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

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mid-Week Lenten Service, 2013




Mid-Week Lenten Vespers, 2013


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Worship, 7 PM Central Time

The Hymn #656                   Behold a Host           2:39
The Order of Vespers                                              p. 41
The Psalmody                      Psalm                         p. 128
The Lection                           The Passion History

The Sermon Hymn # 520:1, 8-12   Commit  2:55 

The Sermon –     Paul, Grace, and Faith
 
The Prayers
The Lord’s Prayer
The Collect for Grace                                              p. 45

The Hymn # 558                  All Praise                   2:9

KJV Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

8 But what saith it?  The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.


Paul, Grace, and Faith


Martin Chemnitz (like Tyndale, the translator behind the King James Version) studied under Luther and Melanchthon. Decades after the death of Luther, his heirs trusted Chemnitz to be the senior editor of the Formula of Concord, the Book of Concord.

That should prove that Chemnitz can define faith properly, so I turned to his textbook for preparing men for the pastoral ministry. There Chemnitz emphasized that the Bible teaches faith in the Word. Enchiridion, p. 75.

What is justifying faith?
The definition of faith is well known; but to the unlearned (WELS) it can most simply be explained thus: The object of faith in general is the Word of God; for we ought to apply faith to every Word divinely given and revealed. But justifying faith has its own and special object that it seeks in Holy Scriptures and that it regards and apprehends, namely Christ our Mediator and the promise of grace, which is given for the sake of Christ. Romans 3:24-25; 4:13, 16; Gal 3:22.

Today people are trying separate the Word, God’s grace, and faith, as if they are sorting various foods or colors or animals that do not belong together. They are not teaching justification by teaching against it.

Righteousness is another name for forgiveness, but this is most clearly understood as the righteousness of God. It is outside of us and given to us through faith.

KJV Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

How are people ignorant of God’s righteousness? This passage alone teaches clearly about this righteousness.

One only obtains this righteousness through faith in God’s Word, which conveys the atonement of Christ to us.

How can anyone assure another of forgiveness? Christ has died for your sins. For you as an individual. That is the Gospel, especially in so many ways, the same message each time. This divinely powered Word stirs up faith and increases faith so we grasp its truth as our own.

Faith is not opposed to grace, and grace is not opposed to faith, because faith is God’s creation, not ours. It is the will of God (not our will). We cannot use our own power, will, or intellect to believe in the Gospel, but the Holy Spirit enters our hearts through the Word and enlivens that trust.

4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

The Gospel fulfills the Law. We must be perfect, and God makes us perfect, righteous, and innocent through faith in His Son Jesus. The only way we can live (eternally) is through Christ. Otherwise, any form of the Law, whether Mosaic or man’s invented law, will condemn us apart from faith.

Yet we have that paradox, that contradiction, that we are both forgiven and yet remain capable of sin. So there is an constant need for repentance and trust in the Gospel. When people go astray, they use the Gospel as an excuse, harden their hearts against the Word, and finally give up their hypocritical abuse of the Gospel.

6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

This great work is accomplished in the Word of God, almost always through speaking and hearing. The Word of God enters us through hearing and changes us. It must, because of its divine power. If it works on us and we stubbornly reject it, the Word hardens us and blinds us. This has happened to many ministers who toy with the Word and decide what they believe or reject. Finally they reject all of it but find it a convenient way to make an easy living. They teach positive thinking or social action or self-centeredness, all popular masks for the law. No one objects because the cross is taken away.  In time the obvious appeals to God are dropped and the Father Below is revealed more clearly.

8 But what saith it?  The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

The clever ones today work over Chapter 3 or 4 in Romans, twisting them into knots, but definitely (defiantly too) ignore these verses, which destroy their fantasies.

How clear is justification by faith? Salvation comes from the Word of faith. Believe in the Gospel, confess its truth, and you will be forgiven and saved.

Where has the entire world confessed faith in Christ? Nowhere. Just the opposite is truth. In the visible church many reject faith in Christ, substituting all kinds of false doctrines and works instead. But here, the message is abundantly clear, plain, and easy to grasp.

The Word is near to you. Even in your mouth and your heart. People confess what they believe with their mouths. I ask false teachers questions that cannot be avoided. They give themselves away. Not – do not believe the Bible is God’s Word? But – are there any contradictions in God’s Word? The second question gets Old Nick going right away.

I asked one false teacher, If an evangelism campaign does not get the results desired, is it the fault of the methods used? Right away, the false teacher said, “Yes,” and began defending that answer. So did the district VP, chiming in.

So the Word of God is ineffective, but the right methods of man are effective? That is a heavy burden for man to bear, to help Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, with His work. Our Heavenly Father must be grateful for the help. Those who adulterate the Word also adulterate their own lives and families.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

I am looking for the loophole that eliminates justification by faith from these two verses. How does anyone “believe unto righteousness” and have justification by faith excluded. It is a puzzle too great for me. I will stick with the clear Word of God. What do we fear – condemnation and shame. That is often the last state of the condemned person who pleads his own innocence and makes up excuses. We are guilty of sin but not ashamed, because God grants us pardon and peace in His Gospel of peace.

12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

We are exploring the Gospel among Jews and Gentiles in Romans, and Paul teaches how this applies to both groups. Calling on Christ is a product of faith. Only believers call upon Christ as Savior. And whoever believes with his heart and calls upon Him with his mouth will be saved.

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

And here is the pastoral ministry. Nothing is said about keeping everyone happy, organizing pleasant little groups, balancing the budget, or cell groups. This profound passage reverses the order from the grand conclusion already established. How can this happen without people who proclaim the Word of God. That is their sole mission, to proclaim the Gospel of peace, to produce a harvest of faith with the Word of God, and to raise up eternal life with the Great I AM.

I Am the Resurrection and the Life.

I AM the Bread of Life.

I AM the True Vine.

I AM the Good Shepherd.

I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me.



Quotations

"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, p. 607. Tappert, p. 378. 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, p. 607. Tappert, p. 378. 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, p. 607. Tappert, p. 377. 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, p. 607. Tappert, p. 377. 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, p. 609. Tappert, p. 379. 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, p. 609. Tappert, p. 378.                                . 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, p. 609. Tappert, p. 378.  Akedia: Aristotle's Ethics, IV. 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, p. 609. Tappert, p. 378. 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, p. 609. Tappert, p. 378. 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. J. T. Mueller, Christian Dog, p. 133.    



No comments: