Lutheran Worship and Resources

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Trinity 8 2022

 


The Eighth Sunday after Trinity, 2022

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Vimeo player here:


Permanent Vimeo link here, after the service.

The melodies are linked in the hymn titles.
The lyrics are linked in the hymn number.

The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16

Introit
We have thought of Thy loving-kindness, O God: 
in the midst of Thy Temple.
According to Thy name, O God, 
so is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth: 
Thy right hand is full of righteousness.
Psalm. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised: 
in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness.

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

Collect
Grant to us, Lord, we beseech Thee, the Spirit to think and do always such things as are right, that we, who cannot do anything that is good without Thee, may by Thee be enabled to live according to Thy will; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth...

The Epistle and Gradual      

Gradual
Be Thou my strong Rock: for an house of defense to save me.
V. In Thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: 
let me never be ashamed. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. Give ear, O My people, to My Law: 
incline your ears to the words of My mouth. Hallelujah!
 
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed             p. 22
The Hymn #268             Zion Mourns   

The Scriptures - Either Objective Truth or Subjective Opinion

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 #511                         Jesus Shall Reign




                        In Our Prayers
  • Randy Anderson has a mass needing medical treatment.
  • Zach's mother, Anita Engleman, in our prayers.
  • Pastor Jim Shrader and Chris Shrader; Kermit and Maria Way.
  • Honest, elections and renewed dedication to the US Constitution, where state legislatures control their elections.
              
 Norma Boeckler's Christian Art

KJV Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.


KJV Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.  21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.


Eighth Sunday After Trinity

Lord God, heavenly Father, we most heartily thank Thee that Thou hast caused us to come to the knowledge of Thy word. We pray Thee: graciously keep us steadfast in this knowledge unto death, that we may obtain eternal life; send us now and ever pious pastors, who faithfully preach Thy word, without offense or false doctrine, and grant them long life. Defend us from all false teachings, and frustrate Thou the counsels of all such as pervert Thy word, who come to us in sheep's clothing, but are inwardly ravening wolves, that Thy true Church may evermore be established among us, and be defended and preserved from such false teachers, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

The Scriptures - Either Objective Truth or Subjective Opinion

Introduction

There are only two stances on the Scriptures. One is common to most readers, the other is hidden, recused, but dominant in today's world - 
  1. Objective Truth - The Bible is the infallible, only revealed Word of God, without error or contradiction, and judges all books. 
  2. Subjective Opinion - The Scriptures are the work of man, from many different sources, and are judged by the scientific knowledge of scholars who alone can bring clarity to the Word.
The Bible as Objective Truth is the proclamation of the Reformation. That Luther Bible was first translated in Germany for all the people, by churchmen who believed in the power, efficacy, and clarity of the Scriptures. Likewise, the King James Bible in England was translated by Tyndale and others to give the Holy Scriptures to everyone, no matter how poor and lowly they might be. 

The Bible as Subjective Opinion is the plague visiting us today, because churchmen let businessmen take over translating and publishing - embarrassed about miracles, the Virgin Birth, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The modern Bible factories are willing to please any faction, to see more Bibles they can sell for profit.

Many people do not realize that our American Bibles, thrust upon us, are lacking in those verses removed or corrupted by the Bible business and the rationalistic "scholars." Ministers are often trained by unfaithful professors to change the meaning of the clear, powerful, and gracious Word of the Gospel. 

