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Romans Bible Study – Week 5 – Part 2 – Chapters 13-16

Note: If you are looking for any posts you have missed, or a FREE copy of the study guide, you can find the table of contents by clicking here.

Below are my thoughts for each of the chapters we studied this week along with the answers to the questions I posted in the study guide.

Also, make sure that you get a copy of the coloring page I have pasted below. Have a great weekend!

Romans 13

Questions and Answers…

What 3 things does Paul teach us about authority in this chapter?

  1. To be subject to authority.
  2. That there is no authority without God allowing it to be.
  3. That all authority is ordained by God. Although we might not understand why someone is allowed to be in authority, we can trust that God has ordained it for His purpose and glory. For example, he allowed Pharaoh to sit on the throne in Egypt and even after Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go, God patiently waited to fulfill His plan in His time.“God sometimes allows an evil kaiser, czar, fuehrer, sultan, or despot to rule, and the reasons for His choice are not readily apparent. But we know this: God always sets boundaries for the potentates (see Psalm 74:12-17). Human rulers are not omnipotent, they are not eternal, and they are not immune from punishment. There will be a day of reckoning. Rulers who die in their sins will face the ultimate punishment, eternity in hell. Hitler, Lenin, and others who have rejected Christ and abused the people of God have been serving their sentence in hell for a long time.” (GotQuestons.org)

What does 1 Timothy 2:1-3 teach us about living peaceably?

To pray for those in authority, and pray that they will allow us to live in peace and worship God.

What does Paul say about those who resist authority?

We are to obey authority unless it contradicts the will of God.

What if the law of the land contradicts God? Would that be an exception? If so, why? See Acts 4:18-20 and Acts 5:27-29.

In Acts 4 we see that the priests, the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees were disturbed because Peter and John were preaching the resurrection of Christ. They seized them, put them in jail for the night, and the next day they stood before the high priest, the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law, who commanded them not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.

Their answer to them was that they had to listen to God, and not man.

Again in chapter 5, the High Priest and the Sadducees put the apostles in jail. During the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and commanded them to go preach in the temple courts.

The captain and his guards, seized the apostles again and brought them before the Sanhedrin.

Note: The Sanhedrin was an assembly of twenty-three to seventy-one men appointed in every city in the Land of Israel. These men had authority over the Israelites from the time of Moses. (Wikipedia)

The Sanhedrin reminded the apostles that they had strict orders to cease any preaching in Jesus name.

Peter and the other apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29)

What are two other examples from the Bible of civil disobedience by faithful men or women of God? (Where obedience to the law meant disobedience to God.)

Daniel:

We see in Daniel chapter 5 that he was promoted to a position of third ruler in the kingdom by King Belshazzar. Belshazzar was killed and Darius took over the throne.

Some of the presidents and princes in the kingdom wanted to bring Daniel down, but the only way they could think of was to attack his faith.

Appealing to the pride of King Darius, they went and asked that a law be put in place prohibiting anyone from praying to any God for 30 days.

The decree was signed, but as we see in Daniel chapter six, he refused to obey it. Not only did Daniel continue to pray on his knees three times/day, he did so in front of an open window.

Daniel was punished and thrown into a lion’s den, but God was faithful to deliver him.

Rehab:

In Joshua chapter two we see that Joshua sent spies to the land of Jericho to look over the land. There they met a prostitute name Rehab who opened their home to them.

When the king heard about it, he commanded Rehab to bring the men to him, but instead she hid the two men under stalks of flax that she laid on her roof, and told the king that they had left the city.

She said to the spies, “I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. (Joshua 2:9-11)

Her home was adjacent to the town wall, and so we’re told that she used a scarlet rope to lower the men over the wall and back to safety.

Rehab was not only protected by God when the Israelites returned to take the city, she was also chosen to be a part of the bloodline through which the Messiah would come. In fact her son was Boaz, her daughter-in-law was Ruth, and her great-grandson was David.

Some leaders are good while others are bad. Name two or three sinful leaders from the Bible that God used to fulfil His mission.

Pontius Pilate (the crucifixion of Christ)
Pharaoh (the story of Moses)
Xerxes (the story of Esther)

Should Christians pay taxes? Why or why not?

Yes. We are commanded in verses 6 and 7 to pay taxes, “For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”

How does love fulfill the law?

David Guzik sums this up so well when he says, “It is easy to do all the right religious “things” but to neglect love. Our love is the true measure of our obedience to God.”

What warning does Paul give us at the end of this chapter?

To fight temptation as we walk in the Spirit. “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (v. 13-14)

Romans 14

Note

 

Note: The volume is corrected about 10 minutes into the video. 

