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 16, 2008

The Twenty-sixth Sunday after Trinity




The Twenty-sixth Sunday after Trinity

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

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

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 8 AM Phoenix Time

The Hymn # 511 Duke Street
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 2 Thess 1:3-10
The Gospel Luke Matthew 25:31-45
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #376 Toplady

By Works or By Faith

The Hymn #314 by Jacobs Herr Jesu Christ, dich
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 #401 by Kingo Freu dich sehr

KJV 2 Thessalonians 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: 5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed ) in that day.

Or

KJV 2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

KJV Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Twenty-Sixth Sunday After Trinity
O almighty, eternal and merciful God, who by Thy beloved Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, hast established the kingdom of grace for us, that we might believe the forgiveness of our sins, in Thy holy Church on earth, since Thou art a God who hath no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live: We beseech Thee, graciously forgive us all our sins, through the same, Thy Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

By Works or By Faith

Matthew 25 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

One of the chief values of appointed readings is to provide portions of the Scripture we might overlook if congregations only chose favorite passages. With so many doing whatever is right in their own eyes, vast numbers are failing to get proper training in the Word.

This Gospel lesson seems to be exactly the opposite of justification by faith. The Parable of Last Judgment does not mention faith but emphasizes good works. Jesus does not even mention building churches or sponsoring a Praise Band. Everything mentioned would be recognized by anyone as humane acts – feeding, clothing, and visiting people in prison.

In fact, this issue, faith and works, has been the trap of many Christians. One former Protestant wrote a gigantic work (as a Catholic) on justification by works.

First, we have to set aside any notion that there is a way to reconcile justification by faith and the Roman Catholic teaching of faith plus works (fides formata).

The Savior and the Apostles taught justification by faith. Paul was especially insistent in his letters because he was so Law-oriented before his conversion. Likewise, Augustine and Luther emphasized the grace of God because of their previous slavery to the Law.

Recently, someone tried to convince me (again) that the whole world was justified when Jesus rose from the dead, quoting this passage:

KJV Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Now, let’s look at the whole chapter in general and the context of this verse in particular. Romans 4 is a chapter about faith. Granted, our chapters and verses were applied much later, but the thematic breaks are clear and we call these breaks and important transitions chapters.

KJV Romans 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

The opening statement in this chapter on faith is clearly one of justification by faith. Paul was unique in his training and his ability to negate any concept of works-righteousness. People are reckoned or counted forgiven through faith. That does not exclude God’s grace but glorifies God’s grace. Faith—or trust in the Word—receives the forgiveness promised in the Gospel.

The Gospel message is simple, clear, and compelling: the Son of God died innocently on the cross, paying for the sins of the world. We call that redemption because He paid the price for our sins. He paid this price, once for all time, so Jesus is properly called the Redeemer of the world.

This treasure of forgiveness lies in one heap, as Luther said, until the Holy Spirit distributes it through preaching and teaching the Word. When Jesus rose from the dead, He manifested his sinlessness. He did not die from sin, as we all must, but died for our sins.

Now let’s look at the end of Romans 4, in context.

KJV Romans 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Abraham was strong in faith. He believed the Promises of God. Because of this he was counted as righteous (reckoned righteous, imputed to him). We are also counted righteous if we believe in Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.

So the last verse was clearly written to include the Atonement and Resurrection, contrasting and parallel phrases – delivered for our sins, raised for our justification.

Lest there be any confusion about justification by faith, read from the ending of Romans 4 to the beginning of Romans 5. I will repeat some verses to show how Romans 5 strengthens the previous message about justification by faith.

KJV Romans 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

KJV Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

This is the same message as Jesus’

John 3 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Works and Faith
This Gospel selection is one of many aimed against carnal security. That may be a new term for some, especially since carnal security is taught rather than taught against.
Carnal security is represented by such phrases as, “I am thankful I belong to an orthodox church body.”

The better informed will say, “I am thankful I belong to an orthodox circuit.”

The well informed will say, “Are there any Lutheran congregations left?”

Carnal security places trust in membership or family patriarchs or the size and age of a congregation. Believe it or not, pastors say things like, “This is true because my father was a district president.” They are quite so blatant, but the message is clear. Or, “My father was president of the seminary.”

A woman we met was asked about a congregation. She said, “It’s OK, but they worship every stone in that church.” She was talking to one of the stone-worshipers, which made her laugh later. In Pennsylvania and other areas--where Lutherans are especially dense--they produce booklets about the building.

Carnal security means refusing to visit others because “we are saved by faith, not by works.”

Some laity run around like kamikaze pilots, happy to visit destruction on churches, in the name of something or other. They claim to have faith, but there is no connection between their professed love and their actions.

Many pastors are extremely kind and generous to their friends and to those who can promote them, give them a call to that exotic or plush location they covet. They talk Gospel but they live for their careers. They reap what they sow. They may cluck about how bad their synods are, but they are the spineless ones who create the apostasy.

Luther recognized that many building projects glorify man, not God. We have to wonder when someone gives money for a building, names it after himself, and poses for a picture dedicating the building. In Luther’s time, a church building meant time reduced from Purgatory. In our time, it means a wealthy man can leave his wife, marry another man’s wife, and be preached into heaven by three synods at once – ELS, WELS, and Missouri.

Luther emphasized helping people rather than building another church.

This parable is an antidote to carnal security because it reminds everyone about the connection between the tree (Gospel) and the fruit (works of love). Genuine faith in Christ produces the fruit of the Spirit. If that fruit is lacking, we should look at the sincerity of our faith.

False teachers want to start with the fruit and preach the fruit. So they say, “Look at how friendly we are. We are so happy.” Oddly enough, they seldom do much for others. Most of this is self-glorying.

Gardeners and farmers do not look for the fruit; they look for good stock and good seed. They know that God does 99% of everything to produce the results. The great joy of gardening is to see how our little effort is leveraged by all the forces of Creation, from the bug-eating of birds, to the pollination of bees, to the watering and nitrogen fixing of the rain.

A Lutheran pastor was writing about his garden crop. He mentioned cold weather crops. I cannot grow them. People may forget that cold areas are ideal for certain crops, such as peas and spinach. God makes them thrive in the cold. In fact, a cold snap improves many of these, such as carrots and Brussels sprouts. I actually dug through snow in Midland to harvest kale, which is very nutritious. It lasts so well in the snow because its chemistry is designed for the cold. It also has the texture and flavor appeal of Kevlar, but there are those who love it.

This passage means – sow the seed, the pure Word of God, and the results will follow.

And if you doubt the value of good works – Jesus says, “You are doing all this for Me when you help your neighbor.”

We need more of this faith-centered approach in everything. What we do for our children is also for Christ. There is so much neglect of children in favor of being busy and making money. How many parents sacrifice the happiness of their children in the name of success?

There will be ample opportunity to help people in the next two years. People will need clothing, food, extra cash to make it past the bumps in the road. It should be our greatest joy to share God’s bounty with others. Gardeners always have plenty and to spare. They love to share their extra produce with others, knowing better than city people, “God did this.”

Time with people is the best gift of all: parents with children, children with elderly parents. Few people visit the sick, shut-in, and hospitalized. Some will say, “I was not thanked.” That is not done in the right spirit if a reward is expected. The joy comes from the giving not from the receiving.

Quotations

"#305. Why do you say in this article: I believe in the Forgiveness of

Sins?

Because I hold with certainty that by my own powers or through my own works I

cannot be justified before God, but that the forgiveness of sins is given me out

of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. For where there is forgiveness of sins,

there is also true justification. Psalm 130:3-4; Psalm 143:2; Isaiah 64:6; Job

25:4-6 (Q. 124)."

Kleiner Katechismus,

trans. Pastor Vernon Harley, LCMS,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1901,

p. 164ff.



"Hence, too, the lack of emphasis, even in the best of Reformed

preaching, upon the divine Word as the vehicle of regenerating grace and on the

Sacraments. The office of the Word, then, is merely to point to the way of

life, without communicating that of which it conveys the idea. The Word and

Sacraments are declared to be necessary; their office in the Church is a divine

institution; but they are only symbols of what the Spirit does within; and the

Spirit works immediately and irresistibly."

"Grace, Means of,"

The Concordia Cyclopedia,

L. Fuerbringer, Th. Engelder, P. E. Kretzmann,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1927,

p. 298.



"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,

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,

Robert Kolb,

Andreae and the Formula of Concord

St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House,

1977,

p. 67.



"'Just git the spirit started,' said a Methodist to C. P. Krauth, 'and

then it works like smoke.' 'Very much like smoke, I guess,' answered Krauth."

F. Bente,

American Lutheranism, 2 vols.,

The United Lutheran Church, Gen Synod, Gen Council, Un Syn in the South,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1919,

II,

p. 77.





"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,

trans., Fred Kramer,

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,

trans., Fred Kramer,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1971,

I,

p. 541.

see Baker, Fundamentals, III, p. 78



"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



"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.





"What is the difference between Christianity and paganism? Paganism has

no sure Word of God and no true faith in Christ. It is unsettled. In place of

the one true God, pagans worship various factitious deities and countless idols

with ceremonies, works and sacrifices selected according to human judgment. They

imagine that they compensate for their sins with this worship, pacify their gods

and make them gracious and purchase, as it were, blessings from them."

David Chytraeus,

A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568),

trans., Richard Dinda,

Decatur:

Repristination Press,

1994.

p. 19.





"What is the position of The Lutheran Confessional Synod in regard to

what is known as the 'Church Growth Movement?'

It is the belief of the LCS that the Holy Spirit works only [italics] through

the Means of Grace: The Word and the Sacraments (see Doctrinal Statement VI).

Therefore, anything that detracts from, or in in conflict with, the preaching

and teaching of the inerrant Word of God and the proper administration of the

Sacraments, is not permitted."

Bishop R. L. DeJaynes

Questions and Answers about The Lutheran Confessional Synod,

Decatur, Illinois:

LCS,

1996,

p. 7.















"It is indeed a precious truth, that this Word not only tells me what I

must do to be saved, but it also enables me to do it. [enables me to do it in

italics] It is the vehicle and instrument of the Holy Spirit. Through it the

Holy Spirit works repentance and faith. Through it He regenerates, converts,

and sanctifies."

G. H. Gerberding,

The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church,

Philadelphia:

Lutheran Publication Society,

1887,

p. 132.



















"The same divine Saviour now works through means. He has founded a

Church, ordained a ministry, and instituted the preaching of the Word and the

administration of His own sacraments. Christ now works in and through His

Church. Through her ministry, preaching the Word, and administering the

sacraments, the Holy Spirit is given. (Augsburg Confession, Article 5.)

G. H. Gerberding,

The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church,

Philadelphia:

Lutheran Publication Society,

1887,

p. 30.



















"The entire Scripture testifies that the merits of Christ are received in

no other way than through faith, not to mention that it is impossible to please

God without faith, Hebrews 11:6, let alone to be received into eternal life. In

general, St. Paul concludes concerning this [matter] in Romans 3:28: Thus we

hold then that a man becomes righteous without the works of the Law--only

through faith."

Johann Gerhard,

A Comprehensive Explanation of Holy Baptism and the Lord's Supper, 1610,

ed. D. Berger, J. Heiser,

Malone, Texas:

Repristination Press,

2000,

p. 165.

Hebrews 11:6; Romans 3:28













"Even though the water which is used for holy Baptism continues to retain

its natural essence and natural attributes after Baptism, it is nevertheless not

just lowly [plain] water, but it is formulated in God's Word and combined with

God's Word. Thus it is a powerful means through which the Holy Trinity works

powerfully; the Father takes on the one who is baptized as His dear child; the

Son washes him of his sins with His blood; the Holy Spirit regenerates and

renews him for everlasting life."

Johann Gerhard,

A Comprehensive Explanation of Holy Baptism and the Lord's Supper, 1610,

ed. D. Berger, J. Heiser,

Malone, Texas:

Repristination Press,

2000,

p. 56.













"Aus dem allen folgt die Verwerflichkeit des schwarmgeistlichen

Grundsatzes, dass der Geist wirke ohne die Schrift. Geist nicht ohne Schrift,

Schrift nicht ohne Geist, das is gesunde Lehre. (From this follows the repudia-

tion of Pentecostal principles, that the Spirit works without the Scriptures.

Spirit not without the Scripture, Scripture not without the Spirit - that is

sound doctrine.)"

Adolf Hoenecke,

Evangelische-Lutherische Dogmatik, 4 vols.,

ed., Walter and Otto Hoenecke,

Milwaukee:

Northwestern Publishing House,

1912,

IV,

p. 17.













"Thus the Holy Spirit works only through the Word. But the Word of the

Gospel comes to man in two different modes."

Henry Eyster Jacobs,

Elements of Religion,

Philadelphia,

Board of Publication, General Council

1919

p. 161.





"The Holy Spirit works through the Word and the Sacraments, which only,

in the proper sense, are means of grace. Both the Word and the Sacraments bring

a positive grace, which is offered to all who receive them outwardly, and which

is actually imparted to all who have faith to embrace it."

Charles P. Krauth,

The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology,

Philadelphia:

The United Lutheran Publication House,

1871,

p. 127.

