Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Morning Prayer Reading 43 - Job Part 3

Job Part 3 
(Selective Verses)

Satan Attacks Job's Health

2 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 3 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” 4 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” 6 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.”

7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8 And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.

9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

19 Then Job answered and said:
23Oh that my words were written!
    Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
24 Oh that with an iron pen and lead
    they were engraved in the rock forever!
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and at the last he will stand upon the earth.[b]
26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
    yet in my flesh I shall see God,
27 whom I shall see for myself,
    and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
    My heart faints within me!

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Luther's Seal © Higher Things

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Morning Prayer Reading 42 - Job Part 2

Job Part 2 
(Selective Verses)

Satan Takes Job's Property and Children

13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, 14 and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants[c] with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, 19 and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”

20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.


Job 1:15 Hebrew the young men; also verses 16, 17

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Morning Prayer Reading 41 - Job Part 1

Job Part 1 
(Selective Verses)

Job's Character and Wealth

1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. 2 There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. 3 He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. 4 His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed[a] God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.

Satan Allowed to Test Job

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[b] also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

Job 1:5 The Hebrew word bless is used euphemistically for curse in 1:5, 11; 2:5, 9
Job 1:6 Hebrew the Accuser or the Adversary; so throughout chapters 1–2
Job 1:15 Hebrew the young men; also verses 16, 17

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Luther's Seal  © Higher Things 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

All Saints Observed notes

All Saints (Observed)
Revelation 7:(2–8) 9–17
1 John 3:1–3
Matthew 5:1–12

Saints Are Blessed in the Eternal Presence of Christ All Saints

A great multitude … from all tribes and peoples and languages” cry out, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne” (Revelation 7:9–10). Faith-filled saints from every place and time with unified voices eternally magnify the Lamb of God. As His beloved children, we, too, “shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). Joined with the throng of angels and a myriad of saints, we shall “serve him day and night in his temple” (Revelation 7:15). In our earthly tension vacillating between saint and sinner, faith and doubt, sacred and profane, we earnestly seek Jesus to calm our fears, comfort our spirits and forgive our sins. The Holy Spirit, through faith in Christ propels us forward, fortifying us in Word and Sacrament, to our eternal home. In the midst of our constant struggle as believers, we need to be blessed. And so we are. The poor in spirit, the meek, the hungry, the thirsty, the merciful, the pure and the persecuted are all blessed, and we will most certainly inherit the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:1–12).

O Almighty God, by whom we are graciously knit together as one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of Jesus Christ, our Lord, grant us so to follow Your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that we may come to those unspeakable joys which You had prepared for those who love You; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Gracious Savior, keep my eyes ever focused on You and Your blessings, which are mine by grace alone. Amen

Jesus introduces His Sermon on the Mount with nine beatitudes that detail the future blessedness of His disciples. These promised blessings are God's gracious gifts to those who repent of their sins and trust Christ for righteousness. Only after Jesus has assured His disciples of God's goodness to them does He call on them,, in the rest of His sermon, to be good and do good. When we recognize our own spiritual poverty when the Lord leads us to hunger and thirst for righteousness, when He makes us pure in heart so that we seek to worship only the true God, then we are blessed now and forever.

Observe both future and present tenses...

Life for the Christian is a life that is lived by faith - On this All Saints Day Jesus the greatest teacher who has ever lived gives a description of the child of God who has been incorporated into the family of faith. These Beatitudes are the gifts the Savior has given to you.

It is yours now and soon to come. Blessed now are present the rewards future…now and not yet.

Matthew 5:1

Ἰδὼν δὲ τοὺς ὄχλους ἀνέβη εἰς τὸ ὄρος· καὶ καθίσαντος αὐτοῦ προσῆλθαν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ·
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.

Matthew 5:2 
καὶ ἀνοίξας τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτοὺς λέγων·
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

Having sat down, the posture of prophet, posture of learning. Another Moses, Jesus is THE prophet. He came to preach and to die. Works of mercy are out of His compassion. He opens His mouth like that of creation.

Matthew 5:3
Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens. To be poor is to rely on the mercy of God. These are indicative and the rewards are all passive.

Not blessed are the growing churches. The only command is "rejoice and be glad"

Matthew 5:4
μακάριοι οἱ πενθοῦντες, ὅτι αὐτοὶ παρακληθήσονται.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are those who mourn, you are a Christian. You will mourn, but you will be comforted.  What do we mourn? As Jesus grieved over Lazarus.

Preach theology of grace as opposed to theology of glory.

Matthew 5:5
μακάριοι οἱ πραεῖς, ὅτι αὐτοὶ κληρονομήσουσι τὴν γῆν.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

  Meek inherit the earth. Meek are powerless, a picture of the cross. Inherit for free from those who would try to take by force. This is anti world. This is completely out of the realm of measurement and feeling

Matthew 5:6
μακάριοι οἱ πεινῶντες καὶ διψῶντες τὴν δικαιοσύνην, ὅτι αὐτοὶ χορτασθήσονται. 
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

 They will be engorged/enlarged. Their cup will run over for those who hunger after righteousness.

Your blessedness comes from the blessed one who blesses.

Matthew 5:7
μακάριοι οἱ ἐλεήμονες, ὅτι αὐτοὶ ἐλεηθήσονται 
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

The merciful receive mercy. Mercy to the deserving is justice. Mercy is only to the undeserving. Show mercy as you have been shown mercy.

The unmerciful serving misrepresented the king who had shown mercy. He acts as if the king still had the debt hanging over them.

Matthew 5:8
μακάριοι οἱ καθαροὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ, ὅτι αὐτοὶ τὸν θεὸν ὄψονται.  
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

 Blessed are the clean in heart because they themselves will see God. The only way in which you see God.

Matthew 5:9
 μακάριοι οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί, ὅτι αὐτοὶ υἱοὶ θεοῦ κληθήσονται.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.

 Blessed are the ones making peace they will be called God's sons.

Matthew 5:10
μακάριοι οἱ δεδιωγμένοι ἕνεκεν δικαιοσύνης, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.  
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 The ones who are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heavens.

Matthew 5:11
μακάριοί ἐστε ὅταν ὀνειδίσωσιν ὑμᾶς καὶ διώξωσιν καὶ εἴπωσιν πᾶν [a]πονηρὸν καθ’ ὑμῶν ψευδόμενοι ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ.  
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

 Blessed whenever they reproach you and say all evil against you on account of me.

Matthew 5:12

χαίρετε καὶ ἀγαλλιᾶσθε, ὅτι ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολὺς ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς· οὕτως γὰρ ἐδίωξαν τοὺς προφήτας τοὺς πρὸ ὑμῶν.  
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Rejoice be glad, your reward is in heaven. In this sameness the prophets were persecuted.

ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software

Time in the Word - Pentecost 24 - Proper 26

This Week’s Morning Prayer Readings

Read and review the following Bible stories for each day… 
Mon., October 29-Job Part 1- selective verses
Tues. October 30– Job Part 2- selective verses
Wed. October 31– Chapel Day
Thurs. November 01-Job Part 3 selective verses
Fri. –November 02-Samuel -  selective verses
From the Small Catechism – 2nd Article and Meaning

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;

Collect for All Saints: Almighty and everlasting God, You knit together Your faithful people of all times and places into one holy communion, the mystical body of Your Son Jesus Christ. Grant us so to follow Your blessed saints in all virtuous and glory living that, together with them ,we may come to the unspeakable joys You have prepared for those who love You; through Jesus Christ our Lord.   

Collect for Commemoration of the Faithful Departed: O God, the Maker and Redeemer of all believers: Grant to the faithful departed the unsearchable benefits of the passion of your Son; that on the day of his appearing they may be manifested as your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Collect for Proper 26: Lord Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, cleanse us by the power of Your redeeming blood that in purity and peace we may worship and adore Your holy name for Your live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Collect for Pentecost 24:Lord, we pray that Your grace may always precede and follow us that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Time in the Word
29 October – November 3 2018
Preparation for next week, Pentecost 24 – Proper 26

What does God expect of me above all else? This question was asked of Jesus by a scribe, a Bible scholar of his day,. Without hesitation, Jesus says that love of God and of neighbor are the top two. The first of these is given in the Old Testament lesson (Deuteronomy 6:1-9) and an exhortation is given to teach and obey the laws of God. The writer to the Hebrews reminds us that our access to God does not come by righteous deeds but redemption comes through the blood of Christ. (Hebrews 9:11-14). We need to remember that people do not obey these top paws. We need an intercessor who is Christ. His perfect sacrifice made it possible for the Father and disobedient people to be reconciled.  The Psalm of the Day (Psalm 119:1-8) harmonizes with the theme of love for God. “I love you, O Lord, my strength.”

