Concordia Adult Bible Class
Summary: Dig deeper into God's Word with Concordia Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX.
It’s crunch time!
1 Peter 1:13-25 The joys of Christmas can be fleeting. A day for which we spend months preparing comes and goes in a matter of hours. Not long after gifts are unwrapped and the tree is taken down, life returns to normal. It is at these times that we can take comfort in the fact that even though holiday cheer does not last, our Father does. His word and ways will continue, even when the things of this world do not.
Matthew 1:18-25 In Matthew 1, our Lord is given two names: “Jesus,” to describe His function of saving us from our sins and “Immanuel” to describe His identity as God. Thus, Jesus is our “Mighty God.” He is “mighty to save” as well as God come to earth to dwell with us in our trials and pain.
John 14:15-21 Shortly before He is crucified, Jesus promises His disciples “another Counselor.” The word “another” connotes that there is also a first Counselor, who is Jesus. The Holy Spirit, then, is Counselor 2.0. In the midst of the stress of the holidays, we need all the wise counsel we can get – to navigate stressful schedules and unhealthy family situations. Do we rely on the great counsel of our God?
Hebrews 11 recounts the lives of faithful saints who have gone before us. In Hebrews 12, the preacher reminds us that “we are surrounded by this great cloud of witnesses” (verse 1). We, as God’s saved children, are his saints. Doctrinal Topics: Sinner and Sainthood, Life Everlasting Apologetic Concerns: Praying to the Saints
Doctrinal Topics: The Holy Spirit, Sanctification Apologetic Concerns: The Charismatic Movement, Relationship between Justification and Sanctification Following Jesus’ ascension into heaven, he promised to send “the Spirit of truth to guide us into all truth” (John 16:13). God’s Holy Spirit indwells every Christian. Contrary to the “acts” that we do in our sinful nature (cf. verse 19), the Spirit produces good “fruit” (cf. verse 22) as he sanctifies believers in the truth.
Doctrinal Topics: Eschatology, Judgment Apologetic Concerns: Dispensational Premillenialism, Postmillenialism Whereas Christ came as a gentle baby in a manger upon his first advent, he will come as a conquering King at time’s end. Jesus explains that there will be distress in the last days as well as false prophets and false teachers. Our call, then, is to stand firm in the faith as we await his return and final judgment.
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.