Immanuel Lutheran Church LCMS
Fairview/Allen, TX
Rev. Tab Ottmers
September 2018

The Christian Never Ceases to Learn

In the adult Sunday School class we've been reading Lutheran author Gene Edward Veith's book, "God at Work." I began the class asking the question that I want to ask every member of our congregation. What was the last Lutheran author you have read?

                And no The Bible doesn't count…

                This is an important question because if you confess to be Lutheran, and we do this when we take the Lord's Supper in our church, you should know what that means. We call it having integrity. Imagine being an American and not knowing what America is nor why it even matters to be an American. So in order to help us know and confess more boldly what it means to be Lutheran, we took to reading this book concerning how God works through our lives for the benefit of others.

                Learning the details of the Christian faith is a noble and God pleasing thing to do. Jesus himself we are told, "increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man." Luke 2:52

                Following Jesus is faith life that includes one of increasing in wisdom and knowledge. Too many people think that following Jesus only entails putting up with church for 1hour a week and then never growing in knowledge. What a shame this is. Jesus is our role model and we pray that our lives would reflect his. In addition St. Paul writes in Romans 12, "2Do not be conformedto this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.Then you will be able to discern what is the good, pleasing, andperfect will of God."

                You must work to have your mind renewed. This means being taught God's word and the doctrine concerning God's word. This is not only a positive encouragement from the scripture but we are also warned what happens if we lean toward laziness. In Hosea God warns his people concerning learning his word, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;"

                September is a great time to get back in the "Back to school" frame of mind. Not only for families with children, but for all of us. For we are all children of God and his school is always in session. Reading Lutheran theology is always intriguing for me because it helps escape the world by reflecting on heavenly things. However good theological reading will also keep you focused on why the heavenly things matter. Good theological reading takes you to heaven by bringing Jesus to you here in this world. Good doctrine shows you how the word of God is not just applicable to real life, but teaches you to confess how the word of God is life!

            "…renewing your mind in Christ" will get you into scripture. You will be challenged. You will be comforted. You will learn. The faith the Holy Spirit has planted in you through baptism will be nourished. Unfortunately too many people have disconnected learning from the faith. Can you actually be strengthened in the faith by learning?

            Yes, of course! The faith you have been given will be strengthened. Is that not our prayer ever day? So let the school year begin…and never end for the disciples of Christ. That is where the word disciple comes from in the Greek, μαθητής - a learner or pupil.

"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples," John 8:31.   

See you on Sunday,

Pastor Ottmers