Archives For confirmation

Lord’s Supper 1: Institution

February 27, 2014

This is part of an ongoing series on the Cornerstone Confirmation Curriculum we are developing at First Trinity Lutheran Church. (Main Confirmation Page)

Lord's Supper 580

Key Theme: Jesus leaves some last instructions, including a special meal for our spiritual health.

Read John 13:12-17

  • Underline: If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
  • Write: Serve others

Read John 13:31-35

  • Underline: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
  • Write: Love others

Read John 14:1-7

  • Underline: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
  • Write: Jesus alone saves

Read John 14:15-20

  • Underline: Because I live, you also will live.
  • Write: Jesus gives life

Read John 14:27-28

  • Underline: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
  • Write: Jesus gives peace

Read John 15:1-8

  • Underline: verse 5
  • Write: Actions come from Faith

Read John 15:18-21

  • Underline: Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
  • Write: We will be treated like Jesus

Read John 15:26-27

  • Underline: And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.
  • Write: Tell others about Jesus

On the night that Jesus was betrayed by Judas, arrested by the Romans, Jesus took time to be with His disciples and share a meal with them. That evening—the day before He would be crucified—Jesus wanted to share some important truth with His dear friends and disciples. Imagine being in a position where you knew you were about to die and had one last chance to share what was important with your family and friends. This is what Jesus did in the hours leading up to His death.

Read Matthew 26:26-28

After relating some important truth and final advice for the disciples, Jesus instituted a new practice that was meant to encourage and uplift His people. We will explore what happened with the Last Supper next time.

Class Documents

This is part of an ongoing series on the Cornerstone Confirmation Curriculum we are developing at First Trinity Lutheran Church. (Main Confirmation Page)

Small-Group-Material-580

Key Theme: God calls us to practice contentment in Him, rather than focusing on the things we do or don’t have.

Read Exodus 20:17

  • Underline: You shall not covet your neighbor’s house
  • Circle:You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife … male servant … female servant … ox … donkey … anything that is your neighbor’s.
  • Write and underline: 9th Commandment or “9C”
  • Write and Circle: 10th Commandment  or “10C”

Read 1 Timothy 6:8-10

  • Underline: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils
  • Write: Don’t love money! (9/10C)

Read Luke 12:15

  • Underline: Be on your guard against all kinds of covetousness
  • Write: Don’t love stuff! (9/10C)

Coveting at its heart is about desiring something more than God. What the object is is less important than this simple fact: it is sinful to make something a higher priority than God. While money, stuff, or relationships are not evil, loving those things more than God is considered sin.

Read Genesis 3:6

  • Underline: when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes
  • Write: Coveting led to first sin (9/10C)

Read Romans 7:7-8

  • Underline: But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness.
  • Write: Sin leads to coveting (9/10C)

From the earliest moment of creation, Satan used coveting to trick God’s people into sinning. Eve listened to the devil’s prompting and coveted what God had reserved for Himself: the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve gave into that temptation and sinned. Ever since then, our sinful nature has led us to consistently covet what other people have or things that are forbidden. It is not God who put that desire in you, but sin living in you.

Read Philippians 4:10-13

  • Underline: I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
  • Write: Contentment cure for coveting (9/10C)

Read Hebrews 13:5

  • Underline: be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
  • Write: Contentment found in Jesus (9/10C)

Read Psalm 37:4

  • Underline: Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
  • Write: Seek God first (9/10C)

If coveting is part of our very DNA because of the sin living inside us, how do we fight it? Paul tells us in Philippians that the secret lies in contentment. Being content is an act of the will whereby you choose to be satisfied with what God has provided, rather than focusing on what you don’t or aren’t allowed to have. But even more, it’s is not merely being content with stuff. Stuff in itself cannot provide contentment. True contentment only comes from a relationship with God. Knowing that he will never leave you, and delighting in Him will change your attitude towards money, stuff, and relationships.

Class Documents

This is part of an ongoing series on the Cornerstone Confirmation Curriculum we are developing at First Trinity Lutheran Church. (Main Confirmation Page)

Small-Group-Material-580

Key Theme: Our words are powerful for tearing down or building up a relationship. God asks us to choose them carefully.

Read Exodus 20:16

  • Underline: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  • Write: “8th Commandment” or “8C”

What is forbidden in the 8th Commandment?

Read Proverbs 19:5

  • Underline: he who breathes out lies will not escape.
  • Write: 8C: Don’t Lie.

Read Proverbs 11:13

  • Underline: Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
  • Write: 8C: Don’t Gossip.

Read James 4:11

  • Underline: Do not speak evil against one another, brothers.
  • Write: 8C: Don’t talk bad about others.

God calls us to guard our tongues in the 8th Commandment, especially as it related to how we interact with (or about!) others. The temptation to lie is an easy one that can often lead to more lies, until you become trapped in a web that is difficult to escape from. Talking about others behind their backs—or gossip—is especially difficult. As Christians, we sometimes couch our gossip in the form of a prayer request: “Did you hear about Sally? She got pregnant with some guy she hardly knows! We should pray for her…” While it may feel like genuine prayer, too often we use this as the excuse to talk about others.  Very closely related to this is talking bad about others. It might not be a rumor or juicy piece of news, but putting others down publicly is also forbidden here—whether your assessment of them is right or wrong.

What is commanded in the 8th Commandment?

Read Ephesians 4:25

  • Underline: Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor
  • Write: 8C: Speak Truth

Read Ephesians 4:15

  • Underline: speaking the truth in love
  • Write: 8C: Speak in Love

Read Proverbs 31:8-9

  • Underline: Open your mouth for the mute
  • Write: 8C: Defend Others

Read 1 Peter 4:8

  • Underline: love covers over a multitude of sins
  • Write: 8C: Assume the Best

There are also God-pleasing ways to interact with others, however! We have opportunity to speak truth to others, but always with a loving spirit. If you have a hard truth to share with someone (maybe their actions are hurting you), you can bring it to them in a loving way. Basically, your goal is to help build up the other person or the relationship. While you can’t control their reaction, you can control how you present your words. We also are called in this commandment to speak for those who cannot defend themselves. Maybe this is speaking out against bullying or on behalf of someone who is unable to speak for themselves for whatever reason. We also assume the best in our dealings with others, rather than take offense first.

Class Documents

This is part of an ongoing series on the Cornerstone Confirmation Curriculum we are developing at First Trinity Lutheran Church. (Main Confirmation Page)

Small-Group-Material-580

Key Theme: God forbids theft of all kinds, but also commands us here to protect the property of others.

Read Exodus 20:15

  • Underline: You shall not steal.
  • Write: “7th Commandment” or “7C”

What is forbidden in the 7th Commandment?

Read Joshua 7:11, 20-26

  • Underline: I have sinned against the Lord … I coveted them and took them.
  • Write: 7C: Stealing is sin.

Read 2 Kings 5:20-27

  • Underline: my master has spared this Naaman … I will run after him and get something from him.
  • Write: 7C: Dishonest gain is sin.

Read James 5:4

  • Underline: the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you
  • Write: 7C: Pay for media.

God commands His people not to steal from others. This includes the physical theft of items via shoplifting, borrowing things and intentionally not returning them because you want them, or other methods for obtaining physical things illegally. However, we also learn that deceiving others to get some extra money is considered stealing. It might be telling someone they owe you $5 for the item you purchased for them, even though it only cost $2. Another form of dishonest gain is cheating on a test or schoolwork by copying someone else’s answers. You benefit from their work and “gain” in a dishonest way.

In addition to physical goods and dishonest gain, we also see that failing to pay for something is the same as stealing. Most often, we see this in the area of illegally downloading music and video on the internet. We try to rationalize our theft by saying we wouldn’t have purchased it anyway, or that a company charges too much for something, so I just get it for free on the internet. Regardless, James 5:4 tells us that failure to pay someone for their work, as is the case here, is considered theft.

What is commanded in the 7th Commandment?

Read Philippians 2:4

  • Underline:  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
  • Write: 7C: Help others.

Read 1 John 3:17-18

  • Underline: let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
  • Write: 7C: Care for others.

We are not simply commanded to not steal from others, but we are also charged with protecting the interests and well-being of others. That might include looking out for others’ property at school or in our neighborhood. It might include providing for the needs of someone who is hurting. We keep this Commandment by helping and caring for others as God has cared for us.

