Lutheran Worship and Resources

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Tenth Sunday after Trinity, 2011

The Tenth Sunday after Trinity, 2011

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 #190            Christ Is Arisen            1:52

Warning for Our Time

The Communion Hymn # 308 Invited Lord            1:63
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn # 452     The Son of Man            1:10

KJV 1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

KJV Luke 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. 45 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; 46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. 47 And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, 48 And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.

Tenth Sunday After Trinity

Almighty and everlasting God, who by Thy Holy Ghost hast revealed unto us the gospel of Thy Son, Jesus Christ: We beseech Thee so to quicken our hearts that we may sincerely receive Thy word, and not make light of it, or hear it without fruit, as did Thy people, the unbelieving Jews, but that we may fear Thee and daily grow in faith in Thy mercy, and finally obtain eternal salvation, through Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Warning for Our Time

Luke 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

Few can appreciate the magnificence of the Roman Empire at the time Jesus spoke these words. Perhaps a lifetime of reading about this era might provide enough insights, because Rome absorbed the culture and technology of every country they conquered. The only leader they did not defeat was Herman the German, who knew how the Romans fought and set up a guerrilla attack to demolish an army.

Rome was at the peak of its power when Jesus warned Jerusalem to repent. Everything He predicted came to pass.

The Jewish people resented Roman occupation, so conditions for revolt built up. Unfortunately for them, an initial battle defeated the Romans, so they thought they could defeat Rome. The empire struck back, sending an army and thousands of slaves to level Jerusalem.

Jerusalem was so well defended by its walls and natural features that a Roman general said it was a miracle that the city fell. Rome did not work miracles, but steadily starved cities in revolt. They built a high wall around the city, to prevent help and food from entering, just as Jesus predicted.

The rest of the story is horrible, because fear of famine sent people into a panic. As Luther wrote, they resorted to eating shoe leather and cannibalism. The strong stole food from the weak.

Once the army entered the city, greed prompted the soldiers to pursue gold and jewels. According to one account, “not one stone left on another” came from the search for gold.

Those who were not killed outright were sold into slavery and scattered around the world.

This happened 40 years after the death and resurrection of Christ. For that very reason, the Christians were despised as one denomination of the troublesome Jews who revolted. While we see the two as distinctly different, the Romans did not. We imagine that few Jews became Christian in that time, but many did, until there was a great reaction against anyone in Judaism using their membership to preach about Christ.

Now the popular imagination sees Paul as simple the apostle to the Gentiles, but he worked among the Jews, as the other apostles did, and accomplished great things through the Gospel. As he wrote, he could be a rabbi among the Jews and preach Christ. That did not help his popularity with the religious leaders.

The parallel today is to be a Lutheran among Lutherans and teach Luther’s doctrine. That simply is not allowed. The only thing that matters is man-made law and old heresies. Man’s law and man’s heresies are defended at all costs, and nothing is too base, low, or dishonest to maintain error.

As the old poem says, “Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne.” But the second part is hope. Hope in the Word of God.

Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,-
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.

James Russell Lowell

This lesson is a warning for our time. We are definitely living in the Age of Apostasy. One way to measure that is to look at what conservative Lutherans are doing with Bible translations – setting aside all other issues.

The LCA never had an official translation. They even provided lectionary inserts with three translations for the three readings each Sunday. Diversity – as long as the political program is followed perfectly and robotically.

The Syn Conference favored the King James Version for a long time. I understand the ELS tended to use the New KJV, which was around in the 1980s – but is not a celebrity translation now. Celebrity translations are hyped for a few years, then fade.

The conservative Lutherans could have modernized their own KJV decades ago, if they had to. But they did not.

Missouri and WELS (puppy dog ELS too) staked their publishing future on the wretched NIV. Bibles are big business, and sales about Bible books also lucrative for everyone. Those who went along with the NIV and “helped,” like John Jeske, were rewarded in many ways. Naturally money drives the need for the New NIV, which is far worse than the horrible NIV.

Herman Otten promotes his Beck Bible, which was so up to date that it has been revised about 4 times in the last few years (the number open to debate).

