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
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Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The First Sunday after Trinity



Word and Sacraments, by Norma Boeckler


The First Sunday after Trinity

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

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

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 8 AM Phoenix Time


The Hymn #656 Behold a Host 2.39
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 John 4:16-21
The Gospel Luke 16:19-31
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #429 Lord Thee I love 2.54

The Word of God Is Sufficient

The Hymn #313 O Lord we praise Thee 2.36
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 #660 Heaven is my home 2.46

"Moreover, neither contrition nor love or any other virtue, but faith alone is the sole means and instrument by which and through which we can receive and accept the grace of God, the merit of Christ, and the forgiveness of sins, which are offered to us in the promise of the Gospel." Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III 31 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 925.

KJV 1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

KJV Luke 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

First Sunday After Trinity
Lord God, heavenly Father, we beseech Thee so to rule and govern our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may not, like the rich man, hear Thy word in vain, and become so devoted to things temporal as to forget things eternal; but that we readily and according to our ability minister to such as are in need, and not defile ourselves with surfeiting and pride; in trial and misfortune keep us from despair, and grant us to put our trust wholly in Thy fatherly help and grace, so that in faith and Christian patience we may overcome all things, through Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

The Word of God Is Sufficient

This parable, unique to Luke, gives us a portrait of the Afterlife and a clear, compelling lesson on the efficacy of the Word alone.

Jesus contrasted two people in this parable. One is Lazarus poor, miserable, and neglected by the rich man who is well fed, richly dressed, and living in wealth. Lazarus only wanted the scraps from the rich man’s table. His impoverished condition is shown by the dogs licking his sores.

Both men died, as all must. Lazarus was carried to heaven by angels, where he rested in the bosom of Abraham. The Bible portrays Abraham as the father of faith. He believed in the promised Savior; therefore, he was declared righteous. So we can see that, as miserable as Lazarus was in his own life, he believed in Christ, was justified, and inherited eternal life.

On the opposite side, the rich man died, was buried, and went to Hell, where he was tormented night and day. All those who deny Hell should be advised that they are arguing against Christ, not against human opinion. All the wise men in the world can agree that Hell does not exist, but the Word of God is not subordinated to their opinions.

Everyone knows how Christianity is mocked in the media. But when a Hindu family in America got a new house, the producers had a Hindu priest offer a prayer. They also declared during the show that faith in Hinduism would keep the family together. I wondered if the family worshiped Kali (one of 300 million Hindu gods) or thought widows should be burned alive on their husbands’ funeral pyres. Thugs got their name from those followers of Kali who strangled unwary travelers in India. Suttee is the name for having widows burned alive. Both were banished by the British.

The Biblical picture is clear – there are believers and unbelievers. All unbelievers go to Hell because they are not justified by faith in Christ. All believers inherit eternal life because they are justified by faith.

The Bible makes no other distinction. Sincere believers exist in all denominations and in unusual situations (Jews who believe in Christ but keep it from family and friends). Membership in a denomination or a church does not equal justification by faith.
God alone can make that judgment.

Even within an orthodox group of Christians, unbelievers can exist. It may be easier, knowing the right answers but not believing them. People can begin life as believers and fall away. Some people are converted, announce it to the world, and fall back into their old ways. That is why the Bible said – don’t be in a hurry to lay hands on someone for pastoral work.

Someone asked me about my friends who are Roman Catholic, Jews, Lutherans of various persuasions, and members of other denominations. I would be happy to have only those friends who believe exactly as I do, but there aren’t enough of them to go around. Actually, it is a great pleasure to hear from people all over the world, fellow believers who want to study the doctrinal issues.

This is an important statement from Luther:
"In matters concerning faith we must be invincible, unbending, and very stubborn; indeed, if possible, harder than adamant. But in matters concerning love we should be softer and more pliant than any reed and leaf and should gladly accommodate ourselves to everything." What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 412f. Galatians 2:8.
We are not allowed by the Word of God to give in or compromise about a single sub-topic in Christian doctrine. However, we should not let that affect our relationships with other people – often friends, family, parents, children and spouses. Those relationships give us the best opportunity. One is their opportunity to hear. The other is our opportunity to keep our knowledge of the Word sharp.
Shunning is the mark of non-Lutherans, although it is engrained in the smaller synods as some kind of mark of orthodoxy. It an important part of the Mennonite sect. If someone is not being a true old-fashioned Mennonite, he is avoided, given the silent treatment, and denied any business dealings with the sect. Mormons do the same thing.

