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

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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Bethany Lutheran Worship on
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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
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Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity




Eighteenth Sunday After Trinity

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 8 AM Phoenix Time

The Hymn #40 Yigdal
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 1:4-9
The Gospel Luke Matthew 22:34-46
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #199 Easter Hymn

God at Work

The Hymn #331 Old Hundreth
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 #200 Duke Street

KJV 1 Corinthians 1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

KJV Matthew 22:34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. 35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. 41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. 43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? 46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
Eighteenth Sunday After Trinity
Lord God, heavenly Father: We are poor, miserable sinners; we know Thy will, but cannot fulfill it because of the weakness of our flesh and blood, and because our enemy, the devil, will not leave us in peace. Therefore we beseech Thee, shed Thy Holy Spirit in our hearts, that, in steadfast faith, we may cling to Thy Son Jesus Christ, find comfort in His passion and death, believe the forgiveness of sin through Him, and in willing obedience to Thy will lead holy lives on earth, until by Thy grace, through a blessed death, we depart from this world of sorrow, and obtain eternal life, through Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

The God of Abram Praise

Jewish Christians understand better than anyone:
that Christianity began before time;
that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are portrayed through out the Old Testament;
that the entire Old Testament is beginning of the New Testament Gospel story.

There are two entirely different responses by Jewish believers to the Gospel. One response is found in many different written sources. An example was about this passage – Jesus gave an answer that can also be found among the famous Jewish rabbis. The Torah can be summed up as love God, love your neighbor. The same sources go on to say that other rabbis miraculously healed people. (In fact, miracle rabbis are commonly discussed in the modern novels of Isaac B. Singer.)

The other response is quite different. Many Jewish believers realize that everything in the Old Testament points to Christ, that the Trinity is taught throughout the Old Testament, that the Son of God appears everywhere in the Old Testament.

The questions being asked in this passage are part of Jewish Passover tradition. The male leader of the meal (the rabbi, if he is there) is asked three questions, each question designed to stump him. Then he asks a question to stump his audience. This is part of the Jewish intellectual tradition, which serves them so well in different fields.

This Gospel passage shows Jesus asking the final question, stumping his hearers.

What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. 43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?

This is a passage to stump anyone, especially a non-believer. It seems to be a word play, so many people just dismiss it as unimportant. But it features a theme found in the book The Jewish Trinity, about the Trinity in the Old Testament.

In the Old Testament and New Testament, God the Father is Lord, God the Son is Lord, God the Holy Spirit is Lord. Each person is addressed as Lord, but there is one God.

All the three-part passages of the Bible make sense, when we find God’s attributes described in groups of three, or God revealed in threes.

What can be more Trinitarian than the Aaronic blessing?

The Lord (Father) bless you and keep you.
The Lord (Son) make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you.
The Lord (Holy Spirit) lift up His countenance and give you peace.

KJV Numbers 6:22 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, 24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: 25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. 27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.

So the passage from the Psalms used by Jesus makes perfect sense when the names of God are used:

KJV Psalm 110:1 {A Psalm of David.} The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

The Father said to the Son, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.

KJV Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
KJV Hebrews 1:13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

KJV Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

This is expressed in different words, but with the same theme (total submission to Christ at the end):

KJV Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

So when Jesus asked about this passage from the Psalms, the Jewish opposition was silenced. As someone once pointed out, there are three levels of response to a thought:

1. The audience agrees. So there was already general agreement.
2. The audience is angry. This means that something new has been said, so everyone is stirred up and thinking about it, discussing it among themselves.
3. The audience is silent. The idea has such an impact that no one can talk.

The silence does not mean that no one was converted by the Word. We know from many different sources that large numbers of Jews became Christians, creating a crisis in Judaism. Chemnitz has an interesting note that the Talmud was begun to stop the inroads of Christianity. Nevertheless, Christianity has had great appeal to Jews throughout history.

What does this passage mean for us?

The Holy Spirit is always at work, bringing Christ to us and us to Christ. Every phrase from the Word is Jesus coming to us, bringing forgiveness, hope, strength, and comfort to us.

The righteousness of Christ comes to us through the Word. Believers receive the blessing of complete and full forgiveness each and every day (Small Catechism, Creed).

In giving us His righteousness, Christ gives us some of His nature. Original sin means we are still selfish and self-centered, but the Gospel leaven works in us to make us more loving, patient, forgiving, and generous with others. The New Creation (the believer) takes over from the Old Adam and subdues, as much as possible, that sinful nature.

Repentance and faith in the Gospel is that constant renewal taking place to fulfill the will of God. Sin is suppressed, but never extinguished. Nevertheless, we must always emphasize that the Gospel is the cure for besting sin. The Law cannot be. The Law performs the diagnosis but does not heal or give the power to resist temptation.

The reason is that the Old Adam can be frightened into being outwardly good, but the New Creation, the believer, wants to serve God and loves the Word. The Gospel moves people to love the Son, to love His Word, to love following Him as the Good Shepherd, as “anxious for Him as He is for us.” (Luther)

---

David Chytraeus, Concordist


J-554

"How is a person justified before God? This occurs solely by faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ; that is, freely, not because of any works or merits of one's own but only because of the one Mediator, Jesus Christ, who became the sacrificial victim and propitiation on our behalf. By this sacrifice, man obtained forgiveness of sins and became righteous; that is, God-pleasing and acceptable. His righteousness was imputed to man for Christ's sake, and man becomes an heir of eternal life when he believes with certainty that God gives him these blessings for the sake of His Son."

David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), trans., Richard Dinda, Decatur: Repristination Press, 1994. p. 105.



"Christian righteousness is the forgiveness of sin, the imputation of the righteousness of Christ and acceptance to eternal life. It is free, not the result of any virtues or works but is given solely because of Christ, the Mediator, and apprehended by faith alone."

David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), trans., Richard Dinda, Decatur: Repristination Press, 1994. p. 106.



"Scripture therefore uses these words, 'We are justified by faith,' to teach both: 1) What the reason (or merit) for justification is, or what the blessings of Christ are; to wit, that through and for the sake of Christ alone we are granted forgiveness of sins, righteousness and eternal life; and 2. How these should be applied or transferred to us; namely, by embracing the promise and relying on Christ by faith alone."

David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), trans., Richard Dinda, Decatur: Repristination Press, 1994. p. 107.



Martin Chemnitz, Concordist


J-555

"But when we are speaking of the subject itself, it is certain that the doctrine of gracious reconciliation, of the remission of sins, of righteousness, salvation, and eternal life through faith for the sake of the Mediator is one and the same in the Old and in the New Testament. This is a useful rule which we must retain at all costs: The doctrine, wherever we read it, in either the Old or New Testament, which deals with the gracious reconciliation and the remission of sins through faith for the sake of God's mercy in Christ, is the Gospel."

Martin Chemnitz, Loci Theologici, 2 vols., trans. J. A. O. Preus, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1989, II, p. 459.



"Therefore God, 'who is rich in mercy' [Ephesians 2:4], has had mercy upon us and has set forth a propitiation through faith in the blood of Christ, and those who flee as suppliants to this throne of grace He absolves from the comprehensive sentence of condemnation, and by the imputation of the righteousness of His Son, which they grasp in faith, He pronounces them righteous, receives them into grace, and adjudges them to be heirs of eternal life. This is certainly the judicial meaning of the word 'justification,' in almost the same way that a guilty man who has been sentenced before the bar of justice is acquitted."

Martin Chemnitz, Loci Theologici, 2 vols., trans. J. A. O. Preus, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1989, II, p. 482. Ephesians 2:4



"Yet these exercises of faith always presuppose, as their foundation, that God is reconciled by faith, and to this they are always led back, so that faith may be certain and the promise sure in regard to these other objects. This explanation is confirmed by the brilliant statement of Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:20: 'All the promises of God in Christ are yea and amen, to the glory of God through us,' that is, the promises concerning other objects of faith have only then been ratified for us when by faith in Christ we are reconciled with God. The promises have been made valid on the condition that they must give glory to God through us."

Martin Chemnitz, Loci Theologici, 2 vols., trans. J. A. O. Preus, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1989, II, p. 495. 2 Corinthians 1:20



"Therefore this apprehension or acceptance or application of the promise of grace is the formal cause or principle of justifying faith, according to the language of Scripture."

Martin Chemnitz, Loci Theologici, 2 vols., trans. J. A. O. Preus, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1989, II, p. 502.



