Chapel on March 3 2017

Every weekday the children from our Early Childhood Learning Center walk over to Trinity Lutheran Church for chapel (an abbreviated order of Matins from p.208 in Lutheran Worship) at 10:00 AM, led by Pastor Henson.

In this video from March 1, 2017, the Bible readings were from St. Matthew 21 (Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem) and St. Matthew 4 (Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness).  We used the following hymns:  #212 “We All Believe in One True God, Father” #94 “Christ, the Life of All the Living,” #102 “All Glory, Laud, and Honor,” and “Jesus Loves Me.”    [Length: 18 minutes]

Galatians Bible Study, Pt. 27: The Paidagogos Brings Us to Christ

Class #27:   The purpose of the law was to reveal sin.  The purpose of the promise(gospel) was to give life.  The purpose of the law and the purpose of the gospel are not against each other.  The law prepares us to receive the gospel.

The law functioned like a παιδαγωγος (paidagogos, “tutor” NKJV, from Galatians 3:24 ) to bring us to Christ.  The paidagogos was a slave who accompanied a male minor age 7 to 17 to school and wherever he went.  By means of discipline and restraint, the paidagogos supervised the immature boy and guarded him until he came of age.  When the boy becomes a mature heir, the son is no longer under a paidagogos. Similarly, with the coming of Christ, “we are no longer under a tutor.”  Faith in Christ declares us to be righteous (justification) and brings new desires(Gal 4:6).  The believer is no longer being forced against his will by the prodding of the law.

Overhead: Galatians Class 27 Overhead
Handouts: Galatians Chapter Three 19 to Chapter Four 7

#23- You Will Never Bring The Gospel Into The Hearts of Men In That Way

“Get busy now; spread the holy gospel, and help others spread it; teach, speak, write, and preach that man-made laws are nothing…rather tell them that a Christian life consists of faith and love….

But in this very matter of inculcating the word and driving out the laws of men I must also admonish those who are causing wholesale defections from and denunciations of the holy gospel. There are some who, when they have read a page or two or have heard a sermon, go at it slam bang, and do no more than overwhelm others with reproach and find fault with them and their practices as being unevangelical, without stopping to consider that many of them are plain and simple folk who would soon learn the truth if it were told them. This also I have taught no one to do, and St. Paul has strictly forbidden it [Rom. 14:1–15:1, I Cor. 4:5–6]. Their only motive in doing it is the desire to come up with something new, and to be regarded as good Lutherans. But they are perverting the holy gospel to make it serve their own pride. You will never bring the gospel into the hearts of men in that way. You are much more apt to frighten them away from it, and then you will have to bear the awful responsibility of having driven them away from the truth. You fool, that’s not the way; listen, and take some advice” (Luther’s Works, v.45 p. 68-70).

Galatians Bible Study, Pt. 26: Moses’ Veil Removed

Class #26:   When God Himself spoke the law to the Jews at Mt. Sinai, the people trembled with fear and ran away.  Their reaction showed that the law certainly didn’t justify or give life.  The people cried out to Moses for a mediator, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die” (Exodus 20:19).  The sin-revealing-law announces wrath and condemnation which creates fear.  Without faith in the true mediator, Jesus Christ, the law would have resulted in death.

Later when Moses tried to speak to them, they ran away from him in fear because his face was glowing.  The Israelites were still unable to endure the full strength of the law.  The veil placed over Moses’ face so that the Israelites could stomach the law was a sign of their spiritual condition.  “Deceived by human wisdom, they did not see the true face of Moses. But only his veiled face…” (Apology, IV, 229).  With their watered-down law, they trusted in their outward and civil works, falsely thinking they had satisfied the law.

“When we are consoled by faith through hearing the Gospel of the forgiveness of sins, we receive the Holy Spirit, so that we can think rightly about God, fear him, and believe in him” (Ap. IV, 135).  Only through the coming of the promised Seed, Jesus Christ is the false opinion about the purpose of the law removed.  Without faith, we must run from the terrible wrath of God.  With sin forgiven through faith in Jesus Christ, we are able to love God—even approach him.  Though I am a poor miserable sinner who deserves punishment, I know that God loves me, has forgiven me, and is working out all things for my good.  “When a man turns to the Lord, the veil is removed” (2 Cor. 3:13-15).

Overhead: Galatians Class 26 Overhead
Handouts: Veil of Moses
Use page two of Galatians Chapter Three 15 to 25

#22- Righteousness of Christ Imputed By God To Faith

“For, since Christ is not only man, but God and man in one undivided person, he was as little subject to the law, being Lord of the law, as it would have been necessary for him to suffer and die for his own person. His obedience, therefore, not only in suffering and dying, but in his being voluntarily put under the law in our stead, and fulfilling it with such obedience, is imputed unto us for righteousness; so that, for the sake of this perfect obedience, which he rendered unto his heavenly Father for us, in both doing and suffering, in his life and death, God forgives us our sins, accounts us as righteous and just, and saves us eternally. This righteousness is offered unto us through the Gospel and in the Sacraments, by the Holy Spirit; and through faith it is applied, appropriated, and embraced; hence believers derive reconciliation with God, remission of sins, the grace of God, adoption as children, and the inheritance of eternal life.

