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email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
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Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

James Tissot, The Raising of the Widow's Son



The Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity, 2011


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn #  191                 Christ the Lord                      2:97
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 #188                Hallelujah                   2:20     

Effectiveness of the Word

The Communion Hymn #  206            Jesus Christ, My Sure Defense  2:81
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 #   212     A Hymn of Glory                                    2:93

KJV Ephesians 3:13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. 14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

KJV Luke 7:11 And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. 12 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. 14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. 15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. 16 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. 17 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.

SIXTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

Lord God, heavenly Father, who didst send Thy Son to be made flesh, that by His death He might atone for our sins and deliver us from eternal death: We pray Thee, confirm in our hearts the hope that our Lord Jesus Christ, who with but a word raised the widow's son, in like manner will raise us on the last day, and grant us eternal life: through Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Effectiveness of the Word

Luke 7:11 And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. 12 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.

Lenski:
Nain probably lay south-west of Capernaum, about two miles west of Endor, on the slope of Little Hermon and south of Mt. Tabor. Luke tells us who went with him.[1]
Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. Luke's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 396.

The miracles are revealed to us in such a way that we can learn several lessons from the healing itself. This one took place with the disciples and a large crowd, so the witnesses were many. That reminds us why Jesus had such large crowds following, and also why the religious leaders hated and feared Him. The multitude knew Jesus had to power to do great things, and there were either curious or needy. Besides that, He taught them so they were filled with wonder and faith. He was so far above the other teachers of His time that the crowds said, “He speaks with authority, not like the Scribes and Pharisees.”

More people were gathered for the funeral of a young man. The plight of his mother can be seen in just a few words – the only son of a widow. Before, her husband was the bread-winner, but she could count on her only-begotten son to take over and provide food and shelter in her old age. But now that was gone.

The details are significant. He was not just her only son left alive, but he was the only one she ever had. The Greek word is the same used for Jesus, “the only-begotten” Son.

In this case, the crowd following Jesus met the crowd following the young man’s widow. The crowd in mourning would be great, to show their mutual sorrow, knowing the widow’s grief was especially heavy and sharp.

13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.

Lenski:
It is to be noted that Luke uses ὁ Κύριος, “the Lord,” to designate Jesus. He will do so again frequently. This designation had its beginnings during the earthly life of Jesus and developed rapidly into a fixed usage after his resurrection. It is this usage that we see in Luke. It designates Jesus as the divine Lord and Ruler who is over all and in a special sense, namely as the divine Messiah, over all believers. It is not intended as the personal name of God, the equivalent of Yahweh, for it designates Jesus in his office of Ruler; but it always designates him in his deity as our Messiah-Ruler in whom we trust, whom we obey, who is the source of our salvation, and whom we worship. It may be that Luke begins this use of “the Lord” because of the greatness of this miracle.[2]
Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. Luke's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 398.

Lord is not a personal name, but the title of Jesus’ majesty. He is the Lord of Creation, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. There are many earthly lords today, as there were then, but there is only one Lord, Who is Jesus the Son of God.



He never stops being the Lord, compassionate and powerful to help, especially those who believe in Him.

Jesus knew from His divine wisdom who the mother was, but it would have been apparent to the crowd following Him as well. She would have been walking directly before or behind the body (not in a coffin but wrapped for burial). Lenski saw  a funeral himself in Israel, where the body was wrapped and carried by two men, with poles supporting the body.

Funerals were immediate, so the grief was mixed with shock.

Jesus spoke with the widowed mother immediately, because He felt for her sorrow. The expression for compassion relates to the organs of the body, which we feel reacting when we are enduring sorrow and grief. God knows our sorrows. Because the Human Nature of Jesus is united with the Divine Nature, Jesus knows exactly how we feel as humans, as He did then.

“Do not weep” is a message of hope. As Luther observed, he used to see death in the midst of life. He said, “But now I see life in the midst of death.”

The power of the Word is revealed next, because the young man was not in a coma, or sick, in a feint, but dead. He could not hear Jesus, but the Divine Word commanded what no one on earth could say.

14 And He came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And He said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.

