Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 27: Lord’s Supper Sacrament, then Sacrifice

The Lord’s Supper is a sign of God’s will toward man that He is gracious and desires to save us. In the Lord’s Supper, the Lord is giving out His gifts of Christ’s Body and Blood for the forgiveness of sins. “And just as the Word has been given in order to excite faith, so the Sacrament has been instituted in order that the outward appearance meeting the eyes might move the heart to believe [and strengthen faith]. For through these, namely, through Word and Sacrament, the Holy Ghost works” (Ap XXIV, 70).

The principle use of the Lord’s Supper is for God to give out forgiveness and create/strengthen faith in terrified consciences.  Nevertheless, when we remember the benefits (which Christ purchased, and which He is giving out in this Supper) and receive them by faith in accordance with the words of institution, then by our use of the sacrament, there is added a secondary use: we praise God! Receiving the Lord’s Supper for the principle use which God intended has the effect of thanksgiving(a secondary use).  The person receiving the Lord’s Supper as a sacrament, holds the gift in high esteem and praises God for His benefits. “And the Fathers, indeed, speak of two-fold effect, of the comfort of consciences, and of thanksgiving, or praise” (Ap XXIV, 75). The highest worship of God is to receive His gifts!  “…so the reception itself of the Lord’s Supper can be praise or thanksgiving” (Ap XXIV, 33).

“Thus the worship and divine service of the Gospel is to receive from God gifts; on the contrary, the worship of the Law is to offer and present our gifts to God. We can, however, offer nothing to God unless we have first been reconciled and born again. This passage, too, brings the greatest consolation, as the chief worship of the Gospel is to wish to receive remission of sins, grace, and righteousness. Of this worship Christ says, John 6, 40: This is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life” (Bente, Ap IV, Reply…, 189).

Overhead 1: Lords-Supper-Compared-Nov-25-2018.pdf
Overhead 2: Overheads-for-Nov-25-2018.pdf
Handout 1: Sacrament-in-AP-XXIV-Handout-for-Nov-18-2018.pdf

#72 Give Thanks, Be Married and Raise Up Children

You ought to thank the almighty, eternal God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you can boast of the ordinance of God and the holy estate of matrimony. Keep it and raise up your children in the name of God. You don’t need to worry about whether you are condemned by God for it, nor will he judge you for the work’s sake; this I know for certain. Indeed, the fact that you are married, as long as you are a Christian, will be a great glory and honor to you on the last day. And now, and as long as you live, be confident in every hour that you are living in an estate which was instituted by God and is pleasing to him. Let pope and bishops who are opposed to it fulminate and growl and the more they boast of their vow and condemn the married state the more let us be proud of the ordinance of God in which we live, for this God and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, is and will remain an everlasting God, whereas the pope and his rabble will wither like the grass of the field or quickly vanish away like a bubble.

But it is also required that every Christian should remain in the estate and calling in which he has been placed by God and faithfully discharge its duties; then God adds felicity and blessing. May God grant us this and be praised to all eternity. Amen. (“Sermon at Marriage of Sigismund von Luindenau, 1545Luther’s Works, v. 51, p.366-367)

Abraham Endowed with All Virtues

Thus you see that the holy patriarch Abraham is endowed with all virtues.  For the sake of his nephew Lot he serves in utmost love those who were unworthy of his kindnesses. When he has achieved the victory, he is not eager to increase his wealth and power but has a heart that is free of ambition, greed, and other lusts; and he clings only to the promise of eternal life and to the Possessor of heaven and earth….

How much different the ungodly descendants are from their father! Abraham is content with eternal and spiritual benefits, and those that are material he proudly disdains; but they neither expect nor seek anything but what is material. They are so little concerned about the spiritual benefits that they even persecute and hate the preaching of the Gospel, because it is a doctrine that gives no instruction about wealth and power but only about the forgiveness of sins.

Thus Abraham is described to us here as full of faith and of hope concerning eternal life.  He makes use of this earthly victory as of a field or any other thing that serves only to exercise the body but does not give the heart cause for worry.  His heart he keeps attached to the mercy of God and to the promise of the future Seed, in accordance with the statement of the psalm (62:10): “If riches increase, set not your heart on them.”

