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 CDT.


Midweek Lenten - 7 PM Central Daylight.

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

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

VirtueOnline - News - Exclusives - The Episcopal Church's Persuasive Monetary Power

Bishop Budde, Washington DC, is busy quoting her favorite atheist author
and wrecking what is left of the diocese.


VirtueOnline - News - Exclusives - The Episcopal Church's Persuasive Monetary Power:


The Episcopal Church's Persuasive Monetary Power
Church of England takes cue from The Episcopal Church in Culture Wars

News Analysis

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
May 25, 2012

The Episcopal Church is doing its best to export the church's Culture Wars around the world. Its best hope for total success is the Mother Church - The Church of England.

TEC is also driving wedges, as best it can, into Africa, Asia and Latin America. In Africa, the Anglican Province of Southern Africa has been TEC's biggest and best success story to date with everything from the acceptance and push for pansexual behavior to TEC's new gospel of inclusion and diversity and socio-political salvation. Archbishop Thabo Magkoba is little more than a clone of TEC's Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. TEC has staff appointments, in orthodox provinces like the Congo and Sudan, who are working as "missionaries."

The Covenant might be dead, but making alliances and friends has not abated one bit. TEC's Presiding Bishop is making sure that all Global South doors remain open in her attempt to persuade, cajole and get poor African provinces to buy into Western panAnglican liberalism with a little help from TEC's Bank of Bottomless Financial Persuasion. (TECBBFP)

A good example of TEC's power of positive financial inducement is the much-ballyhooed "Listening Process" designed to "listen" to the voices of a small but aggrieved group of gays, lesbians and transgendered types. The Listening Process had its genesis in the person of former Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and is funded wholly by The Episcopal Church. The few voices of ex-gays are politely "listened" to, but not seriously taken into account. If they were, funding for the office for "listening" would quickly dry up.

One need only think historically what the enormous persuasive power of the almighty TEC dollar has done over the years to the Anglican Church of Mexico, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, (ACSA) the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil, a number of Central American dioceses still under TEC's grip, The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti, The Anglican Church of Canada, the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Consultative Council. TEC has poured millions of dollars over the years into these provinces and organizations, along with significant help from Trinity Wall Street, the richest church in the world, to persuade them that TEC's "gospel" will enlighten them and get them a free ride to glory.

Only a few short years ago, the Episcopal Archbishop of Mexico and a fellow Mexican bishop absconded with $1.5 million dollars of TEC's "mission" dollars. TEC did nothing about it. It is not without significance that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and The Rev. James Cooper, rector of Trinity Wall Street, New York, where Beauvoir once worked were present at the recent ordination of the Rev. Ogé Beauvoir who became Haiti's newest bishop suffragan at Ascension Church in Carrefour, a suburb of Port-au-Prince. Reportedly, a high-ranking Voodoo priestess was also present, which should also tell you a lot.

The new truth emerging is that the gravy train might be over. The largess once distributed so liberally to simpatico provinces and to leverage simpatico provinces might be coming to an end or at the least seriously diminished. Bishop Stacy Sauls, the Episcopal Church's new CEO, talks of TEC being in a state of "crisis".

There are broad hints coming from him that the largess pot will no longer be filled to overflowing with greenbacks for these provinces. He talks openly about the church's very survival. "I find myself wondering if the basic survival instinct that the Gospel threatens is the survival of power structures as they are," he recently said. In short, no structure, no money. Consider the latest budget figures put out by the Episcopal Church, which are sure to be argued over at the next General Convention.

Totals for the Anglican Communion show a serious reduction in grants from TEC to the Anglican Communion Office. In 2011-2012 TEC gave some $3.2 million, but in 2013-2015 it will drop to $2.15 million, down over $1 million. That's not small change. TEC Diocesan Grants (offshore) to non-US mainland dioceses - these are TEC controlled dioceses - got $4,931,269 in 2013-2015. In 2013-2015 they will get a boost to $5,952,229, an increase of over $1 million. Haiti alone will get over $1 million. (See above) Common sense demands that you cover your own bases before trying to help (read manipulate) others.

The Inter-Anglican Budget/Secretariat of $1,160,000 will drop to $850,000, a loss of $310,000. This represents approximately 50% of asking from the Anglican Communion Office. Does this indicate displeasure with the leadership of Rowan Williams or Kenneth Kearon of the Anglican Consultative Council? Not necessarily, but Rowan failed to deliver the goods and he is out the door. ACC leader Canon Kearon is still a player. Whoever sits next on Canterbury's throne will need to play ball with TEC if the Anglican Communion Office and the Lambeth Conference are to continue to receive TEC's largesse. For the moment, it does indicate that less money flowing to the Secretariat means less influence.

TEC budgeted nearly half a million ($487,753) in 2010-2012 for Africa with the Middle East getting a paltry $11,817. Giving much-needed dollars to the riot-torn but thoroughly orthodox diocese of Egypt was not on TEC's horizon. For 2013-2015 there is a cryptic line saying, "Amounts in this section not allocated."

(Ironically TEC spent $18 million on property litigation in 2010-2012, but expects to spend only $15.2 million in 2013-2015. This will depend, of course, if a property dispute doesn't make its way up the ladder to the US Supreme Count. Don't count out that possibility if the Diocese of Ft. Worth, with millions of dollars worth of properties at stake, doesn't do just that. If so, that would push that budget figure considerably higher. Furthermore, there is no saying when or where litigation will end.)

CULTURE WARS

The cultural and ecclesiastical wars currently on fire in the Church of England simply replicate what took place in The Episcopal Church 30 years ago and continue to this day. TEC liberals can rightly claim victory on two hot button issues - women's ordination and pansexuality.

The issue of women bishops will shortly be answered in the Church of England. In a meeting behind closed doors in York, the Church's House of Bishops gave its approval to legislation to admit women to the episcopacy and rejected a series of attempts to significantly water down the powers of future female bishops.

They also agreed to two ambiguous amendments to the proposed legislation as a sop for conservative evangelicals and Anglo Catholics who object to women bishops on theological grounds. Whether in the long run this will satisfy either party remains to be seen. The vote does clear the way for the church's General Synod to have a final vote on the issue in July.

A second Culture Wars issue will be if the CofE officially recognizes homosexuality as a legitimate behavior for clergy (and not just for laity). The Church of England has not formally debated the issue of homosexuality through its governing body, the General Synod, since 1987, when it voted by a large majority to declare that it considered "homosexual genital acts" to be sinful:

"That Synod affirms that the biblical and traditional teaching on chastity and fidelity in personal relationships in a response to, and expression of, God's love for each one of us, and in particular affirms:

that sexual intercourse is an act of total commitment that belongs properly within a permanent married relationship;
that fornication and adultery are sins against this ideal, and are to be met by a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion;

that homosexual genital acts also fall short of this ideal, and are likewise to be met by a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion;

and that all Christians are called to be exemplary in all spheres of morality, including sexual morality; and that holiness of life is particularly required of Christian leaders."

Since then, there have been a number of discussions within the Synod on the issue, which have not been permitted to conclude with any decisions. The House of Bishops has issued several statements in response to the growing clamor from liberal Anglicans within the Church of England to adopt a more gay-friendly approach to teaching and discipline, particularly in relation to the clergy.

No evidence has emerged of any bishop attempting to enforce discipline of any kind, even in the few cases where such interviews have actually taken place. The Bishops have been told to "mind their own business" and have largely done so. What is more, any further attempt to hold to a biblical discipline among the clergy has been greatly undermined by the decision of the General Synod to allow the civil partners of clergy full access to the clergy pension funds as if they were the spouses in marriage of such clerics.

Should TEC's worldview on women and sexuality prevail in the Mother Church, it is hard to imagine how the Global South will have anything more to do with Lambeth Palace especially if a "moderate", affirming catholic type should prevail as the next Archbishop of Canterbury. There would be no more Lambeth Conferences. Who would turn up apart from panAnglican liberals and revisionists? The treachery of doctrinal abandonment is all too plain to see. The Global South will take its Jerusalem Declaration and its own offshore holdings like CANA and the ACNA and quietly slink off into the Anglican night leaving the West to continue its gadarene slide into oblivion.



'via Blog this'

From Luther's Sermon on John 3:16



34. However great and unutterable all this is, that is still greater and more wonderful in comparison, that the human heart has been enabled to believe it all. That must indeed be a great heart which can embrace more than heaven and earth can hold. Hence it must be evident what a great, sublime and divine power and work faith is, which can do that which it is impossible for nature and all the world to do, and it is therefore no less a wonder than all the other miracles and works of God. It is even more wonderful than that God became man, born of a virgin, as St. Bernhard says. These things, as we have heard, namely the love of the Giver and of him who was given, and the unworthiness of the recipient, placed side by side, are incomparable as to greatness. On the one hand everything is so great, and on the other, man’s heart is so small and narrow and weak that the in-finiteness of difference is startling and amazing.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Edition, Pentecost Monday, Second Sermon, #34. John 3:16-21.

Galatians Graphics





































Saturday, May 26, 2012

Feast of Pentecost, 2012.
John 14:23-31



The Feast of Pentecost, 2012


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn #231               We Now Implore               3:38 
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 #246            Holy, Holy, Holy                   3:35

Word and Spirit – Never One without the Other

The Communion Hymn #294            O Word of God            3:31 
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 # 283                 God’s Word                           3:90

KJV Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

KJV John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. 25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. 30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. 31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

Pentecost

O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou almighty Son of God: We beseech Thee, send Thy Holy Spirit into our hearts, through Thy word, that He may rule and govern us according to Thy will, comfort us in every temptation and misfortune, and defend us by Thy truth against every error, so that we may continue steadfast in the faith, increase in love and all good works, and firmly trusting in Thy grace, which through death Thou hast purchased for us, obtain eternal salvation, Thou who reignest, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.