Subjective opinions about the Bible:
  • Miracles are only wonders in the eyes of primitive, ignorant onlookers. We know better. Rauschenbusch, The Social Gospel, was publishing this in 1917 at Yale. This approach began in the Biblical department of Halle University, where rationalism replaced Biblical Pietism.
  • The Virgin Birth is a wonderful story for Christmas, expressing the hopes of all mankind. However, Joseph or someone else was the actual father of Jesus. That is why Isaiah 7:10 was changed by the RSV to - "a woman will conceive" - which is something less than a miracle from God Himself. 1950s - RSV - this was moved to a footnote then moved back into the current text.
  • Jesus died on the cross to show solidarity with other suffering people. Rauschenbusch, hippies, and the movie Godspell.
  • The Bible is only a human book - it "did not float down from heaven." (That sarcastic statement about floating down is a rejection of something never claimed by believers, who know that God Himself preserves His Word.) Therefore, the modern, scientific scholars can study and present the "real truth" of the Bible, minus "the roses," as Braaten-Jenson wrote in their whale-sized Christian Dogmatics, 1984.
The false teachers, wolves wearing cashmere, soften their message but only want to rend and butcher the flock. We see examples of these daily - the Scriptures are rejected, members robbed, and the reverend lupines make merry with the ewes and kids. Thus they must have their modern Bibles.

KJV Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come* to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

*They come on their own - they are not sent by God.

Contrary to the apostates, the Sermon on the Mount is a real sermon with a definite structure, beginning with the Beatitudes, one of the most glorious passages in the Bible. The Sermon ends with the house built on sand-or-a rock-parable and the ravening wolf illustration. The house built on a rock illustrates whether our faith is based upon the eternity of God's Word or the current fads.

This warning relates to that house today - Western Civilization's repudiation of the Biblical message and mocking of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Savior, our Good Shepherd. The Lutherans - including the so-called conservative ones - and the rest of the mainstream Protestants and Roman Catholics - are that bad example. They welcome the false prophets and feed the flocks to the wolves, knowingly, happily, gleefully.

In any given situation, the wolves enter like little kittens, softly and winsomely announcing they are there to help everyone. False teachers are not called - they send themselves. In one situation, they "discovered" that each parish needed a fellowship hall - very expensive. They suggested their friends would help raise the money for a large fee. When that was done, the church was deeply in debt with a big room that by itself did nothing at all. Was that mass stupidity or greed? 

Jesus' warning is to carefully examine what false teachers are claiming for themselves. Discernment means to compare what is claimed to what is clearly taught in the Scriptures. When the wolves find they are being exposed as frauds, they howl and begin to snap, bite, and devour. When Sassy and I were being troubled by a very large dog on our walks, I carried a big elm walking stick. I shook it in the dog's face and said, "Go HOME!" The next time he saw me, he disappeared faster than a July frost.

False teachers come to stay. Like wolves, they are rather weak alone but very destructive in packs. False teachers band together, form societies, and endlessly praise each other. The Lutheran Forum issue on Robert Jenson praised him throughout and treated his writing as the very Word of God, though he participated in denigrating all the articles of faith we confess in the Creeds. A far more famous wolf, Karl Barth, has his own Center for Barth Studies devoted to him at Princeton University.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

This is simple and plain. As Lenski says, the fruits of the false teachers are their doctrine. That is what naturally comes from the source. The tree is a good visual because we do not ask a tree to be friendly, nice, smiley, or working 18 hours a day. We expect a good tree to bear good fruit. 

For example, a Church Growth pastor said everyone had to be in a cell group studying a book. He did not care what the book was - each one had to be in a cell group, period.

Some people have said, "It worked for a while." Yes, LCMS members joined WELS to flee from the LCA-ALC apostasy, so there was no real numerical growth, which does not matter anyway. The issue is whether someone believes in Christ and remains on the True Vine (John 15) bearing fruit. Thorns and thistles do not produce anything worthwhile. They produce more thorns and thistles - which cling to our clothing and find new places to infest. But no one makes thistle pie or a cake full of thorns.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

The Crepe Myrtle on the altar is a good example of this comparison which the Lord of Creation taught. The flowering bush, often as tall as a tree, cannot do anything but bear good fruit. First it flowers and bees, butterflies, and Hummingbirds fly in and out to obtain what they need. Next the fruit forms as a round seed loved by Cardinals and Robins. Those birds love the plant so much that they build their nests there and warn intruders who approach.