The procession came to a halt when Jesus touched the wrapped body. People knew and experienced the power of Jesus before anything was completely revealed. The divine power was always present, as the women with flow knew and believed, when she touched the hem of His robe and was healed instantly.

Jesus, as the Son of God, the Creating Word, can command the dead to rise. This takes place through the effective Word. In the same way, Jesus spoke to the young girl and to Lazarus. He confirmed His power before three different groups of people, building up faith in Him before He entered Jerusalem. Lazarus came with Jesus into Jerusalem, the crowds following from Bethany and coming out from Jerusalem to meet Him outside the city.

How can this be? The children always answer, “Because He is God.” And why is that? “Because God can do anything.”

The young man did not need to hear the Word to rise up from the dead. The Word of God commanded life, just as it did in Genesis 1, and “nothing came about without Him.”
KJV John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

In Him was life. Just as He commanded life in the beginning, as the Word of God, He commanded life in the young man.

15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother.

“He began to speak” suggests to me that the young man did more than talk, which is another verb. This verb is used when Jesus declared a truth to His audience. God does not give us all the details in His Word, because a new denomination would form around the words used by the young man and the color of his garments.

Jesus gave the young man back to his mother, which by itself is a touching moment. Death took the young man away, but Jesus, who is Life and Light, gave her son back.

People say, If I could have one day again with that person… - a parent, a child, a spouse. But we do have that, because the future of all believers in Christ is the same – eternal life from being forgiven through faith in Him.

That declaration, justification by faith, gives the lost person back to us through the promise of eternal life. Therefore the past is no longer one of sorrow but one of joy.

That also means the present is just as sacred, since God gives us that life and preserves it. Each moment and experience is from the goodness of God, and He fills them with blessings.

16 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. 17 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.

The crowds knew that a great religious leader had come among them.  Grasping the entire truth took time, so Jesus instructed His disciples during His three years with them. The disciples, as much as they knew and experienced, had to go through the trial, death, and resurrection of Jesus to know the complete truth, with instruction for them after His resurrection, and the sending of the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes people express regret that they did not know and appreciate the truth of Lutheran doctrine until late in life. The same can be true of Luther, who was shocked out of his devotion to Holy Mother Rome by actually seeing the corruption there.

He could not attend an Evangelical university because they did not exist at that time. The only way to serve the Church was to be a monk or a priest. He was both.

He did not receive ordination and post the 95 Theses the next day. Nor did he immediately realize all the errors he was taught by the Church of Rome. God gave him the experiences and the opposition to develop a massive literature against the errors of Rome.

One of the primary lessons in this miracle is almost lost today and taught against – the effective Word.

This was not only a miracle, but a miracle of the Word. The Son of God commanded life with His Word, and death was defeated at once.

How do we become believers? It is the power of the Holy Spirit in the Gospel. The Gospel takes unbelievers, unforgiven, dead in Christ, and moves them to faith in Him.

Justification by faith is the great miracle of God’s Word.  Jesus does not take away minor sins, but great and terrible sins. He does not forgive a few sins but many sins. He does not absolve us from sins we have conquered because no individual can conquer a single sin.

Knowing this, we realize and believe that death is conquered by the Word of God, because death is the result of our sinful, mortal nature. 

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

"The Law of God is good and wise And sets His will before our eyes, Shows us the way of righteousness, And dooms to death when we transgress. (2) Its light of holiness imparts The knowledge of our sinful hearts That we may see our lost estate And seek deliverance ere too late."
Matthias Loy, 1863, "The Law of God Is Good and Wise," The Lutheran Hymnal, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1941, J-136 Hymn #295. Psalm 19:8.        

"The Gospel shows the Father's grace, Who sent His Son to save our race, Proclaims how Jesus lived and died That man might thus be justified. (2) It sets the Lamb before our eyes, Who made the atoning sacrifice, And calls the souls with guilt opprest To come and find eternal rest. (3) It brings the Savior's righteousness Our souls to robe in royal dress; From all our guilt it brings release And gives the troubled conscience peace. (4) It is the power of God to save From sin and Satan and the grace; It works the faith, which firmly clings To all the treasures which it brings. (5) It bears to all the tidings glad And bids their hearts no more be sad; The heavy laden souls it cheers And banishes their guilty fears."
Matthias Loy, 1863, "The Gospel Shows the Father's Grace" The Lutheran Hymnal, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1941, Hymn #297. John 3:16.