Paul McCain, Otten’s political ally, shills for the ESV, which is a Calvinist revision of the obnoxious RSV. The National Council of Churches created the RSV. Concordia Publishing House will rake in the money for the ESV, and the loot will be shared with the fortunate authors.

In this Babel of translations, one name is missing. Tyndale studied under Luther and Melanchthon and worked on his English translation with their help. His first printing of his English Bible came from Germany because of this help and English persecution. King Henry VIII burned Tyndale at the stake, but King James allowed a group of scholars to work through the Tyndale translation and publish the Authorized Version, popularly called the KJV.
Everyone is celebrating the 400th year of the KJV being published in 1611. The conservative Lutherans are mum because they are so busy betraying their own members and keeping their pastoral candidates in darkness and error.

As Luther said, never has the Word of God been more available to everyone and yet scorned universally. He could point to the printing press as that tool that spread the Gospel cheaply around the world. Luther’s books alone created a fortune for those who printed them, and he just gave them away.

Today we have the biggest innovation since the printing press, the Internet. The moment I publish a sermon it is available free around the world. For someone who wrote his dissertation on a portable typewriter, coveting an IBM Selectric he could not afford, this remains a marvel.

And people have access to anything orthodox and Christian they desire. When I wanted to print Luther’s sermon on this text, I found one website after another with the sermon available (free) and easily copied in a few seconds.

Because the Word of God is available to all, the judgment against those who despise it will be far greater. There is no excuse. The evil tactics used to suppress the Gospel are signs of this despising, especially when they come from clergy who should know better.

The Gospel
The entire Bible, says Luther, is a sermon about Jesus. The Gospel not only includes Christ dying for the sins of the world, but all promises and blessings from God.

The primary preaching of the Law is to show people this sin - that they do not utterly trust in Christ for their forgiveness.

KJV John 16:8 And when He [the Holy Spirit] is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on Me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see Me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

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. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Thus the Gospel plants and sustains faith in the hearts of those who hear it. God creates and sustains this faith through His Gospel and declares us forgiven - justification by faith.

The Visible Word
Holy Baptism and Holy Communion are the Gospel in visible form, always efficacious. For that reason we should always uphold the blessing of infant baptism and teach against those Baptists and Pentecostals who denounce it as heresy.

Likewise, Holy Communion must be closed and offered frequently to demonstrate the significance of the Word in saving and condemning.

Pastoral Work in the Word
The pastor has no other calling than to preach his own sermons, based on his own study. He should offer the Sacraments without hesitation or shame, and to take Word out on visits to shut-ins, the hospitalized, the grieving, and the spiritually indolent.

Luther and the Book of Concord
Ankle-biters like to go over minor conflicts from the last century, so they can spend a few more months pounding an issue rather than teaching the Gospel. If they spent time with the sermons of Luther and the Book of Concord, they would have something to teach.

The study of Luther's doctrine has been in complete collapse for decades, with all the synod leaders (Big Four) spending their time with the Enthusiasts at Fuller Seminary, Willow Creek, Mars Hill, Trinity Divinity, Granger, North Point, Sweet, and worse.

If a pastor or pastoral candidate understands the efficacy of the Word, he will make that the foundation of all he does, excluding:
  1. Most living authors.
  2. Synodical position papers, essays, and other trivia.
  3. Sermonic books.
Given the Biblical teaching of the efficacy of the Word in the Means of Grace, there can be no forgiveness apart from that faith created by the Gospel.

Tenth Sunday after Trinty
Sound Doctrine

"This epistle selection treats of spiritual things, thing which chiefly pertain to the office of the ministry and concern the Church authorities. Paul instructs how those in office should employ their gifts for the benefit of one another and thus further the unity and advancement of the Churches."              
Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 197f.

"Whenever the Word of God has a foothold, there the devil will be. By the agency of his factions he will always build his taverns and kitchens beside God's house. So he did at first, in Paradise. In the family of Adam he entrenched himself, establishing there his church."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 198.
"But dissensions, sects and divisions are sure signs that the true doctrine is either ignored or misunderstood, men thus being left in a condition to be 'tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine,' as Paul says (Ephesians 4:4); which is indisputably the case with these same schismatics who condemn the Church and her doctrines because of some discordant ones."              
Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 204.          

