Bible Proficiency Project
Week 43,  10/26 - 11/1, 2020

I.     Monday — 2Timothy 2

1.     In  2:3 Paul compared the Christian to a soldier. According to his analogy who recruits us to be soldiers and

       how are we to engage in this warfare?

2.    What is the lesson Paul emphasized in employing the metaphors of the athlete and the farmer?

3.    In 2:10 Paul connects salvation with the term in Christ Jesus. Understanding in Christ speaks of union or

       oneness, how does this fit Paul’s statement in connection to the possession of salvation?

4.    How does Paul’s advice in 2:14, 16 impact how we ought to judge the conversations we engage in?

5.    Given the instruction of 2:15, what things should we spend our time studying?

6.    What are those things that make one a vessel of honor (2:21)?

II.    Tuesday — 2Timothy 3

1.     To what degree does 3:1-5 describe today / are we in the “last days”?

2.    What can you note from 3:10-15 is the primary mark that contrasts those who are careful in their faith from

       those who are imposters?

3.    What should 3:15 motivate the church to be actively committed to?

4.    What does a complete Christian look like based on 3:16-17?

III.   Wednesday — 2Timothy 4

1.     What kind of a preacher should you want based on 4:1-5?

2.    Following up on the last days, Paul tells us what will happen to the teaching of doctrine in some

       congregations?  

3.    Looking back to 2:3-6 how is 4:7-8 a fulfillment of Paul’s exhortation?

4.    What are the two things Paul asks for in prison for these last days?

5.    In 4:17 do you think Paul speaks metaphorically or literally here? Explain your answer.

IV.   Thursday – 1Peter 1

1.     Where and when was Peter thought to have written this letter [5:13]?

2.    In what way do you see the “economic” Trinity in verse 2 (see Heidelberg Question 24)?

3.    What are the three elements of our living hope through resurrection?

4.    What theological doctrine is taught in 1:5?

5.    In 1:6-9 how are tests or trials related to the end of your faith?

6.    In 1:10-12 what unique privilege do we have that OT prophets and angels did not have?

7.    What does Peter encourage us to do according to 1:13-16 and why?

8.    What connection does Peter make between the Word and purity of soul in vv.22-25?

V.    Sunday — 1Peter 2

1.     At what point is it no longer necessary for the Christian to grow through the word in this life?

2.    List the different ways that being chosen by God defines the Christian in this chapter?

3.    What does Peter mean in 2:11 when he says we are to live as sojourners and pilgrims?

3.    What instruction did Peter give with regards to submission to authority?  

4.    In what way is Jesus our example of how to suffer under authority?

 

Answers

I.     Monday — 2Timothy 2

1.     As those who are in Christ, we must recognize that we have been recruited by God in Christ. When Paul

       said we are not to be entangled with the affairs of this life he directs us to have our primary focus as one of

       being engaged in our faith in the context of this world’s concerns. An aspect of this metaphor points to the

       soldier who must leave home and job to join the military and go off to battle where his complete devotion is

       to the military campaign. In this latter sense, Paul has more in mind the calling of the pastor to leave off all

       hindrances to the calling of the ministry of the Word.

2.    In both, the key to understanding Paul’s lesson is to understand the reward of the crown or the harvest

       only comes after hard exertion and patient endurance in expectation of the reward at the end of things.

3.    The Bible repeatedly emphasizes that salvation is found alone through Jesus Christ. In the same way that

       in 2:1 grace is in Jesus Christ, here salvation is in Jesus Christ. The meaning is simple; grace and salvation

       can only be possessed in and through the person and work of Jesus Christ as Savior.

4.    Many seem to thrive on debating controversial and yet non-profitable arguments about religion. Paul’s

       words here direct us away from that to pursue what is of the most benefit to us spiritually.

5.    Generally speaking, one would respond that it is the Bible, but more specifically the Christian should pay

       particular attention to matters that impact your character that you might be “approved of God” that is that

       your life would show forth the power of God’s grace.

6.    The vessel for honor is described as having two marks: it is set apart (sanctified) and it is useful. The idea of

       the vessel being sanctified can bring to mind two aspects: first, it is chosen by the master and second, it is

       cleaned to be ready for proper use. In the Christian, this is accomplished when one pursues those things of

       2:22 (righteousness, faith, love, peace – and by avoiding foolish and ignorant disputes). It is of special note

       that this is with those who call on the Lord which is a description of worshipers of God – out of a pure

       heart.

