Romans, Lesson 26: What Those in Christ Have

Resurrection of the Body3

The stronger brother is chided not to abuse his Christian freedom toward the weaker brother (Romans 14:13-21), for what does not proceed from faith is sin (Romans 14:23).  Apart from faith, everything a person does is tainted with sin and, thus, not perfect enough to merit anything before God.  So, we turn to Christ to […]

What is the Church?

Font and Altar

Here is our pastor’s newsletter article for April 2017.   In the Nicene Creed, from the original Greek, we confess, “We believe in… one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.”  What is this Church?  The Augsburg Confession, which we affirm as a Lutheran congregation, also gives us a definition.  “The Church is the assembly of saints where […]

Romans, Lesson 25: The Proper Understanding and Use of Christian Freedom

Christian Freedom2

In “judgment” over the congregation at Rome, the Apostle Paul told them “not to judge.”  For “we will all stand before the judgment seat of God… then each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:10, 12).   Paul was not contradicting himself but operating from this worldview: God gives us different […]

Romans, Lesson 24: Who Authorizes You to Judge?


After dealing with the topic of paying taxes, about not owing the Government taxes, Paul now transitions to a new topic through the word, “owe.”   True Love Fulfills All Read Romans 13:8 Paul starts out, “No one, no one owe,” using command, imperative language. How can someone “no one, no one owe”?   What […]

Romans, Lesson 23: Living with Authorities

Us Presidential seal and flag

In Chapter 12, following 11 chapters on salvation being a result of God’s grace and doing, Paul delved into living the Christian life.  He described how one Christian responds to another in the Church but also life with the non-Christian.  As individuals, we “do not overcome by evil but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:23). […]

Romans, Lesson 22: Life with Others, Both Christians and Non-Christians

Glowing Coals

In Chapter 12, Paul brought us to his great “therefore” in the book of Romans.  This “therefore” followed his presentation on God’s grace for our salvation, since all things are “from [God] and through Him and to Him.”  Paul continues his exploration on what this means on how we live as God’s people, listing a […]

Romans, Lesson 21: God’s Mercy and Grace Propels the Christian Life

making pottery

With his use of an olive tree, Paul compared people to tree branches, using “cut off” to show that someone is removed from the tree (the Church) through unbelief.  Through faith, God will “graft” in those branches, whether “natural” (of Jewish ancestry) or “contrary to nature (of Gentile ancestry).  Paul provides a warning not to […]

David, Lesson 5: The Rebellion and Its Aftermath


The prophet, Nathan, confronted David about his adultery and murder of Uriah.  More and more miserable David’s life now becomes.  His son, Amnon, becomes smitten with his half-sister, Tamar, and decides to have sex with her, which did not turn out well (2 Samuel 13:1-22).  Absalom, Tamar’s brother, soon found out what Amnon did, waiting […]

Romans, Lesson 20: The True Israel includes Gentiles

Olive Tree with Grafted Branches

When we take in the macro structure of Romans, we find: Romans 1-8: God’s inclusion of the Gentiles Romans 9-11: God’s inclusion of Israel Romans 12-15: Gentiles and Jews getting along Within this section focusing on Israel, we find a chronological arc:  Israel’s past (9:1-29): God’s fidelity to Israel revealed itself through Him choosing Israel. […]

David, Lesson 4: Sinner and Repentant


David unites both north and south.  The capital is now Jerusalem, but Israel is still not without rancor.  The former king, Saul, is dead; yet, some of his sons still survive.  How will David deal with their threat to his rule?  2 Samuel 21 reveals further information, which took place earlier in the chronology of […]