Monday, 29 October 2018Psalm 89:1-4; Antiphon, Psalm 9:1The Antiphon for next Sunday’s Introit proclaims, "I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds." Reflect on the Lord’s kindness. Recount His wonderful works. This leads to actions of praise and thanksgiving both the Lord and to our neighbor. 

Tuesday, 30 October 2018Psalm 119:1-8— It is fitting then that the psalm begins with the word "happy" (or "blessed" or "fortunate").  You'd be pretty happy, too, if you were blameless, sinless, perfect.   Now if only such blameless people could be found, we could ask them for some advice.  How do you do it?  How do you keep yourselves so blameless? How do you keep God's decrees, seeking the Lord with your whole heart, and do no wrong?  (See verses 1-3.)  Oh, but wait.  Such people do not exist (as the psalmist proclaims in Psalm 14:3 and, later, Paul, in Romans 3:10).  There is no one who is blameless. No, not one.  Psalm 119 starts by describing something that exists only in the imagination, a chimera, a fancy:  namely, one who is blameless according to the Law of God.

Yet, there is One.  2 Corinthians 5:21 tells how God made this One who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018Deuteronomy 6:1-9— The laws of the Lord were to be kept when the people of Israel entered the Promised Land as a fulfillment and keeping of the covenant. The keeping of the commands is for always; each succeeding generation. Obedience will result in the prosperity and well being of the nation. In Vv. 4-9 we are given the Shema –“Hear.” It is the basic creed of the Jews: God is one and is to be loved with one’s entire being. The laws of God are to be internalized, made matters of the heart, and forever to be remembered by constantly talking about them and ever making them visible.  By these words parents especially are commanded to teach their children the laws of God that they may prosper.  

Thursday, 01 November 2018Hebrews 9:11-14— Redemption Comes Through the Blood of Christ. Jesus’ sacrifice was for all people for all times. The Levitical priests of the past were compelled to give up their priesthood because of death. But Jesus lives forever. Therefore He can save all for all time because He is a living Christ who intercedes for all who call upon Him.
Not only is Christ the high priest eternal, but He is sinless and He is seated at the right hand of God in exaltation. His sacrifice was perfect and timeless. Therefore, other sacrifices are unnecessary. Jesus is our eternal high priest. His sacrifice was for all people for all time.   

Friday, 02 November 2018Mark 12:28-37— The two greatest commandments: Love God and neighbor. This week’s Gospel ends the period of Jesus’ answering questions. The public ministry comes to a climax with this final answer before the passion begins. A scribe honestly and sincerely asks Jesus which is the most important commandment. Jesus’ answer is approved by the scribe who agrees that living God and neighbor is far more important than ritual and sacrifice. Jesus makes love of God and neighbor one commandment. But love of God precedes love of neighbor, We have a due agreement: The scribe agrees with Jesus’ answer, and Jesus agrees with the scribe’s answer. Yet, the scribe with chose but not in the kingdom of God. To enter takes more than knowledge.

Saturday, 03 November 2018Luke 10:36-37 - Sunday’s hymn of the day, (LSB 852)O God of mercy, God of might  Jesus asks, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” The answer, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” Sunday’s hymn encourages to act the same.

Prayer from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House St. Louis
Lutheran Worship © 1981Concordia Publishing House St. Louis
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B John R. Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH.
Luther's Seal © Higher Things 

Saturday, October 27, 2018


Reformation (Observed)
October 28, 2018
John 8:31-36
Made Free

How are we to perceive ourselves? Some believe we exist to be free. That seems to be the American mantra, “I was born free, I live free, and I will die, free!”  The truth is we are born slaves to sin. All of us have been born into sin. We are in bondage to the power of the Devil.

Fortunately, this bondage was broken by a man who suffered on a cruel and bloody cross and then stood at the mouth of an open tomb. Christians are now declared to be slaves of Christ. In Christ we are now slaves who are set free.

The Emancipation proclamation is will be remembered as one of Lincoln’s greatest acts as president.  Jesus’ death on the cruel, cruel, cross is what has guaranteed your freedom. The Reformation was that event which called for religious freedom – freedom from false and misleading teachings. Freedom of a burdened conscience and the burden of guilt. We are declared to be free in Christ – free to live, love and serve.

