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

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mid-Week Lenten Service, 7 PM, Wednesday, Central Daylight Savings Time


Mid-Week Lenten Vespers, 2017

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Worship, 7 PM Central Daylight Savings Time

The Hymn #523    Why Should Cross and Trial Grieve Me         
The Order of Vespers                                                p. 41
The Psalmody                          Psalm 24                  p. 128
The Lections                            The Passion History
                                                  
The Sermon Hymn #657        Beautiful Savior               

The Sermon –      Jesus Preaches on Faith
 
The Prayers
The Lord’s Prayer
The Collect for Grace                                            p. 45

The Hymn #552              Abide with Me

John 7
37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.
41 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?

Jesus Preaches on Faith
John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

The Fourth Gospel is full of images and symbolism. For that reason, Luther said it is a great book for heretics. They take plain language and weave a new religion from it.
We know from many passages that references to the Spirit also apply to the Word, because the two are never separated. The living water is the Gospel and fruit of the Gospel. One could say from John 1 that two things are constantly emphasized in John - believing and confessing that individual faith. Homiletics (preaching) comes from that word for confessing one's faith.
Thirst refers to thirsting for forgiveness of sin, thirsting for salvation. One includes the other. No one thirsts for forgiveness unless he is aware of his sin. That is why the great, wise, and powerful seldom feel that thirst. They are quite satisfied with themselves and see no reason to admit to their sinful nature.
So this passage is teaching quite clearly that Jesus is the righteousness that people receive through faith. Believing is forgiveness, to put it simply. That is why Jesus said this about the Books of Moses and the Gospel of John.
11. Therefore we have here in the Books of Moses the real goldmine, from which everything that is written in the New Testament concerning the divinity of Christ has been taken. Here you may see from what source the gospel of St. John is taken, and upon what it is founded; and therefore it is easy to understand.
To look at the first three Gospels without the Fourth is a big mistake, and to read the Gospel of John without the Old Testament is an equally bad mistake.
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Believers would soon enjoy the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which helped them believe in the Gospel at the start and continues to draw them to the Gospel afterwards.
That is why believers are drawn to the refreshment of the Gospel, which is living water, for which they thirst, and that is why this same Gospel flows from them. We have words - justification for forgiveness and sanctification for the Christian life - but the Christian life naturally flows from the heart of the believer.
As anyone can see, this is a sermon from Jesus about faith in Him and how important it is. 

40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. 41 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?
People were beginning to confess their faith in Jesus. But others doubted, as will always happen. When a pastor confesses his faith in Jesus, in sincerity and truth, that fosters faith in the congregation. Those ministers who are trained in rationalism and various forms of denominational loyalty - they are the ones who slowly slip away into indifference and finally into no faith at all. 
Some will say - and spend a lot of time on this - that the most important thing in the world is a non-faith matter. But the Chief Article for Jesus should be ours as well - faith in Him, forgiveness of sin through faith in Him.

42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? 43 So there was a division among the people because of him.

Nothing is feared more than division in a church body, and yet Paul said "there must be divisions." Jesus must have been a bad pastor or rabbi, because there was a division among the people because of Him.

The Scriptures consistently teach the division - faith or unbelief. From faith in Jesus comes all good things that matter the most, forgiveness and salvation and the fruits of the Spirit.
It is natural for the believer to confess his individual faith. Some like to pressure people to do this, to accomplish something for the church or for others. But is the natural fruit of the faith, not a forced sanctification project (divided into steps). 
In the hospital we had two piles of books, Angel Joy and Creation Gardening. Those who wanted a book or two took them as needed. My wife's main nurse said, "I grew up taking care of flowers, at my parent's nursery. I really want that book." Later a nurse said, "Why does she get all the books." So they spread around. I wondered when Angel Joy would be finished and printed. Now the original is over 20 years old and still being read. The Jackson Diaspora has meant a spreading of books.
Jesus does not name or describe a program but the divine power of the Spirit at work in the Word. There are many ways that is expressed and God guides the result. 
Luther said it best in his pond analogy.