Romans 10:14-21 – November 4, 2007

THE NATION (ISRAEL) NEEDS TO HEAR THE GOSPEL (verses 14-21)

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 Isaiah 52:7. Then read verses 14 and 15. According to these passages it says one must go through six steps to get the Gospel to another. What are these 6 steps and can anyone do this?

Clues)    This is the trick question.

Discussion)    Any Christian can give the Gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone else.  We concentrated on the word preacher.  Many people believe that this means that this is a title or office.  If we look in the Greek, the word is kerysso which is a verb and means to preach, proclaim, tell, often urging acceptance of the message with warnings of consequences of not doing so.  This is the only occurrence of this word in the New Testament.  All other occurrences of the word preacher in the New Testament is the word keryx which is a noun and means to be a preacher.

We want to remember what this word kerysso means as Paul finishes out this chapter.

Q2) Read Isaiah 52:7 and Nahum 1:15. According to verse 15 what does the Gospel consist of?

Discussion)    The Gospel of Jesus Christ is about peace and glad tidings.  Yes there are some times where you must tell a person where they will end up if they do not accept Jesus as their personal Savior.  For most people they already realize that they do sin and are not good in their heart.  They need to hear about the love that Jesus has for them by dying on the cross for their sins.

Q3) Read Galatians 3:1-5, Colossians 3:16 and Acts 15:7. According to verse 17, why is it so important that people hear the Gospel , not just man using his own wisdom to lure you in, or a great speaker saying a bunch of words at you, but the Gospel?

Discussion)    It is important to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that they can act on it.  People do not need to hear flowery words of how great they are but they need to hear that Jesus loves them and died for them.

Q4) Read Psalm 19:1-4. In verse 18, Paul is going over the question, “surely they have never heard have they” and then he says, “Indeed they have!” Explain what this means and who is he speaking about?

Discussion)    There was a lot of discussion on this.  Verse 18 is quoted from Psalm 19:1-4.  If you just read verse 18 you would think that it is talking about the Jewish people.  If you read Psalm 19:1-4 it shows that it is talking about all that God created shows His mercy and love for us.  With that verse 18 shows that all of nature pronounces the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Q5) In verse 19 Paul is speaking specifically about the Jews. From what Old Testament passage does Paul quote and why is he quoting this?

Discussion)    This is from Deuteronomy 32:21 and Paul is quoting this to remind the Jewish people that they were once also like the Gentiles, a nomadic tribe, that did not have laws nor rules to govern them by.  The law came down for them to be a shining example to the world.  In the same way Jesus Christ came down for all Christians to be a shining example to the world.

Q6) What do verses 20 and 21 say about God’s character?

Discussion)    It states that God is concerned about all people and that he has outstretched arms to people that are disobedient to Him.  He is patiently waiting for people to be done with themselves and come to Him.

LIFE APPLICATION: Why is it so important to know the Word of God? Read Hebrews 4:12. Find some other Scriptures that explain or talk about how powerful God’s Word is and why we need to know and use it!

Discussion)    So that you can know if a deception is taking place and also know if what is being said lines up with what the Bible states.

October 28, 2007 at 10:14 pm Leave a comment

Romans 10:1-13 – October 28, 2007

PAUL LONGS FOR ISRAEL’S SALVATION (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) In verses 2-4 what do we see that the Jews tried to do for their righteousness? Does this happen today?

Discussion)    The Jews are trying to establish their own righteousness to God.  It is like the picture of the great divide between God and humanity and the Jews are doing things according to their own knowledge to bridge that divide when the only thing that can bridge that divide is the cross of Jesus Christ. 

Yes this happens in many ways.  Not only in non-Christian realms but also with Christians of trying to do enough good works, go to enough conferences, or other things instead of just doing what they see the Lord do.

Q2) Read Acts 13:39 and Romans 3:22. According to verse 4, how did God put the Jews and Gentiles on a “level playing field”? (Not that one is better than the other, but equal in God’s eyes).

Discussion)    The Lord put the Jews and Gentiles on a level playing field by stating that Christ is the end (this word in the Greek means fulfillment or goal and not to do away with) the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.  Not just a certain race or God’s “favorite” people, but EVERYONE!

Q3) What do verses 6-8 mean?

Discussion)    This is quoted from Deuteronomy 30:12-14.  In today’s language we can say that you do not have to search high (verse 16 of who will ascend to heaven) or low (verse 17 of who will descend into the abyss) for Christ.  He is as near as the words are in your mouth (verse 18).  You do not have to go on a journey to search for Christ, go to conferences, scale the summits of Tibet or meditate day and night.  He is as close as the words in your mouth and heart.

