In our Bible Study Pastors Tom Naumann and Nathanael Mayhew take us through a study of 2 Corinthians. This letter contains some of the most beautiful Gospel proclamations in all of Scripture. The emphasis is on God’s strength in weakness, and Paul brings out this theme by focusing on a number of paradoxes including comfort through affliction, life through death, reconciliation through humiliation, and abundance through poverty. Our study will focus on these contrasts and encourage us to say with Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
In our Word of the Week, Pastor Mark Tiefel takes a look at the word environmentalism. This is a very popular topic in our society and is especially on the minds of many with the recent celebration of Earth Day on April 22. We know from the Bible that God has given mankind dominion over creation (Genesis 1-2), but does that mean that we can simply use that dominion however we want? Our study will help to answer this question by looking at the important role creation plays not just in Genesis, but in the entire Bible. Understanding this will help us to remember that it is God’s creation, and so, we want to give glory to God in how we care for all that He has given us.
In our Bible Study this week Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Rob Sauers take us through a study of some of the sermons found in the book of Acts. The book of Acts contains twenty sermons or parts of sermons. These sermons provide us with examples of some of the emphases of those first messages. Those early discourses had a distinct Law/Gospel message and emphasis on Jesus’ resurrection much like our sermons do today. In our study, we’ll look at just a few of these sermons and observe how these first preachers were inspired to speak.
In our Word of the Week, Pastor Rob Sauers takes us through a study of the Image of God. According to the Sydow version of Luther’s Small Catechism, the Image of God is defined as being like God in righteousness, holiness, and perfect knowledge. Adam and Eve were created in the Image of God, but what happened after the Fall? Our study looks at Adam and Eve’s creation, how the Image of God was lost in the Fall, and how Christ has restored the Image of God to us.
In our Bible Study, Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Rob Sauers take us through a study of the book of Acts. This is certainly an appropriate book to study during the Easter season as it is the account of the aftermath of Jesus’ resurrection. In fact, many churches replace the Old Testament reading with a reading from the book of Acts during Easter. This book is part two of Luke’s Gospel in which he demonstrates how the Word of the Lord spread beginning “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). The book is often referred to as the Acts of the Apostles, but as we’ll see in our study, it would be better to call this book the Acts of the Holy Spirit as He really is the central figure. We pray that this study will be a blessing to you.
Pastor Sam Rodebaugh discusses the word “Life” – an appropriate word to consider following our Easter celebrations. He points out the importance of life and many of the questions raised in our society about life. When does life begin? Who has the right to take life? Life is viewed in a selfish way, and it is easy to see how life has been devalued in many ways in our world. But God is different. He values all life, every life. Jesus gives up His own life in order to save us from death and give us life. Our lives have been purchased back by the blood of Jesus. Knowing this, we gain a different perspective on life. The resurrection of Jesus and the salvation He has secured moves us to value our own lives and to use them to God’s glory. But it also moves us to value the lives of all people because they too are loved by the Savior.
In our Bible Study on this Good Friday, Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Rob Sauers take us through a study of a passage we often read this time of year – Isaiah 52:13 – Isaiah 53:12. This section of Scripture describes, in amazing detail 700 years before the events occurred, just what our Savior’s suffering would be like. As we work through this passage, we’re going to ask and answer a number of questions: Who is this talking about? What is being described? Why did these events have to happen? How does it all come together, and how does this all apply to us? We pray that our study will aid you as you meditate upon what our Savior suffered for us so many years ago on that first Good Friday and that you will be ever more assured that what He did on this day, He did for you to pay for every single one of your sins!
As we prepare our hearts for Holy Week, Pastors Rob Sauers and Nathanael Mayhew takes us through a study of the Lenten hymn “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted.” This hymn takes us to the cross and urges us to see what our Savior Jesus does there for us. The hymn is based primarily on Isaiah 53:3-6, though it is full of other Scriptural references and allusions. In the first two stanzas we are confronted with the physical suffering Jesus endured on the cross, but also the more agonizing spiritual suffering as He is forsaken by all, even God the Father so that God’s justice can be satisfied. In the final two stanzas, we consider the seriousness of our sin that caused Jesus’ suffering and death, but also the glorious Gospel message that because of what Jesus did, we have a firm foundation on which to base our faith and a hope that can never be taken away. We pray that this study will help you in your preparations for Holy Week.
Pastor Sam Rodebaugh defines the word “Hades” in our Word of the Week today. The word Hades can have different meanings depending on its context. It can refer to death or the grave or the place of eternal punishment for sin. In this episode Pastor Rodebaugh shows that Jesus has come to deliver us from Hades. Through His death on the cross, Jesus suffered death and endured the punishment of hell for our sins, and has now set us free from the curse which Hades held over us. Thanks be to Jesus for delivering us from death!
In today’s Bible Study episode, Pastors Rob Sauers and Nathanael Mayhew take us through a study of the book of Hebrews. Hebrews is one of the more unique letters of the New Testament in that we do not know specifically who the author was, nor do we know the original audience. What we do know about the original audience is that they were Jewish Christians who were facing persecution and were wondering whether or not it was worth it to be a Christian. Again and again, the letter to the Hebrews emphasizes that it is, in fact, worth it to be a Christian. The letter does this by looking back, more than any other New Testament book, to the Old Testament and showing again and again how Christ is the fulfillment of all that was promised in the past. In our study of this letter, we will look at how the Old Testament ceremonial law points to and finds its fulfillment in Christ. We will look at some of the examples the letter gives us of the people through whom God brought about His plan of salvation. As we look at this, we will be encouraged by the fact that when God makes a promise, He fulfills His promise. We see this most clearly in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. We pray that as you listen to this study and read through the book on your own that you will be encouraged by the fact that Jesus is the perfect Savior from sin and the complete answer for our every need.