BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 14, Day 2: Romans 8:17-18

Summary of passage:  Since we are God’s children, we are heirs of God and Christ and share in his sufferings and glory.  Our sufferings are miniscule compared to the glory that awaits us.

Questions:

3)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Paul suffered terribly as we all know.  He was imprisoned and murdered by the Romans.  He was tortured and beaten, robbed and stoned.  He was scared for his earthly life most of the time and on the run from persecutors.  He was shipwrecked and starving.  This does not affect my understanding of these verses in any measurable way.  When I suffer, it’s nothing compared to Paul or any other 1st century human.  It’s hard to compare apples to oranges.  All I know is my suffering is miniscule to Paul’s and I try not to complain about it.

That being said disregarding Paul who lived 2000 years ago, Paul’s words are encouraging because in my suffering there is hope and a glory that is unseen.  Suffering is fleeting; glory is forever.  And when you think you have nothing you really have everything.

4a)  The definition of glory according to Webster’s Dictionary is “praise, honor, or distinction extended by common consent: renown.  worshipful praise, honor and thanksgiving.  great beauty and splendor; magnificence.”  According to Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, glory is “Great honor or praise; used especially of God’s majestic splendor; weight, burden, wealth, magnificence, honor.  The glory of God is the worthiness of God or the presence of God in the fullness of his attributes in some place or everywhere.”

b)  2 Corinthians 3:18:  “We all reflect the Lord’s glory and are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

Philippians 3:20-21:  Our bodies will be transformed into Jesus’s glorious body.

Colossians 1:27:  Christ in us is the hope of glory and a glorious mystery.

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14:  We were called and chosen by God to share in Christ’s glory.

Hebrews 2:10:  Jesus brought us to glory through his suffering and death. (read Hebrews 2:9)

5)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Suffering and glory go hand in hand.  You can’t have one without the other.  Christ suffered; we suffer.  Christ has glory; we have glory.  You have to suffer in order to have glory.  Suffering is a part of life.  It’s something we have to walk through.  It doesn’t last forever–heaven and Jesus are forever.  In heaven, our glory will shine.  Keeping a heavenly perspective through suffering and keeping faith in Christ gives us/me hope during the trials and tribulations of life and will go a long way towards us getting through suffering here on this side of heaven.  Glory outshines the suffering.

Conclusions:  Every question is outside of this passage.

End Notes:  Our sharing in Christ’s suffering is a condition of our future glorification.

Without a heavenly hope, Paul considered the Christian life foolish and tragic (1 Corinthians 15:19). Yet in light of eternity it is the wisest and best choice anyone can make.

This coming glory will not only be revealed to us, but it will actually be revealed in us.

God has put this glory into the believer right now. In heaven the glory will simply be revealed.

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BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 22, Day 3: Ephesians 1:3-14

Summary of passage: Paul says praise to God for blessing us in the heaven with spiritual blessings.  We have been chosen since before the Creation to be holy and blameless in His sight.  Through love God predestined us to be adopted into His family through Christ for His pleasure and will by the gift of grace which he gives us freely.

We have redemption through Christ’s blood by God’s grace, made known to us through Christ, to bring all things in heaven and earth together in God’s timing.

We are also for the praise of God’s glory.  Having believed we were marked with a seal (the Holy Spirit) which guarantees our inheritance (our possession by God) until we are redeemed–to the praise of His glory.

Questions:

8a)  Verse 4 “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love.”

b)  Two billion people on the planet profess themselves to be Christians (33 %) but how many of these actually possess the Holy Spirit is probably less.  The overall percentage is falling however relative to the overall population and history.  There is still work to be done in the world.

Me personally, I’m still working on being holy and blameless (life-long challenge for Christians).  But I belong to Christ and am not going anywhere.  This alone gives me solace.

9a)  Glory according to Webster’s Dictionary means, “worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving, something that secures praise, great beauty and splendor, magnificence, the splendor and beauty of heaven.”

According to Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary by JD Douglas and Merrill C Tenney glory is “great honor or praise, used especially of God’s majestic splendor.”

To the praise of His glory means praise and honor for God’s majestic splendor.  Douglas and Tenney go on to say, “the glory of God is the worthiness of God” or the “revelation of God in Christ.”  So we (humans and others) are to praise and honor God for His worthiness and His revelation along with His splendor.  Verse 12 specifically says that we might be for the praise of His glory.  So through us we can show God’s glory–something to be praised.

b)  When we show through our actions what it means to live a Christ-centered life.  So to be slow to anger, to be humble, to praise God for everything we do, to be patient, to love and forgive.  I can be all of this to my family and others.  Put others first and strive to do what Jesus would do with every action, word, and breath.