"Thus Paul rejects the glorying and boasting of the sects over their offices and gifts--they who pretend to be filled with the Spirit and to teach the people correctly, and who make out that Paul and other teachers are of no consequence...More than that, they demand a higher attainment in the Spirit for Gospel ministers, deeming faith, the Sacrament, and the outward office not sufficient."              
Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 206.        

"You are either reproaching and cursing Jesus, or praising him and owning him your Lord. If your preaching and teaching fail to point to Christ, something else being offered, and you nevertheless boast of the Spirit, you are already judged: the spirit you boast is not the Holy Spirit, not the true Spirit, but a false one. To it we are not to listen. Rather we are condemn it to the abyss of hell, as Paul declares, (Galatians 1:8), saying: 'But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any Gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema [damned to Hell].'"  
            Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 206.       

"The same is true of other factions--the Anabaptists and similar sects. What else do they but slander baptism and the Lord's Supper when they pretend that the external [spoken] Word and outward sacraments do not benefit the soul, that the Spirit alone can do that?" Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 208. "Flesh and blood are too weak to obtain this glorious confidence; the Holy Spirit is essential. Reason and our own hearts cry out in protest: 'Alas, I am far too evil and unworthy! How could I be proud and presumptuous enough to boast myself the servant of the Lord Jesus Christ?"
            Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 210.

"The gift of prophecy is the ability to rightly interpret and explain the Scriptures, and powerfully to reveal therefrom the doctrine of faith and the overthrow of false doctrine. The gift of prophecy includes, further, the ability to employ the Scriptures for admonition and reproof, for imparting strength and comfort, by pointing out, on the one hand, the certainty of future indignation, vengeance and punishment for the unbelieving and disobedient, and on the other hand presenting divine aid and reward to godly believers. Thus did the prophets with the Word of God, both the Law and the promises."
             Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 213.       

"Christians, however, though obliged to live among swine and to be at times trampled under foot and rooted about, have nevertheless surpassing glory; for they can look up and intelligently behold their Lord and His gifts."
            Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 217.  

"But the discerning Christian can with satisfaction boast on this wise: 'My baptism or my absolution is not of my own devising or ordaining, nor of another man's. It is of Christ my Lord."     Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 219.  

"His gifts and works in His Church must effect inexpressible results, taking souls from the jaws of the devil and translating them into eternal life and glory."
            Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 220.  

Church Growth Spiritual Gifts
"People Person: Have been recognized as a counselor and mediator. Brought harmony to what was once described as 'the most troubled Lutheran church in America. Personal: Born, December 6, 1941, Columbus. Married, three children. Spiritual gifts: Exhortation, teaching, administration and evangelism.
            Floyd Luther Stolzenburg 2904 Maryland Avenue Columbus, Ohio 43209-1157 614-235-5200  

"Recognizing the need for professional church growth consultation, in 1975 he [C. Peter Wagner] invited John Wimber to become the founding director of what is now the Charles E. Fuller Institute of Evangelism and Church Growth. Wimber got the Institute off to an excellent start, then left to become the founding pastor of Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Anaheim and Vineyard Ministries Internamtion... Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow (Regal, 1979) is approaching the 100,000 mark... Church Growth and the Whole Gospel (Harper and Row, 1981) is a scholarly discussion of criticisms of the Church Growth Movement from the viewpoint of social ethics, in which Wagner did his doctoral work."
            C. Peter Wagner, ed., with Win Arn and Elmer Towns, Church Growth: The State of the Art, Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1986, p. 271f.     

"Pastors and lay persons trained in Church Growth are leading Christians to discover their spiritual gifts. They are looking into the Scripture and discovering those verses in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 where some of the gifts are listed." [See C. Peter Wagner, Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow, 1979, "a discussion of gifts which relates specifically to the potential of mobilizing God's people for church growth," p. 33.]
            Kent R. Hunter, Launching Growth in the Local Congregation, A Workbook for Focusing Church Growth Eyes, Detroit: Church Growth Analysis and Learning Center, 1980, p. 26.    

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