Archive for June, 2007

Romans 2:1-16 – July 1, 2007

ALL ARE GUILTY, WHETHER JEW OR GENTILE (verses 1-16)

Each study will have an error in one of the questions. It is our duty as believers to test everything that we read or hear with the Bible. So this will be a mini exercise in testing what is being said in class.

We handed out this sheet about the five major parts of Romans. We went over the first part since that is where we are:

Romans were written to explain the faith. While the first five books of the New Testament tell the story of Jesus, Romans examines the message of Jesus. It shows that His Gospel is for more than just nice feelings or high moral sentiments. It is TRUTH! It has intellectual content. It makes a difference in the way people think and therefore in what they believe.

BREAKDOWN OF ROMANS

Romans 1:1-3:20

Revelation of God’s power

This shows we all sin; righteousness is displayed in the law. There is a need of salvation; before this we are a slave to satan and sin; this is doctrinal and shows how the Gospel saves the sinner; it is the basis of the Gospel.

Romans 3:21-6:1

Revelation of God’s Righteousness PART 1

It shows salvations righteousness is imputed through Jesus which is the way of salvation; we are a slave to God and His righteousness; this is doctrinal and shows how the Gospel saves the sinner; it is the basis of the Gospel.


Romans 6:1-8:39

Revelation of God’s Righteousness PART 2

It shows sanctification; righteousness imparted by the Holy Spirit; life of salvation; we are a slave to God and His righteousness; this is doctrinal and shows how the Gospel saves the sinner; it is the basis of the Gospel.

Romans 9-11

Revelation of God’s sovereignty

This shows sovereignty; righteousness enacted in Israel and the church; scope of salvation; we are a slave to God and His righteousness; this is doctrinal and shows how the Gospel relates to Israel; it is the basis of the Gospel.

Romans 12-16

Revelation of God’s Expectations

On service; righteousness reproduced in the believer; service of salvation; a slave to Christ and His service; this is practical and shows how the Gospel changes conduct; it is the behavior of the Gospel.

Q1) In verses 1-3 why does Paul say that these particular men he’s talking to are inexcusable?

Discussion)    As we see throughout this chapter, Paul states that every person, whether a follower of Jesus or not, is inexcusable of whether you judge others or not.  He is stating here that when you judge another for the things that are listed at the end of chapter 1, and you do those things yourself that you are treasuring up wrath from God to come upon yourself in the day of judgment.   We talked about how it is so easy to get into the mode that everyone you meet you tell them that they are on their way to hell and that they are pagans for what they do.  Instead it is easier to love people into heaven and let them no what Jesus did for them instead of telling them how bad they have been. 

Q2) What is it in verse 4 that God draws sinners to repentance with?

Discussion)    After exclaiming the past three verses about judgment, Paul states here that the goodness of God is what leads each of us to repentance.  It is not based upon us, but it is the realization that without God we are nothing.  It is the sanctification that God does through Jesus Christ for us and not we do for ourselves.  God is not One Who sits up there waiting for us to come to Him with His arms pushing us away and not wanting to get dirty by our sin.  No, instead He is One Who is waiting on each of us with open arms while wooing and pleading with us to come to Him, just like a father would woo his children.

We then went over verse 5 and talked about what this verse means.  We concentrated on how our hearts bit by bit and day by day can become hardened.  With all of the brutality and horrible news that we see each and every day, our hearts slowly become hardened towards crime and sin, where something that once shocked us and made us want to repent for the person(s) now barely makes us look the other way.  God wants our hearts to be soft so that we can intercede for others and tell others about Him.

Q3) According to verse 6 we are going to be judged according to our deeds. Does this mean “works” will get us to heaven?

Discussion)    Very far from it.  What verse 6 means is that we will all be judged by God according to what we have done.  It will be tested by fire and what is done in the name of Jesus without ulterior motives will survive.  What doesn’t survive, in words, actions or deeds, we will have to give an account of to God, and the old “I don’t know” answer will not pass with God.

Q4) In verse 7-11 compare and contrast those who judge and those who don’t.

Discussion)  Verses 7 and 10 talk about those who seek God and do not judge will have glory, honor, immortality, honor, and peace.  Verses 8 and 9 talk about those who judge will have indignation, wrath, tribulation, and anguish.  Notice how at the end of verses 9 and 10 that Paul states it is to the Jew and to also the Greek then in verse 11 he states that there is not partiality with God.  He is stating that it does not matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile that when it comes to our horizontal relationship with each other God does not show partiality.  What He states about judging others goes for someone in Israel as well as someone in Russia as well as someone in America, Antarctica, or anywhere else on earth.    

Q5) Verse 12 states that those who don’t know the law can enter heaven. Explain.

Clues)    This is the trick question.

Discussion)    What is being stated here in verse 12 and Paul further explains is that if you do not have the law and you perish then you are being judged without the law.  This will further be explained in the next question.

Q6) What do verses 13-16 mean?

Discussion)    These verses mean that each one of us has a seed of the laws of God that is in us.  Just as each one of us is made in the image of God, that does not mean we are all Christians.  In the same way, each one of us has a seed in us of what the laws of God are.  As we get past the age of accountability, each one of us knows what is right and what is wrong.  This is the seed of God’s laws in us.  What we start to do with the right and wrong aspect determines if this seed will be squelched or will start to flourish in us.  As this seed flourishes we then start to realize that there is a God and a Creator and our need for a Savior, which shows the goodness of God and our need for repentance.  If we squelch this seed then we start to see a heart that gets hardened and the difference between good and evil blurred in the person’s life.

LIFE APPLICATION: According to this lesson, how would you rather live your life? Like verse 7 and 10 or like verses 8-9 and why?

Discussion)    Of course people want to live like verses 7 and 10, but the question becomes what do we do with the seed that God puts in our heart?

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June 24, 2007 at 8:35 pm Leave a comment

Romans 1:16-32 – June 24, 2007

THE GOSPEL IS THE POWER OF GOD (verse 16-17) and GOD WILL JUDGE SIN (verses 18-32)

Each study will have an error in one of the questions. It is our duty as believers to test everything that we read or hear with the Bible. So this will be a mini exercise in testing what is being said in class.

We did not finish question 6 nor the life application from last week.

Q6) Paul declares he is not ready to preach in Rome yet! He needs more time to prepare and to pray and fast. Why?

Clues)    This is the trick question.  Paul declares he is ready to preach the gospel in Rome.

Discussion)    Paul wants to preach the gospel in Rome and anywhere else.  He did not have to go to a conference or go out in a group.  He went as was directed by the Lord.

LIFE APPLICATION: How can we help someone (other believers) that are in hard situations to go forward for the Lord as Paul is doing in this lesson?

Discussion)    We talked about how Paul showed us in the first part of Romans that we need to be a debtor to men.  Jesus paid a debt that we could never repay.  Instead Jesus wants us to be concerned with the souls of others.

Q1) What and where does the power of God come from?

Discussion)    The power of God comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The power does not come in other form or from any other person.  If someone claims it does then it has deception involved in it.  

Q2) Read Habakkuk 2:4 then read Romans 1:17. What is the one way in which a Christian should live?

Discussion)    By faith.  Here Paul is laying a foundation that the power we get come from the gospel of Jesus Christ and that the righteousness of God is revealed by when we live in faith in God.  Here Paul makes a compelling case that we have given our souls over to Jesus for salvation and that is through faith.  So shouldn’t we also give the rest of our lives over to Jesus through faith.  We gave over eternity to Jesus so why not the here and now?

We also talked about verse 18 and 19 that many places in the Old Testament speaks on the wrath of God being revealed from heaven against ungodliness, such as those that were swallowed by the earth that opposed Moses, Noah and the ark, and Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah.  These examples speak that God will not strive with man all the time.  There are times where man goes to far in his fleshly lusts. 

