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 Central.


Thanksgiving Eve - 7 PM Central Time.

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, November 9, 2008

The Twenty-fifth Sunday after Trinity



The Ascension


The Twenty-fifth Sunday after Trinity

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bethany-lutheran-worship

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 8 AM Phoenix Time

The Hymn # 246 Nicea
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 Thess 4:13-18
The Gospel Luke Matthew 24:15-28
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #200 Duke Street

Eternal Life

The Hymn #313 by Luther Gott sei gelobst
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 #657 Schoenster Herr Jesu


KJV 1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

KJV Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Twenty-Fifth Sunday After Trinity
Lord God, heavenly Father, we most heartily thank Thee that by Thy word Thou hast brought us out of the darkness of Papacy into the light of Thy grace: We beseech Thee, mercifully help us to walk in that light, guard us from all error and false doctrine, and grant that we may not, as the Jews, become ungrateful and despise and persecute Thy word, but receive it with all our heart, govern our lives according to it, and put all our trust in Thy grace through the merit of Thy dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Eternal Life

The Christian faith gives to people what Christ live and died to give the world. When people believe in Christ, they trust the Word of God, especially the Promises. Through Christ these Promises are carried to believers. The Word conveys Christ. This leaves no doubt about how to receive the blessings of the Christian faith.

People are intrigued by Christ. Even non-believers write books about Him, as if we need one more book by a non-believer about Christ. Their intensity is proof that the Holy Spirit is working on them through the Word. Some scoffers, like Simon Greenleaf, become firm believers by studying the Word in order to find fault with it. Others, like Albert Schweitzer, become hardened in their unbelief. One book I would never buy is Isaac Asimov’s book about the Bible. He was a life-long atheist and even promoted his views as president of the Humanist Society. Reading Asimov’s book would be like studying astronomy with an astrologist.

Every so often a Christian intellectual will equate academic achievement with eternal life. One Lutheran told me Albert Einstein, the nuclear physicist, had to be in heaven, because he was such a great man. He missed the point entirely – trust in Christ means receiving the Promises – the Promise of forgiveness, the Promise of eternal life. All human endeavors are measured by achievement, but the Gospel pays no attention to that. Imagine how comforting the Gospel would be to someone confined to the hospital for 20 years, to another disabled by blindness. We know children have enormous intellectual ability and psychological intuition – look at how they outfox their parents – but they are not achievers. Jesus pointed to children as example of faith, not achievement. “Unless you believe as a child, you will not enter the Kingdom of God.”

What are the great barriers to the Christian faith? They are adult issues. How can Jesus walk on water? If they have that straight, it is, “How can Peter walk on water?” Or, the two biggest adult questions, “How can water do such things in baptism?” and “How can Jesus be present in both natures in Holy Communion?”

Trust in the Word of God means that these adult barriers are gone. Nevertheless, God has placed enough stumbling blocks in the Scriptures so that Christians are always studying the same passages to figure them out. The famous parable that ends with a man being thrown into Hell for having the wrong robe on – that sounds too much like casual Friday. That one is not easily understood the first few times. Hymn #370 explains it well. We only enjoy the Great Feast (eternal life) when we wear the robe of Christ’s righteousness. If we try to be there on our own merit, the wrong robe, we are thrown out.

Man’s righteousness makes us either proud or despairing. Either way we lose our grasp of God’s grace. I visited a Lutheran who said he loved the ELCA minister who based eternal life on “I love Jesus and I am a good man.” As I talked to this man, I saw how proud and haughty he was. He found the right church, one where he never needed to revise his high opinion of himself. This very attitude makes people immune to God’s Word as they pick what they want to follow.

Thessalonians
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians to remind them of what he already taught them:

KJV 1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

There was confusion about eternal life and the end of time. As he always did, Paul reminded his audience that Jesus rose from the dead. That is still considered the greatest victory. Those who base salvation on works will say, “I know he is in heaven, because he was a good person.” They are eager to lay claim to heaven, but they miss the means.

Conspiracies and fraud are often laid bare a short time after they reach their highest influence. The resurrection of Christ energized apostolic preaching because they knew it happened and the apostles saw the risen Christ. Paul made the resurrection the foundation of his preaching because it confirmed the meaning of the crucifixion. Jesus died for the sins of the world, but He was justified in the Spirit, raised from the dead as innocent of sin.

Therefore, we base justification on this great message of reconciliation. The word really means exchange. Jesus gives us His righteousness while taking away our sinfulness.

Animals appreciate this. They do not approach their master when they think they are in a state of sin. They run away and hide. Even cats, with their apparent lack of conscience and humility, do that. Our older Precious (sheltie) would not come when I called her name because she was punished once after I called her. I had to use her pet name, Preshy. When I called that name, she arrived but waited near me, with one paw raised. She was ready to get out of Dodge in case she was in trouble again. I often had to give her absolution several ways before she relaxed – “Good girl, it’s OK.”

People run from God because they are afraid of condemnation. They have to hear the Gospel to know that God has come to them to give them forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Until they trust in the Gospel, God is a fearsome judge. They only see that one aspect of God, even though the Scriptures emphasize God’s mercy.

All the admonitions to pray in the Bible are accompanied by the Promises of God.
Paul’s message of comfort in this brief passage is also accompanied by the Promises. (I like that term, which is used in the Book of Concord as a synonym for the Gospel.)

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Eternal Life Quotations

"For the papalists understand the word 'justify' according to the manner of the Latin composition as meaning 'to make righteous' through a donated or infused quality of inherent righteousness, from which works of righteousness proceed. The Lutherans, however, accept the word 'justify' in the Hebrew manner of speaking; therefore they define justification as the absolution from sins, or the remission of sins, through imputation of the righteousness of Christ, through adoption and inheritance of eternal life, and that only for the sake of Christ, who is apprehended by faith."
Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1971, I, p. 467.

"And, in short, the meritum condigni is the Helen for which the Tridentine chapter concerning the growth of justification contends. For they imagine that the quality, or habit, of love is infused not that we may possess salvation to life eternal through this first grace but that, assisted by that grace, we may be able to merit eternal life for ourselves by our own good works. For concerning the meritum condigni Gabriel speaks thus: 'The soul shaped by grace worthily (de condigno) merits eternal life.'" [Kramer note - Scholastics taught that the good works of the unregenerate had only meritum congrui; the good works of the regenerate rewarded as meritum condigni, merit worthy with being rewarded with eternal life.]
Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, 1971, I, p. 541.

"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), 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), 1994. p. 107.

"The second argument is that 'God desires all men to be saved' (1 Timothy 2:4), and He gave His Son for us men and created man for eternal life. Likewise: All things exist for man, and he himself exists for God that he may enjoy Him, etc. These points and others like them can be refuted as easily as the first one. For these verses must always be understood as pertaining to the elect only, as the apostle says in 2 Timothy 2:10 'everything for the sake of the elect.' For in an absolute sense Christ did not die for all, because He says: 'This is My blood which is poured out for you' and 'for many'--He does not say: for all--'for the forgiveness of sins.' (Mark 14:24; Matthew 26:28) Martin Luther, Luther's Works, 25 p. 375. 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Timothy 2:4; Mark 14:24; Matthew 26:28 "His gifts and works in His Church must effect inexpressible results, taking souls from the jaws of the devil and translating them into eternal life and glory."
Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 220.

"In this epistle lesson Paul gives Christians instruction concerning the Christian life on earth, and connects with it the hope of the future and eternal life, in view of which they have been baptized and become Christians. He makes of our earthly life a death--a grave--with the understanding, however, that henceforth the risen man and the newness of life should be found in us."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 141.

"Therefore, whoever would have a joyful conscience that does not fear sin, death, hell, nor the wrath of God, dare not reject this Mediator, Christ. For He is the fountain that overflows with grace, that gives temporal and eternal life."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols V, p. 331.

"Therefore, do not speak to me of love or friendship when anything is to be detracted from the Word or the faith; for we are told that not love but the Word brings eternal life, God's grace, and all heavenly treasures."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1411f.

"In all simplicity and without any disputing, children believe that God is gracious and that there is an eternal life. Oh, what a blessing comes to the children who die at this time! Such a death would, of course, cause me extreme sorrow, because a part of my body and the mother's body would die. These natural affections do not cease in the pious, as those who are without feeling and are hardened imagine, for such affections are the work of divine creation. Children live with all sincerity in faith, without the interference of reason, as Ambrose says: There is lack of reason but not of faith."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 142.

"To be converted to God means to believe in Christ, to believe that He is our Mediator and that we have eternal life through Him."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 343. Acts 26:20.

"The Church has no word of its own. Whatever is not taken from Scripture is not the 'Word of the Church,' but what Luther bluntly calls 'prattle.' Also other books can exert a divine power and efficacy, but always only inasmuch as they have absorbed God's Word. Of Scripture Luther says: 'No book teaches anything concerning eternal life except this one alone' (St. Louis edition XIV:434)."
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans. Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1950, I, p. 315.

"But Christ was given for this purpose, namely, that for His sake there might be bestowed on us the remission of sins, and the Holy Ghost to bring forth in us new and eternal life, and eternal righteousness [to manifest Christ in our hearts, as it is written John 16:15: 'He shall take of the things of Mine, and show them unto you.' Likewise, He works also other gifts, love, thanksgiving, charity, patience, etc.]. Wherefore the Law cannot be truly kept unless the Holy Ghost is given." Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article IV, Justification, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 159. Romans 3:31; John 16:15.

"But Christ was given for this purpose, namely, that for His sake there might be bestowed on us the remission of sins, and the Holy Ghost to bring forth in us new and eternal life, and eternal righteousness [to manifest Christ in our hearts, as it is written John 16:15: He shall take of the things of Mine, and show them unto you. Likewise, He works also other gifts, love, thanksgiving, charity, patience, etc.]. Wherefore the Law cannot be truly kept unless the Holy Ghost is received through faith...Then we learn to know how flesh, in security and indifference, does not fear God, and is not fully certain that we are regarded by God, but imagines that men are born and die by chance. Then we experience that we do not believe that God forgives and hears us. But when, on hearing the Gospel and the remission of sins, we are consoled by faith, we receive the Holy Ghost, so that now we are able to think aright."
Augsburg Confession, Article III, #11, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 159.

"This power {the Keys} is exercised only by teaching or preaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments, according to their calling, either to many or to individuals. For thereby are granted, not bodily, but eternal things, as eternal righteousness, the Holy Ghost, eternal life. These things cannot come but by the ministry of the Word and the Sacraments, as Paul says, Romans 1:16: The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Therefore, since the power of the Church grants eternal things, and is exercised only by the ministry of the Word, it does not interfere with civil government; no more than the art of singing interferes with civil government."
Augsburg Confession, Article XXVIII, #8, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 85. Romans 1:16

"This righteousness is offered us by the Holy Ghost through the Gospel and in the Sacraments, and is applied, appropriated, and received through faith, whence believers have reconciliation with God, forgiveness of sins, the grace of God, sonship, and heirship of eternal life." Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III 16 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 921.

"Also they teach that at the Consummation of the World Christ will appear for judgment, and will raise up all the dead; He will give to the godly and elect eternal life and everlasting joys, but ungodly men and the devils He will condemn to be tormented without end."
Augsburg Confession, Article XVII, Of Christ's Return to Judgment, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 51.

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