Jul 4 2013

BBQ at Kessler’s July 7 at Noon

God Fearers! No study times will be held at the church this coming Sunday, July 7. Instead, we will gather at the Kessler’s home at NOON for BBQ Bible Study. The address is 5626 Foxchase NW. Head down Fulton heading west from the church, toward the high school. Make a right into the Foxchase development. Our house is the 8th house up on the right, brick, only one with a picket fence and a wicket purple clematis growing on the front lamppost.

Our study of Romans will continue next Sunday. I will be using the curriculum outline in this post to organize the remainder of the study.

Happy Independence Day 2013!

Outline of Romans_Interpretation_Achtemeier

Apr 15 2013

The opposite of sin is not good.

Ask people inside and outside the church what the purpose of the church is. Many, perhaps most, will say, either indirectly by implication or directly, to teach Christian morality. How in error. The church’s main role, and in my opinion, only charge, is to proclaim the Good News that we are saved in our sin, not in our good works, moral or otherwise. While most of us get these words, we miss the scandalous meaning of them. “No one is good save the Father in heaven,” says Jesus. No one. Not one. Not you. Not the pastor in the pulpit. Not your cousin Freddy. That’s pretty emphatic. The meaning, once internalized causes us to rethink our propositional theology. The opposite of sin, you see, is NOT good. It is FAITH. Belief. Better, TRUST. Trust that in Jesus Christ all that needs doing has been done. We are made right, one with God, simply for believing the incredulous good news that through Christ’s actions on the cross, and by his resurrection, we are in him and in him we are home free. Of course, to appreciate this gift, you have to understand that sin does not discriminate. ALL have sinned. ALL are in sin. It is a universal condition. A truth of our life. The wages of sin is death says St. Paul. Good can’t save the dead. Only God can do that. Through Jesus he has spoken his last word on the subject. Do you see what this means? All our hard-nosed efforts to polish up our lives get us very little of lasting importance. Yes. You can get accolades, praises, awards. But, in the words of Solomon, all is vanity. It passes. It does not last. Jesus says, “my yoke is light.” Take it! Touch his hem, ride and rise to heaven. Merely say, okay to the best deal anyone can offer. Faith alone takes you home free. It’s better than we deserve. It’s better than the best. It’s better than we could imagine. Why do people fight this? They must find work more fulfilling than life. Go figure.

Mar 16 2013

Symbology of 7 in the Gospel of John

Dear Bible Study Attendees,

We will continue with our in-depth study of the Fourth Gospel, the Gospel of John.  This Gospel has been been compared to a pool of water. So shallow at the edges that a child could wade in it, and yet so deep at the center that an elephant could swim. This is an appropriate illustration because the Gospel of John is easy to understand at the surface, but has a depth to it that scholars who have spent their entire lives in the study of it have not fully exhausted.

The Significance of 7

The first 11 chapters define the Lord’s ministry through John’s selective use of 7 miracles, 7 “I AM” declarations, and 7 discourses. The use of the number 7, which symbolizes divine completeness, (or perfection), is another good example of John’s style and particular point of view.

Besides the miracles, I AM statements and discourses, John also highlights 7 occasions where the Lord’s use of a symbolic emblem was misunderstood by His audience showing how completely the leaders of Israel missed the spiritual point of His teaching.

Our Bible Study will pick up studying the 7 miracles, “I Am” declarations, 7 discourses and 7 symbolic statement of Jesus as revealed to us in the Gospel of John. 

In Christ, Lorraine

[See PDF The Lesson Study Guide to the 7’s of John, attached]

Gospel of John_7 Signs_Discourses_Sayings