Lutheran Worship and Resources



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

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central.


Thanksgiving Eve - 7 PM Central Time.

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

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

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving, 2012


Thanksgiving, 2012

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn #536   Awake My Soul  3.28
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual    1 Timothy 2:1-8
The Gospel            Luke 17:11-19
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #36            Now Thank We            3.40

Thankful to God for His Spiritual Blessings

The Hymn #316   O Living Bread            3.45
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 #354   In the Cross 3.84

Twenty-Fifth Sunday After Trinity

Lord God, heavenly Father, we most heartily thank Thee that by Thy word Thou hast brought us out of the darkness of Papacy into the light of Thy grace: We beseech Thee, mercifully help us to walk in that light, guard us from all error and false doctrine, and grant that we may not, as the Jews, become ungrateful and despise and persecute Thy word, but receive it with all our heart, govern our lives according to it, and put all our trust in Thy grace through the merit of Thy dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

KJV 1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. 8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

KJV Luke 17:11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.



Thankful to God for His Spiritual Blessings

Luther has a popular saying, where he observed that people rejoice over inheriting an estate but do not show any thanks for the spiritual treasures given to them in the Gospel of Christ.

If we are not thankful for our spiritual blessings we no longer have them in time, as experience has shown. One can hardly find a traditional liturgical service in any Lutheran congregation today. The most is often a “blended” service, which is just a half-way step toward anti-liturgical service.

Lenski put it another way – people pray for the wrong things. God provides for believers and unbelievers alike. We do not pray for daily bread so much as to remind ourselves to be thankful for that which is already provided.

I had several plans for coping with the new year. While I was charting out the possibilities, a chance meeting in the post office led to something else. It was not something I imagined possible, given all previous experiences. But it all came together in 48 hours on Reformation and All Saints Day. Thus it is proven that God begins to answer prayers before we even think to ask (Isaiah).

Looking  back it is not hard to imagine an angel sent to a post office months ago, carrying a box of envelopes, that led to a conversation and common goals. And the angel and his wife are real people who will visit us as soon as we feel reasonably settled and sane again, so they must be regular people.

One thing we decided for 2013 – instead of working on monetary goals we would work on book publishing, even if it did not pan out to be a big deal. Most publishing is not, even at the big firms, where they boast about best sellers but have many titles that do not move at all. What really matters at this stage in life is getting the truth published and helping others get into the same kind of publishing.

There are many things happening that I am glad to see, but the sad fact is – I do not name them. If I do, they are viewed as toxic and dangerous – even while the “conservative” leaders work with Roman Catholics, Fuller, ELCA, and who knows what. They often brag about it and then deny it ever happened.

When people complain, my humorous response is, “Then the pastoral epistles are right after all.” That leads to an awkward pause as they wonder if I am that far off about the Scriptures. So I continue, The time of apostasy was predicted in 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy, no? And also in 2 Thessalonians 2? Well, that is what we are seeing.”

I am making no predictions about time and events, but it is hard to see how the entire world can recover from the evil set in motion. Not only do we have world financial insanity, but also two major powers (Islam and Communism) working together while people deny there is any threat.

Worst of all, the weakened state of America makes it impossible to resist with any great effort – too little faith, too many addictions, too much dependency. Of course it can be done, but it is hard to imagine with this rotting foundation. The Boomers threw away what they were given by their indulgent parents. Now we have parents who hardly know what it means to be father and mother.



In the Midst of Apostasy, the Means of Grace
We should resist the powers and principalities taking over the world, but we should also remember the Roman Empire of the Apostolic Age.

The Roman Empire had absolute rule over most of civilization from the time of Christ to the Nicene Creed, 325 AD.

In that time the Christian faith conquered Rome to such an extent that Constantine declared a council to create that creed we use for each major service.
The Gospel conquered Rome while being persecuted and banned.

Various things combined to do this.

