The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream


NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

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

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Tenth Sunday after Trinity, 2016. 1 Corinthians 12:1-11.
Spirit and Word - Spiritual Gifts



The Tenth Sunday after Trinity, 2016


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 - Spiritual Gifts


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.


Spirit and Word - Spiritual Gifts


KJV 1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

This is part of a long section about the work of the Holy Spirit. The word "concerning" means the Corinthians asked them about the topic because of all the uproar in the congregation about that topic. In modern business letters in America, people often used "re" with a subject to answer a specific topic. So anyone looking at a classic business letter, all by itself, would see that as a clue that someone raised a question. "Re: Basement flooded, records destroyed"

Therefore, these chapters are especially important, supplementing and building upon Jesus farewell sermon in the Fourth Gospel, which deals with the work of the Spirit.

Unlike an encyclopedia or Wikipedia, we do not have entire sections devoted to one topic in the Bible. Instead, we draw from the entire Bible to obtain a balanced treatment of any given topic. False teachers isolate a phrase, a verse, a title, and make that their entire teaching.

Paul instructs how those in office should employ their gifts for the benefit of one another and thus further the unity and advancement of the Churches. Inharmony is a deplorable offense in the case of Christians, putting them in the worst possible light, and making it impossible for them to steer clear of factions. Divisions are an offense to the world’s wisest and best, who cry out, “If the Christians’ doctrine were true, they would preserve unity among themselves, but as it is they envy and slander and devour one another.” For, though the world carries its own great beam in its eye, it cannot refrain from judging us for our mote, and thus exalting itself as if it were pure and beautiful.

"There must be factions among you" 1 Corinthians 11:19 - that is the scariest verse in the Bible for bureaucrats. They would like a NOT inserted there, perhaps a neat edit for the Newest NIV to attempt.

The reason why is good to remember. "To prove or test what is good and make that the norm" instead of tolerating an infestation of false doctrine.

The various Lutheran groups, from ELCA down to the CLC and the ELDONUTs, have marched down the well worn path of the mainline denominations, using each departure to solidify control at the top and invent "new insights" which are really quite old, musty with time.

They do not allow discussion, so they put a tight bandage around it and turn it into an anaerobic infection, no oxygen, which is really the worst kind.

Corinth was a case study in factions.

3. Paul had experience in this matter in the case of the beautiful and famed Church at Corinth in Achaia, which he himself planted and where he taught two years. Soon after his departure they began to disagree about their preachers and to attach themselves to certain ones — some to Paul, some to Peter, some to Apollos. Though these had all taught correctly, though they had been unanimous in their doctrine, yet men would cleave to a certain one because he was more or differently gifted than the others, could speak better, or was more attractive in personal appearance. And among the ministers of the Church, if one had a special gift or office, he thought he ought to be a little better and a little greater than the others. Necessarily, from such division and inharmony, grew hatred, strife and jealousy, resulting in great injury and disorder to the Church.

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. 

This clearly indicates that some were so "spirit-filled" that they could say anything they wanted, even curses, and that these people looked down on those who merely confessed Jesus as Lord. They had the gifts of the Spirit mixed up. There is also a reminded that they came from idol worship, which certain included ecstatic worship, uttering nonsense to show off their frenzy. In fact, that is a mild description of some pagan rites, which are being reproduced now in occult and Satanic rituals.

God's Word uses clashes to settle disputes about doctrine and to create a godly harmony where chaos ruled before. This has been seen throughout the history of the Church and remains true today, although it is hardly even attempted now. There is such a love of dominance that dictatorial attitudes are used, servile attitudes are taught, to maintain a false harmony that breeds destruction.

Most grocery stores have reminders about keeping the good fresh by rotating them. But in the rice and grain section, it says, "Rotate to avoid infestation." That is because little flour fly will take over the store if it is allowed to mate and lay 300 eggs at a time. They come in with flour and grain, but they live on anything organic, even dried up leaves in the bottom of a vase.

Disputes are like these flour and grain pests, coming in softly but multiplying their damage. Open discussion separates the good flour from the wormy flour, so people are not stuck with infested teaching.

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.

Now our country suffers from the wrong kind of diversity - diversity of morality, diversity of values, etc. Many have observed in academics that one slip of the tongue will get someone hated out of the university for saying the wrong thing once. And the wrong thing is always changing. Ditto the visible church bodies.

Jealousy is the root of many conflicts - the fact that some envy the gifts of others and want equality by bringing them down. In Corinth, the ecstatic speakers were looking down on the others because they had a better gift, in their own minds. Paul takes apart this argument in several chapters, not forbidding tongues but making that subordinate to sound teaching. When all the instructions are followed, tongues diminish almost to silence.

But the issue is not one thing as much as the mutual conflict and the ways in which people seize upon excuses for conflict. "I follow Paul." or "I belong to Apollo." or "I am a Jesus person." That sounds a little funny, but that goes on today, where people create a conflict that does not exist. "I worship Jesus, not Luther." I have heard that one in many synods, all of them inspired by Pietism. That is naturally a straw man argument because the issue is not worshiping Luther but agreement about Biblical doctrine.

Luther's sermons are not based on Ephraim-Rescriptus or Aquinas, or Augustine, but the Biblical verses themselves, their context in the entire Bible. Starting with any given human expert is bound to lead to conflict and confusion, as Lutherans prove today. They agree more about Fuller Seminary than about the Bible, and Fuller gets its wisdom from Peter Drucker and a South Korean embezzler.



