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Traditional Lutheran worship services, using The Lutheran Hymnal and the KJV.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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Bethany Lutheran Worship on
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Thanksgiving Eve - 7 PM Central Time.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works asgregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
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Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Laetare Sunday.
John 6:1ff



Laetare Sunday, The Fourth Sunday in Lent, 2012


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn # 151                  Christ the Life                       2:78
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 #429    Lord Thee I Love                  2:54 

The Power of God's Word

The Communion Hymn #311       Huss Hymn               2:79
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 # 45                    Now the Hour                      2:95

KJV Galatians 4:21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

KJV John 6:1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. 5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, 9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? 10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. 15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

Fourth Sunday in Lent

Lord God, heavenly Father, who by Thy Son didst feed five thousand men in the desert with five loaves and two fishes: We beseech Thee to abide graciously also with us in the fullness of Thy blessing. Preserve us from avarice and the cares of this life, that we may seek first Thy kingdom and Thy righteousness, and in all things perceive Thy fatherly goodness, through Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God world without end. Amen.

The Power of the Word

John 6:1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.

Jesus crossed in a boat, while the crowd had to walk around the sea. The crowd had twice as far to travel, so Jesus had some rest from being with them so much.
2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

Lenski:
The three imperfect tenses picture Jesus in the full exercise of his activity at this period, including, of course, the present crossing of the Sea. The statement that the crowds were attracted by “beholding the signs he was doing” is intended to parallel 2:23 and to show that in general the situation here in Galilee was a duplication of the previous one which occurred in Jerusalem. Not the teaching but merely the signs were the great attraction. This John wants us to bear in mind for the sake of what follows.
            Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. John's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 428.

“Doing signs” has always seemed to be weak, in my opinion. The meaning of that phrase is “performing miracles.”

We have diminished the meaning of “sign from heaven.” People interpret anything as a “sign,” just as Eduard Preuss (UOJ guru) did when he saw a glorious sunset. To him that was a sign from heaven to join the Roman Catholic Church and leave the Lutheran Church. But apparently it was not a day of mass conversions to Romanism, even if two Concordia Seminary professors in a row “poped.”

A miracle is our best word today for something that defies the laws of physics, such as walking on water, turning water into wine, or stilling the storm. The crowds saw these miracles and enjoyed them. They wanted more. As Lenski noted, they were more interested in the show than the teaching.

Jesus taught and performed miracles together, to confirm people in their knowledge that He was indeed the Son of God and Savior. Those who only wanted miracles were bound to be disappointed. Even when they witnessed miracles that kings and philosophers would have loved to see, they wanted even more.

3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.

Hills surround the Sea of Galilee, which gave Jesus a view of the crowds working their way around the seashore. Probably a path helped them, but it was the long way around and a long distance to go.

4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.

The Fourth Gospel gives us a calendar (unlike Matthew, Mark, and Luke) so we know about a three-year public ministry of Jesus, while the other three conflated the three years into one trip toward Jerusalem. In many ways the Gospel of John supplements the first three Gospels and gives us additional facts, as well as many long sermons to study and meditate upon.

One of our regular readers (and emailers) said he loved the material in John 16 about the work of the Holy Spirit.

5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.

Jesus brought up a problem that the disciples could not solve on their own. By questioning them, Jesus set the agenda. Unprepared, they thought of it solely in human terms.

There is no human answer. They are far away from a settlement. There are many other problems as well.

Jesus had the answer and knew what He would do.  Instead of a confession of faith, He received a statement of doubt.

7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.

Philip answered the way any finance committee would. They did not have enough money to give the crowd a little bit of food. The other impossibility was obtaining enough for that little bit of food for each one. Therefore, it was doubly impossible.

Naturally, this Gospel lesson is one that teaches the efficacy of the Word, contrasting it with the cleverness of man. Philip was not at all foolish in what he said. Everything was logical and based upon fact. The only thing missing was faith in Christ.

The efficacy of the Word is not incidental in Scripture, but foundational. Every passage in the entire Bible rests upon the concept of the divine power of the Word and its supremacy over anything man can imagine or design.

The rationalists are bit more honest than the apostate Lutherans. The rationalists are consistent in saying, “This cannot happen, given the laws of physics.”

The apostate Lutherans say, “This is a wonderful miracle. Now this is what we learned about marketing the Gospel at Fuller Seminary.”  (Or Willow Creek, Mars Hill, Granger, Life Church, Saddleback, or NorthPoint.)


8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, 9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

The dialogue does not show the disciples to be foolish but just like us. That is exactly what we would say.

Some would say, “But they had Jesus with them. That makes them foolish. He can do anything.”

But we have Jesus with us, too. He is not limited to His visible presence. The centurion knew this better than most. He said, “You do not need to come to my house to heal my servant. And I am not worthy to have you enter there, Lord. Speak the Word and he will be healed.”

KJV Luke 7:6 Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: 7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. 8 For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 10 And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.

When pretend-Lutherans assail our little group for being small, for not having gold ornaments and marble altars, they are just revealing their lack of trust in God’s Word. Jesus said, “Wherever two or three are gathered together, there am I in the midst of them.”

KJV Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Mocking God’s Word is not good practice. It is as dangerous as playing with high voltage lines, like the lineman who took off his gloves for a second and lost both arms in a flash of current. God’s Word is more powerful than a power line.

Any time we are tempted to say, “What are we among so many?” or “Who am I to question all these leaders?” or “How can we have any influence when we have no money to persuade people?” – we should look at this response. The disciple says – We have a little food, but it amounts to nothing in this enormous crowd. True, it amounts to nothing, but God’s Word turns nothing into something, as He did at Creation, as He does whenever the elements are consecrated as the Body and Blood of Christ.


10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.
Here we see a little detail worth noting. This was a grassy area, so it was well watered, by a spring or a well. In Arizona there are areas where the rock traps and stores water. They are called “tanks.” Outside of Phoenix are the White Tank Mountains. If you read the novels of Louis Lamour, you will see that the heroes look for tanks where they can water their horses and get refreshed themselves.

The reality of a desert is that the grassy areas give away where the water is. Certain plants also indicate underground water, easily accessed. (It is not true that someone can chop up a barrel cactus and eat it like watermelon.)

The place where they sat down was large, grassy. They sat in ranks so the food could be distributed. There were 5000 men (fully humans in WELS-speak), so the total number of people could have been 15,000.

This vast throng made the tiny bit of food even more comical, in comparison with the needs. At first a large sum of money was not enough to give everyone a tiny bit. But they could not buy food out there, so the donation of one child was even smaller, reminding us of the fall of Jericho.

God reduces the number, money, and power of the people involved to reveal His power in the Word. Otherwise, people would praise themselves for their own abilities and wealth rather than God for His ability to transcend all rules and principles to reveal Himself as He is.

11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.

This is not a communion service in John 6, but it shows us how God provides the Body and Blood of Christ in the consecrated elements. All the objections to Holy Communion as a sacrament are answered by this miracle and by many other passages (such as the healing of the centurion’s servant).

  1. How can God provide the Body and Blood of Christ for millions across the centuries?  Answer – By His Word, the same way He provided for 15,000 people with some bread and fish.
  2. How can God forgive sins through those elements? Answer – It is His will to give us a visible form of His Word. God reveals His will to us; we do not manage God or give Him advice.
  3. Why are there so many Means of Grace among you Lutherans? Answer – why did Jesus provide us with so many miracles? Why did God leave us four Gospels? Why have a dozen or so Pauline letters instead of just Romans? The answer is God’s overwhelming bounty. He gives in abundance so we are never deprived or lacking in anything that will be a blessing for us.
  4. It looks like bread and wine to me, after the consecration. I think it is just symbolic. Answer – Then the feeding of the multitude was also symbolic. They ate symbolic bread and symbolic fish and they were satisfied in a dream-like way when they went home on water alone. If the Real Presence is rejected, the miraculous feeding is rejected. If the miraculous feeding is accepted as true, then the Real Presence and Holy Communion as a Means of Grace are both true. Likewise, if God cannot consecrate the elements with His Word, and Jesus be present in both natures in the elements, then the Savior was locked in the cave until the angels opened the stone lid and let Him out of the grave.

The central human problem is turning God’s Word into man’s word – that people believe according to their rational limits.

12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.

The gathering was just as important as the distribution, because it showed that the disciples ended up with more food than they had in the beginning. The people were famished when they arrived. Walking along a lake for hours, the hot sun beating down – that eats up a lot of calories. That was the idea about fainting on the way back, recorded in another Gospel. They were all completely satisfied, but they had more than at the beginning – 12 times more.

This shows us that God takes a little, because He honors His Name this way, and multiplies it beyond all human imagination. And we have enough to share. And the more we share, the greater the abundance.

I can say now that many people are blessed and participating through study, worship, and the production of new books establish Lutheran orthodoxy for the next generation.