  1. Some of the great minds of the age were converted – Augustine was the prime example. Another was Ambrose, whose justification by faith words are used in the Apology (and misquoted by the devious UOJ Enthusiasts).
  2. The martyrs profoundly disturbed their audiences by dying with grace and peace, making the roaring crowds wonder about the power of this faith. This also happened when Castro had prisoners killed. They died yelling “Jesus is King” in Spanish, disturbing the executioners so much that they had trouble getting men to pull the triggers.
  3. Persecution spread the Gospel and made people treasure all the more.
  4. The power and size of the Empire made travel relatively easy so the path of the Evangelists was already paved and charted for them to use, from the edge of India to the wilds of England where the natives were called Picts for their wild tattoos. (Nothing is new, of course. We just think so.)


Best Quotations
Management by Objective
"Those, however, who set the time, place and measure, tempt God, and believe not that they are heard or that they have obtained what they asked; therefore, they also receive nothing."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 172.  John 16:23-30.
"In like manner, St. Paul says that God's ability is thus proved, in that He does exceeding abundantly above and better


than we ask or think. Ephesians 3:20.  Therefore, we should know we are too finite to be able to name, picture or designate the time, place, way, measure and other circum­stances for that which we ask of God.  Let us leave that entirely to Him, and immovably and steadfastly believe that He will hear us."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, III, p. 179f.  Fifth Sunday after Easter.  Ephesians 3:20.
"If the world were willing to take advice from a simple, plain man--that is, our Lord God (who, after all, has some experience too and knows how to rule)--the best advice would be that in his office and sphere of jurisdiction everybody simply direct his thoughts and plans to carrying out honestly and doing in good faith what has been commanded him and that, whatever he does, he depend not on his own plans and thoughts but commit the care to God.  Such a man would certainly find out in the end who does and accomplishes more, he who trusts God or he who would bring success to his cause through his own wisdom and thoughts or his own power and strength."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,
ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1151.  Luke 5:1-11.
"For people come to the preaching of the Gospel as if they were honest pupils. But under this guise they are seeking nothing else but a full belly and their own benefit.  They consider the Gospel an economic teaching, designed to teach one to eat and drink in plenty."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,
ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 304.  John 6:26-27.
"Must Lutheranism be shorn of its glory to adapt it to our times or our land?  No!"
            Charles P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology, Philadelphia:  The United Lutheran Publication House, 1871, p. 208.
"He who holds fast to the Word alone, trusts and abides in it, does not doubt that what the Word says will come to pass; he who does not dictate aim or time or means and ways, but resigns all freely to God's will and pleasure as to when, how, where, and by whom He will fulfill His Word; he, I say, has a true living faith which does not nor cannot tempt God."


            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 367.  Epiphany, Matthew 2:1-12.


Feelings
"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."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed.,
John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, III, p. 304.  Pentecost, Third Sermon.  John 14:23-31.
"You have as much laughter as you have faith."
            Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 692.  Psalm 126:5.  Erin Joy.
"It is not the devil's aim to plague us physically; he is a spirit who is always thirsting for the tears and the drops of blood that come from our hearts.  He wants us to despair and


to perish from sadness.  This would be his joy and delight. But he will not succeed."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,
ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1244.  John 15:19.
"The deeper a person is sunk in sadness and emotional upheavals, the better he serves as an instrument of Satan. For our emotions are instruments through which he gets into us and works in us if we do not watch our step. It is easy to water where it is wet.  Where the fence is dilapidated, it is easy to get across.  So Satan has easy access where there is sadness.  Therefore one must pray and associate with godly people."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,
ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1243.
"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: What 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."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, III, p. 285.  Pentecost Sunday, John 14:23-31.
"But wherever a Christian, in spite of the terrors of sin, death and hell, with cheerful heart dies in Christ, there Satan has been truly cast out from his dwelling place, and deprived of his power and kingdom."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 242f.  Ascension Day. Psalm 110:2.
"When you preach or confess the Word, you will experience both without, among enemies, and also within, in yourself (where the devil himself will speak to you and prove how hostile he is to you), that he brings you into sadness, impatience, and depression, and that he torments you in all sorts of ways. Who does all this? Certainly not Christ or any good spirit, but the miserable, loathsome enemy...The devil will not bear to have you called a Christian and to cling to Christ or to speak or think a good word about Him. Rather he would gladly poison and permeate your heart with venom and gall, so that you would blaspheme:  Why did He make me a Christian?  Why do I not let Him go?  Then I would at last have peace."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,
ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 928.
"But when the tempest comes and the waves fill the boat, their faith vanishes; because the calm and peace in which they trust took wings and flew away, therefore they fly with the calm and peace, and nothing is left but unbelief.  But what is this
unbelief able to do?  It sees nothing but what it experiences. It does not experience life, salvation and safety; but instead the waves coming into the boat and the sea threatening them with death and every danger."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, II, p. 93.  Fourth Sunday after Epiphany.  Matthew 8:23-27.

Law

"After a long season of sluggishness and lukewarmness, during which you begin to hate yourself because you saw no way to change your condition, you happen to hear a real Gospel sermon, and you leave the church a changed man and rejoice in the fact that you may believe and are a child of God.  You suddenly become aware of the fact that it is not difficult to walk in the way of God's commandments; you seem to walk in it of your own accord.  How foolish, then, is a preacher who thinks that conditions in his congregation will improve if he thunders at his people with the Law and points hell and damnation for them.  That will not at all improve the people."
C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and
Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 384.
"Unless the rocky subsoil in their hearts has been pulverized by the Law, the sweet Gospel is of no benefit to them."
            C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 119.
"You may tie a hog ever so well, but you cannot prevent it from grunting, until it is strangled and killed.  Thus it is with the sins in our flesh."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,
ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 247.  Easter, Second Sermon.  Mark 16:1-8.
Preaching:  Is It Worthwhile?
"The preaching of this message may be likened to a stone thrown into the water, producing ripples which circle outward from it, the waves rolling always on and on, one driving the other, till they come to the shore.  Although the center becomes quiet, the waves do not rest, but move forward.  So it is with the preaching of the Word.  It was begun by the apostles, and it constantly goes forward, is pushed on farther and farther by the preachers, driven hither and thither into the world, yet always being made known to those who never heard it before, although it be arrested in the midst of its course and is condemned as heresy."


                        Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983,
III, p. 202.  Ascension Day.  Mark 16:14-20.
"It is good to extol the ministry of the Word with every


possible kind of praise in opposition to the fanatics who dream that the Holy Spirit does not come through the Word but because of their own preparations.  They sit in a dark corner doing and saying nothing, but only waiting for illumination, as the enthusiasts taught formerly and the Anabaptists teach now."
            Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XIII, The Sacraments, 13, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1959, p. 213.
"This is the province of the work, which the Holy Spirit is to begin in the kingdom of Christ.  It is the teaching office of the apostles, which is to be of such a character that it must convict the world, as it finds it outside of Christ, and nobody is to be excepted, great, small, learned, wise, holy, of high or low condition, etc.  This means in short, to bear the world's anger and to begin strife, and to be struck in the mouth for it.  For the world, which rules on earth, will not and cannot endure its course to be disapproved; therefore
persecution must arise, and one party must yield to the other, the weakest to the stronger.  But, as the office of the apostles is to be only a teaching office, it cannot use worldly power and the world retains its external kingdom and power against the apostles.  But, on the other hand, the apostles' office of conviction of the world shall likewise not be suppressed, because it is the office and work of the Holy Spirit, but shall overcome all and triumph; as Christ promised to them: 'I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to withstand.' Luke 21:15"
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed.,
John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 136.  Fourth Sunday after Easter, Third Sermon.
John 16:5-15.
"Be not worried because of this! for even though a man preach and continue in the Gospel for many years, he must still lament and say:  Aye, no one will come, and all continue in their former state.  Therefore you must not let that grieve or terrify you."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 305.  Easter Tuesday.  Luke 24:36-47.
"And yet, one single Christian believer, by his preaching and
prayer, can be the means of salvation to uncounted multitudes. In spite of Satan's hatred and desire to hinder, many people hear the Gospel, receive baptism and become teachers of the faith; and through the influence of the Gospel, the sacredness of home and country are preserved."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, III, p. 241.  Ascension Day, Psalm 110:2.
"It must be so, the village must be against them; again, the apostles must despise them and appear before them, for the


Lord will have no flatterer as a preacher.  He does not say: Go around the village, or to the one side of it: Go in bravely and tell them what they do not like to hear. How very few there are now who enter the village that is against them.  We gladly go into the towns that are on our side.  The Lord might have said:  Go ye into the village before you. That would have been a pleasing and customary form of speech. But he would indicate this mystery of the ministry, hence he speaks in an unusual way:  Go into the village that is over against you. That is: Preach to them that are disposed to prosecute and kill you.  You shall merit such thanks and not try to please them, for such is the way of hypocrites and not that of the evangelists."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, I, p. 46f.  First Sunday in Advent. Matthew 21:1-9.
"No more splendid work exists than receiving and hearing the Word of God."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,
ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 302.  Luke 10:38.
"Therefore the Holy Spirit must come to our rescue, not only to preach the Word to us, but also to enlarge and impel us from within, yea, even to employ the devil, the world and all kinds of afflictions and persecutions to this end.  Just as a pig's bladder must be rubbed with salt and thoroughly worked to distend it, so this old hide of ours must be well salted
and plagued until we call for help and cry aloud, and so stretch and expand ourselves, both through internal and through external suffering, that we may finally succeed and attain this heart and cheer, joy and consolation, from Christ's resurrection."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, II, p. 253.  Easter, Third Sermon. Mark 16:1-8.

Marriage
"Note that when that wise harlot, natural reason (whom the heathen have followed when they wanted to be very wise), looks at married life, she turns up her nose and says:  Ah, should I rock the baby, wash diapers, make the bed, smell foul odors, watch through the night, wait upon the bawling youngster and heal its infected sores, then take care of the wife, support her by working, tend to this, tend to that, do this, do that, suffer this, suffer that, and put up with whatever additional displeasure and trouble married life brings?  Should I be so imprisoned?  O you poor, miserable fellow, did you take a wife?  Shame, shame, on the trouble and displeasure.  It is better to remain free and to lead a quiet life without care."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,
ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 885f.
"The husband should take the initiative and contribute toward keeping unity and love in the marriage relation.  But he does this by using reason and not force and by letting things pass without reproving his wife.  This he should do because woman is a frail creature and does not have the courage and stout heart of a man.  They are easily disturbed, take something to heart quickly, and are moved to joy and sorrow sooner than men."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,
ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 903.  1 Peter 3:7.
Baptism
"Thus we see what a very splendid thing Baptism is.  It snatches us from the jaws of the devil, makes us God's own, restrains and removes sin, and then daily strengthens the new man within us.  It is and remains ever efficacious until we pass from this state of misery to eternal glory.  For this reason everyone should consider his Baptism as his daily dress, to be worn constantly.  Every day he should be found in the faith and its fruits, suppressing the old man, and growing up in the new; for if we want to be Christians, we must practice the work whereby we are Christians.  But if anyone falls from baptismal grace, let him return to it.  For as Christ, the Mercy Seat, does not withdraw from us or forbid us to come to Him again even though we sin, so all His treasures and gifts also remain with us."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,
ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 61.  Article on baptism, 1529.
"There are the infants, bare and naked in body and soul, having neither faith nor works.  Then the Christian Church comes forward and prays, that God would pour faith into the child; not that our faith should help the child, but that it may obtain a faith of its own.  If it has faith, then after that whatever it does is well done, whether it suckle its mother's breast, or whether it soil itself, or whatever it may please to do."


            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, IV, p. 378.  Twelfth Sunday after Trinity.  Mark 7:31-37.
Holy Communion
Chemnitz:  "Very fitting is this statement of Bernard:  'The body of Christ is to the sick a medicine, to pilgrims a


way; it strengthens the weak, delights the strong, heals weariness, preserves health.  Through it man becomes more gentle under reproof, more patient under labor, more ardent for love, wiser for caution, more ready to obey, more devoted to giving of thanks.'"
Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent,
Fred Kramer, translator, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1986, II, p.     234.
Chrysostom says:  "If those who touched the hem of His garment were properly healed, how much more shall we be strengthened if we have Him in us whole?  He will quiet in us the savage law of our members, He will quench the perturbations of the mind, drive out all sicknesses, raise us up from every fall, and, when the power of the enemy has been overcome, He will incite us to true piety and indeed will transform us into His own image."
            Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1986, II, p. 234.

