Lutheran Worship and Resources

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Oculi, 2022

 


Oculi Sunday, The Third Sunday in Lent, 2022

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson



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The Hymn #175      When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16

Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord: 
for He shall pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn Thee unto me and have mercy upon me: 
for I am desolate and afflicted.
Psalm. Unto Thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul: 
O my God, I trust in Thee; let me not be ashamed.

The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19

We beseech Thee, Almighty God, look upon the hearty desires of Thy humble servants and stretch forth
the right hand of Thy majesty to be our defense 
against all our enemies; through Jesus Christ, 
Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.

The Epistle and Gradual             Ephesians 5:1-9
The Gospel                                 Luke 11:14-28
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #524         In Thee Lord Have I Put My Trust (alt tune #177)

Real Opposition to the Gospel

The Hymn #315:1-5          I Come O Savior To Thy Table
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 #568                  We Praise Thee O God        
    
Prayers and Announcements

  • Treatment and recovery - Kermit Way, Pastor Jim Shrader, Chris Shrader, Peggy and her daughter Callie, C.
  • Pray for our country and DEP Trump. 
  • Wednesdays - Vespers at 7 PM, Understanding Luther's Galatians - PDF, Chapter 4.
Norma A. Boeckler

KJV Ephesians 5:1 
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

KJV Luke 11:14 
And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. 15 But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. 16 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. 17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house against a house falleth. 18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. 19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. 20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: 22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. 24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. 25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. 26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.




Before Abraham Was, I AM

 

KJV John 8:45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? 47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. 48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? 49 Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me. 50 And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. 51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. 52 Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. 53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? 54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: 55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

KJV John 8:45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? 47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

This dialogue is the battle between two kingdoms – Truth, the Kingdom of Grace, and Lies, the Kingdom of Satan. Jesus the Son of God, the Creating Word (John 1:3), is the one and only message of forgiveness and salvation. One is either within the Kingdom of God by faith, or the Kingdom of Satan by denying the Truth, compromising the Truth, and cleverly forging a joint partnership of Truth and Satan’s lies.

The first part, Truth, is easy, in one sense, and yet denied by many who carry on as great leaders and examples of Christ Himself. They want to make people Happy Campers so they speak the Name of the Jesus often, but they subtly deny the cross and say “Follow us, not Him.” The compromisers are those who call themselves Biblical scholars and use that position to tell people “the Scriptures are not really the direct revelation of God, and they can tell people how to sort out the kernel of truth (which is their own doctrine) while denying the complete counsel of God. Paul wrote -

Acts 20: 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Paul gave a perfect description of Protestantism from the 1800s on,

·         looking for a better Bible for “today’s believers,”

·         taking over Christian education to make it more modern and harmonious with Evolution, the new religion

·         teaching “spirit guides,” expelling faithful ministers, installing their favorite false teachers.

47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

Antagonism toward God’s Word is a perfect test for whether people follow Jesus Christ or deny Him. Once a pastor, professor, or bishop has driven away the believers, those remaining will only listen to falsehood. They will bristle at the sound of sound (healthy) doctrine, as James wrote – “They believe but their hides bristle.” (KJV James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.) That is why someone can be godly outwardly, even more than others, with smells and bells, fishhats and large sticks to carry, and yet inwardly and deviously deny the Word of the Gospel. If the equipment is primary, the Gospel is secondary.

48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? 49 Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me. 50 And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. 51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.

Jesus clearly angered the opposition, because they insulted Him twice over – as a Samaritan and as a devil. Some might see the Parable of the Good Samaritan in this. That was the worst personal insult because of ages of similar but different interpretations of the Old Testament. The Samaritan in that parable is Jesus, not a social activist who would “make the road to Jericho safe” (a Social Gospel pivot). The worst insult is the one assigned to that parable, the role of Jesus as the despised one who helps others in their dire need.

The worst barb for the opposition is “If a man keep (or guard) my saying, he shall never see death.” Knowing what is in their hearts, Jesus aims for the center, and they respond.

Abraham Rejoiced

53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? 54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: 55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

By exciting the Pharisees, Jesus helped the truth to come out in the open, for others to hear– first in His own declarations and secondly in the opposition giving away what they really thought, their disbelief in the Messiah, even though His countless miracles told the population otherwise.

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

What many miss, after watching The Ten Commandments movie too many times, is the place of Abraham in the New Testament. He is the Father of Faith, based on Genesis 15:6 and the tremendous narrative in Genesis. Paul’s argument for Justification by Faith alone, is based on Abraham being justified, forgiven, through faith “that it might be by grace.”

Logic – The Fallacy of Emphasis

The subtle serpents of today will allow Justification by Faith, but only when they phrase it their way, which is called a fallacy of emphasis. It works this way – Someone says, “I thought it was going to rain.” They are looking at a cloudburst through the window. “You THOUGHT it was going to rain” suggests it was a stupid idea. “YOU thought it was going to rain” is blaming.

 

So the modern serpents use the right words but imply the wrong meaning when they say “Justified by Grace, through faith” which ca-a-a-a-a-an be understood correctly (WELS) but scholars are divided (“we want to confuse you about the truth”). The fallacy is that everyone is Justified by Grace (WELS, LCMS youth leader, Valleskey, Bivens, Brenner, Harrison) and they believe this universal absolution.

The opponents knew that Jesus was divine by His miracles, and they imagined that they could distract the crowd with another fake shock of amazement.

57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.

This is where we see that Jesus confesses Himself to be God, the Angel of the Lord, speaking from the Burning Bush in Exodus 3. The Name of God is I AM. The Son of God is the One they seek to kill, because they fear the response of the Roman legions and the loss of all their perks and privileges. When the LCA and later the ELCA were formed, the Old Guard was kept in place a few years, to keep the peace, and then booted out with tear-stained nostalgia and praises shoveled down to their Father Below.

This is what the Gospel of John wants to convey - the battle between Truth and Against-Truth. The first is unified. The second is divided into many different forms but ends up with the same goals and so-called victories.

When we pray to Jesus and through Jesus, naming Him, we are speaking to God Himself. He is the Light of the World, the one Truth that illuminates all of man’s wisdom and tests whether some concept is God’s Truth or a mirage.

59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

The reaction proves the accuracy of Jesus’ words. His Two Natures are revealed in His humanity, His appearance as an ordinary man, and His ability to pass through the angry mob because it was not yet His time. If we deny His ability to be in the elements of Holy Communion, we deny His ability to pass through the crowds (more than once), enter the barred door (twice), and leave the tomb without needing angels to roll the stone away.

The segment of I AM teaching reveals the truth of Jesus as the face and voice of God, and our forgiveness and salvation come from that power.


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