The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
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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, July 3, 2016

The Sixth Sunday after Trinity, 2016. Romans 6:3-11.
Holy Baptism Means a New Life

Original art by Norma Boeckler


The Sixth Sunday after Trinity, 2016

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                                   

 Holy Baptism Means New Life


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.

Holy Baptism Means New Life

KJV Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 

When someone questions the merit and effect of baptism, that is an attack on the Word of God and the teaching of Jesus. One response to a discussion about baptism is to leave the room. Those who hate infant baptism and infant faith are taught to do this, which is strange considering Jesus teaching - Unless one has the faith of a child, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. The double negative allows no exceptions, because God realizes a positive statement temps people to make exceptions. "Christ is the only way to heaven..." was amended by "unless there is another way He has not told us." Naturally that amendment can be taken both ways. 

"Error loves ambiguities." Krauth. A discussion of this concept.

Although we may feel vexed by discussion baptism with others, talking is better than walking away. Talking about baptism makes us more likely to study the Word and to become firm in what the Word teaches. That by itself is good and the work of the Spirit in the Word. It may make others angry, more proof of the efficacy of the Word.

Biblical Doctrine versus the Protestants, Calvinists, and Pentecostals
The non-Lutheran Protestants view baptism as a ritual or ordinance, a law to be obeyed. Most of them argue that baptism itself does not accomplish anything in the child or adult.

This claim by non-Lutherans is clearly an assault on the Scriptures, because the power and efficacy of this Sacrament comes from the Word of God. The question is not whether we like what is revealed in the Bible - or agree with it. The issue is the truth of the Word itself. Making these matters a personal preference starts the de-legitimizing of the mysteries of God, what the Spirit has revealed.

This personal preference business originates in Calvinism, because Calvin always tried to make the Word subject to man's reason rather than realizing our reason is subordinate to the Scriptures.

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 

For adults and children, baptism is a unique event, very special and filled with the Promises of God. The same is true of Holy Communion. One cannot appreciate one and deprecate the other. The Scriptures are not a cafeteria line where we put the things we want on our tray. Such an attitude represents despising the Means of Grace.

One trick of the rationalists is to say, "But that word or phrase is not in the Bible," which they use against the Trinity, the Sacraments, and the Means of Grace. But the issue is not the word itself but the concept. We use man-made terms as a shorthand, since they have established meanings after centuries of debate.

Baptized into His death has great meaning, because it is not just baptism but an experience that unites us with His death on the cross for our sins. As Luther says, the rude crowd wants to hear about complete forgiveness so they can wallow in their sins and commit more, as if sin were a way to obtain even more grace.

The Apostle Paul is destroying this approach by making justification by faith - which he established in Romans 1-5 - the foundation for sanctification or the Christian life, Romans 6ff. We are not forgiven each and every sin, even the great and terrible ones, to go back and repeat them. This is clearly his argument against those hedonists who devoured the Gospel without paying attention to its meaning.

Luther:
4. Therefore he begins his sermon by inquiring, in this sixth chapter (verses 1-3): “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein?” In other words: How is it possible that because grace should destroy sin ye should live unto sin? And then, further to illustrate this, he says: “Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?”

5. He speaks here in figurative language to clearly and forcibly impress this matter upon us; ordinarily it would have been sufficient for him to ask: “We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein?” that is to say, Inasmuch as ye have been saved from sin through grace, it is not possible that grace should command you to continue in sin, for it is the business of grace to destroy sin. Now, in the figurative words above quoted, he wishes to vividly remind us what Christ has bestowed upon us. He would say to us: Do but call to mind why you are Christians — you have been baptized into Christ. Do you know why and whereunto you have been baptized, and what it signifies that you have been baptized with water?

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. 

The rationalists lose the force of their argument if they consider the meaning of the word baptism. We think of the ceremony, but the Greek word means "washing." The same term is used in describing the washing of cups in Jewish traditions about "clean and unclean." Baptism is not equal to immersion but is literally a washing.

Lenski said the only ones immersed in the Bible were those who drowned in the Flood.

When I walked Sassy this morning, knowing it would rain, my first thought was, "This will wash the pollen and construction dust out of the air and feel so good." They are enlarging I-49 not far from our house; the plants and weeds are enjoying a riot of blooms.