Q4) Paul says that the righteousness people are looking for is very difficult to find and that one must keep certain parts of the law and then do research for years to attain this righteousness. Is this the case, and why or why not?

Clues)    This is the trick question.

Discussion)    You do not have to go on a search to find Jesus.  All you have to do is to call out His name and start living for Him and His righteousness will begin to flow through you.  Yes there may be some things that He has to clean up in you that might stop this flow but that is up to Him to decide and not up to us.  We are not to do the work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Q5) What two things are required as conditions of salvation according to verse 9?

Discussion)    The two things that are required are confession with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead.  Remember that demons and the devil (ultimately if they have not already) will declare that Jesus is Lord but will not believe it with their heart that He was raised from the dead.

We talked about how people say at times that they do not have faith.  When a person believes in their heart that God raised Jesus from the dead that takes faith.  Remember it says in the Bible that without faith it is impossible to please God.  Without this key piece of faith it is not possible to be saved.  So if you go through a time in your life where you think you have no faith, think on this verse and that is proof that yes you have faith in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Q6) Explain verses 11-13.

Discussion)    Nothing tricky here but that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved, no matter if they are Jew or Gentile.

LIFE APPLICATION: Read Matthew 24. Verse 2 says the Jews have great zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. We probably all know someone that belongs to a certain sect or religion that have the utmost zeal for God, but they either do works, or follow certain rules, chant lines of words, etc. etc. They have a great zeal for what they believe, yet there are those that are in great error of the knowledge of the only way to heaven which is Jesus Christ!! How can true believers in Jehovah God keep themselves from being deceived, especially during those times when more and more religion-based groups are being formed? What tools did God give us to keep us?

Discussion)    We need to keep grounded in the Bible and know what is in it.  We talked about how there is a bad theology going around Christianity today that states it is not enough what Jesus did on the cross but that when He died on the cross He went to hell and died in hell for our sins at the hands of the devil.  This is a falsehood and borders on blasphemy since the last words Jesus said on the cross was “It is finished” not this part is done.

Other tools that God gave us to keep us is the Holy Spirit.  We need to be still and know that God is God.  When we are still is when we can hear the Holy Spirit loudest.  When we hear something that is not lining up correctly with the Bible, all we need to do is search out God in prayer and the Scriptures and He will tell us what is of Him and what is not.

October 21, 2007 at 8:10 pm Leave a comment

Romans 9:14-33 – October 21, 2207

GOD IS SOVEREIGN (verses 14-33)

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

Q6) Read Galatians 3:29, Galatians 4:28, and Hebrews 11:11. Verse 8 says the children of the flesh are not the children of God – the children of the promise are counted as the seed. What does this mean?

Discussion)    This means that the children of God are not those that live by the flesh but those that live by the Holy Spirit.

LIFE APPLICATION: When we think of the Jews and how they refused to recognize the Messiah or when we think on people we know that are not saved and our hearts become so burdened for their souls to be saved, should we stay stuck here, just thinking on these things? What might this drive us to do?

Discussion)    We should witness, pray for them, and tell them what Jesus did for them because He loves them.

Q1) According to Ephesians 2:8-10 and here in Romans 9:15-16, who is it that determines our destiny and find another verse in this study that explains why it’s their right to do so!

Discussion)    God determines our destiny.  Any passage in this lesson describes this.  It is His right to do this since He holds the very fabric of our being together.  We have no right to deny this from Him though He allows us to.

Q2) Explain verses 19-21.

Discussion)    We have no right to question why He allowed each one of us to be born a certain way or in a certain family.  This is part of His plan and involves our destiny through Him.

Q3) Read Hosea 1:9-10, Hosea 2:23, and I Peter 2:9-10. Then read verses 25 and 26. How can the Gentiles go from not being the people of God to God saying that He will call them My people and He calls those beloved that aren’t beloved by Him?

Discussion)    This speaks volumes about the amount of love that God has for the Gentile nations.  Through what Jesus did now God calls any Gentile His beloved.  This is not part of replacement theology and Gentiles are not taking over the status of Israel.  Instead this shows that God loves each one of us as much as the other.

Q4) Read Isaiah 1:9, Isaiah 13:19, Deuteronomy 29:23, Jeremiah 49:18, Jeremiah 51:40, and Amos 4:11. Verse 29 mentions the Lord of Sabaoth and if He hadn’t left them a seed, they would have ended up like Sodom and Gomorrha. What does this mean? What does Sabaoth mean?

