BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 30, Day 5: Jude

Summary of passage:  Jude writes in warning, concerned about the faith as it is under attack by certain, godless men who have slipped in among them and who deny Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Jude reminds them that the Lord destroyed those who didn’t believe after the Exodus; He imprisoned angels who abandoned their home; He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for sexual immorality.

These men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand.  They pollute their own bodies, reject authority, and slander celestial beings.  Woe to them!  They are selfish (Cain), greedy (Balaam), and rebellious (Korah).  These men are blemishes and shameless.

Enoch warned of these men.  They are grumblers, faultfinders, follow their own evil desires, boasters, and flatters.  The apostles prophesied of these men as well.

So build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.  Keep yourself in God’s love as you wait for eternal life.  Be merciful to doubters; save others from the fire; show mercy to others.

Glory be to God forever!

Questions:

11)  Jude is writing to urge others to contend for the faith and to beware of certain men (false teachers) who are slipping in amongst them and trying to lead them astray.

Peter writes as a reminder to stimulate his readers to wholesome thinking and to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the commands given by God through the apostles.  To warn them that scoffers (false teachers) will come and try to place doubt in your mind about the Lord but you must remember to have patience for the End Times for God’s time is not human time and He is patient with man, allowing everyone time to come to repentance.  God created the world and He will judge it as well.

The reasons are the same and Jude quotes almost word for word Peter’s letter at times.

12)  The Lord delivered His people out of Egypt but later destroyed those who didn’t believe (lack of faith and trust in God).

Angels who abandoned their positions of authority and their own home the Lord now keeps chained for judgement day.  The sin was some kind of sexual sin (harking back to Genesis 6:1-2) as indicated by the words “in a similar way” in verse 7.

Sodom and Gomorrah sinned with sexual immorality and perversion.

13a)  They pollute their own bodies, reject authority, and slander celestial beings and speak abusively against whatever they don’t understand, selfishness of Cain, greed of Balaam, and rebelliousness of Korah, and good for nothing.

b)  Blackest darkness (hell); forever

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I see verse 16 everywhere in every facet of life.  Pure selfishness motivated by greed and self-aggrandizement, pure and simple.  Those who do not have God.  I can speak the Truth in these people’s lives and pray for them.

15a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Family members for all of these and others whom I encounter.  Shine the light of Jesus into their lives the best I can.

b)  Try to save those whom I see heading down the wrong path by revealing Jesus to them.

c) Do not judge for they do not know.  Try to impart knowledge to them.  Pray.  Forgive those in our lives whom we don’t want to (who amongst us doesn’t have one of those people in our lives?) and love them as our neighbor.

All of these:  pray and give my knowledge.  Model a Godly life.  Then allow God to do the rest.

Conclusions:  It seems the redundancy in these passages continues.  Remember in grade school where your teacher constantly said, “Don’t copy off of others!  Don’t cheat!  Do your own work!”  Jude must have missed that message.  Despite echoing Peter’s second letter (and ignoring his grade school teachers-ha!), this was a great synopsis of false teachers and the danger they pose.

The last question I thought could have been just one question and not broken up into a, b, and c for my answers are the same.  a and c are virtually the same (and they should be because we should not treat believers and unbelievers differently.  We are called to show mercy to all).  For “God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation” (Acts 10:34-35); hence, the Gentiles (those who are non-Jewish (me)) were accepted into the Body of Christ.

I liked Jude’s encouraging words the best “Build yourself up in faith, pray in the Holy Spirit, and keep yourself in God’s love.”

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 30, Day 3: 2 Peter 2

Summary of passage:  A warning against false teachers who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, bringing destruction upon themselves.  These teachers will exploit you out of greed and bring the truth into disrepute.  Many will follow them but they will face destruction.

God did not spare angels, the ancient world of Noah, Sodom and Gomorrah so He won’t spare these ungodly teachers. The Lord will rescue righteous men like He did for Lot and punish the unrighteous.

These men are bold, arrogant, slander celestial beings, and blaspheme and they will perish.  They will be paid back.  They entice people by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature and they promise freedom.  It would have been better for them not to have known the Lord than to have known Him and turned their backs on him.

Questions:

6a)  Bar-Jesus (Acts 13:6-12) whom Barnabas and Saul/Paul met in Paphos.  Paul temporarily blinded him with the power of the Holy Spirit.  They are ultimately proven false by God for they cannot stand against His Truth.  “For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites.”  Romans 16:18

b)  They will bring swift destruction and condemnation on themselves

7)  Angels sent to hell (Jude 1:6; Revelation 20:1-2); Flooded the world (Genesis 7-8); condemned Sodom and Gomorrah and saved Lot (Genesis 19; Jude 1:7)

8a)  By appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error (believers escaping from unbelievers) and promising them freedom.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  What Peter recommends in 2 Peter 1:5-8:  strengthen my faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.  Pray.  Read the Bible.  Learn from other believers.  Seek support.  Act.

Conclusions:  As a born skeptic (one who doesn’t believe anything is free in this life and if it sounds too good to be true it is), I would like to think it would be hard for me to be duped.  But the devil is crafty and knows all of our weaknesses.  That’s why it’s important to always be alert and watch out for the prowling lion (1 Peter 5:8; 1 Corinthians 16:13) and have on God’s armor (Ephesians 6).  Be prepared to fight for the Truth and help others to do so as well.

