The Glory Has Departed

Lutheran book boxes sent to three African seminaries -
a third one has been sent now.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

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Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

which works as too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
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Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Sixth Sunday after Trinity, 2015.
Matthew 5:20-26

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

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

The Hymn # 331:1-4            Yea, As I live                                               
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                                   

 How Do We Turn Things Around So Easily?

The Communion Hymn # 387             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 #  209     Who is This                                                     

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.

 How Do We Turn Things Around So Easily?

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. 

Whenever we see this term, righteousness, we probably think in terms of works rather than faith, because Pietism has taught us that.

A. Hoenecke, one of the greats in American Lutherdom, had many fine sayings in his overlooked and underused Dogmatics. He said this about Pietism, and I paraphrase - Pietism confuses justification with sanctification and makes the second the cause of the first.

In plain English - Pietism confuses forgiveness with Christian good works and makes those good works the cause of an individual's forgiveness.

So this speaks to us being even more diligent, more pious, more sacrificing than the Pharisees, because they were the model of holiness. But Jesus spoke of righteousness outside of us (Extra Nos, Dr. Cruz' blog) while the Pharisees looked  to their inner righteousness. They were the first Pietists.

Some ask, "What is wrong with piety?" Nothing. But Pietism made sound doctrine a servant to getting along with everyone, and a servant to getting a lot of good accomplished. And they did get along with many and accomplished a lot of good, but the victim of this agenda was Lutheran doctrine. Once rationalism and works righteousness replace faith in Christ, the tree is sterile and no longer produces good fruit. It can only produce evil and corrupt fruit, which we see today in America.

So this one verse alone, linked with the entire Bible, says clearly, "You cannot enter heaven with your own righteousness, which is all the Pharisees (works salesmen, Church Growth gurus, Church and Changers, district and synod presidents) have. You must have faith.

Here is a funny statement about modest exercise - "The person walking, no matter how slow, is moving faster than the person on the couch." The idea is to encourage the least amount of exercise because that really matters to our physical and emotional health.

That applies to this lesson - "The person who believes in Christ already has more righteousness than the Pharisees, because the believer has the righteousness of Christ."

We are so perverse that we turn this around all the time, and our inclination would soon drive us into apostasy if we did not rekindle the faith through the Word and Sacraments.

America has become evil through Pietism, step by step. The impression remains but the substance of the Faith is mostly gone. Imagine what the Third World Christian think of us. We are as corrupt and weak morally as our enemies say, but it is impolite for us to admit it.

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:

When Jesus preaches about the Law, He points to the greater law, the will of God, as Luther does in his catechisms - Small and Large. Didja ever wonder why all the clergy are promoting the newest book and never mention the Luther catechisms, which say more in few words? I wonder that a lot.

And why must the new editions of Luther's catechisms be so bloated with the words of mediocrities?

The Fifth Commandment.

Thou shalt not kill.

What does this mean?--Answer.

We should fear and love God that we may not hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body, but help and befriend him in every bodily need [in every need and danger of life and body].

Luther began with the literal meaning of the Fifth Commandment and taught what the Gospel adds, that in love we help our neighbor in every need and danger.

Jesus addressed the issue of anger.

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. 

This by itself would cure most of our society's problems, which are increasing daily as people use unreasonable anger to justify their violence, destruction, and revenge. In a recent video, a customer attacked the drive-through window and jumped partially inside, over a problem with an order. Sometimes they call 911 when a McDonald's order is mixed up.

The recent tyranny over signs and symbols has its basis and justification in anger, because we have made emotions sacramental. If enough people have bad emotions (anger, hurt, oppression, rage) they can remove the sterile and neutral cause of their emotions to cleanse them of all bodily and mental anguish.

There are reasons to be angry, but we inevitably turn this upside down. The smallest slight makes us angry and the largest crimes are excused. Because faith receives the righteousness of Christ, unbelief is the greatest sin. And yet those who teach unbelief are hailed as gurus of the Gospel while those who teach justification by faith are reviled, shunned, and excommunicated.

This has been happening in America for about 100 years - on the obvious side - but of course it began with Adam and Eve and continued ever since. 

Some clergy were talking about demise of traditional worship in the Lutheran Church, and I said, "But you keep electing and funding the idiots who have done this, and you work with ELCA and sell their Planned Parenthood loving life insurance." Believe me, I was being restrained with these LCMS pastors. Their answer is silence. 

Nota bene, as they used to say in Rome - I am shunned and ELCA is continuously embrace.

I am sure another writer could answer the apostasies of the Emmaus conference, yet not one pastor does. They read, copy, and link the blog posts. Someone assured me of this, but not one will come out in the open.

