Reformation 2: 2 Kings 5:1-3, 9-14; Romans 6:1-4; John 3:1-6, 16: Baptism

A Syrian commander, a well-respected military leader, who won the respect of his King.  Still, something can come along in your life and undo much of what you built up over the years.  Such is Naaman.  For a fearsome affliction—leprosy—now overshadows his imposing warfighting skills and combat prowess. To protect others from the infectious contagion, […]

Church History, Lesson 9: Letters to Non-Christians about Christ and His Church

Early Manuscript of Justin Martyr 2

Intro Today, we focus on two sets of letters written to non-Christians.  The first is by Pliny the Younger, a provincial Roman governor; the second by Justin Martyr, a Christian.  Both lived in the 2nd century.   Pliny the Younger (61- 113 AD) As the Governor of Bithnia, in 112-13 AD, Pliny wrote to Emperor […]

Church History, Lesson 1: The New Covenant Begins

Jesus on the Cross and the Lords Supper Host (610x351)

This is a new study series, which begins with Jesus establishing the New Covenant and finishing (we hope) with the Church recognizing and listing the texts of both the Old- and New-Testament Scriptures in 397 AD. Jesus Establishes What Is to Take Place in His Church   The New Covenant Ready to go to the cross, […]

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

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 […]

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 […]