#2- Parents, Keep Your Children Faithfully Learning the Catechism

1 This sermon has been undertaken for the instruction of children and uneducated people. Hence from ancient times it has been called in Greek, a “catechism” — that is, instruction for children. 2 Its contents represent the minimum of knowledge required of a Christian. Whoever does not possess it should not be reckoned among Christians nor admitted to a sacrament,2 just as a craftsman who does not know the rules and practices of his craft is rejected and considered incompetent. 3 For this reason young people should be thoroughly instructed in the various parts of the Catechism or children’s sermons and diligently drilled in their practice.

4 Therefore, it is the duty of every head of a household to examine his children and servants at least once a week and ascertain what they have learned of it, and if they do not know it, to keep them faithfully at it. 5 I well remember the time when there were old people who were so ignorant that they knew nothing of these things — indeed, even now we find them daily — yet they come to Baptism and the Sacrament of the Altar and exercise all the rights of Christians, although those who come to the sacrament ought to know more and have a fuller understanding of all Christian doctrine than children and beginners at school. 6 As for the common people, however, we should be satisfied if they learned the three parts which have been heritage of Christendom from ancient times, though they were rarely taught and treated correctly, so that all who wish to be Christians in fact as well as in name, both young and old, may be well-trained in them and familiar with them. (Shorter Preface of Large Catechism -Tappert, p. 362).

#1A Creation: The Creation Museum (Boone County, Kentucky)

This past summer our congregation took a trip to visit the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter.  This year’s bulletin pictures will be taken from those two museums.

“At the Creation Museum, we explain the two different starting points, and by doing so, put each visitor on the right road. We start with the foundation of God’s Word, beginning in Genesis. Then we walk you through the Bible from the beginning to the end. This enable us to explain the gospel from the foundation up” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.101).

Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 28: Priesthood and the Pastor

Jesus, the God-man, is our high priest! He made the one and only propitiatory sacrifice to merit the forgiveness of sins before God.  The Levitical priesthood and sacrifices have ceased. “Accordingly the New Testament, since Levitical services have been abrogated, teaches that new and pure sacrifices will be made, namely, faith, prayer, thanksgiving, confession, and the preaching of the Gospel, afflictions on account of the Gospel, and the like” (Ap, XXIV, 30, Bente, page 395). The Scriptures do speak of New Testament believers as “a holy priesthood” and “a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5,9). That priesthood (with an emphasis on the group of believers) is the church. In the New Testament these priests actively participate as laymen receiving the Lord’s gifts with praise and thanksgiving. When the Scriptures do talk about individual Christians as priests, it is always speaking about either living in our vocation(Romans 12:1-2, Hebrews 13:15-16), or about dying to sin and rising to new life(Psalm 51:13-19).

Among American protestants, the priesthood of believers is usually misunderstood to teach that individual Christians are all ministers. That is not the Scriptural teaching. God calls one of the priests to be a servant/minister to the priesthood. The pastor is not an Old Testament priest offering up sacrifices for the people. The pastor publicly preaches the Gospel and administers the sacraments to the priesthood (1 Cor 4:1). The pastor is an “ambassador for Christ” (2 Cor 5:17-21) so that the priesthood might receive the Lord’s gifts. God is reconciling the world though the Ministry(Pastoral Office) of Reconciliation which preaches the Word of reconciliation so that people come to believe! The pastor’s sacrifice, according to his vocation, is to preach the Law and the Gospel. The law kills the Old Adam in his hearers and the gospel creates faith and new life.

Overhead 1: Overheads-for-Dec-2-2018.pdf
Handout 1: AP-XXIV-Handout-for-Dec-2-2018.pdf
Handout 2 (yellow sheet): The-Third-Genus-Prophet-Priest-Pages-1-8.pdf

#1- Educate Your Children

“…So, too, the Fourth Commandment must be stressed when instructing children and the common people in order that they may be encouraged to be orderly, faithful, obedient, and peaceful. Always adduce many examples from the Scriptures to show how God punished and blessed.

19 You should also take pains to urge governing authorities and parents to rule wisely and educate their children. They must be shown that they are obliged to do so, and that they are guilty of damnable sin if they do not do so, for by such neglect they undermine and lay waste both the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the world and are the worst enemies of God and man. 20 Make very plain to them the shocking evils they introduce when they refuse their aid in the training of children to become pastors, preachers, notaries, etc., and tell them that God will inflict awful punishments on them for these sins. It is necessary to preach about such things. The extent to which parents and governing authorities sin in this respect is beyond telling. The devil also has a horrible purpose in mind” (Small Catechism -Tappert, p. 340).

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