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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sexagesima Sunday, 2013. Luke 8:4-15




Sexagesima Sunday, 2013

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn #190               Christ the Lord                      1:52
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 # 339               All Hail the Power             1:57

Sowing the Word of God

The Hymn # 308     Invited                         1:63
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 #46     On What Has Now Been Sown              1:62

2 Corinthians 11:19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.  21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.  22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.  23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool ) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.  24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.  25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;  26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;  27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.  28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.  29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?  30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.  31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.  32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:  33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands. 12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.  2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.  3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)  4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.  5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.  6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.  7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.  9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

KJV Luke 8:4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: 5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? 10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Sexagesima Sunday
Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank Thee, that through Thy Son Jesus Christ Thou hast sown Thy holy word among us: We pray that Thou wilt prepare our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may diligently and reverently hear Thy word, keep it in good hearts, and bring forth fruit with patience; and that we may not incline to sin, but subdue it by Thy power, and in all persecutions comfort ourselves with Thy grace and continual help, through Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.



Sowing the Word of God


KJV Luke 8:4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to Him out of every city, He spake by a parable:

The Parable of the Sower and the Seed should encourage any believers who wants to know about the growth of the Kingdom of God.

Jesus used parables in two ways. They were interesting but mysterious short stories and brief sayings that were easy to remember – in fact, almost impossible to forget. But the masses did not know their real meaning.

The second role of the parables is to give significant instruction to believers, who have to study the lessons and grasp the meaning of each one. The first part (easy to remember, impossible to forget) is an important part of this. We know the basic parables, but we want to know what Jesus was teaching, especially since they have their mysterious, tricky, or counter-intuitive parts. (Why is the man tossed out of the wedding feast, to burn in Hell forever? Dress code? Is that fair?)

So the impact of the parables has been great. They are part of our language and culture, even though many fail to understand what they mean. If they are curious about them or come to faith later, they have the parables to instruct them. Also, life-long students of the Bible always have more to learn from them, because so much meaning is imparted in a few words.

5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

This is not a lesson on gardening, so the carelessness of the sower is meant to remind us about broadcasting the Word rather than fretting over where it lands.
The garden plots in that area were small, since land was precious, and they were divided by footpaths. One of the cardinal rules of gardening is not to walk on any soil where something should grow. Nothing kills plant growth more effectively than walking on soil and compacting it.

So this wayside was a path where people walked to get to their garden plot.  This path was compacted soil and grew nothing. When seed fell on it, the seed could not take root, so the watchful birds landed and devoured it as an extra treat. Birds are quite clever about gardening. They gather in trees and bushes and wait until the gardener is done. The grubs and worms are exposed by digging, and seed scattered on paving or paths is spotted and eaten.

This seed is the Word of God. This part of the parable represents those who hear the Gospel without regarding its truth, its message of forgiveness from sin. They often see it as an opportunity for spiritual bullying. Tyrants in the church bodies use it to oppress others while claiming a special role that cannot be questioned. They even say, “Touch not the Lord’s Anointed,” as if they are infallible while abusing the infallible Word of God.

For various reasons people go through the motions, not believing, but always putting something ahead of faith in the Gospel. For the last 50 years, many accepted false teaching because they were attached to a congregation or denomination. They should thank God that He has allowed the false doctrine to be so obvious that members and pastors no longer have an excuse for staying in the same stall with unbelieving leaders.

Because they do not care to grasp the Word of God as it is, Satan snatches it from them the way a bird lights and grabs seed from the ground. The Word itself speaks to people and teaches them through the Holy Spirit, as Luther wrote. But if we let a mere human being to counter the truth of God’s Word, we are letting Satan snatch it from us.

3. Therefore Christ says the devil cometh and taketh away the Word from their heart, that they may not believe and be saved. What power of Satan this alone reveals, that hearts, hardened through a worldly mind and life, lose the Word and let it go, so that they never understand or confess it; but instead of the Word of God Satan sends false teachers to tread it under foot by the doctrines of men. For it stands here written both that it was trodden under foot, and the birds of the heaven devoured it. The birds Christ himself interprets as the messengers of the devil, who snatch away the Word and devour it, which is done when he turns and blinds their hearts so that they neither understand nor esteem it, as St. Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:4: “They will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.” By the treading under foot of men Christ means the teachings of men, that rule in our hearts, as he says in Matthew 5:13 also of the salt that has lost its savor, it is cast out and trodden under foot of men; that is, as St. Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:11, they must believe a lie because they have not been obedient to the truth.