14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. 15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

This was God’s timing and not man’s. The people wanted a king who fed them with miracles, and only some remained believers. That should not shock us. Many use church to feed them in a material way – and not all of them are ministers  - some are laity too. I read about one (name omitted) who used his many church affiliations to stay out of prison. He had loads of character witnesses on his behalf because they were on his payroll.

This is a passage, like each one in John’s Gospel, designed by the Holy Spirit to created and deepen our trust in Christ as our Savior, to depend on Him for love and mercy, to set aside our human logic and doubts when trusting in Him.

Quotations

"So it goes in the spiritual government of the Church, as specially indicated in the narrative now before us.  Where I have preached and taught during the past ten or twenty years, there another could perhaps, have done more in one year; and one sermon may bring forth more fruit than many others.  Here, also, it is true that our labor, diligence and effort can accomplish nothing These two things must go together, namely, that each one does his duty, and that he, nevertheless, acknowledges with Peter: 'My labor cannot bring forth anything, if thou dost not give the increase.'"
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, IV,  p. 153. Fifth Sunday after Trinity Luke 5:1‑11.        

"A hardened heart will not be instructed, no matter how plainly and clearly the truth is presented; but the faith of the righteous is strengthened when they see that the ground of their faith is right and good."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II,  p. 157. Third Sunday in Lent Luke 11:14‑23.                  

"All preaching of sin and God's wrath is a preaching of the Law, no matter how or when it may be done.  On the other hand, the Gospel is such preaching as sets forth and bestows nothing but grace and forgiveness in Christ. And yet it is true that the Apostles and preachers of the Gospel sanctioned the preaching of the Law, as Christ Himself did, and began with this in the case of those who had not yet acknowledged their sins and had felt no fear of God's anger."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, IV,  p. 158. Fifth Sunday after Trinity Luke 5:1‑11.          

"The unavoidable conclusion then is that, as long as the Holy Spirit does not enter our hearts, we are not only incapable of any good, but are of necessity in the kingdom of Satan."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II,  p. 159. Third Sunday in Lent Luke 11:14‑23.                  

[The office of preaching]...cannot produce profitable or fruitful results in all men; yet great power and much fruit are found in those who remain steadfast and are kept to the end."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, IV,  p. 165. Fifth Sunday after Trinity Luke 5:1‑11.                  

"The preaching of this message may be likened to a stone thrown into the water, producing ripples which circle outward from it, the waves rolling always on and on, one driving the other, till they come to the shore.  Although the center becomes quiet, the waves do not rest, but move forward. So it is with the preaching of the Word.  It was begun by the apostles, and it constantly goes forward, is pushed on farther and farther by the preachers, driven hither and thither into the world, yet always being made known to those who never heard it before, although it be arrested in the midst of its course and is condemned as heresy."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III,  p. 202. Ascension Day Mark 16:14‑20.      

"You may tie a hog ever so well, but you cannot prevent it from grunting, until it is strangled and killed.  Thus it is with the sins of the flesh."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II,  p. 247. Easter, Second Sermon Mark 16:1‑8.


"Therefore the Holy Spirit must come to our rescue, not only to preach the Word to us, but also to enlarge and impel us from within, yea, even to employ the devil, the world and all kinds of afflictions and persecutions to this end.  Just as a pig's bladder must be rubbed with salt and thoroughly worked to distend it, so this old hide of ours must be well salted and plagued until we call for help and cry aloud, and so stretch and expand ourselves, both through internal and through external suffering,that we may finally succeed and attain this heart and cheer, joy and consolation, from Christ's resurrection."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II,  p. 253. Easter, Third Sermon Mark 16:1‑8.        

"If I do not believe it, I will not receive its benefits; but that neither renders it false nor proves that anything is lacking in Christ."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II,  p. 258. Easter, Third Sermon Mark 16:1‑8.

"Learn then from this Gospel what takes place when God begins to make us godly, and what the first step is in becoming godly.  There is no other beginning than that your king comes to you and begins to work in you.  It is done in this way:  The Gospel must be the first, this must be preached and heard.  In it you hear and learn how all your works count for nothing before God and that everything is sinful that you work and do.  Your king must first be in you and rule you.  Behold, here is the beginning of your salvation; you relinquish your works and despair of yourself, because you hear and see that all you do is sin and amounts to nothing, as the Gospel tells you, and you receive your king in faith, cling to him, implore his grace and find consolation in his mercy alone."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, I,  p. 26. First Sunday in Advent Matthew 21:1‑9.  

