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

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

More Luther Reformation Quotations

The Fuller paradigm is to establish a personality cult,
like Mark Jeske's, but that is not Luther's concept.
"Settled doctrine" is a phrase used in WELS to substitute for a raised fist.
Luther needs no explanation.
Being inept in Luther's doctrine is a prime requirement
for synodical leadership today.
I thought Ambrose opposed justification by faith -
perhaps Buchholz and his confirmation teach, Jay Webber, have
a different edition of the Book of Concord.

Luther Graphics

Luther could summarize the ministry in one sentence.

This quotation has enjoyed over 55,000 page-views,
a good number for a blog nobody reads.

Herman Otten promoted and sold the book, "The Facts about Luther,"
a Roman Catholic textbook of hate-filled lies,
based on Cochlaeus' Seven-Headed Luther tract.
Anything for buck, eh Herman?

Satan looks and acts like Paul Kelm,
but with a much higher IQ.

This Luther quotation eviscerates UOJ arguments,
but the hive is hardened against Luther.



Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reformation Sunday, 2013.

John Huss stood up against the papacy and was executed.
The Lutherans were accused of being Hussites,
threatened with death.


The Festival of the Reformation, 2013


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn #260   O Lord Look Down                1.4
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 # 262 A Mighty Fortress            1:86

Matthew’s Strange Statement

The Communion Hymn #259                Flung to the Heedless Winds 1.64
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn # 261     Lord Keep Us Steadfast            1.93

KJV Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

KJV Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. 15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Collect
O almighty, eternal God: We confess that we are poor sinners and cannot answer one of a thousand, when Thou contendest with us; but with all our hearts we thank Thee, that Thou hast taken all our guilt from us and laid it upon Thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and made Him to atone for it: We pray Thee graciously to sustain us in faith, and so to govern us by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may live according to Thy will, in neighborly love, service, and helpfulness, and not give way to wrath or revenge, that we may not incur Thy wrath, but always find in Thee a gracious Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.
 
Martin Luther - sepia tone by Norma Boeckler.

Matthew’s Strange Statement

KJV Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. 15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Lenski:
In substance it is quite the same whether we say, the kingdom itself “comes forward powerfully” or “is brought forward powerfully” by John and by Jesus. This statement obviously characterizes the years “from the days of John the Baptist until now,” from the day when John began to baptize until now when Jesus was in the full swing of his work. Of course, “until now” does not imply that this urging of the kingdom on men ceases at this moment; the matter goes on. We have no reason to make the enemies of the kingdom the agents of βιάζεται biazetai (when it is regarded as a passive) and to refer the verb to their violence against it, letting the second clause express the same thought. The trend of the entire discourse deals, not with violence against the kingdom, but with the indifference and the dissatisfaction that hinder men from entering it with zest.
Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. Matthew's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN. : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 437.

This is one of the strangest verses in the Bible, and I have tended to skip over it. However, Lenski has a good statement about it.

Jesus spoke these words and they were considered important enough to be included in the primary Gospel of the four. Matthew’s Gospel is dominant, treated as the one best known and most often used. Since the Gospels are really quite small in size, a verse or two means a lot.

Many more things could have been described and quoted, so the inspiration of the Holy Spirit moved Matthew to record this saying.

Jesus was commending the work of John the Baptist and connecting it with His own. God’s plan was to use special men to create His Kingdom. Moses and the prophets were men of action, leaders who forced things to happen with God’s Word.

Moses was a preacher of righteousness – a Gospel teacher.

The prophets warned and comforted the people with God’s Word, always holding up the importance of faith in the coming Messiah, the Savior.

Although the prophets seemed to be failures in being hated and persecuted, even killed, they were part of creating the Kingdom by the force of God’s Word.

John the Baptist was the last great Old Testament prophet, in that sense, fulfilling Isaiah 40 and ushering in the public ministry of Christ. For those favors he was beheaded.

Lenski translates the difficult passage as –

Now from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of the heavens presses forward forcefully, and forceful people snatch it.

They are forceful people because they use the Word of God. They did not soften the effect by diluting it with man’s wisdom, seeking popularity and acceptance. In each and every case of persecution and death, the opponents said, “Now we fixed him. He is silent. He can trouble us no more.”

But just the opposite was true. The death of these men piled up sins against their persecutors and spread the Word of God.

The crucifixion of Jesus did not end His ministry, but began His world-wide mission, led by the Holy Spirit and expanded among the apostles.