Class Documents

This is part of an ongoing series on the Cornerstone Confirmation Curriculum we are developing at First Trinity Lutheran Church. (Main Confirmation Page)

Small-Group-Material-580

God’s name is powerful and to be respected. There are right and wrong ways to use His name.

Read Exodus 20:7

  • Underline: You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain
  • Write: “2nd Commandment” or “2C”

How do we use God’s name in vain?

Read James 3:9-10

  • Underline: From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
  • Write: Misusing God’s name

Read Matthew 5:33-37

  • Underline: Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
  • Write: Misusing God’s name

Read Matthew 26:63-64

  • Underline: I adjure you by the living God
  • Write: Misusing God’s name

Read Matthew 15:8-9

  • Underline: This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
  • Write: Misusing God’s name

There are many ways that we misuse the name of God. Whether it’s cursing, swearing, or claiming our honest by “swearing to God!”, we regularly misuse His name. This includes phrases like “Oh my God!” or even “OMG” because we all know what it actually stands for. In addition, we misuse God’s name when we claim to follow Him, but live our lives as if He does not exist.

How should we use God’s name?

Read Psalm 50:15

  • Underline: call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.
  • Write: Use God’s name!

Read Psalm 103:1

  • Underline: bless his holy name
  • Write: Use God’s name!

Read Ephesians 5:20

  • Underline: Entire verse.
  • Write: Use God’s name!

Read John 16:23

  • Underline: whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.
  • Write: Pray in Jesus’ name!

God’s name is powerful and He tells us to use His name in certain situations. These include calling out to God when we are in trouble and asking Him for help or when we are worshiping Him. We are to give thanks for all things in God’s name and to pray in “Jesus’ name.” When we pray in Jesus’ name, it means that we are praying the prayers that Jesus would pray if He were in our situation. This means we ask God to show us what to pray for, then pray for that in Jesus’ name.

Class Documents

This is part of an ongoing series on the Cornerstone Confirmation Curriculum we are developing at First Trinity Lutheran Church. (Main Confirmation Page)

The-Lord's-Prayer-Web-Header-580

God asks us to trust Him for all our needs. He alone brings forgiveness of sins to us. We respond by forgiving others, even when they don’t deserve it or ask for it.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Read Exodus 16:4-5

  • Underline: the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day
  • Margin: Daily Bread

Read Psalm 145:15-16

  • Underline: you give them their food … You open your hand
  • Margin: God provides.

Read Matthew 5:45

  • Underline: For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
  • Margin: God provides for all people.

Read 1 John 3:17-18

  • Underline: let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
  • Margin: We provide for others.

God calls us to trust Him alone to meet our needs. The phrase “daily bread” represents all the things we need to survive (including food, shelter, clothing, and more). While God physically provided bread daily for His people in Exodus 16, we understand this to mean a daily trusting—God is not forbidding us to plan ahead and prepare for the future, but rather to remember that even our best plans are dependent upon Him. So while we plan ahead, we remember to focus on God as our source of supply, not our own plan. In addition, God provides for all people, not just Christians, but He calls on Christians to also provide for others as we love them “with actions and in truth” according to 1 John 3.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Read Psalm 51:1-2

  • Underline: Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
  • Margin: God forgives.

Read Matthew 18:21-22

  • Underline: “how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
  • Margin: We forgive because God forgave us.

Read Matthew 6:14-15

  • Underline: but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
  • Margin: To receive is to give.

Jesus paid the ultimate price by dying on the cross so we could be forgiven. He alone is able to forgive our sins, so we ask Him here to do as He promised. However, we also ask Him to help us forgive others. Because God has first forgiven us, we are able—and should be willing—to forgive others. If we are unwilling to forgive others, then God will not forgive us.

Class Documents

 

This is part of an ongoing series on the Cornerstone Confirmation Curriculum we are developing at First Trinity Lutheran Church. (Main Confirmation Page)

The-Lord's-Prayer-Web-Header-580

God’s Kingdom will reign on earth no matter what we do, but we ask Him to use us to make it happen. We also pray that He would send His Word and the Holy Spirit to help us believe in Jesus.

Your Kingdom Come

Read Romans 14:17

  • Underline: the kingdom of God is … righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
  • Margin: Send me your Spirit, Lord.