Word and Spirit – Never One without the Other

Three of Luther’s sermons are linked below:




KJV John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him [Judas], If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

In the opening verse, Jesus answered a question asked by Judas,

John 14:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

The disciples were looking for a restoration of the David’s Kingdom and doubtless followed Jesus with that in mind. That is why they argued among themselves about who would be greatest in the kingdom. We can see with great clarity that Jesus spoke on one level and His audience often heard it at the materialistic level, where they started.

Jesus knew what was in their hearts and built up their faith as He continued to train them. He knew what Judas was hoping and planning, but He gave the betrayer another chance to repent and believe in Him.

Here it is better to say “guard My words” than keep My words. The problem is with our watering down of English. It used to be that a prison was called a “keep” so keeping the Word of Christ meant more. Since the verb is also used for guarding a prison, it is a little clearer to say, “If a man loves Me, he will guard My words, and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling place with him.

Old English is “abode,” which is parallel to Jesus speaking about abiding in the Word. Compare John 15:1-15.

KJV John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

KJV John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

KJV John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

KJV John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

KJV John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

It should be impossible to miss the relationship between abiding in the Word and abiding in Christ, so the Trinitarian doctrine is clear. The Spirit witnesses to the Father and the Son. When someone continues to abide in the Word, he has Christ abiding in him and the Father’s love abiding in him. There will necessarily be spiritual results from that abiding.

24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the Word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

There are only two ways outlined here – one cannot claim love of Jesus and while not guarding His Word. And this is not the Word of Christ alone but the Word from the Father and the Son.

Lenski:
The answer to Judas is completed by adding the opposite. They who constitute “the world,” to whom Jesus cannot manifest himself as he can to his loving disciples, are all who lack love and its evidence. Again this is personal and individual: “He that does not love me, my words he does not guard.” Here Jesus uses the plural, for the one Word is both a grand unit and at the same time composed of parts. Not one of these parts is dear to the worldling. Not one is prized as valuable; all are treated with indifference or with hostility. No need to add that such a loveless person cannot be loved like a disciple and cannot be blessed with the indwelling and the communion of the Father and the Son. His heart, like that of Iscariot, is filled and dominated by another.
The full gravity of this lack of love for Jesus and of this disregard of his Word as evidence of the lack is brought out by once more showing the connection of Jesus and his Word with the Father: “And the Word which you hear is not mine,” as if I invented it apart from the Father, “but the Father’s who did send me” and who gave me this Word to speak in my saving mission.
Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. John's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 1011.



Adolph Hoenecke, the WELS theologian, needs to be quoted here, because he summarized the Biblical teaching of the Word beautifully:

“The Spirit not without the Word, the Word not without the Spirit. That is sound doctrine.”

That is so condensed that it needs explaining. Hoenecke expressed the concept taught consistently in the Scriptures that God binds His Holy Spirit to the Word, so the Word always has divine power, and the Spirit never works without the Word.

When I was studying the false underpinnings of Church Growth, this came out as the problem behind marketing the Gospel and using secular studies to “make the church grow.” I was puzzled about how far this could be taken, so I explored all the Biblical passages about the Spirit and the Word. This is just one example, Isaiah 55:8-11

KJV Isaiah 55:8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

This passage reveals that God’s Word is just like the rain and snow He created to bring us crops. No one can claim that rain and snow fall without an effect. The change is inevitable. NW Arkansas is dry right now. A cattle farmer told us the grass is gone for now. What if I told him, “It will rain two inches, but nothing will happen to your pasture. It will still be brown and dry”? He would laugh me out of the room and check me into 4-H. Farmers and gardeners like snow too. Snow is a blanket that protects the soil and many plants, providing early moisture for germination.

God’s Word has the same inevitable results as the rain and snow. Notice the three-fold Promise:
  1. It shall not return unto Me void. The double negative says this is impossible.
  2. It shall accomplish that which I please. Whatever happens from the Word, no matter how we judge the results, those results will please God.
  3. It will not only accomplish what God intends, but prosper in that mission.

This three-part Promise is not an accident. God’s work is always described in a three-fold manner, to remind us and teach us about the Three-ness of the One God.

If the Word of God always has an effect, and always prospers in that effect, the Word is always accompanied by the Holy Spirit, which is the witness to God the Father and God the Son.

Our human failing is that we judge God’s Word by our standards rather than trusting that all effects are good and divinely willed – even in the blinding and hardening of hearts, even in bringing the cross upon us, even when we are not pleased with the results. The business model has dominated, even though it has no connection with the Word of God.

“But,” some object, “cannot God’s Spirit work apart from the Word? Why should God burden Himself or limit Himself with that connection?” Once again, this is not our role, to judge and advise God on how to do His work. The Scriptures promise us that God has bound Himself to the invisible Word (teaching and preaching) and to the visible Word (the Sacraments).

God has promised grace in His Means of Grace. Therefore, baptism and communion give the grace promised. And grace does not come to anyone without the Word in one form or another.

Non-Lutheran Protestants deny grace in the Means of Grace – they are just ordinances to them. Catholics use the term, but no one is really completely forgiven in their system, so they also deny God’s grace.

UOJ is false because it teaches that the entire world has received grace without the Word. Since the Holy Spirit is limited to the Word, they have invented a magical forgiveness without any support in the Scriptures or the Confessions.

The Word from the Father and Son is conveyed by the Spirit, and this divine power gives us what is promised in abundance in the Scriptures. 

25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Lenski:
The second all is narrower, “will remind you of everything that I myself said to you.” The fulfillment is exhibited in the marvelous record of the four Gospels, most notably in that of John which contains the extended discourses of Jesus. It is humanly impossible to reproduce with fidelity even human words spoken during a period of over three years, when all the words are understood perfectly at the moment they are heard. It is vastly more impossible to reproduce with exactness the many words of Jesus which the disciples failed to grasp at the time they heard them. The promise of Jesus assures the eleven on this vital point. By means of an immediate illumination the Spirit will enable them to recall every utterance of Jesus in its true meaning. He will remind the disciples and in addition he will teach them what is contained in all of which they are thus reminded.
Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. John's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 1014.

This is an important part of the Holy Spirit’s work. The false teachers like to say, “There are 100 ways to interpret each verse, so adopt our interpretation.” I agreed with the Mormon who said this. He lit up with surprise, until I added, “Ninety-nine wrong ways and one right way.”

When he tried to argue the point with me, I asked him, “You think God created the world and sent His only-begotten Son, yet could not find a way to communicate this clearly to man?”

The same is true for those who claim that a mediocre career at a mediocre seminary means they alone have all the truths of the Bible locked up in their brains, a power that no one can question. The Holy Spirit speaks to everyone through the Word.

First He brought all things to remembrance for those who wrote the Gospels and Epistles. He did so in such a way that all the books of the Bible are in complete harmony, across the ages. That gives us clarity and confidence. If we have learned one lesson well from a text (the purpose of repeating lessons) then we can apply that to other texts. If a text seems baffling or dark to us, we can use the plainer passages to give us enlightenment.

God could have made all of the Bible as clear and simple in language as the Gospel of John, but that would make us take things for granted and not want to study the Word with greater depth. Of course, the irony is that the Fourth Gospel is the simplest in language but has the most profound lessons.

Difficult passages are often seen that way because we need to study them more and compare them with parallel passages. One of my Yale professors complained that the ministers he taught were lazy about doing this. The congregation is going to learn little more than the minister teaches, although some break rank and study on their own. The effect on the larger group is less spiritual knowledge and an expectation to make things even easier for everyone.

This Bible we have is the only book in the world inspired directly by God and guided by God in its creation and preservation. We can find faithful witnesses to God’s Word, but nothing equals God’s Word.

It is not surprising that people who do not trust, love, and guard God’s Word also lack respect for pastors. Thus we have a relatively small number of DPs and bishops with a death grip on all the Lutheran congregations in America. What do they support? Fuller Seminary fads, social activism, and milquetoast Christianity. One hundred men and women work against Lutheran doctrine while grabbing top salaries and benefits for themselves, topped by luxury retreats in posh surroundings.

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

The peace that Christ gives us is not the peace of this world, which consists of security, honors, and material gain. But it is the peace that passes all understanding. It means God allows the afflictions to remain, but takes our heart away from the afflictions, as Luther said, so we imagine we are in a rose garden.

God teaches us about our complete forgiveness each and every day, promised to all believers in Christ. And yet, we still have times of anxiety and worry. Being forgiven does not take away our human weaknesses, but helps us battle against them. God’s will is to have the Gospel reign in our lives, so we do everything in gratitude toward God and in love toward our Savior.

So we live in this paradox of being sinners who are forgiven through faith in Christ. Our faith is strengthened by remembering our baptism and by participating in Holy Communion.

Each part of the Bible teaches us some aspect of this One Truth taught by the Holy Spirit.

When we are troubled, the Word of Christ comes to us, because the Holy Spirit helps us in remembering the Promises and Blessings revealed in the Word.

Believing in Christ means being helped by the Holy Spirit at all times. We encourage that help by listening to faithful confessors of the truth and by avoiding falsehood. It is no surprise that smaller congregations value the worship service as the Means of Grace.

Krauth, I believe said, the purer the teaching, the more powerful it is. Faithful hymns and books aid in the work of the Holy Spirit by being true to the Word. We often have The Messiah or Bach playing in the kitchen area, 24/7. It is wonderful to walk into the kitchen and hear someone singing: I know that my Redeemer lives.

The dogs often come with me, to get some treats, so I direct the Halleluia chorus for them. Recently I read Luther’s comments on “He shall dash them to pieces with a rod of iron.” He observed that God uses the Word as a rod of iron, but the opponents use the real thing. The Word is more powerful, but it gets a reaction from unbelievers.

Faithful art also teaches the Word of God. In the past, people did that with stained glass windows. Now it can be done on the Net with graphics.

I take Luther’s sermons with me when I have to wait at a doctor’s office. Every single time I have said, “I never thought of that before.” And I have through four volumes paragraph by paragraph. It shows how repetition teaches, and how opposition creates a desire to learn more.

If our spiritual tools are left unused, they rust away. But if we are challenged, they are sharpened and polished on the whetstone of difficulty and opposition.



Pentecost Quotations

"For neither you nor I could ever know anything of Christ, or believe on Him, and obtain Him for our Lord, unless it were offered to us and granted to our hearts by the Holy Ghost through the preaching of the Gospel. The work is done and accomplished; for Christ has acquired and gained the treasure for us by His suffering, death, resurrection, etc. But if the work remained concealed so that no one knew of it, then it would be in vain and lost. That this treasure, therefore, might not lie buried, but be appropriated and enjoyed, God has caused the Word to go forth and be proclaimed, in which He gives the Holy Ghost to bring this treasure home and appropriate it to us. Therefore sanctifying is nothing else than bringing us to Christ to receive this good, to which could not attain ourselves."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #38, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 689.    

"For now we are only half pure and holy, so that the Holy Ghost has ever [some reason why] to continue His work in us through the Word, and daily to dispense forgiveness, until we attain to that life where there will be no more forgiveness, but only perfectly pure and holy people, full of godliness and righteousness, removed and free from sin, death, and all evil, in a new, immortal, and glorified body."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #58, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 693.         

"But outside of this Christian Church, where the Gospel is not, there is no forgiveness, as also there can be no holiness [sanctification]. Therefore all who seek and wish to merit holiness [sanctification], not through the Gospel and forgiveness of sin, but by their works, have expelled and severed themselves [from this Church]."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #56, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 693.

"Everything, therefore, in the Christian Church is offered to the end that we shall daily obtain there nothing but the forgiveness of sin through the Word and signs, to comfort and encourage our consciences as long as we live here. Thus, although we have sins, the [grace of the] Holy Ghost does not allow them to injure us, because we are in the Christian Church, where there is nothing but [continuous, uninterupted] forgiveness of sin, both in that God forgives us, and in that we forgive, bear with, and help each other."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #55, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 693.        

"Therefore, before the conversion of man there are only two efficient causes, namely, the Holy Ghost and the Word of God, as the instrument of the Holy Ghost, by which He works conversion. This Word man is [indeed] to hear; however, it is not by his own powers, but only through the grace and working of the Holy Ghost that he can yield faith to it and accept it."
Formula of Concord, Epitome, II, Of the Free Will, #19, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 791.

"But as the Confutation condemns us for having assigned these two parts to repentance, we must show that [not we, but] Scripture expresses these as the chief parts in repentance and conversion. For Christ says, Matthew 11:28: Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Here there are two members. The labor and the burden signify the contrition, anxiety, and terrors of sin and of death. To come to Christ is to believe that sins are remitted for Christ's sake; when we believe, our hearts are quickened by the Holy Ghost through the Word of Christ. Here, therefore, there are these two chief parts, contrition and faith."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XII (V), #44, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 263. Matthew 11:28.     


"But if ordination be understood as applying to the ministry of the Word, we are not unwilling to call ordination a sacrament. For the ministry of the Word has God's command and glorious promises. Romans 1:16 The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Likewise, Isaiah 55:11: So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth; it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please...And it is of advantage, so far as can be done, to adorn the ministry of the Word with every kind of praise against fanatical men, who dream that the Holy Ghost is given not through the Word, but because of certain preparations of their own...."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XIII (VII), #11, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 311. Romans 1:16; Isaiah 55:11.     

"But Christ was given for this purpose, namely, that for His sake there might be bestowed on us the remission of sins, and the Holy Ghost to bring forth in us new and eternal life, and eternal righteousness [to manifest Christ in our hearts, as it is written John 16:15: He shall take of the things of Mine, and show them unto you. Likewise, He works also other gifts, love, thanksgiving, charity, patience, etc.]. Wherefore the Law cannot be truly kept unless the Holy Ghost is received through faith...Then we learn to know how flesh, in security and indifference, does not fear God, and is not fully certain that we are regarded by God, but imagines that men are born and die by chance. Then we experience that we do not believe that God forgives and hears us. But when, on hearing the Gospel and the remission of sins, we are consoled by faith, we receive the Holy Ghost, so that now we are able to think aright."
Augsburg Confession, Article III, #11, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 159.   

