Lutheran Worship and Resources



Traditional Lutheran worship services, using The Lutheran Hymnal and the KJV.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM CDT.


Midweek Lenten - 7 PM Central Daylight.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works asgregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Eleventh Sunday after Trinity



Hummingbird, by Norma Boeckler


The Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 8 AM Phoenix Time

The Hymn #16 – Liebster Jesus
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual 1 Corinthians 15:1-10
The Gospel Luke 18:9-14
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn # 377:1-6 Speratus – Es ist das Heil
Justification by Faith

The Hymn #313 by Luther – Gott sei gelobet
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn # 316 by Rist - Nun lob, mein seel


1 Corinthians 15:1-10 (King James Version) King James Version

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Luke 18:9-14 (King James Version)
9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Lord God, heavenly Father, we beseech Thee so to guide and direct us by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may not forget our sins and be filled with pride, but continue in daily repentance and renewal, seeking our comfort only in the blessed knowledge that Thou wilt be merciful unto us, forgive us our sins, and grant us eternal life; through Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

In six verses, Jesus teaches the difference between self-justification and justification, in a parable everyone seems to know and remember.

The two men represent polar opposites. A Pharisee was someone who was extremely rigorous in the observation of the Law. We quite a bit about the Pharisees from various sources, but also from Paul, who was one.

Acts 23:6, the Apostle Paul declares, "Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees..."

"Though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also... circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee..." (Phil. 3:4-6).

Paul’s observance included the active, violent persecution of the Christians. He truly believed he was doing God’s will. The Pharisee is someone who measures worth by his own efforts and good works. As Luther observed, the upright citizen is most in danger because he is conscious of his strict observance of all the rules. Luther knew the spirit of the early Paul, because the monks were also fastidious in their observance of all the rules. No one was more observant of the rules than Luther.

The modern equivalent of the Pharisee is the Pietist. There are many variations on the Pietistic themes. Among the tee-totalers, there is the claim, “I have never touched a drop of liquor my whole life.”

In various synods, the question is, “Do you know who father was?” Or, a minister will say, “I did this and that.” The spirit of Phariseeism--or Pietism--is ideal for the Church Growth Movement. “Do you know how big my congregation is?” I met one of the famous CG pastors by accident in St. Louis. We did not discuss the topic itself. The pastor obviously knew what I had written. He gloried in telling me how big his congregation was, how many seats he had in his auditorium.

However, we would miss the whole message of this parable if we thought this parable was about them rather than about us. We are all Pharisees by nature, unless converted by the Gospel and kept in the faith by the Means of Grace.

The interesting aspect of the Pharisee’s prayer in this lesson is how it relates to a common prayer of the time. Here is Jesus’ example, from the parable:

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

The rabbis had a prayer that included many different expressions of thankfulness, including “that I was not born a woman.” When Judaism hardened after the resurrection of Christ and the conversion of so many Jews to the faith, the Talmud helped Jews focus on salvation through the Law, through works.

Jewish conversion is perhaps too strong a word, because Old Testament Judaism is the foundation of the Christian faith. The Christian faith is simply the fulfillment of everything taught in the Old Testament. Jewish Christians appreciate this far more than non-Jewish Christians.

I used to be blind to Jewish Christians. Now I realize how many there are. Some are openly Christian. Others keep the fact from their families. At one point I said, “I don’t think many Jews convert to Christianity today.” A communing adult member said, “I’m Jewish.”

The other example is the publican. A publican was a tax-collector, but more than that. He collected taxes for the hated Roman occupation. In many cultures, taxes were farmed out, which caused enormous oppression and hatred. The tax farmer had to collect his quota. Whatever he extorted beyond this was his to keep.

The publican’s prayer did not list his virtues and works, did not denounce the sins of his neighbors:

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

His prayer, first of all, shows a humble and contrite heart. Genuine contrition is the effect of the Holy Spirit working through the Law. The simple prayer also shows faith, trust in God’s mercy.

Jesus clearly taught the difference between the two examples:

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

I have known so many church leaders who were flying high and scornful of all other clergy. Then those high-flyers tumbled, thanks to their own arrogance and pride. The formula for success in this world rewards the worst attitudes, until one day, when everything falls apart. On the other hand, I have seen many clergy hounded out of the ministry, not by the wolves outside the flock, but by the wolves within the flock, their own fellow clergy. In the end, rich and poor, we end up in the same place. Titles, honors, and riches are meaningless.

