The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central.


Advent Services - 7 PM Central Time in December.

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
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Sixth Sunday after Trinity, 2017. Romans 6:3-11


The Sixth Sunday after Trinity, 2017

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The melodies are linked in the hymn title. 
The lyrics are linked in the hymn number.

The Hymn # 331:1-4            Yea, As I Live                                               
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 # 331:5-8            Yea, As I Live                         

 The Christian Life


The Communion Hymn # 387             Dear Christians                   
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 #  209     Who is This                                                     

Sixth Sunday After Trinity

Lord God, heavenly Father, we confess that we are poor, wretched sinners, and that there is no good in us, our hearts, flesh and blood being so corrupted by sin, that we never in this life can be without sinful lust and concupiscence; therefore we beseech Thee, dear Father, forgive us these sins, and let Thy Holy Spirit so cleanse our hearts that we may desire and love Thy word, abide by it, and thus by Thy grace be forever saved; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

KJV Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

KJV Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.



The Christian Life

KJV Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Paul went from being the best of all Pharisees to conversion, which made him see that the holiness of works did not create or maintain holiness, as he wished. Every law-oriented religion reaches this stage. That is why the legalism of the Pietists turned quickly into social activism and hedonism. The social activism is based on the need to "make the world a better place." The hedonism is from tossing away the Law after finding it an impossible burden.

Paul understood - and taught through the Holy Spirit - that the danger of the Gospel  came from repudiating the Creation-established Law of God. Everything in the universe behaves according to these principles - and serves the rest of universe through its engineering. I knew decades ago that Mountain Mint was appealing to a variety of beneficial insects, but I only began growing it last summer, based on two or three tiny plants. This year they grew like weeds and attracted a cloud of insects, various kinds of bees and other insects. As someone said, the plant is more like a planet with many satellites circling around it. For this to happen, God had to give this mint special properties to attract certain insects. And the insects had to detect the plant as especially good for feeding and pollinating. Those are only two relationships, simplified, amid thousands in any given yard or garden.

Broken pottery attracts spiders that trap insects. I broke some cheap flower pots for spiders and toads. When the sun is right, the webs shows up as a threads across the open part of the pot. An upside down pot will have web across the drainage opening, so an insect says, "I am lost in the darkness but freedom is up there, that little circle of life." And he becomes the meal in the web.

When people violate these laws, they necessarily face the consequences. However, we cannot make ourselves righteous by what we do. Hearing these words, individuals have always been tempted to toss the Law away. They are called Antinomians (anti-law) by those who like long words based on Latin. I even heard a pastor quoted as saying, "The Law is obsolete after Christ." Soon after he was an avowed atheist who would not even attend church. One thing leads to another.

So Paul addressed this temptation to eject the Law in Romans 6, as Luther described in his introduction to this chapter.

 Many people support this LCMS youth leader saying
the entire world is forgiven and saved. The Odd Couple in WELS
produced a book named Forgiven.


1. In this epistle lesson Paul gives Christians instruction concerning the Christian life on earth, and connects with it the hope of the future and eternal life, in view of which they have been baptized and become Christians. He makes of our earthly life a death — a grave — with the understanding, however, that henceforth the risen man and the newness of life should be found in us. And he treats of this doctrine because of an error that always prevails: When we preach that upon us is bestowed grace and the forgiveness of sins, without any merit on our part, people are disposed to regard themselves as free from obligation and will do no works except those to which their own desires prompt them. This was Saint Paul’s experience when he so strongly commended the grace of Christ and its consolation (ch. 5:20), declaring that “where sin abounded, grace did abound more exceedingly,” and that where there are many and great sins, there also reigns great, abundant and rich grace. The rude crowd cried: Oh, is it true that great grace follows upon great sin? In that case we will cheerfully load ourselves with sin so that we may receive the greater grace.

...so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

When Paul says, Know ye not? he is reminding them that they have been taught this. Therefore he is bringing to mind what they already know. This message is clear and jolting as well. The death of Christ is something we can see - the crucifix. Just as the miraculous catch of fish was a visual of the Word at work in missions, so the death of Christ is a visual of God's mercy in the Atonement.

The crucifixion teaches us Christ paying for our sins and the reality of those sins. From last week, when we see in our minds Christ crucified, those are our sins He paid for on the cross (St. Bernard). 

So this is an image of sin and forgiveness, mercy, and God's love. But it can be turned into a message of universal absolution by coarse and self-serving people, as Luther noted 500 years ago.

4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 

Holy Baptism, which the sects are often quick to dismiss, is a death and rebirth, a washing, and newness of life, walking in truth and the Light, rather than in darkness.

This verse defeats the anti-law people and the hedonists, because we are not to seek our own, but to follow Christ in the path He took.

