Concordia Adult Bible Class
Summary: Dig deeper into God's Word with Concordia Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX.
Doctrinal Topics: Scripture, Baptism, Lord’s Supper, Unity Apologetic Concerns: Why Bother With Church? The Lutheran Confessions teach: “The Church is the congregation of saints in which the Gospel is purely taught and the Sacraments are correctly administered. For the true unity of the Church it is enough to agree about the doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments” (AC VII 1-2). This is the Church: Word and Sacrament. And this is the source of the Church’s unity. On Reformation Day, we remember how Luther called the Church back to the core of its being.
As the old saying goes, “You can’t take it with you.” The rich fool in Jesus’ parable had to learn this the hard way. He took many treasures into his barns, but he could not take them with him into eternity. This is why Jesus encourages us to take the right treasures – the very treasures of God. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
A drought has swept across the land. Elijah is commanded by God to go and stay with a widow at Zarephath. Upon arriving at her house, Elijah requests a piece of bread to eat. But the woman has only enough oil and flour to make bread for she and her son. But Elijah encourages her: “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me” (1 Kings 17:13). Elijah continues by assuring this woman that God will provide, but only after she shares her last bit of food with Elijah. She must trust in God’s providence. As we give, do we trust that God will also give to us so that our needs may be met?
Doctrinal Topics: Resurrection, Descent into Hell Apologetic Concerns: Arguments Against the Resurrection Jesus’ resurrection conquers death. Indeed, the Creed and Scripture teach that Jesus descended into hell to declare his victory over sin, death, and the devil (1 Peter 3:18-22). Unlike Peter, we do not have to wonder to ourselves what happened. Christ has risen! And the promise is that we too will rise.
Doctrinal Topics: Atonement / Propitiation, Love Apologetic Concerns: Divine Child Abuse, The Scandal of the Cross God killed his Son on a cross to satisfy his wrath, invoked by our sinfulness. Some are offended by this teaching, equating it to “divine child abuse.” But John teaches that God’s action of killing his Son was not motivated by anger at Jesus, but by love for us. Jesus’ willingness to take on his Father’s wrath at sin means that we receive the Father’s grace.
Doctrinal Topics: Incarnation, Two Natures in Christ Apologetic Concerns: Christ’s Divinity, the Virgin Birth Beginning with Adam and Eve’s “original sin,” it was always God’s intention to send a Savior. But God’s Savior is no hired hand. God’s Savior is God himself. The doctrine of the incarnation teaches that God comes into history in the person and work of Jesus.
Doctrinal Topics: Creation, God’s Word, Fall Apologetic Concerns: Evolution God’s Word is powerful and effective. With only his command, he brings everything that is into existence. And what he creates, he declares to be “good.” But sin mars creation’s goodness and paves the need for a Savior to redeem the fallen creation.
Doctrinal Topics: Trinity, Idolatry Apologetic Concerns: Pluralism God is incomparable. This is the prophet Isaiah’s argument. As we open this series, we consider the ways in which God is incomparable and how, as the incomparable God, he is worthy of our worship, praise, and faith.
Stained by Doubt John 20:19-28 Thomas does not just doubt, he disbelieves His Lord’s resurrection. He declares: “Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe it” (verse 25). Although our struggles with doubt may not be as severe as Thomas’, we all struggle with doubt from time to time. Do we trust in the Holy Spirit to strengthen our faith as we pray to the Lord, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief” (Mark 9:24)?
Stained by Despair 1 Thess. 4:13-18 Under the influence of false and nefarious teachers, the Thessalonians had begun to believe that death marked the ends of their existences. Paul refutes such a notion and promises that we will rise from death on the Last Day. The resurrection of Christ is proof of this (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:20).
Stained by Sin Romans 3:21-28 Paul’s verdict on humanity’s sin is harsh: “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:11). It is only through Christ’s blood that the stain of our sins can be washed clean. In response to this, we are to live humble lives (cf. verse 27), knowing that our righteousness is a pure gift of God.
Stained by Anxiety Mark 14:32-41 It’s called hematidrosis. Dr. Frederick Zugibe, the Chief Medical Examiner of Rockland County, New York, explains the disease: “Around the sweat glands, there are multiple blood vessels in a net-like form. Under the pressure of great stress the vessels constrict. Then as the anxiety passes the blood vessels dilate to the point of rupture. The blood goes into the sweat glands. As the sweat glands are producing a lot of sweat, it pushes the blood to the surface – coming out as droplets of blood mixed with sweat.” This seems to be what Jesus experiences in the Garden of Gethsemane, so great was His anxiety. Jesus understands our anxiety, and He also promises to care for us in the midst of our anxiety. As He reminds us, “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:30, 33).
Stained by Betrayal Mark 14:17-26 The tension in Mark’s gospel is intense as Jesus prepares to go the cross. Before He gives His life, Jesus celebrates with His disciples one last supper. But even this affair is marked by darkness. For one of His own will betray Him unto death. The Greek word for “betray” is paradidomi, meaning “to hand over.” Interestingly, this is the same word used by Paul to describe the Lord’s Supper: “For what I received from the Lord, I also passed on (paradidomi) to you” (1 Corinthians 11:23). Jesus “hands over” His body and blood for the forgiveness of our sin even as we hand Him over to the cross because of our sin.
Stained by Ill-Preparedness Matthew 25:1-13 It is not a doctrinal topic we often think about, but we should. The Second Coming of Christ should be central to how we live our lives every day. Indeed, the primary command associated with the Last Day is to “keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour” (verse 13). We are to be prepared! Do we joyfully prepare for our Lord’s coming?
Stained by Fear Matthew 8:23-27 Fear is the antithesis of faith. When Jesus’ disciples are fear-struck at the sight of a terrible storm, Jesus asks them, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid” (verse 26)? Jesus asks us the same question. He also invites us to believe that His “perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).