The writer obviously despised false teachers by how he goes and on how vile they are and how they will pay in the end.  They must have been doing great damage in his times.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 30, Day 2: 2 Peter 1

Summary of passage:  Peter (the most widely-accepted author of this book) tells the readers of this letter that God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him.  By His great glory and goodness He has given us great and precious promises so that we can be with Him (the promise of sanctification and eternal life).

Therefore, we must strengthen our faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love in this world in order to be effective and productive in knowing Jesus.  If we do these things (our calling and election), we will never fall and we will be welcomed into the eternal kingdom.

Peter promises to remind them of these things always as he is close to death.  He was an eyewitness to Christ’s majesty and stood on the mount as God himself declared Jesus as His son.  Plus, the words of the prophets confirm Christ as their words were from God.

Questions:

3)  Eternal life given to us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ

4)  A Christian must add to his/her faith:  goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.  If you possess these qualities you will be effective and productive in knowing Him.  Make your calling and election sure (verse 10) by doing the above.

5a)  Peter was an eyewitness to Jesus and heard God declare that Jesus was His son.  And the prophets confirmed the truth who spoke from God’s will not their own (i.e. spoke God’s words, given to them by God).

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  By the way I live my life.  When I speak, I am sure.  I hope it radiates from me and my belief shines through.  And my knowledge of Bible and Scripture (which needs to be strengthened).

Conclusions:  I need to work on all of the aforementioned truths and callings of a Christian’s life:  faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness, and love.  I think I’m weak in all aspects (which probably explains my falls). Great reminder of what we should be doing in this world.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 30, Day 5

Questions:

5a)  The Homiletics Seminar made dissecting the Bible not such a daunting task.  I feel like when I read the Bible I understand more just from mere practice of doing it every day.  Personal Quiet Time emphasized the importance of daily time with God to nurture the soul.  I plan to continue reading the Bible daily and listening to God speak to me through His word.  Through BSF it’s become a habit so I plan to continue this in the coming months.

b)  This has already impacted my writing.  Ideas have flowed into my work and through typing all this out I have become a better writer.  Again, more practice makes perfect.  I hope one day my work will glorify God. I know I’m a better person because of this study.  I am a gentler person as I strive to be more Christ-like.  I think this also impacts my community by the mere act of me interacting with others in it.

Conclusions:  I wish I could have attended more seminars but I didn’t have the childcare.  The seminars definitely add to BSF and are great tools to expand your growth.  I hope to do more in the future.  I hope I reflect God’s glory more now in my every day life than I did before.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 30, Day 2

Questions:

2a)  The single most important lesson has been the importance of God’s word.  Knowing it, understanding it, applying it, obeying it, sharing it–all has been deeply rooted in my soul.  I have never really studied the Bible before.  I’ve always wanted to but to be honest didn’t know where to begin.  I have done other “Bible Studies”, which weren’t in essence Bible Studies.  It was more social hour with other women and read a book and hopefully get something out of it.  I had become bored, yearning for something deeper, when I was invited by a lady from my church to try BSF.

I loved it from Day 1 and as the months went by I began questioning why I hadn’t heard of BSF before.  I was ready for this study years ago but just didn’t know.  I began wondering why my church has never mentioned it.  Why BSF doesn’t advertise (probably monetary reasons)?  At least my church should have said something about it.  I’m assuming most churches know about BSF and would want to promote such a study.  Maybe not.  Maybe they are afraid it would detract from the studies they offer (I think this is my church by the way.  They offer studies at the same times as BSF meets).

I know, I know.  You come to BSF when God brings you.  I get it. But sometimes I think God needs a bit of help in spreading His word, right?  “I will send some of those who survive to the nations…that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory.  They may proclaim my glory among the nations.”  Isaiah 66:19

So, this is my free advertising for BSF’s sake:  Come one, come all to Bible Study Fellowship for an in-depth study of the Bible. World-wide, BSF appeals to all learning styles and offers classes at different times to accommodate different schedules.  We have a kids program that is phenomenal–guaranteed to teach your little ones (and not-so-little ones) about the Bible.  Come to an introduction class today!  (I picture myself as a circus announcer here!  Very hilarious to see myself in such a get-up with a huge megaphone!)

(Just using modern tools to spread the gospel, ya know!)

b)  I have a 3 year old in the program.  It’s been a benefit for me because I know He is hearing God’s word and it allows me 2 hours a week baby-free to relax in God’s word.  My family gets a happy, more God-centered mama!

Beyond this, it’s hard to say.  I’m not for sure how much he is getting out of it.  He doesn’t talk about it (he can’t get a word in edge-wise with 2 older sisters!), but I know he enjoys it.  He loves going.  He loves his teachers.  I think he’d get a lot more from it if he were older. But I know foundations stones are being laid that will be invaluable to his future faith and growth in God and His word.

Conclusions:  I went off on 2a and to be honest this was the most fun question I have answered all year.  Not for sure where that came from to be honest.  But it made me laugh!

This is how I write by the way.  I have no plan usually.  I write what comes to me and hope for the best.  I think this is more freeing and allows God to creep in more (this is what I tell myself anyway!).