1 Peter, Lesson 3: Our Life with God: Is It Up to Us or God?

Intro In 1 Peter 1:3-12, Peter is preparing his recipients for what is to follow, to be well-disposed and ready to receive his instruction.  Peter does this by expounding on the activity of each Person of the Holy Trinity, offering a blessing based on the Father (vs. 3-5), Son (vs. 3, 7-8), and Spirit (vs. […]

1 Peter: Lesson 2 Preparing His Hearers

Intro In this section, Peter uses classical rhetoric, writing an “exordium” to prepare his recipients for what is to follow.  The purpose is to prepare them to be more well-disposed and ready to receive his instruction. So, this section includes no explicit exhortations or commands.  Instead, Peter wants his recipients to hear him without being […]

1 Peter: Lesson 1

Introduction Theme The relationship between the Christian and culture as resident aliens in this world.  Peter wants the hearers of his epistle to understand who they are before God so they can be who they are in in the world.  1 Peter tells us not so much how we are to think about God, but […]

The “I AM,” the Flesh-and-Bone God for Us

In many ways, our lives are all about knowing God.  For this to be, we must understand Jesus, God’s Son, as God incarnate, for “no one comes to the Father except through [Him]” (John 14:6).  Still, how can this take place for us creatures born separated from God (Ephesians 2:12)?  The Scriptures of God reveal […]

The Apostles’ Creed, Lesson 1

What is a Creed? Creed comes from the Latin word credere, meaning “to believe.” Our English word “credible” comes from credere, meaning what someone says is believable.  So, a creed is a statement of what someone believes or trusts to be true.  “I believe the earth is round, not flat,” is an example of a […]

Walking and Working in our Wilderness

The season of Epiphany begins with an underhanded Herod and the visit of the “wise men,” Magi, to the infant Jesus.  In a way, Herod is like the Pharaoh of ancient Egypt, who stood in God’s way, attempting to keep His children enslaved.  So, the Exodus is more than a historical event, also serving as […]

The Theology of Suffering (Bad Things Happening to Good People)

This is the Sunday School Lesson for Dec 2, 2018, changed because of events in the life of our congregation.  The only difference from this and the lesson used is this one lacks the graphics.   The Theology of Glory versus the Theology of the Cross Before we look into suffering, we need to look […]

Making Sense of God when Our World Doesn’t

This is our pastor’s newsletter for November 2018.   In our grief, we sigh, “Why, Lord?”  Such words formed in my mouth when Dean Webb died, with Sandy, his wife, a short time later.  Today, as I write this article, I still am grappling with losing them both.  Though I am a pastor, God sends […]

A Lesson on Grieving

With two deaths within a week, a lesson like this made sense.  For when someone you know and love dies, you suffer an enormous sense of loss.  It is like an amputation. Initially, there’s a sharp pain. Eventually, there’s healing—but there’s always a loss. Grief is the expression of this loss, which someone can express […]

John: Lesson 9: The Food of God’s Kingdom (John 6:25 – 71)

Jesus is back in Galilee with another Passover soon approaching.  He crossed over the Sea of Galilee and a crowd follows Him there.  Hungry, Jesus took five loaves and seven fish and multiplied them to feed a crowd of 5,000 men, plus women and children. Both Jesus and His disciples leave and the crowd follows […]