Thoughts of John

What is on my mind.

Bible Study on Romans: Assurance From The Spirit: Romans 8:16-17

Summary: Romans 8 has been called by some “the chapter of the Holy Spirit”, and rightly so. Through the power of the Spirit, the Believer enjoys a new way of life; that of following the Lord Jesus. Through Him, the Christian also enjoys a new and intimate access to the Father, as well as a new assurance of belonging to God’s family.

1. A. Who is leading who, according to Rom. 8:14?

B. Please explain what this has to do with our position in Christ, and why. (John. 10:27-29, 15:8, I John. 3:5-10, 2 Cor. 5:14-17, Titus 2:11-15).

C. What evidence of following Christ do you see in your own life? Following Him may not be the perfection of your life, but is it the general direction? Is following Christ the desire of your heart in spite of your imperfections?

2. A. According to Rom. 8:15, why is the Christian no longer burdened with the spirit of slavery and fear?

B. If we knew what God was really like, we would be astonished that He would relate to us as “Abba,” “Father” or “Daddy.” (Ps. 145:3-7, Rev. 4:5-11) In what fashion then, is He intimate with us? (Ps. 103:8-13, Ps. 139:2-6, Ps. 139:13-18, Rom. 5:8, I Pet 3:18)

C. Do you neglect God and treat Him with contempt? Or do you cultivate intimacy with the Lord? (Ps. 9:10, 37:3-7, 63:1, 70:4, John 14:21, 15:5)

3. A. What is the opposite of slavery and fear, given to Believers in Ro. 8:15?

B. What is the significance of being adopted by the Lord? How is this distinct from being born into God’s family, and how do both of them work together? (I Pet. 2:2, 2 Pet. 3:18, Eph. 1:3-14). How does this adoption relate to the overall plan of salvation? (Gal. 4:1-7)

C. Do you enjoy your new birth in Christ? Do you also enjoy your adoption? (Ps 16:11)

4. A. In Ro.8:16, who is bearing witness and regarding what? Is this subjective or objective truth?

B. What is the objective truth given to us in the Scriptures that makes assurance of salvation possible? (I John. 5:11-13, 3:24, 4:13-14).

C. Subjective assurance of belonging to Christ in our hearts is proportionate to our submission to Him and our dependence upon Him. (John 5:24, I John. 4:15-16). How solid is your assurance?

5. A. What three categories of people do we find in I Cor. 1:22-24?

B. How differently do these three groups respond to the idea of assurance? (I Cor. 1:18)

C. Is the assurance of belonging to Christ one of the major loves of your heart?

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

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May 23, 2010 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, God, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Romans, Theology, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Study on Romans: Life In The Spirit, Pt 3: Romans 8:14-17

Summary: Paul makes the case for disciplines holiness in the lives of all Believers early in the chapter. The powerful motivations for our obligation would be our transformed position in Christ, the mind set on the Spirit, and our new life in Christ for today and eternity. Another motivation is sonship to Christ. We are children of the Almighty, and He is most worthy of our reverence and personal intimacy.

1. A. What is the key word in Rom. 8:12?

B. If we have “no condemnation” in Rom. 8:1, why do we also have the “obligation” in 8:12? Obligation for what? (Rom. 8:2-4, 8:13; Gal. 3:2-3)

C. Do you fill your mind with the Word of Christ, so that you walk in the Spirit? (Eph. 5:18-21, Col. 3:16-22, Gal. 5:16, Rom. 13:14)

2. A. How are children of God characterized according to Rom. 8:14?

B. What is the significance of the idea of being led vs. being pushed, pulled, dragged or carried? What must a person being led be willing to do, in order for leading to work?

C. How is your vision? Do you see the spiritual world in your daily life? Are you “led by the Spirit of God” in all your activities? How about at work? Or at home? In your hobbies or on vacation?

3. A. How is God Himself characterized according to Rom. 8:15?

B. Why is this so amazing, that God would allow Himself to be addressed as “Abba, Father,” or Daddy? (Gen. 1:1; I Chron. 29:11-13, Ps. 145:3-7, 2 Sam. 7:22; Rev. 1:7-8, 1:13-18, 4:5-8, 5:11-14)

C. Do you enjoy personal intimacy with the Most High? Is He the delight of your heart? (Ps. 16:11, 37:3-6; Matt. 11:28-30; John 14:21, 15:7-11

4. A. What hinders our closeness to God according to Ps. 66:18?

B. If we are going to put God first and pursue Him (Matt.6:33), how should we relate to the things in this world? (I John. 2:15-16; Luke 9:23)

C. Are you relentless to spend time with God, or do you get distracted? (Luke 10:38-42.) Do you put time in your schedule for the Almighty? (Ezra 7:10) Do you have someone else to help keep you accountable?