"The Holy Spirit works through the Word and the Sacraments, which only, in the proper sense, are means of grace. Both the Word and the Sacraments bring a positive grace, which is offered to all who receive them outwardly, and which is actually imparted to all who have faith to embrace it."
Charles P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology, Philadelphia: The United Lutheran Publication House, 1871, p. 127. 

"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."  
Sermons of Martin Luther,  III, p. 280. 

"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."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 281f. 
         

"He allows the affliction to remain and to oppress; yet He employs different tactics to bestow peace; He changes the heart, removing it from the affliction, not the affliction from the heart. This is the way it is done: When you are sunk in affliction He so turns your mind from it and gives you such consolation that you imagine you are dwelling in a garden of roses."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 285. John 14:23-31.        

"Thus true spiritual leaders fight. They strike Satan dead and rescue souls from him; for to pierce Satan to death is nothing else than to rescue from him a human being whom he has taken captive by deceitful teachings. And that is the right kind of spiritual tactics."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 289. John 14:23-31.         

"Neither is he [Satan] truthful; he is the spirit of lies, who, by means of false fear and false comfort having the appearance of truth, both deceives and destroys. He possesses the art of filling his own victims with sweet comfort ; that is, he gives them unbelieving, arrogant, secure, impious hearts...He can even make them joyful; furthermore, he renders them haughty and proud in their opinions, in their wisdom and self-made personal holiness; then no threat nor terror of God's wrath and of eternal damnation moves them, but their hearts grow harder than steel or adamant."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 302. John 14:23-31.     

"Again, with truly pious hearts, which in many respects are timid and tender, his [Satan's] practice is just the opposite. He tortures them with everything terrible that can be imagined, martyring and piercing them as with fiery darts, until they may find no good thing nor comfort before God. His object in both cases is to ruin souls by means of his lies and to lead them to eternal death."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed. John N. Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 302. John 14:23-31       

"Therefore, let God's Word be of more authority to you than your own feelings and the judgment of the whole world; do not give God the lie and rob yourself of the Spirit of truth."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 304. John 14:23-31.

"In the eyes of the world, and even in her own estimation, she has not the appearance of a prosperous and well ordered organization; rather she is a scattered group of poor, miserable orphans, without leader, protection or help upon earth. All the world laughs at her and ridicules her as a great fool in thinking that she is the Church and comprises the people of God. Furthermore, each individual is so burdened and oppressed in his need and suffering as to feel that no one else lies so low or is so far from help as he."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 304f. John 14:23-31.      

"It will not do for individuals to formulate their own ideas of conduct, act accordingly and then say that the Church is led by the Holy Spirit."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 320. 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."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 329. 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."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 330. John 14:23-31.         

"Likewise, in the matter of preaching, we must make selection that order may be preserved. But since all who are Christians have authority to preach, what will be the outcome? for women will also want to preach. No so. St. Paul forbids women to put themselves forward as preachers in a congregation of men and says: They should be subject to their husbands."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 375. 1 Timothy 2:11-12.        

"Paul does not speak of opposing or antagonistic doctrines, but of those placed beside the true doctrine; they are additions, making divisions. Paul calls it a rival doctrine, an addition, an occasion of stumbling, an offense and a byway, when on establishes the conscience upon his own goodness or deeds. Now the Gospel is sensitive, complete and pre-eminent: it must be intolerant of additions and rival teachings."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 376. Romans 16:16-17.       

"The world desires such wolf preaching, and is not worthy of anything better since it will not hear nor respect Christ. Hence it is that there are so few true Christians and faithful preachers, always outnumbered by the members of the false church."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 385. Deuteronomy 29:19.         

"For you do not find Him; He finds you. For the preachers come from Him, not from you. Your faith comes from Him, not from you. And everything that works faith within you comes from Him, not from you."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 345. Matthew 21:1-9.

"(3) Hollazius (ib.): 'The Word of God, as such, cannot be conceived of without the divine virtue, or the Holy Spirit, who is inseparable from His Word. For if the Holy Spirit could be separated from the Word of God, it would not be the Word of God or of the Spirit, but a word of man. Nor is there any other Word of God, which is in God, or with which the men of God have been inspired, than that which is given in the Scriptures or is preached or is treasured up in the human mind. But, as it cannot be denied that that is the divine will, counsel, mind, and the wisdom of God, so it cannot be destitute of the divine virtue or efficacy.'"
Heinrich Schmid, Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, trans., Charles A. Hay and Henry E. Jacobs, Philadelphia: United Lutheran Publication House, 1899, p. 505.     



"The Lutheran theologians, in general, had reason to illustrate very particularly the doctrine of the operation of the Word of God, in order to oppose the Enthusiasts and Mystics, who held that the Holy Spirit operated rather irrespectively of the Word than through it; and to oppose also the Calvinists, who, led by their doctrine of predestination, would not grant that the Word possessed this power per se, but only in such cases where God chose...."
Heinrich Schmid, The Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, trans., Charles A. Hay, Henry E. Jacobs, Philadelphia: Lutheran Publication Society, 1889, p. 511.       

