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, July 25, 2010

The Eighth Sunday after Trinity





By Norma Boecker




The Eighth Sunday after Trinity


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

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

Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn # 39 Praise to the Lord 3:1
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
The Gospel
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #260 O Lord Look Down 3:41

Figs from Figs

The Communion Hymn # 307 Draw Nigh 3:72
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 # 309 O Jesus Blessed Lord 3:70

KJV Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
KJV Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Eighth Sunday After Trinity
Lord God, heavenly Father, we most heartily thank Thee that Thou hast caused us to come to the knowledge of Thy word. We pray Thee: graciously keep us steadfast in this knowledge unto death, that we may obtain eternal life; send us now and ever pious pastors, who faithfully preach Thy word, without offense or false doctrine, and grant them long life. Defend us from all false teachings, and frustrate Thou the counsels of all such as pervert Thy word, who come to us in sheep's clothing, but are inwardly ravening wolves, that Thy true Church may evermore be established among us, and be defended and preserved from such false teachers, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Figs from Figs

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

This lesson condemns all false doctrine and those false teachers who destroy the flock with it. But it also encourages people to trust the Word of God and those who teach the Word in its purity and truth.

7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Spener, the leader of Pietism, was the first union theologian. He borrowed from the Reformed leader Labadie, who borrowed his cell group idea from the Roman Catholics. Spener had a tremendous negative impact on all Lutherans by making it seem sinful to question false doctrine. Love and cooperation were more important that sound doctrine. False doctrine, cooperation, and unionism go together.

In contrast, the Reformation started because Luther clearly identified and condemned false doctrine. He was not the first Medieval leader to teach the Gospel. He was almost unique in saying, “If this is the Gospel, then the pope is wrong.” Hus was burned at the stake for similar statements, which may explain why such teaching did not become popular.

So all the Pietists had to do was change the attitude of the people and the rot began. Now it is a terrible sin to upset people with the truth, especially by saying, “That is false doctrine.”

7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

We are often told that Jesus is all love and compassion, so these passages are avoided and not taught. He is love and compassion, so that is why He warned all believers to beware.

False doctrine bewitches people because the warning signs are exactly the opposite of what we expect. Jesus warned, “They arrive in the appearance and manner of sheep.”

What do we find today, across denominational lines? The church leaders are ovine, feminine, soft, spineless, brainless, confused, and plagued by memory loss. They seem gentle and friendly, doubtless the reason why they were voted into office, due to their popularity and unthreatening personality.

One bishop’s office did not like a Photoshop which arrived in an email by accident. I took the smiling, angelic face of the bishop and showed how Satanic he was, with horns and a tail, preaching the Eighth Commandment as the only one to obey (not that he did). I had nothing to do with the email itself, but I heard about the response.

The female presiding bishop of the Episcopalians is using their offering money to sue them and take away their property. I am no lawyer, but the law seems pretty clear that she had no authority to do this. The congregations own the property, but they must spend millions of their own money to defend themselves against lawsuits by their former leader, who has oceans of money to use against them. Nevertheless, they fight on.

The head of ELCA, Mark Hanson, looks like everyone’s wirey old uncle, the kind of guy who deliberately loses at checkers when playing with children. Nevertheless, he is absolutely ruthless in his rule, so that no one dares oppose him for long. The ELCA members are running for all the exists (true to Matthew 7 and John 10) but he continues – and is admired by all the apostate church leaders. The Missouri Synod is happy to work with him, overwhelming happy to continue cooperation.

“but inwardly are ravening wolves.” We should be afraid of the influence of them precisely because their substance is the opposite of their appearance. They are eager to bite, tear, devour, and scatter the flock.

It is well known that criminals repeat the same actions until they are caught. When someone is caught masking a crime, staging an incident, the police will look back and discover successful attempts in the past – fooled everyone, even if a few had doubts about what happened.

Church leaders do the same thing. They rise to power playing the harmless and gentle sheep. When challenged, they use their influence to destroy opponents while protecting fellow criminals. The greater the scandal, the more useful corrupt clergy are to these wolves. This has a multiplying effect, as faithful clergy are kicked out, pushed out, and silenced, while corrupt clergy are elevated, promoted, defended, and protected.

Nothing is more obvious that the vast number of cover-ups in all denominations, when clergy have abused their office. The Roman Catholics are not alone, by any means. Nor are the “conservative” synods innocent. In fact, the more “conservative” a Lutheran group pretends to be, the greater the lies and the scandal. Clergy die of AIDS in all denominations, including the “conservative” Lutheran ones. Cover-up a murder and destroy evidence? No problem. Everyone forgets. Life goes on. Who are you to question what was done?

Anyone can tell when apostasy rules a denomination. When the Ten Commandments are tossed out in favor of protecting Holy Mother Synod, the group is apostate and in a state of total decay.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Almost every plant will grow flowers, which turn into fruit. The fruit matures into seed. Even lawn grass flowers, although the flowers are so tiny no one notices.
Some think of “fruits” as apples and oranges, but fruits here are the production of all plants. Rose fruits are called hips, etc.

The distinction in this lesson is between good fruit and harmful fruit. In my gardening years I have learned that many weeds are not easily identified until they fruit. Every plant has a weed that looks like it. What looks pleasing and good at first can turn out to be one more pest to get rid of. I even grew a plot of nutgrass that I thought to be sweet corn. Doubtless the birds pulled up the corn after I planted it. Crows are good at that. The nutgrass looked like corn for a long time. Finally I had to put my back into it and yank out each plant, which was around six feet tall.

In New Ulm, I took out thistles that were 8 feet tall. They were very productive. I came inside covered with thistle. I found no grapes and no figs in that patch.

Grapes are never going to grow on thorns and figs will never grow on thistles. This is pretty funny for gardeners. No one would argue otherwise. However, in spiritual affairs, people argue for figs from thistles all the time.

The Missouri Synod will work with ELCA (overwhelming vote at the 2010 LCMS convention) even though:
1. ELCA pays for abortions with its health plan.
2. ELCA ordains homosexuals, lesbians, bi-sexuals, and sex-changed pastors.
3. ELCA has apologized to those kept off the clergy roster for Scriptural reasons.
4. ELCA advocates Marxist political views.
5. ELCA attacks every doctrine of the Bible.
6. ELCA is in fellowship with every Leftist denomination and the Church of Rome.
7. ELCA despises conservative Christians.

On the conservative Lutheran side, I have lost track of how many anti-Lutheran leaders WELS, Missouri, and the ELS have studied with, worshiped with, and bought books from. The seminaries love every doctrine except Luther’s – a true sign of unionism at its rock bottom. Pastors are promoted based on their animosity toward the doctrine taught in the Book of Concord.

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit

This one clause is especially important, because people no longer trust its truthfulness and value. That is because, contrary to popular feelings, good fruit is not a popularity contest, a personality quiz, an attitude of being inoffensive.

Good fruit begins with teaching justification by faith as proclaimed in the Scriptures, Luther, and the Book of Concord. That itself can be easily measured. Some argue that their superior (sic) education allows them to understand the intricacies of Universal Objective Justification, but that itself is contrary to the Word. Anyone who can hear or read the Word can achieve a proper understanding of justification by faith. If anything, seminary trains people not to think, not to question, not to seek the plain and simple teaching of the Word.

The fruit of justification by faith is forgiveness of sin, first of all, and the fruits of the Spirit, secondly. Why are the denominations so corrupt and families so torn? Man-made law and manufactured Gospel. When man abandons the Word of God, God ultimately turns over or betrays man into being on his own.

KJV Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

The fruit of a good tree is not necessarily numbers, not the way we measure them. God works in His own way. We are not His counselors. During the Reformation, hordes became Lutheran and fell away when trouble arose. Did that make Luther wrong?

Many follow Mormonism today, even though the religion is a conglomeration of fantasies, including filling distant planets with spirit babies. Does that mean they are doing God’s will?

Rome calls itself the biggest and oldest church and clearly overwhelms the others in numbers. Should we all become Catholic and enjoy the triumphalism. I know a number of clergy who have done that.

Instead, we must trust the Word and accept the results of the Word which follow. The cross will always accompany the Word, so we should not and cannot reject the Word which brings the cross. If so, we have rejected the Gospel itself, because Jesus truly bore the cross. What we receive is only a hint of His suffering, torture, and rejection.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

I recently mentioned to a pastor friend that God punishes far better than we can imagine.

One funny Jewish curse is, “May you marry a pious woman and lose your faith.” That happened to one Shrinker who was especially active in Columbus, Ohio. The whole idea of God torments him now, so he rants against God and refuses to go to church. The normal person does not care either way, but the apostate minister has all that training, all those memories, and they burn the heart instead of warming it. So it is with everyone who gets away with adulterating the Word of God.

True, some people will break into an electrical station and endure the consequences of getting near power lines. There is far more power in God’s Word and it will have its effect, sooner or later. Satan does his share too, by blinding someone throughout life and taking away the blinders in time for a long, tortured death. That is when the rich man wants to exchange places with poor Lazareth, or at least warn his apostate brothers.

John Bunyan’s immediate reward for being faithful was a long prison sentence, release, and another prison sentence. However, his production in prison was the fruit of the Gospel. Using Luther as his guide, along with the Scriptures, he crafted the Pilgrim’s Progress, which still inspires people today, giving vivid word pictures to the doctrines of the Bible. His favorite book, besides the Bible? Luther’s Commentary on Galatians.

The false teacher will be cut down, like the evil tree. We had junk trees and bushes in our yard in Phoenix. They were cut down. We replaced them with good trees and bushes. God is the faithful gardener who does the same. John 15.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

There are so many who claim to be doing God’s work. Those who claim the most are also the same ones who tell so many lies. I have always wondered how someone does God’s will by deceiving others. That is a confusion of the corporate, business model with the Biblical. In fact, many corporations have found that a basic lack of integrity is costly in the long run. The latest news on British Petroleum shows that they violated about 15 different safety procedures in the name of getting money faster from their oil well. Now the company faces insolvency from the claims of those cost-saving short-cuts.

The same is true of the visible church today. They are as wise as doves and as innocent as serpents. People are running away from them, yet they continue the same deceptive policies, in the name of having more money and keeping everyone happy.

No message to me is more common than, “You have no right to discuss our doctrine. You are hurting my feelings. You are wounding my heart. You are hurting our church body.”

Outreach (with false doctrine) is good, they say. Acting the fool and entertaining people is God-pleasing, they say, because it is the thing to do. Studying under the anti-Lutherans is good, because they have so many deep, deep insights. Our seminary president said it is like the Israelites “spoiling the Egyptians.” He cannot be wrong because the Holy Spirit put him in that position.

A seminary professor, LCMS, even said, “I don’t know why God is blessing the Mormons.” That statement alone should remove someone from the ordained list, but alas it is just an anecdote.

Works done without faith in God are sinful. These works paraded in front of our eyes are simply glittering sins.

Anything done in faith glorifies God. A friend and I laughed about that when he wiped the green mucus from his toddler’s nose. He said, “Excuse me.” I said, “Not at all. He is glorifying God.” The friend knew Luther’s saying that a baptized baby glorifies God, even when he is crying and soiling his diapers, because everything done in faith glorifies God.

KJV Romans 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

The bragging of the verses before this show that the speakers are not godly. They are not giving God credit but telling God what they have done for Him. God understands our hearts better than we do ourselves. He dismisses those people with a few words.

This is a powerful lesson of warning and hope, but it is ignored today. Few want to hear about the efficacy of the Word today. They want to be praised instead for what they do. They want to glorify themselves and no one can stop them.

Nevertheless, we have Christ’s teaching and example. The good seed will produce more than we can imagine, because the work of God’s Word belongs to Him alone.


Figs by Norma Boeckler

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Seventh Sunday after Trinity


"I AM the way, and the truth, and the life."
By Norma Boeckler


The Seventh Sunday after Trinity


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

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

Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn #9 O Day of Rest 1:89
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
The Gospel
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #237 All Glory Be 1:12

Something Out of Nothing

The Communion Hymn #341 Crown Him 1:70
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 # 261 Lord Keep Us Steadfast 1:93

KJV Romans 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
KJV Mark 8:1 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, 2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: 3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far. 4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness? 5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. 6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. 7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. 8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. 9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

SEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
Lord God, heavenly Father, who in the wilderness didst by Thy Son abundantly feed four thousand men besides women and children with seven loaves and a few small fishes: We beseech Thee, graciously abide among us with Thy blessing, and keep us from covetousness and the cares of this life, that we may seek first Thy kingdom and Thy righteousness, and in all things needful for body and soul, experience Thine ever-present help; through Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Something Out of Nothing
This miracle teaches us many things, especially about how God creates something out of nothing, not just in the distant past, but even today.

