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, May 29, 2011

Rogate - The Fifth Sunday after Easter, 2011




Rogate, The Fifth Sunday after Easter, 2011


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

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

Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn # 202 Welcome Happy Morning 4:28
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 #458 Our Father 4:50

The Communion Hymn # 207 Like the Golden Sun 4:76
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn #657 Beautiful Savior 4:24

KJV James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. 27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

KJV John 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. 25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. 26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: 27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. 28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. 29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. 30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.

Fifth Sunday After Easter
Lord God, heavenly Father, who through Thy Son didst promise us that whatsoever we ask in His name Thou wilt give us: We beseech Thee, keep us in Thy word, and grant us Thy Holy Spirit, that He may govern us according to Thy will; protect us from the power of the devil, from false doctrine and worship; also defend our lives against all danger; grant us Thy blessing and peace, that we may in all things perceive Thy merciful help, and both now and forever praise and glorify Thee as our gracious Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.


Five Parts of Prayer
1. God’s Promise.
2. Faith.
3. Specific petitions.
4. Asking.
5. In the Name of Christ.

Many aspects of the Christian Faith seem similar in various denominations and even in various world religions. This illustrates how people are kept in falsehood by bad doctrine and practice, or bewitched away by seeming agreement.

Luther divided prayer into five parts in his sermon on Rogate Sunday (Lenker edition).

Part One – God’s Promise
The dominant wing of Protestantism today, usually called the Evangelicals, were once called the Arminians. Their religious express is termed Decision Theology, which is easy to summarize:
a. Present the Gospel in an appealing, logical way.
b. Ask for a Decision for Christ.
c. Pray for faith and forgiveness.

As most readers can see, this is wrong on three counts. To begin, conversion and faith begin with God’s Promise, the Word, the Gospel. The message of God’s love and mercy produces and builds faith. The Law prepares us to hear this Gospel, but the truest essence of the Law is not – you are a carnal sinner – but “You trust in your own virtue for salvation and not in the righteousness of Christ.” Therefore, “ye of little faith” is the ultimate Law message, the rebuking Word, which we all need to hear.

The Decision for Christ is also wrong, because conversion is not the result of intellect, will, or virtue. When the Law takes away all our props for false doctrine and fake salvation, the Gospel plants the Word in our hearts. “Receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls.” (James) A graft is what we see in hybrid tea roses. The wild rose root is the foundation, sturdy and resisting cold, producing unimpressive flowers. The tea rose is cut from its root and grafted onto the wild rose. The coarse nature of the wild rose remains underneath the soil, while the flowering, aromatic tea rose produces flowers and fruit (the rose hip) above.

In the same way, our coarse and unbelieving nature remains, but God Himself grafts the Word in our heart by preaching and infant baptism. From the Word-created faith comes the fruit of the Spirit. If anyone understands this, the Pietist program of cell groups and prayer is nothing more than deceit, fraud, and Law salvation.

“Must” is Law. When a congregation or pastor says, You must enroll in a cell group and meet with them to transform your life, that is man-made law and salvation by works.

I was exposed to Church Growth long before some of its adherents were potty trained. The cell group concept comes from the Pietists, via the Calvinist who borrowed it from the Church of Rome. I attended a conference where a layman said every good thing in his congregation came from the cell groups. The cell groups showed up for clean up day. The cell groups were the largest part of Sunday worship. The cell groups did this and that. They were the better Christians. The congregation grew because of cell groups and was better because of the cell groups. Anyone can see that this was nothing but righteousness based on works and a veering away from glorifying the Gospel.

No one can pray to Christ without faith in Christ. The trouble with “the sinner’s prayer” and similar devices is that it turns the activity of the Holy Spirit in the Gospel into a two-sided contract, often called synergism: “God has done this for you, what will you do for Him?” The answer is – Make a Decision for Christ, pray for forgiveness, and be accepted into the Kingdom by fulfilling the contract.
The correct answer is – Believing in Christ for salvation is forgiveness of sin. God’s Word has convicted you of unbelief and converted you to faith in Jesus as your Savior. This forgiveness is instantaneous, and from it grows the fruit of the Spirit – which includes prayer.

Law preaching will produce law results, and Gospel preaching will produce Gospel fruits.
The first is showy is some respects, because of all the bragging. The second is unlimited in its effect, although people scorn this God-pleasing way because of the cross which accompanies it.

One of my favorite parts of Pilgrim’s Progress has a man knocking down poor Christian and beating him up. When Christian says, “Have mercy,” the man who represents the law says, “The law has no mercy.” That is why the law salesmen ultimately wind up as atheists or secular saviors, because their own law condemns them so savagely, Since it all depends on them on their works, they demand more of others until their showy bric-a-brac falls apart.

Part Two – Faith
Anyone should be suspicious of those modern Pharisees who spend so much time denouncing faith.

Faith is produced by God’s Word, through the Holy Spirit, not from the efforts of man. The law does not produce faith. Only the Gospel can stir up and renew faith.

When people never progress beyond the immature notions of prayer, they imagine they can make a deal with God. If they do certain good things, or give up bad things, God should do His part of the bargain.

First of all, God does not need anything from us, so such offers are blasphemous. That is because God cares for us and provides for us, even for non-believers. “The sun shines on the just (justified by faith) and the unjust (unbelievers).”

Faith is trust in the goodness and mercy of God.

Part Three – Specific Petitions
The New Agers, taking their cue from Asian religions, confuse people and lead them astray in this part. Paul Y. Cho was quite the rage a few years ago. He demanded that people write down a list, because God cannot answer a prayer unless He has all the specifications. Do not ask for a bike, but for a 15 speed bike with a light, side baskets, etc etc. Name the color.