6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

Seed often falls on areas where it can easily germinate and start to grow. Two things encourage this. A flat area will gather dust and organic material, such as dead leaves and grass. It may be warmer than surrounding soil. The seed germinates quickly, takes root in almost nothing, starts to grow from the trapped moisture, and quickly dries up from too much heat, too little moisture, too little soil. Maple trees start in the rain gutters of homes, but few forests grow there. The time comes when the best little maple seedlings dry up.

This section illustrates those people who hear the Gospel and understands what it means. They rejoice in justification by faith, because they have never heard someone say, before this time, that believing is forgiveness.

Now the struggle begins. As soon as someone knows the truth, he is a target of Satan’s crafts and assaults. As Rome said during the Reformation and the synods say today, “Will you abandon Holy Mother Church for this fanaticism? Will you give up family and friends? Your vocation? Your respect and esteem among colleagues? How could so many of our great and wise teachers be wrong?”

And there are many other kinds of persecution. When someone gives up an addiction, the continuing addicts attack with charm and persuasion – Just try some. Or – don’t be a sissy and mama’s boy. The former friends are only too happy to re-supply because the convert makes them feel guilty.

An entire generation of church leaders have created this situation by never teaching the cross. The post WWII church was very fat and successful, so much that no one thought to deal with any doctrinal issues. Cooperation was the word, whether openly or covertly. All the denominations work together for false doctrine (universal absolution) and against sound doctrine (faithful ministers and members). Few thought to question this because everyone was building new buildings and spending millions of dollars here and there. Now these churches are emptying out because the following generations do not care, do not attend, do not give, do not believe.

Those who believe and retreat into the same errors are that much harder to reach with the Word. This is divine retribution. The same Word of God that converts and enlightens will also blind and harden when people reject it. So some ministers will go through the motions to spare themselves. In doing so, they harden themselves against the Gospel and lose the Gospel. They can still go on speaking the words and not meaning them. The more they do this, the worse it gets.

Many times Satan will reveal himself at the end and show the false teacher how empty his life is. One famous Evangelical leader confessed to a friend, “My entire life is a lie. All these honors mean nothing.”

When people are shocked by posters and ads sponsored by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, I tell them, “Yes I spoke at the WELS church where one of them was the pastor.” He is still listed as an expert writer of WELS essays in the WELS Essay Files (the Holy of Holies).

Pope Pius XII and Paul Tillich lived with great acclaim and died in terror.


But when the sun shines hot it withers, because it has no soil and moisture, and only rock is there. So these do; in times of persecution they deny or keep silence about the Word, and work, speak and suffer all that their persecutors mention or wish, who formerly went forth and spoke, and confessed with a fresh and joyful spirit the same, while there was still peace and no heat, so that there was hope they would bear much fruit and serve the people. For these fruits are not only the works, but more the confession, preaching and spreading of the Word, so that many others may thereby be converted and the kingdom of God be developed.

7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

Whenever something worthwhile grows, a weed that thrives among its growth will spring up and take over.

There is a Morning Glory relative that grows in bushes and drops seed to keep going, no matter what. Woody nightshade will do the same. I had nutgrass grow up in imitation of corn until it was six feet tall and welded to the soil. Plants do not like too much sun or shade, but weeds thrive in both. The bane of yards in Phoenix produced thousands of seeds and grew in drought, but grew even faster in rain.

Gardeners know that a neglected garden will soon fade away. The Word of God has power on its own, but we lose the value of that power through neglect and distraction.

14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
A plant is not going to reach perfection when surrounded by weeds, deprived of water and sun.

We see that today when people have cut a deal where the Means of Grace are neglected because it was once true that half of members were not there to worship on a Sunday. Now, in large churches, the figure is more like 80% are missing.

An individual who cares so little about the Word, that token membership is allowed, will fit this part of the parable. It happens often. It always has. Many wealthy and powerful rulers said, “I want the Christian church in my kingdom.” When they heard the Word of God, they were angry and retaliated. So it was that Chemnitz was kicked out of his post for teaching the truth because he angered the duke.


Therefore they are like the seed that fell among the thorns. Although it is not rocky but good soil; not wayside but deeply plowed soil; yet, the thorns will not let it spring up, they choke it. Thus these have all in the Word that is needed for their salvation, but they do not make any use of it, and they rot in this life in carnal pleasures. To these belong those who hear the Word but do not bring under subjection their flesh. They know their duty but do it not, they teach but do not practice what they teach, and are this year as they were last.

8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?

Any gardener has had this experience. For one reason or another, seed is cast in places where it grows miraculously, simply from being thrown. Extra seed. Seed from a packet.

My favorite was true Snow on the Mountain (not the weed grown in the shade, whose real name was goutweed).

I had this packet and didn’t know where to plant it. I threw the seed against the garage where other plants were growing and forgot. Later this beautiful flower grew up. I wondered what it was and remembered about the packet.

We can start to see the point of this parable here. After showing three types of failure (not the Word’s, but man’s), the parable reveals that the growth will more than make up for all the losses.

15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the Word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.


This is what Chemnitz taught, that the preacher should faithfully teach and the hearers listen with attention, not doubting that the Word would be fruitful. The uncertain minister is really someone who does not quite believe that something so scorned would be of value to anyone or move them to do something worthwhile.

Thus many fall upon coaching talks that derive their wisdom from the world of business and Asian religion – even from the occult. Schuller copied Peale, who plagiarized the occult. Many Baptists and Pentecostals follow Paul Y. Cho, who teaches directly from Asian occult religion. Some mix their “spiritual wisdom” with Napoleon Hill, who denied Satan, made fun of religion, and spoke to spirits hovering in his hellish study. (Think and Grow Rich, Grow Rich with Peace of Mind). Schuller and Mary Kay (Cosmetics) are award winners of the Napoleon Hill Foundation.

But the Word itself is more powerful than any double-edged sword. This is a sword we can take into any battle, for offense and defense. This Sword of the Spirit teaches the Gospel and defeats all false doctrine. It replaces man’s wisdom with true wisdom, the wisdom of God.

And the results are great.

In a few years there has been a growth in teaching justification by faith. As I recently wrote, there are five Lutheran blogs where this is prominent and taught without cavil. Naturally, opposition springs up wherever it is taught. But that opposition is good for teaching the Gospel.

When people try to take away the Gospel, we realize how it is priceless and valuable, not only for us, but for all people.

Trusting in God helps us see how God works miracles great and small to advance His Kingdom.


The devil does not snatch it away, nor are they thereby led astray, moreover the heat of persecution does not rob them of it, and the thorns of pleasure and the avarice of the times do not hinder its growth; but they bear fruit by teaching others and by developing the kingdom of God, hence they also do good to their neighbor in love; and therefore Christ adds, “they bring forth fruit with patience.” For these must suffer much on account of the Word, shame and disgrace from fanatics and heretics, hatred and jealousy with injury to body and property from their persecutors, not to mention what the thorns and the temptations of their own flesh do, so that it may well be called the Word of the cross; for he who would keep it must bear the cross and misfortune, and triumph.

8. He says: “In honest and good hearts.” Like a field, that is without a thorn or brush, cleared and spacious, as a beautiful clean place: so a heart is also cleared and clean, broad and spacious, that is without cares and avarice as to temporal needs, so that the Word of God truly finds lodgment there. But the field is good, not only when it lies there cleared and level, but when it is also rich and fruitful, possesses soil and is productive, and not like a stony and gravelly field. Just so is the heart that has good soil and with a full spirit is strong, fertile and good to keep the Word and bring forth fruit with patience.



Quotations about the Word of God

Heart of the New Testament
"The genuine sacraments, therefore, are Baptism, the Lord's Supper,
and absolution (which is the sacrament of penitence), for these
rites have the commandment of God and the promise of grace, which
is the heart of the New Testament."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XIII, Number/Use
Sacraments, The Book of Concord, ed., Theodore G. Tappert,
Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1983, p. 211.

               Losing Sight of the Means of Grace
"To remain properly humble while firmly rejecting all erroneous
teachings regarding the means of grace, we should remind ourselves
how even Christians who teach and, as a rule, also believe, the
correct doctrine of the means of grace, in their personal practice
very often lose sight of the means of grace.  This is done whenever
they base the certainty of grace, or of the forgiveness of sin, on
their feeling of grace or the gratia infusa, instead of on God's
promise in the objective means of grace.  All of us are by nature
'enthusiasts.'"
Francis Pieper,
Christian Dogmatics, 3 vol.,
trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing
House, 1953, III,  p. 131.

                  Luther and the Means of Grace
"No other human writer has so forcefully as Luther set forth the
nature of the divinely ordained means of grace, their importance
for faith and life, and the destructive effect of severing grace
from the means of grace.  For Luther was trained in the school of
the terrors of conscience for the work of reforming the Church,
while Zwingli's reformation and theology sprang largely from the
soil of Humanism and bears a speculative stamp throughout.
Calvinistic theology from Calvin down to our day teaches not so
much the God who has revealed and given Himself to us in His Word,
but at the critical points substitutes speculations regarding the
absolute God for what the divine Word teaches."
Francis Pieper,
Christian Dogmatics, 3 vol., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht,
St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III,  p. 137f.

