Romans, Lesson 6: Circumcision and the Christian

pondering-baby

The overall culture in the church at Rome is one of division between the Jewish and Gentile Christians.  The Jews want the Gentiles to follow the Old-Covenant rituals, as they do.  The Gentiles saw this as no longer needed, being fulfilled by Christ.  A resultant casualty of this rejection was also a rejection of the […]

The “Lament” Psalms, Lesson 1: Introduction

lament

The “lament” psalms are a group of psalms that grieve, and or complain, expressing deep sorrow for the travails of a person or nation (Israel).  The psalms also ask for God’s blessing or intervention. We find few psalms with a happy disposition.  Many are laments, which grumble to God about some experience of trouble, which […]

The “Yes” of Sex

moments-of-love

Adult catechesis at SOTHLC begins with a study of the Small Catechism.  After that, the instruction is individualized based on one’s questions, experiences, and the “baggage” he brings with him.  This lesson is part of that individualized instruction.   From conception on, each human is a sexual being created male or female in the image and […]

1 Timothy 2:1-15: She will be saved through the bearing of a Child

Scripture contains strange stuff to our ears: “Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness.  I do not allow a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet….  She will be saved through childbearing…” To our ears, “submissive” is a hard pill to swallow.  In our […]

Recovery

recovery

This is our pastor’s newsletter article for the October edition of our newsletter.   At our last Voters’ Assembly, I said it was dangerous for a pastor to reveal too much personal information about himself.  Why?  Some in their “empire building” use such information to hurt and harm the pastor to achieve some goal.  It’s […]

Romans: Lesson 5: The Remnant of God’s Instruction in the Fallen Heart and the Jewish Failure at Rome

Natural Law

To confront the Gentile sin of license, Paul wrote that God will judge everyone impartially, even that His impartiality is a character of His righteousness (Romans 2:6-11).  Of course, Paul earlier taught that God’s righteousness is our salvation (Romans 1:16-17).  So, God has the cure for what ails us.  If we stand before God based […]

Esther: Lesson 9: Origin of Purim and Conclusion

Purim

In our earlier lessons, we learned of Mordecai’s character, which showed him to be a self-serving person.  Last week, we learned about Mordecai’s Edict in the King’s name, which allowed the Jews to rid the Persian Empire of their “enemies.”  In total, about 75,000 people were killed.       The Jews Celebrate, not Their […]

Understanding Alzheimer’s

Neurons.jpg

This is our pastor’s article for the September issue of our newsletter.   We are defective copies of imperfect copies of flawed copies.  Humanity’s fall into sin introduced, not only death but also physical decay and disease.  We admit as much every Sunday in our Confession of Sin: “We are by nature sinful” (LSB 151, […]

Romans: Lesson 4: God Gives Salvation but also Judges

Apse Mosaic of Christ (1911)

Paul is dealing with both Jewish works-righteousness and Gentile sinful license.  Against works-righteousness, he drew from Isaiah 51, affirming that salvation IS the righteousness of God.  Against sinful license, he adapted from the Apocrypha book of Wisdom as a foil to confront sin: If pagans have no excuse before God, how much more so for […]

Esther: Lesson 8: Mordecai’s Revenge

Esther2

Haman’s plan to kill the Jews backfired and resulted in his death.  We also learned much about Mordecai and his character.  Though he is no Haman, he is both good and evil—and very self-serving!  Mordecai:  let Esther go to the palace, knowing she would be sent into a harem and become a “sex slave” (although […]