BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 5, Day 5: Romans 3:25-26

Summary of passage:  God granted us redemption through Jesus’s death on the cross through his blood in order to demonstrate his justice.

Questions:

11)  It’s the utter test of belief in God.  Do you believe in His Son?  Yes or no.  This is just.  If not, hell.  If yes, eternity.  This is as clear-cut as justice gets.  Paul answers this question in 2 Corinthians 5:21 “God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Because I have faith in Jesus who justified all believers by taking our sins upon himself, absolving me of sin, releasing me of its penalty, and restoring me as righteous with God.  Share it with all.

Conclusions:  Let’s not forget that just because we are free from sin and the penalty of sin that we’re free to do anything we wish.  On the contrary, it is our obligation and responsibility to live as righteous people, devoted to the service of what God declares to be right.

End Notes:  These are yesterday’s End Notes since it covers the same passage.

Christ was our substitute sacrifice/atonement/propitiation so God could demonstrate His righteousness in judgment.  Propitiation is in all cultures.  It’s the act of appeasing the gods and the gods’s anger against mankind through a sacrifice of some kind.  Aztecs, Mayas, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Native Americans, etc.

The ancient Greek word for propitiation (hilasterion) is also used in the Septuagint for the mercy seat, the lid covering the Ark of the Covenant, upon which sacrificial blood was sprinkled as an atonement for sin. While it might be said that this passage means “Jesus is our mercy seat,” it probably has the more straightforward idea of propitiation – a substitute sacrifice.

Inside the Ark of the Covenant was the evidence of man’s great sin: the tablets of law; the manna received ungratefully; the budded rod of Aaron, showing man’s rejection of God’s leadership. The Ark was decorated with golden cherubim as symbols of God’s holy presence.  In between the cherubim stood the mercy seat, and as sacrificial blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16), God’s wrath was averted because a substitute had been slain on behalf of sinners coming by faith.  Jesus is our “mercy seat,” standing between guilty sinners and the holiness of God.

God willingly gives His Son.  He wants us with Him!

God no longer passed over sin with the temporary OT sacrifice of animal blood.  He freed us forever from sin with Jesus’s sacrifice.  Jesus paid the price.

At the cross, God demonstrated His righteousness by offering man justification (a legal verdict of “not guilty”), while remaining completely just (because the righteous penalty of sin had been paid at the cross).

Clarke states:  God “Of his justice, in requiring a sacrifice, and absolutely refusing to give salvation to a lost world in any other way; and of his mercy, in providing the sacrifice which his justice required.”

Concluding Note to Lesson 5:  Paul opens with one of the darkest summaries in the Bible:  “There is no one righteous, not even one.” (Romans 3:10 and echoing the OT from Ecclesiastes 7:20).  But there is hope:  Christ. Verses 21-31 is a compact expression of the core message of the gospel.  God is so, so good!

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BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 5, Day 3: Romans 3:23-24

Summary of passage:  All are sinners and are justified freely through God’s grace through Jesus’s work on the cross.

Questions:

6)  We are all sinners.  No one’s perfect.  Paul is a great example.  I think everyone knows they are sinners.  This is not the hurdle to Christianity.  The hurdle is admitting you need someone to save you from the sins we all commit. Overcoming pride and self-reliance.

7a)  According to Webster’s Dictionary, justified means, “to prove or show to be just, right or reasonable; to judge, regard, or treat as righteous and worthy of salvation, to show sufficient.”  Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary has the definition as “judicial act of God by which, on the basis of the meritorious work of Christ, imputed to the sinner and received through Faith, God declares the sinner absolved from sin, released from its penalty, and restored as righteous.  Simply put, being placed by God in a right relationship with himself.”

Justification is accomplished through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior when he died on the cross for our sins.  The Good News is you get to spend eternity with God!

b) Part personal Question. My answer:  We were all fallen into Hell until Jesus came to pull us out with his death and bloodshed.  He is full of grace and mercy.

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  We didn’t do anything to earn His gift.  He has to have infinite love to bestow this upon us.  Deeper gratitude.

Conclusions:  Because Romans is such a short book we will probably be studying few verses every day. Which is good and bad.  We will probably be answering several similar personal questions as well such as how these verses impact your thinking, response, etc.

End Notes:  Paul uses 3 major themes in Romans which we see here in one verse:  1)  Justification or the law 2) Redemption from slavery 3)  Propitiation or atonement from the religious need for sacrifice.

Justification rids us of guilt.  Redemption saves us from slavery.  Propitiation ensues we don’t offend our Creator.

Justification is free.  It is given to us as a gift by the desire of God.

Freely is the ancient Greek word dorean.  It means with no strings attached.

We are only righteous through Jesus.  Period.

Redemption:  Jesus bought us with the cost of his life.  Thus, we belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20).

Fun Fact:  Paul uses the Greek verb for “justified” 27 times, mostly here in Romans and Galatians.  It is translated “justify” in all cases except 2 (2:13; 3:20 where it is translated “declared righteous.”  This describes what happens when people believe in Christ as their Savior:  God declares them to be not guilty and righteous.  He debits the guilt of their sin and credits righteousness (for all you accountants/finance/math people out there!).

Paul’s points:  1)  No one lives a perfectly, good, holy, righteous life. (v 10).  All have sinned (v 23).

2)  Even though we are sinners, God declares those who trust in Jesus righteous.  This is valid because Christ died to pay the penalty for our sin and because he lived a life of perfect righteousness he imputes (ascribes) that to us.  THIS IS THE CENTRAL THEME OF ROMANS AS STATED IN 1:17.

Justification:  the central thought of justification is albeit people clearly and totally deserve to be declared guilt (v 9-19), God declares them righteous because of their faith in Christ.  Paul states this idea in several ways:  freely by his grace (v 24) and faith (v 25).

Redemption:  This word is from the slave market–basically obtaining release by payment of a ransom.  It refers to release from guilt, judgement, and delivery from slavery to sin, because Christ in his death paid our ransom to set us free.  Etymology:  mid-14c., “deliverance from sin,” from Old French redemcion (12c.) and directly from Latin redemptionem (nominative redemptio) “a buying back, releasing, ransoming” (also “bribery”), noun of action from past participle stem of redimere “to redeem, buy back,” from red- “back” + emere “to take, buy, gain, procure”. The -d- is from the Old Latin habit of using red- as the form of re- before vowels.

Fun Fact:  Paul is the one who formulates the doctrine of justification mainly in Galatians and Romans.

Breakdown of Justification:

  1. A declarative act by which the sinner is declared to be free from guilt and the consequences of sin
  2. A judicial act in which the idea of judgement and salvation are combined to represent Christ fulfilling the law on behalf of the sinner
  3. A remissive act in which God remits sin in complete forgiveness
  4. A restorative at by which the forgiven sinner is restored to favor through the imputation of Christ’s righteousness.

Faith is the condition of justification by which the meritorious work of Christ is accepted by the sinner.  Christ’s work on the cross is sufficient.

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

Summary of passage:  After having just warned the Romans that what matters is the heart and just because you are outwardly obeying doesn’t mean you have salvation, Paul comforts the Jews, saying that they are God’s chosen people and God is still faithful to them and to His promises to them.

Questions:

3a)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  The Jews of the day (as we discussed last lesson in Day 4 & Day 5) believed they were superior to others because they were chosen by God and they were circumcised.  They thought they could do whatever they wanted (sin-wise) and still receive salvation.  Paul explained in Romans 2 this is not the case.  I don’t have any expectations in terms of spiritual advantages.  Yes, I’ve been blessed to know God since a child, but I have no expectations because of this.

b)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  They were chosen by God and before Jesus guaranteed a spot in heaven.   Imagine being chosen in pagan times before people could read and write to keep God’s words and prophecies until Jesus came.  Awesome!  Having God’s word and the Bible is a huge advantage.  We are not brainwashed as to what God says.  His words are not twisted.  We can read all He expects of us and all He desires of us and all of our comforts and His promises as well.  It’s an amazing blessing!