"Mrs. Barnhill looked at me and said, with such a loving look in her gray eyes, 'Oh, Grace, Christ said, 'No man cometh unto the Father but by Me,' and, my dear, you have no way of approach to a holy God unless you come through Christ, His Son, as your Saviour.' "The Scripture which she quoted," Mrs. Fuller continues, "was the Sword of the Spirit, and at that moment Unitarianism was killed forever in my heart. I saw the light like a flash and believed at that moment, though I said nothing. She had quoted God's Word, the Spirit had used it, and, believing, I instantly became a new creation in Christ Jesus. She might have talked and even argued with me about it, but instead she just used the Word."  [conversion of Mrs. Grace Fuller, wife of Charles Fuller, Old Fashioned Revival Hour broadcast, founder of Fuller Seminary]
J. Elwin Wright, The Old Fashioned Revival Hour and the Broadcasters, Boston: The Fellowship Press, 1940, p. 54.    

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Exaudi, The Sunday after the Ascension




Exaudi, The Sunday after the Ascension, 2012


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The Hymn # 9            O Day of Rest                        1:89
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual          
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #195      Christ Jesus Lay       1:46

The Spirit of Truth

The Communion Hymn # 341          Crown Him     1:70
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn #261         Lord Keep Us Steadfast                  1:93

KJV 1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:  27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. 16:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.  2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.  3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.  4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.

Prayer
Lord God, heavenly Father, we give thanks unto Thee, that through Thy Holy Spirit Thou hast appointed us to bear witness of Thy dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: We beseech Thee, inasmuch as the world cannot endure such testimony, and persecutes us in every way, grant us courage and comfort, that we may not be offended because of the cross, but continue steadfastly in Thy testimony, and be found always among those who know Thee and Thy Son, until we obtain eternal salvation through the same, Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Gaost, one true God, world without end. Amen.


The Spirit of Truth



This is a fine passage to consider in light of the ascension of Christ. Although the disciples were trying to grasp all this before the crucifixion, they knew and remembered it afterwards, especially when Jesus ascended into heaven before their eyes and sent the Holy Spirit to them, to bring to remembrance all they had seen and experienced.

In the same way we should consider this with Christ seated at the right hand of God, triumphant over sin, death, and Satan in His resurrection and ascension. All the powers marshaled against Him failed, and the rest of history is just a time of waiting until all authority and power is finally subdued under His feet.

There is a lot of evidence of that happening already, in history. No kingdom has lasted and grown forever. Each one has a rise and a decline. The Eastern Roman Empire is often dated from Constantine to the fall of Constantinople, 313 AD to 1453 AD, 11 centuries of Greek, Christian rule. And yet it ended. At one time the nobles ate from solid gold tables, and a serving dish of solid gold was so heavy that it had to be moved, suspended from a beam. Although we brag about the wealth of one area or another, the wealth of Constantinople was beyond belief, with plates of gold hanging from one gate, a treasury no one dared to rob. And yet it fell into decline and decay. The power that took the city (the Ottoman Empire) lasted for a limited time, even though it also spread across Europe.
Later the Ottoman Empire was called the “sick man of Europe” and collapsed into fragments.

But the Kingdom of Grace established by Christ has grown and spread throughout the ages. This was already predicted long before He was born – of the increase of His government there shall be no end…

KJV Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

So it is entirely correct to say that Christ rules over this world now and has all power, though many do not know it.

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 

The Holy Spirit always accompanies the Word. One of our American Lutheran teachers clarified this, since truth is often mixed with error. The purer the Word, the greater the power. There is a point where the message itself has no divine content, because it is designed to appeal to man alone. However, the Gospel is still taught by faithful liturgies and hymns.

In the Age of Rationalism, the sermons were about building roads and bridges and getting proper medical treatment. Rationalistic church bodies hate the Christian faith and persecute it, yet God continues to work. Those who hate the Christian faith the most will undermine the text of the Bible first, which undermines the authority of the Word. They get people used to accepting everything, then get rid of the historic liturgy and the great hymns of Christianity. Catechism fades away, and little is left. The last stage of an apostate congregation prepares them to close or to become honestly Unitarian. Sometimes the switch to honest Left-wing ideology wakes people up and they realize what they are abandoning.

Thus Paul said there must be sects and divisions (heresies) to prove what is faithful to God’s Word. The apostates yell “You are divisive!” over the  divisions they created while begging for tolerance. Once they are in control, there is no tolerance for the traditionalists of any group.

Bad money drives out good – in doctrine too. When a denomination goes downhill, they multiply their false teachers until falsehood looks like the only way.

The Spirit of Truth remains the teaching of the Word. No human agency can change that.