Discussion)    This means that without the seed that He had left we would be desolate and barren and without a place.  Sabaoth means Hosts.

Q5) Verse 30-33 talks about the Jews and the Gentiles alike, have finally accepted the Gospel and realized Jesus IS the way to heaven. Why?

Clues)    This is the trick question.

Discussion)    The Jews have faith in the Law whereas the Gentiles have faith in Jesus Christ.  

Q6) Read verse 33. When it talks about a stumblingstone and rock of offense, of whom is it speaking and what does it mean?

Discussion)    The stumblingstone and rock of offense is Jesus Christ.  Whenever someone talks about God it is usually okay, but as soon as Jesus Christ is mentioned then people start to get offended.  Jesus said that this would happen.  He also said that no one can get to God except going through Jesus Christ.  There are no loop holes or shortcuts when it comes to going to God.

LIFE APPLICATION: What great joy and revelation should a believer gain from this study that allows him/her to know for an absolute certainty how much God loves him/her?

Discussion)    That each one of us is loved with a love that we cannot comprehend.  It is this love that sent Jesus Christ to the cross to die for each one of us.  Also there is nothing that I can do or fail to do that can separate or lessen that love towards me.

October 14, 2007 at 7:55 pm Leave a comment

Romans 8:31-9:13 – October 14, 2007

BELIEVERS ARE LOVED BY GOD (verses 31-38) and THE IMPLICATIONS OF FAITH FOR ISRAEL (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) Read Psalm 118:6. According to verses 31-39, what can separate a believer from the love of God?

Discussion)    Nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Q2) Verses 31-39 talks about how much God loves us. What thing mentioned in these verses demonstrates how much He loves us?

Discussion)    That God did not spare His own Son for us.  God gave the best that heaven has to take the place for each one of us in our worst areas.  That is a love that one can hardly imagine.

Q3) In verse 33 who is it that justifies? What comfort does this give us when the devil attacks us?

Discussion)    God justifies.  It is absolutely nothing about us but everything about Jesus and what He does.  We cannot justify ourselves by being holy enough, good works, etc., instead it is all about what Jesus does in our place. 

Q4) In Romans 9:2, Paul says his heart is very heavy and in continual sorrow. He even says in verse 3 that he wishes he himself was accursed from Jesus {was separated from Jesus}. When Paul feels this way, where do you think his thoughts were? What was he pondering on?

Discussion)    Chapter 8 actually does flow into chapter 9 in that at the end of chapter 8 Paul was explaining the love of God and in chapter 9 Paul explains the amount of love that he has for the Jewish people and that he wants each one of them to experience the love of God that he has experienced.

Q5) Verses 6-13 talk about promises to certain people God chose for His purposes. In verses 6 and 7 Paul talks about the promises to Isaac and Moses. Who does he use as an example, that explains verses 6 and 7? {Galatians 4:22-31 helps with this question}.

Clues)    This is the trick question.

Discussion)    It is actually Abraham and Isaac.  This is an extremely meaty part of Scripture.  We spent the rest of the class time talking on this point.  If you notice Galatians 4:24-26, this passage explains how there are two Jerusalems, one here and now under bondage and then one above which is free.  Also Paul explains in this portion of Romans how that Abraham had two sons, one out of the flesh (Ishmael) and one out of the Spirit (Isaac).  Issac had two sons, one that chose the fleshly way (Esau) and one that chose the spiritual way (Jacob).  Paul is showing us that it does not matter what our heritage, what matters is are we going to choose the fleshly path or the spiritual path for each decision that we make.  Also we talked about verse 6 where Paul states that for they are not all Israel who are of Israel.  This is a difficult statement, but if I may we can put it in today’s context, every person that states they are a Christian may not necessarily be a Christian.  In other words do not take everything as the truth but test everything that you hear according to the Word of God.  

Q6) Read Galatians 3:29, Galatians 4:28, and Hebrews 11:11. Verse 8 says the children of the flesh are not the children of God – the children of the promise are counted as the seed. What does this mean?

We did not get into this question or the life application due to time.  We will pick this up next week.

LIFE APPLICATION: When we think of the Jews and how they refused to recognize the Messiah or when we think on people we know that are not saved and our hearts become so burdened for their souls to be saved, should we stay stuck here, just thinking on these things? What might this drive us to do?

