Lutheran Worship and Resources

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Trinity 15, 2022

 



The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity, 2022

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson






The Hymn #376                         Rock of Ages                                                            
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
Introit
Bow down Thine ear, O Lord, hear me: O Thou, my God, save Thy servant that trusteth in Thee.
Be merciful to me, O Lord: for I cry unto Thee daily.
Psalm. Rejoice the soul of Thy servant: for unto Thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

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

Collect
O Lord, we beseech Thee, let Thy continual pity cleanse and defend Thy Church; and because it cannot continue in safety without Thy help, preserve it evermore by Thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.

Gradual
It is better to trust in the Lord: 
than to put confidence in man.
V. It is better to trust in the Lord: 
than to put confidence in princes. 
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. Hallelujah!

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 #396                           O For a Faith                                


The Holy Spirit and the Word


The Communion Hymn #467           Built on the Rock - Grundvig
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 #309                O Jesus Blessed Lord - Kingo
                         
Announcements and Prayers

People ask about our Holy Communion.
Roman Catholics put an emphasis on the ordained priest. The presence of the priest validates the communion service. The forgiveness is partial; the elements become only the body and blood of Christ. The priest and his ordination make it effective.
Calvinists reject Baptism and Communion as sacraments. The elements remain bread and wine and do not convey forgiveness. Calvin mocked the Real Presence.
Lutheran Biblical teaching shows what 1 Corinthians 10:16 reveals. The Body of Christ is with the bread through the Consecrating Word; the Blood is with the wine through the consecrating Word. The Word is always effective.
Distance does not attenuate or weaken the power of the Word, which is always divine. When Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish through His Word, the 5,000 families were stretched across the grassy oasis. Nevertheless, these miracles showed Jesus could create this miracle for the entire crowd. If the liturgy, hymns, creed, readings, and sermon are effective, then how could the Words of Consecration be ineffective? Those who agree with the Augsburg Confession are one with us and are welcome to join the distribution - after God's Word has consecrated the elements for those who hear and believe.


KJV Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.  4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  5 For every man shall bear his own burden.  6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.  7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

KJV Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.


FIFTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank Thee for all Thy benefits: that Thou hast given us life and graciously sustained us unto this day: We beseech Thee, take not Thy blessing from us; preserve us from covetousness, that we may serve Thee only, love and abide in Thee, and not defile ourselves by idolatrous love of mammon, but hope and trust only in Thy grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.


The Holy Spirit and the Word

Background
Concentrating on the New Testament at the expense of the Old Testament is like floors on a high rise starting at the 25th floor. The two parts of the Bible are completely woven together, the Old predicts and describes the Son of God. The New anchors everything in the Promises of the Old. For example, Holy Communion comes from the Passover Meal, which became the Lord's Supper.

The Son is the Creating Word (Genesis 1, John 1:3) and the I AM of the Burning Bush (Exodus 3). The Word and the Holy Spirit are always at work together and never apart. This is emphasized in Isaiah 55:8ff. 

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

11 So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:
a) it shall not return unto me void,

b) but it shall accomplish that which I please, and 

c) it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

The Word always having an effect is a different way of saying that God's Word is always divine, always active, always accomplishing something (never void). Whatever the Word accomplishes is God's will, not man's. This means that to do God's will, we only need to teach and rely on God's Word. Spirit and wind are the same word in Hebrew and Greek (as in pneumonia - lung), invisible and yet powerful, as we notice in the hurricane season.

KJV Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

The Apostle Paul is saying, living in the Word also means walking according to that Word.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

The Word is not something picked up on occasion but with us wherever we go, whatever we do. The Word governs our thoughts and therefore our actions. Our human nature is not always the best, but the Spirit moves us to walk with Jesus, to please others and to apologize. Husbands and wives have endless opportunities to practice this and to carry this out with children - and parents - as well. 

I have noticed congregations, where people deliberately have provoked others and caused trouble for no reason, have become dental offices and small business locations, the church sign removed, the land sold to the highest bidder. My favorite example is the person denied the honor of serving the coffee at the church dinner and the final results years later.

6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

The 19th century Perryville, Missouri riot is a good example of this being violated. Bishop Stephan was known for his adultery. Instead of treating him in a Scriptural manner, Walther led a riot that stole the bishop's land, money, books, and personal possessions. On a smaller scale, instead of destroying someone, it is far better to be gentle but firm in dealing with the sin. "Meekness" is something Jesus described for Himself. Stephan, for example, should have been removed from his position rather than being removed from his house, savings, books, land, and personal possessions. The riot meant that felons were attacking a felon for being a felon. The damage continues to this day.

2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.  4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

We all have burdens, and sometimes they are very difficult to endure - disease, loss of life, threats to our income, difficulties of all kinds. Some people can pick up a 100-pound weight, but everyone can share in that lifting if they have enough help. Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd has a flock, and we as sheep follow the Shepherd where He leads us (Psalm 23 and John 10). 

Sometimes individuals swagger and other times they pull back from what they should be doing. We are a small group by the estimation of others, but we share various tasks according to our abilities and time. That by itself is clearly the work of the Holy Spirit bearing the fruits described in Galatians 5. So there is rejoicing for each one who helps. I sent the I AM book to one person who is a very good editor, and that person found about 30 things I overlooked, including one really bad one. The fact is, one can get so used to a project that blatant mistakes sail right by and only emerge in print. And I found a good list of parables and this came up from another - "I have all the parable graphics. Do you want me to send them?" Answer - Yes!

7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

We can fool others and ourselves, but not God. What we sow in a carnal spirit will reap corruption - like the Joy (ELCA Lutheran) Church Growth Church that was all entertainment and collapsed once the pastor saw the light of day. It was a tofu church like the tofu skyscrapers in Red China. 

What we sow in the Spirit, through God's Word, will be harvested in eternal life. That is why we distribute free books, free KJVs, because we cannot judge where the living seed of the Word will land, grow roots, and increase the final harvest. We do know, through Isaiah 55 and many other passages, that God's Word will have its effect, will never return empty, and will always prosper His will.


Sunday, September 11, 2022

Trinity 13, 2022

By Norma A. Boeckler

The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, 2022


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson



10 AM Central Daylight Time




The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16

Introit

Have respect, O Lord, unto Thy covenant: 

oh, let not the oppressed return ashamed!

Arise, O God, plead Thine own cause: 

and forget not the voice of Thine enemies.

Psalm. O God, why hast Thou cast us off forever? 

Why doth Thine anger smoke against the sheep of Thy pasture?


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

Collect

Almighty and everlasting God, give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity; and that we may obtain that which Thou dost promise, make us to love that which Thou dost command; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.

The Epistle and Gradual       
Gradual

Have respect, O Lord, unto Thy covenant: 

oh, let not the oppressed return ashamed!

V. Arise, O God, plead Thine own cause: 

and forget not the voice of Thine enemies. 

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

V. O Lord God of my salvation: 

I have cried day and night before Thee. Hallelujah!

The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed             p. 22

 Jesus is the Good Samaritan


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 #660              I'm But a Stranger Here
 

Prayers and Announcements
  • The flowers on the altar are in memory of Gary Meyer's, who died September 17, 2014.
  • Medical care: Randy Anderson, Pastor Jim Shrader and his wife Chris; Dr. Kermit and Dr. Marie Way. Callie, C., and others who need treatment and tests.
  • The I AM Sermons book will be sent off this week. 



 Norma A. Boeckler
        

KJV Galatians 3:15 
Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. 19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

KJV Luke 10:23 
And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: 24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 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. 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.


Thirteenth Sunday After Trinity

Lord God, heavenly Father, we most heartily thank Thee that Thou hast granted us to live in this accepted time, when we may hear Thy holy gospel, know Thy fatherly will, and behold Thy Son, Jesus Christ! We pray Thee, most merciful Father: Let the light of Thy holy word remain with us, and so govern our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may never forsake Thy word, but remain steadfast in it, and finally obtain eternal salvation; through Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen. 


John Adam Houston



 Jesus Is the Good Samaritan


But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 
 
KJV Luke 10: 30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

Nobody has read Luther in the last century. There are two proofs. One proof is from the Social Gospel (1920s) apostates, who claimed the parable was about keeping the road to Jericho safe. The second proof is - pastors and laity read this parable as a do-gooder tirade so they can make everyone's guilt rise up and go away by painting houses, building compost piles, and recycling garbage. (I especially enjoy people wondering why I use cardboard and newspaper as mulch, which blocks weeds and decomposes into rich soil, a good solution for crabgrass.)

This section of Luke opens with an emphasis on knowing and believing in Jesus. Abraham saw Jesus and rejoiced in the Savior (John 8) The prophets also saw Jesus spiritually and proclaimed the Gospel. Relatively few people believed in Jesus as the Messiah during His ministry, but the disciples had the benefit of three years of intensive training and the experiences of His many miracles and sermons. 

Jesus is speaking to the disciples and to us - "Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: 24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them." Knowledge of the Scriptures and faith in Jesus Christ - those are the great blessings which no one can take away. The adoration of buildings, programs, endowments, and earthly honors are all distractions, and they prove that people see without seeing and hear without hearing. The treatment of this great parable is proof of that sorry state.