My wife and I were talking about fame, since we were just in Branson, Missouri. The time before we saw the Roy Rogers museum. We both grew up on Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, and Trigger. Roy’s son sang and did a show in honor of his father. Very few were there. People have forgotten the star of TV and movies, the restaurant owner. I said, “No one remembers Tom Mix anymore either.” My wife said, “Who?” I said, “Tom Mix, the famous movie cowboy.” Then she laughed. She had me again.

Those who place their trust in earthly honors, prestige, power, and money will be more than disappointed. They will be crushed when they find it is all a deception.

The quotations I selected for this sermon all use the term treasure. It is no accident that the Book of Concord uses this term for the Gospel repeatedly. People use many different analogies for justification and salvation, but this comparison is the one used more than once by the Lutheran Symbols. (Symbol is another name for Confessions.)

The image is easy to remember. In New Testament times, a treasure was located in one place, and it consisted of precious metals and jewels. Sometimes certain art objects were extremely valuable as well. The Silk Route from China to the West was really a jade route, since so much was paid for so little (in weight and volume) for those carved objects.

The atonement of Christ is the treasure of the Gospel. That is the message of reconciliation. Jesus has paid for the sins of the world. The atonement is universal and objective. Jesus paid for the sins of the whole world (universal). This act of reconciliation is true whether anyone believes it or not (objective). We base our salvation on the truth of the Gospel message, not on our feelings or works or merits (objective).

A limited atonement is taught by the Calvinists, who hold that Christ died only for the elect. Someone who grew up Presbyterian said recently that Jesus holding the lamb is an example of the shepherd who broke the legs of lambs who ran away too much. The lambs had to be carried until their legs healed. Then they strayed no more. I thought, “What a way to scare kids to death and ruin the Gospel.” The Isaiah passage says, “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd. He shall carry the lambs in His arms, and gently lead those with young.” But, that is Calvinism for you – turning Gospel into Law, hellishly turning a portrait of comfort into an image of terror. So the Calvinists have determined in advance that the treasure is only for a few, the predestined elect. As Twain liked to joke (in Tom Sawyer), they whittle the number of the elect down so far that it hardly seems worth the trouble to try.

Luther’s use the same image, from Luke 15, is quite different. He said, “Christ is just as anxious for me as I am for Him.” What a touching description of the lost sheep parable.

A partial atonement is taught by Roman Catholics. They teach all the right things about Christ dying on the cross. But they say, “Your sins are forgiven, but not paid for. You must spend the rest of your life paying for your sins. And the afterlife in Purgatory paying even more for your sins.”

The atonement is objective and universal. Otherwise, something else would have to be added. That is where the UOJ fanatics fall off the cliff. In struggling to make their statement about Christ dying on the cross, they confuse the atonement with justification by faith.

The atonement is the treasure. But it lies in one pile and does no one any good until it is distributed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit works exclusively through the Word, so we have no doubt that God is at work through the Means of Grace.

"For neither you nor I could ever know anything of Christ, or believe on Him, and obtain Him for our Lord, unless it were offered to us and granted to our hearts by the Holy Ghost through the preaching of the Gospel. The work is done and accomplished; for Christ has acquired and gained the treasure for us by His suffering, death, resurrection, etc. But if the work remained concealed so that no one knew of it, then it would be in vain and lost. That this treasure, therefore, might not lie buried, but be appropriated and enjoyed, God has caused the Word to go forth and be proclaimed, in which He gives the Holy Ghost to bring this treasure home and appropriate it to us. Therefore sanctifying is nothing else than bringing us to Christ to receive this good, to which we could not attain ourselves."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #38, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 689. Tappert, p. 415. Heiser, p. 194.

Notice the key phrase – God has caused the Word to go forth. The Bible teaches monergism, a fancy word for everything being done by God. God has made sure that the Gospel will be preached to the ends of the earth. (“God has no arms but ours, no legs but ours, no money but ours” – that is a sick, manipulative statement designed to extort money by demeaning God’s power.” Ask Jonah how limited God’s reach is, when a mission is determined by Him.)