October 7, 2007 at 9:01 pm Leave a comment

Romans 8:18-30 – October 7, 2007

BELIEVERS RECEIVE THE SPIRIT’S HELP (verses 18-30)

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) Verses 18-25 talk about how we will be delivered from some things that we deal with now in our present lives. What things will we be delivered from and how?

Discussion)    We will be delivered from sufferings, futility, and trials of this present age.  We will have to go through these but they will not kill our soul.

Q2) Read II Corinthians 4:17 and I Peter 1:6, then explain what Romans 8:18 and 19 mean.

Discussion)    Verse 19 means that all of creation, since the fall of Adam and Eve, waits for this time when we shall enter into the fullness of the glory of God.

Q3) Read II Corinthians 5:7, I Thessalonians 5:8, and Titus 3:7. According to verse 24, what do we have and why do we have it?

Discussion)    We have hope in every major issue and trial that we face.  That hope is in and is Jesus Christ and is in no other.

Q4) Read II Timothy 1:9 and then read verse 28. Verse 28 is very clear in stating that ALL things work together for good for ALL people – saved and unsaved. Why?

Clues)    This is the trick question.

Discussion)    We wrapped this into question 5.

Q5) Read verse 28. What are the two most common mistakes that people either misquote, misread, misinterpret or interject into this verse?

Discussion)    Many people believe that this verse either states that nothing bad will happen to me or that everything works out good for all people.  Both of these are wrong.  Bad things happen to everyone.  For those that love God and follow Him, all things bad work out to the good.  Also, it must be noted that this verse is not for everyone.  This verse is for all that love God.

Q6) Verse 30 is a guarantee of what to a believer?

Discussion)    It is a guarantee of the hope that we have in Jesus.  Jesus already stands in victory and He will provide these things in verse 30 for us, through His victory.  It is nothing that we did, it is all and completely based upon Him.

LIFE APPLICATION: This study talks about hope and faith in Him – that our sufferings and pain are only temporary – then glory. When we can’t pray anymore, when we can only lie there and cry, it is then that the Holy Spirit and Jesus make intercession for us and the Holy Spirit helps us to go ahead and pray. What does this tell you about how God feels about us? Write down a suffering or pain of yours that you are willing to share with the class and then we will ask the Holy Spirit to help us pray accordingly.

Discussion)  God cares for every trial and situation that we go through.  There will be times where He will not hold back bad things, but during those dark times He will be closer to us than we can imagine.

October 1, 2007 at 11:33 pm Leave a comment

Romans 8:9-17 – September 30, 2007

BELIEVERS ARE PEOPLE OF THE SPIRIT (verses 9-17)

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 verses 9-11. How does God bring a certainty to our hearts that we are guaranteed resurrection and eternal glory if we belong to Him?

Discussion)    God brings a certainty to our hearts in the fact that Jesus Christ raised from the dead and He dwells in each of those in whom the Holy Spirit dwells.  Due to the fact that Jesus raised from the dead we have the hope and guarantee that we will put on immortal bodies (because of Jesus) after we die.

Q2) According to verses 12 and 13 what are we under obligation to do?

Discussion)    We are under obligation to live according to the Holy Spirit and not the flesh.

Q3) If we are to rely totally on the Holy Spirit to live out our lives as holy, then what does verse 13 say we must do on our own towards that goal?

Discussion)    It says that we mus put to death the deeds of the body.  We talked about there are times where we are not sinning and we do what is good, but if we are not listening to God, we have shortchanged ourselves since we may not be doing what is best, but only what is good.

Q4) Verses 14 and 16 declares we are the sons and daughters of God. According to these verses, what manifests itself in our lives as proof that we belong to the Father?

Discussion)    What manifests in us is the Spirit of God and that is proof enough that we belong to God.  That is more proof than a piece of paper (birth certificate) claiming that we were born to two humans.

Q5) The Spirit of adoption as described in verse 15 means that we can only be adopted by God if we are orphans on the earth in our physical lives. Explain what God means by adoption.

Clues)  This is the trick question.

Discussion)    Every person on this earth can go through the adoption talked about here because it is a spiritual adoption that will then encompass all facets of our being.

Q6) Why does Paul use the words “Abba, Father” in verse 15, when the word Abba means Father in Aramaic? It would read “Father, Father”. Why would He say the word twice?

Discussion)    There was much discussion on this.  It is just like when a child is either excited, frightened, in pain, or any other emotion, they will say papa, papa, papa, or mama, mama, mama over and over.  It is not a one time thing done with religious piety to prove our holiness.  It is something that is said in extreme closeness to an authority figure with love, such as a child would have for their parents.

