Pastor Fritz Foltz

Lesson 15: The Best Road Map Available

Lesson 15: The Best Road Map Available

Romans 1-8 Salvation: by Faith Active in Love I am going to look at Romans as the best road map for the modern age, emphasizing how much better “faith active in love” is than the religious law which has failed us so miserably. It enables us to adjust appropriately to the diverse situations before us. […]

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Lesson 14:  Elephant in the Road   (I Corinthians 15)

Lesson 14: Elephant in the Road (I Corinthians 15)

If religions deal with ultimate questions, they eventually have to deal with death. As Paul says, it is the last enemy, the elephant in the room, or to keep our metaphor, the elephant in the middle of the road. No matter what we do, death is ahead. Paul might have put off the task in […]

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Lesson 13  Keep Control of the Wheel   (I Corinthians 11- 14)

Lesson 13 Keep Control of the Wheel (I Corinthians 11- 14)

After discussing moral issues Paul turns to worship. Again we see the freedom of the Spirit. Although he speaks of tradition (I Corinthians 11: 2) this does not appear to include a formal liturgy. Five years earlier he said, “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances, do not quench the Spirit (I Thessalonians […]

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Lesson 12:  Don’t Drink and Drive (I Corinthians 5-10)

Lesson 12: Don’t Drink and Drive (I Corinthians 5-10)

I have always had a hard time making sense of chapters 5-14. Paul seems all over the place, going hither and yon in his reasoning and counseling. After a lot of struggle, I decided to take Paul at his word. There are no laws. Jesus grants us his Spirit which gives us freedom. The only […]

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Lesson 11:  U Turn?   (I Corinthians 1-4)

Lesson 11: U Turn? (I Corinthians 1-4)

Before offering counsel about the chaotic situation in their church, Paul reminds the Corinthians that Christianity looks at things much differently than the rest of their world.  “The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…. For since, in […]

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Lesson 10: Many Roads Get You There

Lesson 10: Many Roads Get You There

Rather than plowing directly into I Corinthians, let me speak to the discussion started in recent lessons. As Sarah assured me from the very beginning, the comments have become very significant. I think this is especially important for understanding Paul’s real gift. If we try to apply Paul’s specific counsels to our present situation, such […]

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Lesson 9: Faith Active in Love: A Busy Highway  (Galatians 5, 6)

Lesson 9: Faith Active in Love: A Busy Highway (Galatians 5, 6)

It is important to keep reminding ourselves not to expect a systematic theology from Paul. He just does not offer that kind of consistency. Instead we find him applying his gospel rather flexibly to the situation of his churches. In Galatians’ first four chapters Paul speaks of the Cross as an act of love by which God […]

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Lesson 8 Faith: Trusting the Map (Galatians)

Lesson 8 Faith: Trusting the Map (Galatians)

If scholars are right, Galatians is the second earliest book in the New Testament. It proclaims the heart of Paul’s message, justification by faith. It pretty evident Paul never wrote thinking his letter would become part of our Bible. His emotions almost get the better of him as he defends his authority as an apostle, […]

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Lesson 7: What’s Ahead? (Thessalonians)

Lesson 7: What’s Ahead? (Thessalonians)

Thessalonians pictures the church being persecuted for their belief that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ who shall rule the earth for God. As they wait for him, they live as much as possible in his Spirit, living quietly and loving all. Anne rightly asks how we can understand this in our time 2,000 years […]

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Lesson 6:  Letters Home

Lesson 6: Letters Home

Get ready! Luke-Acts acted like a good public relations person who domesticated Paul. He portrayed him as a courageous missionary who suffered constantly in order to move the Church from a small Jewish sect to a large catholic church. We are now going to move back 30 years to see the real Paul as he […]

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