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, God, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Romans, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bible Study on Romans: Life In the Spirit, Pt 2: Romans 8.9-13

Summary: During his teaching on the proper mindset of Believers and the identity we have in Christ, the Apostle Paul also addresses the place of the Holy Spirit. From the moment of salvation, all Christians have their sins removed and the Holy Spirit living in them. He provides both the willingness and the power to live a holy life for God.
1. A. According to the following scriptures, what tenses are used regarding the Holy Spirit? (Luke 24:45-48, John 14:16-17, 15:16, 16:7-8 and 2 Cor. 5:5, 2 Tim. 1:14).

B. What historical event took place in the early church that became the dividing point between these future and past tense references, and why? (Acts 2:1-4) How do the following passages relate to this event? (Acts 8:14-17, Acts. 10:44-48

C. Does the Holy Spirit come to us in pieces or does He dwell within us entirely? (I Cor. 3:16, 2 Cor. 1:21-22). Are you a source of blessing toward others? (John 7:37-39). Are you a witness for Jesus Christ? (Acts 1:5-8).

2. A. How are Believers identified according to Romans 8:9?

B.How does the Holy Spirit affect our own spirit according to Rom. 8:10? How is this different than before we were saved? (Rom. 8:5-8, Eph. 2:1-3).

C. Is your spirit alive towards God, because of Christ’s death on your behalf? (Rom. 8:16, Ps. 16:7-11, 42:1-2).

3. A. What did the Holy Spirit do for the Lord Jesus according to Rom. 8:11?

B. When does this affect those of us who follow Christ, and why?

C. Is this your hope and your future, to be transformed so you can be with Him forever? Does anticipating Jesus’ return motivate you to be holy today? (I Jn. 3:1-5)

4. A. What is the reasonable obligation we have, of what not to do, according to Rom. 8:12-13?

B. What does it mean to “walk in the Spirit?” (Rom. 12:1-2, Col. 3:1-3, 12-16, Phil. 4:8, Ps. 1:1-3). What does it mean, “putting to death the deeds of the body?” (Rom. 14:13, I Thess. 4:1-8).

C. “To walk in the Spirit is to have no compromise with the flesh.” Do you give a place for the flesh? How should we deal with this? (I Cor. 6:18-20, Rom. 16:19).

5. A. Describe “the mind set of the Spirit” according to Rom. 8:6.

B. Please explain the importance of the “how to” of setting your mind on the Spirit. (Prov. 4:23, John. 15:5-11, Col. 3:12-16, Phil. 4:6-8).

C. It has been said that all sinful acts begin in the mind. Do you manage your thought life carefully? Are you self disciplined so as to be “wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil?” (Rom. 16:19, James 1:13-15.)

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

May 8, 2010 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, God, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Romans, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Study on Romans: Life In the Spirit, Pt 1: Romans 8:1-13

Summary: Paul makes the case for the transforming grace of Christ in the Believer. By grace through faith we are justified from our sins, and we are also set free from the bondage of sin and the Law, according to Ch. 6,7. Here in Ch. 8 Paul clarified the source: by grace we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, in order to have His mindset, to live an obedient lifestyle, and to enjoy eternal life.

1. A. Where does grace fit in with Rom. Ch 6 & 7? (Rom. 5:20-6:4, 7:6, and 7:24-25.

B. How does God’s grace deliver us from the power of sin and death? From our obligation and failures to the Law? (Rom. 3:24-26; Eph. 2:8-10; Titus 3:5).

C. Are you trusting the Lord’s grace for your innocence and purity? (Acts. 4:12; Ps. 103:12-14; Col. 2:6-7)

2. A. What are the benefits for believers according to Rom. 8:1-2?

B. How were these benefits made possible for us, and for what purpose? (Rom. 8:3-4; Lev. 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7).

C. Are you a person who pursues holiness? (Heb. 12:14)

3. A. In Rom. 8:5-13 Paul instructs that the Holy Spirit subdues the flesh in us. What are the couplets identified in this text?

B. Who are those in Rom. 8:5 “according to the flesh?” Who are those “according to the Spirit?” (Rom. 8:6-9)

C. Based on your speech, how you spend your time and money, as well as your priorities, which category do you find yourself in?