So the Word accomplishes this washing and God shows us this power with the use of water in the Sacrament. So baptism is forever linked with washing. When I cam in from hunting for poison ivy in my redneck bunny-suit (to protect against the weed), I took a long shower and washed the sweats, hat, and gloves in a long double-wash cycle. Would I want to run outside again, in the clean clothes, and tramp through the weeds and underbrush again - after all that cleaning? 

As Jesus taught, He is in us, and we are in Him, just as He is in the Father and the Father in Him. Baptism was not just a ceremony but a death and resurrection with Christ into a new 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:

Planting was associated with death, for many reasons. 

John 12
23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
And James 1 speaks of being grafted onto Christ - 
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
This is not simply a ceremony without meaning. Baptism is an act of God, real action of the Word, with permanent effects. The Word continues to act on us through the Word and the Spirit moves us to enjoy, appreciate, and apply the Gospel.
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: 

13. Being placed under the water in baptism signifies that we die in Christ.

Coming forth from the water teaches, and imparts to, us a new life in him, just as Christ remained not in death, but was raised again to life. Such life should not and can not be a life of sin, because sin was crucified before in us and we had to die to it. It must be a new life of righteousness and holiness, Christ through his resurrection finally destroyed sin, because of which he had to die, and instead he brought to himself the true life of righteousness, and imparts it to us. Hence we are said to be planted together with Christ or united with him and become one, so that we both have in us the power of his death and resurrection. The fruits and results of this power will be found in us after we are baptized into him.

14. The apostle speaks consolingly of the death of the Christian as a being planted, to show that the Christian’s death and sufferings on earth are not really death and harm, but a planting unto life; being redeemed, by the resurrection, from death and sin, we shall live eternally. For that which is planted is not planted unto death and destruction, but planted that it may sprout and grow. So Christ was planted, through death, unto life; for not until he was released from this mortal life and from the sin which rested on him and brought him into death on our account, did he come into his divine glory and power. Since this planting begins in baptism, as said, and we by faith possess life in Christ, it is evident that this life must strike root in us and bear fruit. For that which is planted is not planted without purpose; it is to grow and bear fruit. So must we prove, by our new conversation and by our fruits, that we are planted in Christ unto life.
When I first plant a bush - it has no anchoring roots. There are starter roots, but they have to grow and send out root hairs. Trees are good at this. Soon the plant is rooted and grounded, very difficult to remove.

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.
This word "reckon" or "count" is used in Romans 4.
24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed (reckoned, counted), if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
The connection in wording is clear and plan. Those who believe are counted righteous or forgiven by God - therefore we should also count ourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ.
19. Now, he says, if ye be dead to sin under the reign of the spirit and the new man, and adjudged to death under the reign of the body, ye must no longer permit sin to bring you under its dominion, lest it inculpate and condemn you. But ye must live as those who are wholly released from it, over whom it no longer has any right or power. For we read, “He that hath died is justified from sin.” This is said of all who are dead. He that has died has paid for his sin; he need not die for it again, for he no longer commits sin and evil deeds. If sin be destroyed in man by the Spirit, and the flesh also is dead and gone, man is completely released and freed from sin.

20. Paul comprehends the whole existence of the Christian on earth in the death of Christ, and represents it as dead and buried, in the coffin; that is, the Christian has ceased from the life of sin, and has nothing more to do with it. He speaks of sin as being dead unto the Christian and of the latter as being dead unto sin for the reason that Christians no longer take part in the sinful life of the world. And, too, they are doubly dead. First, spiritually they are dead unto sin. And this, though painful and bitter to flesh and blood, is a blessed, a comfortable and happy dying, sweet and delightful, for it produces a heavenly life, pure and perfect. Secondly, they are physically dead — the body dies. But this is not really death; rather a gentle, soothing sleep. Therefore ye are, Paul would say, beyond measure happy. In Christ ye have already escaped death by dying unto sin; that death ye need die no more. It — the first death, which ye have inherited from Adam through sin — is already taken away from you. That being the real, the bitter and eternal death, ye are consequently freed from the necessity of dying. At the same time there is a death, or rather only the semblance of one, which ye must suffer because ye are yet on earth and are the descendants of Adam.
So we have an effect by the Word that is good for essays and entire books. so great is its influence on the lives of Christian believers - and not to be despised or belittled in any way.
Likewise, God has given us Holy Communion, not just as reminder of this death and eternal life for us, but also as a reality. 
Holy Communion is not a mere ordinance, but God's:
  1. Forgiveness of all sin.
  2. Strength against temptation.
  3. Preparation for our souls for eternal life.
Romans 6 shows us why Romans 3-5 are so important.