Someone once called these colorful plants "weeds," but weeds are sterile - never producing anything worthwhile. Weeds are prolific, but in the wrong way, which is good to recall when a false teacher names his gatherings, buildings, and money. No matter what his or her boast is, nothing good is coming from it.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

One famous Evangelist said he "owned Toronto," but became obsessed with rationalism and lost faith in Jesus Christ entirely. That ate away at him but he seemed unable to return to faith.

Broadcasting fake piety is not the same as trusting in the Son of God, who died on the cross for our sins and rose from the grave, ascending to Heaven.


Sunday, July 31, 2022

Trinity 7, 2022

 


The Seventh Sunday after Trinity, 2022

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Vimeo Player:

The Permanent Link is here, after the live service Vimeo.

The melodies are linked in the hymn title. 
The lyrics are linked from the Bethany Hymnal Blog.

The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
Introit
Oh, clap your hands, all ye people! 
Shout unto God with the voice of triumph.
Psalm. He shall subdue the people under us: 
and the nations under our feet.

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

Collect
O God, whose never-failing providence ordereth all things both in heaven and earth, we humbly beseech Thee to put away from us all hurtful things and to give us those things which be profitable for us; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth, etc.

The Epistle and Gradual       
Gradual
Come, ye children, hearken unto me: 
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
V. Look unto Him and be lightened: 
and let your faces not be ashamed. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. Oh, clap your hands, all ye people:
shout unto God with the voice of triumph. Hallelujah!


The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed             p. 22
           
Days Without Food - God Provides Miracles

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 #216          On Christ's Ascension                  


In Our Prayers
  • Alicia Meyer's birthday was July 27th. Happy Birthday and God's Blessings, Alicia.
  • Glen and Esther Kotten have returned from their honeymoon. Their wedding was blessed by three MDivs, in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.
  • Tests and treatment - Kermit Way, Pastor Jim Shrader, Callie and her parents, C.

Norma Boeckler's Christian Art Books

KJV Romans 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

KJV Mark 8:1 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, 2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: 3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far. 4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness? 5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. 6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. 7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. 8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. 9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

SEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

Lord God, heavenly Father, who in the wilderness didst by Thy Son abundantly feed four thousand men besides women and children with seven loaves and a few small fishes: We beseech Thee, graciously abide among us with Thy blessing, and keep us from covetousness and the cares of this life, that we may seek first Thy kingdom and Thy righteousness, and in all things needful for body and soul, experience Thine ever-present help; through Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Days Without Food - God Provides Miracles

Introduction - Miracles and the Word

The two miracles of feeding are closely tied together with the Lord's Supper as miracles, so those who deny the Real Presence in Holy Communion - making it merely symbolic - are going to deny or alter the Feedings of the Four Thousand and Five Thousand - they are separate miracles. As Lenski says, the 4,000 is more about basic needs. The 5,000 is more about Jesus as the Bread of Life.

If the feedings are denied, then the divine nature of Christ is also rejected, sometimes later once the excuses are taught. He is a great teacher but not the Son of God in their minds.

I recall hearing, as a child, church adults say, "The days of miracles are over." That is a sign of rationalism among Christians. If human reason is the judge, there is nothing to support faith from studying and hearing God's Word. Why would miracles be gone? The angels - are they on strike? Is not Holy Communion the weekly miracle?

One Calvinist saying is that the Word is like an inert statue in the garden - that only points the way to Christ. That non-Biblical saying means the Word itself does not have the power to convert, to teach us forgiveness, to be a light to our paths.

Calvinists imagine that someone has to make the Scriptures real, relevant, appealing, germane. That attitude, with a trust in marketing, has ruined Protestantism today. People look for a mood or an exciting place - they are looking outside of the Word.  The Scripture is where all the power is. I respect congregations that can run all kinds of high-powered streams of video across the world, but what really matters is the unified Truth of the Scriptures. That should continue to make us thrilled.

Lenski, Gospel of Mark, p. 314.
The critics regard the two miracles by which multitudes were fed as one despite the differences in time, place, numbers fed, numbers of bread-cakes and of fishes and of baskets full left over. Matthew and Peter (Mark’s source) were present in person at both miracles and are reliable authorities. The inner difference between the two miracles is not discussed by the critics. The feeding of the 5,000 intends to reveal Jesus as the Bread of Life as John 6:26-65 show in extenso; the feeding of the 4,000 does not go beyond showing the care of Jesus for our bodily needs.

KJV Mark 8:1 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, 

The Gospel of Mark is long on events, especially the miracles, which explain the crowds of people following Jesus and also the antagonism of the Jewish leaders. As Jesus explained in the Gospel of John, the miracles were intended to show people His divine authority. If they did not believe His Word, at least trust in the miracles. Of course, the miracles themselves inspire faith because no one had that power just as no one had the power of His teaching and preaching.

Calling over the disciples meant Jesus already had a plan for the multitudes who had nothing to eat

2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: 3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.

The crowds would have gathered initially carrying their food, but they ran out. Jesus knew this and expressed His emotional anguish for their hunger and their distance to their houses. Many had come a long distance and could not make the journey back, so great with their faith in Him, drawn to hear more and more of His wisdom and encouragement, but also His warnings if they did not repent and believe in Him.

Compassion - σπλαγχνιζομαι επι τον οχλον   - My guts ache for the crowd (Jackson Literal Translation). Harvard has just published about the strong relationship between our innards and our brains (expressed elsewhere in the New Testament).
What we think can upset our stomachs and digestion, and our internal organs can kidnap our brain.

Lenski, Mark, p. 315
The fact that Jesus is speaking of their physical needs is plain; note “fasting," “they will be completely unloosed” like a bowstring when it is unstrung, metaphorically, “they will become exhausted.” This would likely be the case especially in the case of some who had come from a great distance.

Jesus as the Teacher was offering a clear need that had to be addressed. The people must have food in a place where no food was available - or even possible.

4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?

Descendents of the disciples have joined the building committees and finance committees of many congregations. Their message is clear and unanimous - "It cannot be done!"

They answered Jesus by saying it was impossible. There is a bit of humor in this, because they used their reason instead of their faith in the Son of God. 

Is this not true today? Quoting many small children when I asked them about Jesus' walking on water, turning water into wine, healing the sick and raising the dead, "Jesus is God. He can do anything."

But we look at our needs from a purely rational viewpoint. And we get anxious, confused, angry, and fearful - all powerful messages between our brains and guts. That is one of the wonderful things about marriage. One partner balances the other with sound advice, humor, and faith in Christ. Once an expert in England was driving Christina crazy over his database versus hers. This was an engineering firm in Columbus and in Britain. I said, "You are getting messages. They are just ink on paper. Messages should not anger you at all. He will find out that you have the better program - it came from my setup. British things often do not work well." Soon after they canned the broken British database and Chris had hers working smoothly." 

The bigger traumas in life were leaving the LCA, leaving WELS, and being removed from the CLC (sic) for hosting a pancake supper - not a joke. If those events were not enjoyable, they at least sent us along the way to Phoenix and Springdale. People in this congregation got the congregation going, adding video services and publishing. The bad events happened with God's guidance so that good came from it, impossible within a dictatorial apostate synod's structure.

Lenski, Mark, p. 316
The disciples remember the other miracle. Thus they are not again worried. They have learned that Jesus does not mean that they might possibly find a supply of bread somewhere. Yet they do not tell Jesus what he should do; they have learned to leave everything in his hands to act when and how may seem best to him. To say that the reply of the disciples betrays no knowledge of a previous miraculous feeding and nothing but complete perplexity is to misread not only this reply but also the word of Jesus that elicited the reply. 

5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.

This increases the anxiety level - for the New Testament professors. They "know" that Jesus cannot feed the multitude with seven loaves, so they claim that the boy - by sharing his food makes everyone ashamed, so they take out their spare food and share it, satisfying everyone and leaving many baskets of leftovers.

