Posts filed under ‘Time in the Word’

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

Romans 12:1-13 – December 2, 2007

THE BELIEVER’S RELATIONSHIP TO GOD (verses 1-2) and THE BELIEVER’S POSITION IN THE BODY OF CHRIST (verses 3-12)

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 Romans 6:13 and Romans 16:19. How can we present our bodies as living and holy sacrifices to God as verse 1 says? Does this mean this occurs only in our spiritual life or more than that?

Discussion)    We took the last question first.  This means that this occurs in every part of our lives, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  With that being said, we present our bodies as living and holy sacrifices to God from abstaining from sin and presenting every part of our bodies to God every day.

Q2) In verse 2 Paul says to be transformed and do not conform. What does this mean? Contrast transform versus conform. See also I Peter 4:2.

Discussion)  To conform means to fall in line with the worldly view whether right or wrong.  To be transformed means to be continually changed to the image of Christ.  This is a process and not a one time deal.  We talked about the toys called Transformers that were popular a couple of decades ago.  The were toys that were cars, buildings, etc., that when the person playing with them move around parts they transformed into robots that you could play with.  You could not do this instantaneously but one part depended upon another part.  In the same way, we are not transformed instantaneously but it is a process of one part being done upon another.

Q3) Read verse 3 then read Romans 11:18 and Romans 12:1-2. What does this speak about a believer’s position in the body of Christ?

Discussion)    This position is one of humility.  We will be talking greatly about humility for the next couple of weeks.

Q4) In verses 4-8, Paul talks about who makes up the body of Christ and explains that we all have different gifts and that we should use these gifts accordingly. He even explains HOW to use the gifts!! Why is this vitally important within the church?

Discussion)    We do not all have one position in the church.  Instead we all have a separate function that we must do in the church.  I brought up the fact that my wife is sick and this disease that she is going through deals with the microscopic hairs in the small intestine.  When one part of the human body goes bad it causes the whole body to be out of commission.

Q5) Read I Corinthians 12:20 and 27. Verse 5 says we are members one of another. Describe what this means.

Discussion)    This means that whatever happens to one part of the body happens to the whole body.  We can divorce ourselves from our body.  I shared how in football during a game I sprang my little toe.  I was screaming on the sidelines at my little toe.  The rest of my body wanted to play in the trenches of the football game, but I could not push off with that foot because of my little toe.  

We might have a role within the church that very few people see, but without that role it might make the whole body crumble.

Q6) According to verses 3-8, God expects each of us to serve the church, the body of Christ with great zeal and pride that lets everyone know what we do. Why?

Clues)    This is the trick question.

Discussion)    We need to do things quietly and with humility.  We know that the Lord gives different mantles to different people based upon what He wants them to do.  I believe that if you live a life of humility that this is the greatest mantle in heaven.  Since Christ came to earth in humility and taught wholly about humility that this is the greatest thing that Christians can attain.  I believe that it will open doors in heaven that other gifts and mantles cannot open.  I also believe that these doors are not doors that angels can open but that they can only wait until a believer that lives a life of humility opens that they may go through.

LIFE APPLICATION: Write down some areas mentioned in this passage that need work in your own life – pray with the group about them – ask God for them- He will deal bountifully with thee! (Psalm 13:6 and Psalm 143:7)

Discussion)    This life application question is one that is between you and the Lord.

November 25, 2007 at 10:02 pm Leave a comment

Romans 11:25-36 – November 25, 2007

ISRAEL WILL EVENTUALLY BE SAVED (verses 25 – 36)

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 I Corinthians 2:6-10 and Ephesians 3:3-5 and 9. According to verse 25, what is this “mystery” spoken of here by Paul, why do we need to know about it, and whom does God use to reveal this “mystery” to us?

Discussion)    The mystery talked about is Jesus Christ and what He came and did on the cross.  Remember that we had talked about how the Jews were looking for a Messiah to come and completely destroy their enemies with an iron fist.  Jesus did not come this way but came to give us spiritual life and that was the mystery.