Accordingly, the word to justify here signifies to declare just and absolved from sins, and to account as released from the eternal punishment of sins, for the sake of the righteousness of Christ, which is imputed by God to faith, Phil. 3:9. And this usage or import of that word, is common in the holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Prov. 17:15: ‘He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord’

(Formula of Concord, Full Declaration, III, Henkel p. 633).


Galatians Bible Study, Pt. 25: The Law Increases Sin

Class #25:  Sinful human reason wrongly assumes that God gave the law so that by keeping it people would become righteous and thus be saved.  When told that the law and the works of the law do not contribute to our salvation, the usual response is to assume an antinomian (against the law) position.  Slanderously they accuse St. Paul of abolishing the law and saying, “Let us do evil, that good may come” (Rom 3:8).  St. Paul’s answer is that the law “was added for the sake of transgressions” (Galatians 3:19).  This does not mean that the law’s purpose was to reduce sin, but the very opposite.  The giving of the law increased sin (Romans 5:20).  The law both exposed sin (Rom 3;20), and stirred up the sinful nature, which desires to do that which is forbidden (Rom 7:7ff).

The law was temporary and designed only to prepare for the promise of the Gospel.  The law lasted only until the Seed, Jesus Christ, came.  Jesus Christ forgives sin and frees from the requirements and curse of the law.

Overhead: Galatians Class 25 Overhead
Handouts: Use page two of Galatians Chapter Three 15 to 25

#21-Faith Justifies Because It Apprehends the Merit of Christ

“These blessings are offered unto us through the Holy Spirit, in the promises of the Gospel; and faith is the only medium through which we apprehend and receive them, and apply and appropriate them to ourselves. This faith is a gift of God, through which we rightly acknowledge Christ, our Redeemer, in the Word of the Gospel, and confide in him, that, namely, for the sake of his obedience alone, we have forgiveness of sins through grace, are reputed of God the Father as righteous and just, and are eternally saved. Accordingly, these propositions are equivalent, and regarded as one and the same, when Paul, Rom. 3:28, says: ‘That a man is justified by faith;’ or, Rom. 4:5, that ‘faith is counted’ unto us ‘for righteousness;’ and when he says, that ‘by the obedience of one’ mediator, Christ, ‘shall many be made righteous;’ or, that ‘by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men, unto justification of life,’ Rom. 5:18–19. For faith justifies us, not because it is a work of great value and an eminent virtue, but because it apprehends and receives the merit of Christ in the promise of the holy Gospel; for this merit must be applied and appropriated unto ourselves through faith, if we shall be justified by it. Hence that righteousness, which is imputed to faith, or to believers, before God, through grace alone, is the obedience, the sufferings, and the resurrection of Christ, by which he has rendered complete satisfaction unto the law for us, and made expiation for our sins” (Formula of Concord, Full Declaration, III, Henkel p. 632-633).

#20-The Righteousness of Faith

“For the purpose, therefore, of explaining this controversy in a Christian manner, according to the analogy of the Word of God, and of deciding it by his grace, our doctrine, faith, and confession, we declare to be the following:  Concerning the righteousness of faith before God, we believe, teach, and confess unanimously, according to the preceding summary of our Christian faith and confession, that poor sinful man is justified before God—that is, absolved and declared free from all his sins, and from the sentence of his well-deserved condemnation, and is adopted as a child and an heir of eternal life—without any human merit or worthiness, and without any antecedent, present, or subsequent works, out of pure grace, for the sake of the merit, the perfect obedience, the bitter sufferings and death, and the resurrection of Christ our Lord alone; whose obedience is imputed unto us for righteousness” (Formula of Concord, Full Declaration, III, Henkel p. 632).

#19-If Justification by Faith is not Pure, It is Impossible to Resist Any Error

“This article concerning justification by faith is, as the Apology declares, the leading article of the whole Christian doctrine; without which a disturbed conscience can have no sure consolation, or rightly conceive the riches of the grace of Christ ; as Dr. Luther has written: ‘If this single article remain pure, the whole Christian community will also remain pure and harmonious, and without any factions; but if it remain not pure, it is impossible to resist any error or fanatical spirit.’ Vol. V. page 159, edit. Jen. Lat. Vol. III. page 397. And with respect to this article in particular, Paul, 1 Cor. 5:6 ; Gal. 5:9, says: ‘A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.’ For that reason he enforces in this article, with so much earnestness and zeal, the particulæ exclusivæ,—namely, the words, ‘without law,’ ‘without works,’ ‘by grace,’ (Rom. 3:28 ; Rom. 4:5 ; Eph. 2:8–9,) by which the works of man are excluded,—for the purpose of showing how highly necessary it is, in this article, not only to unfold the true doctrine, but also to set forth the contrary doctrines, that they may be discriminated, exposed, and rejected” (Formula of Concord, Full Declaration, III, Henkel p. 632).