The Passion and the People: Nicodemus

Nicodemus and Jesus

John 3:1-9, 14-16: From Bystander to Believer   With Jesus crucified, the Apostle John identifies Nicodemus as “the man who earlier visited him at night” (John 19:39).  So, we travel back to their first meeting to learn of Nicodemus.  “A man from the Pharisees and a ruler of the Jews, Nicodemus, came to Jesus one […]

Matthew 3:13-17: The Baptism of Jesus

Baptism of Jesus3

You’re standing in the wilderness across the Jordan River.  A voice calls out from a distance, “Prepare the way of the Lord!”  A figure approaches, a wild-haired, bearded man.  His skin is bronzed by the sun, his eyes ablaze with prophetic fire. He comes adorned like a prophet from the pages of Scripture.  Coarse camel’s […]

Romans, Lesson 11: God’s Work in Baptism Frees You from the Law

In Romans 5, Paul spoke of what Jesus did objectively for all: save them.  He also spoke that faith receives and trusts in what Jesus did and does.  We know we need salvation because the Law shows how much we’ve trespassed against God.  But God’s grace reigns all the more, leading to eternal life.  So, […]

Romans, Lesson 6: Circumcision and the Christian


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 […]

How We Got the New Testament

This is part two on the lesson in adult catechesis on how we got the Bible.  Click here if you want to go to the Old-Testament Lesson.   The Early Church We looked at how we got the Old Testament.  The Church met in council to state which books were Scripture because three traditions had […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 14: Evangelism, Part 2

Infant Baptism2 (610x352)

Evangelism takes place within our everyday vocations.  Through Word and Sacrament, the pastor evangelizes as He brings Jesus to others and the life Jesus gives.  This is the pastor “discipling” others, as Jesus gives His pastors to do. The layperson also evangelizes in his everyday vocations.  He does this by letting his light shine on […]

Galatians 1:1-10: Don’t turn what God does for you into what you do for Him

Burning Barn

Paul begins Galatians by burning down the barn.  “What in the world is wrong with you?  You’re deserting God, who called you to be His people!  You turned away from the Gospel, allowing others to confuse you and lead you away from the truth!”  Words of fire explode off the page.  A righteous anger burns […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 3

Sanctus in Heaven

Being More than Beggars, We also Join with the Saints and Angels in Eternity In our Christian lives, as we journey from the font to the grave, we walk before God the Father as beggars.  But that isn’t the full story.  We may be beggars, but we also associate with the holy angels!  In Christ […]

John 3:5, 16: Donna Defferding’s Funeral Sermon

Believe and Baptized

We face death as we face life—with our eyes fixed on Jesus.  We cling to the promises of His Word, which, when facing death, seem even more incredible and powerful.  We find one of our Lord’s most beautiful promises in John chapter 14: “In My Father’s house are many rooms; if that were not so, […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 1: It Begins with Receiving

Life with God

In 1 Corinthians 4:7, St. Paul confronted the Christian congregation at Corinth.  Since they had the Holy Spirit, they thought they were in charge of their spiritual life—they were the owners, not the receivers.  Paul wrote, “What do you have that you didn’t receive?  And if you received it, why do you boast as if […]