God moves people to faith through the Gospel, so He provides the main solution to our sinful condition—the atoning death of His Son—and the means to obtain this forgiveness.

No one is justified apart from faith. The Bible is utterly consistent in giving all honor to the Word, which conveys Christ to us. We could also say, as Luther wrote, that the Means of Grace bring us before Christ. Just as Christ comes to us in the invisible and visible Word, so we come before Him. He knows us individually and gives to us His righteousness, His forgiveness, His salvation.

I recall some Lutherans (under the influence of Baptists at that point) saying, “If that is true, then what role do we have?” Believers who understand this aspect of Biblical teaching realize that God has already provided for them. They need to do nothing. The Word of God does not teach that “we must witness or God won’t let us grow as Christians,” as one person tried to say. The Gospel creates countless opportunities to freely share the message. Cult members come to our doors. Friends and relatives discuss their doubts and questions. Fellow clergy begin to fall away from the faith. The best and greatest opportunity is in our own families. If we baptize our children, teach them the Word, and worship with them, the blessings of the Gospel will influence them their whole lives.

How many clergy have handed their children over to cynicism and hatred of the Gospel by spending all their time building up a career? Their influence would be far greater if they had trained and loved their own children. America has more Christian clergy than all the nations of the world combined. Children have only one earthly father. But that depends on the definition of treasure.

Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Mark 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Luke 6:20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
Luke 6:24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.
24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?
29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Luke 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Luke 18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.
20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.
21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.
29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,
30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
1 Timothy 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
James 5:1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.


Justification by Faith Quotations – The Treasure

J-520
"It is a faithful saying that Christ has accomplished everything, has removed sin and overcome every enemy, so that through Him we are lords over all things. But the treasure lies yet in one pile; it is not yet distributed nor invested. Consequently, if we are to possess it, the Holy Spirit must come and teach our hearts to believe and say: I, too, am one of those who are to have this treasure. When we feel that God has thus helped us and given the treasure to us, everything goes well, and it cannot be otherwise than that man's heart rejoices in God and lifts itself up, saying: Dear Father, if it is Thy will to show toward me such great love and faithfulness, which I cannot fully fathom, then will I also love Thee with all my heart and be joyful, and cheerfully do what pleases Thee. Thus, the heart does not now look at God with evil eyes, does not imagine He will cast us into hell, as it did before the Holy Spirit came...."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 279. Pentecost Sunday. John 14:23-31.

J-528
"Faith is that my whole heart takes to itself this treasure. It is not my doing, not my presenting or giving, not my work or preparation, but that a heart comforts itself, and is perfectly confident with respect to this, namely, that God makes a present and gift to us, and not we to Him, that He sheds upon us every treasure of grace in Christ."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. #48. Of Justification. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 135. Heiser, p. 36.

J-545
"These treasures are offered us by the Holy Ghost in the promise of the holy Gospel; and faith alone is the only means by which we lay hold upon, accept, and apply, and appropriate them to ourselves. This faith is a gift of God, by which we truly learn to know Christ, our Redeemer, in the Word of the Gospel, and trust in Him, that for the sake of His obedience alone we have the forgiveness of sins by grace, are regarded as godly and righteous by God the Father, and are eternally saved."
Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III. #10. Of the Righteousness of Faith before God. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 919. Tappert, p. 541. Heiser, p. 250.

J-590
"For neither you nor I could ever know anything of Christ, or believe on Him, and obtain Him for our Lord, unless it were offered to us and granted to our hearts by the Holy Ghost through the preaching of the Gospel. The work is done and accomplished; for Christ has acquired and gained the treasure for us by His suffering, death, resurrection, etc. But if the work remained concealed so that no one knew of it, then it would be in vain and lost. That this treasure, therefore, might not lie buried, but be appropriated and enjoyed, God has caused the Word to go forth and be proclaimed, in which He gives the Holy Ghost to bring this treasure home and appropriate it to us. Therefore sanctifying is nothing else than bringing us to Christ to receive this good, to which we could not attain ourselves."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #38, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 689. Tappert, p. 415. Heiser, p. 194.

No comments: