The Glory Has Departed


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Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity, 2016. Galatians 5:16-24.
Fruits of the Spirit - Works of the Flesh


The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity, 2016


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The Hymn # 292                 Lord Jesus Christ                
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 # 192               Awake My Heart          
   

Fruits of the Spirit - Works of the Flesh


The Communion Hymn # 480            Lord of the Worlds             
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 #341                  Crown Him with Many Crowns                



KJV Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

KJV Luke 17:11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Fourteenth Sunday After Trinity

Lord God, heavenly Father, who by Thy blessed word and Thy holy baptism hast mercifully cleansed all who believe from the fearful leprosy of sin, and daily dost grant us Thy gracious help in all our need: We beseech Thee so to enlighten our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may never forget these Thy blessings, but ever live in Thy fear, and, trusting fully in Thy grace, with thankful hearts continually praise and glorify Thee; through Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.



Fruits of the Spirit - Works of the Flesh

KJV Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 

God elected the most works-righteous Pharisee to become the best evangelist for justification by faith. God did not select someone who was in harmony with the Gospel but elected someone to convert with the powerful Word, and God sent His risen Son to do this work.

Acts 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest:
When Paul writes - Walk in the Spirit, he is referring to the Word of God, specifically the Gospel Word. 
This is an either/or statement. Either one lives according the flesh or the Holy Spirit. The flesh also refers to the Law.
The Law is good and useful, and the Spirit works through the Law to create contrition, true sorrow for sin. However, relying on the Law is something we do by nature. All the pagan religions are based on the Law, pleased God by works.
Our nature is to think in terms of the Law and to judge righteousness by the Law. The lust of the flesh does not simply mean gambling, drinking, and other vices. That refers to all evil desires, which is where sin begins.
For example, being kind and generous to someone who can help us is righteousness through the Law. Jesus said, "Even the Pharisees help out their friends." The trouble with this kind of righteousness is the inner Pharisee says, "He did not help me, so I will not help him." It also says, among clergy, "He is in trouble, so I will avoid him and rejoice in my own security."
This kind of Pharisaical righteousness is rife in our society and can only be cured with the Gospel. 

This kind of love is caring for a step-parent. We have two brothers that live on our block. First they cared for their dying mother, who was bed-ridden. Then their step-father became worse. He has all kinds of trouble and may not live long. There are constant burdens of time and nursing care they bear, and they carry them out day by day. 
Luther mocked people who claimed, "If I had been in Bethlehem, I would have changed the diapers of Baby Jesus." He said, "Why don't you do that for your neighbor, because Christ is in our neighbor." Christmas Sermons, Fortress Press, ed. Roland Bainton
This kind of love is - caring for and sacrificing for the ungrateful, the way a mother cares for her children, who take it for granted. (Just kidding - but we are much more grateful when our mothers have passed on to eternal life. I see those posts all the time from my classmates. So mothers - your time will come.)
We live in a time simply saturated with Law thinking and Law righteousness. All this self-esteem (used to be conceit) nonsense comes from Law thinking, which opposes and supplants faith in the Savior. 
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 
As long as people live under the Law, which is full of "must" and "have to," then they are frozen in works-righteousness. Paul knew that from when he persecuted the Christians and thought himself a jolly good fellow for doing that. In fact, the more the Gospel Word is persecuted, the better the new Pharisees feel about it.
And in ordinary daily terms, why do something for someone else when nothing seems to be offered in return, when no thanks are given? That is the Law, or flesh speaking to us.
In contrast, initiating kindness means enjoying those acts of kindness for themselves, without expecting anything back or thanks. It may take time but these acts of kindness bear fruit since they come from the fruit of the Spirit - the first one being self-giving love.
The birds are good examples of this, as they care for one another without our concept of expecting thanks. God has engineered them so they eat the berries they love and plant the berries they love. Our helper saw a Wild Strawberry patch of unusual size and asked, "Are all those strawberries?" I found him a tiny red one and he ate it. "Ooo. Bitter." I said, "Strawberries need a cup of sugar or whipped cream or both."
Like the squirrels and blue jays, their habits mean the growth of food. Blue jays and squirrels plant oaks and nut trees. It is said that blue jays are better at spotting good acorns for planting than one would expect from random choice. Squirrels twirl nuts in their paws and only bury the good ones. Cracked ones get eaten at once.
Because we have free will, we do not act by instinct the way God's creatures do, so we must let the Gospel Word work against works-righteousness.

18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance (fighting), emulations (jealousies), wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Nothing is quite so plain as our country not only turning to this behavior and normal and praiseworthy, but promoting even more of it. Paul is warning the Galatians that works-righteousness is closely allied with the works of the flesh. One always hears justification (self-justification) for these behaviors, excuses, and blaming others for them. 
They are works rather than fruit. They come from within when we let the Old Adam take over.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
  1. love, 
  2. joy, 
  3. peace, 
  4. longsuffering, 
  5. gentleness, 
  6. goodness, 
  7. faith, 
  8. meekness, 
  9. temperance.
Characteristics of God are grouped in threes in the Bible, so we have three groups of three in this list, but the other list (works of the flesh) is so long that it seems endless - a rhetorical device. I tried this on a class, listing all kinds of food that one person ate. Where was this leading? The class said, "There is a lot more to be imagined."

A work of the flesh comes from us, but the fruit of the Spirit comes from the Gospel.
In gardening and agriculture, fruit is a lot more than apples, berries, and citrus. The fruiting body carries the seed, so roses bear fruit and so do many other plants. Mushrooms are the fruit of fungus underground, growing up to dry and scatter the fungus spores to the wind. 

This language is with us today. We talk about work bearing fruit over time. Practicing a musical instrument or the voice bears fruit. In this case the stress is on the Holy Spirit bearing fruit in the Gospel, providing those wonderful characteristics we can only attribute to God.

Notice how different his is from modern morality. Everything good comes from man and man's will, virtue, or self-esteem - the wise men of today claim.

To encourage these characteristics, these fruits of the Spirit, we only need to remain with the True Vine and bear fruit through the Means of Grace. God's chosen instruments of grace, the Word and the Sacraments, grant what they promise, forgiveness of sin and eternal life, so this bears fruit.