BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 15, Day 3: Romans 8:29-30

Summary of passage:  Christians are conformed to the likeness of Jesus.  They are predestined, called, justified, and glorified.

Questions:

6a)  Foreknew:  God knows who will come to Him and who won’t and He chose believers as well.

Predestined:  Christians are chosen ahead of time. (Also called election).

[Foreknowledge in Biblical terms is also called election and predestination and are frequently lumped together.  For God to predestine is for him to decree or foreordain the circumstances and destiny of people according to His perfect will. For God to elect if for Him to choose for salvation and/or service a people or a person; the choice is based not on merit but on His free, sovereign love.  Taken from Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary].

Called:  We are called by God to be believers.

Justified:  Through Christ’s blood we are able to stand before God.

[We’ve already defined this previously:  Justification is the 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.  Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary.]

Glorified:  Through Christ as well we are glorified.

[We’ve discussed this previously as well:  The glory of God is the worthiness of God, more particularly, the presence of God in the fullness of his attributes in some place or everywhere.  We participate in God’s glory (are able to be worthy) through the sanctifying blood of Jesus Christ.  Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary.]

b)  God knows everything.  He’s in control.  He called and chose all believers to be like His Son and justified us.  It’s good news because we are like Jesus and we can be with God forever.

7)  Through our sufferings, persecution, and through the Holy Spirit.  Through His Word which teaches, rebukes, corrects, and trains us and teaches us obedience.  There’s one main reason:  sin.  Temptation, fleshly desires, selfishness, “it’s too hard”, the excuse of “God will forgive us so what’s the point” that Paul refutes.  Jesus’s life was hard.  We don’t want a hard life.  We want an easy life.  The easy life is sin.  The hard life is following Jesus despite yourself.  A Christian life is and supposed to be uncomfortable and painful.  Man by nature hates this.

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  Every day is a challenge to be more Christlike and some days I fail miserably.  We are challenged every day to love others, be kind and compassionate, be sympathetic and helpful, be God’s light, and sacrifice for God.  All these little moments in my day are challenges God puts there so little by little I can be more like Christ.  The devil keeps throwing obstacles in my way and God is seeing how much I rely on Him to pull me through.

Conclusions:  Question 6 we’ve seen before and answered before.

End Notes:  Paul explains that God has always planned to save us from beginning to end (predestination).  We work to become more like Christ because that is why God saves us–so that Christ will be of highest honor in the family of God.

God knew us before we knew Him and He knew us before the beginning of the world.

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BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 14, Day 4: Romans 8:23-25

Summary of passage:  We groan as we wait for our future glory.  Hope for what we don’t have makes it all the more sweeter when it arrives.

Questions:

9)  We/our bodies groan as we await Jesus’s Second Coming and the freedom he shall bring from death and decay.  Creation also groans (in the previous passage) for the same reasons.

10a)  We hope for what we do not yet have (in this case our future glory and resurrection and end of suffering) patiently.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Probably the same things we all wait and hope for.  On this side of heaven, an easier/better life away from suffering, pain, anxiety, fear, etc.  On the other side of heaven, Jesus and glory.

Conclusions:  This was merely an exposition on the previous verses as Paul says the same things in different ways with different analogies.

End Notes:  The firstfruits of the Spirit is we have a taste of what is to come as we experience a bit of Jesus’s glory here on earth, but we long for its fulfillment.  Same thing with adoption.  We await its fulfillment (Romans 8:15).  All with perseverance.

The presence of the Holy Spirit in believers is evidence of our present salvation and a pledge of our future inheritance.  We are already God’s children and we await our inheritance in Christ.

The redemption of our bodies (resurrection) is the final stage of our adoption.  We see the first stage in Ephesians 1:5 and the second is us living as God’s children (Romans 8:14 & Galatians 3:25-26).

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 14, Day 3: Romans 8:19-22

Summary of passage:  All of creation (everything outside of man like earth and the animals) awaits Jesus’s Second Coming (the liberation of the bondage man created with the First Sin and the glorious freedom promised).

Questions:

6)  Creation is everything outside of man like the earth and the animals.

7)  Everything is subject to death (the plants and animals).

8 )  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus’s Second Coming.  No where does this passage talk about “proper creation care”, “idolizing nature”, or “trusting in people’s efforts to renew the planet” which wasn’t a concern 2000 years ago when Paul wrote these words.  This question does not make sense to me (so if it does to you, please leave a comment) and in my opinion has nothing to do with this passage.  In my life, I have little time to worry about renewing the planet or the few who idolize nature.  Frankly, it’s none of my concern.  I have way too much going on in my own little world to worry about others and their problems.

