Concordia Adult Bible Class
Summary: Dig deeper into God's Word with Concordia Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX.
Elijah passes his mantle to Elisha. As Christians, we are called to pass the mantle of our faith to the next generation. The holidays are an especially good time to do this, as we share “the reason for the season” with our kids and others.
Even the most stalwart spiritual heroes encounter moments of despair. Elijah did when he was being chased by Jezebel, saying, “I have had enough, LORD. Take my life” (verse 4). In the midst of the holidays, some people experience a heightened sense of depression. It is important to lean on God’s presence and strength even in our darkest moments.
In times of scarcity, it can be tough to trust God! The widow at Zarephath had to learn this lesson first hand as she shared the only food she had with a prophet she didn’t even know. As we give thanks for what we have, do we trust God to provide us with all we need? And are we willing to share with others as they have need?
Many people are passive aggressive, refusing to confront head on differences with others in conviction or challenges in their relationships. God wants us to confront things – even difficult things – head on like Elijah does with the prophets of Baal.
Now that the election is over, there is a group of people who is inevitably disappointed. When our political party is victorious or defeated, how do we respond? With prayer and submission, of course! In this way, we entrust ourselves to God’s ultimate rule, believing the rulers He has put in place will ultimately accomplish His divine purpose.
When the Pharisees and Herodians come to Jesus with their question about taxes, they are trying to get him either to disrespect the powers that by answering that paying taxes are not necessary or to somehow compromise his devotion to God by living under the government. Jesus respects the government while still holding his ultimate allegiance to God’s kingdom. In a world where political discourse is often uncivil and where people put politics ahead of God, we should follow Jesus’ lead.
On Reformation Sunday, we remember the central message of our Christian faith: that we are justified not by our works, but by grace through faith. All too often, we can be tempted to make how well we steward our lives the benchmark for our self-worth. The gospel reminds us that we are precious not because our own righteousness, but because of God’s righteousness, given to us through the cross of Christ.
This parable is one of the most difficult in the Bible! After all, having a master (who stands for God) commending a dishonest manager (verse 8) raises all sorts of questions. But the interpretive key to this parable comes at the end of verse 8: “For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.” If we are shrewd about things like our jobs and our reputations, how much more shrewd should we be when it comes to managing our money for the sake of God’s Kingdom!
“You can’t take it with you.” Everyone has heard this cliché, but far too many of us have far too much trouble living like it’s true. Rather than storing up treasures for ourselves, we are called to leverage the treasures God has given us for the blessing of others. As Augustine commented on this parable, “He did not realize that the bellies of the poor where much safer than the storerooms of his barns.”
Many people have many questions about heaven, for we, like Paul, know that “our citizenship is in heaven” (verse 20). In this message, we answer some common questions about heaven as asked by Concordia’s members.
If heaven is as glorious as the Scriptural record paints it to be, the question naturally arises: “How do I make it into God’s heavenly kingdom?” On Jubilee Weekend, we answer this question clearly according to the Gospel: it is through faith and faith alone in Christ that we receive paradise.
Many people think of heaven as a place “out there.” And though it is true that when we die, we “depart to be with Christ” (Philippians 1:23), heaven’s ultimate resting place will be in a reconstituted creation. Heaven, then, is not finally a different place, but a different state – a state that is free from sin, death, and the devil.
The promise of heaven may be glorious, but the stark reality is, as Jesus alludes to in this parable, that not everyone will live with God in heaven. This is not by God’s dream or design, however. Jesus consistently addresses and warns against hell so that we may escape such a damnable destiny.
Most people know that there is something wrong with this world. The tragedy, death, and despair of our world makes us cry out for something better – something heavenly. The apostle Paul addresses this yearning for something better in Romans 8 and reminds us that the reason we yearn for a better life is because there is a better life!
Retirement involves more than playing golf and lounging around! When Moses led the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, he was 80 and his brother Aaron was 84. Just because you retire doesn’t mean that God can’t use you to do amazing work! What work is God calling you to do for Him?