Luther listed specific petitions in a completely different way. Trusting God, we can take all our needs and concerns to Him, having faith in His ability to do far more than we can ask or imagine. This is the great blessing of prayer, to rely on the Creator of the universe and to see how He answers.

"Take heed, then, to embrace the message of these words presenting the love and kindness of God to all men. Daily exercise your faith therein, entertaining no doubt of God's love and kindness toward you, and you shall realize His blessings. Then you may with perfect confidence ask what you will, what your heart desires, and whatever is necessary for the good of yourself and your fellow-men."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 146. Second Christmas Sermon Titus 3:4-8.

Repeated experience builds our trust in Him. Luther said once, “The longer I live, the less confidence I have in myself and the more I have in God.”

When people are told to demand specific things from God, at specific times, they are tempting God and setting themselves up for a falling away from the faith. God will deny what is demanded, yet supply what is asked.

Step Four - Asking
Prayer means asking. Those who have no experience in prayer do not know where to start. Those who act upon the Word’s guidance take their needs to God and also ask for the needs of others. In asking for others we focus on our neighbor’s needs as well.

The influence of the Gospel in our nation means that people pray for those in disaster areas and also immediately respond to their neighbors’ needs. The mayor of a city near Joplin, Missouri, mentioned her prayers for those in Joplin and also helped organize a semi-truck full of emergency supplies for them.

Step Five – In the Name of Christ
All genuine prayer is in the Name of Christ. Praying without His Name is simply a mockery of prayer. Thus today we have people praying “to whatever god or higher power you believe in” or to ancient pagan gods and goddesses. False teachers use the Christian church as a place where they can recruit for their pagan religion. The feminists of the mainline churches organized a Goddess Worship conference years ago, and that influence continues.

In this Gospel, we get a glimpse of Jesus taking care of His disciples and praying for them in previous years. Now He will no longer pray for them. They will pray directly to the Father in His Name, and God the Father will answer the way He would for His own dear Son.

Prayer, like the Sacraments, shows how God cares for us. He does not give us one help in our life here on earth, but many helps to keep us within His flock.


Quotations

"Prayer is made vigorous by petitioning; urgent, by supplication; by thanksgiving, pleasing and acceptable. Strength and acceptability combine to prevail and secure the petition."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 107. Fourth Sunday in Advent, Philippians 4:4-7;

"The Lord's Prayer opens with praise and thanksgiving and the acknowledgement of God as a Father; it earnestly presses toward Him through filial love and a recognition of fatherly tenderness. For supplication, this prayer is unequaled. Hence it is the sublimest and the noblest prayer ever uttered."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 107. Fourth Sunday in Advent, Philippians 4:4-7; Matthew 6:9-13

"Take heed, then, to embrace the message of these words presenting the love and kindness of God to all men. Daily exercise your faith therein, entertaining no doubt of God's love and kindness toward you, and you shall realize His blessings. Then you may with perfect confidence ask what you will, what your heart desires, and whatever is necessary for the good of yourself and your fellow-men."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 146. Second Christmas Sermon Titus 3:4-8

"In like manner, St. Paul says that God's ability is thus proved, in that He does exceeding abundantly above and better than we ask or think. Ephesians 3:20. Therefore, we should know we are too finite to be able to name, picture or designate the time, place, way, measure and other circumstances for that which we ask of God. Let us leave that entirely to Him, and immovably and steadfastly believe that He will hear us."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 179f. Fifth Sunday after Easter Ephesians 3:20.

"O God, I am Thy creature and Thy handiwork and Thou hast from the beginning created me. I will depend entirely on You who cares more for me, how I shall be sustained, then I do myself; Thou wilt indeed nourish me, feed, clothe and help me, where and when You know best."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed. John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House 1983, IV, p. 206. Seventh Sunday after Trinity Mark 8:1-9

"Only begin this [prayer, self-examination], I say, and see how you will succeed in the task; and you will soon discover what an unbelieving knave is hidden in your bosom, and that your heart is too dull to believe it."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 257. Easter, Third Sermon Mark 16:1-8.

"The Christian's faith trusts in the ordinary means. Prayer is not a means of grace. Means of grace are divine appointments through which God uniformly offers blessings to all who use them. Faith is the means by which the blessings are received and appropriated. God gives us bread, when we ask it, not through the channel of prayer, but through the ordinary channels of His providence. He gives us grace when we ask it, not through prayer, but through the ordinary means appointed for this end, namely the Word and Sacraments. He who despises these will as little have grace as he who refuses to accept bread produced in the ordinary way of nature. Faith asks with confidence, and trusts in the ordinary means of God's appointment for the blessings asked."
Matthias Loy, Sermons on the Gospels, Columbus: Lutheran Book Concern, 1888, p. 387.

"His good heart and faith naturally teach him how to pray. Yea, what is such faith, but pure prayer? It continually looks for divine grace, and if it looks for it, it also desires it with all the heart." Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 70. Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity, Luke 17:11-19

"Lord God, Thou hast placed me in Thy church as a bishop and pastor. Thou seest how unfit I am to administer this great and difficult office. Had I hitherto been without help from Thee, I would have ruined everything long ago. Therefore I call on Thee. I gladly offer my mouth and heart to Thy service. I would teach the people and I myself would continue to learn. To this end I shall meditate diligently on Thy Word. Use me, dear Lord, as Thy instrument. Only do not forsake me; for if I were to continue alone, I would quickly ruin everything."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 926. W 42, 513 Genesis 27:11-14

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