4. A. Please identify the results of the two mindsets in Rom. 8:6

B. What are some other translations or shades of meaning given in “mindset” in Rom. 8:5-9: (Phil. 2:5, 3:18-19, 4:10) In what ways does the mindset affect our views or concerns?

C. What is your mindset? What captures your heart? Is your attitude, focus and concern steadfast upon the Lord Jesus? (Mt. 22:37; Deut. 13:4; 2 Kings 18:1-8; Jer. 13:11)

5. A. What are the positive and negative “if” statements of identity, in Rom. 8:9?

B. How would you explain the progression of who you are to how you think, to how you live, to where you spend eternity? (2 Cor. 5:14-17, 21; I Jn. 3:1-10)

C. What about you? How are you filling your mind with the things of Christ so that your ambition in life is to please God? (Col. 3:16)

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

May 2, 2010 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, God, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Romans, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Study on Romans: The Law’s Function: Romans 7:7-25

Summary: From Rom. 3:21-6:23, Paul has shown that justification by faith in Christ delivers the Christian from the penalty as well as the power of sin. In Ch. 7 he explains that the Law cannot deliver us from sin; all it can do is bring conviction of wrongdoing. Paul deals with the realism of sin that wages war in the believer and confesses the failure of his own humanness.

1. A. Review Rom. 7:1-6 and briefly describe the analogy Paul makes.

B. How is it that believers “were made to die to the Law,” and what does this mean? (7:4-6)

C. Do you recognize yourself as being delivered from the Law in order to receive the Spirit of Christ? (Rom. 7:6; Gal. 3:2-3)

2. A. What kind of knowledge is Paul discussing in Rom. 7:7?

B. According to verses 7-13, describe the extent of what the Law is able to accomplish. What is the correlation between the Law and sin?

C. In Romans 7:24, Paul said, “Wretched man that I am!” Are you convicted for your own sins? (Ps. 32:5, 51:1-6)

3. A. How does the Law contrast with the flesh according to Rom. 7:14?

B. What does Paul mean when he says, “of flesh?” Does Rom. 7:14-24 apply to Christians or non-Christian? Please explain (Rom. 7:15-17, 20-23. Why does Paul use the present tense first person in this section?

C. Paul knew well his standing in Christ when he wrote this. What about you? Do you face the weaknesses of your own humanity and guard yourself accordingly? (Rom. 13:14; Matt. 24:42; I Pet. 5:8; Ps. 119:9-11

4. A. What does Paul wish for according to Rom. 7:18-22?

B. Is our new nature in Christ not able to conquer sin? Why or why not? (Rom. 7:20-21; John 15:4-5; Ps. 119:9, 11)

C. Even our new nature described in Rom. 6 does not conquer the propensity to sin in our humanness. Do your weaknesses drive you to the Lord Jesus?

5. A. Compare Rom. 7:6 to verses 7:20-21. What is the contrast?

B. Do Christians always “serve in newness of the Spirit?” or, do we sin out of control as a way of life? How do we reconcile this? (John 10:27-29; I Jn. 1:5-2:6; 3:9-10; Titus 2:11-15; Eph. 3:8-10)

C. Since true believers follow Christ, so that the sins of their flesh are not habitual, how solid does your salvation look? (2 Cor. 13:5; James 1:22; Matt. 7:17-23)

6. A. What is the motivation for obedience according to Rom. 6:17? Where does it come from?

B. How is this a trademark of true saving faith? Do all believers want to obey the Lord Jesus from the Heart? (John 10:27; 2 Cor. 5:14-21, Titus 2:11-15; John 3:36)

C. The word “committed” in Rom. 6:17 means “given over to.” Are you committed to living for Christ so that you are completely given over to Him? Do you “present your members as slaves to righteousness?” (Rom. 6:19)

7. A. What opposites does Paul contrast in Rom. 6:19-22?

B. What is sanctification? Why is it the result of enslaving ourselves to God? (Rom. 1:1; I Thess. 4:1-8; Deut. 10:8; Ps. 4:3; Rom. 12:1-2)

C. Is everything about you set apart for God? Do you see yourself as His property? (I Cor. 6:18-20)

8. A. What are the three opposites given to us in Rom. 6:23?

B. Explain how this verse is a summary of true freedom, for both the beginning as well as the continuation of our salvation. (Rom. 6:4; Gal. 5:1, 3:2-3; John 8:12; Eph. 2:8-10; Col. 2:6-7)

C. What is the chief difference between the way death and life are received?

D. Are you depending on the free gift of God for your freedom? (Mt. 16:25)

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

April 18, 2010 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Romans, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Study on Romans: Dead To Law: Romans 7:1-6

Summary: Paul addresses the identity of believers in Christ. In Ch 6 we are dead to sin and alive to Him. Justification by faith results in obedience by faith. In Ch 7 we are also dead to the Law; we are not bound to any religious system. Instead we belong to Christ, and serve Him from our hearts as our beloved Father.