The lawyer is representative of all those who rely on the Law to justify themselves, whether it is one kind of law or another. He is completely sure of his righteousness (of the Law) and asks the question to make certain his righteous state. 

This is where the parable turns into one about Jesus. Note that the apostates do not see Jesus as the theme of this parable, in the same way that they do not accept the I AM sermons in John (by excluding the Fourth Gospel altogether and moving it centuries later as "Gnostic.")

Jesus is the example of the neighbor and the lawyer is the example of the self-centeredness, self-approval, and wanting the praise of men. "Who is my neighbor" is not answered by God as shunning but by going to those in need, which includes giving people support in the Gospel.

Jesus answered the lawyer's question with a brief but momentous example. A man on the road to Jericho was met by thieves, stripped of his outer clothing, beaten and left almost dead.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

There are two initial responses, from the religious leaders. They see the man and walk on the other side of the road. They are not foreigners or from another religion. 

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

The sermons with an agenda offer a twist that denies the point of the parable. The Samaritan is not labeled "good." He is called "the neighbor" by the lawyer conceding what Jesus was teaching. A neighbor helps his neighbor, so the actions of the Samaritan prove He is the neighbor. This translates into how we treat others, but it primarily show us the ways in which Christ comes to us.

The "I Found It!" people miss a major point. Jesus Christ comes to us through Word of God. We do not come to Him. Notice the quiet, passive, almost dead traveler does not come to the Samaritan, but the Samaritan comes to him and serves him. 

I can safely say that many of us, growing up in a Christian nation, have had the true Word of God  - teaching the true Son of God to us - come to us in many jarring, nasty, disruptive ways. The Episcopalians, for instance, took 13 years to reach the bottom with ELCA (2009), and Pope Francis SJ is catching up.

Those bad experiences, shocks, and speeches from people endorsing diabolic doctrine - they all contributed to our appreciation of the only genuine English Bible and Luther's Biblical doctrine (not Here I Stand socks, not doggy t-shirts, not shot glass - LCMS' publishing house, 500th anniversary of the Reformation).

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 

These actions of the Samaritan parallel how He treats the individual needing His love and compassion. First Aid is teaching the true Gospel in its most basic forms, healing the wounds of being without Christ - or being taught a false Christ by Biblical "scholars" and other frauds. The truth is first an antiseptic (that is not taught in the Scriptures) and then the truth through Justification by Faith brings forth healing and the fruits of the Spirit.

Putting him on His vehicle and taking him to an inn - That is Jesus working through us to take someone to church or bring the Gospel to him. Parents do this when they teach their children at home and take them to faithful worship. The inn is used in The Pilgrim's Progress book, where Christian stops, rests, and has refreshing discussions with fellow believers, who also give him armor (Ephesians 6) on the way to Eternal Life.

The host is the person in charge of Christian worship and teaching. The Samaritan provides the means for that Gospel center and promises that there will be no shortage - He will make it up when He returns. 

The Samaritan (Jesus) has a continuous and helping relationship. A neighbor rushes to help, as I have experienced here in Springdale - in every possible way, including after a dangerous fall and injuries.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

25. This Samaritan of course is our Lord Jesus Christ himself, who has shown his love toward God and his neighbor. Toward God, in that he was obedient to him, came down from heaven and became man, and thus fulfilled the will of his Father; toward his neighbor, in that he immediately after his baptism began to preach, to do wonders, to heal the sick. And in short, he did no work that centered in himself alone, but all his acts centered in his neighbor. And this he did with all his powers, and thus he became our servant, who could have well remained in heaven and been equal to God, Philippians 2:6. But all this he did because he knew that this pleased God and was his Father’s will.


26. When he entered upon that high mission to prove that he loved God with all his heart, he laid down his bodily life with all he had, and said:

Father, here you have all, my bodily life, my glory and honor, which I had among the people; all this I give as it is for thy sake, that the world may know how I love thee. My Father, let my wisdom perish, so that the world may look upon me as most foolish. Let me be the most despised, who was heretofore praised by all the world. Now I am the worst murderer, who before was friendly, useful and serviceable to the whole world. Dear Father, all this I despise, only that I may not be disobedient to thee.

27. This is the Samaritan who came uninvited, and fulfilled the law with his whole heart. For only he fulfilled the law, and no one can deprive him of this honor. He alone merits it, and well maintains it all alone. Now this would be no special comfort for us; but that he has compassion on the poor wounded man, takes him under his care, binds his wounds, takes him into the inn and waits on him, this avails for us.

