Esther, Lesson 1: Introduction and Mordecai’s Dream

Two Dragons

Introduction The story of Esther comes to us in two different versions: The Septuagint (LXX) and the Masoretic Text (MT).  Protestant translations use the Masoretic Text for its source, while the Septuagint is the source used for Roman Catholic, Eastern-Orthodox, and Coptic Bibles.  The Septuagint version has later additions added to Esther. The Lutheran Church […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 13: Evangelism, Part 1

euangelion

Evangel: From the Greek word euangelion, meaning “good news,” the Gospel.  Although evangel means “good news,” the evangel is more than information that happens to be good.  This “good news” has the power within it to do what it says. Romans 1:16: I am not ashamed of the gospel [euangelion], because it is God’s power […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 12: Fasting

Fasting

In part of these lessons, we’ve used Matthew 6 as a template for the Christian life.  In that chapter, Jesus describes (not commands) what the life of being a disciple entails: helping the poor, praying, and fasting.  Jesus did not command them because such a living of the faith was so obvious that it He […]

Our Take on Purgatory, Pt. 2

Refining Fire

This is the concluding article on the Lutheran view of the Roman-Catholic doctrine of purgatory.   Continuing our look into the Roman-Catholic doctrine of purgatory, Rome teaches: All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death, they undergo purification, so as to achieve […]

Ruth: Lesson 6: The Redemption becomes Real!

Naomi holds Obed

Boaz has now cleared all the hurdles for him to redeem Ruth and Naomi, which will include marrying Ruth and bringing Naomi into his household as his mother.   The Witnesses Bless Boaz and Ruth Read Ruth 4:11 The Old Testament is full of patriarchs—but also matriarchs!  The Israelites loved their mothers—immediate and ancestral.  So, […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 11: Christian Prayer, Pt. 4: Prayers for the Sainted Dead

Funeral Prayers2 (610x351)

After taking a look a one-lesson excursion on what it means to praise God, we again approach the topic of prayer.  Today, we examine the topic of praying for those who have died in the faith, whose souls are now in heaven.  Before we get to the “why,” we see if such praying is in […]

Ruth, Lesson 5: Redemption

Sandals

Ruth and Naomi are excited because Boaz pledged to redeem Ruth by marrying her.  But another, by God’s Old-Covenant Law, is a closer redeemer.  Boaz now goes to meet him to find out if he will fulfill his duty to care and provide for Naomi and Ruth.   Boaz Seeks to Redeem Ruth Deuteronomy 25:7-10: […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 10: A Theology of Praise

Praise

We take a one-lesson excursion from our look into prayer into praising God (which also involves prayer).  Last week, a question was asked about what it means to praise God.  I answered, but I do not think I answered the question fully.  So, here we go!   Praising God Begins with God Being Present for […]

Ruth: Lesson 4: At the Threshing Floor

Ruth at Boaz Feet

Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, now realizes that God was not against her but was caring for her even in her difficulties.  She is now excited that one of her redeemers (and thus, Ruth’s redeemer) is showing an interest in Ruth.  No longer “bitter,” Naomi now plans.  Ruth has now been working in Boaz’s field for about […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 9: Christian Prayer, Pt. 3

Prayer

We now look further into prayer, looking at specific verses that help shape our life of prayer. Fervent Prayer The traditional wording of James 5:16 is this: “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”  This has fostered in some that if your prayer isn’t fervent enough (with intensity, with genuine heart-felt passion), […]