who in Matthew 7:1 condemns hypocritical judging, not judging per se.  This is a warning for Jews who were inclined to look down on the Gentiles because of their ignorance of the Old Testament and their immoral lives.

God has been good to us because He has not judged us yet.  He tolerates our present sin.  He has patience knowing we will sin again and again–every day of our lives.  These riches show God’s mercy upon us.

God’s goodness and kindness towards the wicked (and us) is to lead us to repentance.  We choose.  He doesn’t make us.  Everything He gives us we don’t deserve.  For that alone, we must repent and lead a new life in Christ.  The Jews have misconstrued this patience to be a lack of intent to judge.

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BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 3, Day 2: Revelation 1:1-3

Summary of passage:  An angel appeared to John to deliver and bear witness the revelation of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming, which was given by God.

Questions:

3a)  Jesus Christ

b)  An angel gave the revelation to John to reveal what must soon take place in order to bless the listeners.

4)  Part Personal Question.  My answer:  The definition of bless according to Webster’s Dictionary is:  “to hallow or consecrate by religious rite or word; to invoke divine care for; to confer prosperity or happiness upon”.  Basically, blessed in the religious sense describes the favorable circumstance granted by God to a person.  I anticipate furthering my knowledge of God’s word, of His character, of what is to come, and increasing my closeness to God.

5)  Part Personal Question.  My answer:  To take to heart means to take something seriously and to internalize or live according to something.  Personally, it means to live like Jesus is coming at any moment.  Live in God’s ways.

Conclusions:  I liked the message to truly live out what is written.  It’s different to know something than do something.  That is the crux of good and wrong.

End Notes:  Revelation has a two-fold meaning.  Jesus is the one revealed, but he also is the one doing the revealing.

Note God gave this to us (believers) to know the future.  He gave us what we need to know.

This is predictive prophecy meaning it will come to pass.  Why are we studying prophecy?  Because it’s in the Bible.  If God deemed we should know it, then we should know it and try to figure out why He wants us to know it.  It also is proclaiming the word of God; hence, we need to know what God says/commands/ instructs.

Five keys parts here:  1)  Revelation  2)  Given by God  3)  To us  4)  Given to John  5)  John is witness

In the original Greek, what is translated here as soon is supposed to be shortly.  This word doesn’t mean it will happen soon.  It means when it does happen, it will be sudden.  “Time is near” is also soon to God for His time is not our time.

“He made it known” was originally translated as “signified”.  This word is rooted in signs.  Revelation is a book of signs.  These signs are from heaven and trying to put them into earthly words requires such means.  Paul says his message from heaven is “inexpressible” (2 Corinthians 12:4).  Can you see the difficulty?  Don’t worry.  We’ll all get it when we get to heaven.

Last year, in the study of Moses, we were asked repeatedly, “Why study the Old Testament?”  I asked myself this as well especially in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy.  Because 70% of the Book of Revelation is rooted in the Old Testament.  It contains more than 500 allusions to the OT and out of 404 verses in the Book, 278 refer to the OT.  Worth your time, yeah?

Many of the signs and visions are from an angel to John in the Book of Revelation.

We’ve already discussed extensively who John is (See my post HERE and BSF’s Lesson 2, Day 3)

Here, we receive the first of seven beatitudes in the book of Revelation.  This first blessing (“blessed are those who read, hear, and take to heart what is written”) also gives credence to the fact Revelation is meant to be holy scripture since blessings weren’t given to ordinary works.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 3, Day 2: Exodus 3:1-10

Summary of passage:  Moses was tending his father-in-law’s flock when he came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  In the bush, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire but the bush did not burn.  When God saw that Moses had investigated, God called out to Moses and told him to remove his sandals for he was standing on holy ground.  When God spoke, Moses his is face because he was afraid to look at God.

God told Moses how he has seen and heard his people cry out to Him and seen their suffering.  So He is going to rescue them from Egypt and send them to a land flowing with milk and honey.  He sends Moses to  Pharaoh to bring his people out of Egypt.

Questions:

3a)  To get Moses to investigate the bush closer so God could speak to him.  Otherwise, I’m wondering if Moses would have ignored the bush (how you could with an angel in the bush I’m not for sure.  I would think it would be the angel that attracted Moses but the Bible says it’s the bush).  Hence, we must assume a burning bush in the desert is no big deal.  It’s the fact the bush was not consumed that was the big deal.

b)  God.

c)  “For the place where you [Moses] are standing is holy ground”  Moses was now in the presence of God.  Taking off one’s shoes shows humility as servants often went barefoot in ancient times.  It was a symbol of taking off your sins to be close to God.  Note only close:  we can never be equal with God as God is holy and man is sinful.

d)  God in the person of Jesus.

4a)  Go to Egypt and bring my people out.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God cares about His people’s suffering and oppression and wants to rescue them.