Anyone can see many examples of the false shepherds telling people what their itching ears want to hear. A good con artist is attuned to his audience. He will watch how they react and change the slant of his message accordingly. Some are destructive wolves, who slaughter and scatter. Others are hired hands, who want the security of the job but not the responsibility.

5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Surely Paul cannot mean planted, but that is the word, a compound - planted together. Sin is death and His death swallowed up and defeated sin, not that sin would reign over us, but that we would rise in the resurrection of the dead, in His likeness.

There are many images to keep us thinking about the meaning of Jesus' death and burial. We attend many similar burials. The difference is that Jesus became the bait for Satan. He took the bait as he moved various powers to torture and kill the Messiah. However, that death defeated Satan's ultimate power in atoning for our sins. How do we know that our sins are taken away forever? We see the cross and hear the Gospel - He has died for our sins. With that comes the hope and certainty of eternal life, because only those free of sin can enjoy eternity with Christ.

6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 

Those who conclude that they may sin freely in the freedom of the Gospel are grossly and conveniently mistaken. Many clergy fall into this trap, imagining they can use the Gospel as a pillow to sleep on. When millions of dollars disappear or many marriages destroyed, they fall into profound remorse at their folly - unless they are sociopaths. 

Paul says quite clearly - the Gospel is not there so you can carry on as before and yell "Forgiven!" but to crucify the Old Adam and to walk in faith and newnes of life.

That has been a great blessing America has enjoyed, the nation based upon Creation and the freedom God gives us. (Declaration of Independence) The country began with a dual view of the Faith, assuming that many would live according to their religion, but also giving freedom of their confession and not imposing royal standards upon it as the English did for centuries.

This allowed congregations to promote the fruits of the Gospel, which we did not appreciate fully until the secularists began forcing state rule upon the churches. Now there is a definite antagonism toward Christianity, enforced by the courts. And we have to admit that denominational apostasy and laxity has brought some of this upon us all. 

The fruits of the Gospel are not luxurious extras, because when they are lacking, foul weeds take over and smother what is good. Extremist cults and pseudo-Christian organizations grab onto that part of society and thrive, always getting more difficult to get rid of in our midst.

7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 

The first death we have is death to sin. The second one ends our struggles on earth, and we enjoy completely the benefits of Christ's death and resurrection. 

Paul takes away the excuse that we have to live for today and connects the image of death with Christ and His resurrection. So many things are impossible to believe on their own, so far beyond our experience and imagination. But when we see that Jesus rose from the dead, a fact agree upon by many of the most ardent enemies of Christ (the liberal theologians), everything else falls into place. 

The impossible is that God became man and died for our sins, even though He was innocent. The resurrection confirmed His innocence and renewed the disciples, who were engaged in a terrible batter - fear and hope, faith and doubt, going back to the old ways of fishing versus striking out as apostles with swords, sheep among wolves, with many opponents coming from within the flock.

All these impossible things are true - God did Create the universe in six 24-hour days, through the Son the Creating Word (Genesis 1, John 1). God did become man, born of the Virgin, (Isaiah 7 and 9), God with us. Jesus did perform miracles that no one could even dream of copying, which drew the crowds and the hatred of the officials, Jewish and Roman. 

All this shows how powerful God's mercy is, in preparing the world for His Son. The meaning of the Atonement was engraved on their minds - Jews and proselytes - centuries before the sacrifice happened. So many hundreds of passages confirm the entire ministry of Christ that it is bedrock of the New Testament Gospel. In fact, the Old Testament Gospel is the New Testament Gospel, the same message - only one is before the event, the other afterwards.

8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

In the light of Paul's words, the trivia of life truly fades away. Most things really do not matter, and God takes care of so much on His own. As Luther said more than once, He is a old man who manages things very well.

I look at accomplishments in terms of what matters least to the world but most to God:
  1. The people involved in the Sermons of Luther are really getting to know Biblical doctrine - and the love it.
  2. Every doctrinal post on this blog reaches people. Although the totals are in the millions, the important part comes from people seeing the truth of the Gospel and the problems with error.
  3. When I can promote the Gospel in the Old Testament, in an academic class for all kinds of denominations, I am pleased. Some say, "I never thought of the Old Testament this way."
  4. Distributing books not only reaches our own circle of friends, but a larger and largely unknown greater circle of their friends. The most astonishing was an entire doctor's office asking for Creation Gardening, my entire supply at the moment.
I have to finish with this story. We were in the pastor's office, a very large congregation, and the LCMS pastor I only knew through Facebook asked, "How do YOU know Norma Boeckler?" He simply loves her work in illustrating the Bible. I left a pile of books, all illustrated by our artist-in-residence on his office table. He was very happy to have them and share them.

Most will recognize these book covers.
On the extreme left - Pastor G. Jackson and the birthday girl, Chris.
Next to them are Anita Engleman and her son Zach, our VP.
Behind them is Moliner and former mayor of Perryville,
Debbie Mitchell Gahan.