God’s plan is forceful rather than passive. Unlikely people study and employ His Word. The divine power of the Word necessarily causes God-ordained things to happen.



Reformation
The Reformation had so much power because of two factors. One was the suppression of the Gospel for centuries, so people felt the power of sin but not the comfort of God’s grace. That was denied to the people and clergy, and the way of salvation was seldom taught.

The second factor was the printing press, which was new in the West. The hunger for the Gospel combined with the instrument to spread that Word was simply explosive. For centuries after the leading best-sellers were Bibles or books about the Christian faith.

Many want to concentrate on the personalities of the Reformation and the history, but the real meaning of the Reformation was the new emphasis upon justification by faith, which is easily lost – due to man’s weakness for false doctrine.

Fundamental Problems
Someone was talking about conservative Protestants recently. He said, in so many words, “They treat the Holy Spirit as writing the Bible and convicting people of sin. In comparison, the Pentecostals emphasize the fruits of the Spirit.”

The context clearly suggested that sin was limited to the carnal sins. Therefore preaching the Holy Spirit is to them the hammer of the Law and nothing more. Repentance is sorrow for those carnal sins and promises to stop. A fundamental sermon could therefore have no Gospel at all in it, and that makes people associate church with guilt, lack of forgiveness, and a constant urging to make up, through works, for sins committed.

The Pentecostals do not emphasize the complete work of the Holy Spirit, in spite of their claims, but neither do many of the Lutherans, who should know better.

Holy Spirit and the Word
Many spread erroneous notions about the Reformation, such as Luther’s emphasis upon the Scriptures. The Scriptures were not disputed until later, when the papal forces began losing debates based upon the Word. Then they invoked the necessity of the pope’s judgment. And no one taught the Bible was full of errors and contradictions until the 18th century.

Luther’s most basic teachings were the same throughout his career, which made it so inflammatory among the false teachers:
  1. The Word of God is always efficacious, and accomplishes exactly what it promises, without regard to man’s understanding or logic.
  2. The Holy Spirit’s work of convicting us of sin is the sin of not trusting Christ completely – “not believing on Me.” John 16:8. That is a far cry from convicting of the sins of gambling, drinking, and running loose. Only one can be first and foremost. Since the foundation sin is supposedly carnal, the antidote is bound to be works to make for the sin. Thus Protestant Pietism tends to duplicate Catholic piety, works paying for sins.
  3. Teaching the truth also involves showing what is wrong with false doctrine.
Luther would have been tolerated as a Gospel teacher, but he was not welcome to identify the pope’s dogma with error.


Power of the Reformation – The Word of Forgiveness

We had the privilege of watching the old Luther film for a Reformation gathering. The 1953 movie, which can be viewed on any computer for $2 from Amazon, is quite eloquent in showing how Luther and a few others were powerless against the Catholic emperor and the pope, yet the Reformation took over Europe with the power of the Word alone.

People felt this power because they did not even have access to the Gospel Word in the Middle Ages. Books were hand-copied and chained to the walls at libraries.

A man who owned some books had a great fortune, an estate. Melanchthon, who dearly loved books, was denied his uncle’s collection because Philip remained faithful to the Evangelical Lutheran cause.

Many people like to pile on Melanchthon for not being another Luther, for being too eager to please, but Melanchthon never left the Lutheran Reformation and gave us two superb confessions – the Augsburg Confession and the Apology of the Augsburg Confession. Luther praised Philip’s work. He and the Concord editors called themselves “theologians of the Augsburg Confession.”

The Augsburg Confession and the Apology are beautiful expression of justification by faith alone. If anyone is confused about the issues, a reading of the articles on justification in both confessions will easily end any confusion or doubts.

This is so important because then, as now, people were lost and bewildered about the forgiveness of sins. Medicine for the soul is even more important than traditional medicine. If the wrong remedy is applied, or the right one is shunned, great harm, even eternal harm can be done to the individual.

Besides that, religion is the backbone of society. If a society is infected with the wrong religion, bad results will follow. Likewise, education, the arts, freedom, and commerce flourish when people follow sound doctrine, a healthy Christianity instead of a toxic one.

Luther has a simple formula, easy to remember – believing in Him is forgiveness, not believing in Him means no forgiveness. This removes merit and works, because faith can only come from the power of the Gospel.

