Sunday, October 18, 2020

Reformation (Observed)

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 SundayAlmighty 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"

Abiding in His Word
 Rev. Dr. Daniel J Brege

If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31,32)                                                                       

Everything begins with God’s Word.  The world began with God’s Word, as Scripture explains, “And God said, Let there be…”   Salvation began with God’s Word, being initiated when God spoke the promise that His salvation would come through the Seed of the woman. When the fullness of time came, God’s Word was spoken to the Virgin Mary and God’s Son became the incarnate Word. The Word became flesh to die and rise and thus create salvation for humanity.  Our faith was then generated by God’s Word.  Indeed, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ.  Appropriately the initiatory Sacrament of Holy Baptism seals our salvation as the washing of water with the Word.

In the Gospel for Reformation Sunday (John 8:31-36), Jesus speaks to the Jews who had believed Him.  They believed Him. These are people in whom faith had been generated by the Holy Spirit through God’s Word. Jesus infers this Word-worked faith when He states, If you abide in my Word…  The Greek word for “abide” means “continue” or “remain”.  A person continues or remains with something only if they have already started with such a thing.  If a person is told to continue riding in a bus, that means they have already been riding in the bus. Thus even as the Word had generated their faith, so the Jews are enjoined to continue in that Word.  What happened to them has also happened to us; we have believed in Jesus through His Word, and we too are called upon to continue in that Word. 

So how shall believers continue in God’s Word?  Christ instituted the office of Pastor so Christians would have His way to continue in His Word.  In Luke 24 Jesus commands that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations… This proclamation is not a punctuated one-time proclamation by a pastor, but it is his continued work, a perpetual proclamation within a given congregation.  It is no wonder that the Apostle Paul would enjoin Pastor Timothy (and all pastors) to preach the Word in season and out of season.  The Savior also gave the promise to the Apostles (and future pastors):  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven.  This forgiving pronouncement of absolution is again a continuation in the Word of Christ.  When Jesus instituted His Holy Supper He said to the Apostles (and future pastors), Do this.  Pastors now continue to do this as they speak Christ’s Words and feed God’s people His body and blood, given and shed for them for the forgiveness of sins. In this Sacred Meal once again believers in Christ have opportunity to continue in His Word, and receive what the words of this meal say and express, namely, the forgiveness of sins.

When in John 8 Jesus sets forth the great truth that if the Son sets you free you shall be free indeed, He explains that this is describing how He sets God’s people free from slavery to sin.  An extension of that great truth is that as we abide in His Word we continually remain unshackled to sin. The devil, the world and our flesh are constantly at work, attempting to re-enslave and re-shackle the people of God to sin. Observe then, as summarized in the previous paragraph, that the Word is proclaimed to bring repentance for the forgiveness of sins; that absolution is the spoken bestowal of forgiveness of sins; and that reception of Christ’s body and blood in Holy Communion is for the forgiveness of sins.

This then is one of the great truths recovered at the Reformation, that contrite reception of forgiveness is a lifelong activity of a Christian, accomplished through Christ’s Word.  Standing above this is the reality that by Christ alone are we thus freed and remain free, for this freedom was won and created at His cross and empty tomb.  As we remain in Christ’s Word may the Spirit continually sanctify us to realize that if the Son has set us free we are free indeed…now and into eternity.

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.
How does the Christian suffer today?  We still suffer violence by the big three although not seen.
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,

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

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.’

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

SEE Romans 6 Jesus changes from external to internal slavery.
"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.
Luther’s Seal © Higher Things
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

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