BSF Study Questions John Lesson 22, Day 2: John 16:5-11

Summary of passage:  Jesus explains the Counselor (Holy Spirit) will come to them once he is gone, which is for their good.  The Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.

Questions:

3a)  Because only then can the Holy Spirit come to guide them and indwell and convict the world of sin, expose righteousness, and judge the devil.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  In person.  Then I would know without a doubt my life would be Christ led.  I think I would have less doubts.  But there are advantages and disadvantages either way.  In reality, we have the Holy Spirit only so growing that is the key.

4)  Sin:  The Holy Spirit shines light in the darkness, exposing the evil.  With the Holy Spirit, one lives by the truth and by the light, which can be plainly seen to unbelievers.  The Holy Spirit cleanses unbelievers to  live a sanctified life.

Righteousness:  Sins pollute us and make us feel unclean and prideful.  The humble are exalted and those who admit they are sinners.  Those who keep the law and God’s commands become conscious of sin, repent, and therefore righteous before God.

Judgment:  God judges sinners but those who confess in faith are sanctified before God. The devil blocks unbelievers from seeing the light.  Through faith, grace, and mercy, we became alive in Christ and obedient to God.

Conclusions:  Back to John after 1 John is such a relief.  Much smaller chunks of the word to intake and digest.

End Notes: Peter had asked this question earlier (John 13:36) and Thomas asked a similar question (John 15:5). Peter was diverted immediately and he made no real attempt to find out where Jesus was going.  He had been concerned with the thought of parting with Jesus, not with that of the Master’s destination. He was only thinking of what it meant for himself for Jesus to leave.  Grief had distracted them.

Jesus does not say why the Holy Spirit would not come until after his departure.

Nevertheless (But in the NIV) is one of the great words of the Bible, meaning despite all of that.   “It tell you the truth” is to emphasize Jesus’ words.

The Holy Spirit will be better for believers than his physical presence–Jesus could now be with every believer every moment of the day.  Our belief is greater since we can’t see Jesus.  We understand Jesus better.  We obviously are closer to him.

Sin is the truth about man, righteousness is the truth about God, judgment is the inevitable combination of these two truths.  Apart from sin’s convicting work, people can never see themselves as sinners.

“Convict” in the Greek means to expose, refute, and convince.  The Holy Spirit would bring the truth and a realization of man’s shame and hopelessness without God in their lives.

Sin is unbelief, the rejection of God and His Son, which the Holy Spirit reveals.  Jesus was righteousness which the Holy Spirit reveals.  The Holy Spirit reveals that Satan will be judged.  The Holy Spirit works in the world and in hearts to reveal these truths to all.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 17, Day 3: John 13:12-17 and Philippians 2:1-10

Summary of passages:  John 13:12-17:  When he is finished, he dresses and sits with them. He explains that they need to serve others and no one is greater than they.

Philippians 2:1-10:  Be like-minded with Christ, having the same love, spirit, and purpose.  Be humble, consider others better than yourself.  Make yourself nothing, being a servant and humble.  God exalted him.

Questions:

5)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Only slaves washed feet because it was considered a lowly task.  You are blessed when you perform humble tasks for others.

6a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Sacrifice my time and energy for others through my work and this blog and my kids and family and my writings.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It’s nice when you hear you’ve impacted others since we don’t hear it enough.  Some of us never hear it and some of us never experience the blessings from helping others.  But God knows.  And that’s what I cling to.

Conclusions:  This one was all personal so answers will vary widely.  For me, I’m feeling very unrewarded in my life right now; hence, the short answers.

End Notes:  John 13:12-17:  Jesus explained his actions so he was sure they got it. They needed to have the same attitude and service as him. We must wash one another’s feet–do for others. Following Jesus’ example, doing the acts of service leads to blessings.  We must be willing to perform the most menial services for one another.

Philippians 2:1-10:  Paul is asking rhetorical questions, saying if you’ve received the things he mentions, then you have a responsibility to do what he’s about to describe.

Spurgeon says of this passage:  “The Holy Spirit is the physician and Christ is the medicine.”

The word comfort in this passage is the ancient Greek word paraklesis, which is more than soothing sympathy. It’s strengthening, helping, making strong. The Latin word for comfort (fortis) means “brave.” The love of God in our life makes us strong and brave.

Fellowship is the ancient Greek word kononia, which means the sharing of things in common. We share life with the Spirit of God that we never knew before. The Holy Spirit fills and guides and moves in our lives in a powerful and precious way.

Paul’s idea here is this is real gifts for Christians to enjoy from Christ.

Paul wants the Philippians to be united for Christ in this passage.  Basically, quit working from the mind-set of self and grandiose and work for others.

Nature or form of God means essence.  Jesus took the form of man but remained in essence God (since he is God).  By becoming man, Jesus became obedient and died the most despicable death at that time–crucifixion.