In this video, I interview Pastor Dan Krebs from Trulife Ministries. Dan has been a minister for 27 years. He brings a wealth of information to this Bible study as we discuss Romans chapter 14.

Find Pastor Dan Krebs facebook page here: Facebook.com/PastorDanKrebs

Questions and Answers…

What are some reasons a believer might be weak in their faith?

One might be weak in their faith because they haven’t been enlightened in one area or another of the gospel as of yet. They follow their faith, but some of their beliefs and traditions are either misguided or they are still a babe in Christ and haven’t learned right from wrong.

This is very different from someone who has been enlightened, but chooses to rebel against the truth of God’s Word.

What does this chapter teach us about judging each other over doubtful things?

We aren’t to pass judgment on other Christians over “doubtful things.” There are many things in the Bible that are crystal clear, like the death and resurrection of Christ, our call to repentance, and God’s grace upon us through faith. There are some things however that haven’t been made clear to us, and so we must seek the Lord for His guidance and wisdom. What God reveals to one person, may not be the same conviction He gives to another, and so as Paul says, “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” In other words, follow God in the best way you know how.

What is the difference between ‘judging un-righteously’ versus speaking the truth in love?

Jesus makes a distinction between the two in John 7:24, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

John Piper writes, “We must not judge “the hidden . . . purposes of the heart” of other Christians based on their decisions, actions, perspectives, words, or personality that concern us if those things themselves are not explicitly sinful. We must not assume sin if we suspect sin, given how biased our suspicions can be.

When blatant sin is confirmed, Christians must lovingly judge Christians. But in most situations, we must be very slow to judge, exercising great care and restraint. Our sinful flesh has a hair-trigger to judge others. We must have a healthy suspicion of our own pride, and keep Jesus’s words ringing in our ears: “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1).”

Is our freedom an excuse to sin? Or is Paul talking about something else here?

Freedom in Christ is not an excuse to sin. Galatians 5:13 says, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”

What Paul is referring to here are things that are not unclean, things that are not sinful, and actions that are not against the will of God. He is telling the Jews that they are free from the law of ceremonies, and sacrifices, and rituals, and laws about food they can and can’t eat. He is saying that you are free of all that, but he is not giving them an invitation to sin.

How does this judgment differ from 1 Corinthians 5:9-12? Or does it?

The person that Paul is talking about in this chapter are people who are weak in the faith, people who are following Christ, but aren’t fully enlightened.

The man in 1 Corinthians chapter 5, was a believer who knew right from wrong and chose to follow his sin. This is a very different scenario. He was sleeping with his stepmother, and rather than mourning his sin, they were proud. In this case, they weren’t called to judge his heart, but rather to confront his sin together as a church body and remove him from the congregation. Ignoring sin in the church is compared to a little yeast in a lump of dough. It will grow, and so it must be dealt with and removed.

Matthew 15:18-17 gives us further instruction:

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

What is the different between rebellion against God and being weak in the faith?

Rebellion is turning away from the truth that you know. Someone who is weak in the faith may not be aware of that truth.

What three things will happen when we stand before the judgment seat of God? See also I Corinthians 3:12-15.

Every knee shall bow to God
Every tongue shall confess to God
Every one shall give an account of himself to God

“If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” – 1 Corinthians 3:14-15

As a believer, we have the freedom to eat and drink in a way that is pleasing to God. How might this freedom become a stumbling block to others?

I’m going to use a modern day example here. In the Salvation army where my husband used to attend, the pastors would often go into the bars to share the gospel with others.

The potential problem there was that some might see this lifestyle and misinterpret it for what it was. They might have a strong conviction about going into a bar and returning to the lifestyle they once had. This could be a stumbling block to them if it caused them to betray their conscience and fall into sin. If they thought that going into a bar and having a beer was wrong, and suddenly they see their pastor going there every Friday afternoon, they could have mixed messages. Not that they are right in their beliefs necessarily, but because their conscience is weak.

It was for this reason, that the pastors (the Captains) wore their uniforms when going into the bars. It was a symbol to others that they were men of God on a mission.

What can we learn about the way that Paul exercises his freedom in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23?

Paul isn’t using his freedom to benefit his own life, he is using his freedom to draw others to Christ.

 

Romans 15

Questions and Answers…

The word “bear” found in verse 1, “bear the infirmities of the weak…” was translated from the Greek word “bastazo” (Strong’s G941). Can you find the definition of that word?

“to lift, literally or figuratively (endure, declare, sustain, receive, etc.):—bear, carry, take up.”

What is the difference between being accepting of sin and bearing with someone’s failures?