“Mark and avoid” is correctly applied to false teachers, but it is wrongly used to punish people who do not follow the corporate synodical mindset today. Questioning Pope John the Malefactor in the Little Sect on the Prairie is enough to get a pastor kicked out. Yet no one on their doctrinal board mentions this a Romanism rather than Lutheran practice. Of course, anyone who even cleared his throat on the subject would find himself on the wrong end of the Left Foot of Fellowship. But that is good, because God’s Word has that affect and separates the evil from the good.
The trouble is that few want to trust the Word of God to accomplish His will. They dream that God only wills that we live in big houses, have tax-free car allowances, and enjoy surplus income. Lazarus is a plain, clear example of that not being true. There are many unfortunate people in the world, and we have opportunities to serve them, seeing Christ in our neighbor. Secondly, if we suffer privation for witnessing to the Word, that is our cross to bear. Nothing is clearer in Christ’s message – You must take up the cross daily to be My disciples.
Because people will not accept the cross offered in the world, they find themselves mired in false doctrine and explaining it away. After hearing claims about how Biblical a certain synod was, and so very strict about fellowship, I asked about the most blatant examples of false doctrine and sitting at the feet of false teachers.

The responses were alarming:
“He is my friend.”
“He is a nice guy – he isn’t a false teacher.” [The most successful false teachers are nice guys. In fact, they are downright charismatic.]
“I graduated in the same class as he did!”
“I drank a lot of beer with him.” [Proof that alcohol impairs judgment]
Friendship does not preclude the need to admonish false teachers. Friendship should motivate someone to do the very thing excused under the banner of friendship. As I have mentioned before, I can list false teachers (CGM) among the Lutherans who are now active, mouthy atheists.

The Rich Man
The portrait of the rich man in Hell teaches us many different lessons about the Afterlife. I am reminded of Luther’s statement that we can have trouble for a short time and eternal happiness, or happiness for a short time and eternal torment.
The rich man could see Lazarus enjoying the peace of eternal life, where there is no pain or sorrow, no tears.

KJV Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. 13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

The rich man, who never gave Lazarus a crumb, said, “Let him come to me a dip his finger in water and soothe my thirst. I am tormented in this fire.” Here we can see the great harmony of the Word.

KJV Luke 16:9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.

Those we help in this life will speak for us in the Afterlife. Works follow faith as the fruit of faith. If we never help anyone, that speaks volumes about our faith in Christ.

The rich man had a lifetime of surplus, but he gave nothing to poor Lazarus. Now he longed for a drop of water.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

So no one from Hell is going to leave, and no one from Heaven is going to visit. The boundaries are fixed forever. There is no do-over after an abundance of mercy has been shown and God’s grace offered freely for a lifetime.
The rich man’s requests are important for understand salvation and the Word.
The first is to have Lazarus, scorned through his life, to speak to the rich man’s brothers, who were probably enjoying the estate:

27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

Moses and the prophets are sufficient to teach anyone about salvation. The Old Testament is full of Gospel promises. That is why many Jewish people believe in Christ.

The Reformed motivate people with the Law, saying such things as “How many people are you taking to heaven with you?” Just the opposite is stated here by Christ – “They have the Word of God. They can listen to the Word, instead of an ambassador from heaven.”

The rich man persisted. He must have made his money in sales:

30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

Here is the clearest possible teaching about the effectiveness of the Word. Everyone would agree that seeing someone rise from the dead, as the rich man proposed, would be very special.

There may even be ironic humor here, since only one man is named here – Lazarus, in a parable. One man named Lazarus did rise from the dead – in John’s Gospel, but that did not convert the religious opponents. Instead they plotted to kill Lazarus with Jesus, to liquidate the proof that Jesus fulfilled all the Messianic promises.

KJV John 12:9 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;

The miracle-mongers of today put on a great show, and say they inspire faith. But they really destroy faith. They pretend to take away the cross of illness, pain, and suffering. Those who are cruelly persuaded then become bitter that God will not give them permanent relief from their problems. All they need to do is offer the Word of God, and the miracles will follow. God certain provides daily miracles, as those of faith discern with their own eyes.

One of the greatest miracles of all takes place when the Word consecrates the elements, and Christ is present in both natures, human and divine, for Holy Communion. And yet this great miracle is denied and denounced by so many.

Not long ago we counted up the floods we have experienced first hand: the Mississippi in 1965, the Midland flood in 1987, the St. Louis flood in 1992-3, and the New Ulm flood in 1998. In normal weather, a bridge is taken for granted. During floods, bridges are often closed due to the dangers of crossing on one. Suddenly, a bridge is very important for a number of reasons. If all the bridges are out, all activities are curtailed.

God has given us a bridge to Christ – the Means of Grace – the Word and Sacrament. How do we know about forgiveness and have confidence in eternal life – we know that bridge has been provided. Not just one bridge but multiple bridges. Some declare – That is absurd – God does not need a bridge, let alone multiple bridges.

God does not need one, but man does, so God has firmly promised us multiple Means for obtaining His grace.

Quotations


"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."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 145.

