The Hymn # 292 - Selnecker, Concordist Lord Jesus Christ
The Confession of Sins
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
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #657 Beautiful Savior
Creation and Creature
The Communion Hymn #249 Luther - Isaiah Mighty Seer
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 #261 Luther - Lord Keep Us Steadfast
Nineteenth Sunday After Trinity
O mighty and everlasting God, who by Thy Son Jesus Christ didst mercifully help the palsied man both in body and soul: We beseech Thee, for the sake of Thy great mercy: Be gracious also unto us; forgive us all our sins, and so govern us by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may not ourselves be the cause of sickness and other afflictions; keep us in Thy fear, and strengthen us by Thy grace that we may escape temporal and eternal wrath and punishment, through Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.
KJV Ephesians 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
KJV Matthew 9:1 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. 2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. 3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. 4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 7 And he arose, and departed to his house. 8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.
Creation and Creature
KJV Ephesians 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation [GK - conduct] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Ephesians is a wonderful, clear, letter from Paul, and the source of man classic passages used to articulate Christian doctrine. Implied in Luther's sermon is this theme - We are defining a denomination but the Christian Faith as revealed by the Holy Spirit in the Word of God.
Those are important principles, because people assume that Fuller Seminary study has great power and efficacy (though admittedly not, according to Pete Wagner), but they also assume the Word of God has none. They imagined that the Word of God is so impoverished and weak that man must boost it, clarify it, and make it relevant and appealing with a host of man-made tricks and allures. Listen to a TV minister-performer, and he will do such things as say, "Now watch this. Watch this. Watch what I am going to say...! Here it is, here it is!" Or he may shout, "Hah!" at certain points, as I have heard one or two Lutherans do in a bad imitation.
But the power of the Word of God does not come from garnishing it with man-made Babylonian baubles, but with purity, sincerity, and truth. If anyone would choose between the good and the bad, certainly the divine Word would win, but the Old Adam is still present, as Luther clearly states in opposition to UOJ and being "born forgiven and saved" as the WELS-ELS teaches.
DUTY TO NEW AND OLD MAN.
1. Here again is an admonition for Christians to follow up their faith by good works and a new life, for though they have forgiveness of sins through baptism, the old Adam still adheres to their flesh and makes himself felt in tendencies and desires to vices physical and mental. The result is that unless Christians offer resistance, they will lose their faith and the remission of sins and will in the end be worse than they were at first; for they will begin to despise and persecute the Word of God when corrected by it. Yea, even those who gladly hear the Word of God, who highly prize it and aim to follow it, have daily need of admonition and encouragement, so strong and tough is that old hide of our sinful flesh.
And so powerful and wily is our old evil foe that wherever he can gain enough of an opening to insert one of his claws, he thrusts in his whole self and will not desist until he has again sunk man into his former condemnable unbelief and his old way of despising and disobeying God.
In a few words, Luther accurately describes the fall of believers into Satan's deceptions and the effect, which is hatred of God's Word and persecution of it. Nothing is clearer than this - the leaders of Lutherdom are apostate, because they hate, silence, and persecute the Gospel, Justification by Faith Alone.
There are two Gospels only because one is the False Gospel and the other is the only True Gospel.
So the issue of temptation is valid and normally undisputed. We are tempted because the Old Adam remains. For that reason, since Satan seeks to destroy believers - especially clergy - God established many helps and comforts for those feeling those trials, which never cease as long as we are alive.
Unfortunately we see too many examples of completely lawless Americans, who badly treat their pets, their children, their spouses, and the property of others. The crass crude nature of humans without spiritual guidance is abundantly clear.
Evil desires are not simply carnal (greed, immoral behavior) but also spiritual, such as the desire to undermine others by malicious talk, raw ambition for power and security, many things that cannot be seen except when the motive delivers the human instrument over to actual sins against the Ten Commandments. It is noteworthy that the last two Commandments deal with the motivational sins, or mental sins, that lead to more obvious sins.
So Paul is urging all Christians to shove away the Old Adam and replace him...
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
The New Testament often teaches us to use our minds to control our speech, thoughts, and actions. So there is an important word-play about Creation and creatures.
What God created through the Word at the beginning is often overlooked. The animals are called creatures, something created, when the evolutionist runs out of synonyms. These creatures do what is right according to their Creation, engineering, and management. They do not start the day wondering about the meaning of life or even worrying about where the next meal is.
All of Creation, plants included, conducts itself to fashion a perfect harmony among all the living parts that work together to benefit each other - and man.
But God gave free will to man, which caused Adam and Eve to sin, giving us a sinful nature until the moment we pass into eternal life as believers. Using this fact from the Old Testament, Paul wrote about the New Creation, which is the Gospel converting man to faith in Christ, as He experience with the Risen Lord.
Righteousness and true holiness.
The term righteous applies to being forgiven through faith in Christ. The references to the holy or saints or the righteous in the Bible are all grounded in justification by faith - not in being perfect and without sin.
True holiness is often translated or discussed under the label of sanctification, a longer word for holiness. Sanctification is the life we lead as Christians and it is powered or fueled by the Gospel Word.
If our neighbor is in need, we help him keep and preserve what he has. We anticipate what might help him and keep him mindful of the Word of God.
