#2-Marriage for Humankind, Not Animals

For the sage says that parents provide goods and houses for their children, but a wife is given by God alone [Prov. 19:14], everyone according to his need, just as Eve was given to Adam by God alone. And true though it is that because of excessive lust of the flesh lighthearted youth pays scant attention to these matters, marriage is nevertheless a weighty matter in the sight of God. For it was not by accident that Almighty God instituted the estate of matrimony only for man and above all animals, and gave such forethought and consideration to marriage. To the other animals God says quite simply, “Be fruitful and multiply” [Gen. 1:22]. It is not written that he brings the female to the male. Therefore, there is no such thing as marriage among animals. But in the case of Adam, God creates for him a unique, special kind of wife out of his own flesh. He brings her to him, he gives her to him, and Adam agrees to accept her. Therefore, that is what marriage is.

A woman is created to be a companionable helpmeet to the man in everything, particularly to bear children. And that still holds good, except that since the fall marriage has been adulterated with wicked lust. And now [i.e., after the fall] the desire of the man for the woman, and vice versa, is sought after not only for companionship and children, for which purposes alone marriage was instituted, but also for the pursuance of wicked lust, which is almost as strong a motive” (Luther’s Works, vol. 44, p.8).

Galatians Bible Study, Pt. 44: Walking by the Spirit

Class #44:  What follows from St. Paul’s teaching of justification by grace through faith?  The Christian life becomes a gift of freedom to love the neighbor.  However, the Christian still carries within him the flesh which lusts against the Spirit, creating contradictory desires.  As a result, the Christian walks by the Spirit, so that he does not fulfill the sinful desires of the flesh.

The Christian is conscious of the sin within him, so that by confession he can resist the word/deed.  In great weakness, the Christian battles the rebellion and prayerfully desires to be free of sin.  We need neither despair, nor be surprised at the conflict within us.  Thankfully, those remaining sinful desires are not imputed to the believer.

Overhead: Galatians Class 44 Overhead
Handout: Galatians Bible Study Chapter 5 16 thru 21

#1- Marriage is From God

“God created Adam and brought all the animals before him. Adam did not find a proper companion among them suitable for marriage, so God then said, “It is not good that Adam should be alone. I will create a helpmeet for him to be with him always.” And he sent a deep sleep upon Adam, and took a rib from him, and dosed his side up again. And out of this very rib taken from Adam, God created a woman and brought her to him. Then Adam said, “This is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called a woman, because she was taken from her man. This is why a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh” [Gen. 2:18–24].

All of this is from God’s word. These words teach us where man and woman come from, how they were given to one another, for what purpose a wife was created, and what kind of love there should be in the estate of marriage.

If God himself does not give the wife or the husband, anything can happen. For the truth indicated here is that Adam found no marriageable partner for himself, but as soon as God had created Eve and brought her to him, he felt a real married love toward her, and recognized that she was his wife. Those who want to enter into the estate of marriage should learn from this that they should earnestly pray to God for a spouse.” (Luther’s Works, vol. 44, p.7-8).

Catechesis on Second-Last Sunday (Matthew 25:31-46)

On Wednesday nights, Trinity Lutheran Church(Herrin, IL) offers to both children and adults an opportunity for teaching with Learn-by-Heart at 6:30 PM and a catechetical service at 7:00.

In this video from November 15, 2017, we learned stanza 2-3 of “O Bride of Christ, Rejoice” (The Lutheran Hymnal, #57), the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer and meaning from Luther’s Small Catechism.  This service is designed to prepare God’s people for the theme of the upcoming Sunday Divine Service.  The dialog sermon explains Jesus’ teaching on the sheep and the goats (St. Matthew 25:31-46, which is the Holy Gospel for the Second-Last Sunday in the Church Year.

The service concludes with “Recite Word by Word” (pdf link below).  [Length: 1 hour, 4 minutes.   Note: the video caption says “Third-Last…,”
but it really is “Second-last….”]

Bulletin: Catechesis 2nd Last Sunday – 11-15-2017
Hymn: TLH 57
Responsive Prayer: Recite Word by Word

Galatians Bible Study, Pt. 43: Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

Class #43:  Where there is no concord in the true Christian doctrine, there is also no peace in Christian love. Parties and factions form based on human law opinions. Making demands for particular external works, these self-appointed life-styles create dissension and thus cause limitations on love. In the end, each one bites and devours the other. For the Christian, the law reveals sin and the Gospel message is to be trusted for righteousness/ forgiveness. The forgiven Christian is free to serve the neighbor in love–the true spiritual life.  We carry each others burdens.

This lesson examines a list of good works compiled by Dr. Martin Luther.  It may not be what you would expect.  Some are passive directing us not to strike back when offended or harmed.  Others are mundane works within your vocation.  We also consider a list of those who are “your neighbor.”

Overhead: Galatians Class 43 Overhead
Handout: Galatians Bible Study Chapter 5 16 thru 21

#71- You Have No Ability To Pray Except in Christ Jesus

“For if we prayed without faith, this would be to curse twice over, as we learned in our nasty papistical holiness. But where there is a believing heart and that heart has before it the promise of God it quite simply and artlessly prays its ‘Our Father’ and is heard. Outside of this church of God you may present your prayers and supplications to great lords and potentates to the best of your ability, but here you have no ability to pray except in Christ Jesus, in order that we may not boast that we are holy as they do in the papacy, who protest, of course, and say: Oh, it would be a presumption for anybody to call himself holy and fit; and yet they teach that man of himself has a ‘certain preparation’ for prayer.

They also teach prayer according to this doctrine in their chants and say: I have prayed in despair as a poor sinner. Oh, stop that kind of praying! It would be better to drop such praying altogether if you despair. For despair ruins everything and if you go to baptism, prayer, and the sacrament without faith and in despair, you are actually mocking God. What you should quickly say, however, is this: I am certain that my dear God has so commanded and that he has assured me of the forgiveness of sins; therefore I will baptize, absolve, and pray. And immediately you will receive this treasure in your heart. It does not depend on our worthiness or unworthiness, for both of these can only make us despair. Therefore do not allow yourself by any means to be driven to despair. For it is a mockery of God when we do not believe the words, ‘Go and baptize’ [Matt. 28:19], that is, baptize those who repent and are sorry for their sins. Here you hear that this is not human work, but the work of God the Father; he is the Householder who wills to dwell here. But if we despair, then we should stay away from the sacrament and from prayer, and first learn to say: All right, it makes no difference that I am unworthy, God is truthful nevertheless, and he has most certainly promised and assured us; I’ll stake my life on this” (Luther’s Works, v. 51, p. 307-308).

Galatians Bible Study, Pt. 42: Freedom FOR…

Class #42:  We often speak of how we are saved FROM sin, death and the power of the devil.  With Galatians 5:13ff, St. Paul tell us what we were saved FOR.  Having been slaves, we were called by the Gospel NOT FOR indulging the flesh, but FOR serving one another in love.  Having laid the true foundation (salvation through faith in Jesus alone), St. Paul directs us to build on that foundation by good works of love toward the neighbor.

When it come to the true doctrine, we are to hold firmly to the Word and not give up even one teaching.  When it comes to the life of others, we generously forgive sins, as love bears with all things.

Overhead: Galatians Class 42 Overhead
Handout: Galatians Bible Study Chapter 5 16 thru 21