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, October 17, 2010

The Twentieth Sunday after Trinity



Photo and altar by Norma Boeckler



The Twentieth 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 # 370 My Hope Is Built 3:11
Wedding Garment – Righteousness of Faith
The Communion Hymn # 246 Holy, Holy, Holy 3:35
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 Ephesians 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

KJV Matthew 22:1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Twentieth Sunday After Trinity
Lord God, heavenly Father: We thank Thee, that of Thy great mercy Thou hast called us by Thy holy word to the blessed marriage-feast of Thy Son, and through Him dost forgive us all our sins; but, being daily beset by temptation, offense, and danger, and being weak in ourselves and given to sin, we beseech Thee graciously to protect us by Thy Holy Spirit, that we fall not; and if we fall and defile our wedding-garment, with which Thy Son hath clothed us, graciously help us again and lead us to repentance, that we fall not forever; preserve in us a constant faith in Thy grace, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Wedding Garment – Righteousness of Faith
Jesus spoke in parables so the actual followers would be trained in the Gospel. The crowds were enormous, because many people came out of curiosity, or hostility, or the need to be entertained with miracles.
Jesus converted people through the Word, and instruction followed. More than once, people fell away (John 6) because they did not want to hear the explanation of His Word.

This parable is an example of an interesting short story that would fly past anyone who does not understand its meaning. The story makes sense until the end. When the guest is tossed into eternal torment for not dressing properly – that appears to be in conflict with everything before.

Jesus explained His parables to His disciples, who were often puzzled.

The setting is clear, because the King and His Son are the Father and Jesus. The wedding feast is a common theme in the New Testament, with Jesus as the groom and the church as the bride. This is also found in Paul and Revelation.

The Father/Son relationship is especially important in John’s Gospel, but it is also emphasized in Matthew:

KJV Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

The wedding feast is the Kingdom of God. The servants (apostles, missionaries, pastors) go out to invite people through the Gospel. The Holy Spirit calls people to faith through the Gospel:

The Third Article.
Of Sanctification.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; one holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
What does this mean?--Answer.
I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life. This is most certainly true.
The Word of God answers clearly how people come to faith (Isaiah 55; Romans 10) and why people fall away (Mark 4 – Parable of the Sower). The Scriptures do not answer why some are saved and not others.

This parable, like many other passages in the Bible, teaches us how often God proclaims the Gospel to the entire world, how patiently He works, and also how ultimate refusal results in His wrath.

Matthew 22:4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

The first stage of the invitation is an exact parallel of the start of the Christian Church. God’s gracious invitation to the Kingdom resulted in persecution in Jerusalem, especially because so many were converted. The Jewish opponents drove the Christians out and killed their leaders. A few years later, the foolish war with the Roman Empire resulted in the siege of Jerusalem, its utter destruction, the execution or enslavement of everyone trapped in the city.

7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

Jesus warned His followers more than once that Jerusalem would face His wrath. Even though the crucifixion took place there, God called people to faith through the apostles. But they persecuted the Christian Church and drove them out. They decided to take on the Roman Empire and brought about their own destruction, since God uses foreign powers to chasten the unrepentant.

Matthew 22:8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

These verses correspond to the Gentile mission. The first part of the apostolic mission was aimed at the Jews, and it was very successful, in spite of the persecution in Jerusalem. Unlike the so-called mission pastors of today, who only want to gather other Christians from nearby churches, the apostles went to the heart of the opposition. They went to the synagogues and preached to them the way they preached on Pentecost.

KJV Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

KJV Acts 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

Through this message of Law and Gospel, they brought many people to repentance and faith in Christ. This only inflamed the opposition, so the synagogues were closed to them. That did not mean that the mission to the Jewish people ended or stopped. To this day Jews are converted by the Word because all their teaching is the foundation of the Christian faith. One of my birthday greetings came from a Jew who became a Lutheran pastor, one of the orthodox confessors in his synod – and pounded for that very reason. We once had a conversation about the liturgy being “invented in the Middle Ages” – an argument from Church Growth. The Jewish worship service today is entirely liturgical, even high church in its own way. The Christian Church simply continued that Word-based tradition. That is why a sincere Jewish believer who looks past the polemics will find the Christian faith the fulfillment of everything in the Old Testament. Everything in the OT prepares him for faith in Christ, because faith in the crucified Messiah is embedded in the books of the Old Testament.

gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good:
The initial mission was not a failure. It was a roaring success, but opposition and indifference made the Gospel rain move on, as it does. For instance, today in America, very little Gospel is taught, although we have more churches than the rest of the world put together. We have enormous endowments. A little sect like WELS has something like $100 million, not counting individual congregations and separate entities, like Christian Life Resources, which had $2 million the last time I looked.

The gathering of the Kingdom includes “the good and the bad.” As Luther said, more people go to heaven from the scaffold than from anyplace else. They do not have the luxury of denying their sinfulness.

When people are told they are already forgiven, born forgiven, as UOJ teaches, there is no reason for Holy Baptism, the Keys, or faith. Although the Word is powerful, man’s substitution of other thoughts is not. “My thoughts are not your thoughts,” says the Lord in Isaiah 55.

