214 episodes

Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.

Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.

Sharper Iron from KFUO Radio KFUO Radio

    • Christianity
    • 4.9, 50 Ratings

Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.

Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.

    The Excuses We Make to Do What We Think Is Right

    The Excuses We Make to Do What We Think Is Right

    Rev. Dr. Adam Koontz, assistant professor of exegetical theology at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, IN, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Judges 21:1-25.

    The book of Judges comes to the end of the course that Israel has set for itself when everyone does what is right in his own eyes and rejects the LORD’s kingship over them. Rather than look for reconciliation and atonement from the LORD, the people of Israel continue with the foolish oaths that they have already made. On the one hand, they rightly recognize the need to preserve their Benjaminite brothers; on the other hand, they fail to see the sinful role they have played. As they had previously acted toward Benjamin in the civil war, they now treat the tribe of Jabesh-gilead as unbelievers in devoting them to destruction in order to gain wives for Benjamin. When that plan fails to gain enough wives, they engage in further deception toward the women of Shiloh, attempting to find solace in their self-made piety. All of this points to the destruction that is wrought when sinners do whatever they think is right. The only true solution is the one that LORD provides: faith in the true King, Jesus Christ, who has given reconciliation with God and atonement for our sins.

    “Rebellion and Rescue” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Judges. This book is characterized by a familiar. As the generations after Joshua forget the LORD and what He has done for Israel, they fall into idolatry. The LORD gives them over into the hands of their enemies in order to bring them to their senses. When they cry out to Him in repentance, He sends a judge to rescue them and give them rest for a time, until they relapse into idolatry once more. In this cycle, we see a picture of our own Christian life. Daily, the old Adam in us is drowned in contrition and repentance, and the new man emerges in Baptismal forgiveness to live in righteousness and purity before God forever.

    • 51 min
    Judgment against the Benjaminites

    Judgment against the Benjaminites

    Rev. Jon Walla, pastor at Bethel Lutheran Church in Bismarck, ND, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Judges 20:29-48.

    The sin committed in Gibeah continues to affect the entire nation of Israel. At multiple points in this closing account of Judges, people have the opportunity for repentance that would have stopped the downward spiral leading to civil war, but sadly, such repentance never seems to come. The tribes of Israel united against Benjamin have received the LORD’s promise of victory on the third day. They set a trap for the Benjaminites, who fail to see that their judgment is at hand. Upon routing their brothers, Israel leaves only 600 men of Benjamin alive. The outcome for the tribe of Benjamin stands as a warning for all to be ready for the day of judgment. Israel’s slaughter of the Benjaminites ought to give us all cause to reflect where God-given authority for judgment is taken too far into unrighteous vengeance. This sad account puts before our eyes wickedness and bloodshed in order that we might look all the more intently at the blood shed by Jesus for our own sin and evil.

    “Rebellion and Rescue” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Judges. This book is characterized by a familiar. As the generations after Joshua forget the LORD and what He has done for Israel, they fall into idolatry. The LORD gives them over into the hands of their enemies in order to bring them to their senses. When they cry out to Him in repentance, He sends a judge to rescue them and give them rest for a time, until they relapse into idolatry once more. In this cycle, we see a picture of our own Christian life. Daily, the old Adam in us is drowned in contrition and repentance, and the new man emerges in Baptismal forgiveness to live in righteousness and purity before God forever.

    • 55 min
    Civil War in Israel

    Civil War in Israel

    Rev. Dustin Beck, pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Warda, TX, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Judges 20:1-28.

    The fallout from the crime committed in Gibeah is swift. All the tribes of Israel except Benjamin gather together at Mizpah to hear the Levite present the case. He conveniently leaves out his own role in the matter, but the injustice committed is still clear. The tribes gathered speak as one man and go to Benjamin in an attempt to hold the sinners in Gibeah accountable. Rather than side with the LORD and His Word, the tribe of Benjamin sides with their own family members in their sin. Battle lines are drawn, and Benjamin is heavily outnumbered. Yet their skilled left-handed warriors make a big difference. They inflict heavy casualties on the rest of Israel the first two days of battle. Though Israel has finally begun to call upon the LORD, which they had neglected to do in their time of judgment, they have viewed His help more as a vending machine. Only when they approach the LORD according to His Word in repentance are they given the assurance of victory. Throughout the text, the reality that the people of Israel have rejected the LORD as king leads to tragedy and death.

    “Rebellion and Rescue” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Judges. This book is characterized by a familiar. As the generations after Joshua forget the LORD and what He has done for Israel, they fall into idolatry. The LORD gives them over into the hands of their enemies in order to bring them to their senses. When they cry out to Him in repentance, He sends a judge to rescue them and give them rest for a time, until they relapse into idolatry once more. In this cycle, we see a picture of our own Christian life. Daily, the old Adam in us is drowned in contrition and repentance, and the new man emerges in Baptismal forgiveness to live in righteousness and purity before God forever.

    • 52 min
    Dark Sins during Dark Times

    Dark Sins during Dark Times

    Rev. Steve Andrews, pastor at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Lee’s Summit, MO, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Judges 19:1-30.