"An age of darkness is a creedless age; corruption in doctrine works best

when it is unfettered by an explicit statement of that doctrine."

Charles P. Krauth,

The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology,

Philadelphia:

The United Lutheran Publication House,

1871,

p. 215.





"This Word works in the Thessalonians what Paul states in 1:3; it came to

them with the power of the Holy Spirit and much assurance (1:5); it turned them

from the idols to the living God, to Him who raised up Jesus from the dead, the

Savior from the wrath to ccome (1: 9, 10). This effect, wrought by the Word,

convinces all believers, all who experience this blessed effect, that this is,

indeed, God's Word."

R. C. H. Lenski,

The Interpretation of Thessalonians,

Columbus:

The Wartburg Press,

1937,

p. 261.

1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 9, 10















"The Gospel shows the Father's grace, Who sent His Son to save our race,

Proclaims how Jesus lived and died That man might thus be justified. (2) It sets

the Lamb before our eyes, Who made the atoning sacrifice, And calls the souls

with guilt opprest To come and find eternal rest. (3) It brings the Savior's

righteousness Our souls to robe in royal dress; From all our guilt it brings

release And gives the troubled conscience peace. (4) It is the power of God to

save From sin and Satan and the grace; It works the faith, which firmly clings

To all the treasures which it brings. (5) It bears to all the tidings glad And

bids their hearts no more be sad; The heavy laden souls it cheers And banishes

their guilty fears."

Matthias Loy, 1863, "The Gospel Shows the Father's Grace"

The Lutheran Hymnal,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1941,

Hymn #297.

John 3:16.







"The apostle says 'our,' 'our sins;' not his own sin, not the sins of

unbelievers. Purification is not for, and cannot profit, him who does not

believe. Nor did Christ effect the cleansing by our free-will, our reason or

power, our works, our contrition or repentance, these all being worthless in the

sight of God; he effects it by himself. And how? By taking our sins upon

himself on the holy cross, as Isaiah 53:6 tells us."

Sermons of Martin Luther,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

VI,

p. 180.

Hebrews 1:1-12; Hebrews 1:3;













"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.

Tenth Sunday after Trinity,

1 Corinthians 12:1-11;

















"...God here directs and works wonderfully by making the first last and

the last first. And all is spoken to humble those who are great that they

should trust in nothing but the goodness and mercy of God. And on the other

hand that those who are nothing should not despair, but trust in the goodness of

God just as the others do."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John N. Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

II,

p. 106.

Matthew 20:1-16















"Now in this way Christ strikes a blow first against the presumption (as

He also does in today's Epistle) of those who would storm their way into heaven

by their good works; as the Jews did and wished to be next to God; as hitherto

our own clergy have also done. These all labor for definite wages, that is,

they take the law of God in no other sense than that they should fulfil it by

certain defined works for a specified reward, and they never understand it

correctly, and know not that before God all is pure grace."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John N. Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

II,

p. 108.

Matthew 20:1-16; 1 Corinthians 9:24-10:5











"Faith receives the good works of Christ, love bestows good works on our

neighbor."

In the first place, our faith is strengthened and increased when Christ is

held forth to us in his own natural works, namely, that he associates only with

the blind, the deaf, the lame, the lepers, the dead and the poor; that is , in

pure love and kindness toward all who are in need and in misery, so that finally

Christ is nothing else than consolation and a refuge for all the distressed and

troubled in conscience. Here is necessary faith that trusts in the Gospel and

relies upon it, never doubting that Christ is just as he is presented to us in

this Gospel, and does not think of Him otherwise, nor let any one persuade us to

believe otherwise."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

I,

p. 109f.

Third Sunday in Advent

Matthew 11:2-10.

"In order to keep your faith pure, do nothing else than stand still,

enjoy its blessings, accept Christ's works, and let him bestow His love upon

you. You must be blind, lame, deaf, dead, leprous and poor, otherwise you will

stumble at Christ. That Gospel which suffers Christ to be seen and to be doing

good only among the needy, will not belie you."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

I,

p. 110.

Third Sunday in Advent

Matthew 11:2-10.













"And such false teachers have the good fortune that all their folly is

tolerated, even though the people realize how these act the fool, and rather

rudely at that. They have success with it all, and people bear with them. But

no patience is to be exercised toward true teachers! Their words and their

works are watched with the intent of entrapping them, as complained of in Psalm

17:9 and elsewhere. When only apparently a mote is found, it is exaggerated to

a very great beam. No toleration is granted. There is only judgment,

condemnation and scorn. Hence the office of preaching is a grievous one. He

who has not for his sole motive the benefit of his neighbor and the glory of God

cannot continue therein. The true teacher must labor, and permit others to have

the honor and profit of his efforts, while he receives injury and derision for

his reward."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

VII,

p. 110f.

Second Sunday before Lent.

2 Corinthians 11:19-33; 12:1-9. Psalm 17:9.



















"In the second place such teachers are disposed to bring the people into

downright bondage and to bind their conscience by forcing laws upon them and

teaching works-righteousness. The effect is that fear impels them to do what

has been pounded into them, as if they were bondslaves, while their teachers

command fear and attention. But the true teachers, they who give us freedom of

conscience and create us lords, we soon forget, even despise. The dominion of

false teachers is willingly tolerated and patiently endured; indeed, it is given

high repute. All those conditions are punishments sent by God upon them who do

not receive the Gospel with love and gratitude."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

VII,

p. 111.

Second Sunday before Lent.

2 Corinthians 11:19-33; 12:1-9. John 5:43.





"The second class of hearers are those who receive the Word with joy, but

they do not persevere. These are also a large multitude who understand the Word

correctly and lay hold of it in its purity without any spirit of sect, division

or fanaticism, they rejoice also in that they know the real truth, and are able

to know how they may be saved without works through faith...But when the sun

shines hot it withers, because it has no soil and moisture, and only rock is

there. So these do; in times of persecution they deny or keep silence about the

Word and work, speak and suffer all that their persecutors mention or wish, who

formerly went forth and spoke, and confessed with a fresh and joyful spirit the

same, while there was peace and no heat, so that there was hope they would bear

much fruit and serve the people."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed. John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983

II,

p. 116.

Sexagesima.

Luke 8:4-15 (par. Mark 4: Matthew 13:)

"All the prophets met death for accusing the people of the sin of

ungodliness. No one believed the prophets. No one of the people thought

himself guilty of such sin. They judged themselves by their feelings, their

intentions and works; not by God's Word, not by His counsel delivered through

the prophets."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

VI,

p. 118.

Christmas Eve,

Titus 2:11-15













[righteous = doing good works and reconciling God] "But now comes the

Holy Spirit and says: No so. You err and are mistaken. Your judgment is

wrong. Therefore there must be another judgment. You should judge thus:

Everything your reason concludes is erroneous and false, and you are a fool and

a simpleton."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

III,

p. 119.

Fourth Sunday after Easter

John 16:5-15.













"Godly and believing persons know their sins; they bear all their

punishment patiently, and are resigned to God's judgment without the least

murmur; therefore, they are punished only bodily, and here in time, and their

pain and suffering have an end. Unbelievers, however, since they are not

conscious of their sins and transgressions, cannot bear God's punishment

patiently, but they resent it and wish their life and works to go unpunished,

yea, uncensured. Hence, their punishment and suffering are in body and soul,

here in time, and last forever beyond this life."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

III,

p. 131.

Fourth Sunday after Easter, Second Sermon

John 16:5-15.







"It breaks in not piecemeal on certain works and actions, but reduces to

nothing and condemns everything that reason and worldly wisdom propose. In

short, He convicts and censures them in and for the very things they do not wish

to be convicted in, but rather praised and lauded, as teaching and doing well

and right."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

III,

p. 138.

Fourth Sunday after Easter, Third Sermon

John 16:5-15.













"But the fact is, all Christian doctrines and works, all Christian

living, is briefly, clearly and completely comprehended in these two principles,

faith and love. They place man as a medium between God and his neighbor, to

receive from above and distribute below."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

VI,

p. 145.

Early Christmas Morning

Titus 3:4-8















"But the fact is, all Christian doctrines and works, all Christian

living, is briefly, clearly and completely comprehended in these two principles,

faith and love. They place man as a medium between God and his neighbor, to

receive from above and distribute below. Thus the Christian becomes a vessel, or

rather a channel, through which the fountain of divine blessings continuously

flows to other individuals."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

VIII,

p. 145.

Sixth Sunday after Trinity,

Romans 6:3-11











"Take note, God pours out upon us in baptism superabundant blessings for

the purpose of excluding the works whereby men foolishly presume to merit heaven

and gain happiness. Yes, dear friend, you must first possess heaven and

salvation before you can do good works. Works never merit heaven; heaven is

conferred purely of grace...The true Christian's whole life after baptism is but

a waiting for the manifestation of the salvation already his."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

VI,

p. 151.

Early Christmas Morning

Titus 3:4-8











"Good works are to be performed without any thought of merit, simply for

the benefit of one's neighbor and for the honor of God; until the body, too,

shall be released from sin, death and hell."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

VI,

p. 151.

Second Christmas Sermon

Titus 3:4-8

















"How beautifully the apostle in these strong words extols the grace of

God bestowed in baptism! He refers to baptism as a washing, whereby not our

feet only, not our hands, but our whole bodies are cleansed. Baptism perfectly

and instantaneously cleanses and saves. For the vital part of salvation and its

inheritance, nothing more is necessary than this faith in the grace of God.

Truly, then, are we saved by grace alone, without works or other merit."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

VI,

p. 154.

Early Christmas Morning

Titus 3:5











"But the only thing that was taught and advocated was: Invoke the Virgin

Mary and other saints as your mediators and intercessors; fast often and pray

much; make pilgrimages, enter cloisters and become monks, or pay for the saying

of many masses and like works. And thus we imagined when we did these things we

had merited heaven."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

V,

p. 191.

Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity,

Matthew 22:34-46













"But the fanatics soon torment us with works, and profess to have a

nobler spirit; they urge and insist upon our doing something first of all, and

permit faith and love to be overlooked. This of course is not of the Holy

Spirit. Christ first takes possession of the conscience, and when it is right

in faith toward God, then He also directs us to do works toward our neighbor.

But He first highly extols faith and keeps works in the background.:

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

V,

p. 200.

Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity,

Matthew 9:1-8











"But the fanatics soon torment us with works, and profess to have a

nobler spirit; they urge and insist upon our doing something first of all, and

permit faith and love to be overlooked. This of course is not of the Holy

Spirit. Christ first takes possession of the conscience, and when it is right

in faith toward God, then He also directs us to do works toward our neighbor.

But He first highly extols faith and keeps works in the background.:

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

V,

p. 200.

Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity,

Matthew 9:1-8











"We have now sowed a little of the Word, and this the devil cannot stand,

for he never sleeps; the worms and the beetles will come and infect it. Yet so

it must be, Christ will prove His Word, and examine who have received it and who

not. Therefore let us remain on the right road to the kingdom of Christ, and

not go about with works and urge and force the works of the law, but only with

the words of the Gospel which comfort the conscience: Be happy, be of good

cheer, thy sins are forgiven."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

V,

p. 201.

Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity,

Matthew 9:1-8









"Workrighteous people have not this glory, for they have not the Word;

but as the work is, so is the praise, they urge and compel us to depart from the

Word to human work. But the Holy Spirit urges us from our works to the Word.

The former boast of their works, the latter, where the Holy Spirit is, rejoice

internally in the heart with God, that He has done this work, and they remain

clinging to grace, and attribute nothing at all to their works."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

V,

p. 203.

Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity,

Matthew 9:1-8











"But, as has often been said, faith changes the person and makes out of

an enemy a child, so mysteriously that the external works, walk and conversation

remain the same as before, when they are not by nature wicked deeds."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

I,

p. 210.

Third Christmas Day

John 1:1-14.

















"Such a divine kingdom con be governed, built up, protected, extended and

maintained only by means of the external office of the Word and Sacraments,

through which the Holy Spirit is powerful and works in the hearts etc., as I

have often said in speaking on this theme."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

V,

p. 238.

Twentieth Sunday after Trinity,

Matthew 22:1-14















"Firstly, we read that this was the disciple whom Christ loved.

This means that faith alone makes the truly beloved disciples of Christ, who

receive the Holy Spirit through this very same faith, not through their works.

Works indeed also make disciples, but not beloved disciples: only temporary

hypocrites who do not persevere. God's love does not uphold and keep them, for

the reason that they do not believe."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

I,

p. 250.

Day of St. John the Evangelist

John 21:19-24.











"Learn then from this Gospel what takes place when God begins to make us

godly, and what the first step is in becoming godly. There is no other

beginning than that your king comes to you and begins to work in you. It is

done in this way: The Gospel must be the first, this must be preached and

heard. In it you hear and learn how all your works count for nothing before God

and that everything is sinful that you work and do. Your king must first be in

you and rule you. Behold, here is the beginning of your salvation; you

relinquish your works and despair of yourself, because you hear and see that all

you do is sin and amounts to nothing, as the Gospel tells you, and you receive

your king in faith, cling to him, implore his grace and find consolation in his

mercy alone."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

I,

p. 26.