The "miracle of sharing" is rather comical, because it assumes an enormous amount of food was hidden in the robes of the adults (the ones who did not share at first). The idea is too unpleasant to explore. 

The mythical interpretation is simpler. If a rationalist does not believe it, then it is a myth like the Greek and Roman myths, stories that teach a lesson.

The number of loaves distinguishes this miracle from the previous feeding of 4,000.

6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. 7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.

The miracle of feeding the multitude is in harmony with the miracle of distributing the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ with the earthly elements. Both are merely symbolic or both are the effect of God's Word.

Here we see that the Logos - the Creator - has the power to multiply the loaves and fish. The Son of God takes the little things (in the eyes of the world) and makes miracles from them. We can and should pray for all our needs - "Cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you." But we should never order God to give according to time, manner, or amount. That is tempting God, and will never end well.

If you have faith that God hears and responds to the least of our anxieties, pray for yourself and others by name. God will respond and do more than we can imagine. I do not fall asleep until I have spoken aloud the cares of everyone in the congregation and beyond. 

The Lutheran Reformation emphasized the clarity, power, and efficacy of the Word, because the Spirit never works apart from the Word, and the Word never apart from the Spirit.

We are starting to distribute the KJV in various print sizes and also in Spanish. I gave a neighbor two super-sized KJVs, then six more, and now more on the way. I sent several to long-time members recently. It is good to have one that is the right sized for reading. It is such a pleasure to see the how much people value the Apostolic writings over the distorted Bible-business people, who bribe synod leaders and stores to use their third- rate paraphrases.

8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. 9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

The closing of this miracle reminds us that God not only provided food for everyone, but with such an abundance that they had baskets of bread leftover. It was not left there as garbage but taken back as food for the journey home (we can assume). 

Many people look upon believers as so few in number, so weak in their ability to throw their weight around, so insignificant. That is true, but God fills the faithful with an abundance of heavenly treasures and spiritual weapons. I heard from a severely handicapped person on Facebook today. She is hoping she can get to church. Her wishes are not always met with the ability. She values that connection. Brenda used to say, "Jesus Christ is all I have in the world." Brenda brushed aside the home she was offered because she knew an eternal home was not far away. She was correct.

When we feel we are alone in the desert, even with a crowd around us, and nothing seems to be right, the miracles are on their way. The Bible is known for many things, as it should be, as God's only book. One of the greatest aspects of the Scriptures are their power to comfort and encourage us. 

Those pilgrims starved for the Word and found themselves in the desert with only water to drink. Jesus gave them all they needed and more, so people mock that today. Jesus described the miraculous feedings in one sentence - "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (the righteousness of faith) for they shall be satisfied." Sermon on the Mount. Those who do not believe think it is the righteousness of works, so they dedicate libraries and chapels in their own names (a swan song if I ever heard it). 

But this is the righteousness of faith, to honor God by receiving earthly food when needed and the heavenly food of Holy Communion, which is always powerful in giving us the physical act of receiving God's grace and forgiveness through Christ.



Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Trinity 6 2022

 The Sixth Sunday after Trinity, 2022


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

The Vimeo Player is here:


This Will Be the Permanent Link to the Service





The melodies are linked in the hymn title. 
The lyrics are linked in the hymn number.
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16

Introit
The Lord is the Strength of His people: 
He is the saving Strength of His anointed.
Save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance: 
feed them also and lift them up forever.
Psalm. Unto Thee will I cry, O Lord, my Rock; be not silent unto me: lest, if Thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.

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

Collect
Lord of all power and might, who art the Author and Giver of all good things, graft in our hearts the love of Thy name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of Thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.

The Epistle and Gradual   

Gradual
He shall call to the heavens from above: 
and to the earth that He may judge His people.
V. The heavens shall declare His righteousness: 
for God is Judge Himself. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. The ransomed of the Lord shall come to Zion with everlasting joy upon their lands: 
they shall obtain joy and gladness, 
and sorrow and weeping shall fly away.
 Hallelujah!
   