As Christians we are
1.     Born, destined to be slaves of sin –
2.     Yet, we have been made free by Jesus Christ  the only-begotten Son of God –

I.        Each is born a slave to sin. (V. 34) “Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.”
Because of our first parents Adam and Eve we have all been made slaves to sin. An evil conscience is a troubled conscience. An evil conscience is a conscience diseased by guilt. Guilt is heavy. It is oppressive.  By its very nature it suffocates the soul. Guilt is inward and deeply affects the heart, mind, and spirit.

The burden of guilt is a by-product of sin.  Guilt will not allow you to be emotionally or spiritually healthy. We cannot live under the burden of guilt. If you cannot resolve you guilt then your living will be painful, burdened, empty. Chronic guilt is a thief who steals the fullness of one's life. The guilty soul is a joyless soul. Guilt, like a strong man, holds the soul captive and will not yield to arguments of denial. Real guilt is cast in steel. It allows nothing to break its power. It rules over the mind, the emotions, and the heart. Ultimately, our entire personality is deeply affected - for guilt brings its presence to our daily life. [1]

Yet you have been redeemed by Christ the crucified. Yes, Christ has redeemed you from the curse of the Law. But at the same time, there is the “Old Adam [lurking] within us. He needs to die! He is killed daily by contrition and repentance. He is drowned and dies with all sins and evil lust so that a new man can daily come forth and arise who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.” [2]

Jesus is the only one who is able to break this bond of guilt. He completely frees you from the guilt of every sin. There is no such thing as partial forgiveness. He died for all sins. And He frees from the guilt of every sin. Little sins. Big sins. Even the unspeakable. He has taken all your sins.  Every single one was placed on His bloody back. He becomes your sin offering.

John proclaimed Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He bore the guilt and penalty of your sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – [3]

St. Paul writes, in Romans, the sixth chapter, “We were buried with Christ by Baptism into death, that, like as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”[4]

Daily we fall short of the perfection the Father demands of us.

We confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have not loved the Lord with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors and ourselves. We justly deserve His present and eternal punishment.[5]

We confess both sins of commission and sins of omission. This is what we mean when we say to God and to each other, “We have sinned by thought, word and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.” [6]
Specifically, we plead guilty before God for everything.

In Individual/Private Confession we pray, “I have lived as if God did not matter and as if I mattered most. My Lord’s name I have not honored as I should; my worship and prayers have faltered. I have not let His love have its way with me, and so my live for others has failed. There are those whom I have hurt, and those whom I failed to help. My thoughts and desires have been soiled with sin.” [7]

Transition: As humans. As sons of Adam. As daughters of Eve. We are born slaves to sin. Yet there is in us a “new man” which has made us a new people.

II.     We are made free by God’s Son. (V. 36) “So if the son has made you free you are free indeed.”

You are made free because of the action and work of Jesus Christ.  Real forgiveness restores the soul. It unburdens the heart. A life set free from guilt is a life free to live in the fullness of joy! A clear heart. And a clear conscience. Un-clutters the mind. A life free from guilt is a life free to worship with an un-fettered heart. Real joy is a fruit of a clear conscience. With the heaviness of guilt removed, our eyes are opened to God. We can be emotionally and spiritually healthy. A clear conscience frees our personality to an unburdened wholeness.

David writes: “He restores my soul; he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.” [8] David speaks of God restoring his soul. The Lord restores the guilty through the atoning work of Christ. David said He was restored by God. When He "restores" it is not a restoration of our making. It is a restoration that He performs for us and in us.  It is not something we do, or can do. Regardless of what we do, we cannot restore ourselves, and we cannot make atonement for ourselves; Jesus brings us back to God. He alone restores, heals, forgives.

He brings us back from bondage to freedom. And, this freedom is at the deepest level of our being. Your outward circumstances may be difficult. But if we possess the restoration that comes from the atoning work of Christ, then we can live thankfully and joyfully for our conscience has been cleared of all guilt.