(1)   "An aweful mystery is here To challenge faith and waken fear: The Savior comes as food divine, Concealed in earthly bread and wine. (2) This world is loveless--but above, What wondrous boundlessness of love! The King of Glory stoops to me My spirit's life and strength to be. (3) In consecrated wine and bread No eye perceives the mystery dread; But Jesus' words are strong and clear: 'My body and My blood are here.' (4) How dull are all the powers of sense Employed on proofs of love immense! The richest food remains unseen, And highest gifts appear--how mean! (5) But here we have no boon on earth, And faith alone discerns its worth. The Word, not sense, must be our guide, And faith assure since sight's denied."
Matthias Loy, 1880, "An Aweful Mystery Is Here" The Lutheran Hymnal, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1941, Hymn #304. 1 Corinthians 11:23. 

"So confident now should every preacher be, and not doubt, that possesses and preaches God's Word, that he could even die for it, since it is worth life to us. Now there is no man so holy that he needs to die for the doctrine he has taught concerning himself. Therefore one concludes from this that the apostles had assurance from God that their Gospel was God's Word. And here is is also proved that the Gospel is nothing else than the preaching of Christ."
Martin Luther, Commentary on Peter and Jude, ed. John N. Lenker, Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1990, p. 245. 2 Peter 1:16-18.      

"Besides, it is an exceedingly effectual help against the devil, the world, and the flesh and all evil thoughts to be occupied with the Word of God, and to speak of it, and meditate upon it, so that the First Psalm declares those blessed who meditate upon the Law of God day and night. Undoubtedly, you will not start a stronger incense or other fumigation against the devil than by being engaged upon God's commandments and words, and speaking, singing, or thinking of them. For this is indeed the true holy water and holy sign from which he flees, and by which he may be driven away."
The Large Catechism, Preface, #10, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, J-110 p. 570f.     

"Now, for this reason alone you ought gladly to read, speak, think and treat of these things, if you had no other profit and fruit from them than that by doing so you can drive away the devil and evil thoughts. For he cannot hear or endure God's Word; and God's Word is not like some other silly prattle, as that about Dietrich of Berne, etc., but as St. Paul says, Romans 1:16, the power of God which gives the devil burning pain, and strengthens, comforts, and helps us beyond measure."
The Large Catechism, Preface, #11, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, 002 p. 571 Romans 1:16.     

"And what need is there of many words? If I were to recount all the profit and fruit which God's Word produces, whence would I get enough paper and time? The devil is called the master of a thousand arts. But what shall we call God's Word, which drives away and brings to naught this master of a thousand arts with all his arts and power? It must indeed be the master of more than a hundred thousand arts. And shall we frivolously despise such power, profit, strength, and fruit--we, especially, who claim to be pastors and preachers? If so, we should not only have nothing given us to eat, but be driven out, being baited with dogs, and pelted with dung, because we not only need all this every day as we need our daily bread, but must also daily use it against the daily and unabated attacks and lurking of the devil, the master of a thousand arts."
The Large Catechism, Preface, #12, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, 003 p. 571. Chapter 4. 

"Since, therefore, so much depends upon God's Word that without it no holy day can be sanctified, we must know that God insists upon a strict observance of this commandment, and will punish all who despise His Word and are not willing to hear and learn it, especially at the time appointed for the purpose."
The Large Catechism, Preface, #95, The Third Commandment, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, 007 p. 607. Exodus 20:8-11.      

 "Note, therefore, that the force and power of this commandment lies not in the resting, but in the sanctifying, so that to this day belongs a special holy exercise. For other works and occupations are not properly called holy exercises, unless the man himself be first holy. But here a work is to be done by which man is himself made holy, which is done (as we have heard) alone through God's Word. For this, then, fixed places, times, persons, and the entire external order of worship have been created and appointed, so that it may be publicly in operation."
The Large Catechism, Preface, #94, The Third Commandment, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, 006 p. 607. Exodus 20:8-11.    