Q2) God says that we were enemies with Him at one time. Read Romans 5:10 then read verse 28. How are the Jewish people enemies for our sake?

Discussion)    They are enemies for our sake in that they rejected Jesus Christ when He was on earth.  If they would have accepted Him, then He would not have died on the cross.  So they rejected Him and that opened up salvation not only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles.

Q3) Explain verse 29 (Can also read Hebrews 7:21).

Discussion)    This means that all the gifts and the calling of God are not taken away by God.  They are not based upon our performance but completely based upon God.

Q4) Explain verses 30 and 31.

Discussion)    That through the disobedience of the Jews that the Gentiles obtained salvation.  This is not to say that the Jews only killed Jesus on the cross.  We all, by each one of our sins, hung Jesus on the cross.  Through this disobedience God allowed His mercy to be shown through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Q5) When Paul says in verse 32 that God has shut up some in disobedience, what does he mean?

Clues)    This was the trick question

Discussion)    God shut all up to disobedience meaning that every one of us have sinned not just some.  This way all of us are the same in that each one of us needs a Savior and He is Jesus Christ.

Q6) Romans 11:34 kind of leaves one feeling like, “How can I ever really know God?” Yet I Corinthians 2:16 says we have the mind of Christ. How is this encouraging to the believer?

Discussion)    This is encouraging to the believer in that no matter what happens we know that with the mind of Christ that we can follow what the Lord is doing even if it seems like it is coming out of left field.

LIFE APPLICATION: Give a prophetic example from the Old or New Testament that proves to you or is special to you, of why you know, that you know, that you know, that God keeps His Word and will do what He said He would do – now and in the future – and why do you know this?

Discussion)    Many items were given that people stand upon, such as the healings in the church that we have seen, the promises fulfilled by God about Israel throughout the Old Testament, how God stepped in during the ordeal that Job went through, etc.

November 18, 2007 at 10:24 pm Leave a comment

Romans 11:11-24 – November 18, 2007

THE IMPLICATIONS OF FAITH FOR GENTILES (verses 11-24)

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 12 says the fall of the Jews (their failure) became riches for the Gentiles. The riches were hundreds upon hundreds of silver drachma and Jewish gems bestowed upon the Gentiles because of the Jewish failure. Why do you think “riches of the world” means that here? Explain.

Clues)    This is the trick question.

Discussion)    The riches are heavenly riches which chief among them is salvation for the gentiles.  This portion of Romans has nothing to do with wealth and prosperity, but everything to do with what Jesus did on the cross for each one of us, whether Jew or gentile.

Q2) In verse 14, Paul speaks about provoking those which are of his flesh so that some might be saved. Who is he talking about and why? See I Corinthians 9:22-23.

Discussion)    He is talking about his Jewish nation and he wants to provoke them to jealousy that salvation through Jesus Christ was opened up to the gentiles so the Jews should want it also, if not more than the gentiles.

Q3) In verse 12-15 and 17-22, what two things does Paul encourage the Gentiles to do?

Discussion)    He encourages them to not be arrogant about what Jesus did and boast in it, but to fear the Lord.  Fearing the Lord here means not to expect that the Lord will knock you down when you make a mistake but to have the utmost reverence for Him.  After all, salvation is not based on anything that we have done but solely based upon the mighty work that Jesus did on the cross.

Q4) How does Paul describe the Gentiles coming into salvation among the Jews in verses 16-21? What benefits of the Jewish people did Gentiles receive from God?

Discussion)    Paul describes it as a wild olive branch (gentiles) being grafted into an olive tree (Israel).  This is not to say that we are replacing Israel, just in the same way that a grafted branch into a tree does not have its own roots, so the roots of Christianity come from Judaism.  We are to lift up in prayer the Israelites and be concerned on every level for them.