If we study the Word carefully, we are protected against the nonsense which is taught and believed because people are unprepared.

As I mentioned before, this miracle is dismissed by moderns a number of different ways. One is that the Gospel writer is confused, writing up the same miracle twice, with two different numbers for the crowds.

In the New Testament era, writing and manuscripts were rare, so people had superb memories based on their lack of recording techniques. I am trying to imagine how the Evangelist could write up the “same” miracle twice and not identify his mistake.

It is clear that miraculous abundance accompanied Jesus. The Word of God shows Jesus creating the best wine from water at the wedding, miraculous catches of fish, and feedings of the multitude.

The rationalists have an explanation for this miracle. The rationalists have the crowd sharing their food, so this was a miracle of sharing. True, the boy with the food is not mentioned here, but the modernists blend things together and make their Biblical studies a creative writing seminar.

We can determine that no one was hiding food because they were with Jesus for three days. All the food was gone. In the desert, burning up calories, that was dangerous. Fainting along the way home was a real threat. Since the brain runs on blood sugar, a lack of food can lead to irrational behavior, which hastens death.

First of all we see the impossibility of food appearing from the crowd itself, and it is nowhere to be found where they are. Outside of a village, we could imagine some source of food, although I remember being admonished for ordering 30 sandwiches at once from a fast food place, because I did not warn them. Imagine 4,000 families and their need for food, outside any village or city. But they were in the desert.

Second, the text shows that Jesus had compassion on the crowd before anyone even asked for food.

2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: 3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.

This alone should remind us of God answering prayers before we even ask, especially concerning our material needs. That is always paramount for us, but God teaches us throughout the Word that He provides for all people, believers and unbelievers alike.

The ministry of the Word suppresses the Old Adam in us, so that many pitfalls of natural man are taken away, in spite of the fact that we are still sinful. The result of a God-pleasing life is going to be far more peaceful and balanced that someone who follows impulses of the moment. The celebrities, who are admired one moment, are arrested or put in addiction rehab the next. They mourn or brag about the millions they have squandered.

God is merciful and compassionate.

KJV Isaiah 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

When Jesus announced His determination to help everyone, the disciples answered as true rationalists.

4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?

Everyone knows that is impossible. There is nothing in the desert to provide for the multitude. I still read about people who imagine they can saw open a cactus and eat the pulp like watermelon, with water gushing out of the barrel cactus.

The disciples are offering the same objections we hear all the time, since our default attitude is rationalism. “This is impossible.”

Nothing is impossible with God, Who creates something out of nothing, through the Word.

Creation by the Word teaches us why this is so. The entire universe was called into being by the Word of God. All things were made through Him and nothing was made apart from Him. When God said, “Let there be light,” light came into existence, before the sun and stars were fashioned.

He spoke man into existence and filled the world with plants and animals to take care of man’s needs, including medicine – from the digitalis in foxglove to the penicillin mold living on bread. That ugly field weed is called deadly nightshade, related to the tomato, not good for animals to eat, but it contains belladonna, with medicinal properties used to treat stomach problems.

As believers, we do not need to ask how God arranged all this. We know it is true and that His gracious will only desires good for us.

What has already happened on a galactic scale in the past also happens on a smaller scale in the present.

No matter what we think or imagine, based on our knowledge and experience, God can and does accomplish miracles through the Word, for us personally, throughout our lives.

The most common, but overlooked miracle, is Holy Communion, where the Word consecrates the ordinary elements so that they are still bread and wine but also the body and blood of Jesus Christ. And there remains the greatest miracle, represented and offered by Holy Communion - the forgiveness of sins, justification by faith.

“Your righteousness must exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees,” and it does – when we are justified by faith.

There is the righteousness of man, which people trust and admire, and the righteousness of faith, which the world scorns and mocks. The righteousness of man is good for the moment and deadly in eternity. The righteousness of faith means bearing the cross, but gives us internal and eternal peace. There may be no outward peace for long stretches of time, but that does not matter when we know and experience “the peace that passes all understanding.

The declaration of forgiveness by the Word is even greater than Creation of the universe by the Word. The two go together, which is why we are called New Creations in the New Testament. (Often translated as new creatures, which hides the meaning a bit.)