We can understand this verse by looking back at chapter 14, where Paul talks about believers who are weak in the faith. One who is weak in the faith doesn’t have weak faith, but rather there is an area of their life where they are still growing and learning.

We must be gentle and understanding to those who growing, especially when it comes to doubtful things in the scripture. Our personal convictions may not be the same as another’s. And so we love, and gently correct, and bear each other’s burdens in prayer.

This doesn’t mean that we accept sin. We accept the fact that we’re all sinner growing in grace.

We live in a self-centered world in which we’re constantly fed the idea that we’re number one, and should put ourselves first. Can you think of any examples of this?

One prime example of this is the appeal of magazine titles. They are geared toward me, myself, and I. What makes me happy, what gives me joy, and what I can do to better my life…

Love is a barter system where we only give as much as we get. We love those who love us, and anyone who doesn’t love us the way we feel that we need to be loved, doesn’t deserve a place in our lives.

What we should be focused on is loving others as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for our sin:

“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.” – Luke 6:27-29

We need to be asking ourselves, how can we spread joy? And, what can we do to draw others to Christ?

How do Paul’s words go against this mainstream philosophy?

Paul says to bear bear the infirmities of the weak, and “not to please ourselves,” whereas society is focused on pleasing ourselves first, and all others second.

Before I was focused on Bible studies, the tagline on my blog was “Empowering wives to joyfully serve.”

This tagline provoked anger from outsiders who compared servanthood to being a doormat. To them, it meant pain as they assumed that a servant was trampled under the feet of others. Esteeming others higher than yourself doesn’t make sense to most people. It goes against the grain of our society.

What example did Jesus give us to live by? See Philippians 2:5-11.

Jesus took on the form of a servant and humbled Himself before men.

What two words does Paul use to describe God in verse 5?

He’s a God of patience and comfort. Paul is using these words to remind us of the character of God that we should take on in our service one to another.

What is the purpose of unity in Christ?

To glorify God.

What was Paul’s mission?

“That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.” (v. 16)

At this point in time, Paul hadn’t gone to visit the Christians in Rome yet. Under what circumstances does he finally arrive there? See Acts 28:11-16.

Paul was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans where he was a prisoner aboard their ship. In Acts 27. We see that they were shipwrecked, everyone jumped overboard, and floated to land on planks and other pieces of the ship.

Arriving safely on the island of Malta, they stayed there for three months before commencing their journey. When Paul finally arrived in Rome, he was still a prisoner under guard. Acts 28:16 says, “Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.” Paul stayed there for two years, preaching the word of God.

Romans 16

Questions and Answers…

Who was Phoebe? What does Paul’s mention of her do for women in the church?

Phoebe was a servant/deacon in the church. Because the word “diakonos,” that’s used in this verse encompasses a number of duties within the church, we aren’t clear on the specifics of her position.

We do know however that Paul also wrote, “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man…” (1 Timothy 2:12)

What we see here is that Paul definitely had great respect for Phoebe. We also see that women had positions of ministry within the church. As long as we stay within the guidelines that Paul outlines in scripture, we can and should be using our gifts to serve.

The word “servant/deacon” found in verse 1 was translated from the Greek word “diakonos” (Strong’s G1249). Can you find the definition of that word?

“Probably from an obsolete διάκω diákō (to run on errands; an attendant, i.e. (genitive case) a waiter (at table or in other menial duties); specially, a Christian teacher and pastor (technically, a deacon or deaconess):—deacon, minister, servant.

Where did Paul meet Priscilla and Aquila, and what occupation did they have in common with Paul? See Acts 18:1-4

Paul met Priscilla and Aquilla in Corinth. Like Paul, they were fellow tent makers.

Who does Paul warn the Romans to watch out for and keep away from?

Those who caused division and offences contrary to the gospel.

How were they deceiving people?

With good words and fair speeches they were deceiving the hearts of the simple.

In what area did Paul want the Romans to exercise wisdom? See verse 19.

“I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.”

In other words, use wisdom to discern what is good and what is evil. Don’t be deceived by false doctrine.

What does Revelation 20:1-3 reveal about the fate of Satan and his deceitfulness?

His days on earth are numbered (Revelation 12:12). There is coming a time when Satan will be bound up and cast into a bottomless pit for a 1,000 years (otherwise known as the millennium). During that time, there will be peace on earth. After that, we’re told that he will be released for a brief time before he is finally cast into the lake of fire for ever.

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Revelation 20:10

What was the mystery that was kept secret since the world began?

Some think this mystery is merely the inclusion of the Gentiles in the plan of salvation. However, it’s more likely the entire gospel, revealed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Everything in the Old Testament pointed to the Messiah, but it wasn’t until He came in the flesh that this mystery began to unfold.

 

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