Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sixth Sunday after Trinity

The Sixth Sunday after Trinity, 2013

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

The Hymn # 331:1-4            Yea, As I live                                               3:70
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 # 331:5-8            Yea, As I live                                   3:70

The Right Use of Anger

The Communion Hymn # 387             Dear Christians                   3:41
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 #  209     Who is This                                                     3:33

Sixth Sunday After Trinity

Lord God, heavenly Father, we confess that we are poor, wretched sinners, and that there is no good in us, our hearts, flesh and blood being so corrupted by sin, that we never in this life can be without sinful lust and concupiscence; therefore we beseech Thee, dear Father, forgive us these sins, and let Thy Holy Spirit so cleanse our hearts that we may desire and love Thy word, abide by it, and thus by Thy grace be forever saved; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

KJV Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

KJV Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

The Right Use of Anger

The topic of anger is confused by all of us, due to our sinful nature.  Jesus addressed this in the Sermon on the Mount.

The introductory words are important. – Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you cannot possibly enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

I wish some minister had taught the proper meaning of righteousness, because I always had the impression that righteousness involved a human effort of perfection. Therefore it was unattainable and all mention of righteousness seemed to be about the Law and how we all fell far short.

Various saint stories always emphasized how good, kind, and flawless they were, so that only added to the misunderstanding.

The influence of Pietism suggested that everyone assume an air of perfection, so that anyone else fell far short. Pietism defines Christians by what they do (or avoid) and not by what they believe.

But in this text Luther is far more perceptive than the average clergyman and should be the foremost interpreter. The two kinds of righteousness, as Paul taught in Romans, are the righteousness of the Law (Mosaic or civil) and the righteousness of the Gospel.

No one is righteous through the Law because falling short of one item makes us sinners as if we had violated all the Law. People betray this when they say, “I never…” or “I always…” Anyone who knows the individual can ask, “Never?” As in the famous musical, where the captain answers, “Hardly ever.”

The only true righteousness is the righteousness of Christ, which we receive through faith in Christ.

We could rephrase the introduction thus – If you do not get beyond the pretense of perfection and believe in Me, you will not be a part of the Kingdom.

So Jesus taught about anger, which is definitely one of the great difficulties in the visible church today.

Anger is an emotional response, best described in James – Be angry, but do not sin. That is, we cannot help being angry but we can help what we do about it.

Anger is first of all a personal response, because we feel offended. And it is a habit. If someone is easily offended, the anger is fairly constant, because there is always friction in life.

I see a lot of anger responses in church communications, since I am on the Net about various issues. The idea in various forums is to express ideas and discuss them. All my classes online are just like that, but I do not have people having hissy fits when they discuss ideas.  I taught 50 world religion classes and hardly ever had an issue. When I did once or twice, I told them to can it, since we have freedom of expression but not freedom of insulting. The atheists would wage war on the believers every so often.

Lutherans recently said they would no longer be on the forum because someone disagreed with them – ALPB Forum. Both sides said, “I quit.”

I seldom engage because if I do, someone says, “You belonged to various synods.” So I respond, “The same as St. Al Barry, who belonged to four  - ELS, WELS, LCMS, and a little orthodox group.” That makes them furious and fur flies. Very tiresome.

The anger is expressed in shunning and ruining lives, sad to say. District Presidents are easily offended. When they are angry, they get even, and they are quite vindictive. People do not see that side of them, but the clergy do.

False teachers always rage when they are confronted with their errors. Their response is to silence the opposition. They cannot offer the other side fairly, perhaps because it would show their errors more clearly. So they persecute and drive away their opponents.

The history of the Reformation shows that the Catholic Church thought it was a boon to God to burn people at the stake, drive them from their homes, and even put them on slave ships (France) because they were Protestants. Luther’s first hymn was written because two young men were burned at the stake for being faithful to the Word.

Religious murder is frowned upon in America, but it continues across the world. This fury is always seen as perfectly justified and even honoring God the best way possible.

Proper Place of Anger
Luther wrote his polemical books, angry about the misuse of the Word to attack the doctrine of the Scriptures. However, he was incredibly patient with the failings of people around him.

He let the worst back-stabbers be house guests. Agricola was the worst of the worst. Another one stopped by and stayed during Luther’s honeymoon.

However, he did not back down about the Word in order to please anyone.

Now we have just the opposite. People look for ways to compromise about the Word to make everyone happy, and they shun those who are not part of the plan.

Patience in teaching the truth of the Word means giving the Holy Spirit time to work in the hearts of others. Ultimately, that will decide – not whether we are good or bad at that. No time is ever too late.

Anger with Others
Since God is so patient with our faults and gives us complete and free forgiveness, we should show the same patience with others. 

Romans 6:3-11

"In this epistle lesson Paul gives Christians instruction concerning the Christian life on earth, and connects with it the hope of the future and eternal life, in view of which they have been baptized and become Christians. He makes of our earthly life a death--a grave--with the understanding, however, that henceforth the risen man and the newness of life should be found in us."
            Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 141. Rom. 6:3-11.
"He [Paul] says: It is not the intention of the Gospel to teach sin or to allow it; it teaches the very opposite--how we may escape from sin and from he awful wrath of God which it incurs. Escape is not effected by any doings of our own, but by the fact that God, out of pure grace, forgives us our sins for His
Son's sake; for God finds in us nothing but sin and condemnation."
            Sermons of Martin Luther, VIII, p. 142. Rom. 6:3-11.

