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

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Septuagesima Sunday, 2012




Septuagesima Sunday, 2012

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn #479   Zion Rise                            2:13
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 # 151            Christ the Life                       2:78

Jesus Illustrates God’s Grace

The Hymn # 227     Come Holy Ghost                             2:72
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 #409   Let Us Ever Walk                              2:91

1 Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.  25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.  26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:  27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;  2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;  4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.  5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

KJV Matthew 20:1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 

3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. 

8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 

13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 

16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Septuagesima Sunday

Lord God, heavenly Father, who through Thy holy word hast called us into Thy vineyard: Send, we beseech Thee, Thy Holy Spirit into our hearts, that we may labor faithfully in Thy vineyard, shun sin and all offense, obediently keep Thy word and do Thy will, and put our whole and only trust in Thy grace, which Thou hast bestowed upon us so plenteously through Thy Son Jesus Christ, that we may obtain eternal salvation through Him, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Jesus Illustrates God’s Grace


KJV Matthew 20:1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

One person asked recently, “How do we know whether the verse is to be taken literally or figuratively?” My answer was, “Context.”

Here is the context – “For the kingdom of heaven is like unto” – that is the language of a parable. We know that from the larger context of all the parables Jesus taught. Many times the words “like unto” are used. At other times they are called parables. They are also called figures.

Clearly they were intended for the catechism of believers, not for anyone who happened to be in the crowd. Jesus said so explicitly. Also we can see the effect when he spoke a parable, and the religious opponents realized it was spoken against them.

In other words, the Savior revealed as much as He chose to reveal. If a non-believer makes fun of a parable and mocks it in some way, that is the idea. He sees without seeing and hears without perceiving. Although the Word has this blinding effect, it also irritates and disturbs so that unbelievers cannot get it out of their minds. In trying to dispose of it they often grasp the Word so strongly that the Word converts them.

That is the mystery of election. God works through the Word, so we are not to investigate those things that belong only to Him. However, we are supposed to share this Word generously since God’s divine energy is bound up in it and He lets us see the results of it.

So one part of context is the parable. This is a short story, fictional, to teach one or more points. Since it is so brief, every detail is important.

The larger context is also important. The Bible never contradicts itself, so no one can assert one point that is against another position in the Bible. On the positive side, we say, “Scripture interprets Scripture.”

False teachers do the opposite of studying a passage in its immediate and larger context. They pixelate Scripture. Pixelation is a modern term for enlarging a graphic so much that we only see some pixels, which do not give us any concept of the picture.

In Photoshop I pixelate graphics so I can edit them, pixel by pixel. I can see the dark edges I want to remove but I cannot even tell how that looks until I use the full screen view again, to see my editing work in context.

So every false teacher will pixelate Bible verses. They often play with words and distort them too. Symbolic language is their little sandbox to play in. I have to know all of John’s Gospel to deal with someone who says the entire world was forgiven, because John said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” The verse by itself does not teach world absolution at all, but pixilation plus some authorities quoted will make it seem that way.

World absolution collides with

KJV John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Some will say, but I have several more verses that prove world absolution. But each verse has to pass the test of John 3:36 and many other passages. Besides that, it is not a question of one verse against another. The verses were added later for convenience. The question is, “What does the entire Scripture teach?”

Roman Catholics use pixilation and authorities. I could go to my favorite Vatican owned seminary (the only one in America) and use their library in Columbus. I had sign out privileges. They had an entire wall of books about Mary, one recent set being 3 volumes long. I could use those to say, “This verse in the Bible teaches that about Mary, because I have 100 theologians who agree with me.” Of course, the effect of those Mariology books was just the opposite on me, but I could see the power of deception, having all those highly trained academics on one side of the issue.

The Hiring
We can see that we have a parable with an obvious agricultural parallel. Anyone who owns a farm or vineyard is going to hire people to help with the labor-intensive workers. The framework of the parable is hiring laborers at a penny day for their work.

3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.

More laborers are needed, so they are hired. But there is no pay established. That was only for the first hired – a penny a day.

5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.

Three more sets of laborers are hired. This is the way they hired in Phoenix. The day laborers, as they were called, stationed themselves near the big hardware stores or another hiring place. People came by, made a deal, and took men home for a day’s work.

Payday

8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

Now the plot develops. The Lord of the Vineyard is clearly God, and the Promise will be fulfilled, beginning with the last contacted.

Minimum Wage Dispute

9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.

Those hired later assumed that the very latest getting one penny meant they would get more than that.

Arguing the Law

11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

Now we see that the parable is answering the question of Peter, just before this parable began. The workers are those believers who have labored in the Church (an image from Old Testament times for the Kingdom of God) and see people getting the same reward for working one hour.

This response is logical but also sinful. We used to say in Phoenix, “You will never mow the law at noon after you try it the first time.” Likewise, in this parable the workers are talking about the burning of the sun and the drying winds. It is exhausting to work under such conditions. So they argue, “We worked the hardest time of the day but you give them the same pay.”

13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

The parable begins with a specific promise for the first workers and another promise to the rest.
This is a good example of man looking at God’s management from a human point of view. If those who work so little in comparison get 1 penny, they get far more.

But this is a matter of grace (Promises of God) rather than Law. The main point is leading up to another matter, which is far more serious. The first part shows what grace means, that God showers grace according to His will, not according to man’s measure.

The ending is a solemn warning, often not heeded.

16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Many Christian leaders prosper and win admiration for many different reasons. That goes to their heads and they think they can handle the Gospel so well that they can flaunt the Ten Commandments. So they do. They risk lives on the highway (DUIs). They destroy their own families and others with infidelity – first to the Word, then to their wives and children. They decide all the money is theirs, since they have worked so hard, so they live like royalty and steal like thieves. The longer they get away with it, the greater their daring. But when natural law catches up, they are drop-kicked into the abyss.

In contrast, many who think they are nothing are really the greatest in the Kingdom because of their child-like faith and the way that bears fruit over time. They do not think they matter at all, but God knows who they are and how they are fruitful for the Kingdom.

As Luther says, this verse warns the great against arrogance and encourages the downtrodden not to despair. Many are called but few are elect. The Gospel invitation goes out to the entire world, but that saving faith is lost through many temptations, the Old Adam, the assaults of the unbelieving world, and Satan’s work.

In the context of the preceding passage, we can see how the parable illustrates what Jesus taught.

KJV Matthew 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. 27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

Sound Doctrine


"Since now, in the sight of God and of all Christendom [the entire Church of Christ], we wish to testify to those now living and those who shall come after us that this declaration herewith presented concerning all the controverted articles aforementioned and explained, and no other, is our faith, doctrine, and confession, in which we are also willing, by God's grace, to appear with intrepid hearts before the judgment-seat of Jesus Christ, and give an account of it; and that we will neither privately nor publicly speak or write anything contrary to it, but, by the help of God's grace, intend to abide thereby: therefore, after mature deliberation, we have, in God's fear and with the invocation of His name, attached our signatures with our own hands."
            Thorough Declaration, Of Other Factions and Sects, Formula of Concord, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1103.

"'If there ever was a strictly conservative body, it surely is the Missouri Synod. Nevertheless, this growth!...It is a mark of the pastors and leaders of the Missouri Synod that they never, aye, never, tire of discussing doctrine on the basis of Scripture and the Confessions. That is one trait that may be called the spirit of Missouri. People who thus cling to doctrine and contend for its purity are of an entirely different nature from the superficial unionists who in the critical moment will declare five to be an even number. God will bless all who value His Word so highly.'"
            (Dr. Lenski, Kirchenzeitung, May 20, 1922)
            cited in W. A. Baepler, "Doctrine, True and False," The Abiding Word, ed., Theodore Laetsch, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1946, II, p. 515f.

"We should not consider the slightest error against the Word of God unimportant."
            What Luther Says , An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 637.

"Error and heresy must come into the world so that the elect may become approved and manifest. Their coming is in the best interests of Christians if they take the proper attitude toward it. St. Augustine, who certainly was sufficiently annoyed by wretched sectaries, says that when heresy and offense come, they produce much benefit in Christendom; for they cause Christians industriously to read Holy Scriptures and with diligence to pursue it and persevere in its study. Otherwise they might let it lie on the shelf, become very secure, and say: Why, God's Word and the text of Scripture are current and in our midst; it is not necessary for us to read Holy Scripture."
            What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 639.

“You cannot of a truth be for true doctrine without being unalterably opposed to false doctrine. There can be no 'positive theology' where the God-given negatives have been eliminated from the Decalog."
            Norman A. Madson, Preaching to Preachers, Mankato: Lutheran Synod Book Company, 1952. Preface.

  

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