John 15:27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

The disciples and the witnesses of the resurrection were important in establishing the Christian Church, because they built it upon Christ. They were with Christ in His public ministry and during His resurrection appearances. Paul was an exception to the public ministry but not to the teaching of Christ after the resurrection. The eleven bore the brunt of the tension during the Passion but also had the extensive training from being with Christ.

We can conclude that many of the 500 were those named in the Gospels as being healed or witnessing the healing of Christ, or who carried the cross for Christ (Simon of Cyrene).

When people conspire to commit fraud, their stories eventually unravel, sometimes quite quickly. They always work hard to make themselves look legitimate. Separated, they begin to contradict one another. In one crime drama, one rats out the other (faked) so the second one rats out the first. It is all staged so they can see how quickly the police will work to undermine their dicey story.

But the Bible has separate witnesses that agree with one another in substance while using different details, adding and subtracting, sometimes using completely different verbiage. The skeptics tie themselves in knots finding contradictions, then concede they cannot explain why their own theories fail.

Luther emphasizes the absolute authority of the Word in all his writings. The bible is the book that judges all books. No human authority is above it, because it is the Book of the Holy Spirit.

With that emphasis is complete confidence in the truth of the Word and the opposition of unbelievers when they hear that truth. Jesus comforts His disciples with the concept that they will have the Spirit from the Son and the Father, but they will face demonic opposition because of it.

Everything Jesus predicted came true.


6. This is the consolation which Christ gives the disciples to strengthen their faith. They would have need of it in their coming work for him. This promise is a promise to his whole Church that, after his resurrection and ascension, the word and teaching of the Holy Spirit shall at all times, so long as Christ sits at the right hand of the Father, testify through the apostles and their successors, and that this testimony shall remain in the world, no matter who hears it or hears it not. For the disciples were not to be concerned as to who did or did not hear and receive their testimony, but they should know, because it is the testimony of the Holy Spirit, that he would be present and working with them, to the end that some might believe. Nor should the world be able to hinder or prevent this, though it should rage against it with its hatred and persecution. Yea, even if no person on earth received their teaching, nevertheless the world should be reproved through the preaching of his Word. He says: The Holy Spirit will reprove the world, which will thus receive the judgment of its condemnation because it heard the preaching but nevertheless would not believe it and therefore has no excuse; as he said afterwards: “If I had not come and spoken unto them,” and “had not done among them the works which none other did, they had not had sin.”

The false teachers argue from their success, even though their success is laughable and temporary. They do not argue from the Word because they cannot. They often cite their glorious institutions, the physical manifestations of what they do. Do they have mansions? The worst false teachers have 20 mansions, all bought with cash? Does that make the worst of the lot better, for their real estate?

The Word is true whether anyone believes it or not. The scorn of unbelievers in the visible church comes from their trust in their endowment funds and real estate, their popularity at the moment. Jesus said that everything will pass away, “My Word will never pass away.”

If I wanted to stake my claim on anything, it would be the eternal Word rather than crumbling real estate.

16:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.  2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 

Not be offended – If the disciples had faced opposition without the warnings, they would have said, “This is a fine fix. We trusted in Him and we are now in a dank prison.” That would have been cause to blame the Gospel and Christ. But he warned them it would be bad but blessed by God – and it was. According to tradition, all the disciples died violently from persecution – except perhaps John. No one knows for sure, but there are stories recorded from the earliest days about them. As I said before, there was not much interest in biographies of the saints when they wanted to teach the Gospel instead.

Now we have the reverse – everything is about the human founders, even outright fables, but almost no Gospel, even teaching against faith in the Gospel of Christ.

The ultimate outrage within religion was realized when people executed the disciples and imagined they were doing a service to God. This horrible crime was repeated in the Reformation and afterwards in stories too numerous to list.  The first hymn by Luther was prompted by two young men being burned at the stake for being faithful to the Word – “Flung to the heedless winds.”

The persecution of the Church in Jerusalem did two things.
It drove the Christians into the Roman Empire to spread the Gospel.
It spared the Christians the horrible slaughter in the siege of Jerusalem, only a few years later.

3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. 

The rage is the result of the Holy Spirit convicting people of their unbelief. Some think, “This is not working. They are opposed and filled with a foolish hatred.” But that is working. Their hardness and blindness is worsened when they reject the Word. They feel the effect of condemning – the sin of unbelief – but they reject the Word. As James says, “The demons believe and their hides bristle.”

No matter what their lofty position might be, they do not know the Father and do not know the Son when they conduct themselves in a war against the Gospel.

4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.

This is clearly a farewell sermon. Jesus trained the disciples, step by step, not telling them all the challenging news until they were ready to hear it.

In the previous sermon Luther said “faith always grows,” which he illustrated with the examples of the disciples growing in faith and gladly bearing the cross.

He also said that faith does a person no good if that person does not endure to the end. This sermon was given so His disciples would endure and remain steadfast. And so we must also. 

Symbol by Norma Boeckler