Archive for December, 2007

Romans 14:14-23 – December 23, 2007

PURSUE PEACE WITH EACH OTHER (verses 14 -23)

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)    Read verse 14.  How can something still be unclean if here Paul says he knows and is convinced that nothing is unclean in itself.  Explain.

Q2)    Verses 15, 16, and 20 talk about how our choice of food can hurt our weaker brother; they can be destroyed by our food choices, and how it can also harm the stronger believer.  Why?  Explain.

Q3)    Where might a stronger believer be damaged if they do things that would give occasion for other brothers to stumble or give opportunities to others to speak eveil of them, according to verse 16?

Q4)    According to verse 17, the Kingdom of God is made up of righteousness, peace, eating and drinking and being merry, obeying laws, some sorrow and pain and once in a while joy in the Holy Spirit (Study Romans 15:13, 19; Galatians 5:2223; Ephesians 5:9; and I Corinthians 2:4).

Q5)    What attributes of God do we see in verses 14-23, toward weaker believers?

Q6)    Explain verses 22 and 23.

LIFE APPLICATION:  Say I have a strong conviction of the Lord that I should abstain from ALL alcohol, because I was addicted to it in the past.  Then another Christian comes along side me and says, “Come on, just try some, the Holy Spirit will help you with self-control.”  I go ahead and cave – wanting so badly to fit in – according to this study, who has sinned here and why?

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December 16, 2007 at 10:20 pm Leave a comment

Romans 13:8-14:13 – December 16, 2007

THE BELIEVER’S CONDUCT (verses 8-14) and CONTROVERSIAL PRACTICES (verses 1-13)

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) According to verse 8-14, Paul says that believers have fulfilled the law by just obeying the Ten Commandments in our lifetime. Why?

Clues)    This is the trick question.

Discussion)    The law is fulfilled, according to verse 10 by love one for another.  Several of the Ten Commandments are gone through, but those are in relation of man to man and not man to God, so with the underlying theme that we have gone over of humility in Romans 12, 13, and 14, we see that Paul shows us that we must love one another and put each other first.

Q2) What does verse 11 mean when Paul says, “it is high time to awake out of sleep?”

Discussion)    This means that it is very easy for the Christian in America to get lulled to sleep and conformity to the world by what we see in the media and all around us.  Instead we need to guard our hearts and minds and when something comes up that outrages us, we must be outraged and not have a seared heart.  Droves of people are dying each and every day and going to hell since they do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and we must have this in the forefront of our minds every time we deal with someone.

Q3) Read II Corinthians 6:7, II Corinthians 10:4 and Ephesians 6:11. According to verses 12-14, how does a believer “dress oneself?”

Discussion)    This means that we are to put on every part of the armor of God talked about in Ephesians 6.  Which means that every thought, emotion, act, and everything that comes our way we must take it captive and through the mind of Christ see how Jesus would handle it.  For instance, if someone cuts you off on the road, the flesh would want to commit road rage, yell at the person, etc.  With the mind of Christ and dressing oneself in the armor of God, you would instead pray a blessing over the person and ask that the Lord would show Himself to that person.  That is showing humility, love, and putting that person above your own rights.  It also goes against everything that is in the fleshly man.

Q4) In chapter 14, Paul begins telling us about weaker believers, or those weaker in the faith, and those that debate or disagree with each other on certain matters of our Christian walk. Why are some believers “weaker in faith”, and what should a strong believers conduct be towards those that are weaker in faith?

Discussion)    To the first question, not all of us come from the same backgrounds.  We all come from different backgrounds and that makes our levels of faith different in each person.  With that being said, those that are stronger in the faith need to accept and receive those that are weaker in the faith, not condemn them or make them be where we think that they ought to be.  Remember that when someone is first saved that they are a babe in Christ and maturation is a process not an overnight event.  Just like when we have children, we do not expect a new born to go out and get a job.

Q5) Explain Romans 14:2-6.

Discussion)    We need to remember that when Paul wrote this that Rome had a Christian church and that there were many people that became saved, but they brought their pagan beliefs in to the church and it started to divide the church.  The gist of these verses basically states that no matter what one believes between themselves and God we are not to despise them for it, whether it is in food or one date above another.  For instance, there is a date in December that I hold in esteem, though it is not my favorite date.  It is the day when 13 dear people died in a bus wreck during a wrestling trip when I was a teenager.  I knew all of the people and I witnessed to one of the coaches a week before he died.  Even though this date means nothing to anyone else it has meaning to me and therefore other Christians are not to despise me for it.

Q6) Read I Corinthians 3:10 and II Corinthians 5:10. Where does verse 10 say we all will end up — weaker or stronger believers? And what is this place?

Discussion)    This is the Judgment seat of Christ and this is where are works will be tried by fire.  What we want to concentrate on in this lesson is that you do not answer to any man in the final count, but you answer to Jesus Christ alone.  Therefore do not take what man says as the gospel but take what Jesus says as the Gospel since each and every person will have to answer to Him and Him alone.

LIFE APPLICATION: What is a Christian tells you that he would never eat pork because Jesus never ate pork here on earth or because of family beliefs, etc. What should you think and how should you respond?

Discussion)    Our response should be to not belittle that person but to realize that they must have a downfall with pork therefore I should not eat pork around them.  It might cause their downfall and we will see what God says about that in the next lesson.