Holiness is all we do as believers, since Christ is united in us. Luther laments that Paul has to say this with such great force, but the trials and pitfalls are well known to him. He spent years as a monk and priest, seeing and experiencing the temptations leveraged by that kind of life in the midst of other holy men. Sometimes the most ungodly behavior takes place among the corrupted ones who put on the robes of the pastoral office.
Without daily guidance and the Means of Grace, we would all fall into a state worse than ever, after only one year away from the admonition of the Good Shepherd -
5. Nor have we as yet arrived at the point where our flesh and blood will joyfully and gladly abound in good works and obedience to God as the spirit is inclined and faith directs. Even with the utmost efforts the Spirit scarce can compel our old man. What would be the result if we were no more urged and admonished but could go our way thinking, as many selfsatisfied persons do: I am well acquainted with my duties, having learned them many years ago and having heard frequent explanations of them; yea, I have taught others? It might be that one year’s intermission of preaching and admonition would place us below the level of the heathen.
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
Lying is a practice that constantly works against faith. One can deceive to earn more money, to break up friendships, to get even with someone, to become a bigshot everyone fears.
I said to one youth group, "How can you have a church group where only certain youth are invited?" I said the same to a ladies meeting where the invitations were selective.
Lying makes people smug about their own lies. They are proud of what they have accomplished, and that leads to even more deception. Eventually the falsehoods mount up and some kind of breakdown will happen. Many suffer because of it, and yet the impulse to continue remains.
26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 7 Neither give place to the devil.
Today's sin is anger itself. There is nothing wrong with that emotion - by itself. But how we handle anger is the issue - mind over matter - or mind of matters.
Our emotions are a thermometer. We can be joyful for no particular reason or angry for no cause at all. Sometimes the cause is imaginary. When I could not find my vice-grip, I was upset that perhaps it was grabbed by someone else. I began running the tape in my mind about the last person to use it. Then, in looking for batteries, I found the vice-grip.
The believer's mind should reduce anger to a moment of recognition rather than unfortunate consequences. The believer's mind is the thermostat that changes the temperature. For the anger that will always happen with day to day conflict in any family or sometimes among friends, that can be easily settled with honestly, with humility, with apologies and forgiveness. The closer people are, the more friction.
Also, this friction is part of growing up. Children grow up and want to leave the home. That is good, so there is a process of growing away from the parents and growing up, followed by gratitude for the parental guidance. As I have said many times before, that gratitude may seem to be locked up in long-term securities for many years, but it comes due, as my classmates and I have said many times.
Funny - we are trained in this age to be angry about "our rights" which increases harsh feelings because anger begets more anger and egotism promotes more of the same.
Do not invite anger over to dinner and serve a seven-course meal about why anger is deserved. Do not entertain anger and set a place for Satan at your table.
Men are tempted and moved to anger. There are no clean records. Under sudden provocation the heart swells with ire, while the devil busily fans the flame; for he is ever alert to stamp upon us his seal and image and make us like unto him, either through error and false doctrine, or through wrath and murder in conflict with love and patience. These two forms of evil you will encounter, especially if you make an effort to be a godly Christian, to defend the truth and to live uprightly in the sight of all. You will meet with all manner of malice aforethought and deceit, and with faithlessness and malignity on the part of those you have benefited; again, with unmasked violence and injustice on the part of those who should protect you and see to your interests. This will hurt and move you to wrath. Yea, in your own house and among your dear Christian brethren you will often meet with that which vexes you; again, a word of yours may hurt their feelings. And it will not be otherwise. This life of ours is so constituted that such conditions must be. Flesh and blood cannot but be stirred at times by wrath and impatience, especially when it receives evil for good; and the devil is ever at hand kindling your anger and endeavoring to fan into a blaze the wrath and ill humor between yourself and your neighbor.
24. But right here, says the apostle, you should beware and not sin; not give rein, nor yield to the impulse and promptings of wrath. That you may indeed be moved, the apostle would say, I well know, and you may fancy to have the best of reasons for exhibiting anger and vengeance; but beware of doing what your wrath would have you do: and if overcome by wrath and led to rashness, do not continue in it, do not harbor it, but subdue and restrain it, the sooner the better; do not suffer it to take root or to remain with you over night.
28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
There are many forms of stealing, many protected by law or advanced by coveting what belongs to someone else. Look at what David stole by coveting Bathsheba, and all the pain and suffering from that mental sin that conceived and bore sin.
33. When the apostle says, “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have whereof to give to him that hath need,” he indicates the true fruit of repentance, which consists in abandoning and utterly abstaining from evil and in doing good. He at the same time attacks and reproves the sin of theft so common in all walks of life. And them who idle away their time and neglect their duty of serving and helping their fellow-beings, he calls — and rightfully — thieves in God’s sight.
34. For the right interpretation of the commandment, Thou shalt not steal, is this: Thou shalt live of thine own work, that thou mayest have to give to the needy. This is your bounden duty, and if you do not so God will pronounce you not a Christian but a thief and robber. In the first place, because you are an idler and do not support yourself, but live by the sweat and toil of others; in the second place, because you withhold from your neighbor what you plainly owe him. Where now shall we find those who keep this commandment? Indeed, where should we dare look for them except where no people live? But such a class of people should Christians be. Therefore, let each of us beware lest he deceive himself; for God will not be mocked nor deceived. Galatians 6:7.