WELS is repeating what happened in the run up to ELCA's grand union. Many quietly opposed it. No one went public, and it happened. That that was the beginning and everything accelerated downhill since then. When I wrote against Church Growth in the 1980s, no one wrote in to say, "He is right." Now it is far worse than ever before and traditional Lutheran worship is almost extinguished in America.

Don't ask.

Does anyone ask how ELCA WELS ELS CLC LCMS just happened to end up looking just like the radical Baptist- Pentecostal be-bop congregations? If a turtle is on a fencepost, someone put it there.

But no one is really angry enough to do much about it. The obvious change in ELCA in 2009 was telegraphed, emphasized, agitated for, and endorsed in advance for 22 years. 

That is the colossal error that is taking our society and the visible church down to perdition, swiftly and inexorably.

In contrast, our anger without cause comes from the frictions of everyday life. Customer service makes us angry, whether on the phone or at the window. The pharmacy makes us upset. Neighbors are thoughtless. Relatives forget something they should have remembered.

Nothing proves our sinful nature more than our ability to swallow a camel while choking on the gnat. (My landscaper neighbor told me in the same conversation that he does not trust rainwater because of pollution, while applying more RoundUp in the same conversation. And yet his weed production is stunning, amazing, awe-inspiring.)

As I have mentioned in gardening, opposites make great companion plants just a human partners accomplish a lot when they are different. Roses love garlic and rosarians are anxious to protect their roses with garlic and that family of plants.

The famous partners in history, such as Rolls and Royce, combined two different traits. Rolls was the salesman, Royce the engineer.

When people marry, they almost always have different trait, so the combination is quite powerful. Even their habits are opposite, down to filling ice cub trays (which spawned an industry since man do not) and getting to the airport or anywhere else on time. 

And yet these minor things cause irritation which builds up into colossal resentment and finally dissolution. One woman wanted clothes put away and left them in a pile until it was so large she left. She wanted the family to help but just let the irritation build. And she bragged about it in print.

When facing a problem of life, such as hard drive crashes and frustrations with large corporations, I ask myself, "Would my friends, who died young, enjoy dealing with the same problems?" They certainly would. And would they deal with family issues with the same patience, knowing the alternative? They would.

When I visited a home for adult handicapped people - profoundly handicapped, I noticed, "They cannot walk down the street and they are so happy. They make 10 cents an hour and love it, show me their paychecks. We should all be so joyous."

Anger without a cause is a giant waste of time and energy, as I told the two men who complained about their wives shoe collection. "They keep those purple and green shoes because they might have a purple and green outfit some day. And that is never going to change. Live with it." One wife laughed as I said that.

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.

There are plenty of ways to reconcile over most problems of today. That should be practiced with great zeal among the brotherhood of faith and our immediate families. Beyond that circle there are many ways to do exactly what Jesus said. I know many spoiled kids have grown up to be spoiled adults who think anger can force the issue, as it often does. But in the long run, the anger-addict is going to have major problems and no one will be sympathetic. Paul advised Christians to live quietistically, as much as possible, that is, not provoking or trying to win all the time.

17. It follows that God simply wants you to serve your neighbor, doing your duty to him, so that matters are righted first of all between yourself and him and you be first reconciled to him; or God will neither see nor hear you. Furthermore, if my adversary come to me, I am to forgive him willingly; if he does not come, I am still to be conciliatory and kind to him, while I am on the way with him, in this life, so that he does not deliver me to the judge.

18. How does that come about? He does not take me by the hand and conduct me to the judge; but when I face judgment my conscience realizes that it had been unwilling to forgive the neighbor, entertaining secret but inveterate hate even then. My conscience over against my neighbor delivers me to the judge; he delivers me to the officer; and he, in turn, casts me into prison, that is to say, into hellfire, until I pay the uttermost farthing, which means forever; for there the liquidation of the debt and deliverance are impossible. Here you see the exalted works that no one can attain, neither by work righteousness nor by the law. For works, if alone, will make hypocrites and dissemblers; the law, if alone, brings forth despair.

19. But what am I to do? Do I hear correctly: am I to be damned? Do as follows: Flee to Christ when thus conscious of iniquity, saying: Oh, my God, thy law is now a mirror to me, whence I see how perverted and lost a being I am! Oh God, now save me for thine only begotten Son’s sake.

Thus, by faith God gives you the Spirit, who changes your heart, so that you will be very kind to your neighbor and will argue thus: Behold, if God has acted thus toward me, forgiving me more than I can ever hope to forgive, why should I not be willing to forgive my neighbor a little?

Quotations on the Epistle


"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