First Sunday in Advent

Matthew 21:1-9.

"What is said there concerning the servant is true here concerning the

pupil. Paul employs the two figures to teach us the office of the Law and what

it profits. We must, therefore, again refer to the Law and its works, to the

fact that works are of twofold origin. Some are extorted by fear of punishment

or prompted by expectation of pleasure and gain; others are spontaneous,

cheerful and gratuitous, not performed to escape punishment nor to gain reward,

but inspired by pure kindness and a desire for what is good. The first class

are the works of servants and pupils; the second class, of children and free

heirs."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

VI,

p. 267.

New Year's Day,

Galatians 3:23-29





"Here again is an admonition for Christians to follow up their faith by

good works and a new life, for though they have forgiveness of sins through

baptism, the old Adam still adheres to their flesh and makes himself felt in

tendencies and desires to vices physical and mental. The result is that unless

Christians offer resistance, they will lose their faith and the remission of

sins and will in the end be worse than they were at first; for they will begin

to despise and persecute the Word of God when corrected by it. Yea, even those

who gladly hear the Word of God, who highly prize it and aim to follow it, have

daily need of admonition and encouragement, so strong and tough is that old hide

of sinful flesh."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

VIII,

p. 305.

Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity

Ephesians 4:22-28



"Is not this a perverted and blind people? They teach we cannot do a

good deed of ourselves, and then in their presumption go to work and arrogate to

themselves the highest of all the works of God, namely faith, to manufacture it

themselves out of their own perverted thoughts. Wherefore I have said that we

should despair of ourselves and pray to God for faith as the Apostle did. Luke

17:5 When we have faith we need nothing more, for it brings with it the Holy

Spirit, who then teaches us not only all things, but also establishes us firmly

in it, and leads us through death and hell to heaven."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

IV,

p. 306.

Ninth Sunday after Trinity

Luke 17:5.







"Nor have we as yet arrived at the point where our flesh and blood will

joyfully and gladly abound in good works and obedience to God as the spirit is

inclined and faith directs. Even with the utmost efforts the Spirit scarce can

compel our old man."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

VIII,

p. 306.

Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity

Ephesians 4:22-28















"Secondly, it is shown here that this Word precedes, or must be spoken

beforehand, and that afterwards the Holy Spirit works through the Word. One

must not reverse the order and dream of a Holy Spirit who works without the Word

and before the Word, but one who comes with and through the Word and goes no

farther than the Word goes."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

III,

p. 329.

Pentecost, Third Sermon

John 14:23-31.













"If sin terrifies my conscience and preachers of the law come and want to

help me with their works, they will accomplish nothing. Christ alone can help

here and no one else."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

V,

p. 331.

Twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity,

Matthew 9:18-26

















"There are the infants, bare and naked in body and soul, having neither

faith nor works. Then the Christian Church comes forward and prays, that God

would pour faith into the child; not that our faith should help the child, but

that it may obtain a faith of its own. If it has faith, then after that

whatever it does is well done, whether it suckle its mother's breast, or whether

it soil itself, or whatever it may please to do."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

IV,

p. 378.

Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

Mark 7:31-37.











"Behold this good inclination or comforting trust, or free presumption

toward God, or whatever you may call it, in the Scriptures is called Christian

faith and a good conscience, which man must have to be saved. But it is not

obtained by human works and precepts, as we shall see in this example, and

without such a heart no work is good...But here you observe what a thoroughly

living and powerful thing faith is. It creates wholly a new heart, a new man,

who expects all grace from God. Therefore it urges to walk, to stand, makes

bold to cry and pray in every time of trouble."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

V,

p. 65f.

Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity,

Luke 17:11-19







"To turn water into wine is to render the interpretation of the Law

delightful. This is done as follows: Before the Gospel arrives everyone

understands the Law as demanding our works,that we must fulfill it with works of

our own. This interpretation begets either hardened, presumptuous dissemblers

and hypocrites, harder than any pot of stone, or timid, restless consciences.

There remains nothing but water in the port, fear and dread of God's judgment.

This is the water-interpretation, not intended for drinking, neither filling any

with delight; on the contrary, there is nothing to it but washing and

purification, and yet no true inner cleansing. But the Gospel explains the Law,

showing that it requires more than we can render, and that it demands a person

different from ourselves to fulfil it; that is, it demands Christ and brings us

unto Him, so that first of all by His grace we are made in true faith

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

II,

p. 67.

Second Sunday after Epiphany,

John 2:1-11.



















a different people like unto Christ, and that then we do truly good

works. Thus the right interpretation and significance of the Law is to lead us

to the knowledge of our helplessness, to drive us from ourselves to another,

namely to Christ, to seek grace and help of Him."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

II,

p. 67.

Second Sunday after Epiphany,

John 2:1-11.















"Observe, God and men proceed in contrary ways. Men set on first that

which is best, afterward that which is worse. God first gives the cross and

affliction, then honor and blessedness. This is because men seek to preserve

the old man; on which account they instruct us to keep the Law by works, and

offer promises great and sweet...But God first of all terrifies the conscience,

sets on miserable wine, in fact nothing but water; then, however, He consoles us

with the promises of the Gospel which endure forever."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

II,

p. 69.

Second Sunday after Epiphany,

John 2:1-11.









"See, this is what James means when he says, 2:26: 'Faith apart from

works is dead.' For as the body without the soul is dead, so is faith without

works. Not that faith is in man and does not work, which is impossible. For

faith is a living, active thing. But in order that men may not deceive

themselves and think they have faith when they have not, they are to examine

their works, whether they also love their neighbors and do good to them."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

V,

p. 71.

Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity,

Luke 17:11-19; James 2:26











"Why does God do this and permit His own to be persecuted and hounded? In

order to suppress and subdue the free will, so that it may not seek an expedient

in their works; but rather become a fool in God's works and learn thereby to

trust and depend upon God alone."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed. John Nicholas Lenker,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1983,

III,

p. 79f.

Third Sunday after Easter

John 16:16-23















"I would much rather have people say that I preach too sweetly and that

it hinders people from doing good works (even though my preaching does not do

that), than that I failed to preach faith in Christ, and there was no help or

consolation for timid, fearful consciences."

Sermons of Martin Luther, The House Postils, 3 vols.,

ed. Eugene F. A. Klug,

Grand Rapids:

Baker Book House,

1996,

II,

p. 115.

Ascension Day

Acts 1:1-11















"The deeper a person is sunk in sadness and emotional upheavals, the

better he serves as an instrument of Satan. For our emotions are instruments

through which he gets into us and works in us if we do not watch our step. It is

easy to water where it is wet. Where the fence is dilapidated, it is easy to

get across. So Satan has easy access where there is sadness. Therefore one

must pray and associate with godly people."

What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1959,

III,

p. 1243.

1532













"Wherever this Gospel is truthfully and purely preached, there is the

kingdom of Christ; and this mark of the church or the kingdom of Christ cannot

deceive you. For wherever the Word is, there the Holy Spirit is, either in the

hearer or in the teacher. External works can deceive, since after all they are

found even among the heathen."

What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1959,

I,

p. 264.

















"For you do not find Him; He finds you. For the preachers come from Him,

not from you. Your faith comes from Him, not from you. And everything that

works faith within you comes from Him, not from you."

What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1959,

I,

p. 345.

Matthew 21:1-9.



















"The will does nothing. It is rather the substance (causa materialis) in

which the Holy Spirit works also in those who resist, as in Paul. But working on

the will of him who resists He moves the will to consent."

What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1959,

I,

p. 347.

"We, too, say that a faith without works is vain and good for nothing.

But papists and enthusiasts understand this to mean that faith does not justify

without works, or that faith, however genuine it may be, is unable to achieve

anything if it does not have works. This view is wrong. Yet faith without

works, that is, a fanatical notion, a mere empty boasting (vanitas) and dream of

the heart, is a false faith and does indeed not justify."

What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1959,

I,

p. 494.

Galatians 2:18.













"That the Holy Spirit works in the heart is true; nevertheless He intends

ordinarily and usually to do so in no other way than through the spoken Word.

St. Paul says that a man cannot believe unless he has previously heard (Romans

10:14)."

What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1959,

II,

p. 664.

Romans 10:14.

















"If the article of justification is lost, all Christian doctrine is lost

at the same time. And all the poeple in the world who do not hold to this

justification are either Jews or Turks or papists or heretics; for there is no

middle ground between these two righteousnesses: the active one of the Law and

the passive one which comes from Christ. Therefore the man who strays from

Christian righteousness must relapse into the active one, that is, since he has

lost Christ, he must put his confidence in his own works."

What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1959,

II,

p. 703.

Galatians lectures, 1531

Galatians.









"In justification faith and works exclude each other entirely."

What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1959,

II,

p. 712.

1522

Galatians 3:23-29.

"The Lutheran Confessions take a decisive stand against 'enthusiasts,'

who teach that the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of men without the Word and

Sacraments (SA-III VIII 3-13; LC II 34-62; FC Ep II 13)."

John T. Mueller, "Grace, Means of,"

Lutheran Cyclopedia,

Erwin L. Lueker,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1975,

p. 344.

"In order to offer and convey to men the merits which Christ has secured

for the world by His death on the cross, 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 5:18, God

employs certain external, visible means through which the Holy Spirit works and

preserves faith and thus accomplishes the sinner's salvation."

John Theodore Mueller,

Christian Dogmatics, A Handbook of Doctrinal Theology,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1934,

p. 441.

2 Corinthians 5:21; Rom 5:18.



















"In reconciling the world unto Himself by Christ's substitutionary

satisfaction, God asked no one's advice concerning His singular method of

reconciliation. In like manner, without asking any man's advice, He ordained

the means by which He gives men the infallible assurance of His gracious will

toward them; in other words, He both confers on men the remission of sins

merited by Christ and works faith in the proffered remission or, where faith

already exists, strengthens it. The Church has appropriately called these

divine ordinances the means of grace, media gratiae, instrumenta gratiae;

Formula of Concord: 'Instrumenta sive media Spiritus Sancti' (Triglotta, p.

903, Solid Declaration, II, 58). They are the Word of the Gospel, Baptism, and

the Lord's Supper, as will be shown more fully on the following pages."

Francis Pieper,

Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols.,

trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1953,

III,

p. 103.



"There is but one way by which the Reformed theology can escape the

doctrine of works--by accepting Lutheranism. And the Reformed actually take

this step when they, including Calvin, at the last direct those who are troubled

by grave doubts of their election to the universal grace as it is attested in

the means of grace."

Francis Pieper,

Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols.,

trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1953,

III,

p. 169.















[Marks of the Antichrist: the falling away, apostasia, verse 3;

seat in the temple of God, verse 4; acts godlike, verse 4; works have the power

of Satan (also see John 8:44); will remain until Judgment Day, verse 8.]

Francis Pieper,

Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols.,

trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1953,

III,

p. 463f.

2 Thessalonians 2:3ff.

















"The elite are assembled in the cloister to earn salvation or themselves

by observing the consilia evangelica, devised by man, and to obtain a surplus of

good works (opera supererogationis) for the benefit of others. However, since

this process does not give full assurance (Trid., Sess. IV, canon 14, 9), they

look to purgatory to complete their 'sanctification' (Trid., Sess. VI, canon

30)." (Footnote - "See Luther on the 'blasphemous fraud of purgatory, by which

treacherous deception they have made fool of all the world' St. Louis edition,

XVI:1653f.")

Francis Pieper,

Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols.,

trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1953,

III,

p. 64.









"The elite are assembled in the cloister to earn salvation or themselves

by observing the consilia evangelica, devised by man, and to obtain a surplus of

good works (opera supererogationis) for the benefit of others. However, since

this process does not give full assurance (Trid., Sess. IV, canon 14, 9), they

look to purgatory to complete their 'sanctification' (Trid., Sess. VI, canon

30)." (Footnote - "See Luther on the 'blasphemous fraud of purgatory, by which

treacherous deception they have made fool of all the world' St. Louis edition,

XVI:1653f.")

Francis Pieper,

Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols.,

trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1953,

III,

p. 64.









"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."

Apology Augsburg Confession, III. #11. Love Fulfilling of Law.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 159.

Tappert, p. 125. Heiser, p. 42.



"Truly, it is amazing that the adversaries are in no way moved by so many

passages of Scripture, which clearly ascribe justification to faith, and,

indeed, deny it to works. Do they think that the same is repeated so often for

no purpose? Do they think that these words fell inconsiderately from the Holy

Ghost? But they have also devised sophistry whereby they elude them."

Apology Augsburg Confession, IV. #107. Justification.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 153.

Tappert, p. 122. Heiser, p. 41.

















"James, therefore, did not believe that by good works we merit the

remission of sins and grace. For he speaks of the works of those who have been

justified, who have already been reconciled and accepted, and have obtained

remission of sins. Wherefore the adversaries err when they infer that James

teaches that we merit remission of sins and grace by good works, and that by our

works we have access to God, without Christ as Propitiator."

Apology Augsburg Confession, IV. #125. Justification.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 189.

Tappert, p. 142. Heiser, p. 53.

James 2:24.













"And just as the Word has been given in order to excite this faith, so

the Sacrament has been instituted in order that the outward appearance meeting

the eyes might move the heart to believe [and strengthen faith]. For through

these, namely, through Word and Sacrament, the Holy Ghost works."

Apology Augsburg Confession, XXIV (XII), #70. The Mass.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 409.

Tappert, p. 262. Heiser, p. 123.



















"Of Civil Affairs they teach that lawful civil ordinances are good works

of God, and that it is right for Christians to bear civil office, to sit as

judges, to judge matters by the Imperial and other existing laws, to award just

punishments, to engage in just wars, to serve as soldiers, to make legal

contracts, to hold property, to make oath when required by the magistrates, to

marry a wife, to be given in marriage."

Augsburg Confesion, XVI. #1-2. Civil Affairs.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 51.

Tappert, p. 36f. Heiser, p. 14.















"Of Repentance they teach that for those who have fallen after Baptism

there is remission of sins whenever they are converted; and that the Church

ought to impart absolution to those thus returning to repentance. Now,

repentance consists properly of these two parts: One is contrition, that is,

terrors smiting the conscience through the knowledge of sin; the other is faith,

which is born of the Gospel, or of absolution, and believes that, for Christ's

sake, sins are forgiven, comforts the conscience, and delivers it from terrors.

Then good works are bound to follow, which are the fruits of repentance."

Augsburg Confession, Article XII. Repentance.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 49.

Tappert, p. 34f. Heiser, p. 13.











"Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own

strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for Christ's sake, through

faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins

are forgiven for Christ's sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our

sins. This faith God imputes for righteousness is His sight. Romans 3 and 4."

Augsburg Confession, IV. Justification.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 45.

Tappert, p. 30. Heiser, p. 12f.

Romans 3; Romans 4















"That we may obtain this faith, the Ministry of Teaching the Gospel and

administering the Sacraments was instituted. For through the Word and

Sacraments, as through instruments, the Holy Ghost is given, who works faith,

where and when it pleases God, in them that hear the Gospel, to wit, that God,

not for our own merits, but for Christ's sake, justifies those who believe that

they are received into grace for Christ's sake. They condemn the Anabaptists

and others who think that the Holy Ghost comes to men without the external Word,

through their own preparation and works."

Augsburg Confession, V. #1-2. The Ministry.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 45.

Tappert, p. 31. Heiser, p. 13.











"Also they teach that this faith is bound to bring forth good fruits, and

that it is necessary to do good works commanded by God, because of God's will,

but that we should not rely on those works to merit justification before God.

For remission of sins and justification is apprehended by faith, as also the

voice of Christ attests: 'When ye shall have done all these things, say: We

are unprofitable servants.' Luke 17:10."

Augsburg Confession, VI. The New Obedience.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 47.

Tappert, p. 31f. Heiser, p. 13.

Luke 17:10.













"Our teachers are falsely accused of forbidding Good Works. For their

published writings on the Ten Commandments, and others of like import, bear

witness that they have taught to good purpose concerning all estates and duties

of life, as to what estates of life and what works in every calling be pleasing

to God."

Augsburg Confession, XX. #1-2. Good Works.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 53.

Tappert, p. 41ff. Heiser, p. 15.

















"Therefore God, out of His immense goodness and mercy, has His divine

eternal Law and His wonderful plan concerning our redemption, namely, the holy,

alone-saving Gospel of His eternal Son, our only Savior and Redeemer, Jesus

Christ, publicly preached; and by this [preaching] collects an eternal Church

for Himself from the human race, and works in the hearts of men true repentance

and knowledge of sins, and true faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. And by

this means, and in no other way, namely, through His holy Word, when men hear it

preached or read it, and the holy Sacraments when they are used according to His

Word, God desires to call men to eternal salvation, draw them to Himself, and

convert, regenerate, and sanctify them. 1 Corinthians 1:21: 'For after that in

the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the

foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.' Acts 10:5-6..."

Formula of Concord SD II. #50. Free Will.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 901.

Tappert, p. 530f. Heiser, p. 246.

1 Corinthians 1:21; Acts 10:5-6.

"Therefore, before the conversion of man there are only two efficient

causes, namely, the Holy Ghost and the Word of God, as the instrument of the

Holy Ghost, by which He works conversion. This Word man is [indeed] to hear;

however, it is not by his own powers, but only through the grace and working of

the Holy Ghost that he can yield faith to it and accept it."

Formula of Concord, Epitome, II, Of the Free Will, #19,

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 791.

Tappert, p. 472. Heiser, p. 219.

















"For when man is justified through faith [which the Holy Ghost alone

works], this is truly a regeneration, because from a child of wrath he becomes a

child of God, and thus is transferred from death to life, as it is written; When

we were dead in sins, He hath quickened us together with Christ, Ephesians 2:5.

Likewise: The just shall live by faith, Romans 1:17; Habakkuk 2:4."

Formula of Concord, SD III. #20. Righteousness of Faith.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 921.

Tappert, p. 542. Heiser, p. 251.

Ephesians 2:5; Romans 1:17; Habakkuk 2:4















"Here belongs also what St. Paul writes Romans 4:3, that Abraham was

justified before God by faith alone, for the sake of the Mediator, without the

cooperation of his works, not only when he was first converted from idolatry and

had no good works, but also afterwards, when he had been renewed by the Holy

Ghost, and adorned with many excellent good works, Genesis 15:6; Hebrews 11:8.

And Paul puts the following questions, Romans 4:1ff.: On what did Abraham's

righteousness before God for everlasting life, by which he had a gracious God,

and was pleasing and acceptable to Him, rest at that time?

Formula of Concord, SD III. #33. Righteousness of Faith.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 927.

Tappert, p. 545. Heiser, p. 252.

Romans 4:3; Romans 4:1ff; Genesis 15:6; Hebrews 11:8









"We believe, teach, and confess also that at the time of confession [when

a confession of the heavenly truth is required], when the enemies of God's Word

desire to suppress the pure doctrine of the holy Gospel, the entire congregation

of God, yea, every Christian, but especially the ministers of the Word, as the

leaders of the congregation of God [as those whome God has appointed to rule His

Church], are bound by God's Word to confess freely and openly the [godly]

doctrine, and what belongs to the whole of [pure] religion, not only in words,

but also in works and with deeds; and that then, in this case, even in such

[things truly and of themselves] adiaphora, they must not yield to the

adversaries, or permit these [adiaphora] to be forced upon them by their

enemies, whether by violence or cunning, to the detriment of the true worship of

God and the introduction and sanction of idolatry...Galatians 5:1."