"For if I love God I love also His will. Now, when God sends us sickness, poverty, shame and disgrace, that is His will. But what do we do under such circumstances? We thunder, scold and growl, and bear it with great impatience...But God does not want this. He wants us to accept His will with joy and love, and this we are too tardy in doing."
Sermons of Martin Luther, V, p. 26.

"The Word and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are materials with which He builds. Though the dwelling is not altogether completed, yet through His grace and love it is accepted of God."
Sermons of Martin Luther, III, p. 322.

"To this end Christ is presented to us as an inexhaustible fountain, Who at all times overflows with pure goodness and grace. And for such goodness and kindness He accepts nothing, except that the good people, who acknowledge such kindness and grace, thank Him for it, praise and love Him, although others despise Him for it."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, V, p. 329.

"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."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, V, p. 71.

"Thirdly, Christ shows love is still greater, in that He exercises it where it is lost and receives ingratitude from the majority; ten lepers were cleansed and only one thanks Him, on the nine His love is lost. If He would have made use of justice here instead of love, as men are accustomed to do and nature teaches, He would have made them all lepers again."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, V, p. 75

"This is a true definition of marriage: Marriage is the God-appointed and legitimate union of man and woman in the hope of having children or at least for the purpose of avoiding fornication and sin and living to the glory of God. The ultimate purpose is to obey God, to find aid and counsel against sin; to call upon God; to seek, love, and educate children for the glory of God; to live with one's wife in the fear of God and to bear the cross; but if there are no children, nevertheless to live with one's wife in contentment; and to avoid all lewdness with others."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols. ed. Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 884. Genesis 24:1-4

"Love toward their mother is not so great in children as the love of their mother toward them, as the proverb has it: Amor descendit, non ascendit, Love is a plant that grows downward rather than upward."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 138.

"The first destroyers of their own children are those who neglect them and knowingly permit them to grow up without the training and admonition of the Lord. Even if they do not harm them by a bad example, they still destroy them by yielding to them. They love them too much according to the flesh and pamper them, saying: They are children, they do not understand what they are doing. And they are speaking the truth. But neither does a dog or a horse understand what it is doing. However, see how they learn to go, to come, to obey, to do and leave undone what they do not understand...These parents will, therefore, bear the sins of their children because they make these sins their own."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, I, p. 139.

"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, III, p. 1411f.

"You must always have the Word of God in your heart, on your lips, and in your ears. Where the heart is idle and the Word does not ring out, the devil breaks in and has done damage before we are aware of it. On the other hand, such is the power of the Word if it is seriously contemplated, heard, and used that it is never without fruit. It always awakens new understanding, pleasure, and devotion and purifies the heart and thoughts. For these are not inert or dead but active and living words. Martin Luther, What Luther Says, III, p. 1467.

"Consequently, I say to my worst enemies: Where it is only my own person that is involved, there I am very willing to help you and to do everything good for you in spite of the fact that you are my enemy and that all you ever do for me is to harm me. But where it is the Word of God that is involved, there you must not expect any friendship or love that I may have for you to persuade me to do something against that, even if you were my nearest and dearest friend. But since you cannot endure the Word, I will speak this prayer over you: May God dash you to the ground! I shall willingly serve you, but not in order to help you overthrow the Word of God. For this purpose you will never be able to persuade me even to give you a drink of water."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1480.

"The apostle does not mean to say that children are not to be rebuked or beaten, but that they are to be chastized in love; but parents are not to vent their furious temper on them, unconcerned about the way to correct the error of their children. For when the spirit has been cowed, one is of no use for anything and despairs of everything, is timid is doing and undertaking everything. And, what is worse, this timidity, implanted during the tender years, can almost never thereafter be eradicated. For since they have learned to be frightened at every word of their parents, they are subsequently afraid of even a rustling leaf or a tree."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 412.

"In matters concerning faith we must be invincible, unbending, and very stubborn; indeed, if possible, harder than adamant. But in matters concerning love we should be softer and more pliant than any reed and leaf and should gladly accommodate ourselves to everything."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 412f. Galatians 2:8.

"Doctrine is our only light. It alone enlightens and directs us and shows us the way to heaven. If it is shaken in one quarter (in une parte), it will necessarily be shaken in its entirety (in totum). Where that happens, love cannot help us at all."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 414. Galatians 5:10.

"But this tender mercy is to be exercised only toward Christians and among Christians, for toward those who reject and persecute the Gospel we must act differently; here I am not permitted to let my love be merciful so as to tolerate and endure false doctrine. When faith and doctrine are concerned and endangered, neither love nor patience are in order. Then it is my duty to contend in earnest and not to yield a hairbreadth."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 637f.

"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. Tappert, p. 125. Romans 3:31; John 16:15.

"Moreover, neither contrition nor love or any other virtue, but faith alone is the sole means and instrument by which and through which we can receive and accept the grace of God, the merit of Christ, and the forgiveness of sins, which are offered to us in the promise of the Gospel." Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III 31 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 925.

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