Q3) What does verse 20 mean?

Discussion)    All the world that God made is in perfect order and that each creation speaks about its Creator, except for mankind.  Man was the only creation that has a free-will whereas everything else was made by God and shows that each creation (except for man) praises God in its own way.

We also talked about verse 21 in that we all have a hole in our souls that is God shaped sized that only God (through Jesus) can fill.  This is a foundation that is being laid in Romans and will be fully explained in Chapter 2 by Paul so we won’t go into much detail here.

 Q4) Verse 22-25 only applied to back then in those times and is not for today. Please explain.

Clues)    This was the trick question.  These verses apply to us today.

Discussion)    There was much discussion about how we can have idols today.  We may not have them carved out of wood or stone, but it is anything or anyone that we hold in higher regard or esteem than Jesus Christ.  It might be money, our job, a title, a spouse, children, ministers, musicians, entertainers, sports figures, politicians, or even ourselves.  Whatever it is that takes the place of Jesus for our affection is an idol.

We then covered verses 26-27 but not in much detail.  We know that this section speaks of homosexuality and lesbianism and there wasn’t much discussion on this.

Q5) In verse 28, what does reprobate mean?

Discussion)    Someone looked up reprobate and there were many definitions of this word.  One scary definition is abandonment by God.  God says that He will woo a person back to Himself so many times and after that He will no longer do this.  That is a scary place to be in.  

We then briefly touched on verses 29-31 and see that this could be considered a list of the fruit of the flesh.  We can even see these things that are going on in churches today which is extremely sad.

Q6) Why would one approve and find pleasure in someone else’s sin?

Discussion)    We talked a little about this.  It is in the same way that when we deal with our children they seem to say that everyone else is doing it so they should be able to.  This is a human condition that when I compare my sin to someone else’s, then my sin looks a lot smaller so therefore I must be better in the eyes of God.  God doesn’t work that way.  To Him sin is sin.

LIFE APPLICATION: In light of today’s lesson, when we are sharing the Gospel and someone says, “Well, if God is truly a God of love, He wouldn’t create a hell and send people there, because they sin – He is nto a fair God, it isn’t fair that little children are sick and die, etc.” How can we answer them in a loving manner?

Discussion)    We need to let people know that what happens on earth God allows since He has given man free will.  We do not want to serve a dictator and in the same way God does not want a bunch of robots.  He wants someone who will pursue Him and we want a merciful God, in which God is famous for making something beautiful out of something broken.

June 17, 2007 at 8:43 pm Leave a comment

Romans 1:1-15 – June 17, 2007

GREETINGS (verses 1-7) and PAUL PRAYS FOR HIS READERS (verses 8-15)

Each study will have an error in one of the questions. It is our duty as believers to test everything that we read or hear with the Bible. So this will be a mini exercise in testing what is being said in class.

We handed out the following pictures in class:

This is a picture of all of the provinces under Roman rule.

The above picture shows the locations of the seven hills of Rome. It is taken from Revelation 17 that states that a woman is standing on the city of seven hills.

View of Rome in the day of Paul. The mamertine prison of Paul is northwest of Subura.

Q1) Read Galatians 1:1-2 then read Romans 1:1-7. Why does Paul spend more time in the salutation in Romans?

Discussion)    Here we discussed that Galatians was one of the first epistles that Paul wrote while Romans was one of the later ones.  We need to realize that Paul had been to Galatia before he wrote Galatians, whereas he had not been to Rome before he wrote to the Romans.  Therefore he is being more descriptive on who Jesus is and what Jesus means to the Christians.  He has to lay this foundation for the rest of the book to succeed and serve its purpose.

Q2) In verse 1, Paul is spoken of as a bond-servant and an apostle of Christ. What do bond-servants and apostles do?

Discussion)    A bond servant is a servant who is a slave for life.  A bond-servant either has no chance for freedom or has willingly given up his/her right for freedom to follow their master.  An apostle is someone who is sent out to evangelize, build churches, encourage and strengthen others in the Lord Jesus.

Here we decided that we were going to take our time going verse by verse through Romans to see what is being taught.  We saw that in verse 1, the last part, that Paul states that he is separated to the gospel of God (which is Jesus Christ).  Before he became converted, Paul was separated (as a Pharisee) to uphold and know the law inside and out.  Here he is separated to know Jesus as much as possible.

2)  In verse 2 Paul states that Jesus was prophesied of the prophets and in verse 3 Paul states that Jesus was not only prophesied but that h was born of the seed of David.  We stopped here and discussed this point.  We need to realize that Paul is writing to the church at Rome that he had never seen.  This church was at the epicenter of the Roman empire, so Roman authority figures were known about.  But obviously King David, who ruled before there was a Roman empire, was known about by these Romans and that Jesus had come through the seed of David.

4)    He also states in verse 4 that Jesus is the Son of God and that He was raised from the dead.  

5)    This is a dynamic verse in that Paul states that we have received grace and apostleship through Jesus to all the nations through faith.  This means that we have the right and the responsibility that where ever we go to show the grace of God and the apostleship of the early church fathers to show others Jesus and to build them up.  This means that even though we may not have the titles of apostles, we have the responsibility that apostles have and it is all because of what Jesus did.

6)    This verse states that everyone who is a Christian is called by Jesus.

Q3) In verse 7, is it possible for us to call ourselves saints?

Discussion)    Yes it is.  This smacks in the face of the Catholic church, but here we go.  Paul stated that everyone who is a Christian is a saint.  We do not have to do years of service for the Catholic church and then after we die become cannonized to become a saint.  Here Paul, in the salutation to the letter where the Catholic church was born, states that every believer is a saint, based upon what Jesus did for us.  When God sees a Christian, He does not see us in our gross unrighteousness, but he sees us through the lenses of the blood of Jesus Christ, and through those lenses he sees saints.

We also discussed here that at the end of verse 7 that grace and peace were counted as a salutation.  In the Old Testament it was just peace to be counted but Paul here is revealing that we are in the age of grace.

Q4) In verse 9-12, what does Paul want to do for the believers in Rome?

Discussion)    Before we get into verses 9-12, we need to look at verse 8.  Paul states that he thanks God for the followers of Jesus in Rome for their faith that is spoken of throughout the whole world.  Did you just get that?  Paul had not been to Rome yet, but it has come to him that there is a church in Rome where there is so much faith in the members (whether it was healing, raising the dead, casting out demons, or other things we do not know) that it was talked about in the whole world.  

Paul then goes on to state that he has some spiritual gift that he wants to impart to the church at Rome, but notice verse 12 (which many people leave out) is that he wants to be encouraged by their faith and receive something from them that is a mutual faith.  Think about this, if Paul were on earth in today’s time, he would be more popular than Billy Graham, yet he did not tell the Romans that he wanted to impart a gift to them and leave it at that.  He realized that they had something that he needed in his spiritual walk and so he wanted an impartation from them.  Kind of flies in the face of some of the preachers today who only want their voices to be heard and do not want to hear others or have an impartation from a lay person.

Q5) Why does Paul declare himself a debtor in verse 14?

Discussion)    We left off here.  Here we have Paul teaching about Jesus Christ and then he states that he is a debtor to all men.  He doesn’t state that he is a debtor to Jesus Christ since He paid all of the sins that we commit on the cross.  Instead he states that he is a debtor to all men, so why is this?

This is a tough passage to swallow until we look at when Paul wrote the book of Romans.  It was written while he was on his second journey, namely in Acts 20:3, during the 3 month layover at Greece.  He had just gone through teaching and explaining Jesus at Athens without any works of the Spirit.  This is where one could say he felt his greatest defeat, since very few came to know Jesus as their personal savior here.  Instead of pointing blame at himself or pointing blame at the Greeks, he saw that this is an opportunity of seeing how he did things could be changed.  Paul also saw himself as being a servant to others and that part of his service, or debt, is to tell everyone he met about Jesus.  Paul did not expect fancy houses, limos, gold watches, nor lots of money.  He was not about the prosperity theology, instead he was about the Kingdom of Heaven theology that Jesus can and will deliver people of demons, sicknesses, and everything else.