Conclusions:  I have no clue how BSF got question 8 from this passage besides out of nowhere.  Paul is simply saying everything will be renewed when Christ comes again.  Period.  None of this other stuff.  Baffled to say the least.  The rest of the questions on this lesson as well don’t make much sense.  Worst Lesson of this study so far for me.

End Notes:  Isaiah 11:6-9 describes what will happen in that day as the lion lays with the lamb.

Was subjected to frustration refers to Genesis 3:17-19 and God subjects creation in hope refers to Genesis 3:15.

The physical universe is not destined for destruction (annihilation) but for renewal.  Living things will no longer be subject to death and decay as they are today under the Fallen World.  I think this is BSF’s intended point in Question 8 is to get us to come to this conclusion (basically not to believe the doomsdayers who say the world is going to end–it’s not) but the way BSF went about it was convoluted, befuddled, and confounding.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 13, Day 4: Romans 8:12-14

Summary of passage:  Since believers have the Spirit of Christ indwelt, our responsibility is to live according to the Spirit.

Questions:

9)  To live according to the Spirit of Christ because we are sons of God and are now holy.

10a)  By living according to the Spirit and submitting to it.  Loving your neighbor.  Giving up all earthly sins such as sexual immorality, impurity, evil desires, greed, idolatry, anger, rage, malie, slander, lies, etc.  Instead, be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient.  Forgive each other.  Let peace reign in your hearts.

b)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  We’re to let the Spirit reign and not the flesh.  I need help in loving others and self-control when I’m angry and self-control with my words.

Conclusions: Stretched the questions since only 2 verses.  In essence:  Live a Godly life as God’s children.  Period.

End Notes:  Paul reminds us the flesh leads to death.  We are often deceived in this because in the moment living according to the flesh feels good.

When you become a son of God, the Spirit leads.  The Spirit leads us into truth, love, faithfulness, holiness, repentance, usefulness, and Jesus-like.

God is the creator of all but not all are His children.  You must believe in Jesus as His Son and Savior.  When this happens, the hallmark is a life led by God’s Spirit.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 12, Day 2: Romans 7:1-6

Summary of passage:  Paul uses an example from the law (marriage) to explain what Christ’s death means.  In Jewish law, a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives.  If he dies, she is released from this law.  If she remarries while her husband is still alive, she is still bound to her first husband.  This is the same relationship when Christ died.  With his death, we (believers) were released from the law and free to serve in the Holy Spirit.

Questions:

3)  Christ’s death grants us the Holy Spirit within (basically Christ within), uniting us closer to him.  Baptism as well.  His death crucified our old life into something new.

4a)  His death freed us from the law.  We belong to Christ so we can bear fruit to God.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer I’m sick of answering:  I’m trying to walk the path God wants me to and that path walks me through work, family, community, etc.  The freedom is in my attitude and beliefs and steps on that path.

5)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  These are opposites in every facet of life.  We either live and work for God or the devil/death.  We either sin or we don’t (new way versus old way).  Life of the Spirit is avoiding all sin which is the old way of the written code (sinful nature).  I’m gonna take issue with “patterns”.  I walk in the Spirit with stumbles (sin) on that path.  There is no pattern to it.  It’s either you walk with God or you don’t.  You won’t be perfect in your walk with Him, but the pattern is the same.

Conclusions:  Could Question 4b be any broader?  Question 5 has one answer:  opposites and I think we all can see that. There’s not a variety of ways to say it.

End Notes: In Romans 6:14, Paul told us that you are not under law but under grace. After the discussion in Romans 6:15-23 regarding practical implications of this, he now explains more completely how it is that we are no longer under the dominion of the law.

The ancient Greek wording here has no word “the” before law. This means Paul speaks of a principle broader than the Mosaic Law, which includes our innate law of creation and conscience.

Paul makes the point that death ends all obligations and contracts.  It decisively changes a person’s relationship to the law.

In Romans 6:3-8, Paul carefully explained that we died with Jesus and we also rose with Him, although Paul there only spoke of our death to sin. Now he explains that we also died to the law.  Paul wanted to make it clear to all that the law does not dictate our living nor sanctification before God.  We can’t do anything to win salvation.  With this freedom, however, we aren’t free to sin as Paul has carefully explained.  We are free to be married to Jesus and serve God and His will, not ours.

The law’s power to condemn no longer threatens believers.

Under the law, we did not bear fruit to God. Instead we bore fruit to death, because the law aroused the passions of sins within us.  The fruit of our union with the law was a physical and spiritual death–a separation from God.

To bear fruit to death: Paul will explain this problem of the law more fully in Romans 7:7-14.  We can only bear fruit to God if we’re free from the law because the law stimulates sin since the natural human tendency is to desire the forbidden thing.

Sinful nature is usually translated sinful flesh, which refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.

When we are united to Christ the fruit of holiness is produced.

Verse 6 summarizes Romans 7:1-5.  The law does not justify nor sanctify us.  With Christ’s death, we are released from the law and free to serve God better.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 11, Day 4: Romans 6:17-18

Summary of passage:  We are freed from sin thanks to our obedience to God.

Questions:

8 )  Part personal Question.  My answer:  You obey because you love God.  You obey out of reverence.  The Holy Spirit abhors sin and you flee towards God and obedience.  The opposite is you have a hard heart and you hate God.  Hence, you disobey and rebel.  Following the rules is going through the motions and is motivated by a fear of repercussions.  God frees us; there are no repercussions if we confess our sins and give them to Jesus.  We want to obey as opposed to being forced to obey.  My actions:  from the heart.

9) The pattern of teaching is the teaching of the Word that is stamped (allegiance) on our heart.

10)  Personal question that I’m sick of answering:  Freedom to pray.  To believe.  To serve.  To evangelize.  Freedom from fear.  Freedom from hell.  Freedom from worry.

Conclusions:  I don’t think BSF changed Question 9 because my NIV version does not use any of the words in quotes.  See my End Notes discussion on God’s mold for us.  Wish BSF would have asked about that instead of Question 10.

End Notes:  Paul puts it in the past tense because we have been freed from our slavery to sin. He also says that we have been set free by faith, which he describes as “wholeheartedly obeyed”.  The faith is put in God’s Word, which he describes as that form of teaching.  With faith in God and His word, you are set free.  Now live every day consistent with that freedom.

In Romans 6, we can be legally free and still choose to live like a prisoner. Paul has a simple command and encouragement for the Christian: be what you are.

Faith comes from the heart, not only the mind, and obedience is the result

The word “form” describes a mold used to shape molten metal. The idea is that God wants to shape us – first He melts us by the work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Then He pours us into His mold of truth – and shapes us into His image.

Adam Clarke on that form of doctrine or teaching: “Here Christianity is represented under the notion of a mould, or die, into which they were cast, and from which they took the impression of its excellence. The figure upon this die is the image of God, righteousness and true holiness, which was stamped on their souls in believing the Gospel and receiving the Holy Ghost. The words . . . refer to the melting of metal, which, when it is liquefied, is cast into the mould, that it may receive the impression that is sunk or cut in the mould; and therefore the words may be literally translated, into which mould of doctrine ye have been cast. They were melted down under the preaching of the word, and then were capable of receiving the stamp of its purity.”

Verse 18 answers the question in verse 15.  Righteousness is now in charge, not sin.  We are born again as slaves (willing servants) to righteousness as Jesus’s death broke the bonds of sin.  We willingly serve Jesus and we never have to sin again although we will as long as we’re in the flesh. It’s resisting one temptation at a time.  We can live free!

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 10, Day 4: Romans 6:5-10

Summary of passage:  We are united with Christ in his death and resurrection.  We are no longer slaves to sin since Christ’s death has freed us from sin.  Since Christ rose from the dead, he lives!  As do we.

Questions:

9)  In death, resurrection, and life.

10)  The old self (our sin nature) is you before you accepted Christ as your Savior–the one patterned after Adam and who rebels and resists God and His commands.  Once you believe in Christ you were inhabited by the Holy Spirit and changed.  You are made new in righteousness and holiness!

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I thank God for all aspects of choosing me to be saved, making me holy and righteous and able to stand before God for all of eternity.  I know He’s set me free from sin.

Conclusions:  Weak lesson.  Very, very weak especially since two questions are on different Biblical passages.

End Notes:  All three are essential:  united with Christ in death, resurrection and life.

Your old self must die because it can never measure up to God’s standards.  Once Christ died and was resurrected our new self is obedient to God and seeks Him out.  Evil is still in us but now we abhor it and it has no power over us.

You may ask:  Why do we still sin then if our old self is dead?  Our old self is distinct from the flesh, which is our inner desires, passions, and impulses that play out in our mind, our will, and our emotions.  This is the daily battle we must fight to overcome.

The flesh is remnants of your old self. It is influenced by the world, which is in a constant battle to overcome God, and the devil attacks us through the flesh.

Our job/challenge is to strengthen our new self in order to overcome the flesh. We do this through prayer and Bible study and God’s words and being cognizant of it.  It will increasingly exert itself to where this struggle is lessened and lessened.

Jesus’s death broke our slavery to sin and death since now we have eternal life.

Our new life is a life we live to God–we live the life God wants not the life we want. Ezekiel predicted this in Ezekiel 36:26:  “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

We now want to do God’s will and with practice and perseverance we will overcome!