4)  God promised Abraham to make him and his offspring into a great nation.  He will bless them and curse all who oppose him.  God gave him the land of Canaan to live on.  He promises His people abundance.  He is our life (awesome!), the reason for being, the reason for progress.  He will always be with us and be His nation.  All of these promises still hold for the Jews.

5)  You.  Free Will.  God does not tempt anyone.

Conclusions:  Jews first.  Gentiles second.  Good lesson when we get on our high horse as a Gentile.  For me, I’m just happy He chose me too!  Order does not matter!

End Notes:  In Romans 9:4 Paul will expound more on the advantages the Jewish people have.  The Jews have a duty when God entrusted them with His word (the Old Testament).  It’s a big responsibility to disseminate it, keep it, and spread it!

Paul says just because the Jews in general have rejected Jesus doesn’t mean God has abandoned them!  God never fails His people!

Verse 4:  God cannot lie.  God does not change.  What Gods says is the Truth.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 2, Day 5: Romans 1:28-32

Summary of passage:  God allowed man to do his will and sin as part of His divine judgment against him.  Man is full of very kind of evil.  Man continues to sin and approves of those who do so as well.

Questions:

12)  I discussed this word YESTERDAY but in essence man didn’t want to know God.  Man chose to dismiss Him (not worthwhile to retain the knowledge of Him) so God allowed the evil inside of man to thrive and take over (depraved).  Webster’s says depraved means “marked by corruption or evil; perverted”.

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I know homosexuality is wrong, not sure if I ever approved of it.  I’m unsure if I ever approved of any sin.  Yes, we all do it (especially gossip, envy, deceit, disobeying parents, etc).  But there’s a difference of approving of something.  When I sin, I know it’s wrong.  Somewhere in the back of my mind I know.  I’m just too weak to do anything about it.  Then I repent.  I’m not okay with sin.  Those with depraved minds are.

Conclusions:  If you re-read the sample list of sins Paul includes, you’ll see yourself.  Paul’s point here, however, is those who deliberately turn their back on God are given up to His judgment, which includes a depraved or evil mind that continues to sin and approve of sin.  As a Christian, we still sin, but it’s not willful.  It’s because we are weak and we Fall to temptation from our Enemy.  AND it’s not continuous.  We repent usually immediately, we are forgiven, and we are stronger for it.  We grow more and more like Jesus (free from sin); whereas, those who turn from Him drift more and more towards Satan, away from God, and sin snowballs.

End Notes:  Paul includes “socially acceptable sins” such as covetousness, pride, gossip, and envy along with the horrible sins such as murder.

Envy or covetousness means the itch for more.

Whisperers or gossip is those who secretly accuse and blast their neighbor’s reputation.

Why envy you say?  Envy is so powerful that there is a sense in which it put Jesus on the cross. Pilate knew that they had handed Him over because of envy (Matthew 27:18).

Small sins lead to bigger sins.  How many times has envy grown into a passion that lead to murder?  Sin is powerful. Very powerful.  We must remember no sin is good and dismiss our little sins as “no big deal”.  All sin is evil in God’s eyes.

Pride:   Clarke says this: “They who are continually exalting themselves and depressing others; magnifying themselves at the expense of their neighbours; and wishing all men to receive their sayings as oracles.”

We are all deserving of sin, Paul concludes.  Every last one of us.  Sinners and approvers of sin.

All this sin comes from man choosing to abandon the knowledge of God (rebel against Him) and the state of society shows God’s judgment upon them.

The extreme of sin is applauding, rather than regretting, the sins of others (Psalm 1:1; 1 Corinthians 15:33).