Q5) In verse 19 and 21, Paul is warning us about something. Describe what he is saying to us, the Gentiles.

Discussion)    He states not to be arrogant about what the Lord did in this grafting process.  As the Lord took away some of the natural branches to graft us in, surely He can take out these grafted branches.  Humility is the key in this passage and not pride, such as is going around in Christianity today.

Q6) Read II Corinthians 3:16. In verses 23 and 24 Paul talks about God being able to graft the Jewish people in again. When will this happen?

Discussion)    This will happen with the start of the tribulation (70th week of Jacob’s trouble).  We partially got into this that the Holy Spirit will be taken out and the natural branches will be regrafted into the tree.  

LIFE APPLICATION: COVENANT Read Jeremiah 31:31-34. Then read I Corinthians 11:25 which speaks of the new covenant through Jesus Christ (because God partially hardened some of the Jewish peoples hearts) – this made a way for the Gentiles salvation and the new covenant. In the Old Testament, Jeremiah prophesied about the new covenant between God and Israel. How does this covenant differ from the Mosaic Covenant and when will this covenant begin?

Discussion)    The Mosaic covenant was completely based upon what the people did.  God set before them life and death and it was up to them on a daily basis what they would chose.  The new covenant is completely based upon God and Him showing Himself mighty, strong, and majestic through the people of Israel during the tribulation and the 1,000 year reign of Christ on the earth.

November 11, 2007 at 10:30 pm Leave a comment

Romans 11:1-10 – November 11, 2007

GOD HAS NOT GIVEN UP ON HIS PEOPLE (verses 1-10)

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) In this passage, Paul is talking about the Jews and their rejection of the Messiah, but as a result of this what exciting thing was made possible?

Discussion)    Salvation has come to the Gentiles to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy for God.

Q2) Who is Paul talking about in verse 1-2 when he speaks of God rejecting His people? Why did He reject them?

Clues)    This is the trick question.

Discussion)    God never has nor never will He reject the Jewish people.  He has not given up on His people and we Gentiles are arrogant to think that the Old Testament promises are made to us and not Israel.  We are also arrogant to think that we have taken the place of Israel.  The church will not be dealt with in the tribulation, it will be the Lord showing His people His might and power against Satan and his army. 

Q3) Read I Kings 19:10-18. What is Elijah saying to the Lord in verse 3 and how does God answer him?

Discussion)    Elijah is stating that he is the only one left and God answers him that there are seven thousand men that have not bowed their knee to Baal.  It shows that Elijah had a limited perspective and was showing his arrogance towards God, but God showed how He sees the bigger picture than we do.

Q4) Read Ephesians 2:8-9. What does verse 6 mean? Explain it.

Discussion)    It shows that we are saved by grace and it is not of works or anything that we do.

Q5) Read Isaiah 29:10-14 and II Corinthians 3:14. Verses 7 and 8 talk about certain people’s hearts being hardened by God, yet in Isaiah 29:14, what glorious statement does the Lord make concerning His chosen people, and why would God harden some peoples hearts?

Discussion)    We talked about World War II and how this had to happen in order for Israel to become a nation.  The Lord had hardened Adolf Hitler’s heart, just like the heart of Pharoah was hardened during the time of Moses.  This is not getting into Calvinism, each one of us have a choice with every decision that we come upon.  When rebellion is present the Lord will harden the heart.  Like going the way of Cain that is stated in Jude.

Q6) What two Old Testament people does Paul use to attest to the fact that God hardened some people’s hearts?

Discussion)    The two Old Testament people were Elijah and David.

LIFE APPLICATION: Since we know by God’s Word that His covenant still remains intact with the Jewish people, and we know that they rejected the Messiah, is there any point in telling the Gospel to a Jewish person? Why or why not?

Discussion)    Yes we should so that they can see who Jesus Christ is and realize that they need Him as their personal savior.

November 4, 2007 at 9:10 pm Leave a comment

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