1. A. What is the main characteristic of justification by faith in Christ, according to Romans 5? How long does it last?

B. For what three reasons is justification by faith made permanent? (Rom.5)

C. How has your character been proven? Are you secure in God’s love and in His grace that overcomes our sins?

2. A. How does Paul want Chrstians to see themselves according to Rom. 6?

B. If “substitution” is the theme of the early chapters of Romans, what is the focus of Chapters 6-8?

C. What is “sanctification?” Explain how it relates to enslaving ourselves to God. (Rom. 1:1; I Thess. 4:1-8; Deut. 10:8; Ps. 4:3; Rom. 12:1-2)

D. Are you set apart for God? Do you conduct yourself as His property? (I Cor. 6:18-20)

3. A. Read Rom. 6:14 and 7:1-3 together. Can a wife continue as the wife if her husband dies? Then what happens?

B. What does our dying to the Law have to do with Jesus Christ? (Rom. 7:4; Gal. 2:19-20, 4:4-7).

C. What did Christ’s death and resurrection do for us regarding the Law?

D. What can we learn from the example of marriage regarding our relationship to Christ and the Law?

4. A For what purpose are we joined to Christ? (Rom. 7:4)

B. Please explain this fruit that Paul talks about. (Gal. 5:22-23; Col. 1:3-6)

C. Are you a “Christian” and not bearing any fruit for God? (John 15:4-6, 15:8; I John. 2:3-5; Matt. 3:5-8; Phil. 2:12-15; II Cor 13:5; James 1:22)

D. Augustine said, “Love God and live any way you like.” Discuss this in terms of living in the freedom of Christ.

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

April 12, 2010 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, God, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Romans, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Study on Romans: Two Slaveries: Romans 6:15-23

Summary: Paul makes the case that all people, religious or not, are condemned in their sin, (1:18-3:20). Then he develops the case for justification by grace through faith in Christ, (3:21-5:21). Now in Chapter 6, Paul develops the case for presenting ourselves to God in the obedience of that faith. The greatest freedom we can enjoy in life is enslavement to God.

1. A. By way of review, what are we to know, to consider and to present to God according to Rom. 6:1-14? (Rom. 6:3, 6, 9, 11, 13)

B. What is the basis for this according to Paul? (Rom. 6:2-6, 14)

C. What is your mindset? Do you see your identity as dead to sin and alive to God? Do you make decisions throughout your day accordingly?

2. A. Please identify the two slaveries in Rom. 6:16-18. Is all slavery wrong? Why or why not?

B. Explain what determines the two masters, and which one is in charge. (I Cor. 7:21-23; I Peter 2:15; Ps. 103:19). Satan wants people to think they’re free to sin. How does he attempt this today?

C. Are you following the right master? What about tomorrow?

3. A. What is the motivation for obedience according to Rom. 6:17? Where does it come from?

B. How is this a trademark of true saving faith? Do all believers want to obey the Lord Jesus from the Heart? (Jn. 10:27; 2 Cor. 5:14-21, Titus 2:11-15; John 3:36)

C. The word “committed” in Rom. 6:17 means “given over to.” Are you committed to living for Christ so that you are completely given over to Him? Do you “present your members as slaves to righteousness?” (Rom. 6:19)

4. A. What opposites does Paul contrast in Rom. 6:19-22?

B. What is sanctification? Why is it the result of enslaving ourselves to God? (Rom. 1:1; I Thess. 4:1-8; Deut. 10:8; Ps. 4:3; Rom. 12:1-2)

C. Is everything about you set apart for God? Do you see yourself as His property? (I Cor. 6:18-20)

5. A. What are the three opposites given to us in Rom. 6:23?

B. Explain how this verse is a summary of true freedom, for both the beginning as well as the continuation of our salvation. (Rom. 6:4; Gal. 5:1, 3:2-3; John 8:12; Eph. 2:8-10; Col. 2:6-7)

C. What is the chief difference between the way death and life are received?

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

April 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Study on Romans: Does Grace Promote Sin? Pt. 2: Romans 6:12-14

Summary: Based on the knowledge that grace reigns in us, so that we are no longer enslaved to sin, we are commanded to consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ. We are to take ownership of this and submit ourselves to God.

