The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
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Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Tenth Sunday after Trinity, 2015.
Concerning Spiritual Gifts, 1 Corinthians 12:1-15


The Tenth Sunday after Trinity, 2015


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The Hymn # 376                                        Rock of Ages
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 #657                            Beautiful Savior

Spirit and Word - How God Works in Us



The Communion Hymn # 246                      Holy, Holy, Holy                     
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 #649                                               Jesus Savior Pilot Me

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

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


Tenth Sunday After Trinity

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




Spirt and Word - How God Works in Us

KJV 1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 

When Paul says "concerning" it is an indication that the congregation has written about this subject and has asked a question. The result here is a three-chapter essay on the Holy Spirit. Today we are dealing with chapter 14 in the Bible study after the Holy Communion service.

The problem in Corinth is no different from today. We are surrounded by paganism, which leads people to blend Christianity with pagan concepts. Here is a good example, which has many branches or threads:
  • Asian polytheism teaches about the spirit world working with people to make them prosperous, if they do the right things, like demanding precisely what they want.
  • This was copied by a woman who is largely forgotten, except that Norman Vincent Peale plagiarized her book as The Power of Positive Thinking.
  • Robert Schuller came up with another version and called it Possibility Thinking, and his first guest speaker was Norman Vincent Peale.
  • Schuller had a close association with Fuller Seminary, nearby, and also with Paul Y. Cho, an Assembly of God minister (kicked out for paganism) who taught the Asian concepts in raw form.
  • Pat Robertson endorsed Cho's ideas and repeated them, just as Schuller did.
  • Another form of this comes from Napoleon Hill. Schuller and several other famous people were given awards for promoting Hill's Satanic and anti-Christian concepts.
  • A WELS circuit pastor told me about a meeting where a WELS leader brought a case of Cho books and sold them to the WELS pastors. Evangelism!
  • Joel Osteen and Mark Jeske often repeat the prosperity concepts of this occult-pagan philosophy. Many Evangelicals copy it.
One way to translate "Gentiles" is "pagans," because Paul clearly means the non-Christians rather than the non-Jews. John's Gospel uses "the world" in the same sense. Greeks called them "barbarians" because their languages sounded like nonsense.

When Paul mentions idols, that means the Corinthians were largely pagans before conversion. Jews did not worship idols. That is also why the Old Testament was so important in establishing a new mission (not a corner lot on a busy street, as today). They needed the Greek Old Testament to learn the foundation of the Gospel. Naturally, they lead false teachers among the Galatians to say the members had to be practicing Jews to be "real Christians."

 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

This is so clear. We can hear the questions being asked. "Can the Spirit cause someone to say Jesus be cursed?" Paul answers - never, at no time. And he adds, those who confess Christ have the Spirit. Spirit and Word go together. Spirit and faith do together too.

So - do not despise the believer because that person lacks the gift of speaking in tongues. While Paul does not ban speaking in tongues - ecstatic language - he does not elevate it above the others, as so many have tried to do from age to age.
We can see Paul's balanced, sensible approach that helps people mature (1 Corinthians) in their faith. Many aspects of Pentecostalism are also found in African pagan worship today - singing and speaking in tongues, dancing and falling down. There is a fear and denial that the primary mark of Pentecostalism, tongues, is being lost as they become more traditional.

The Acts example of speaking in foreign languages is not the same as ecstatic speech, which Paul is addressing. Greek has more words and more precise words than we do.

4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

A variety of gifts is Paul's way of uniting the work of the Spirit. This always begins with the Word of God and is guided by the Word of God. When people separate the Spirit from the Word, Lutherans call it Enthusiasm, which defines any false teaching or philosophy.

For instance, when the Pope says something is true because he is the Pope, that is Enthusiasm, not rooted in the Word, not even mentioned by the Scriptures.

So also, the little popes are Enthusiasts when they declare something without the Word, against the Word. The little popes appear in every denomination and the temptation is there is every parson. One aspect is legalism, inventing laws. Another is Antinomianism, declaring there is no Law, everyone is forgiven and saved.

Operations refers to the efficacy of the Word, which means the Word moves people to do God's work in various ways - musics, missions, publishing, teaching, encouraging, etc. How else can one explain those who risk everything and give up all comforts to work in a dangerous, foreign land?

But this does not exalt one faithful life over another. The clergy are not an elite class, far superior in knowledge and virtue, above all laity. That is Rome's position, and it is wrong but easy to adopt.

Many laity understand the Scriptures and the Christian faith better than the clergy because they are taught by the Word alone and not subject to political and economic pressures from the clergy bosses.

7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 

Every single person has the gift of the Spirit and profits from it. The Spirit is involved in everything a Christian believer does, from believing to listening to teaching with appreciation. From preaching to worship, praying and serving others. Tongues are listed last to show that it is a gift but not the primary one.

If we look at others to divide, then we are not seeing the unity of the Spirit revealing its power in different ways. We can wish characteristics upon ourselves. My parents could not sing, so I inherited that liability. My friend's parents were both gifted singers, so he naturally gravitated toward singing from grade school onwards. The question is how we use those gifts we have. I did not choose to be a writer. I simply cannot stop writing. God put that energy in me and made me a voracious reader as well.

When I teach groups of adults and they talk about their work, I often think, "I can't do that. I won't do that. I would be fired day one," etc. I wonder why people do not see that diversity as another aspect of Creation. Even our birth order determines how we react with each other and find roles that suit us.

11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

39. A peculiarity of the Christian profession, and the chief point of distinction between Christians and the heathen, is their recognition of the fact that workings, offices and gifts are of God, Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. The world does not perceive this truth, though it, too, enjoys the gifts of God. For God remembers all his creatures, though, like swine that enter the trough on all fours with no thought but of eating and rooting therein, not even lifting their eyes, they cannot raise their thoughts to the source of all their good and have not a thought as to whom they should thank for it. He who is not a Christian comes before God in an insensible and beastly attitude. The world is but a pen of animals indifferent to the kingdom of God and with no idea of gratitude for his rich beneficence, his gifts for body and soul. The worldly seek only their husks and their troughs. To these they cleave like fattening swine intended for slaughter.

Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 12:3) says concerning the ungodly, who with great satisfaction persecute the righteous: “Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.”

40. God gives the ungodly mighty kingdoms, riches, lands and houses, making them to enjoy greatness and abundance. But when the swine are fed and fat, the question of bacon and sausage introduces a struggle. A slaughterer — a sausage-maker — appears, perchance, to slaughter the swine in their sty; one comes desolating the country, overthrowing the kingdom, destroying people and all; for, desiring to be but swine, the people must be destroyed like swine. Even though the world have personal knowledge of such punishment, it continues its course so long as possible — until the slaughterer comes. Swine remain swine; they are capable of standing ever unmoved by their trough, one perfectly indifferent if another be struck dead before its eyes. Christians Recognize the Divine Source of Their Gifts.

41. Christians, however, though obliged to live among swine and to be at times trampled under foot and rooted about, have nevertheless surpassing glory; for they can look up and intelligently behold their Lord and his gifts.

They are not of the pen of swine intended only for slaughter; they know themselves children of God, adorned by him with gifts and graces not merely temporal. They are conscious that, having given them body and life — for these they realize are not of their own obtaining — he will also supply their further needs, providing for them forever.