"Paul does not teach that grace is acquired through sin, nor that sin brings grace; he says quite the opposite--that 'the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,' Romans 1:18. But because the sins of men which are taken away are so grievous and numerous, the grace which drowns and destroys them must be mighty and abundant also. Where there is a great thirst, a great draft is needed to quench it. Where there is a mighty conflagration, powerful streams of water are necessary to extinguish it...But these facts do not give us authority to say:...Let us injure ourselves and make ourselves ill that medicine may do us more good. Still less does it follow that we may heap us and multiply sins for the purpose of receiving more abundance grace."
            Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,VIII, p. 142f. Romans 6:3-11; Romans 1:18

"On the other hand, we are outwardly oppressed with the cross and sufferings, and with the persecution and torments of the world and the devil, as with the weight of heavy stone upon us, subduing our old sinful nature and checking us against antagonizing the Spirit and committing other sins."
            Sermons of Martin Luther, VIII, p. 145. Romans 6:6.

"But the fact is, all Christian doctrines and works, all Christian living, is briefly, clearly and completely comprehended in these two principles, faith and love. They place man as a medium between God and his neighbor, to receive from above and distribute below. thus the Christian becomes a vessel, or rather a channel, through which the fountain of divine blessings continuously flows to other individuals."
            Sermons of Martin Luther, VIII, p. 145. Rom. 6:3-11.

"But if you possess faith, your heart cannot do otherwise than laugh for joy in God, and grow free, confident and courageous. For how can the heart remain sorrowful and dejected when it entertains no doubt of God's kindness to it, and of his attitude as a good friend with whom it may unreservedly and freely enjoy all things? Such joy and pleasure must follow faith; if they are not ours, certainly something is wrong with our faith."
            Sermons of Martin Luther, VI, p. 146. Titus 3:4-8

"Your first desire will be that all men may obtain the same knowledge of divine grace. Hence your love will not be restrained from serving all to the fullest extent, preaching and proclaiming the divine truth wherever possible, and rejection all doctrine and life not in harmony with this teaching. But take
note, the devil and the world, unwilling that their devices be rejected, cannot endure the knowledge of what you do. They will oppose you with everything great, learned, wealthy and powerful, and represent you as a heretic and insane."
            Sermons of Martin Luther, VI, p. 147. Titus 3:4-8

"Since the Word of God is this weapon [sword], it behooves us to make use of it at all times and to this end become acquainted with it both by means of public preaching and by earnest Bible study at home. Cursory reading must be supplemented by careful memorizing of proof-texts and strong passages. Only in this way shall we be able to make the proper use of the Word of God as a true weapon of offense at all times."
Paul E. Kretzmann, Popular Commentary of the New Testament, 2 vols., St. Louis:  CPH, II, p. 292. Ephesians 6:17.

"The reference [the Votum] is simply to a disposition to trust and love God sincerely, and a willingness of heart and mind to serve God and man to the utmost. The devil seeks to prevent this state by terror, by revealing death and by every sort of misfortune; and by setting up human devices to induce the heart to seek comfort and help in its own counsels and in man. Thus led astray, the heart falls from trust in God to a dependence upon itself."
Sermons of Martin Luther, VI, p. 111. Philippians 4:7.

"Take heed, then, to embrace the message of these words presenting the love and kindness of God to all men. Daily exercise your faith therein, entertaining no doubt of God's love and kindness toward you, and you shall realize His blessings. Then you may with perfect confidence ask what you will, what your heart desires, and whatever is necessary for the good of yourself and your fellow-men. But if you do not so believe, it were far better you had never heard the message. For by unbelief you make false these precious, comforting, gracious words. You conduct yourself as if you regarded them untrue, which attitude is extreme dishonor to God; no more enormous sin could be committed."
            Sermons of Martin Luther, VI, p. 146. Titus 3:4-8.

"Good works are to be performed without any thought of merit, simply for the benefit of one's neighbor and for the honor of God; until the body, too, shall be released from sin, death and hell."
            Sermons of Martin Luther, VI, p. 151. Titus 3:4-8

"This is the situation with him: the greater his external restraint from evil, the greater his inward hatred of him who restrains. His character is in the scales; when one side goes up, the other goes down. While outward sin decreases, inward sin increases. We know from experience that those youths most strictly reared are, when given liberty, more wicked than young men less rigidly brought up. So impossible it is to improve human nature with commandments and punishments; something else is necessary."
            Sermons of Martin Luther, VI, p. 268. Gal. 3:23-29

"Why do so many people in our country fall in with the preachers of fanatical sects? Because these sects spread the glamor of great sanctity about themselves. Alas! man regards the works of God as trifling, but esteems the works of men highly. That is nothing but one of the sad results of man's fall
into sin."
C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, St. Louis:  CPH, 1928, p. 372.

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