"We must note the foundations. For we are justified by faith, not because it is so firm, robust, and perfect a virtue, but because of the object on which it lays hold, namely Christ, who is the Mediator in the promise of grace. Therefore when faith does not err in its object, but lays hold on that true object, although with a weak faith, or at least tries and wants to lay hold on Christ, then there is true faith, and it justifies. The reason for this is demonstrated in those lovely statements in Philippians 3:12: 'I apprehend, or rather I am apprehended by Christ' and Galatians 4:9: 'You have known God, or rather have been known by God.' Scripture shows a beautiful example of this in Mark 9:24: 'I believe; help my unbelief.'"

Martin Chemnitz, Loci Theologici, 2 vols., trans. J. A. O. Preus, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1989, II, p. 503. Philippians 3:12; Galatians 4:9; Mark 9:24.



"For we are not justified because of our faith (propter fidem), in the sense of faith being a virtue or good work on our part. Thus we pray, as did the man in Mark 9:24: 'I believe, Lord; help my unbelief'; and with the apostles: 'Lord, increase our faith,' Luke 17:5."

Martin Chemnitz, Loci Theologici, 2 vols., trans. J. A. O. Preus, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1989, II, p. 506 Mark 9:24; Luke 17:5.



"But because not doubt but faith justifies, and not he who doubts but he who believes has eternal life, therefore faith teaches the free promise, which relies on the mercy of God for the sake of the sacrifice of the Son, the Mediator, and not on our works, as Paul says in Romans 4:16: 'Therefore it is of faith, that the promise might be sure according to grace.'"

Martin Chemnitz, Loci Theologici, 2 vols., trans. J. A. O. Preus, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1989, II, p. 507. Romans 4:16



"Thus when we say that we are justified by faith, we are saying nothing else than that for the sake of the Son of God we receive remission of sins and are accounted as righteous. And because it is necessary that this benefit be taken hold of, this is said to be done 'by faith,' that is, by trust in the mercy promised us for the sake of Christ. Thus we must also understand the correlative expression, 'We are righteous by faith,' that is, through the mercy of God for the sake of His Son we are righteous or accepted."

Melanchthon, Loci Communes, “The Word Faith.” Cited in Martin Chemnitz, Loci Theologici, 2 vols., trans. J. A. O. Preus, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1989, II, p. p. 489.



Jacob Andreae, Concordist



"Concerning the article on the justification of the poor sinner in God's sight, we believe, teach, and confess on the basis of God's Word and the position of our Christian Augsburg Confession that the poor, sinful person is justified in God's sight—that is, he is pronounced free and absolved of his sins and receives forgiveness for them—only through faith, because of the innocent, complete, and unique obedience and the bitter sufferings and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, not because of the indwelling, essential righteousness of God or because of his own good works, which either precede or result from faith. We reject all doctrines contrary to this belief and confession."

Jacob Andreae, Confession and Brief Explanation of Certain Disputed Articles. Cited in Robert Kolb, Andreae and the Formula of Concord, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1977, p. 58.



"Indeed, it has been proved more than sufficiently from the Scriptures of the prophets and apostles in the Old and New Testaments that the righteousness which avails in God's sight, which poor sinners have for comfort in their worst temptations, cannot and should not be sought in our own virtues or good works; nor will it be found there, as was proved above against the papists. Instead, it should be sought only in Christ the Lord, whom God has made our righteousness and who saves all believing Christians and makes them righteous through knowledge of Him."

Jacob Andreae, The First Sermon, On the Righteousness of Faith in God's Sight. Cited in Robert Kolb, Andreae and the Formula of Concord, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1977, p. 67.



"That is enough on the first article concerning which the theologians of the Augsburg Confession have quarreled with each other. Although it was a very scandalous controversy, nonetheless God, who lets nothing evil happen if He cannot make something good out of it, has produced this benefit for His church through the controversy: The chief article of our Christian faith, on which our salvation depends, has been made clear, so that there is not a passage in the Old or New Testament which has not been considered and discussed."

Jacob Andreae, The First Sermon, On the Righteousness of Faith in God's Sight. Cited in Robert Kolb, Andreae and the Formula of Concord, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1977, p. 76.

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