Concordia Adult Bible Class
Summary: Dig deeper into God's Word with Concordia Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX.
Summer can be a time of farewells. Kids leave their friends at school. Some even are transitioning to a new school. My mother used to tell me, “Always leave a place better than how you found it.” As you say goodbye to friends for the summer – or maybe for longer – are you leaving those relationships better than you found them? Paul, when he says goodbye to the church at Ephesus recounts his strong relationship with the people there, but trusts in God to lead him into the future.
It is tempting to define ourselves by our accolades and achievements rather than by Christ’s achievement for us on the cross. On Mother’s Day, we take a moment to remind women – and men – that they are valued and precious not because of what they do and accomplish, but because of who they are – baptized children of God.
Far too often, we get so caught up in the things of today that we forget about the eternal things of God. This world is more than what we see and the possessions that we have. This is why Paul warns against loving material things like money and, instead, striving toward eternal things such as righteousness, godliness, faith, and love. These are things that will last – not only in this world, but in the next.
Love is important. But many people have reduced love into little more than feelings and desires. Paul, however, speaks of love in challenging terms! Love is patient. Love is kind. Love forgives. Love never fails. The truth is that no human can have this kind of love. That is why, even more than love, we need our Lord. For He is the one who pours His perfect love into our broken hearts.
Our culture is mired in relativism. Many people believe that it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you believe something. They believe all roads lead to God. Jesus, however, is clear: only He leads us and brings us to God. In this message, we discuss how to begin a conversation about the exclusivity of the gospel in a world full of relativism.
Colleges often partner with businesses so students can get hands-on training in an internship. In a sense, this life is an internship for heaven. The temptations we face can strengthen our faith and the holiness to which we aspire will be perfected for us in heaven. This life, as an internship, can give us tremendous hope and insight into the next!
The Gnostics, as well as the Jews, prided themselves in following all sorts of rigorous rituals. But Paul says a person does not need rigorous ritual to have true knowledge. Indeed, such legalism, though it leads to pride, does not lead to true wisdom and righteousness. Only Christ can give that.
There is no one smarter than Jesus! After all, as Paul notes, He is the fullness of God. And whereas the Gnostics thought their education was for only a few, Paul notes that in Christ, “all things hold together.” In this message, we talk about how Christ can hold you together when you are confused by the hardships of this world.
Giving can help us grow our faith because when we give, and God comes through in His provision to us, we learn to trust Him more. Because giving is an exercise of faith, fanfare and rewards from others whenever we give are not needed, for ultimately, we’re giving to God.
Christ’s desire is that all come to know Him. This means that, as His followers, we are to leave no corner of creation unturned in our efforts to share the gospel. How we do that, however, ought to be winsome. Jesus gives us two good winsome strategies. He says we are to be “salt,” that is, we are to add flavor to a “blah” word. We are also to be “light,” that is, we are to speak the truth to a world in darkness because of its lies.
The hallmark of a disciple is love. If God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us, we ought to be more than willing to love others. In this message, we’ll talk about the importance of loving others and we’ll also discuss some roadblocks that can damage our love for another person.
The gospel is for you! Because God is so focused on us, we ought to focus on ourselves as well – not because of arrogance, but for the sake of stewarding ourselves well so we can serve the Lord well. God has put us together in an amazing way so we can serve Him in amazing ways.
When I was in school, rather than reading a whole book for a class, I would sometimes rely on Cliff’s Notes. These notes gave me a good understanding of what was most important in a book without actually having to read the whole book. In Matthew 22, Jesus gives the Cliff’s Notes of Old Testament law. And His Cliff’s Notes can be summed up in one word: Love.
The Hebrew word for “kindness” is chesed, a word that is used to refer to God’s steadfast love (e.g., Psalm 107:1). In the Bible, chesed is a primary attribute of God and, thus, ought to be a primary attribute of His people. Kindness is best displayed when it is shown toward someone who does not seem to be deserving of it, such as David does with Mephibosheth.
We are not meant to be in isolation from each other. Many people who profess to be Christians do not see the need to be in association with other Christians. The preacher of Hebrews reminds us that we need each other for both accountability toward good (verse 24) and encouragement when things are bad (verse 25).