December 9, 2007 at 8:52 pm Leave a comment

Romans 12:14-13:7 – December 9, 2007

THE BELIEVER’S SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY (verses 14-21) and THE BELIEVER’S SUBMISSION TO THE STATE (verses 1-7)

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.

I handed out the following study for the questions for this lesson. We know that Jesus came in the spirit of humility. Read this study and see if you agree with it.

HOW HUMILITY UNDERLIES THE BEATITUDES

MATTHEW 5:3-12

  • You cannot mourn (5:4) without appreciating how insufficient you are to handle life in your own strength. That is humility.
  • You cannot be meek (5:5) unless you have needed gentleness yourself. Knowing that need is humility.
  • You cannot hunger and thirst for righteousness (5:6) if you proudly think of yourself as already righteous. Longing to fill that spiritual appetite demands humility. In a parable that Luke recorded, a humble tax collector prayed, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” He went away justified, unlike a proud Pharisee who boasted of his righteousness (Luke 18:13).
  • You cannot be merciful (5:7) without recognizing your own need for mercy. Jesus said that it’s the person who is forgiven much that loves much (Luke 7:47). To confess your sin and ask God and others for forgiveness takes humility.
  • You cannot be pure in heart (5:8) if your heart is filled with pride. God promises to exalt the humble, not the proud (James 4:10).
  • You cannot be a peacemaker (5:9) if you believe that you are always right. To admit your own fallibility takes humility. Peace results when both warring parties move toward each other.
  • Finally, identifying with Christ no matter what the reaction of others (5:10-12) demands a certain death to yourself and a renunciation of your own rights. Standing up under persecution demands Christlike humility.

Q1) Read II Corinthians 8:21 and Romans 14:17-18. According to verse 17, what does it mean to respect what is right in the sight of all men? How does one live this way?

Discussion)    This means to respect what is good, decent, pure, etc.  Not to respect or embrace that which is contrary to God and His word.  This means that we are to stand up for what is right, not that we are something, but instead in the humility in which Jesus stood up against the Pharisees or when He stood up against the money changers disgracing the temple.

Q2) According to verse 19, it is our God given right to seek out those that have wronged us, to set them straight, put them in their place and get back at them! When does the Lord say we are allowed to do this?

Clues)   This is the trick question.

Discussion)    We are not to stand up for our rights, we are to stand up for God.  When someone “wrongs” us we are to turn the other cheek.  We are not to be cowering about it, but show love to others.  We are not saying that if someone comes in to rob you in the middle of the night that you do not protect your family, instead if someone cuts you off in traffic and then curses at you or does a rude gesture, we are to not retaliate.

Q3) Beginning in chapter 13, verse 1, Paul begins to instruct believers how to behave and relate government or governing bodies (bosses, pastors, policemen, the President, etc.) people in authority over us. Why must we obey or submit to anyone? (This is very difficult for strong, domineering, controlling personalities)!

Discussion)  This shows the Gospel of Jesus Christ in action by what we do and not what we say.  It is mentioned that our responses to authority tell others much about the sincerity of our commitment to Jesus Christ.  If we cannot submit to authority over us by humans, how can we submit to authority and lordship over us by Jesus Christ?

Q4) In verse 3, Paul explains how we might escape being afraid of eternal or temporal consequences. How do we do this? How does this work if the leader of your country is someone like Stalin or Hitler?

Discussion)    Much discussion on this point if a leader like Hitler is actually ordained by God.  Whether or not this leader is ordained by God, we need to pray for this leader and obey them, UNLESS they try to have us do something that is contrary to God and His word.  It was talked about that here in America we have the right to protest and picket things we do not like that we see is happening.  This is a very good thing to do but we want to make sure that we have the underlying attitude of humility and not of that of dominance.  Another thing we talked about is that if Hitler never came to power and killed the 6 million or so Jews, then the United Nations would have never given the right for Israel to be a nation again.  In doing this, a prophecy was fulfilled that through the Gentile nations the nation of Israel would come to be.  God has a way of bringing good out of disasters.

Q5) In verse 6, yes, people, God tells us to pay our taxes. Who is Paul talking about here (that we are to pay our tribute taxes to) and why does this please God?

Discussion)    Paul is talking about the government and this pleases God because even Jesus said to render unto Ceaser what is Ceaser’s and God what is God’s.  When paying taxes it shows that you are willing to be submissive to the government that God has put in place.

Q6) Further research is needed for this question. Given all of the tithes and offerings the Old Testament Jews were required to do, what percentage was it of their income? Compare to how America tithes or offers to the Lord’s work today.

Discussion)    The Jews had to pay 50-55% of their monies into tithes and offerings.  Add to this what Rome required and it ended up being around 60-65% of their income.  Compare that to the 20-30% that Americans pay and we have no room for complaining.

LIFE APPLICATION: Read Matthew 5:3-10. How does humility fit in with each beatitude, the believer’s service to the community and submission to the state in this lesson?

Discussion)    We went over the sheet handed out and saw how humility underlies the beatitudes and everything that Jesus did on earth.  We talked about how Generals in the armed services, due to the mantle that they wear can go anywhere, same with the mantle of humility.  This mantle allows access into different parts of heaven that no other mantle can get into.  Why is this said?  For two reasons, that the very first sin ever committed was by Lucifer and that was pride (opposite of humility) and that the very essence of who Jesus is when He was on earth and what He taught was about complete humility (which is truly strength under control).  

December 2, 2007 at 10:05 pm Leave a comment


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