Archives For cornerstone

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

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