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
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Thanksgiving Eve - 7 PM Central Time.

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

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

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

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

Sunday, 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.


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