John in his Gospel will tell us Jesus entered this world, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.[9] But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.[10] 

Jesus bore your sin. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”[11]

Jesus offers you new life.  St. Paul would remind us, “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”[12]

This freedom cannot be taken from you. Satan may howl and shriek. This is what he enjoys! And he’s so good it! He’s so good at what he does. “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 9 “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”[13] Satan. He’s always accusing. Always judging. Always condemning. He’s so critical. He does not approve of Christ and what He is doing in you. So He will continue to bellow and shout his accusations at you.

But in a clear small voice someone speaks even louder - it is Christ your Savior who speaks His word of peace, “I forgive you” “I love you” “I care for you.” This is what moved the Evangelist John to write, “This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”  [14]

How are we to perceive ourselves?  As humans we are born slaves of sin – Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. That’s the Law. Yet, by the grace of God we have been made free by the Son – So if the Son has made you free you are free indeed. In Jesus Christ you are free indeed. Believe and trust in this reality.

The author to the Hebrews offers these words; “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”  [15]

If you find yourself burdened under a heart of guilt, then come to the One who alone sprinkled His blood for you, and who alone can wash you with pure water. He will take your guilt upon Himself, and in return, will give you His peace!
Passive Sentences –11%
Readability – 84.7%
Reading Level – 4.3
+ Soli Deo Gloria +

[2] “The Significance of Baptizing with Water” from Luther’s Small Catechism Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO pg. 303
[3] 1 John 1:8-9
[4] Romans 6:
[5] Confession of Sins from Divine Service II Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO p. 158
[6] Ibid
[7] Individual Confession and Absolution Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO p. 310
[8] Psalm 23:4
[9] John 1:14
[10] Galatians 4:4
[11] 1 Peter 2:24-25
[12] Romans 6:3-4
[13] 1 Peter 5:8-9
[14] 1 John 3:19-20
[15] Hebrews 10:22
Image of Luther's Seal © Higher Things

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Reformation (Observed) notes

Reformation Observed

Revelation 14:6–7
Psalm 46
Romans 3:19–28
John 8:31–36 or Matthew 11:12–19

The Son of God Has Set Us Free from Sin and Death by His Grace

Wisdom is justified by her deeds” (Matthew 11:19), and the true Wisdom of God, Christ Jesus, the incarnate Son, has justified us by His deeds. He prepares His way by the preaching of repentance, but He has suffered the violence of the Law and voluntarily handed Himself over to violent men, that we might eat and drink with Him in His Kingdom and “remain in the house forever” (John 8:35). He is “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Matthew 11:18–19), and He has rescued us by His grace from the slavery of sin and death.

By the proclamation of His eternal Gospel “to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people” (Revelation 14:6), “the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law” (Romans 3:21), “that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). And by the hearing of that Gospel of Christ Jesus, “whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Romans 3:25), “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31–32).

Collect for Reformation Sunday: 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. Amen.

"O God, Your infinite love restores to the right way those who err, seeks the scattered, and preserves those whom You have gathered. Of Your tender mercy pour out on Your faithful people the grace of unity that, all schisms being ended, Your flock may be gathered to the true Shepherd of Your Church and may serve You in all faithfulness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen"

Matthew 11:12-19

Context John is in prison, world attacking the kingdom of the heavens,

Matthew 11:12
ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν Ἰωάννου τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ ἕως ἄρτι ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν βιάζεται, καὶ βιασταὶ ἁρπάζουσιν αὐτήν.
From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence,[a] and the violent take it by force. 

a. Or has been coming violently
From the time of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of the heavens suffered violence.” The kingdom - Makes its way advancing with violent force. And violent men have seized it. How does it come. Not by what we think, through violence done to him. Forcibly treated can be taken middle or passive. The kingdom suffers violence. It has been violently attacked by violent men, the flesh, and Satan.

Matthew 11:13
 πάντες γὰρ οἱ προφῆται καὶ ὁ νόμος ἕως Ἰωάννου ἐπροφήτευσαν·
For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, 

“For all the prophets and the Law prophecies until John.”

Matthew 11:14
καὶ εἰ θέλετε δέξασθαι, αὐτός ἐστιν Ἠλίας ὁ μέλλων ἔρχεσθαι. 
and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. 

And if you want to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.”
When you hear John you hear all of the prophets, it comes to its finger John and the head Christ.
Matthew 11:15
ὁ ἔχων [a]ὦτα ἀκουέτω.
He who has ears to hear,[b] let him hear.

b. Some manuscripts omit to hear

He who has ears to hear let him hear.”