II.    Tuesday — 2Timothy 3

1.     We are in the last days, and these elements while typical of all history, have the context here that

       specifically it is in the church where “those having a form of godliness” deny the power of true salvation. 

       So does this verse describe the makeup of the church today? It does generally in the sense of the broader

       visible church. But this is also seen even in biblical churches in the lives of some who profess faith but their

       lives do not reflect a commitment to live according to faith in Christ.

2.    To sum up what Paul said here it is seen in the perseverance of the saint in knowing a biblical faith and

       living it in the face of conflict with the world. Those who are imposters are marked by a lack of spiritual

       growth (v. 5, 7, 9, 13).

3.    This is the very basis for the catechetical instruction of the covenant youth within the church.

4.    He will be one who understands the doctrine of the Bible, receives its corrections to his life, and embraces

       being taught righteousness to the end that he is viewed as a godly man.

III.   Wednesday — 2Timothy 4

1.     Paul here issues a call to Timothy to be a faithful pastor. That is one who preaches THE WORD to the end

       that the hearer’s lives will be transformed. Such preaching comes with criticism from some but should

       always be evangelistic in the sense of confronting the people with the call of the gospel.

2.    Paul said that “they”- those who are in the church will not endure sound doctrine. The word “endure”

       means will not continue to accept as valid and true.  In the place of the preaching of the truth, they will

       collect ministers who will tell them what they want to hear.

3.    From these words, it appears that Paul recognized he was soon to be martyred. 2Timothy was the last

       letter that Paul wrote. It is held to have been written following his fourth missionary journey (62 AD to 64

       AD) and during his second imprisonment in Rome around. He was executed by Nero who died in 68 AD. 

       As such he reflects on his ministry and sees the end of the race and the reward that comes with patient

       perseverance. The world would see Paul’s death as a negative thing but Paul declares to the church that

       his death is the realization of the promise of God.

4.    A cloak he left in Troas to keep him warm and the books and parchments especially – he wants to have the

       Word of God as his most prized treasure. The parchments may have been blank so that Paul would be able

       to write more.

5.    Some here say that the lion is used metaphorically for Nero. Calvin said he thought Paul meant danger in

       general. But it is also documented historically that under Nero Christians were fed to the lions in the

       Coliseum so Paul might have meant this literally as having been sentenced to such a horrid death. But

       being a Roman citizen he was spared and eventually was executed by the ax having his head cut off which

       was viewed as quick and clean.

IV.   Thursday – 1Peter 1

1.     Rome was often viewed as spiritual Babylon – the city that was viewed as the seat of Satan. But it is also

       possible that Peter is actually in Babylon writing to the churches in Asia from the most populated city in

       Asia.

2.    We speak of the Trinity in two ways: first is the ontological Trinity which is God in His essence as a divine,

       eternal, infinite Spirit. The second is God as the economic Trinity which is God according to His works. The

       Father elects and predestines, the Spirit sanctifies or applies salvation to the believer, and the Son

       redeems by the shedding of His blood.

3.    First, our inheritance is incorruptible and undefiled; second, it does not fade away (permanently glorious in

       our eyes); and third, it is reserved in heaven (in My Father’s house are many rooms).

4.    The doctrine of perseverance (preservation) of the saints.

5.    Peter points to various trials as to how faith is proven genuine for it is the occasion by which perseverance

       proves it genuine to the end.

6.    We are given a clear understanding of what the OT promises were in Christ by His coming and fulfillment

       of them. See verse 20.

7.    To develop our thinking that we might view all things from that vantage point of the holiness of God;

       thinking God’s thoughts after God.

8.    The purifying of the soul comes as one embraces the truth as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit (being

       born again v. 23) through the word of God.

V.   Sunday — 1Peter 2

1.     It is always necessary.

2.    We are a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s

       own special people, sojourners, pilgrims. Note from 1:1 that Peter speaks here directly to dispersed Jews as

       the context.

3.    Peter seeks to move the Christian to understand he is called to live according to his heavenly citizenship

       and to see himself as living in a foreign kingdom with the calling to not live like the people in this foreign

       world.

3.    The Christian is to obey civil authority to maintain order and earthly masters as examples of humility and

       not rebellion.

4.    Peter ended the chapter appealing to Jesus willingly suffer under unjust rulers for the sake of the church.

       Likewise, we don’t resist the powers over us even when unjust but look to God who is the rewarder of our

       faith. This builds on verses 19-20 where if we suffer for doing good that is commendable before God. If we

       rebel and are punished then the civil authority has only acted according to our rebellion.