                Do the Means of Grace Limit God?
"Scripture binds all knowledge of Christian truth to the Word of
Christ, who says:  ean humeis meinete ev tw logw tw emw...gnwsesthe
ten aletheian (John 8:31-32).  Faith and regeneration is effected
by the Holy Ghost through the Word (1 Corinthians 2:4-5; 1 Peter
1:23).  The Spirit is received through the hearing of faith
(Galatians 3:2, 5).  The Word of the Cross (ho logos ho tou
staurou) is the power of God to those who are saved (1 Corinthians
1:18).  Hence actually everything that is regarded as brought about
by the Holy Ghost without the Word is factious, 'illusory,'
'self-produced.'  The experience one has, or imagines, without the
means of grace is not the product of the Holy Ghost, but is
'man-made.'"
Francis Pieper,
Christian Dogmatics, 3 vol., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht,
St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III,  p. 136.

"Is it not a limitation of God's sovereignty and power to affirm
that these acts are accomplished only through means?  Theology does
not deal with divine possibilities, but with what God has revealed
concerning Himself and His various forms of activity.  Not only
have we no promise of His intervention otherwise, but He constantly
turns us away from any expectation of such aid to the simple means,
in and through which He promises to be always found with His entire
efficacy."
Henry Eyster Jacobs,
A Summary of the Christian Faith, Philadelphia:  General Council
Publication House, 1913, p. 265.

"But in extraordinary cases, does He not dispense with means?
Even there, means are employed; but in an extraordinary way.  At
Pentecost the multitudes were converted through the Word, although
this Word was given under extraordinary conditions and
circumstances, just as the multitudes in the wilderness were
sustained not without bread, but with bread furnished in an
extraordinary manner."
Henry Eyster Jacobs,
A Summary of the Christian Faith, Philadelphia:  General Council
Publication House, 1913, p. 266.

             Peculiar Glory of the Lutheran Church
"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.

               Power to Work and Strengthen Faith
"We saw before that Scripture ascribes the forgiveness of sins
without reservation to the Word of the Gospel, to Baptism, and to
the Lord's Supper.  Therefore all means of grace have the vis
effectiva, the power to work and to strengthen faith." [Note:
Augsburg Confession, V, XIII]
Francis Pieper,
Christian Dogmatics, 3 vol., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht,
St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III,  p. 108f.

                          True Treasure
"These means are the true treasure of the church through which
salvation in Christ is offered.  They are the objective
proclamation of faith which alone makes man's subjective faith
possible (Augsburg Confession, Article V).  The Formula of Concord
(Solid Declaration, Article XI, 76) states expressly that God
alone draws man to Christ and that he does this only through the
means of grace."
Walter G. Tillmanns, "Means of Grace: Use of,"
The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, 3 vol., Julius Bodensieck,
Minneapolis:  Augsburg Publishing House, 1965, II,  p. 1505.

"God bestows His saving grace 'only through the Word and with the
external and preceding Word' (nisi per verbum et cum verbo externo
et praecedente, SA-III VIII, 3; Jn 8:31-32; Ro 10:14-17).
Therefore the Bible inculcates faithful adherence to the Gospel and
the Sacraments administered according to Christ's institution (Mt
28:19-20; Jn 8:31-32; Acts 17:11; Titus 1:9).  Because of the
strong emphasis on the Word in the Lutheran Confessions,
Holy Scripture has rightly been called the Formal Principle of the
Reformation."
John T. Mueller, "Grace, Means of,"
Lutheran Cyclopedia, Erwin L. Lueker, St. Louis:  Concordia
Publishing House, 1975, p. 343.  John 8:31; Rom 10:14

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

                        All Glory to God
"In its teaching on the immutability, unchangeableness, and
permanency of the means of grace, the Lutheran Church gives all
glory to God alone because it teaches that no one, not even a
minister of the Word, can change the means of grace from that which
God instituted."
Edwin E. Pieplow, "The Means of Grace,"
The Abiding Word, ed., Theodore Laetsch, St. Louis:  Concordia
Publishing House, 1946, II,  p. 333.