"It is a faithful saying that Christ has accomplished everything, has removed sin and overcome every enemy, so that through Him we are lords over all things.  But the treasure lies yet in one pile; it is not yet distributed nor invested.  Consequently, if we are to possess it, the Holy Spirit must come and teach our hearts to believe and say:  I, too, am one of those who are to have this treasure. When we feel that God has thus helped us and given the treasure to us, everything goes well, and it cannot be otherwise than that man's heart rejoices in God and lifts itself up, saying:  Dear Father, if it is Thy will to show toward me such great love and faithfulness, which I cannot fully fathom, then will I also love Thee with all my heart and be joyful, and cheerfully do what pleases Thee.  Thus, the heart does not now look at God with evil eyes, does not imagine He will cast us into hell, as it did before the HS came...."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III,  p. 279. Pentecost Sunday John 14:23‑31.

"The Holy Spirit teaches man better than all the books; He teaches him to understand the Scriptures better than he can understand them from the teaching of any other; and of his own accord he does everything God wills he should, so the Law dare make no demands upon him."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III,  p. 280. Pentecost Sunday John 14:23‑31.                

"The Holy Spirit is given to none except to those who are in sorrow and fear; in them it produces good fruit.  This gift is so precious and worthy that God does not cast it before dogs.  Though the unrepentant discover it themselves, hearing it preached, they devour it and know not what they devour."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III,  p. 281f. Pentecost Sunday John 14:23‑31.                

"He permits it to happen that many great saints err and stumble, in order that we may not trust in men, though they be many, great, and holy.  We must be led to rely upon the Word that is sure and cannot deceive, as here these two men, and all the others afterward, were directed to the Scriptures."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II,  p. 290. Easter Monday Luke 24:13‑35.                

"Thus, we know how and where the Holy Spirit is to be found, and we need not be in doubt nor waver, gazing here and there for special revelations or illuminations. Each one should hold to the Word, and should know that through it alone, and through no other means, does the Spirit enlighten hearts and is He ready to dwell in them and to give true knowledge and comfort through faith in Christ."          Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III,  p. 300. Pentecost, Third Sermon John 14:23‑31.            

"Be not worried because of this! for even though a man preach and continue in the Gospel for many years, he must still lament and say:  Aye, no one will come, and all continue in their former state.  Therefore you must not let that grieve or terrify you."   Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II,  p. 305. Easter Tuesday Luke 24:36‑47.                

"But when St. Peter stood up and preached, they made a mockery of it and considered the apostles drunken fools.  When they had urged the Gospel a long time, they gathered together three thousand men and women.  But what were they among so many?  Yea, no one could discern that the Gospel had accomplished anything, for all things continued in the same state as before.  No change was seen, and scarcely anyone knew that there were Christians there.  And so it will be at all times."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II,  p. 306. Easter Tuesday Luke 24:36‑47.          

"The Word and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are materials with which He builds.  Though the dwelling is not altogether completed, yet through His grace and love it is accepted of God."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III,  p. 322. Pentecost, Third Sermon John 14:23‑31.                  

"Secondly, it is shown here that this Word precedes, or must be spoken beforehand, and that afterwards the Holy Spirit works through the Word.  One must not reverse the order and dream of a Holy Spirit who works without the Word and before the Word, but one who comes with and through the Word and goes no farther than the Word goes."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III,  p. 329. Pentecost, Third Sermon John 14:23‑31.              

"We hear God's Word, which is in fact the preaching of the Holy Spirit, who is at all times present with it, but it does not always at once reach the heart and be accepted by faith; yea, in the case of those who are moved by the Holy Spirit and gladly receive the Word, it does not at once bear fruit."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III,  p. 330. Pentecost, Third Sermon John 14:23‑31.                

"This is going through closed doors, when He comes into the heart through the Word, not breaking nor displacing anything.  For when the Word of God comes, it neither injures the conscience, nor deranges the understanding of the heart and the external senses; as the false teachers do who break all the doors and windows, breaking through like thieves, leaving nothing whole and undamaged, and perverting, falsifying and injuring all life, conscience, reason, and the senses.  Christ does not do thus."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II,  p. 355. First Sunday after Easter John 20:19‑31.          

"Thus we have two parts, preaching and believing.  His coming to us is preaching; His standing in our hearts is faith.  For it is not sufficient that He stand before our eyes and ears; He must stand in the midst of us in our hearts, and offer and impart to us peace."      Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., xd., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II,  p. 355. First Sunday after Easter John 20:19‑31.                