Read 1 Peter 2:12

  • Underline: Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that … they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
  • Margin: Send me in your Spirit, Lord.

Read Isaiah 55:11

  • Underline:my word … shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
  • Margin: God’s kingdom will come

God does not need our help making His kingdom come. In fact, it will come whether we help it along, fight it every step of the way, or do nothing. But we pray that God would send His Holy Spirit to rule in our hearts and establish His kingdom there first. But we also pray that He would use us to bring His kingdom about, as we are sent out in the Holy Spirit to live lives that point to the saving love of Jesus. When we aren’t sure if we’re being effective, we remain encouraged.

Your Will Be Done

Read John 6:40

  • Underline: For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life
  • Margin: God wants to save me.

Read 1 Timothy 2:4

  • Underline: who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
  • Margin: God wants to save everyone.

Read Romans 16:20

  • Underline: The God of peace will soon crush Satan
  • Margin: God’s Will frustrates Satan.

God’s desire for you is that you would know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. He created you and He’s crazy in love with you. He doesn’t want you to go to hell, but to instead spend eternity with Him in heaven. Not only that, but He wants all people to be saved. Here we pray that God’s desire would come true for all people: that they would accept Jesus as Lord. God’s will also “frustrates” the plans of Satan. Satan carefully lays plans to lead us away from Jesus, but God disrupts that plan with His Word, bringing hope and life to His people where Satan would send despair and death. Ultimately, God will defeat Satan once and for all, casting him into the fiery pit of hell.

Class Documents

This is part of an ongoing series on the Cornerstone Confirmation Curriculum we are developing at First Trinity Lutheran Church. (Main Confirmation Page)

The-Lord's-Prayer-Web-Header-580

God, our loving Father, is the sole recipient of our worship and prayers. We are to keep His Name holy.

Overview of Prayer

Read Revelation 22:8-9

  • Underline: Worship God.
  • Write: Pray to God alone

Read Romans 8:26

  • Underline: the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
  • Margin: Pray in the Spirit

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

  • Underline: pray without ceasing
  • Margin: Pray a lot!

Read Matthew 6:5-8

  • Underline: when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
  • Margin: Pray from the heart.

Read Matthew 6:9-13

  • Underline: Pray then like this
  • Margin: The Lord’s Prayer

God is to be our sole focus of prayer. Only He can hear and answer prayers. We don’t pray to angels, dead saints or loved ones, or other objects, but to God alone. He not only invites us to pray continually, but partners with us as the Holy Spirit prays on our behalf when we don’t know what to say. Jesus also gave us specific words to pray when we don’t know what else to pray for, what we know as the Lord’s Prayer. So when we are uncertain what to pray, we can confidently pray this.

Our Father in Heaven

Read Luke 11:11-13

  • Underline: If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
  • Margin: God gives good

God tells us to approach Him as a loving Father. He is able to provide all things good to us and never fails us.

Hallowed Be Your Name

Read Jeremiah 23:28

  • Underline: but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully.
  • Margin: HALLOW God’s Name.

Read Matthew 5:16

  • Underline: let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
  • Margin: HALLOW God’s Name.

Read Romans 2:23-24

  • Underline: breaking the law … The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.
  • Margin: HOLLOW God’s Name.

Hallowing and Hollowing are two similar, but opposite words. Hollowing is the more common and familiar word. It means to take substance or value out of something. So if I hollow out a piece of wood, all that would be left is the outer shell. It is less than it once was. Hallowing is like adding or protecting the value that is already there. While we can not make God’s Name any more holy than it already is, we can protect the value of God’s Name by using it correctly.

Similar to the 2nd Commandment (You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God), we hallow God’s Name by using it correctly. Through teaching God’s Word, pointing attention back to God for our good deeds instead of ourselves, and calling on His Name when we are in trouble, we hallow His Name. Conversely, we hollow God’s Name when we publicly say we believe and trust God, but continually disobey Him. In other words, when we talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk.

Class Documents

Confession and Absolution

January 24, 2013

This is part of an ongoing series on the Cornerstone Confirmation Curriculum we are developing at First Trinity Lutheran Church. (Main Confirmation Page)

Confession and Absolution 580

Key Theme: We have lived below God’s standard and deserve only death. But Jesus paid the price that we might receive forgiveness instead of punishment.