Because of this, God elevated Jesus to the highest place and given him the highest name (Yahweh) and all will submit to him.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 1, Day 3 & Day 4

Introductory Remark:  This is the first time I have ever seen BSF do two days assigned together. There are a lot of passages to look up.

Summary of passages:  Various passages for the day.

Questions:

6)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I think because people are unhappy with their present life and instead of hoping in God, they are hoping in the future their life will be better.  They will marry the man of their dreams, strike it rich, live long and healthy, and find joy.

This was especially true in the Middle Ages up until the twentieth century even.  Most people were peasants.  Their lives were hard with no hope of improvement.  They toiled day in and day out just to survive with the prospect of an early death.  In reality, until the advent of America where people saw the lower class becoming the upper class most lived lives of despair.  I’m not saying America is perfect; what I am saying is that it is the model and the hope of many of what life can be.

Even today many are born in poverty around the world with little hope of betterment.  So they seek out someone who will tell them life will get better and give them hope.  This was the birth of fortune tellers.

Many people today will gladly pay someone to tell them what they want to hear–to give them the escape from their live they so desperately crave.  I think even those who know better do this.  They are so broken down by the fallen world we live in they seek whatever bit of heaven on earth available.  And if someone tells them they will have it, they believe.  Naively.

7a)  Isaiah 45:21:  Here, God is speaking and He is saying He is the only one who can predict the future–He and He alone.  This is proof of His power and He is challenging the pagan gods of the day to foretell anything (read before and after this passage for the full context).

Amos 3:7:  God does nothing without revealing His plan to his servants the prophets.

2 Timothy 3:16:  “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.”  We can believe the prophecies in the Bible.

Hebrews 11:32-40:  All the prophets in the Bible through faith in God accomplished God’s will and fulfilled God’s promises to His people.

1 Peter 1:10-12:  The prophets had the truth revealed to them by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven to enlighten us for our sakes and not their own.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  All point to how the prophecy in the Bible is God-breathed.  The prophets mentioned have all fulfilled God’s words and His will for this earth.  He is the only god in history to predict the future.  Never once has God failed to do what He has said He would do.  We can trust in Him.

8 )  Part Personal Question.  My answers:

Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; Luke 1:26-27:  Two prophecies are here if you keep reading Isaiah 7:14-17.  One is the prediction of the birth of the Messiah.  But before the Messiah grew out of boyhood, the land of their enemies would be laid to waste and the king of Assyria will come.  Twelve years after this prediction, Israel fell.

Matthew 1:22-23 directly quotes this verse from Isaiah and says it’s in reference to Jesus.

What I find interesting here is what BSF didn’t ask us to read:  That Ahaz, the king of Judah, refused to “test” the Lord or ask for a sign but God through Isaiah gave it anyways.  I love this!  Even when us stubborn people don’t want to hear God and don’t want to do what He says, He speaks anyways whether we like it or not–good news or bad.  Beautiful!  (This is the beginning of Isaiah 7)

Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1-6:  Micah foretells a ruler will come from Bethlehem.  Jesus was born in Bethlehem and Matthew quotes Micah here.

Isaiah 53:3-6; Matthew 27:22-26:  Isaiah describes Jesus here as one despised and rejected by men and pierced for our transgressions.  Here in Matthew we see the people call for his execution and crucify (pierce) him.

What’s interesting is the fulfillment of God’s plan for mankind since the beginning of time and how many times God tells His people what will happen.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  You can tell a false prophet because they can only bear bad fruit.  Deuteronomy (remember from last year?) tells us that a false prophets prophecies will not come true.  They will deny the Lord and further do not acknowledge Jesus (1 John 4:2-3).  These prophets also don’t listen to us, meaning Godly-people of the Spirit (1 John 4:6).  Ask yourself:  Is this something in line with God and His character?  If not, then it’s false.

10)  It is important for our faith.  If God has no track record, how can we be sure?  God does what He says He will do and He has done it throughout history and the Bible records His predictions and fulfillments.  This leads to faith in Him, in His prophecies, in His words.

Conclusions:  Initially, I was hesitant on question 6.  Then I started to answer it and it just flowed. The “why” of it all is powerful.  I tend to dismiss all fortune tellers as malarky.  It’s hard for me to see why anyone would believe any of these people.  But this question answered that for me:  it’s hope.  People need hope in their lives or their lives are meaningless.  And without God, people have no hope and are desperate.  I’ve always had Him in my life for which I am blessed.  But there have been times when my hope has waned.  Now I see how these people have flourished in the past and in the present.

With God, there is hope.  Without Him, there is nothing.

We did discuss false prophets and teachings last year because there are liars and cheats everywhere even today.  We hear of cults and sect religions.  Especially in ancient times when knowledge was minuscule to what we know today it was prevalent in society for fast talkers to make a buck.

Ask yourself:  Is this something God would do or say?  If not, dismiss it immediately as the devil.

End Note:  This lesson did take two days for me.  Break it up.  Looking up all the passages takes some time.