The Means of Grace are the instruments by which Jesus our Savior comes to us, in both natures. This is a personal encounter, made more powerful by the many ways He arrives – in preaching and teaching, in Holy Baptism and Holy Communion, in absolution, and in the mutual consolation of fellow believers.

Jesus comes to us and changes us by His presence. He abolishes sin so that the fruits of the Spirit may grow abundantly in our lives.

I have watched many versions of Luther’s story and the Reformation. The 1953 got it exactly right. Luther surrendered himself completely to the Word of God. When Zwingli wanted him to compromise about Holy Communion, he could not.

When the emperor and others wanted him to compromise about the Gospel, he could not.

He saw life as a very short time of trouble, bearing the cross in teaching the Word.



From Thy Strong Word

J-801
"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."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 61. Article on Baptism, 1529.

The Visible Word

J-802
"If we call Sacraments rites which have the command of God, and to which the promise of grace has been added, it is easy to decide what are properly Sacraments. For rites instituted by men will not in this way be Sacraments properly so called. For it does not belong to human authority to promise grace. Therefore signs instituted without God’s command are not sure signs of grace, even though they perhaps instruct the rude [children or the uncultivated], or admonish as to something [as a painted cross]. Therefore Baptism, the Lord's Supper, and Absolution, which is the Sacrament of Repentance, are truly Sacraments. For these rites have God's command and the promise of grace, which is peculiar to the New Testament. For when we are baptized, when we eat the Lord's body, when we are absolved, our hearts must be firmly assured that God truly forgives us for Christ's sake. And God, at the same time, by the Word and by the rite, moves hearts to believe and conceive faith, just as Paul says, Romans 10:17: 'Faith cometh by hearing.' But just as the Word enters the ear in order to strike our heart, so the rite itself strikes the eye, in order to move the heart. The effect of the Word and of the rite is the same, as it has been well said by Augustine that a Sacrament is a visible word, because the rite is received by the eyes, and is, as it were, a picture of the Word, signifying the same thing as the Word. Therefore the effect of both is the same."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, XIII, #3-5. Number/Use Sacraments. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 309. Tappert, p. 211. Heiser, p. 94.

The term Sacrament is not directly from the Scriptures but expresses what the Bible teaches.422 In this area especially, one must not only ask about the terms used, but also determine what an individual means by those terms. Many expressions overlap. Those who do not accept the Biblical meaning of the Sacraments will still use the term while calling the Sacrament only symbolic. One can find this use among Presbyterians and Methodists as well. The Methodists claim to teach the Real Presence of Christ in Holy Communion, but their official doctrinal statement limits the presence to a spiritual presence. Lutherans may rarely use the favorite Reformed term, ordinance, instead of Sacrament. Lutherans may also write about the Sacraments being symbolic, without suggesting that they are only symbolic. Thus the secret bedfellows of the Reformed have a certain amount of confusion aiding them in their nefarious attempts to create a pan-Protestant generic faith marked by the absence of creeds, liturgy, and the Means of Grace.

J-803
"Although the Church properly is the congregation of saints and true believers, nevertheless, since in this life many hypocrites and evil persons are mingled therewith, it is lawful to use Sacraments administered by evil men, according to the saying of Christ: 'The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat, etc.' Matthew 23:2. Both the Sacraments and Word are effectual by reason of the institution and commandment of Christ, notwithstanding they be administered by evil men."
Augsburg Confession, VIII. What the Church Is, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 47. Tappert, p. 33. Heiser, p. 13.

We live in an era where Lutheran leaders believe they can slither around the topic of false doctrine by teaching Lutheran doctrine while embracing Reformed methods. Thus WELS District President Robert Mueller published a fine statement against the Church Growth Movement while promoting Church Growth fervently within his district. Likewise, CLC President Dan Fleischer wrote an equally eloquent statement against the Church Growth Movement but also fanned the flames of Reformed doctrine within his tiny fiefdom. The Evangelical Lutheran Synod has prided itself on its opposition to the Church Growth Movement, but President George Orvick has always supported the error, sometimes with calculating silence, often with loud hurrahs for the false teachers of WELS.423 The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, under the conservative leadership of Al Barry, Paul McCain, and Herman Otten, has harbored in its bosom hundreds of Pentecostal ministers, not to mention congregations belonging to another denomination, the Willow Creek Association.424

J-804
"You cannot of a truth be for true doctrine without being unalterably opposed to false doctrine. There can be no 'positive theology' where the God-given negatives have been eliminated from the Decalog."
            Norman A. Madson, Preaching to Preachers, Mankato: Lutheran Synod Book Company, 1952. Preface.

Being for the Means of Grace must also include opposing any system of thought replacing or supplanting the doctrine revealed to us in the Scriptures and confessed in the Book of Concord. Lutherans use the expression “Means of Grace” to show that forgiveness of sin comes to us only through the invisible Word of preaching, teaching, and absolution or the visible Word of Baptism and Holy Communion. The Reformed do not downplay the Means of Grace. They utterly reject the Means of Grace, as all junior seminarians know.425

J-805
"But just as the Word of God is the means of Grace, it is also the means of judgment. 'He that rejected Me,' says Christ, John 12:48, 'and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him: the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the Last Day.'"
Eduard Preuss, "The Means of Grace," The Justification of the Sinner before God, trans., Julius A. Friedrich, Chicago: F. Allerman, 1934, p. 63.

We owe our confirmation youth the knowledge of the Means of Grace in an era where so much confusion abounds concerning how we are forgiven of our sins by God. Lutherans are not Protestants who happen to use the liturgy and creeds. Cults have their greatest success with youth who have been poorly trained in their own faith, whether it is Judaism or Christianity. The loss of confessionalism quickly turns into apathy toward the Bible and a vague sense of righteousness based upon good works. This leaves youth with no sense of God-given purpose, no place to turn for genuine forgiveness, and no foundation for discerning between truth and falsehood, good and evil. The mainline churches set up their youth for cult membership by teaching tolerance for everything except confessionalism.

J-806
"To you, I must thank especially. You made me realize that there is so much in the Bible that is yet to be discovered. You definitely made confirmation fun and sweet! I have learned so much from you and I hope that I never forget it. I want you to know that without your teaching, I would not know the Means of Grace. Thank you so much, again."
Katie Schmidt, (newly confirmed), Church of the Lutheran Confession. Letter to Gregory L. Jackson, 5-29-96.

J-807
"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.

J-808
"The Lutheran Church Faces the World by clinging to the Means of Grace. The doctrine of the means of grace is truly a most timely subject. For just in these last times, according to divine revelation, there will be at work many spiritual brigands who will perpetrate the grossest kind of deception."
Edwin E. Pieplow, "The Means of Grace," The Abiding Word, 3 vols., ed., Theodore Laetsch, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1946, II, p. 322.

J-809
"For the joy Thine advent gave me,
For Thy holy, precious Word;
For Thy Baptism, which doth save me,
For Thy blest Communion board;
For Thy death, the bitter scorn,
For Thy resurrection morn, Lord,
I thank Thee and extol Thee,
And in heaven I shall behold Thee."

Thomas Kingo, "Like the Golden Sun Ascending," #207, The Lutheran Hymnal, trans., George T. Rygh, 1908 St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1941.

J-810
"For this reason we shall now relate, furthermore, from God’s Word how man is converted to God, how and through what means [namely, through the oral Word and the holy Sacraments] the Holy Ghost wants to be efficacious in us, and to work and bestow in our hearts true repentance, faith, and new spiritual power and ability for good, and how we should conduct ourselves towards these means, and [how we should] use them."
Formula of Concord, SD II. #48. Free Will. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 901. Tappert, p. 530. Heiser, p. 246.

J-811
"Therefore God, out of His immense goodness and mercy, has His divine eternal Law and His wonderful plan concerning our redemption, namely, the holy, alone-saving Gospel of His eternal Son, our only Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, publicly preached; and by this [preaching] collects an eternal Church for Himself from the human race, and works in the hearts of men true repentance and knowledge of sins, and true faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. And by this means, and in no other way, namely, through His holy Word, when men hear it preached or read it, and the holy Sacraments when they are used according to His Word, God desires to call men to eternal salvation, draw them to Himself, and convert, regenerate, and sanctify them. 1 Corinthians 1:21: 'For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.' Acts 10:5-6..."
Formula of Concord SD II. #50. Free Will. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 901. Tappert, p. 530f. Heiser, p. 246.

J-812
"Moreover, the declaration, John 6:44, that no one can come to Christ except the Father draw him, is right and true. However, the Father will not do this without means, but has ordained for this purpose His Word and Sacraments as ordinary means and instruments; and it is the will neither of the Father nor of the Son that a man should not hear or should despise the preaching of His Word, and wait for the drawing of the Father without the Word and Sacraments. For the Father draws indeed by the power of His Holy Ghost, however, according to His usual order [the order decreed and instituted by Himself], by the hearing of His holy, divine Word, as with a net, by which the elect are plucked from the jaws of the devil. Every poor sinner should therefore repair thereto [to holy preaching], hear it attentively, and not doubt the drawing of the Father. For the Holy Ghost will be with His Word in His power, and work by it..."
Formula of Concord, SD XI. #76-77. Election. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1089. Tappert, p. 629. Heiser, p. 293. John 6:44.

J-813
"In the Acts of the Apostles also we read how again and again the Spirit was given through and in connection with the Word. The Apostles depended on nothing but Word and Sacrament."
G. H. Gerberding, The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church, Philadelphia: Lutheran Publication Society, 1887, p. 136.

J-814
"The same divine Saviour now works through means. He has founded a Church, ordained a ministry, and instituted the preaching of the Word and the administration of His own Sacraments. Christ now works in and through His Church. Through her ministry, preaching the Word, and administering the Sacraments, the Holy Spirit is given. (Augsburg Confession, Article 5.)
G. H. Gerberding, The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church, Philadelphia: Lutheran Publication Society, 1887, p. 30.

J-815
"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.

J-816
"When the efficacy of Word and Sacraments encounters man's unbelief and persistent resistance, their efficacy is not destroyed; but it is transformed from an efficacy of grace to one of judgment (2 Corinthians 2:16; 1 Corinthians 11:29)."
Henry Eyster Jacobs, A Summary of the Christian Faith, Philadelphia: General Council Publication House, 1913, p. 320.

J-817
"If the question is put, 'Why did God ordain so many means of grace when one suffices to confer upon the sinner His grace and forgiveness?' we quote the reply of Luther who writes (Smalcald Articles, IV: 'The Gospel not merely in one way gives us counsel and aid against sin, for God is superabundantly rich in His grace. First through the spoken Word, by which the forgiveness of sins is preached in the whole world, which is the peculiar office of the Gospel. Secondly through Baptism. Thirdly through the holy Sacrament of the Altar. Fourthly through the power of the keys and also through the mutual conversation and consolation of brethren, Matthew 18:20.'"
John Theodore Mueller, Christian Dogmatics, A Handbook of Doctrinal Theology, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p. 447. SA, IV, Concordia Triglotta, p. 491.

J-818
"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."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 914. Genesis 4:3.

J-819
"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."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 915.

J-820
"Give us Thy Spirit, peace afford
Now and forever, gracious Lord.
Preserve to us till life is spent
Thy holy Word and Sacrament."

Nikolaus Selnecker, "O Faithful God, Thanks Be to Thee," #321, The Lutheran Hymnal, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1941.

J-821
"Since it is God's gracious purpose to remove every hindrance to conversion by the means of grace, and it is still possible for a man at every point to continue in his opposition to God, a man is never without responsibility over towards the grace of God, although he may mock and say that, since God is the one who does everything for our salvation, then a man has no responsibility himself, as we see in Romans 9:19. Cf. Theses 17 and 18."
U. V. Koren, 1884, "An Accounting," Grace for Grace: Brief History of the Norwegian Synod, ed., Sigurd C. Ylvisaker, Mankato: Lutheran Synod Book Company, 1943, Romans 9:19.

                       





 

Two Martin Luther Films - One Is Free - The Other Is $2 Rental


This is not my favorite, but some people want to review the Reformation - and this is handy.

---

The "original" one - the great one - can be rented from Amazon for live-streaming.

http://www.amazon.com/Martin-Luther-Niall-MacGinnis/dp/B002JAHW8M

Martin Luther 

4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews) |
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The dramatic black and white classic film of Martin Luther's life made in the 1950s.
  • Starring: Niall MacGinnis, John Ruddock
  • Directed by: Irving Pichel
  • Runtime: 1 hour 47 minutes
  • Studio: Louis De Rochemont Associates

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http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=940DE5DA1339E23BBC4852DFBF668388649EDE

Martin Luther (1953)

THE SCREEN: TWO FILMS MAKE DEBUT; Niall MacGinnis Is Starred in the Presentation of 'Martin Luther' at Guild Theatre Ernest Gann's 'Island in the Sky' Bows at the Paramount -- John Wayne Takes Lead

Published: September 10, 1953

A tough and unusual subject has been squarely and intelligently embraced in the film called "Martin Luther," which opened at the Guild yesterday. This subject is the classic intellectual and theological clash of the great sixteenth century German preacher with the Holy Roman Church. That clash was pitched on a level of high scholarship, to be sure, and the devious intellectual detail of it has been patiently laid down in this film. But the tensions of personal drama involved in the spiritual change that came over Martin Luther are indicated in it, too. The result is a brilliant demonstration of strongly disciplined emotions and intellects.
In any responsible handling of a subject such as this, there must be a great deal of discourse, which is perilous to the playing of a film. And diso??? there is, be???nd question, in his fully responsible job. Martin Luther was a thinker and a talker and then a writer, too, and the product of his mental activity was the gunpowder of his career.

Studious Dramatization
And so, in this studious dramatization of a decisive episode in human history, which has been produced by Louis de Rochemont Associates under the particular supervision of Lothar Wolff — and in cooperation, be it added, with the Lutheran Church Productions, Inc. — an actor who plays Martin Luther, Niall MacGinnis, begins talking almost at the start and either he or someone else is talking, virtually all the time, right to the end.

There are Luther's supposed conversations, first with his law student friends and then with the vicar of the holy order into which he enters in search of peace for his soul. There is his historic disputation at Leipzig with Dr. John Eck, out of which he is branded a heretic for challenging the sale of indulgences by the Roman Church. And finally, there is his bold appearance before Charles V at the Diet of Worms, at which time he refused to recant his doctrine of the individuality of man's faith and thundered his famous defiance, "Here I stand. I can do no other."

A Splendid Performance
Talk there is—plenty of it—but it is such clear and cogent talk, reflecting the fundamental conflicts of the churchmen and statesmen of the times, and it is done with such forceful delivery and in such well-staged and well-assembled scenes that it commands intelligent attention and stimulates the mind. And, in doing this, it develops a sense of passion and power.

Certain famous and memorable stories of Martin Luther's career are conspicuous by their absence from this picture — such as the story that Luther's questioning was inspired by his shock and grief when his best friend was killed in an electrical storm, or the story of his flinging an inkwell at the devil. There is little evidence, too, of the social and economic conflicts that were raging in Germany in Luther's time and which made the Reformation movement virtually inevitable. The history of Luther's challenge is here told in personal terms.

Thanks to a splendid performance by Mr. MacGinnis, under the direction of Irving Pichel, a man of strong will and ardent nature is portrayed in the title role. This Martin Luther is a titan, full of courage and integrity. And he is set off by men of equal fibre, as revealed in supporting roles. John Ruddock is personally temperate but intellectually severe as the Vicar von Staupitz, and Philip Leaver is sharp and cynical as Pope Leo X. Pierre Lefevre as Luther's good friend, Spalatin; David Horne as Duke Frederick of Saxony, Guy Verney as Melanchton and many others are fine and credible.

The settings and production, too, are excellent. The picture was filmed entirely in various parts of Western Germany and in the Weisbaden studios. As a fair and dignified re-enactment of history, it could hardly be surpassed. As an impress of personal drama, it applies powerful pressure to the mind.

MARTIN LUTHER, screen play by Allan Sloane and Lothar Wolff; directed by Irving Pichel. Produced by Lothar Wolff for Louis de Rochemont Associates in conjunction with Lutheran Church Productions and Luther-Film-Gesellschaft M. B. H. Released by Louis de Rochemont Associates. At the Guild Theatre.
Martin Luther . . . . . Niall MacGinnis
Vicar von Staupitz . . . . . John Ruddock
Spalatin . . . . . Pierre Lefevre
Melanchthon . . . . . Guy Verney
Carlstadt . . . . . Alastair Hunter
Duke Frederick, Elector of Saxony . . . . . David Horne
Prior . . . . . Fred Johnson
Pope Leo X . . . . . Philip Leaver
Cardinal Aleander, Special Emissary of Pope Leo X . . . . . Dr. Egon Strohm
Tetzel . . . . . Alexander Gauge
Brueck . . . . . Irving Pichel
Emissary . . . . . Leonard White
Charles V. Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire . . . . . Hans Lefebre
Katherine von Bora . . . . . Annette Carrell

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Twenty-Second Sunday after Trintiy



The Twenty-Second Sunday after Trinity, 2013


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn # 652     I Lay My Sins on Jesus                          1:24
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

 From God’s Great Forgiveness – Our Forgiveness

The Communion Hymn # 262            A Mighty Fortress                      1:86
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn #  261                 Lord Keep Us Steadfast                   1:93

KJV Philippians 1:3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: 7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. 8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

KJV Matthew 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.



TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
O almighty, eternal God: We confess that we are poor sinners and cannot answer one of a thousand, when Thou contendest with us; but with all our hearts we thank Thee, that Thou hast taken all our guilt from us and laid it upon Thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and made Him to atone for it: We pray Thee graciously to sustain us in faith, and so to govern us by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may live according to Thy will, in neighborly love, service, and helpfulness, and not give way to wrath or revenge, that we may not incur Thy wrath, but always find in Thee a gracious Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

From God’s Great Forgiveness – Our Forgiveness


KJV Matthew 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
This is stated in the typical language of parables, one of the more elaborate teaching stories taught by Jesus.

The context is clear.

KJV Matthew 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

From that question and answer came this parable, immediately after in Matthew.

Lenski:
It is best to give credit to Peter who here again feels free to speak. He seems to have caught the Lord’s meaning expressed in v. 15: the brother against whom another has sinned and who is to go and to rebuke the sinning brother will be able to do this properly only when he at once, before he goes, forgives the wrong that has been done to him. It seems as though Peter sees that fact and thus raises the question about the number of times he should extend such forgiveness.
Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. Matthew's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN. : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 708.

The verse 15 reference needs to be read in full –

KJV Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

So the original context is this famous passage, often just cited as “Matthew 18.” False teachers claim that anyone with a question about their public false doctrine should have come to them, explained their fault, between them alone. That keeps publicly proclaimed false doctrine a secret, which is not the point of this passage in Matthew 18.

Luther explained this in the Large Catechism, in the Eighth Commandment section, which is all the more reason to study it today.

LC, Eighth Commandment:
284] All this has been said regarding secret sins. But where the sin is quite public so that the judge and everybody know it, you can without any sin avoid him and let him go, because he has brought himself into disgrace, and you may also publicly testify concerning him. For when a matter is public in the light of day, there can be no slandering or false judging or testifying;

as, when we now reprove the Pope with his doctrine, which is publicly set forth in books and proclaimed in all the world. For where the sin is public, the reproof also must be public, that every one may learn to guard against it.

24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

This parable is set up as taking place between God and man. The king is owed a vast sum of money, equal to all the taxes paid in one province of the Roman empire in one year. The money is owed, so it must be paid. One way to reduce the debt is to enslave the man, his wife, and his children.

Since all the rights belong to the king, the man cannot plead any point of law, so he begs for mercy instead.

26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

This shows our proper attitude about sin, that in worship we ask for mercy and grace, not for justice. Ask any child in trouble – do you want justice or mercy. He will always ask for mercy.

But of course, this promise is not possible. The man cannot even pay interest, so this is a good point about sins forgiven. We do not perform good works to pay for sins. That is the way of the world and very popular among Planned Giving Counselors (aka Thrivent insurance salesmen).

We can promise, but that only adds to the sin, since we cannot keep our promises. That does not negate the need for repentance. This parable shows us with clarity how man’s solution is always different from God’s answer to our problem of sin.

God’s answer is mercy and grace, through Christ, distributed by the Means of Grace.

27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

In effect, the debt record was torn up, tossed away, erased, just as our sins are erased by the atonement of Christ received in faith. This does not come to us by right, by God’s justice, but by mercy and compassion.

These sins are all erased, not just the small ones, or the ones where we promised “never again.” God continues to strengthen us against temptation by forgiveness, so the appreciation of this complete, full, free forgiveness is itself the best remedy against temptation and sin.

We can see that point in the negation, in the absence of any sense of the Law and responsibility, in the behavior of people whose actions are too terrible to outline in a sermon. God blesses believers by creating a society where love and consideration flourishes. If it cannot be enjoyed in these dark days, in society as a whole, it can be experienced in one’s family and often at work as well.

Repentance and forgiveness are the work of the Christian church, always exercising our faith, helping us bear the cross and keep our eyes on the prize ahead of us.

28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

Jesus’ parables often include ironic humor, such as the older brother being offended at his prodigal brother being welcomed home. This is another example. The same man who was forgiven a billion dollars debt, in spite of his bragging promise to pay it all back, finds someone in his own situation, who only owes him a dollar. He grabs the man violently and insists on the money. When his fellow servant made that same promise, the forgiven of his debt servant threw him into prison.