"It is God alone who may speak the word of pardon, who can produce
faith, but it is God who is speaking in the Gospel and the
Sacraments (Luke 24:47: 'in His name') and creating faith through
them (Acts 16:14--Lydia; James 1:18; I Thessalonians 2:13).  The
word of the Gospel is therefore not a dead letter, nor are the
Sacraments empty symbols, but they are the power of God.  The power
of God is inseparably connected with, is inherent in, the means of
grace."
Edwin E. Pieplow, "The Means of Grace,"
The Abiding Word, ed., Theodore Laetsch, St. Louis:  Concordia
Publishing House, 1946, II,  p. 335.  Luke 24:47; Acts 16

                       Holiness of Church
"The church is recognized, not by external peace but by the Word
and the Sacraments.  For wherever you see a small group that has
the true Word and the Sacraments, there the church is if only the
pulpit and the baptismal font are pure.  The church does not stand
on the holiness of any one person but solely on the holiness and
righteousness of the Lord Christ, for He has sanctified her by
Word and Sacrament."
Martin Luther,
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,
ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House,
1959, I,  p. 263.  Matthew 24:4-7

"From this it follows that they act foolishly, yea, against God's
order and institution, who despise and reject the external Word,
thinking that the Holy Spirit and faith should come to them without
means.  It will indeed be a long time before that happens."
Martin Luther,
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass,
St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II,  p. 915.

                           Foul Errors
"For we can definitely assert that where the Lord's Supper,
Baptism, and the Word are found, Christ, the remission of sins, and
life eternal are found.  On the other hand, where these signs of
grace are not found, or where they are despised by men, not only
grace is lacking but also foul errors will follow.  Then men will
set up other forms of worship and other signs for themselves."
Martin Luther,
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass,
St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II,  p. 914.
Genesis 4:3

                    God Asked No One's Advice
"In reconciling the world unto Himself by Christ's substitutionary
satisfaction, God asked no one's advice concerning His singular
method of reconciliation.  In like manner, without asking any man's
advice, He ordained the means by which He gives men the infallible
assurance of His gracious will toward them; in other words, He both
confers on men the remission of sins merited by Christ and works
faith in the proffered remission or, where faith already exists,
strengthens it.  The Church has appropriately called these
divine ordinances the means of grace, media gratiae, instrumenta
gratiae; Formula of Concord:  'Instrumenta sive media Spiritus
Sancti' (Triglotta, p. 903, Solid Declaration, II, 58).  They are
the Word of the Gospel, Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, as will be
shown more fully on the following pages."
Francis Pieper,
Christian Dogmatics, 3 vol., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht,
St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III,  p. 103.

"It is also taught among us that man possesses some measure of
freedom of the will which enables him to live an outwardly
honorable life and to make choices among the things that reason
comprehends.  But without the grace, help, and activity of the Holy
Spirit man is not capable of making himself acceptable to God, of
fearing God and believing in God with his whole heart, or of
expelling inborn evil lusts from his heart.  This is accomplished
by the Holy Spirit, who is given through the Word of God, for Paul
says in 1 Corinthians 2:14, 'Natural man does not receive the gifts
of the Spirit of God.'" [cites Augustine, Hypognosticon contra
Palaginos]
Augsburg Confession, Article XVIII, Freedom of the Will,
The Book of Concord, ed., Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia:
Fortress Press, 1983, p. 39.  German trans.  1 Corinthians 2:14

                   Means of Grace and Victory
"Wherever the means of grace are present, there the Lord Himself is
present, and where the Lord rules there is victory.  The true
doctrine of justification is intimately bound up with the true
doctrine of the means of grace.  In order to keep the doctrine of
justification in all its purity, one must ever maintain that the
forgiveness of sins which Christ earned for mankind can never be
appropriated by man through any other means than the Word and the
Sacrament.  Therefore, Walther said, the correct doctrine on
justification stands or falls with the correct doctrine concerning
the means of grace."
Edwin E. Pieplow, "The Means of Grace," The Abiding Word,
ed., Theodore Laetsch, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House,
1946, II,  p. 327.  "peculiar glory" passage follows. See Conc Cyc.

                 Word Not a Lifeless Instrument
"We are not, then, in any way to represent to ourselves the
relation of the Word and the Spirit as though the Word were merely
the lifeless instrument which the Holy Ghost employed, or as
thought the Spirit, when he wished to operate through the Word,
must always first unite himself with it, as if he were
ordinarily separated from it."
Heinrich Schmid,
The Doctrinal Theology of the Ev. Luth. Church, Charles A. Hay,
Henry E. Jacobs, Philadelphia:  Lutheran Publication Society,
1889, p. 505.



                        Justification and the Means of Grace
"The starting point in presenting the doctrine of the means of
grace must be the universal objective reconciliation or
justification.  This is the procedure of Scripture."
Francis Pieper,
Christian Dogmatics, 3 vol., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht,
St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III,  p. 105.

"For Scripture never calls either Baptism or the Lord's Supper
mysteries or sacraments.  Therefore this is an unwritten (agraphos)
appellation."
Martin Chemnitz,
Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St.
Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1986, II,  p. 29.

                  Anything Else - Of the Devil
"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.


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