Conclusions:  Right away, here’s God in week 3!  Funny how it’s known as the “Burning Bush” but it never burned.  I wonder why man is instinctively afraid to look upon God.  I know I’d love to see God but I’m wondering if God’s greatness is such that we are afraid of it since man himself is so evil.  I’m wondering if all of our sins flash before us in God’s presence and out of shame we hide.

Interesting how time is nothing to God and it is a lot to us.  Here’s Moses at the age of 40 where his life suddenly changes and he has to flee his old life.  Next thing we know, 40 years have passed and Moses is an old man who is now called to do God’s work.  Nothing is recorded about those 40 years except for God’s concern for His people.  This should encourage us:  nothing will be recorded about my life but God is watching me with concern!  Awesome!

For such a meaty passage, I expected much more meatier questions.

End Notes:  Note how Midian here is described as desert (BSF Lesson 2, Day 3 Question 6).  I picture this as Moses leading a completely obscure life in the middle of nowhere–as far from Egypt and his calling as could be.  In 40 years, he doesn’t even have his own flock of sheep (it’s his father-in-law’s) so Moses is as far from riches and nobility as anyone could be as well.

The mountain of Horeb is later called Mount Sinai where Moses receives the Ten Commandments.  So same place; different points in time.

Some say the burning bush represents Israel:  afflicted but not destroyed.  Some also say it represents the cross as well.

God does not speak to Moses until he has Moses’ attention.  How often do we miss God cause we aren’t paying attention?

God’s first words to Moses:  Moses’ name.  God knows Moses.  He knows his name.  He is important in God’s world even though he’s a nobody in our world.

Note also how God doesn’t just say Moses’ name once.  He calls him twice.  This shows the urgency of God’s plans.  God calls Abraham (Genesis 22:11), Samuel (1 Samuel 3:10), Simon (Luke 22:31), Martha (Luke 10:41), and Saul (Acts 9:4) all in the same manner.

God then said he is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  He is the One, True God, the God of the covenant.  He has not forgotten His promise to His people.  He was reminding Moses of this.

God chooses Moses as His instrument to rescue His people.  God could do all of it himself.  But instead He chooses people.  (2 Corinthians 6:1:  we work with God).  I think God does this to increase our faith in Him and in other people.

Other places Jesus appears in Old Testament:  Genesis 16:7-13, Judges 2:1-5, Judges 6:11-24, Judges 13:3-22

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 3, Day 2: Luke 2:40-52

Summary of passage:  Jesus grew strong and full of wisdom and God’s grace.  At age 12, Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover and stayed behind unbeknownst to his parents.  When his parents realized Jesus was not in the convoy, they returned to Jerusalem to find him.  He was in the temple, sitting among the teachers, asking them questions.

Mary asked Jesus why he worried them by staying behind.  Jesus said they should have known he would be in his Father’s house.

Jesus returned to Nazareth with them and continued to grow in wisdom.

Questions:

3a)  He was blessed by God and grew strong and wise.  God was with him.  He was eager to learn from others and his wisdom was already beyond others at age 12.

b)  Hebrews 2:10-18:  Because Jesus was made flesh and blood, he was able to suffer and experience temptation like man does and thus able to help those (us) who are being tempted.  By his physical death, Jesus freed us from the power of death and won for us an eternal life with God the Father and also cleansed us of our sins through his blood.

Hebrews 4:15-16:  Jesus has been tempted in every way like we have and he never sinned. He can sympathize with us and thus we are able to approach the throne with confidence that Jesus will help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 5:7-9:  Jesus submitted to God’s will while he was on earth and prayed and was heard.  He was taught obedience through his suffering and offered eternal salvation for all those who obey him.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus being human strengthens our faith.  It wasn’t just some magic trick that saved us or an omnipotent being who waved his wand and poof, it happened.  Jesus was just like us in every way, faced the same things we face every day of our lives, and therefore can understand us more.  It was for our benefit, not God’s, that He became human so that we may believe in Him and trust in Him and be with Him.  Jesus set us free through his physical death.  In no other way could this have happened.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus shows us how to live a Godly life.  Through his example, it is easier for me to submit to God’s will, to overcome temptation, to pray to God to help me every day of my life, to obey unquestioningly, and to accept God’s grace and His eternal gift for my life.  Life is just easier knowing God is on my side every step of every day.

Conclusions:  This story is not recorded by Matthew so I’m assuming that’s why we are reading it now.  Plus, it picks up right after Jesus returned to Nazareth from Egypt so it fits in chronologically with Jesus’ life.

If you followed me last year, you know I dubbed the study of Genesis “The Study of Hebrews” as well since we read Hebrews umpteen times last year.

My study bible says this of Hebrews:  “The book of Hebrews explains why it matters that God descended to the earth and became a human being.  Hebrews goes further than any other New Testament book in explaining Jesus’ human nature.”

Since we are studying Jesus, it is only fitting we study why Jesus existed.