Faith and confession of faith only come from the Gospel in the Word of God. So when we speak of the Spirit, it is always (properly speaking) the Word. Or when we speak of the work of God's Word, that is always the Holy Spirit at work. Anyone who knows and believes this, based on Isaiah 55:8ff and many other passages, is a true Pentecostal, because he never separates the two.



Anyone who has insights apart from the Spirit/Word is an Enthusiast, whether he is a Muslim or a Calvinist, because all false doctrine comes from this separation of Spirit and Word. 

Trinitarian Phrases: The Same, The Same, The Same
As I showed in the book on the Trinity, the Bible is full of Trinitarian phrases, where God is invoked or describe three ways. Here is an obvious case, where the work of the Word/Spirit is described three times using "the same." 

This is also a way to preserve the three-ness of the One God as well as the unity of the Three Persons. I can walk to a church nearby with only one Person, the Holy Spirit. One can only guess how many other distortions are taught.

7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

Every believer is given spiritual gifts by the work of the Spirit in the Word. This itself is a great blessing for the Gospel and a manifestation of God at work. Some glorify God in music. Others in art. Others in writing. Still others in their witness and service. Nothing is a starring role except that the Spirit at work in the Word is always the star, the energy, the guiding impulse.

Each and every believer as the truth, the wisdom of all ages, at his finger-tips, in the Scriptures. God has given every person the insights to understand and grasp the truths that have bedeviled the great and wise for thousands of years. If anything is consistent in human history, it is the quest for truth, for purpose, for the meaning of life. And many wonder about or fear eternal life, whatever that might mean.

The answers are in the Bible. Laity who study the Word know the truths of the Bible better than the clergy, who are anchored to their denominations and brain-washed to some extent (it varies) by their teachers or heroes. "How could Professor Dunkel be wrong? He is my uncle!"

Laity who cling to falsehood are either trained in the synodical system or unduly attached to a given teacher other than the Word of God. 

I pay attention to what people say or write, and they give their authorities away but their expressions.

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:

God gives some a burning desire to pursue one vocation and also the ability to do so. God even places people in a position where they can use those gifts to glorify Him more than anyone could imagine or plan or dream about. 

Paul is saying that the differences do not make one better than the rest, but all share in the energy and power of the Word.

6. The same thing has taken place in our day — and will continue to take place — with respect to the Gospel. But through the grace of God that Gospel is brought to light again, and rightly instructs and harmonizes the people. The devil, unable to rest, had to rouse his factious rabble, his selfish souls, who desired the name of being superior and inspired people, a people who could preach, write and explain the Scriptures better than others; for they had learned a little from us. They conceded that the Gospel had indeed made a beginning, had somewhat purified ecclesiastical doctrine, but claimed it had not gone far enough; it was necessary that greater improvement be made — Church doctrine must be brought to far greater perfection. But as Paul says ( 1 Corinthians 3:11), they could, with their doctrine, lay no other foundation, could preach no other Christ, than the Christ of the Gospel. Nevertheless, they pretended to teach something better and higher. They hindered and perverted the true doctrine. Their work could not be called building up the faith, but was rather breaking up and destroying its foundation and leading the people back into error and blindness. So Paul begins his admonition in these words: “Ye know that when ye were Gentiles ye were led away unto those dumb idols, howsoever ye might be led.”

Those who pursue error wake up the secure and peaceful to defend the truth by exploring the Word and faithful teachers.

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

35. The meaning of “administrations” is easily apparent. Office is an ordained and essential feature of every government. It represents various duties imposed and commanded by sovereign authority. It may have reference to the duties enjoined upon a society collectively, in the service of others. There are various offices in the Church; for instance, one individual is an apostle, another an evangelist, another a teacher, as Paul mentions in Ephesians 4:11. And as he says in 1 Corinthians 14:26 and also hints in this text, the office of one is to read the Scriptures in different languages, of another to interpret and explain. So it was ordained in the Church at that time, and similarly today are ordained certain offices — of pastors, preachers, deacons or priests, their duties being to hear confessions, to administer the Sacrament, and so on.

36. Not every Christian is obliged, nor is able, to execute such duties; only upon certain ones are they enjoined. “Administrations” differ from what Paul terms “workings” and gifts. There have ever been many Christians who, though possessing the Holy Spirit, were not “administrators;” for instance, virgins and wives — Agnes Anastasia and others — and martyrs, many of whom wrought miracles and had other gifts. True, both gifts and workings are imparted chiefly for the execution of Christian duties. It is essential here, especially in the superior office of preaching, that the occupant be peculiarly qualified for the place. The preacher must be able to understand and explain the Scriptures and be familiar with the languages. It is necessary to the effectiveness of his labors that he be accompanied by God’s operative power. Thus the three — gifts, workings, administrations are harmonious features of one divine government in the Church; Christ is the Lord, who regulates and maintains the offices, while God works and the Holy Spirit bestows his gifts.

Luther has a great analogy in his sermon. The world is like a big pigpen, where all the animals are rooting for their food and not at all mindful of where it comes from. Nor do they give any thanks for it. They simply grunt and grab what they want. Sheep are no better.

But Christians look to their Creator in thanksgiving for everything. The Spirit creates  this faith in the Gospel and sustains and builds it through the Means of Grace.