Concordia Adult Bible Class
Summary: Dig deeper into God's Word with Concordia Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX.
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).
Stained by Hunger Mark 6:30-44 In our cultural context, it can be hard to understand true hunger. Yet, over 1.02 billion people suffer from chronic hunger in our world. To a hungry culture, Jesus provided food. But He provided not just the food for their stomachs, but bread for their souls. Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry” (John 6:35). Do we care for the hungry, as did Jesus, while also feasting on the spiritual food of Christ?
Stained by Battle Hebrews 4:1-13 On our nation’s Independence Day, we remember how we entered the rest of freedom even as the Israelites entered the rest of God’s Promised Land. We are also warned not to harden our hearts, but to allow our consciences to be pricked by the sword of God’s Spirit – His holy Word.
Stained by Inadequacy Luke 5:4-11 Peter was a professional fisherman. But even a professional has an off day from time to time. He has been fishing all night and hasn’t caught a thing. Jesus tells Peter to put his nets down on the other side of his boat. When he does, and when he catches a miraculous number of fish, Peter responds with deep a sense of anxious inadequacy: “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man” (verse 8)! Do you every feel inadequate? Addictions, guilt, and even other people can all make us feel inadequate. Praise be to God that Christ makes us not only adequate, but abundant!
Stained by Need John 2:1-11 Jesus’ mother has a need: the wine at a wedding feast has run dry. So, she goes to her son and asks for help. Even when He does not respond favorably – “Dear woman, why do you involve me” (verse 4)? – Mary responds with faith. She tells her servants, “Do whatever He tells you” (verse 5). Do we trust in God to meet all our needs and, indeed, meet them in a way that is “more than we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20)?
Stained by Ridicule Acts 2:1-13 Being ridiculed for your faith is as old as the faith itself. Indeed, even on the Church’s very birthday – on Pentecost – the disciples are ridiculed as they speak in tongues. “They have had too much wine,” their antagonists say (verse 13). How do you respond in the face of ridicule? Jesus promises, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12).
Memorial Day Weekend: Fully Armed! - Ephesians 6:10-18 There have been many long-standing feuds: Irish Catholics and Protestants, the Montagues and Capulets. But none of these are as long-standing as the feud against God and Satan. Blessedly, we already know the outcome of this battle, however. Our Lord wins! And yet, even though the outcome of the battle is certain, God calls us to be His soldiers, fighting with the weapons He gives us. This weekend, we are reminded of these weapons which can take down Satan and save souls.
Hope When…You’re Trapped by Addiction - Exodus 32:1-6, 19, 21-24, 30 At the root of all addiction is idolatry. Satan tempts us to take a good gift of God such as food or drink or sex and turn it into a god-thing and that’s a bad thing. As we review Israel’s idolatry in the wilderness, we see addictive behaviors such as drunkenness (cf. verse 6), situated in a context of rank idolatry. Yet, even in such a sinful context, Moses holds out the hope of atonement, for there is rescue from addiction!
Weekly Bible studies from Concordia Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX.