Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Fifth Sunday after Trinity

The Fifth Sunday after Trinity

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 8 AM Phoenix Time

The Hymn #246 Holy, Holy, Holy 3.35
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 1 Peter 3:8-15
The Gospel Luke 5:1-11
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #26 Praise to the Lord 3.1

Basics of the Christian Faith

The Hymn #307 Draw Nigh 3.72
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 #283 God’s Word 3.90

Fifth Sunday After Trinity
O Jesus Christ, Thou Son of the living God, who hast given us Thy holy word, and hast bountifully provided for all our temporal wants, we confess that we are unworthy of all these mercies, and that we have rather deserved punishment: But we beseech Thee, forgive us our sins, and prosper and bless us in our several callings, that by Thy strength we may be sustained and defended, now and forever, and so praise and glorify Thee eternally, Thou who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

KJV 1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

KJV Luke 5:1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. 4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. 11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

Basics of the Christian Faith

Someone asked me to send a written sermon, so I decided to outline the basics of the Christian faith.

Judaism Completed in Christianity
First of all, there is not a real difference between true Judaism and genuine Christianity. Judaism is completed in the Promises of God fulfilled in Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God. That is why many people from the earliest days have believed in Jesus as the Messiah and Savior. If 39 books of the Bible point to a Redeemer, and only One Person is described in all those prophecies, then we cannot separate Judaism from Christianity.

The Christian faith teaches the doctrine of Creation by the Word, as described in Genesis 1 and many other places in the Scriptures.

KJV Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Creation means that everything we see is from God and has a purpose. Luther wondered about flies having a purpose, but now medical science has discovered the value of maggots in cleansing wounds without harming the patient. More importantly, every living soul has a purpose from the moment of conception.

Natural Law - Creation
We know there is right and wrong because of Creation. The principles of the universe were instilled in God’s Creation. That has an important bearing on our understanding of the Law. In Hebrew, Law is Torah, which really means teaching. Parents know what it means to teach children right and wrong, always with a loving, positive outcome in mind. Since God created, He knows even more about what is good for us.

KJV Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the Torah (teaching) of the LORD; and in his Torah doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The Law
God gave the Law on Mt. Sinai to teach us our relationship to Him (the first three Commandments) and our relationship to each other (the last seven commandments). This Torah was made even more concise with: “Love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind – and your neighbor as yourself.” This is found in the Old Testament and New Testament as well.

KJV Deuteronomy 11:13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,

KJV Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

KJV Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

The Law was revealed for our good. It is good, spiritual, and useful, as Paul wrote. The Law is diagnostic, like an X-ray. The Law tells us where we are broken, hurting, and sinful, but it cannot heal us. An X-ray cannot heal us, and the Law cannot make us better. My wife and I were laughing about a “Bible study group” she tried to attend once. It had more rules than there are books in the Bible. I said, “Perfection through the Law – and it never works.”

The Gospel
Because the Law is good but limited, God also gave us sinful, weak people the Gospel, beginning at Genesis 3:15, when Adam and Eve (real people, not symbols) were expelled from Paradise. God promised them the Savior, whose feet would be bruised (crucifixion) but Who would crush the head of Satan. All the Promises and blessings of the Bible are Gospel.

KJV Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

The Trinity
There was no development of the doctrine of the Trinity. Genesis 1 indicates the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and John 1 spells out this truth with great clarity. There are many references to the Trinity in the Old Testament, such as the three-fold Aaronic blessing, and “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of Hosts” in Isaiah. The Trinity is even clearer in Hebrew than our English versions of the Old Testament. “The Jewish Trinity” by Natan lists all those occurrences. One is clear in English, “Let us make man in Our image.”

KJV Numbers 6:24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

KJV Isaiah 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

KJV Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Jesus, Son of God, Messiah
Isaiah 53 revealed that the Messiah would suffer and die for the sins of the people. When children hear Isaiah 53 and they are asked who this person is, they always say, “Jesus.” That is clear to us now, but it was not obvious until Jesus was crucified and rose again, triumphant over death.

KJV Isaiah 52:13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

KJV Isaiah 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Psalm 22
The 22nd Psalm teaches us about the crucifixion, and those details were fulfilled when Jesus died on the cross.

KJV Psalm 22:18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

Faith in the Messiah
Faith in the crucified Messiah is expressed in Psalm 23, while the New Testament version is found in John 10.

Isaiah also portrays the Messiah as the Good Shepherd:

KJV Isaiah 40:11
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd:
he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom,
and shall gently lead those that are with young.

KJV Psalm 23:1 {A Psalm of David.} The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

KJV John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

How Are We Forgiven?
Justification is God’s declaration that we are forgiven all our sins. This takes place when an individual trusts in the Promises of God. Abraham believed in the Messiah, “and he was justified by faith.”

KJV Genesis 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

KJV Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

The Gospel is summarized perfectly in John 3:16 –

KJV John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Eternal Life
Everlasting life was earned by Christ and is graciously given to all who believe in Him.

KJV John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? 27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

KJV John 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Good Works
Salvation is either through the Law or the Gospel. The Bible emphasizes good works throughout. However, good works are the result of salvation, forgiveness of sin. Good works benefit our neighbor – they do not appease God. The more we hear the Gospel and grasp the grace God offers us so freely, the more abundant the fruits of the Spirit will be.

KJV Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Much more could be said about the Means of Grace, which I have discussed many times before. There is really only one Christian doctrine. For our convenience, we break it down into many points, but it remains one unified Truth, revealed by God in His inerrant Word.

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