"On the contrary, any observance or work that is practised without God's Word is unholy before God, no matter how brilliantly it may shine, even though it be covered with relics, such as the fictitious spiritual orders, which know nothing of God's Word and seek holiness in their own works."
The Large Catechism, Preface, #93, The Third Commandment, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, 005 p. 607. Exodus 20:8-11.       

"For the Word of God is the sanctuary above all sanctuaries, yea, the only one which we Christians know and have. For though we had the bones of all the saints or all holy and consecrated garments upon a heap, still that would help us nothing; for all that is a dead thing which can sanctify nobody. But God's Word is the treasure which sanctifies everything, and by which even all the saints themselves were sanctified. At whatever hour, then, God's Word is taught, preached, heard, read or meditated upon, there the person, day, and work are sanctified thereby, not because of the external work, but because of the Word, which makes saints of us all. Therefore I constantly say that all our life and work must be ordered according to God's Word, if it is to be God-pleasing or holy. Where this is done, this commandment is in force and being fulfilled."
The Large Catechism, Preface, #91-2, The Third Commandment, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, 004 p. 607. Exodus 20:8-11.

"For these words are not inoperative or dead, but creative, living words. And even though no other interest or necessity impel us, yet this ought to urge every one thereunto, because thereby the devil is put to flight and driven away, and, besides, this commandment is fulfilled, and [this exercise in the Word] is more pleasing to God than any work of hypocrisy, however brilliant."
The Large Catechism, Preface, #102, The Third Commandment, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, 012 p. 609. Exodus 20:8-11.       

"For let me tell you this, even though you know it perfectly and be already master in all things, still you are daily in the dominion of the devil, who ceases neither day nor night to steal unawares upon you, to kindle in your heart unbelief and wicked thoughts against the foregoing and all the commandments. Therefore you must always have God's Word in your heart, upon your lips, and in your ears. But where the heart is idle, and the Word does not sound, he breaks in and has done the damage before we are aware.  On the other hand, such is the efficacy of the Word, whenever it is seriously contemplated, heard, and used, that it is bound never to be without fruit, but always awakens new understanding, pleasure, and devoutness, and produces a pure heart and pure thoughts."
The Large Catechism, Preface, #100-1, The Third Commandment, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, 011 p. 609. Exodus 20:8-11. 

"Likewise those fastidious spirits are to be reproved who, when they have heard a sermon or two, find it tedious and dull, thinking that they know all that well enough, and need no more instruction. For just that is the sin which has been hitherto reckoned among mortal sins, and is called akedia, i. e., torpor or satiety, a malignant, dangerous plague with which the devil bewitches and deceives the hearts of many, that he may surprise us and secretly withdraw God's Word from us."
The Large Catechism, Preface, #99, The Third Commandment, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, 010 p. 609. Exodus 20:8-11.      

"Know, therefore, that you must be concerned not only about hearing, but also about learning and retaining it in memory, and do not think that it is optional with you of no great importance, but that it is God's commandment, who will require of you how you have heard, learned, and honored His Word."
The Large Catechism, Preface, #98, The Third Commandment, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, 009 p. 609. Exodus 20:8-11.        

"Therefore not only those sin against this commandment who grossly misuse and desecrate the holy day, as those who on account of their greed or frivolity neglect to hear God's Word or lie in taverns and are dead drunk like swine; but also that other crowd, who listen to God's Word as to any other trifle, and only from custom come to preaching, and go away again, and at the end of the year know as little of it as at the beginning. For hitherto the opinion prevailed that you had properly hallowed Sunday when you had heard a mass or the Gospel read; but no one cared for God's Word, as also no one taught it. Now, while we have God's Word, we nevertheless do not correct the abuse; we suffer ourselves to be preached to and admonished, but we listen without seriousness and care."
The Large Catechism, Preface, #96-7, The Third Commandment, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, 008 p. 609. Exodus 20:8-11.  