 Luther - A Christian need not look for his cross, it is always on his back. For he thinks as St. Paul says, 2 Timothy 3:12: “All that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” This is the court-color in this kingdom. Whoever is ashamed of the color, does not belong to this king.


Sunday, September 4, 2022

Trinity 12, 2022.

 


The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity, 2022


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Vimeo Player:




The Hymn #373               By Grace I'm Saved
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16

Introit
Make haste, O God, to deliver me: 
make haste to help me, O Lord.
Let them be ashamed and confounded: 
that seek after my soul.
Psalm. Let them be turned backward and put to confusion: 
that desire my hurt.

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

Collect
Almighty and merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that Thy faithful people do unto Thee true and laudable service, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may so faithfully serve Thee in this life that we fail not finally to attain Thy heavenly promises; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.
The Epistle and Gradual

Gradual
I will bless the Lord at all times: 
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
V. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: 
the humble shall hear thereof and be glad. 
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. Sing aloud unto God, our Strength: 
make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Hallelujah!
       
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed             p. 22
New Testament Ministers        

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 Closing Hymn #123                       Our God Our Help   

 Norma A. Boeckler




In Our Prayers and Announcements
  • Tuesday - Andrea Anderson's 4th birthday.
  • Medical Treatment - Kermit and Maria Way, Pastor Jim Shrader and Chris Shrader, Randy Anderson (chemo).

                        
Norma A. Boeckler

KJV 2 Corinthians 3:4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: 8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? 9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

Covenant or Testament 
Lenski 2 Corinthians 3:3
p. 921

The R. V.’s translation “3. new covenant” (“testament” in the margin) is not an advance on the A. V.’s “a new testament.” Commentators also waver. See the author’s exposition of I Cor. 11:25, from which we repeat only the main point: the Hebrew berith is “covenant,” which is rendered diatheke, “testament,” by the LXX which thus conserves the main idea of one-sidedness: this covenant is like every testament that is made by God to Israel and is not a mutual agreement between equals. Its substance was promise, Christ fulfilled the promise, and this fulfillment is now laid down in a testament. All believers are named as the heirs who're to be paid out with all the gospel blessings. We may call the ministers of God the administrators (I Cor. 4:1), yet they themselves are heirs. So in the New Testament diatheke = “testament.” And we should render, not “ministers of a new testament,” but as one concept: “new testament ministers.” The newness lies in the fulfillment of the former covenant promises by Christ.

KJV Mark 7:31 And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. 32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. 33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. 35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. 36 And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; 37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

Twelfth Sunday After Trinity

Almighty and everlasting God, who hast created all things: We thank Thee that Thou hast given us sound bodies, and hast graciously preserved our tongues and other members from the power of the adversary: We beseech Thee, grant us Thy grace, that we may rightly use our ears and tongues; help us to hear Thy word diligently and devoutly, and with our tongues so to praise and magnify Thy grace, that no one shall be offended by our words, but that all may be edified thereby, through Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Luther on the Epistle text - Here


Background for the Gospel Lesson, Mark 7:31-37
Medical doctors may have a better grasp of miracles than others, since they experience them, beyond all hope. I told our MD-PhD friend at Yale Medical School that certain theologians would not believe a miracle happened unless it could be reproduced in a lab. Dr. Wenger said, "That is the very definition of a miracle - it cannot be reproduced in a lab!"

The Gospels clearly connect the miracles of Jesus with His divine Word. The miracles demonstrated to the disciples and the crowds His divinity. His teaching of the Word had a powerful effect, and still does, and His miracles gave thousands a concrete example of what the Word can do.

Paul wrote specifically about the efficacy of the preached Word. 
1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

The Word itself has the power to change people forever; the miracles encourage us to consider how much God can do and how quickly He can accomplish His will.




New Testament Ministers  

KJV 2 Corinthians 3:4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:

Here is a little word about KJV language. The final KJV editors liked to write God-ward, separating "ward" from the to, perhaps because it preserves the Greek, which is simply through Christ to God. We combine the two parts in common English - toward, forward, backward.

This KJV wording emphasizes the close relationship we have, trust comes through Christ (His Two Natures, human and divine) to God. All the attributes of Christ are equally true of God the Father. That helps us appreciate the true nature of God the Father, because Jesus mirrors His Father's will and Word.