He has a wife, servants, and maids; but he has all these as though he did not have them.  He is a true monk; for he truly despises the pleasures, glories, and riches of the world, and with his whole heart he is engaged in waiting for the promise concerning Christ.  For this alone he longs and wishes, but other things he rates far below this and almost disregards in comparison with this superb gift” (On Genesis 14:21-24, Luther’s Works, Vol. 2, p.397).


Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 26: Lord’s Supper Sacrament or Sacrifice?

After a brief review, we show how God has been teaching the same thing in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Jesus Christ is the one propitiatory sacrifice which merits forgiveness. God is giving out that forgiveness through the promise of His Word to be received by faith. Second, we apply the terms sacrament or sacrifice to the Reformed, Scriptural, and Roman teaching concerning the Lord’s Supper.

–The Reformed churches teach that Lord’s Supper is a sacrifice which man does in order to honor God.  The reformed reenact the Lord’s Supper to show their obedience toward God.  It is a mark of their will to love God.  When others see it, then they know that this person is a Christian.

–The Roman church considers the Lord’s Supper to be a sacrifice in which the Roman priest offers up the Lord’s Supper to merit forgiveness of sins for the living and the dead. Faith in not required to receive benefits.

–The Scriptures teach that the Lord’s Supper is a sacrament, in which God graciously desires to give us the forgiveness of sins merited by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.  The Lord’s Supper is a sign of God’s will toward man.

Handout 1: Sacrament-in-AP-XXIV-Handout-for-Nov-18-2018.pdf
Overheads 1 (Review): Overheads-for-Nov-18-2018-Review.pdf
Overheads 2: Overheads-for-Nov-18-2018-Comparison.pdf

#71 Those Who Despised Marriage Will Be Judged

This assurance and boast is given us by this text: “Let the marriage bed be undefiled among all.” But this is followed by these words: “God will judge the immoral and adulterous.”

Here is pronounced the judgment that no whoremonger or adulterer will escape God’s judgment. Here our adversaries, the enemies of marriage, must stop, and it will be no help for them to boast and appeal to their vows; for they are the real, true adulterers, who prevent marriage and forbid people to be married. But when our Lord Jesus Christ comes on the last day to judge the living and the dead, God will not judge the married, for they are in his ordinance. Oh, what an unspeakable comfort that is for all married people in their estate! How confidently they can await the glorious coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For an apple tree or some other tree which bears its kinds of fruit will not be judged on the last day because it bears apples or is defiled by caterpillars and worms. No, for it was created by God for the purpose of bearing apples and fruit. So married people, who are wedded and bear children and live pure wedded lives, will not be judged because of this.

But the immoral and adulterous, who live outside of this state {of marriage} in defilement and impurity, such as the pope and cardinals, bishops, canons, monks, nuns, etc., who forbid marriage and themselves engage in all kinds of abominable lust and vileness and so woefully befoul the holy estate of matrimony, God will judge on that day. Then the true judgment will be made….(“Sermon at Marriage of Sigismund von Luindenau, 1545Luther’s Works, v. 51, p.365-366)

Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 25 Old Testament Sacrifices

In the Old Testament, the Triune God directed and provided for a Levitical priesthood and a sacrificial system for the Israelites. He included a faith-creating promise with these sacrifices. Thus, God’s Old Testament provisions are to be considered sacraments.

The Apology to the Augsburg Confession, XXIV, 53, “…the Levitical priesthood was an image of the priesthood of Christ. For the Levitical sacrifices for sins did not merit the remission of sins before God; they were only an image of the sacrifice of Christ, which was to be the one propitiatory sacrifice, as we have said above. 54] Therefore the Epistle is occupied to a great extent with the topic that the ancient priesthood and the ancient sacrifices were instituted not for the purpose of meriting the remission of sins before God or reconciliation, but only to signify the future sacrifice of Christ alone. 55] For in the Old Testament it was necessary for saints to be justified by faith derived from the promise of the remission of sins that was to be granted for Christ’s sake, just as saints are also justified in the New Testament. From the beginning of the world it was necessary for all saints to believe that Christ would be the promised offering and satisfaction for sins, as Isaiah 53, 10 teaches: When Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin.