Hear what he just said, listen to what he will say. Avoid the theology of glory. NOT BY DOING BUT BY RECEIVING this is a passive thing.
Matthew 11:16
Τίνι δὲ ὁμοιώσω τὴν γενεὰν ταύτην; ὁμοία ἐστὶν παιδίοις [b]καθημένοις ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς ἃ προσφωνοῦντα τοῖς ἑτέροις 
“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates,

How does the Christian suffer today?  We still suffer violence by the big three although not seen.
Matthew 11:17
[c]λέγουσιν· Ηὐλήσαμεν ὑμῖν καὶ οὐκ ὠρχήσασθε· [d]ἐθρηνήσαμεν καὶ οὐκ ἐκόψασθε·
‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’

To what will I liken this generation? It is like two small children.”

We played flute for you and you did not dance. We sang a dirge you did not mourn!”

Matthew 11:18
ἦλθεν γὰρ Ἰωάννης μήτε ἐσθίων μήτε πίνων, καὶ λέγουσιν· Δαιμόνιον ἔχει·
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’

John came neither eating or drinking he had a demon.”

Matthew 11:19
ἦλθεν ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐσθίων καὶ πίνων, καὶ λέγουσιν· Ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπος φάγος καὶ οἰνοπότης, τελωνῶν φίλος καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν. καὶ ἐδικαιώθη ἡ σοφία ἀπὸ τῶν [e]ἔργων αὐτῆς.
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”[c]

c. Some manuscripts children (compare Luke 7:35)

The Son of man came and you said he's a glutton and wine drinker a lover of tax collectors and sinners.
When law was preached you did not repent when gospel preached you did not receive it.
Repent = contrition and faith.
But wisdom is proven by actions. JESUS is this wisdom of God.
John 8:31-36- speaks of the freedom we find in the Truth of Jesus Christ. All of us were born into slavery-the slavery of sin. But Christ has set us free from our bondage by His atoning sacrifice. The One who declares, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life tells us here that the Truth shall set us free. The Truth has set us free: the Truth which embodied in Christ Jesus and the Truth which He declares to us in His Word. We are free, indeed!
John 8:31
Ἔλεγεν οὖν ὁ Ἰησοῦς πρὸς τοὺς πεπιστευκότας αὐτῷ Ἰουδαίους· Ἐὰν ὑμεῖς μείνητε ἐν τῷ λόγῳ τῷ ἐμῷ, ἀληθῶς μαθηταί μού ἐστε,
Jesus began to say to those Jews who had believed in Him if you hold to my teachings you are really my disciples.

Who makes up the crowd? This is the simil both sinner/Saint

John 8:32
καὶ γνώσεσθε τὴν ἀλήθειαν, καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια ἐλευθερώσει ὑμᾶς.
Then you will know the truth and the truth will free you.

What is "freedom"? To know is to perceive it in a believing way. A deeper kind of knowing the truth. Not the weak knowing of Adam/Eve. They knew evil but did not have intimate understanding of evil. This knowing is to possess Jesus.
John 8:33
ἀπεκρίθησαν [a]πρὸς αὐτόν· Σπέρμα Ἀβραάμ ἐσμεν καὶ οὐδενὶ δεδουλεύκαμεν πώποτε· πῶς σὺ λέγεις ὅτι Ἐλεύθεροι γενήσεσθε;
They answered to him, we are the sperm of Abraham how can you say you shall be made free? 

Irony they are children of the promise while he is the promise. See John, "do not presume to say we have Abraham as our Father,"

John 8:34
Ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν τὴν ἁμαρτίαν δοῦλός ἐστιν τῆς ἁμαρτίας· 
Jesus said, I say to you ALL the ones who do sin are each individually slaved OF sin.

See Romans 6 Jesus changes from external to internal slavery.

John 8:35
ὁ δὲ δοῦλος οὐ μένει ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα· [b]ὁ υἱὸς μένει εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.
A slave has no permanent place in the family. But a son belongs to it forever.

"Into the age" you remain in the house by being a son. See Galatians 3:26-29

John 8:36
ἐὰν οὖν ὁ υἱὸς ὑμᾶς ἐλευθερώσῃ, ὄντως ἐλεύθεροι ἔσεσθε.
So if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed.

This freedom comes at a price. The price of Christ's blood. That freedom is forgiveness.
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English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software