This gathering is shown as all-inclusive because the Gospel transcends all cultures. The reason the apostolic church stretched from England to India was the disciples’ conviction that they were teaching the truth. They followed Jesus in His basic sermon – to convict the world of sin, because they did not believe on Him (John 16).

KJV John 16:6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

God’s grace is shown in the lack of works-requirements and merit in forgiveness and salvation.

Faith in Christ is forgiveness, as Jesus said. Not believing is a sin, as He said Himself in John 16:9.

Christianity grew to be the world’s largest religion because people preached and taught the Gospel Word with abandon. In casting the Word in all directions, they planted faith in the hearts of those who listened with seriousness and sincerity. The large net drew in all kinds, some looking for a way to make money or a reputation from this religion.

11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

This last section seems to turn the story upside-down, but that is only true for unbelievers. Believers can recognize the familiar theme of “putting on Christ” and righteousness as a robe.

The robe image is good because it is outside and covers us. The righteousness of Christ is outside of us and covers our sin.

Some enter the banquet with some knowledge of the Gospel but still clinging to merit, the Law, or works.

Augustine wrote many fine theological works, the best in the Christian Church – next to Luther’s.

When his mother died, he wrote that he hoped she would not point to her merit as a reason to enjoy eternal life but to lay her claims upon Christ alone.


"In the Word of God there is not only a speaking about God, but in and through His Word God Himself speaks to us, deals with us, acts upon us. Therefore the Word of God is also an efficacious means of grace through which God regenerates, converts, and sanctifies man. This efficacy the Word of God possesses always; it is always united with the Word, never separated from it. The effect which God intends through the Word is indeed not always attained, but this is owing to no lack of efficacy in the Word, but solely to the resistance of man; for man has the power to resist God and to prevent His Word from accomplishing the effect which He intends." E. Hove, Christian Doctrine, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1930, p. 27.

"To the Lutheran the sermon, as the preached Word, is a means of grace. Through it the Holy Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth. It is a constant offer of pardon; a giving of life, as well as a nourishing and strengthening of life. In the Reformed churches the sermon is apt to be more hortatory and ethical. It partakes more of the sacrificial than of the sacramental character. The individuality of the preacher, the subjective choice of a text, the using of it merely for a motto, the discussion of secular subjects, the unrestrained platform style, lack of reverence, lack of dignity, and many other faults are common, and are not regarded as unbecoming the messenger of God in His temple. Where there is a properly trained Lutheran consciousness such things repel, shock, and are not tolerated." G. H. Gerberding, The Lutheran Pastor, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1915, p. 278.

"To the Lutheran the sermon, as the preached Word, is a means of grace. Through it the Holy Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth. It is a constant offer of pardon; a giving of life, as well as a nourishing and strengthening of life. In the Reformed churches the sermon is apt to be more hortatory and ethical. It partakes more of the sacrificial than of the sacramental character. The individuality of the preacher, the subjective choice of a text, the using of it merely for a motto, the discussion of secular subjects, the unrestrained platform style, lack of reverence, lack of dignity, and many other faults are common, and are not regarded as unbecoming the messenger of God in His temple. Where there is a properly trained Lutheran consciousness such things repel, shock, and are not tolerated." G. H. Gerberding, The Lutheran Pastor, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1915, p. 278.

"Is the success of preaching as a means of grace conditioned by the observance of similar principles by the preacher? Undoubtedly. For it is not preaching itself, but the Word as preached which is a means of grace. This demands not only that nothing be preached but what comes directly or indirectly from Holy Scripture, but also that the contents of Holy Scripture be preached in due proportion and in the proper order." Henry Eyster Jacobs, A Summary of the Christian Faith, Philadelphia: General Council Publication House, 1913, p. 293.

"The doctrine of the means of grace is a peculiar glory of Lutheran theology. To this central teaching it owes its sanity and strong appeal, its freedom from sectarian tendencies and morbid fanaticism, its coherence and practicalness, and its adaptation to men of every race and every degree of culture. The Lutheran Confessions bring out with great clearness the thought of the Reformers upon this subject." "Grace, Means of," The Concordia Cyclopedia, L. Fuerbringer, Th. Engelder, P. E. Kretzmann, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1927, p. 299.

Heresy
"Paul says that people can, in some way, 'adorn the doctrine' (KJV). Does that mean adding anything to the Gospel, thereby making the Means of Grace more 'effective'? Of course not. But it does mean that a Christian, a Christian slave in the original context, can discredit the Gospel--and thus erect a human barrier--through actions and words that contradict the profession of faith." Lawrence Otto Olson, D. Min., Fuller Seminary, "A Response to Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.," Christian News, 3-28-94, p. 23. Titus 2:9-10

"Faithfulness is the standard by which God judges those he calls into the public ministry. That faithfulness may or may not be 'effective' in terms of visible results; results are up to God, not us. But part of faithfulness ought to include striving to be as 'effective' as we can be in the methods that we use to take the Means of Grace to people." Lawrence Otto Olson, D. Min., Fuller Seminary, "A Response to Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.," Christian News, 3-28-94, p. 23.

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