56] Since, therefore, in the Old Testament, sacrifices did not merit reconciliation, unless by a figure (for they merited civil reconciliation), but signified the coming sacrifice, it follows that Christ is the only sacrifice applied on behalf of the sins of others. Therefore, in the New Testament no sacrifice is left to be applied for the sins of others, except the one sacrifice of Christ upon the cross.

The Old Testament Prophets continued to condemn the opinion of the people who thought that God was pleased with works-righteous sacrifices, simply on account of their having done the work apart from faith.

Handout 1: The-Third-Genus-Prophet-Priest-Pages-1-8.pdf
Handout 2: Sacrament-in-AP-XXIV-Handout-for-Nov-4-2018.pdf
Overheads 1 (Review): Sacrament-Sacrifice-Overheads-on-November-4-2018.pdf
Overheads 2: OT-Sacrifice-Overheads-on-November-11-2018b.pdf
Overheads 3: Jeremiah-7-Hear-Obey.pdf

#70 Purity In Marriage is Marital Faithfulness and Duty

Those who bring forth children outside of marriage are parents too, it is true; but there is no honor in it. Therefore it is said, “Let the marriage bed be undefiled.” In other words, let it not be a whore’s bed or an adulterous bed….  St. Paul is … speaking of the purity which should obtain in the marriage estate, that married people should not be fornicators or adulterers and adulteresses. Whatever else occurs in the married state God covers up, for, after all, it is done in order to bring forth children and God approves of this, for it is his ordinance.

This kind of impurity {of fornication}, says God, I do not see {in marriage}. Here parents, fathers and mothers, or married people, are excused; God will not consider it impurity on account of inherited sin, nor will he consider it to be a sin. God will rather build his kingdom of heaven over this work and cover up everything that is unclean in it for the sake of his ordinance and creation.  This is the kind of purity St. Paul means when he says: “Let the marriage bed be undefiled.” He is not talking about cleanness in eating and drinking, but rather about marital faithfulness and duty, in which one trusts the other, keeps away from all other persons, and is content with his own spouse; this is what he calls purity. (“Sermon at Marriage of Sigismund von Luindenau, 1545Luther’s Works, v. 51, p.364-365)

Catechesis on Trinity 22 (St. Matthew 18:21-35)

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 October 24, 2018, we learned stanza 2 of “The Night Will soon Be Ending” (Hymnal Supplement #806, Lutheran Service Book #337), the introduction and first petition of the Lord’s Prayer and the 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’ story about the unmerciful servant (St. Matthew 18:21-35), which is the Holy Gospel for the Twenty-Second Sunday after Trinity.

The service concludes with “Recite Word by Word” (pdf link below).    [Length: 1 hour and 2 minutes]

Bulletins:  Catechesis-Trinity-22-10-24-2018-On-line.pdf
Responsive Prayer:  Recite-Word-by-Word.pdf

Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 24 Sacrament-Sacrifice

In the Old Testament, God demanded sacrifices to make atonement for sins(Lev 17:11). However, in the New Testament it says, “…For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Hebrews 10:1-4). In order to figure out this conundrum, we first make a distinction between those ceremonies/sacred works which are sacraments and those which are sacrifices. Next, we make a distinction between the two kinds of sacrifices: propitiatory and eucharistic. Our high Priest, according to both His human and divine natures, made the only propitiatory sacrifice to merit the forgiveness of sins. All other sacrifices are eucharistic sacrifices, which do not merit forgiveness, but instead give honor and thanks to God for the forgiveness of sins which a person has already received.

The Apology to the Augsburg Confession, XXIV, 27 makes it clear that, “The Jews also did not understand their ceremonies aright, and imagined that they were righteous before God when they had wrought works ex opere operato. Against this the prophets contend with the greatest earnestness.”  The Old Testament Prophets continued to condemn the opinion of the people who thought that God was pleased with works-righteous sacrifices, simply on account of their having done the work apart from faith.

Handout 1: The-Third-Genus-Prophet-Priest-Pages-1-8.pdf
Handout 2: Sacrament-in-AP-XXIV-Handout-for-Nov-4-2018.pdf
Overheads: Sacrament-Sacrifice-Overheads-on-November-4-2018.pdf