"The first and highest work of love a Christian ought to do when he has become a believer, is to bring others also to believe in the way he himself came to believe. And here you notice Christ begins and institutes the office of the ministry of the external Word in every Christian; for He Himself came with this office  and the external Word."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II,  p. 359. First Sunday after Easter John 20:19‑31.              

"But ye have not the power to create faith.  For there is a great difference between planting and giving the growth; as Paul says to the Corinthians: 'I planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.' 1 Corinthians 3:6"
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II,  p. 362. First Sunday after Easter John 20:19‑31; 1 Corinthians 3:6.                
"Now God drives us to this by holding the law before us, in order that through the law we may come to a knowledge of ourselves.  For where there is not this knowledge, one can never be saved.  He that is well needs no physician; but if a man is sick and desires to become well, he must know that he is weak and sick, otherwise he cannot be helped."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II,  p. 370. Second Sunday after Easter, Second Sermon John 20:19‑31.              
"There are the infants, bare and naked in body and soul, having neither faith nor works.  Then the Christian Church comes forward and prays, that God would pour faith into the child; not that our faith should help the child, but that it may obtain a faith of its own.  If it has faith, then after that whatever it does is well done, whether it suckle its mother's breast, or whether it soil itself, or whatever it may please to do."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, IV,  p. 378. Twelfth Sunday after Trinity Mark 7:31‑37.            


"If God does not take me alone to a separate place, and give me the Holy Spirit, so that I cling to the Word which I have heard, then all preaching is in vain."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, IV,  p. 380. Twelfth Sunday after Trinity Mark 7:31‑37.                   

"Observe from this text how Christ in plain words ascribes to baptism, which He calls water, such glory and power as to say that the Holy Spirit is present in it, and that by its means a person is born anew.  By this statement all false doctrines and errors against the doctrine of faith and baptism are overthrown."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III,  p. 434. Trinity Sunday John 3:1‑15.              

"Nor does He send such trial upon you in order to cast you off, but that you may the better learn to know and the more closely cling to His Word, to punish your lack of understanding and that you may experience how earnestly and faithfully He cares for you."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II,  p. 44. First Sunday after Epiphany, Second Sermon Luke 2:41‑52.                
"But the Lord refutes this and says:  Go ye there and preach what does it matter if it is against you?  You will find there what I say.  We should now do likewise. Although the masses storm against the Gospel and there is no hope that they will be better, yet we must preach, there will yet be found those who listen and become converted."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, I,  p. 48. First Sunday in Advent Matthew 21:1‑9.              

"But here you come to the Word of God which is sure and infallible, where you shall certainly find Christ and the Holy Spirit, and can be and remain firmly fortified against sin, death, and the devil."        Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 51. First Sunday after Epiphany, Second Sermon Luke 2:41‑52.                  
"That the Holy Spirit works in the heart is true; nevertheless He intends ordinarily and usually to do so in no other way than through the spoken Word. St. Paul says that a man cannot believe unless he has previously heard (Romans 10:14)."
            Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II,  p. 664. Romans 10:14.                  


"Whoever comes to faith can only say that the Holy Spirit comes when and where and to whom He pleases at the time He pleases.  He comes when and where He pleases, and also gives a person as many gifts as He pleases."
            Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II,  p. 665.  

"Indeed, because its course is contrary to reason, sense and thought, the world regards the doctrine as pure folly and delusion, and condemns and persecutes all who adhere to it and are unwilling to follow the world's own opinion."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III,  p. 67. Second Sunday after Easter John 10:11‑16.                

"The worse of all is, that we must not only suffer shame, persecution and death; but that the world rejoices because of our great loss and misfortunes. This is indeed very hard and bitter.  Sure it shall thus come to pass, for the world will rejoice when it goes ill with us; but this comfort we have that their joy shall not last long, and our sorrow shall be turned into eternal joy."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III,  p. 80. Second Sunday after Easter John 10:11‑16.              

"Hence everything here depends only upon this, that you rightly learn to look upon Christ according to the Word, and not according to your own thoughts and feelings, for human thoughts are frauds and lies, but His Word is true and cannot lie."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, IV,  p. 92. Third Sunday after Trinity, Second Sermon Luke 15:1‑10.                
"Now it is the consolation of Christians, and especially of preachers, to be sure and ponder well that when they present and preach Christ, that they must suffer persecution, and nothing can prevent it; and that it is a very good sign of the preaching being truly Christian, when they are thus persecuted, especially by the great, the saintly, the learned and the wise."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II,  p. 97. Fourth Sunday after Epiphany Matthew 8:23‑27.  

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