Interesting Facts:  The commandment to attend the Feast of the Passover can be found in Exodus 23:17 and Deuteronomy 16:16.

These are Jesus’ first recorded words.  Isn’t it cool they are about God?

We also must remember in ancient times, a 12 year-old was considered a young man, eligible for marriage.  He could have stayed in Jerusalem and not returned with his parents if he had so desired.  But here we see Jesus as faithful in his human duties as well, following in his father’s footsteps and being obedient to his parents before his calling from God.

Here, we see that at age 12 Jesus already knew who His father was and the calling on his life.  Normally, Jesus would have been a carpenter like his father for the rest of his life but here he makes it clear this will not be the case.

Age 12 is significant here because that is the time boys began to learn their father’s trade. Here, Jesus is learning God’s trade.

The mention of Mary in verse 51 probably means this story came to Luke through Mary.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 3, Day 2: Genesis 1:26-2:25 with Psalm 8 & Hebrews 2:6-9

Summary of passages:  Genesis 1:26-2:25:  Finishing up the sixth day, God made man in our image (our being God the father, Son, and the Holy Spirit) and let man rule over the fish, birds, livestock, and all of earth and its creatures.  He created both male and female.  God blessed man and told him to be fruitful and multiply.

God gave man every seed-bearing plant and every fruit for food.  He gave all the other living creatures green plants for food.  God saw all He made and it was good.

By the seventh day, God had finished his work so he rested and blessed the day as holy.

After God made the heavens and the earth but before plants had sprung and only streams had watered the earth, God made man from the dust of the ground and breathed life into his nostrils and man became living.  He put the man in the garden of Eden.  He made all kinds of trees for food and in the middle were the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  A river watered this garden.

God put man in charge of the garden to work it and take care of it.  He warned the man not to eat from the tree of knowledge or he would die.  He brought the animals to Adam to name.  When God did so, He noticed no helper was found for man; so He created woman from Adam’s rib while he was sleeping so man would not be alone.

This is why man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife and become one flesh.  They were naked and felt no shame.

Psalm 8:  David sings God praises, saying how majestic He is. God set His glory above the heavens.  The praises of children silence God’s enemies. David asks the question many of us ask:  when we consider all you have made (the heavens, moon, and stars), why do you care for insignificant man so and crown him with glory and honor by making him ruler over everything?

How majestic is your name!

Hebrews 2:6-9:  Psalm 8 is quoted, “what is man that you are mindful of him…a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet.”  Everything is subject to man, even things we do not see.  Jesus, who himself was made a little lower than angels, is crowned with glory and honor (the same as man’s) because he suffered death for everyone.

Questions:

3a)  Adam:  The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being (2:7)

Eve:  The Lord God caused the man (Adam) to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh.  Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man (2:21-22)

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We wouldn’t exist without Him.  And He made us companions for one another so we wouldn’t be alone.  I couldn’t make it in this Fallen world without help from God and humans.

4a)  God took Adam in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.  (2:15)

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Yes.  We are the top of the food chain, the pyramid, the most intelligent beings, and we are formed in God’s image.  It is our responsibility to take care of our planet Earth and everything in it and to work it as God intended.

c)  In putting everything under him (man), God left nothing that is not subject to him.  Yet we do not see everything that is subject to him.  But we do see Jesus who has come to defeat death.

Main truth from these passages:  God originally gave man dominion over this earth (and the one to come) NOT angels even though man is a little lower than angels.  Man was created to rule earth.

This brings up the question:  how can Jesus rule and reign if he is not human?  Thus, Jesus became human so he (and we while Jesus is gone) can rule and reign over this world.

Thus, God gave man dominion over the earth; however, when man sinned and brought death (Romans 5:12), he gave up that power (but not the right) to rule.  The sin and death took away that power.  Thus, Jesus was sent to conquer death and restore God’s promise that humans will have dominion over the earth (Romans 5:21).  Because through Jesus man reclaims the dominion that God had originally intended for Adam (Revelation 5:10; Matthew 25:21).

Credit given to Enduring Word for explaining this to me!

5a)  To work and take care of Eden.  Basically, to care for God’s creations.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To care for my family and husband; raise my kids in God’s ways.  For the world, I hope it’s through my novel.  But that’s just a hope.  At times, a very discouraging hope.  Something in my heart I can’t shake.  But one I believe is from God.

Conclusions:  Question 4c needed more background information.  I wouldn’t have been able to answer it without reading commentaries.  Piecing together the fact that one reason Jesus came as a man is to fulfill God’s promise of man having dominion over the earth is one I’ve never considered or heard of before.

In church, it’s all about how Jesus came to save us from our sins; to take them upon himself.  But this implication goes far beyond that.  Jesus came for us to rule.  Because God deigned us to (for some unknown reason).  Again, as in Psalm 8, I feel like David:  “what is man that you are mindful of him?”.

We are so little and insignificant.  But only in our eyes.  To God, we must be 10 feet tall!