One passage in the Bible informs us about other passages, because they all belong together in this singular doctrine of God. The Reformers preferred to use the singular term, so people did not thing there were rows and rows of “doctrines” where someone could chose one over the other, or emphasize one over the other.

Commonly, sectarians will emphasize one concept at the expense of all others. They may spend all their time on the return of Christ. Or they may have a new table of commandments to follow. Their lack of balance in showing the entire doctrine of God shows that they are cafeteria believers. They slide their tray along the line and pick out what they like and leave the rest, sometimes calling it the “whole Gospel.”

The abundance is this miracle is even greater than the original feeding, because so many fragments are leftover when people have completely filled themselves, after being famished.

When we worry about God’s grace in forgiving our sins, there is more than enough, a great abundance of His mercy. There is so much forgiveness in the Gospel that it overflows to many others around us.

When we are anxious about how He will take care of us, there is more than enough, and plenty to share as well.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Sixth Sunday after Trinity


By Norma Boeckler



The Sixth Sunday after Trinity


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

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

Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time



The Hymn # 387:1-4 by Luther, 3:41
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
The Gospel
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn # 370 3:11
Holy Baptism – Lifelong Promise
The Communion Hymn # 307 Draw Nigh 3:72
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 # 209 Who is This 3:33

Sixth Sunday After Trinity
Lord God, heavenly Father, we confess that we are poor, wretched sinners, and that there is no good in us, our hearts, flesh and blood being so corrupted by sin, that we never in this life can be without sinful lust and concupiscence; therefore we beseech Thee, dear Father, forgive us these sins, and let Thy Holy Spirit so cleanse our hearts that we may desire and love Thy word, abide by it, and thus by Thy grace be forever saved; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

KJV Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

KJV Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

Holy Baptism – Lifelong Promise
Looking at this section of Romans, we see chapter 4 as focusing on Abraham as the father of faith. Chapter 5 teaches justification by faith. Chapter 6 begins the implications of justification by faith.

Earlier Paul has removed from consideration the concept of salvation by the Law, whether based upon Mosaic law or civic righteousness. To this day, all world religions base salvation upon the law. Those which are atheistic (Ethical societies, Unitarians, Humanists – common allies all) are even more law oriented.

Describing life as based on the law is fairly easy. That ease is the reason why so many do-gooder groups flourish, no matter how foolish they look. One will used wood to nail to a tree to keep it from being turned into lumber. Anyone who questions the logic will be viewed as evil incarnate. The same is true of women would who never eat an animal because animal slaughter is so bad, but they are wearing leather shoes, purses, and belts. That is also easy to explain. “I’m not all the way there yet.”

Salvation by the law is our default attitude, so a Gospel-based life must be trained into us and always taught.

Paul began with Holy Baptism. To the adult converts he was saying, “Because you become believers through preaching the Gospel, we baptized you to give you forgiveness of sin and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That Baptism is a permanent promise on God’s part that you belong to His Kingdom.”

One can easily see where this might put children, apart from infant baptism. In fact, those who deny infant faith and infant baptism are insistent that children are innocent until age 7. They do not know sin until they reach that age. Thinking about religion as law, how would parents have assurance that their children are within the Kingdom, since they cannot perform the duties of the Law?

Holy Baptism is just as powerful – if not more so – among children. They hear and receive the Gospel. The Holy Spirit is granted to them, and they receive the permanent seal of God’s Kingdom – not based on their works, which they lack, but God’s grace receive in faith.

Just as babies have faith, based on experience and the Word, so also they have sinfulness. Tiny infants display faith in their parents, immediately at birth, and they show rebellion as soon as their muscles allow, which is pretty early. If anyone wants to argue they are born innocent, just try to work with small children who have been taught they can do no wrong. They are terrorists. Strangely (for the modernists) they have automatic respect for authority, reasoning, and muscle.

I remember the rare male teacher walking into our gradeschool class and scowling at our noisy group. We immediately became quiet. The same was true of Sunday School. A male teacher commanded respect and awe. I see our Vice-Principal’s photo in the Moline pages of my blog about Moline. He was a WWII vet who died at age 90. We were in awe of him. He radiated authority and no nonsense.

God gives us inherent knowledge of these things but we are still sinful. We do what we can get away with, especially if we think only in terms of the law – no ones looking. As they commonly say today – You cannot prove it; there is no evidence (left unsaid “left, because I destroyed it”.)