Closed Communion
"Is the Lord's Supper the place to display my toleration, my Christian sympathy, or my fellowship with another Christian, when that is the very point in which most of all we differ; and in which the difference means for me everything--means for me, the reception of the Savior's atonement?  Is this the point to be selected for the display of Christian union, when in fact it is the very point in which Christian union does not exist?"
            Theodore E. Schmauk and C. Theodore Benze, The Confessional Principle and the Confessions, as Embodying the Evangelical Confession of the Christian Church, Philadelphia: 1911, p. 905f.
                                                            Bad Tree, Bad Fruit
"No work is so evil that it can damn a man, and no work is so good that it can save a man; but faith alone saves us, and unbelief damns us.  The fact that someone falls into adultery does not damn him.  Rather the adultery indicates that he has fallen from faith.  This damns him; otherwise adultery would be impossible for him. So, then, nothing makes a good tree except faith."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,
ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 475.  Matthew 7:15-23.
Means of Grace, Negative
"Observe, then, the depreciative, contemptuous, and scorning ring in the words of the Reformed when they speak of the sacred Means of Grace, the Word and the Sacraments, and the when they speak of these matters...The true reason for the Reformed view is this:  They do not know how a person is to come into possession of the divine grace, the forgiveness of
sin, righteousness in the sight of God, and eternal salvation. Spurning the way which God has appointed, they are pointing


another way, in accordance with new devices which they have invented."
            C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 152f.
Means of Grace, Positive
"The doctrine of the means of grace is a peculiar glory of Lutheran theology.  To this central teaching it owes its sanity and strong appeal, its freedom from sectarian tendencies and morbid fanaticism, its coherence and practicalness, and its adaptation to men of every race and every degree of culture.  The Lutheran Confessions bring out with great clearness the thought of the Reformers upon this subject."
            "Grace, Means of," The Concordia Cyclopedia, L. Fuerbringer, Th. Engelder, P. E.  Kretzmann, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1927, p. 299.
"Accordingly, we should and must constantly maintain that God will not deal with us except through his external Word and sacrament.  Whatever is attributed to the Spirit apart from such Word and sacrament is of the devil."
Smalcald Articles, Part III, Article VIII, Confession,
The Book of Concord, ed., Theodore G. Tappert,
Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1983, p. 313.
Love the Word, Love the Pastor
"Whoever does not receive the Word for its own sake, will never receive it for the sake of the preacher, even if all the angels preached it to him.  And he who receives it because of the preacher does not believe in the Word, neither in God through the Word, but he believes the preacher and in the
preacher.  Hence the faith of such persons does not last long. But whoever believes the Word, does not care who the person is that speaks the Word, and neither will he honor the Word for the sake of the person; but on the contrary, he honors the person because of the Word, and always subordinates the person to the Word."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,


ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 162. Second Christmas Day, Luke 2:15-20.
The Effective Word
"We shall now set forth from the Word of God how man is converted to God, how and by what means (namely, the oral Word and the holy sacraments) the Holy Spirit wills to be efficacious in us by giving and working true repentance, faith, and new spiritual power and ability for good in our hearts, and how we are to relate ourselves to and use these means."
Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article II, Free
Will, 48, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1959, p. 530.
"On the one hand, it is true that both the preacher's planting and watering and the hearer's running and willing would be in vain, and no conversion would follow, if there were not added the power and operation of the Holy Spirit, who through the Word preached and heard illuminates and converts hearts so that men believe this Word and give their assent to it.  On the other hand, neither the preacher nor the hearer should question this grace and operation of the Holy Spirit, but
should be certain that, when the Word of God is preached, pure and unalloyed according to God's command and will, and when the people diligently and earnestly listen to and meditate on it, God is certainly present with his grace and gives what man is unable by his own powers to take or to give.  We should not and cannot pass judgment on the Holy Spirit's presence, operations and gifts merely on the basis of our feeling..."
Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article II, Free
Will, 55-56, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1959, p. 531f.
"For Christ wants to assure us, as was necessary, that the Word is efficacious when it is delivered by men and that we should not look for another word from heaven."
            Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XXVIII, Eccles.  Power, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1959, p. 284.
"For the Word through which we are called is a ministry of the Spirit--'which gives the Spirit' (2 Corinthians 3:8) and a 'power of God' to save (Romans 1:16).  And because the Holy Spirit wills to be efficacious through the Word, to strengthen us, and to give us power and ability, it is God's will that we should accept the Word, believe and obey it."
            Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article XI., Election, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1959, p. 621.
"Every poor sinner must therefore attend on it, hear it with diligence, and in no way doubt the drawing of the Father because the Holy Spirit wills to be present in the Word and to be efficacious with his power through it.  And this is the drawing of the Father."
            Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article XI., Election, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1959, p. 629.
"The reason for such contempt of the Word is not God's foreknowledge but man's own perverse will, which rejects or perverts the means and instrument of the Holy Spirit which God offers to him through the call and resists the Holy Spirit who wills to be efficaciously active through the Word, as Christ says, 'How often would I have gathered you together and you would not!' (Matthew 23:37)."
            Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article XI, Election, 41, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1959, p. 623.
What's Good about Bad Sects
"But now these sects are our whetstones and polishers; they whet and grind our faith and doctrine so that, smooth and clean, they sparkle as a mirror.  Moreover we also learn to know the devil and his thoughts and become prepared to fight against him."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,
ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p.   1269.
Sects' Appeal
"The sects have two great advantages among the masses.  The one is curiosity, the other is satiety.  These are the two great gateways through which the devil drives with a hay wagon, aye, with all hell."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,
ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House,
1959, III, p. 1268.  1 Corinthians 15.
Good Fruit
"The Holy Spirit is given to none except to those who are in sorrow and fear; in them it produces good fruit.  This gift is so precious and worthy that God does not cast it before dogs. Though the unrepentant discover it themselves, hearing it preached, they devour it and know not what they devour." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 281f.  Pentecost Sunday.  John 14:23-31.
Teachers and Preachers
"True, the estate of teachers has, in general, been little respected, especially in ages gone by; and as far as the teachers of the Word of God are concerned, they are, of all men, most despised and even hated by the world.  Nevertheless their estate and office is the most glorious of all, for the following reasons:--  1.  The work of their office centers about man's spiritual welfare, his immortal soul.  2.  They employ the salutary means and instrument in their work, namely, the Word of the living God.  3.  They aim at the salutary and glorious end, namely, to make man truly happy in
the present life and to lead him to the life of eternal bliss. 4.  They are most wholesomely engaged in an occupation which entirely satisfies their spirits and advances their own selves in the way of salvation.  5.  Their labor yields the most precious result, namely, the salvation of man.  6.  Their labors have the most glorious promise of the cooperation of


the Lord, so that they are never entirely futile and in vain. 7.  Their labors have the promise of a gracious reward, which consists in a glory in the world to come that is unutterably great, exceeding abundantly above all they ever could have asked and prayed for in this life."
            C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 285.