LIFE APPLICATION: When an earthly child is adopted, they learn to adapt to their new environment. The same occurs with spiritual adoption. Why does it take more time for some believers than others to adapt to their spiritual adoption?

Discussion)    It is based upon the core being of the flesh and what the person has walked through.  A person may have no problem because they have a good relationship with their parents and had no traumas in their lives.  Or they could have extreme problems due to much abuse, distrust, and bad relationships.

September 24, 2007 at 12:19 am Leave a comment

Romans 8:1-8 – September 23, 2007

IN CHRIST THERE IS NO MORE CONDEMNATION (verses 1-8)

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 verse 1 Paul could have said, “You no longer stand accused” – but we are still accused by that old devil; but it’s thrown out. He could have said there is nothing in you that deserves condemnation, but this wouldn’t have been a true statement because we all do deserve death and hell. What is the one thing he tells believers that is so encouraging to us?

Discussion)    He tells believers that there is no condemnation to those that are in Jesus Christ, if you walk according to the Spirit and not to the flesh.  This is encouraging in that no matter how many times we mess up, we cannot be condemned by Jesus.  We also talked about how we need to be careful about what we hear and see if it is true or not.  If someone says that they heard from the Holy Spirit or God and what they say goes against the Bible then it did not come from God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit since they cannot contradict themselves. 

Q2) Read Philippians 2:7, Hebrews 2:14 and 17 and Hebrews 4:15. Verse 3 states that God sent His own Son – because the law failed – we could not live up to the law. God made another way for us to be reconciled to Himself. God sent Jesus – He was made sin for us. What does it mean that God sent Jesus in the “likeness of sinful flesh”?

Discussion)    Jesus was made like us so that He could understand what it means to be tempted like we were.  This was not done so He could say that He did it, but so that He could have an unending supply of mercy for us.  It was asked whether Jesus had a flesh nature like us.  We discussed this and no he did not.  Even though he was born of woman, He did not come from the lineage of Adam (through the fraternal side) but He came from the lineage of God.

Q3) Verse 3 states that the law is weak. Why?

Clues)    This is the trick question.  It should be that the law is weak through the flesh.

Discussion)    This means that the law is pure and holy, but human kind made the law weak because humans followed their sin natures instead of following God.  We need to be very careful of this since there is a theology that has permeated Christianity that Jesus did away with the law.  No, he fulfilled the law and as we talked about previously the law is holy and points to our need for a Savior that only Jesus can fulfill so the law will always point to Jesus as our Savior.

Q4) Read Galatians 5:19-21 then read Galatians 5:22-25. This is a contrast of a life dominated by the flesh and a life dominated by the Holy Spirit. Why does, as verse 7 says, a mind that is set on the flesh is hostile towards God and doesn’t live by the law of God and couldn’t live by God’s law if he/she wanted to?

Discussion)    This is due to the fact that the flesh is focused upon self whereas God’s law is focused upon God, others then self.  Flesh always puts self first before everything else.  A question came about the prevailing thought that is going around that God will give us the desires of our heart if we just pray about it.  It should be noted if we are truly following Jesus that God will be first in our hearts, others second, and then ourselves last.  If this is true about us then we should only be doing what we see God doing and then our prayers will not be focused upon ourselves.  Another way to put it is in the life of Paul, he never asked for a new horse, new chariot, or some faster way to get to the different areas that he ministered to.  Remember that he had been tortured and beat up many times, so walking at times was very painful for him.  Instead he prayed for the welfare of others spiritually and physically.

Q5) What in verse 4 does Paul tell us can be accomplished in a believer’s life if we walk after the Spirit and gives a believer great encouragement and joy?

Discussion)    What can be accomplished is the righteous requirement of the law (God, others, then self) and what is so comforting about this is that when we pursue God first He will take care of everything in our lives. 

Q6) Read verse 8. Why can’t one please God when we are walking in the flesh?

Discussion)    Because the flesh and the Spirit are diametrically opposed to each other.  It is just like two powerful magnets that are trying to be forced to each other.  There is resistance and then there is a complete repelling so that each magnet goes in a separate direction from the other magnet.

LIFE APPLICATION: Why should we double check our minds and what it is focused on? How long does it take for us to become like-minded to the Lord?

Discussion)    We need to double check our minds because whatever the mind is focused on the rest of the body will eventually go to.  It takes a lifetime for us to have the mind of Christ, it is not an instantaneous thing.

September 16, 2007 at 9:40 pm Leave a comment

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