    The book of Judges continues to present accounts during the time when Israel had rejected the LORD as king, and the picture grows darker. A Levite took for himself a concubine; she became unfaithful. He went to reconcile with her, and her father showed the Levite extreme hospitality. The Levite finally pries himself away, along with his concubine and servants, to go to the house of the LORD. Events have been unusual, it is true, but there seems to be hope. Yet, the darkest events await. Their brief journey before nightfall leaves them in Gibeah. Hospitality is lacking until an old sojourner prevails upon them to stay the night with him. The Levite and his company soon find out the reason the old man was so insistent: the men of Gibeah are sodomites. At this point, any reconciliation that had been accomplished between the Levite and his concubine is thrown out the window as he chooses to use her to save himself. The men of Gibeah abuse her in unspeakable ways, leading to her murder. The Levite’s response is distant and callous; he turns his knife of sacrifice upon her corpse and sends pieces of her throughout Israel. The events of the text are chilling, a vivid reminder of the great need sinners have to place their trust in the one true God, lest their idolatry and sin consume themselves and others. 

    “Rebellion and Rescue” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Judges. This book is characterized by a familiar. As the generations after Joshua forget the LORD and what He has done for Israel, they fall into idolatry. The LORD gives them over into the hands of their enemies in order to bring them to their senses. When they cry out to Him in repentance, He sends a judge to rescue them and give them rest for a time, until they relapse into idolatry once more. In this cycle, we see a picture of our own Christian life. Daily, the old Adam in us is drowned in contrition and repentance, and the new man emerges in Baptismal forgiveness to live in righteousness and purity before God forever.

    • 55 min
    Might Makes Wrong

    Might Makes Wrong

    Rev. Matt Ulmer, pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Bishop, TX, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Judges 18:1-31.

    The corruption in Israel went far deeper than one man of Ephraim and his personal priest; the entire tribe of Dan was rotting due to the rejection of the LORD as king. Though outwardly the Danites might have looked like faithful Israelites, their actions and words reveal their true moral and religious decay. They operate from the principle, “Might makes right.” That’s why they sought illegitimate approval from an illegitimate priest. That’s why they chose to conquer Laish rather than the territory the LORD had actually allotted to them. That’s why they plundered Micah of his household gods and his personal religious service. That’s why they set up idolatry within their tribe until the days of King David. The tragedy of the tribe of Dan gives us the ugly picture of what sort of life idolatry produces, thus inviting us to repentance and faith in Christ alone.

    “Rebellion and Rescue” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Judges. This book is characterized by a familiar. As the generations after Joshua forget the LORD and what He has done for Israel, they fall into idolatry. The LORD gives them over into the hands of their enemies in order to bring them to their senses. When they cry out to Him in repentance, He sends a judge to rescue them and give them rest for a time, until they relapse into idolatry once more. In this cycle, we see a picture of our own Christian life. Daily, the old Adam in us is drowned in contrition and repentance, and the new man emerges in Baptismal forgiveness to live in righteousness and purity before God forever.

    • 54 min
    Idolatrous Blindness

    Idolatrous Blindness

    Rev. Matt Wietfeldt, director of admissions and director of the Christ Academy program at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Judges 17:1-13.

    The lengthy epilogue to the book of Judges presents two episodes from Israel’s history that show how rotten life had become when everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Though they thought they could see, the people had been blinded by their idolatry, not truly knowing who the LORD was. As the first episode begins, the LORD’s commandments are blatantly ignored left and right. A man by the name of Micah steals from his own mother; she then misuses the name of the LORD both in cursing the thief and in attempting to reverse it only when discovering her son was behind it. Together, they use the money for idolatrous purposes. Micah’s son serves as a false priest for a time, until a Levite comes along. Surely a Levite should have known better, but even this sojourner from Bethlehem in Judah is deceived. He agrees to serve as Micah’s personal priest for hire, and Micah thinks that such outward actions will guarantee the LORD’s favor. The text shows how idolatry has blinded the LORD’s people; only the true knowledge and faith in Jesus Christ can give sight.

    “Rebellion and Rescue” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Judges. This book is characterized by a familiar. As the generations after Joshua forget the LORD and what He has done for Israel, they fall into idolatry. The LORD gives them over into the hands of their enemies in order to bring them to their senses. When they cry out to Him in repentance, He sends a judge to rescue them and give them rest for a time, until they relapse into idolatry once more. In this cycle, we see a picture of our own Christian life. Daily, the old Adam in us is drowned in contrition and repentance, and the new man emerges in Baptismal forgiveness to live in righteousness and purity before God forever.

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
50 Ratings

50 Ratings

pastordbeck ,

Wonderful, intentional tool for studying scripture

Pastor Appel does a wonderful job of asking just the right questions of his guests to keep the show conversational while highly informative. As a Lutheran pastor myself, it’s a wonderful blessing to hear the voices of friends from around the country as they provide sound Biblical teaching and, as a result, a podcast I feel confident directing my congregation to utilize for further study of God’s word!

ProudMama#4 ,

A valuable tool that always points to Christ

Sharper Iron is a valuable tool to guide Christians through the Scriptures with the help of two synodically trained pastors on each episode. Pastor Timothy Appel is an excellent host, and I enjoy the variety and unique perspective each guest brings to the show. I have gleaned wonderful insights into the book of Exodus, especially from the parts we typically skim over—the instructions for the tabernacle and its furnishings, instructions for the garments for the priests, and ordination of the priests. I love the connections the pastors make to the significance of these things in the context of the ancient world, but especially as it points always to Christ.

Virginia Gemtlman ,

Preserves My Faith

Great for daily devotions to and from work in 10-15 minute intervals. If I didn’t have this it is likely I would have fallen away over the last 2 years. Great guests help unpack scripture unlike anywhere else. Must have for those who cannot read daily or need a shepherd to teach them. Pastor Fisk if you’re reading this thank you.

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