Trials
"One Christian who has been tried is worth a hundred who have not been tried, for the blessing of God grows in trials.  He who has experienced them can teach, comfort, and advise many in bodily and spiritual matters."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,
ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1381.  Genesis 27:28-29.
"In order to keep your faith pure, do nothing else than stand still, enjoy its blessings, accept Christ's works, and let him bestow His love upon you.  You must be blind, lame, deaf, dead, leprous and poor, otherwise you will stumble at Christ. That Gospel which suffers Christ to be seen and to be doing good only among the needy, will not belie you."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 110.  Third Sunday in Advent.  Matthew 11:2-10.
"We have the comfort of this victory of Christ--that He maintains His Church against the wrath and power of the devil; but in the meantime we must endure such stabs and cruel wounds from the devil as are necessarily painful to our flesh and blood.  The hardest part is that we must see and suffer all these things from those who call themselves the people of God
and the Christian Church.  We must learn to accept these things calmly, for neither Christ nor the saints have fared better."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 263.  Sunday after Ascension, Exaudi.  John 15:26-16:4.
"Therefore God must lead us to a recognition of the fact that it is He who puts faith in our heart and that we cannot produce it ourselves.  Thus the fear of God and trust in Him must not be separated from one another, for we need them both, in order that we may not become presumptuous and over­confident, depending upon ourselves.  This is one of the reasons why God leads His saints through such great trials."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,
ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 21.  First Sunday after Epiphany.  Luke 2:41-52.
"Secondly, God permits His saints to suffer these trials as an example for others, both to alarm the carnally secure and to comfort the timid and alarmed...But when we see and hear that God has in like manner dealt with His saints and did not spare even His own mother, we have the knowledge and comfort that we need not despair in our trials, but remain quiet and wait until He helps us, even as He has helped all His saints."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed.,
John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, II, p. 40f.  First Sunday after Epiphany, Second Sermon.  Luke 2:41-52.
"Now it is the consolation of Christians, and especially of preachers, to be sure and ponder well that when they present and preach Christ, that they must suffer persecution, and nothing can prevent it; and that it is a very good sign of the preaching being truly Christian, when they are thus persecuted, especially by the great, the saintly, the learned and the wise."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, II, p. 97.  Fourth Sunday after Epiphany.  Matthew 8:23-27.
"Not only is Christ hidden from the world, but a still harder thing is it that in such trials Christ conceals himself even from His church, and acts as if He had forgotten, aye, had entirely forsaken and rejected it, since He permits it to be oppressed under the cross and subjected to all the cruelty of the world, while its enemies boast, glory and rejoice over it, as we shall hear in the next Gospel."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 67.  Second Sunday after Easter.  John 10:11-16.
"There is another temptation also in the time of trouble which was punished severely among the people of Israel and which alas is common as compared to the other temptation and equally irrational.  That temptation occurs before God's Word is heard; this after we hear the Word, namely thus:  when we know that God has promised help in the time of any trouble, but are not content with it, go forward and will not abide His promise, but prescribe time, place, and manner for His help; and then if He does not come as we expect and desire, faith vanishes."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,


ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 366.  Epiphany.  Matthew 2:1-12.

Pastors Articulate Sound Doctrine
"That is the reason why our Church from the very beginning declared that it requires its preachers 'not to depart an inch' from its confessions, not to turn aside from the doctrines laid down in them, non tantum in rebus, sed etiam in phrasibus, that is, both as regards the matter offered in their sermons and the manner of their teaching."
            C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 277.