1. A. In Romans 6:1-11, how many times does Paul appeal to our knowledge, and in what verses?

B. What is that knowledge, and why is it significant to the grace of God? (Rom. 6:4; Titus 2:11-12; Col. 1:9-13; Eph. 1:15-20; Ps. 9:10)

C. Are you taking the time each day to grow in the knowledge of Christ? How has knowledge of Christ changed you life?

2. A. What is the command given in Rom. 6:11?

B. What are the words “even so” related to, and why? What does Paul mean when he says to “consider yourselves?” (Rom. 6:10) Also see “reckon”, Rom. 4:3-24

C. Are you living for Christ “once for all” as Rom. 6:10 states?

3. A. What is the command given in Rom. 6:12?

B. Notice the words, “do not let”. On what basis do we have any choice? Explain your answer with Scriptures (Start with Rom. 6:2-7, 6:10-11, 2 Cor. 5:17)

C. Are you exercising your freedom of choice to live a righteous life? (Dan. 1:8; Job 1:1-5; Josh. 24:15)

4. A. What are the do’s and dont’s of Rom. 6:13?

B. How are these commands the same, and what does it mean to present yourselves to God?

C. Between you and the Lord, what are those “instruments of unrighteousness” you have yet to yeild over to God? Will you submit these to Him right now, and let Him take control? (I Cor. 6:18-20, 7:22-24, I Jn. 2:15-17)

5. A. What is the “master” mentioned in Rom. 6:14 (trick question!)

B. Based on the context of Rom. 5 & 6, explain the superiority GRACE, what it frees us from, and what it gives us the freedom to do. Why is sin not master over us?

C. Is your self-centeredness fading away more as you pursue making God-centered decisions in your life? (Joshua 24:15, John 3:30)

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

April 3, 2010 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, God, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Romans, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Study on Romans: The Permanence of Justification, Pt 2: Romans 5:2-5

Summary: The permanence of our justification is found in Jesus Christ. That doesn’t mean that Christians won’t endure tribulations; we do and we will. However, we know that God uses even life’s trials to purify us and to give us hope that does not disappoint.

1. A. What do verses 1 and 2 say about the permanence of justification?

B. What does this mean in terms of our past, present and future justification (v2)?

C. Can you think of any circumstances in which God might declare you unjust (revoke your justification) once you’ve been justified? Explain your answer in terms of this passage.

2. A. What does this passage say about tribulations?

B. What is the Christian response to tribulations to be (v 3)? How and why can that be?

C. In what ways has tribulation in your life resulted in your learning to live under the circumstances (persevere)?

3. A. What purpose do tribulations serve in the Christian life?

B. How can Romans 8:28; I Cor. 1:8-9; 4:7; and Hebrews 6:19 help your understanding of that outcome?

C. We’ve all heard of people who have undergone trials and “lost their faith”. Is it their faith they’ve lost or is it the facade of faith? Discuss your answer.

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

March 7, 2010 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, God, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Study on Romans: The Permanence of Justification: Romans 5:1-2

Summary: The removal of our sins through justification by faith in Christ results in our reconciliation with God who is holy, which in turn is the foundation for our peace with God.

1. A. Read Romans 4:18-5:1. Do you observe any cause and effect statements?

B. Why does Rom. 5:1 begin with the word, “Therefore”? Explain what “with God” is based on and why. (Rom. 4:25)

C. Do you really enjoy your standing of peace with God? Why or why not?

2. A. According to Rom. 5:2, what is the Believer standing in, and who gets the glory?

B. It has been said, “We have something that nothing in this life can rob from us: Peace with God.” How would you defend this statement? (Rom. 5:10; 2 Cor. 5:17-18; Col. 1:13-22).

C. What should be our response? (Col. 1:3, 10-13; John 15:4-5).

3. A. To what are Believers called, according to Paul in Col. 3:15.

B. It has been said, “Peace with God is the foundation for peace with others.” Can you defend this statement? (John 13:34; I John 4:7; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; Col.3:12-15).

C. What are some of the ways that you are a peace maker?

4. A. What kinds of peace are contrasted in John 14:27?

B. How does a Christian enjoy that overcoming peace of God, in spite of hardships and trials? (Phil. 4:6-8; Ps. 16:7-11; Prov. 3:5-6).

C. Do you have that tranquility of heart that God intends you to have?

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

February 28, 2010 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, God, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Romans, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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