The Effects of Sin

Read Genesis 3:16-19

  • Underline: pain, pain, cursed, pain, thorns, thistles, “for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
  • Margin: Sin’s Fruits

Read Ezekiel 37:11

  • Underline: Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.
  • Margin: Sin separates us from God

Sin is an everyday reality for us. Literally, sin means “missing the mark.” God has demanded perfection, and we have fallen short. Because God is perfect and holy, He cannot tolerate sin, and therefore cannot tolerate the presence of sinners such as us. The effects of sin are felt physically though pain, suffering, and even death. But there is also a spiritual consequence from sin. It is a separation from God, as if we were “cut off” from Him. Because of our sin, we are unable to have a relationship with God.

The Promise of a Savior

Read Genesis 3:14-15

  • Underline: he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
  • Margin: Jesus!

Read Ezekiel 37:12-14

  • Underline: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people.
  • Margin: Jesus brings new life

Read Romans 5:8

  • Underline: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Margin: God acted for us.

God was not content with the status of our relationship. He knew that we could not restore the relationship, because we were sinful through and through. But He knew that He could do it. And so God spoke not only judgment to His people, but also hope. He told them of the savior that would come to act on their behalf. He told them that He Himself would be the one to rescue His people. While we were powerless to do it, God acted for us.

The Forgiveness of Sins

Read 1 John 1:8-9

  • Underline: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
  • Margin: God forgives

Read Psalm 103:12-13

  • Underline: as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
  • Margin: Our sin is gone.

Read Isaiah 1:18

  • Underline: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
  • Margin: God cleanses us.

God decided to make matters into His own hands and restore our relationship with Him. But because God still cannot abide sin, something had to be done. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, lived a perfect and blameless life, but suffered the death that we deserved as sinners. We have lived (and continue to live) as sinners, but receive the life and relationship with God that Jesus deserved. God forgives our sin not because we deserve it, but because Jesus paid the price so we might have the forgiveness.

Class Documents

This is part of an ongoing series on the Cornerstone Confirmation Curriculum we are developing at First Trinity Lutheran Church. (Main Confirmation Page)

Small Group Footer 580

The third article of the Apostle’s Creed focuses on the Holy Spirit, who works faith in our hearts and keeps us in the faith each day.

The Holy Spirit is God

Read Acts 5:34

  • Underline: Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit … You have not lied to man but to God
  • Write: Circle Holy Spirit and God, then connect them with a line.

Read Matthew 28:19-20

The Holy Spirit is the third “person” of the Trinity. He is referred to as God by Peter in the story of Ananias and Sapphira. He is also connected with the Father and Son in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20.

The Role of the Holy Spirit

Read 1 Corinthians 12:3

  • Underline: no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
  • Margin: Holy Spirit Converts

Read John 3:5-6

  • Underline: that which is born of the Spirit is spirit
  • Margin: Holy Spirit Converts

 Read 1 Peter 5:7

  • Underline: since you have been born again, … through the living and abiding word of God;
  • Margin: Holy Spirit uses God’s Word

The Holy Spirit is responsible for bringing people to faith. While we have a “decision” to make regarding whether we believe in Jesus or not, we are only able to say “I believe in Jesus” because the Spirit has already worked faith in our hearts. Imagine you are falling off a cliff with nothing to grab onto. God reaches down through the Spirit and grabs your arm as you fall. You now have a choice: Grab on to God, or don’t. But you can only grab onto God because He first grabbed you. The Holy Spirit works through the Word of God. He uses the Bible to work faith in our hearts.

Read 2 Corinthians 5:17

  • Underline: Entire verse
  • Margin: I am a new creation!

In addition to working faith in our hearts, the Spirit renews us daily. Each day, we are being made new through the power of the Spirit. He makes us new not because we deserve it, but because we belong to Jesus.

Read Philippians 1:3-6

  • Underline: he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
  • Margin: Holy Spirit is still working

When you struggle with doubts about who Jesus is and whether you actually believe in Him or not, it is the Spirit that works through those doubts and fears to increase our faith. Paul promises in this passage that God, who started this “good work” or building faith in us, will not let it go unfinished. While we struggle with doubt, we are confident that God is still working to perfect our faith, making us believe in Him more and more each day.

Class Documents