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

Monday, June 12, 2017

Gems from Luther's Sermons, Volume II

 The printed proof copies are on the way.
After approval, Volume 1 will be available.
Volume 2 is almost done.


Gems from Luther’s Sermons, Volume II


God Directs Us to the Word, Not to Any Saint or Man

48. The same truth has been previously presented in many figures and examples, as in the Gospel for Christmas, Luke 2:12, where the angels give no other sign to the shepherds by which they might find Christ than the manger and the swaddling clothes. There they should find him lying and wrapped up, not in the bosom of the mother, nor on her lap, which would have seemed credible. That is, God does not wish to direct us to any saint or person of man, but only to the Word or Scripture, in which Christ is wrapped as in swaddling clothes, and in the poor manger (that is the preaching of the Gospel), which is so highly esteemed, and serves merely for the feeding of the cattle. Again, we have also heard from the aged and holy Simeon who, as had been promised him by God, should not die until he had seen Christ, but who does not recognize him until by the instigation of the Holy Spirit he enters the temple. So also the wise men from the east who, when they came to Jerusalem and no longer saw the star, hear of no other sign concerning Christ, as to where he was born and where he could be found, than the Scripture of the prophet Micah. So much may be said concerning the most important teaching and the principal parts of this Gospel. Finally, it is also to be noted that the Evangelist says: “His mother kept all these sayings in her heart.”
First Sunday after Epiphany, Second Sermon, p. 36




Faith Inclines His Favor

12. This is what we have often said: we ought to believe without doubting and without limiting the divine goodness; but we ought to pray with the limitation, that it may be his honor, his kingdom and will, in order that we may not limit his will to time, place, measure or name, but leave all that freely to him. For this reason the prayer of the leper pleased the Lord so well and was soon heard. For where we submit to his will, and seek what is acceptable to him, he cannot refrain from doing in return what is acceptable to us. Faith inclines his favor to us, and submissive prayer inclines him to grant us what we pray for. As to the sending of the leper to the priests, why it was done and what it signified, enough has been said in the Postil of the ten lepers.

Third Sunday after Epiphany, p. 55


All Are To Be Equal in the Grace of God

15. By these and similar wonders he shows that he will not have his Spirit in his saints limited by us, and that we are not to judge according to the person. He wills to bestow his gifts freely, according to his pleasure and not according to our opinion, as St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:11. Indeed even of himself he says in John 14:12: “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.” The purpose of all this is to prevent men from being presumptuous toward others and from elevating one saint above another and creating divisions. All are to be equal in the grace of God, however unequal they are in his gifts. It is his will to do through St. Stephen what he does not do through St. Peter, and through St. Peter what he does not do through his mother; so that it may be he alone who does all in all without distinction of person according to his will.
Third Sunday after Epiphany, p.56


So mighty is the Word


8. All this is done, I say, by faith. For if you believe that by this seed the serpent has been slain, then it is slain for you; and if you believe that in this seed all nations are to be blessed, then you are also blessed. For each one individually should have crushed the serpent under foot and redeemed himself from the curse, which would have been too difficult, nay impossible for us. But now it has been done easily, namely, by Christ, who has crushed the serpent once, who alone is given as a blessing and benediction, and who has caused this Gospel to be published throughout the world, so that he who believes, accepts it and clings to it, is also in possession of it, and is assured that it is as he believes. For in the heart of such a man the Word becomes so powerful that he will conquer death, the devil, sin and all adversity, like Christ himself did. So mighty is the Word that God himself would sooner be vanquished than that his Word should be conquered.
Easter Sunday, Second Sermon, p. 186

The Nature of Faith

12. The question now arises: If Christ has taken away death and our sins by his resurrection and has justified us, why do we then still feel death and sin within us? For our sins torment us still, we are stung by our conscience, and this evil conscience creates the fear of hell.


