Time in the Word
October 23-28, 2017
Freedom of a Christian
This year marks the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation! Lessons for this week fall under the theme of freedom -freedom from sin, knowledge of the truth, the grace of God. The predominant theme is salvation as the sole work of God by grace through faith. In the Gospel, God’s greatest work is Christ whom to know is to be free. In the Old Testament Lesson, God comes to offer a new relationship that is personal and internal. Paul, in the Epistle Lesson, gives the famous passage concerning God’s justification of the sinner by faith in Christ. Very definitely there is no suggestion that man has any part in his reconciliation with God. God does it all. In the Hymn of the Day, we are assured of God’s victory over Satan, our ancient foe.
Collect for Reformation –Almighty and gracious Lord pour out Your Holy Spirit on Your faithful people. Keep us steadfast in Your grace and truth, protect and deliver us in times of temptation, defend us against all enemies, and grant to Your Church Your saving peace; through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Two simple yet heart felt Prayers– Almighty God, source of every blessing, your generous goodness comes to us anew every day. By the work of Your Spirit, lead us to acknowledge Your goodness, give thanks for Your benefits, and serve You in willing obedience.
Lord, we pray that Your grace may always precede and follow us that we may continually be given to good works
For Schools – Almighty God, our heavenly Father, since You have committed the care and nurture of children to Your people, graciously enlighten those who teach and those who are committed to their instruction that they may know the truth and trust in You all the days of their lives; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Prayer for responsible citizenship – Lord keep this nation under Your care. Bless the leaders of our land that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to the other nations of the earth. Help us provide trustworthy leaders, contribute to wise decisions for the general welfare, and thus serve You faithfully in our generation to the honor of Your holy name.
For blessing on the Word – Lord God, bless Your Word wherever it is proclaimed. Make it a word of power and peace to convert those not yet Your own and to confirm those who have come to saving faith. May Your Word pass from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the lip, and from the lip to the life that, as You have promised, Your Word may achieve the purpose for which You send it; through Jesus Christ, my Lord.
A prayer before we study the Word – Almighty God, our heavenly Father, without Your help our labor is useless, and without Your light our search is in vain. Invigorate the study of Your holy Word that, by due diligence and right discernment, we may establish ourselves and others in Your holy faith.
Monday, October 23, 2017 – Psalm 34:1-2, 11, 22 - The Antiphon for this coming Sunday is from Psalm 119:46: “I will speak of Your testimonies before Kings, [O Lord] and shall not be put to shame.”
Tuesday, October 24, 2017– Jeremiah 31:31-34 - In our Old Testament lesson, God promises a new covenant of forgiveness. Here is a corrective to Ecclesiastes, which says there is nothing new. God makes a new covenant. Note that man has nothing to do with it. God has the idea and He proposes the new covenant. This is evidence of God’s grace in giving His people another chance to be His people. What is new about it? It is new in that the covenant will be made with the individual rather than with the nation as a whole. It is new in that each will instinctively know God rather than learning of God through teaching.
God calls Himself a husband of His people. It infers a marriage between God and His people. This is the meaning of covenant. It is a personal relationship between God and His people. Like a marriage, they belong to each other and enjoy a oneness in love and loyalty. It is expressed in God’s words, “I will be their God and they will be my people.” Sin breaks the marriage relationship for sin is disloyalty to God. Thus, it was necessary to have a new covenant.
In the scriptures knowledge is more than cognition, as one would know a fact. To know God is to enter a relationship with Him in a covenant. Thus, one cannot be taught to know God. It is an act of commitment and an entering into union with God. Thus, everyone will instinctively know
God and it is not a matter of rote.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017–Romans 3:19-28 - In our Epistle lesson for this week, Paul explains the central teaching of the Bible—that God justifies the sinner by grace through faith. The word “Justified” is an important word in this pericope. The word is associated with a court. The judge acquits the guilty one. He is exonerated and allowed to go free. It is not that he was innocent, but the judge accounted him as innocent because of the penalty paid by another, Christ. The sinner is not righteous, but he is accounted or considered righteous for Jesus’ sake.
The righteousness of God is not the popular understanding of goodness, perfection, or justice. In the scriptures, righteousness means right-relatedness to God. This understanding of the word gave Luther his liberation and insight into the Gospel. It is not a word to fear or to cringe at the wrath of God. It means God’s goodness is approaching in good will to offer us reconciliation and peace. By grace we experience the righteousness of God by being rightly related to him through faith.
Thursday, October 26, 2017– John 8:31-36 – In the Gospel for this Sunday, we learn that God sent Jesus into the world to set men free from sin. When Pilate asked Jesus what truth was, He gave no answer. In this passage Jesus defines the truth. It is in His word, for He spoke God’s Word. As long as we hold to the word of Jesus, we will be His disciples and will know the truth. It is not a truth of science, politics, or economics. It is religious truth personified and spoken by Christ. It is the truth of God and life.
The truth of Christ frees. It does not mean necessarily women’s liberation or political independence. These may follow. It is freedom in and of religion. Truth frees us from false religious beliefs, superstitions, and practices. Christ’s truth frees us from the Law. Christ frees us from the bondage of sin by His death on the cross. Out of his spiritual freedom come other freedoms. If we are free before and in God, we will not be content until we are free among men.
Friday, October 27, 2017 – Psalm 46: 1-7 - This Psalm is appointed for Reformation Sunday. The key verse is verse 7.
Saturday, October 28, 2017 – Psalm 46: 8-11 - Our reading is the inspiration for tomorrow’s sermon hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”
LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
LECTIONALRY PREACHING WORKBOOK SERIES A © 1980 John Brokhoff CSS Publishing Lima, OH
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