A Pastor's Afterlife
"When the time comes that the worldly shall gnash their teeth, they shall witness all the elect and angels saying to God: 'This man has been a faithful minister and teacher.  He has proclaimed the saving Word of God to a world of castaways.  On yonder earth he was despised, persecuted, and maligned, but he shines now as a star with imperishable luster.'"
            C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 402.  Daniel 12:3.
How the Church Fares
"Yet this is also true, that Christ often delays the bestowal of His help, as He did on this occasion, and on another, John 21, when He permitted the disciples to toil all the night without taking anything, and really appeared as if He would forget His own Word and promise."
            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,
ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, IV, p. 154.  Fifth Sunday after Trinity.  Luke 5:1-11.
"The word translated 'desolate' literally means 'orphans.'  By use of this word Christ would intimate the condition of the Church.  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."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed.,
John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 304f.  Pentecost, Third Sermon.  John 14:23-31.
Orthodox Church Growth Eyes
"Let us learn more and more to look upon the Lutheran Church with the right kind of spiritual eyes:  it is the most beautiful and glorious Church; for it is adorned with God's pure Word.  This adornment is so precious, that even though an orthodox congregation were to consist of very poor people ­let us say nothing but woodchoppers - and met in a barn (as the Lord Christ also lay here on earth in a barn, on hay and straw), every Christian should much, much rather prefer to affiliate himself with this outwardly so insignificant congregation, rather than with a heterodox congregation, even if its members were all bank presidents and assembled in a church built of pure marble.  Let us be sure that our flesh, and the talk of others does not darken the glory of the orthodox Church, or crowd it out of our sight."
            Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon:  St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 47.
Lutheran "Community Churches"
"Shall we permit this to be done!  is the name of Christian unity! and by a latitudinarianism that is our own heritage, which rises ever anew from the embers of the past to find such veiled support and strength in the citadel of Zion that Confessionalism is told to whisper low in Jerusalem lest she be heard on the streets of Gath."
            Theodore E. Schmauk and C. Theodore Benze, The Confessional Principle and the Confessions, as Embodying the Evangelical Confession of the Christian Church, Philadelphia: 1911, p. 941.
Orthodoxy Is, Is Not
"If any one shows us that even only one pastor preached false doctrine, or that even only one periodical is in the service of false doctrine, and we did not remove this false doctrine, we thereby would have ceased to be an orthodox Synod, and we would have become a unionistic fellowship." (Ephasis in original; Lehre und Wehre, Jahrgang 36, Nummer 8, S.  262-3)
Francis Pieper, The Difference Between Orthodox And
Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon:  St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 55.
"You may say: 'I want to remain in the heterodox church in order to accomplish good in it, namely to prevent it from losing the truth altogether.' If you happen to be in a heterodox church, then first of all, bear witness to the truth clearly and definitely.  If they listen to you, good. Under certain circumstances, you can wait a little, to see whether the truth is accepted.  But as soon as it is clear that they will not accept the truth, you must separate yourself from that group which holds to the error.  If you, nevertheless, remain in it, then you are no longer reinforcing the truth, but rather, the error...It is an absolute contradiction to be both a witness-bearer for the truth, and an associate of false teachers."
            Francis Pieper, The Difference Between Orthodox
And Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 49.
"Furthermore, consider this:  All doctrines of the Bible are connected with one another; they form a unit.  One error draws others in after it.  Zwingli's first error was the denial of the presence of Christ's body and blood in the Lord's Supper. In order to support this error, he had to invent a false doctrine of Christ's Person, of heaven, of the right hand of God, etc."
            Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon:  St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 41.
"Thus in heterodox churches, in order to defend false doctrine, God's Word must continually be denied.  It is rightly said:  'It cost nine lies to maintain one lie.' Whoever allows himself such liberties with the Word of God, let him beware, lest the devil also make this clear Word doubtful for him in the hour of death:  'The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.' 1 John 1:7"
Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and
Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon:  St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 40.  1 John 1:7.

"The orthodox character of a church is established not by its mere name nor by its outward acceptance of, and subscription to, an orthodox creed, but by the doctrine which is actually taught in its pulpits, in its theological seminaries, and in its publications.  On the other hand, a church does not forfeit its orthodox character through the casual intrusion of errors, provided these are combated and eventually removed by means of doctrinal discipline." (A Brief Statement of the Missouri Synod's Doctrinal Position, 1932)
            Francis Pieper, The Difference Between Orthodox
And Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 2.

The Word and the Cross
(Luther makes the following general comment on Romans 2:6­10):  "Patient continuance is so altogether necessary that no work can be good in which patient continuance is lacking. The world is so utterly perverse and Satan is so heinously wicked that he cannot allow any good work to be done, but he must persecute it. However, in this very way God, in His wonderful wisdom, proves what work is good and pleasing to Him.  Here the rule holds:  As long as we do good and for our good do not encounter contradiction, hatred, and all manner of disagreeable and disadvantageous things, so we must fear that our good work as yet is not pleasing to God; for just so long it is not yet done with patient continuance.  But when our good work is followed by persecution, let us rejoice and firmly believe that it is pleasing to God; indeed, then let us be assured that it comes from God, for whatever is of God is bound to be crucified by the world.  As long as it does not bring the cross, that is, as long as it does not bring shame and contempt as we patiently continue in it, it cannot be esteemed as a divine work since even the Son of God was not free from it--(suffering for the sake of the good He did) --but left us an example in this.  He Himself tells us in Matthew 5:10, 12: 'Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake..Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven.'"
Martin Luther, Commentary on Romans, trans. J. Theodore
Mueller, Grand Rapids:  Kregel Publications, 1976, p. 55. Matthew 5: 10, 12.