Archive for the ‘water’ tag
The text for this lesson is Genesis 6:1-9:17
- In the flood, God destroyed sinful people. Jesus, His Son, destroyed sin, once and for all, in His death and resurrection, giving life to sinful people.
- Law: God demands obedience to His Law.
- Gospel: God sent His Son to obey the Law perfectly for me.
- Law: God used water in a flood to drown sinful humankind.
- Gospel: In Baptism, God uses water to drown my sins, granting me eternal life through Jesus, His Son.
- In December 2004, a tsunami killed hundreds of thousands of people in Southeast Asia. In late August 2005, Hurricane Katrina left New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast underwater. What images of these disasters come to mind? How would they compare to the universal flood that God sent in Noah’s day?
- “I just don’t believe that Noah could have built that ark with the primitive technology they had then. And how could a flood cover the entire earth?” How would you respond to a friend who said such things?
- “It seems so cruel that God would destroy all those people and animals in the flood. How could He choose to save only eight people and still be a good and gracious God?” How would you respond to a friend who said this?
- Read Genesis 6:5–7. What was the condition of the human heart at the time of Noah? Read Genesis 6:11–13. What kind of behavior resulted from the condition of the human heart? Was humanity any better off after the flood? See Genesis 8:21. Are we any better off today?
- Read Genesis 6:8–9; 7:1. What motivated God to save Noah? Why was Noah called “righteous”? Note that Genesis 9:18–29 indicates that Noah was not without sin.
Read Hebrews 11:7. How was Noah’s faith demonstrated?
- Once Noah and his family and the animals had entered the ark, Genesis 7:16 says that God shut Noah in. Could Noah have done this himself? What does this lead us to conclude about the nature of salvation, that is, rescue from harm and danger?
- Read Genesis 8:20–21. Why did Noah offer sacrifices to the Lord? How did the Lord receive the sacrifices? What kind of sacrifices are we to offer to the Lord today? See Romans 12:1.
- Read Genesis 9:8–11. What might the fact that animals are part of the covenant indicate?
- Read Matthew 24:37–39. What were the wicked, faithless people doing when the flood came? How do the wicked live in our own generation? Should Christians be involved in the same deeds as unbelievers?
- Read Genesis 9:12–17. How is the rainbow a more effective sign of God’s promise than words alone? What visible signs of His promise does God give to the Church?
- It says in 1 Peter 3:20b–21, “In [the ark] a few people, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you . . . through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” What images does this verse bring to mind about the salvation we receive in Baptism?
- In Genesis 9:4, God tells Noah, “You shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” This verse is the first of many in the Bible that prohibit the consumption of blood (Leviticus 3:17; Deuteronomy 12:15–16; Acts 15:29; and others). Here, and elsewhere in the Old Testament, blood is equated with the life of the living being. How does this fact about blood help us understand the significance of the true presence of Christ’s body and blood in the Lord’s Supper?
The text for this lesson is 2 Kings 2:1-14
- God worked through the horses, the chariots of fire, and the whirlwind that carried Elijah to heaven to reassure and bless Elisha so he could boldly serve as God’s prophet. God works through the Means of Grace—Word and Sacrament—to strengthen our faith and bless us in our service to Him as we serve our neighbor.
- Law: Like Elisha, I am sinful and doubt my abilities to serve where God calls me.
- Gospel: God works through the Means of Grace—Word and Sacrament—to forgive my doubt and reveal that He is with me and to grant me the ability to serve wherever He calls me.
- What do we call a man today with a special calling to preach God’s Word and administer Sacraments?
- Why was God about to take Elijah up to heaven?
- Why did Elisha not want to leave Elijah?
- Of what does the parting of the water in 2 Kings 2:8 remind you?
- What did Elisha want from Elijah?
- Why did Elisha tear his clothes?
- Was Elisha’s prayer answered?
- How did God use the whirlwind (the natural element) to help Elisha know God’s plan of salvation?
- Of whom does Elijah’s ascent into heaven remind you?
- What does that mean for us?
- Why is this story of Elijah’s miraculous departure from earth in the Bible for us to read today?
The text for this lesson is 2 Kings 5:1-14
- God poured His grace on Naaman, telling him to wash in the Jordan so that he would be cleansed of his disease. He pours His grace on us through water and His Word in Holy Baptism and cleanses us from our greatest sickness—sin. God cares for us and has power to heal our diseases according to His will.
- Law: As Naaman was sick with leprosy, so I am sick with sin.
- Gospel: Because of Jesus, God cares for me and has power to heal my sicknesses according to His will. He pours His grace on me through water and His Word in Holy Baptism and heals my sin-sickness.
- Why was an Israelite girl living in Naaman’s house in Syria?
- Did the dirty Jordan River water wash away Naaman’s sickness? Who healed Naaman? Who heals us?
- What sickness do all people suffer from?
- How are we cleansed from sin and given saving faith?
- How did God use the natural element water to bring about His plan of salvation for Naaman?
- Did the river water cleanse or heal Naaman of his sickness? Was it the power of Elisha?
- How does baptismal water work forgiveness of sins, rescue from death and the devil, and give eternal salvation?
- How did Jesus’ blood cleanse us?
The text for this lesson is Matthew 14:22–33.
- Jesus was gracious to Peter when he feared drowning. Jesus is gracious to us and is ready to catch us as we sink in sin and unbelief; His hand is always strong to save us.
The text for this lesson is Mark 4:35–41.
- Just as Jesus calmed the storm with His Word for the frightened disciples, so He calms and ends the storm of sin and its certain death by taking our sin on Himself and dying in our place so we may live eternally.
- Law: “God doesn’t care about us, our fears, our sufferings, our anything.” That’s what we think, all too often, when the storms of life hit. We feel God is giving us the cold shoulder, or, worse by far, wonder if He even exists. Fear suffocates faith, leading ultimately to despair and hopelessness.
- Gospel: God does care. In the vast cosmos, nothing is as much the object of His love as you. Though, when walking through this valley of sorrow (or being tossed about in a ferocious sea), it seems the Lord is heartless, He is anything but. He is with you. At the right time, He will provide peace through His Word, bring you out of the valley and storm, and calm your trembling heart.
The text for this lesson is Mark 1:1–13.
- Jesus takes on our sin at His Baptism, facing our temptations that we, in turn, might be baptized into His goodness, His holiness, and His purity. In exchange for our sewer of sin, He gives us the fountain of life.
- Law: Repentance is not an emotion but a motion, a constant moving away from sin and into Christ, from death to life. To repent is not to “feel bad” but to confess that one is “bad”—a lawbreaker, one who fears, loves, and trusts things above God. It is to see in the lifeless wilderness around John an emblem of one’s soul, divorced from faith.
- Gospel: Jesus is baptized for us. All our transgressions cascade into Him. He also baptizes the water, as it were. He puts Himself into the water so the water, joined to Him, might join us to Him in Baptism. Once baptized, He takes down the devil for us by fearing, loving, and trusting His father above all things.