Q6) Paul declares he is not ready to preach in Rome yet! He needs more time to prepare and to pray and fast. Why?

LIFE APPLICATION: How can we help someone (other believers) that are in hard situations to go forward for the Lord as Paul is doing in this lesson?

June 10, 2007 at 8:09 pm Leave a comment

Acts 28:11-31 – June 10, 2007

PAUL ARRIVES AT ROME (verses 11-16) and SOME JEWS BELIEVE AND SOME DO NOT (verses 17-29) and PAUL PREACHES AND TEACHES (verses 30-31)

Each study will have an error in one of the questions. It is our duty as believers to test everything that we read or hear with the Bible. So this will be a mini exercise in testing what is being said in class.

Q1) Verse 14 says that Paul encountered brethren in Puteoli. Why do you think they were allowed to stay with those brethren for seven days?

Discussion)    Not much is known about this, though it is known that Puteoli is a place of great import and exports.   One could surmise that the owner of the ship had to explain to the traders why the cargo of wheat did not make it to port here.  Also we talked about verse 11 in how that everyone on the ship stayed on Malta for three months since it was winter and no one was sailing.

Q2) In verse 15 says that we thanked God and took courage. Why do you think they are getting excited here?

Discussion)    Paul was excited because it had been 2 1/2 years since he was told he would be going to Rome by God and he was very close to Rome.  Also Paul was excited because he is able to minister to many brethren.

Q3) When they arrived in Rome, Paul, Luke and the other prisoners were taken to the prison and put in separate cells! Why?

Clues)    This is the trick question.

Discussion)    The other prisoners were hauled off to jail whereas Paul was put under house arrest.  We talked about how sure we are that the guards who were watching Paul more than likely heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I am sure that many of them came to know Jesus.  Even though Paul was a prisoner they saw that not only did Paul talk the talk but he also walked the walk.

Q4) In verse 17-20, Paul goes over his case with the Chief of the Jews, the most distinguished man of that religion. What does it mean in verse 20, for the hope of Israel, I am bound in chains?

Discussion)    The hope of Israel is Jesus Christ.  He is also the hope for every other nation and the rest of the world and humanity.

Q5) The chief Jews respond to Paul in verse 21-22. What was their response?

Discussion)    Their response is that they never received any letters from Judea about Paul but they had heard about Paul and nothing was bad.  They also heard about Christianity and that many have spoken against it.  Here we see the seeds of what is to come.  We know that hindsight is 20/20 and that we are now in Rome.  Notice that the Jews state that many have spoken against Christianity.  These are the seeds that Rome and its emperors will soon come against Christians and start throwing them against lions, bulls, and bears in the coliseums. 

Q6) What negative things about the chief Jews do we see in verses 25 and 29 that we have seen before in Acts?

Discussion)    They go out and have disputes about Jesus.  They were smart here and did not start disputing with Paul under house arrest lest they be arrested themselves.  Instead they go out and start disputing and bickering.

Q7) In verse 30, Paul spent 2 years in bonds in his own quarters. While imprisoned for these two years, did he just sit around feeling sorry for himself, or become lazy and lay around?

Discussion)    Far from it.  Instead Paul told everyone who came near him about Jesus and what Jesus did for each one of us.

LIFE APPLICATION: When we are imprisoned or persecuted for speaking about Jesus, how can we redeem the time?

Discussion)    Just like Paul we can tell others about Jesus no matter where we are.  Even if you are a shut-in you can tell others about Jesus over the phone, through mail, e-mail, or even over the internet.  God can use any type of communication means to have His message spread.

June 3, 2007 at 7:48 pm Leave a comment


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