England had debtors’ prisons, where people went out to work during the day and came back at night to be locked into their humble little quarters. Charles Dickens’ family lived in one, and a Roman Catholic theologian (Jungie) described his imaginary Purgatory as a vast debtors’ prison, where people pay for their sins by suffering.

This ironic humor from Jesus serves to teach us how we should be as forgiving about small debts as God has been about our enormous debts. Luther was quite insistent upon it, and he practiced it. There are many examples of him welcoming his doctrinal enemies into his home and putting up with the worst kind of mischief under his nose. Agricola is a prime example, begging forgiveness and going back to devious false doctrine while living at Luther’s home.
The prime application for us is to not take offense at the daily irritations of life, to build up grudges and get even with others for real or imagined slights. It is so easy to return evil for evil.

Luther advocated showing kindness even to doctrinal opponents, to keep the door open for repentance – and that does happen. But the Pietists followed the Mennonites in shunning, pretending that someone no longer exists because of some violation of the code of conduct.

Lutherans today are far more Mennonite than Luther-ish. They have their 10,000 rules (unwritten) and begin shunning when one is broken. Of course, the rules are not the same with everyone, so one must tread lightly on the thin ice. Little can be done about this directly.

Sentimental Christians forget the binding and loosing passages, which are also in Matthew 18. On TV they like to show the victims of crime “forgiving” a criminal, without any signs of repentance. It is no wonder that a fake Christian society offers fake grace. An unrepentant or unbelieving person may like the sound of forgiveness, but he is no different than a dog who finds communion on the floor. He will devour it without knowing what he is eating and not benefit from it. Instead, he will be hardened more and suffer more in eternity for it. It is far better to have crime victims tell the convicted criminals the harm they have done, to begin the work of repentance.

If someone claims a right to be close and yet is destructive in various ways, there is no virtue in overlooking the harm and inviting more.

31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

So this is the great challenge, to be as forgiving toward others as God has been toward us.

Luther’s formula was – never give in on the slightest point of doctrine, because every point (from a human perspective) is part of the unified truth of God’s Word. However, we are to be as flexible as a reed in dealing with others, so that we do not think of the quirks and inconsideration of others (which we all share) to be dishonor and disrespect to be returned – and then some.

35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
This is a good example of C. S. Lewis saying the scariest words in the Bible come from Jesus. And it describes our society so well. Where there is no Gospel taught, there is no forgiveness.

Where forgiveness is taught apart from the Gospel or even against the Gospel (Universalism) there is also no real forgiveness.

In a world where luxury is heaven, a real Hell has been built – based on no forgiveness. As Richard Neuhaus observed, “When the liberals excommunicate you, they excommunicate you for life.”

Lacking or forgetting the Means of Grace and the Savior who gave them to us, that is America today.



28. But you say: Do you still insist that God will have no regard for our good works, and on their account will save no one? Answer: He would have them done freely without any thought of remuneration; not that we thereby obtain something, but that we do them to our neighbor, and thereby show that we have the true faith; for what have you then that you gave him and by which you merit anything, that he should have mercy on you and forgive you all things that you have done against him? Or what profit has he by it? Nothing has he, but that you praise and thank him, and do as he has done, that God may be thanked in thee, then you are in his kingdom and have all things that you should have. This is the other part of the Christian life, which is called love, by which one goes out from God to his neighbor.

29. Those who do not prove their faith by their works of love are servants who want others to forgive them, but do not forgive their neighbor, nor yield their rights; hence it will also be with them as with this servant. For when the other servants, who preach the Gospel, see that God has freely given them all things, and they refuse to forgive anyone, they become sad to see such things, and they are pained, that they act so foolishly toward the Gospel, and no one lays hold of it. What do they do then? They can do no more than come before their Lord with their complaint and say: So it goes; you forgive them both the debt and the punishment, and freely give them all things; but we cannot prevail upon them to do to others as you have done to them. This is the complaint. Then God will summon them to appear before him at the last judgment and accuse them of these things and say: When you were hungry, thirsty and afflicted, I helped you; when you lay in sins I had compassion upon you and forgave the debt; therefore you must also now pay your debt. There is now no grace nor mercy, nothing but wrath and eternal punishment, no prayers will help from now on, and they become speechless, and are cast into torment until they pay the uttermost farthing.