10a)  Heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation).  You believed.  Then you were marked with a seal (the Holy Spirit), which indwells in you, showing you as God’s possession and is a deposit for your inheritance and redemption.

b)  The Holy Spirit marks you and allows a part of Christ to live in you, in our hearts.  It is what changes us since we all know will alone is not sufficient.

11)  To seal according to Webster’s Dictionary means “something that confirms, ratifies, or makes secure, guarantee, assurance, authenticate or to determine irrevocably or indisputably (my favorite definition!).”

According to Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary by JD Douglas and Merrill C Tenney seal means “authentication, confirmation, ownership, evidence, or security.”

It gives me comfort to know I’m irrevocably God’s.  That He has marked me, I belong to Him, and therefore, nothing else matters.  Nothing can stand in my way for God’s purpose for my life.  It’s a relief.  Knowing I can live Him every day of my sometimes seemingly pitiful existence.

Conclusions:  As a writer I love the dictionary so these two lessons made my day!  It’s amazing how knowing the exact definition of a word changes things.  I do this when writing.  I change words all the time to convey exactly what I mean.

I love reading about the Holy Spirit and being reminded God is inside of me.  I love the simplicity of being in Christ:  Hear God’s Truth, Believe, and you are His through the mark of the Holy Spirit.  I also love being His glory.  Most of the time I don’t feel glorious.  In fact, I can feel the complete opposite:  shame, embarrassed, unworthy, lackluster, disappointing, regretful, and downright sad.  Even then I can be His glory if I believe it.  If I chose to.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 16, Day 3 Isaiah 40:3-5

Summary of passage:  Isaiah as the Lord’s messenger calls the people to prepare the way for the Lord by raising up the valleys, leveling mountains, smoothing out the rough ground so the road is straight so the glory of the Lord can be revealed and all mankind can see it.

Questions:

5) To prepare the way for the Lord and remove every obstacle in His path (raise up the valleys, level mountains, smooth out rough roads so they are straight) so the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all mankind will see it.  Prepare our hearts as well for Him.

6) Both John the Baptist and John were baptizing people in these passages, the ultimate sign of accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior.  So, they were preparing the people (their hearts, minds, and souls) for Jesus’ coming.  John the Baptist wore clothes made from camel hair and ate locusts.  We all must prepare for God in mind, body, and soul.

7a) Exodus 24:17  a consuming fire on top of the mountain

Luke 2:9  an angel

Matthew 17:1-8  Jesus was transfigured.  His face shone like the Sun and his clothes were white

Hebrews 1:3  The Son is the radiance of God’s glory

b)  2 Corinthians 3:7-18  Verse 18 “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

If we accept Jesus, we are the glory of the Lord.  We see God’s glory all around us as we live out His words.

Conclusions:  I love how BSF takes a topic (here, the Glory of God) and makes us really think about it where as otherwise it just passes through our minds like any other words spoken.

I looked up glory in the dictionary and got a myriad of responses:  giving someone glory (praise, honor, or worship); a distinguished quality or asset; great beauty, magnificence; the splendor and beatific happiness of heaven.

As we’ve learned, no mortal can look fully on God because of his glory.  Moses only saw his back.  Isaiah saw the Lord on His throne with seraphs flying around Him, praising Him.  God hovered in clouds above the people.

Then, God sent His son, Jesus, who if you think about it was the glory of God incarnate, walking amongst us and throngs of people wanted a touch of just his clothing.  Then Jesus was transfigured by God with divine radiance.

I quoted 2 Corinthians 3 where we all reflect God’s glory since we are part of God’s creations.  People believe you can see God’s glory in Nature all around us.  The wonderment of how it all works around us and we have no control of it.  God’s glory in the Heavens, the stars, the moon, the Sun.  Everywhere you look really.  Since God created it all (for his pleasure and perhaps for his glory) you can say the glory of God is all around us.

I like to believe we all carry a bit of God in us–in our very souls–the part that makes us good instead of falling into our inherent tendencies of evil.  So, we are God’s glory.  He takes pleasure in us in that sense.

Nature too is an absolute miracle and when you’re watching a sunrise over the Pacific Ocean or examining the perfect uniqueness of a snowflake, who can’t help but think it’s all God’s glory?

I’d love to hear your opinions on the glory of God, where He dwells, and how it can be seen.