Formula of Concord, SD X. #10-11. Adiaphora.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 1055.

Tappert, p. 612. Heiser, p. 284.

Galatians 5:1.

"For few receive the Word and follow it; the greatest number despise the

Word, and will not come to the wedding, Matthew 22:3ff. The cause for this

contempt for the Word is not God's foreknowledge [or predestination], but the

perverse will of man, which rejects or perverts the means and instrument of the

Holy Ghost, which God offers him through the call, and resists the Holy Ghost,

who wishes to be efficacious, and works through the Word, as Christ says, 'How

often would I have gathered you together, and ye would not!' Matthew 23:37."

Formula of Concord, SD XI. #41. Election.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 1077.

Tappert, p. 623. Heiser, p. 290.

Matthew 22:3ff.; 23:37.











"For good works do not precede faith, neither does sanctification precede

justification. But first faith is kindled in us in conversion by the Holy Ghost

from the hearing of the Gospel. This lays hold of God's grace in Christ, by

which the person is justified. Then, when the person is justified, he is also

renewed and sanctified by the Holy Ghost, from which renewal and sanctification

the fruits of good works then follow."

Formula of Concord, SD, III 41, Righteous of Faith before God,

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 929.

Tappert, p. 546. Heiser, p. 253.















"Lastly, it is nothing else than the devil himself, because above and

against God he urges [and disseminates] his [papal] falsehoods concerning

masses, purgatory, the monastic life, one's own works and [fictitious] divine

worship (for this is the very Papacy [upon each of which the Papacy is

altogether founded and is standing]), and condemns, murders, and tortures all

Christians who do not exalt and honor these abominations [of the Pope] above all

things. Therefore, just as little as we can worship the devil himself as Lord

and God, we can endure this apostle, the Pope, or Antichrist, in his rule as

head or lord. For to lie and to kill, and to destroy body and soul eternally,

that is wherein his papal government really consists, as I have very clearly

shown in many books."

Smalcald Articles, Part II, Article IV. #14. The Papacy.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 475.

Tappert, p. 301. Heiser, p. 141.

2 Thessalonians 2:4.



"Without faith it profits nothing, notwithstanding it is in itself a

divine superabundant treasure. Therefore this single word (He that believeth)

effects this much that it excludes and repels all works which we can do, in the

opinion that we obtain and merit salvation by them. For it is determined that

whatever is not faith avails nothing nor receives anything."

The Large Catechism, Part Fourth, Of Baptism. #34.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 741.

Tappert, p. 440. Heiser, p. 207.

















"Therefore, if you cannot feel it {the works of the flesh, Galatians

5:199ff. above}, at least believe the Scriptures; they will not lie to you, and

they know your flesh better than you yourself...Yet, as we have said, if you are

quite dead to all sensibility, still believe the Scriptures, which pronounce

sentence upon you. And, in short, the less you feel your sins and infirmities,

the more reason have you to go to the Sacrament to seek help and a remedy."

The Large Catechism, Sacrament of the Altar. #76-78.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 771.

Tappert, p. 455. Heiser, p. 214.















"For where He does not cause it to be preached and made alive in the

heart, so that it is understood, it is lost, as was the case under the Papacy,

where faith was entirely put under the bench, and no one recognized Christ as

his Lord or the Holy Ghost as his Sanctifier, that is, no one believed that

Christ is our Lord in the sense that He has acquired this treasure for us,

without our works and merit, and made us acceptable to the Father. What, then,

was lacking? This, that the Holy Ghost was not there to reveal it and cause it

to be preached; but men and evil spirits were there, who taught us to obtain

grace and be saved by our works."

The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #43-44,

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 689.

Tappert, p. 416. Heiser, p. 194f.









"But outside of this Christian Church, where the Gospel is not, there is

no forgiveness, as also there can be no holiness [sanctification]. Therefore

all who seek and wish to merit holiness [sanctification], not through the Gospel

and forgiveness of sin, but by their works, have expelled and severed themselves

[from this Church]."

The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #56,

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 693.

Tappert, p. 418. Heiser, p. 195.

















"I am also a part and member of the same, a sharer and joint owner of all

the goods it possesses, brought to it and incorporated into it by the Holy Ghost

by having heard and continuing to hear the Word of God, which is the beginning

of entering it. For formerly, before we had attained to this, we were

altogether of the devil, knowing nothing of God and of Christ. Thus, until the

last day, the Holy Ghost abides with the holy congregation or Christendom, by

means of which He fetches us to Christ and which He employs to teach and preach

to us the Word, whereby He works and promotes sanctification, causing it [this

community] daily to grow and become strong in the faith and its fruits which He

produces."

The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III. #53.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 691f.

Tappert, p. 417. Heiser, p. 195.







"On the contrary, any observance or work that is practised without God's

Word is unholy before God, no matter how brilliantly it may shine, even though

it be covered with relics, such as the fictitious spiritual orders, which know

nothing of God's Word and seek holiness in their own works."

The Large Catechism, The Third Commandment, #93.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 607.

Tappert, p. 377. Heiser, p. 175.

Exodus 20:8-11.

















"Note, therefore, that the force and power of this commandment lies not

in the resting, but in the sanctifying, so that to this day belongs a special

holy exercise. For other works and occupations are not properly called holy

exercises, unless the man himself be first holy. But here a work is to be done

by which man is himself made holy, which is done (as we have heard) alone

through God's Word. For this, then, fixed places, times, persons, and the

entire external order of worship have been created and appointed, so that it may

be publicly in operation."

The Large Catechism, The Third Commandment, #94.

Concordia Triglotta,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1921,

p. 607.

Tappert, p. 378. Heiser, p. 175.

Exodus 20:8-11.









"Now it is evident that fruits do not bear the tree, not does the tree

grow on the fruit, but the reverse--trees bear fruits, and fruits grow on trees.

As there must be trees before there can be fruits, and as the fruits do not make

the tree either good or corrupt, but the tree produces the fruits, even so man

must first be either good or corrupt before he does good or corrupt works. His

works do not make him either good or corrupt, but he does either good or corrupt

works." Martin Luther, St. L. XIX, 1003f.

C. F. W. Walther,

The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel,

trans., W. H. T. Dau,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1928,

p. 306.

Matthew 7:18.











"Why do so many people in our country fall in with the preachers of

fanatical sects? Because these sects spread the glamor of great sanctity about

themselves. Alas! man regards the works of God as trifling, but esteems the

works of men highly. That is nothing but one of the sad results of man's fall

into sin."

C. F. W. Walther,

The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel,

trans., W. H. T. Dau,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,

1928,

p. 372.

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