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed             p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #294             O Word of God Incarnate                     

The Righteousness of the Pharisees


The Communion Hymn # 387:1-5             Dear Christians                   
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 #50        Lord, Dismiss Us



In Our Prayers
  • Maria Ellenberger Way and Kermit Way. Pastor Jim Shrader and Chris Shrader. Callie and both her parents, C. and many who need strength, healing, and peace.
  • May God Bless the Marriage of Glen Kotten and Esther Estrada in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.
  • More KJV books and King James Bibles have been given free to various people who needed them. Members and non-members who want either one - or both - email me at greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com
  • Christina Jackson's birthday is July 20th.
                                    


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 Righteousness of the Pharisees


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. 

There are two ways to understand this verse, but only one is correct. 
1. The wrong way - Someone can jump to the conclusion that the Pharisees were the ultimate in righteousness and that Jesus' followers had to be even more righteous.
2. The right way - ironic and more pointed. The Pharisees, in depending on works of the Law, had no genuine righteousness, so anyone who believed in Jesus definitely exceeded the works-righteousness of the Pharisees. The righteousness of faith in the Savior is key to this passage.

Background - Unity of the One Book of the Holy Spirit

The so-called scholarly world has tried to pit one passage of the Bible against another, leaving people in as much confusion as the professors have. Note that the most important Gospel - for clarifying the entire message - is the Gospel of John, which most of the modernists dismiss as coming from other sources and 300 years after Christ. That would make the Fourth Gospel a series of deceptions. The truth is that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John have a remarkable harmony and unity, because the working force behind each one - and them all - is the Holy Spirit.

That applies to the entire Bible - as the foundation. The Scriptures are that unified Truth. Luther knew Medieval dogma well, but he did not start with that, but only illustrated it to show how wrong the Pope was. Luther could see how all the Biblical books and verses fit together - and support each other - with one goal from God for us - to teach us faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Good Shepherd.

Dogma books are not a good foundation, no matter how good they are, because dogma tries to make a system out of a unity already present. Why not show that unity by comparing verses rather than current or past authors?

A book confessing the Faith is not at all the same as dogmatics books. The Book of Concord confesses the truth of the Scriptures and is really a one-volume book about the Bible.

Organizations make a poor foundation, because they establish norms and those rules become their bible, their origin, their incontestable law. Willow Creek in Chicago (where we went and heard Hybels speak on these verses) was monstrously big and yet opposed to showing the cross anywhere. Hybels and the entire staff had to quit and admit their very serious sins, paying out millions in damages. The Church of Rome has been paying out millions and will continue to do the same, because an organization corrupts itself away from Christianity by jettisoning faith in Christ in favor of power for themselves.

There are many ways to appreciate Matthew 5:20 because the righteousness of the Pharisees is in the basement. That turns on the point Paul taught in short form in Galatians and very thoroughly in Romans.

Using the phrasing above, that means being declared righteous only by faith in Jesus. 

Justify is not a difficult word, and we use it all the time in the same sense. "How dare you justify what you have done?" That is making oneself righteous, free of sin, by declaring that to be true. 

Or when excuses are made, "Don't justify yourself!" 

I cannot tell how many books and articles I have read where they have ignored the plain meaning of this word - and this phrase - used so often - Justification by Faith.

Romans 4 is so clear and plain that synod presidents should have it tattooed on their backs so they never see it, since they reject and defame the Chief Article.

The solution is simple - either
1. We are justified by works of various types, which make us righteous (building chapels, paying for dorms, enlarging libraries). OR
2. We are declared innocent because of the innocence of Jesus Christ, who took on our sins and rose from the dead to show He had conquered sin, death, and the devil on the cross.

Because of time constraints, I am going to explain this rather than writing it out, as I intended originally. (Get me to the church on time.)