"For let me tell you this, even though you know it perfectly and be already master in all things, still you are daily in the dominion of the devil, who ceases neither day nor night to steal unawares upon you, to kindle in your heart unbelief and wicked thoughts against the foregoing and all the commandments. Therefore you must always have God's Word in your heart, upon your lips, and in your ears. But where the heart is idle, and the Word does not sound, he breaks in and has done the damage before we are aware. On the other hand, such is the efficacy of the Word, whenever it is seriously contemplated, heard, and used, that it is bound never to be without fruit, but always awakens new understanding, pleasure, and devoutness, and produces a pure heart and pure thoughts. For these words are not inoperative or dead, but creative, living words."
The Large Catechism, #100, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 609.  

"Therefore it is not a Christian Church either; for where Christ is not preached, there is no Holy Ghost who creates, calls, and gathers the Christian Church, without which no one can come to Christ our Lord. Let this suffice concerning the sum of this article."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #45, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 689.

"For where He does not cause it to be preached and made alive in the heart, so that it is understood, it is lost, as was the case under the Papacy, where faith was entirely put under the bench, and no one recognized Christ as his Lord or the Holy Ghost as his Sanctifier, that is, no one believed that Christ is our Lord in the sense that He has acquired this treasure for us, without our works and merit, and made us acceptable to the Father. What, then, was lacking? This, that the Holy Ghost was not there to reveal it and cause it to be preached; but men and evil spirits were there, who taught us to obtain grace and be saved by our works."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #43-44, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 689.     

"For, in the first place, He [the Holy Ghost] has a peculiar congregation in the world, which is the mother that begets and bears every Christian through the Word of God, which He reveals and preaches, [and through which] He illumines and enkindles hearts, that they understand, accept it, cling to it, and persevere in it."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #42, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 689.        

 "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, uninterrupted] 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.       

"We further believe that in this Christian Church we have forgiveness of sin, which is wrought through the holy Sacraments and Absolution, moreover, through all manner of consolatory promises of the entire Gospel. Therefore, whatever is to be preached, concerning the Sacraments belongs here, and in short, the whole Gospel and all the offices of Christianity, which also must be preached and taught without ceasing. For although the grace of God is secured through Christ, and sanctification is wrought by the Holy Ghost through the Word of God in the unity of the Christian Church, yet on account of our flesh which we bear about with us we are never without sin."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #54, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 693.     

"I am also a part and member of the same, a sharer and joint owner of all the goods it possesses, brought to it and incorporated into it by the Holy Ghost by having heard and continuing to hear the Word of God, which is the beginning of entering it. For formerly, before we had attained to this, we were altogether of the devil, knowing nothing of God and of Christ. Thus, until the last day, the Holy Ghost abides with the holy congregation or Christendom, by means of which He fetches us to Christ and which He employs to teach and preach to us the Word, whereby He works and promotes sanctification, causing it [this community] daily to grow and become strong in the faith and its fruits which He produces."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #53, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 693.    

"Behold, all this is to be the office and work of the Holy Ghost, that He begin and daily increase holiness upon earth by means of these two things, the Christian Church and the forgiveness of sin. But in our dissolution He will accomplish it altogether in an instant, and will forever preserve us therein by the last two parts."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #59, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 693f.          

"Therefore we believe in Him who through the Word daily brings us into the fellowship of this Christian Church, and through the same Word and the forgiveness of sins bestows, increases, and strengthens faith, in order that when He has accomplished it all, and we abide therein, and die to the world and to all evil, He may finally make us perfectly and forever holy; which now we expect in faith through the Word."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #62, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 695.        

"If we would be Christians, therefore, we must surely expect and reckon upon having the devil with all his angels and the world as our enemies, who will bring every possible misfortune and grief upon us. For where the Word of God is preached, accepted, or believed, and produces fruit, there the holy cross cannot be wanting. And let no one think that he shall have peace; but he must risk whatever he has upon earth--possessions, honor, house and estate, wife and children, body and life. Now, this hurts our flesh and the old Adam; for the test is to be steadfast and to suffer with patience in whatever way we are assailed, and to let go whatever is taken from us."
Large Catechism, The Lord's Prayer, Third Petition, #65, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 715.     

"All this is spoken and written for the comfort of the distressed, the poor, the needy, the sinful, the despised, so that they may know in all times of need to whom to flee and where to seek comfort and help."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 149. Matthew 15:21-28;   







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