That is also the reason why Christians reject other religions, who may nod toward Jesus Christ in a vague, mild way. And we reject the lupine false teachers who promote and praise themselves so they can slaughter the flock. Nothing is more obvious than supposed Lutheran pastors giving sermons copied verbatim from anti-Lutheran, anti-inerrancy Church Growth "ministers." These so-called Lutherans gather around the supersalesmen the way flies gather around a dropped ice cream cone or roadkill.

Trust begins with Jesus the Son of God because He was sent to represent God to us. His human nature, united with His divine nature, reveals that He is compassionate toward us, Hebrews 4.

5 Not that we are sufficient [able] of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency [ability] is of God; 

This is where the wolves show up. They preach themselves, not Christ Jesus. Their target is having "happy campers," who make their efforts worthwhile and appealing. One program was called "Off Our Rockers," designed to appeal to the elderly, but it looked more like mockery than anything else. 

The Book of Concord uses this passage to emphasize that the sufficiency applies to all of us believers, not to the priesthood alone. I use that term because one Ft. Wayne professor said that he was a priest - and a priest deserved a Cadillac. The decay of all the Lutheran sects today is derived from this folly. Their attitude produces bullies who must be infallible because they are priests. This obnoxious attitude began with Calvinist black robes and degenerated into extremely expensive liturgical garments and hardware. I will add up basic costs for a given priest...fairly soon. Add a few thousand dollars for the mini-bishop. The whole idea is to make the laity cower in fear of the great authority. As my favorite movie character shouted, "You dare offend the great and powerful Oz?"

On the positive side, this is another place where Paul emphasized the efficacy of the divine Word. If we believe what the Bible teaches about the Word always working with the Spirit and the Spirit always at work with the Word, then the concept of sufficiency or ability is clear - it is always God at work.

Example - we all delight in the time and work expended by a young mother, whose children have so many needs and demands. It often seems to be too much, yet God provides a special strength for those mothers. Patience and strength go together. Fathers are very important too, and they have the benefit of being extra-appreciated because less is expected. Uncles and cousins matter too. When the Gospel is part of the equation, there is a great sharing of blessings.

6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: 8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

Among the Calvinists (and those who secretly copy them), everything is a covenant - "God can only do His part if I do my part." That is the opposite of the Apostle's emphasis on the sufficiency or ability of all believers in Christ. That false claim makes God dependent upon our actions. I run into this all the time among non-Lutherans, and I have heard it stated among nominal (in name only) Lutherans. One pastor said (and this is a pagan Greek quote) - "God helps those who help themselves."

Lenski 2 Corinthians 3:3
p. 921

The Revised KJV.’s translation “3. new covenant” (“testament” in the margin) is not an advance on the KJV’s “a new testament.” Commentators also waver. See the author’s exposition of I Cor. 11:25, from which we repeat only the main point: the Hebrew berith is “covenant,” which is rendered diatheke, “testament,” by the LXX which thus conserves the main idea of one-sidedness: this covenant is like every testament that is made by God to Israel and is not a mutual agreement between equals. Its substance was promise, Christ fulfilled the promise, and this fulfillment is now laid down in a testament. All believers are named as the heirs who're to be paid out with all the gospel blessings. We may call the ministers of God the administrators (I Cor. 4:1), yet they themselves are heirs. So in the New Testament diatheke = “testament.” And we should render, not “ministers of a new testament,” but as one concept: “new testament ministers.” The newness lies in the fulfillment of the former covenant promises by Christ.

Paul is using the argument called - "from the lesser to the greater." "If A is powerful, how much more glorious is B!" 

The giving of the Ten Commandments was a spectacular event. The sounds and the glory were almost too great to bear. If the faithful have kept that in their minds, from the Old Testament Scriptures, how much greater is the crucifixion of Christ, which gave complete forgiveness to all who believe in the Atonement of God's own Son?

That Gospel spread because so many were healed or fed miraculously - or saw and heard the risen Christ.

9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

The Law remains, but its glory is surpassed by the glory of the Gospel. The ministration of righteousness is not making ourselves perfect - which can be faked - but is never lacking in weak points. This is the righteousness of faith in Jesus Christ, Who has died for sin. God said in the beginning that the Messiah would crush the head of the serpent, Satan. Some burden themselves with "I am not good enough," which happens to be true. We are not able or sufficient, but the Gospel Word is able to take away our sins and give us a new life.

This is portrayed perfectly in Psalm 103. Whenever we feel the weight of sin and the need for forgiveness, this passage answers our pain and heals us. We should never forget that King David wrote the most vivid psalms about abusing his power and suffering horribly for his sins. No one more powerfully serves as an example of repentance and forgiveness.


KJV Psalm 103 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

6 The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.

14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;

18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

19 The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

20 Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

21 Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

22 Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.