Therefore the Christian life is based (wrongly) upon the Law or (correctly) upon the Gospel. Paul teaches us here that the powerful, life-long Sacrament of Holy Baptism is our basis for the Christian life.

Baptism reminds us of death – the death of Christ for our sins, and our death due to sinful mortality. That is the great paradox. Because of Jesus’ death, we have eternal life. He died so that our death is converted into eternal life, like His.

I am surprised that anyone downplays Holy Baptism, because the Bible make so much of this Sacrament. Baptism is:
A. A rebirth.
B. A renewal.
C. A washing away of our sins.
D. An indwelling of the Holy Spirit
That is not an ordinance (law) that must be obeyed, but the Word in visible form, the power of God’s Word united with the element of water.


Many Lutherans share in the general Protestant fading of baptism, as if performing one during the Sunday service slows it down. What better testimony of God’s grace and the miracle of the Word! God converts adults and babies through the Word. Why not be reminded of this frequently?

Perhaps resistance to Holy Baptism comes from a law perspective. The sacraments give God too much glory, when man seeks it for such accomplishments as:
1. Having a large parking lot.
2. Having 20 sub-woofers in the movie theater worship area.
3. Synodical titles and committee chairmanships.
4. Being a charter member of a church.

Paul’s admonition is to live our lives based upon forgiveness of sin, justification by faith. Because Christ died for our sins, all our spiritual blessings are provided for us. Yet, because we are sinners, we realize our need to renew this Gospel message each day and practice our faith in humility.

Therefore what powers our lives as Christians is the Gospel message itself, moving us far beyond anything the Law can do (through guilt or force). The Gospel life is based upon the Atonement and Resurrection of Christ.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Fifth Sunday after Trinity




The Fifth Sunday after Trinity


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

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

Bethany Lutheran Church, 7 PM Central Time


The Hymn # 199 Jesus Christ is Risen 1:83
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
The Gospel
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #200 I Know that My Redeemer 1:80

At Thy Word

The Communion Hymn # 187 Christ Is Arisen 1:45
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 # 195 (Luther) Christ Jesus 1:46

KJV 1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

KJV Luke 5:1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. 4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. 11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

Fifth Sunday After Trinity

O Jesus Christ, Thou Son of the living God, who hast given us Thy holy word, and hast bountifully provided for all our temporal wants, we confess that we are unworthy of all these mercies, and that we have rather deserved punishment: But we beseech Thee, forgive us our sins, and prosper and bless us in our several callings, that by Thy strength we may be sustained and defended, now and forever, and so praise and glorify Thee eternally, Thou who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

At Thy Word
This seems to be such a simple miracle story, because we know it so well. However, we should also look at the application of the main lesson.
This miracle pits the experience and knowledge of professional fishermen against Christ, the Son of God and Lord of Creation. We all know who is going to win.

But that is why the miracle is so important to apply to our own lives. These men knew how to fish and had the equipment. They were not lazy. They labored all night and did the best they could, without catching any fish.

They were all done for the night and washing the nets when Jesus appeared and entered Peter’s ship. He sat down in the ship, which is the custom for rabbis teaching (see the Sermon on the Mount), and began teaching.

Therefore the fishermen were filled with the Word when Jesus asked them to push out from the shore and let down their nets.

One can hear the exasperation in the voice of Peter when he said, “Master, we labored all night and caught nothing. But at Thy Word, I will let down the net.” He spoke from faith because the teaching of Jesus already filled him with trust in Him. Still, his experience and knowledge also pulled at him.

When he let down the net, such a large shoal of fish filled it that it began to break. He asked his partners to help, and both ships were so filled with fish that they began sink.

Lenski:

5) Peter realizes what Jesus means. Not the deep but the places of moderate depth are the right ones for fishing; not the broad daylight but the nighttime is the best for fishing. And he is certainly susceptible to the opinion of the crowds on the shore. Luke never uses “Rabbi” but always the vocative ἐπιστάτα as the address to Jesus, “Master,” one standing over others. Peter has a word for the second of the indicated considerations: “having labored through the whole night, we took not a thing.” Jesus did not perhaps know that. Peter is not raising an objection as though he were refusing Jesus; he is uttering a misgiving, for he and his helpers worked in the best places of the lake at the best time and continued their labor many hours with absolute failure. Jesus was asking much of Peter, and by this word Peter shows how strongly he felt it.
Peter declares that he will obey. The emphasis is on the phrase, which is put forward for that reason: “on thy utterance” will I lower the nets, and ῥῆμα refers to the mere speaking of Jesus. He intends to say, “The fact that thou hast spoken commands my will.” That is exactly what Jesus wanted: Peter was to drop everything else and to throw himself absolutely on his Lord’s utterance alone. Yea, he was to go counter to all his own experience, science, wisdom, reason, or what not, including all that men might say and to hold to only one thing, his Lord’s word. It was a great test of genuine faith in whatever Jesus might say; on top of that it was to be an unforgettable experience for Peter to have absolute confidence in his Lord’s word in all his future apostolic work. And Peter’s experience is set down for us so that in us, too, layman and preacher, it may produce the same effect. It is thus that faith overcomes the world, the faith that conquers by the Word and by nothing but the Word. The weakness of our believing and of our preaching lies in not taking Jesus altogether at his word.
Peter says “I will lower,” for the boat is his, and he is in command. Jesus uses the singular “put out” and then the plural “lower your nets.” So from the start Peter had his men with him in the boat, which was of good size, for it at times carried all the disciples and Jesus. We are not certain whether Andrew was there too, for he is not mentioned in the entire account. Note also the plural “nets.” These required several men to handle them. Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. Luke's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 279

These are large, flat fishing ships designed for their vocation, so an enormous catch starting to sink them is a wonder enough. But these fish were caught in the day, in the sight of the crowds, and in relatively shallow water.

Simon Peter knew at once he was in the presence of God. He was overwhelmed with his sinfulness, so he said, “Go away from me. I am a sinful man.”

Jesus said, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will be catching men.”

Each phrase is important, especially when Jesus spoke it. “Do not be afraid” is the same as saying, “Have faith in my Word.” The lack of faith causes fear.

Trusting God goes against the Old Adam. We have our wealth of knowledge and experience, which says, “This cannot be done.” I find it interesting that so many missions have to be started with a million dollars and a carefully crafted plan. They know how to buy land, build a first unit, organize, and measure everything. Because so much money is at stake, they hedge their bets with all kinds of sure-fire cures. Magazines and websites are full of them, from pop music and puppets to sound systems and movie screens.

And people have to be very old to remember the last time the country was facing so much economic turmoil at once. The uncertainty only grows. God’s Word says repeatedly, “I will take care of your material needs.”

KJV Psalm 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. 26 He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

God provides, as this miracle show, and He provides in such abundance that our wisdom is confounded.

Peter and the others could not say they used their skill. They already knew they had done their best all night, when fishing was supposed to be productive. After being complete failures with their human skill and wisdom, they were spectacular successes with the Word of God.

This was necessarily a parallel to their future work as apostles. Their work was just as doomed as the day they were told to push out from shore and let down the net. Doubtless they reminded each other about this from time to time. They had more than one experience with a miraculous catch of fish and also with feeding the multitudes.

They did not catch fish or feed multitudes with their abilities - but because of the Word.

Whatever we accomplish is because of the Word. God’s work is exclusively through the Word.

How can someone’s sins be taken away completely? That is more miraculous than the catch of fish and the feeding of the multitudes.

How can Christ be present in both natures in these common elements of bread and wine? It is because they are consecrated by the Word. Some asked how this could be across the Internet. I have asked them, “If there is an overflow crowd in the basement or another room at a church, is the Word of God still effective in consecrating the elements?”

Similarly, people wondered in the past how they could have a church if they did not have an ordained pastor present. During the days of expansion, many pastors rode the circuit with laymen filling in for them in multiple parishes. In the same way the apostles appointed and trained pastors to take care of local congregations.

Now big old churches have multiple pastors who cannot even get out and visit their own members, they are so busy planning growth! And synods have hundreds of ordained pastors who would die before taking a call to serve a congregation, especially if they were expected to go out with nothing and start from scratch without that million dollars.

If we are to raise our families, there is a greater miracle than graduating from Parent Effectiveness classes – it is using the Word of God. Not many can be pastors, but every father can be the spiritual leader of his family. The Word of the Gospel, forgiveness and love, will work miracles that others have never seen or experienced. That is God’s plan, that people will honor and glorify His Name.