13. To this I reply: I have often said before that feeling and faith are two different things. It is the nature of faith not to feel, to lay aside reason and close the eyes, to submit absolutely to the Word, and follow it in life and death. Feeling however does not extend beyond that which may be apprehended by reason and the senses, which may be heard, seen, felt and known by the outward senses. For this cause feeling is opposed to faith and faith is opposed to feeling. Therefore the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews writes of faith: “Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.” For if we would see Christ visibly in heaven, like the visible sun, we would not need to believe it. But since Christ died for our sins and was raised for our justification, we cannot see it nor feel it, neither can we comprehend it with our reason. Therefore we must disregard our feeling and accept only the Word, write it into our heart and cling to it, even though it seems as if my sins were not taken from me, and even though I still feel them within me. Our feelings must not be considered, but we must constantly insist that death, sin and hell have been conquered, although I feel that I am still under the power of death, sin and hell. For although we feel that sin is still in us, it is only permitted that our faith may be developed and strengthened, that in spite of all our feelings we accept the Word, and that we unite our hearts and consciences more and more to Christ. Thus faith leads us quietly, contrary to all feeling and comprehension of reason, through sin, through death and through hell. Then we shall see salvation before our eyes, and then we shall know perfectly what we have believed, namely, that death and all sorrow have been conquered.

Easter Sunday, Second Sermon, p. 188

We Ought Not Cast Away the Weak

23. This is nothing but a sermon that teaches us not to be offended in the weak Christ. He does not rebuke the disciples harshly, does not say: Away with you; I do not want you. You should be strong and courageous, but here you sit and are dismayed and terrified! He does not do these things; but lovingly comforts them, that he might make them strong and fearless.

Hence they were also made strong and fearless, and not only this, but also cheerful and of good courage. Therefore we ought not to cast away the weak, but so deal with them that, from day to day, we may bring them to a condition that they may become strong and of good cheer. This does not signify that it is well, if they are weak, and that they should continue weak; for Christ does not stand among them for that purpose, but that they might grow in faith and be made fearless.
Third Easter Day, p. 240



The First and Highest Work of Love

13. The first and highest work of love a Christian ought to do when he has become a believer, is to bring others also to believe in the way he himself came to believe. And here you notice Christ begins and institutes the office of the ministry of the external Word in every Christian; for he himself came with this office and the external Word. Let us lay hold of this, for we must admit it was spoken to us. In this way the Lord desires to say: You have now received enough from me, peace and joy, and all you should have; for your person you need nothing more. Therefore labor now and follow my example, as I have done, so do ye. My Father sent me into the world only for your sake, that I might serve you, not for my own benefit. I have finished the work, have died for you, and given you all that I am and have; remember and do ye also likewise, that henceforth ye may only serve and help everybody, otherwise ye would have nothing to do on earth. For by faith ye have enough of everything. Hence I send you into the world as my Father hath sent me; namely, that every Christian should instruct and teach his neighbor, that he may also come to Christ. By this, no power is delegated exclusively to popes and bishops, but all Christians are commanded to profess their faith publicly and also to lead others to believe.
The Sunday after Easter, p. 276

 
 Norma Boeckler is writing about growing up on the family farm,
while illustrating the sermon books.

True Peace of Christ, In the Midst of Misfortune

4. For the devil will not allow a Christian to have peace; therefore Christ must bestow it in a manner different from that in which the world has and gives, in that he quiets the heart and removes from within fear and terror, although without there remain contention and misfortune. And this we see in the example of these disciples of Christ, who are in great fear on account of the Jews; they are behind barred doors, not daring to go forth, and are in constant dread of death. Although they have peace without and are annoyed by no one, nevertheless their hearts are all aflutter, and they have neither rest nor peace. While they are thus in fear and terror, the Lord enters; he quiets their hearts and brings them peace, not by removing the danger, but by quieting their hearts. For the wickedness of the Jews is neither removed nor changed thereby, for they are as full of hatred and rage as before, and without there is no change whatever, but within the disciples are changed, they have become courageous and bold, and the hatred of the Jews is for them now of but little concern.


5. This is the true peace, which is able to calm the heart, not in time of good fortune, but in the midst of misfortune, when without there is nothing but contention. For here is the difference between worldly and spiritual peace. Worldly peace consists in removing the external evils which cause the contention, as for example, when enemies besiege a city, there is war, but when they are gone, peace returns. Thus also, when poverty and sickness are pressing thee, thou art not contented, but when they are removed, and thou art rid of the misfortune externally, thou art again at peace and rest. But he who endures this is not changed; he remains just as discouraged when these things exist as when they do not, the only difference being that he is feeling it and that it oppresses him when it is present.
Sunday after Easter, Third Sermon p. 292


 
Emmaus organized this year so WELS-LCMS-ELS
can talk about themselves, again.
Luther? They have their own little Luthers!

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