Full Text for CTM Outlines on the Wuerttemberg Epistle Selections 13-5 (Text)

Qrur rbiu r 10 fSntttlJl Continuing LEHRE UNO VVEHRE MAGAZIN FUER E .-LUTH. HOMlLETIK THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY-ThEOLOGICAL M o THLY Vol. XUI 1\ y, 1942 No.5 CONTENTS Page Leading Thoughts on Eschatolo~ in the Epistles to the Thessalonians. L. Fuerbringer ....................... .... .............. _ ............... 321 Luther: A Blessing to the English. W. Dallmann .............. ___ .......... _ 330 Conscience. E. W. A. Ko. Iller .... _ ................ _. ............... _ .. _ ......... 337 Outlines on the Wuerttemberg Epistle Selections ... _ .......... __ ........... 36-1 Miscell. I ca ._ .... _ ..... _ .._ ......... _ ... __ ................. _._ ... _ ......... __ . ____ ........... _ .. _._ .. .. _ .......... 378 Theological Observer. - Kirchllch-Zeitge I'hid IIh:11I ..... .. _ ......•. _ 389 Book Review. - Literatur ................ _ .. _ ............. _ .. .. . _ ................... _._ ........... 393 El.n Prediger m U£5 nieht allein wei- den, also d.... "die Sc t r - d e, ·Ie · chii' Christen !ou nln, ~d~n BUM daneben den \I; oel- ten we r Il, das~ .. Ie dle Schafe nieht angr~ CD und mit talseher Lehre ver- tuehren und Irrtum elnfuehren. LuthEM' Es 1st kein D1.: , do di Leul mehr bel der .K.c.~e d e!t dcnn dle gute Pre gt. - Apolo¢e, Art. 24 It the trumpet glve an uncerts1n sound, who shall pre ~ e himself to the battle? -1 COT. 1':8 for the Ev. Luth. Synod of Missouri Ohio, and her St tes CONCORDIA PUBLlSWNG HOUSE S . Loul Mo. I 364 Outlines on the Wuerttemberg Epistle Selections While it is true that the affections and lusts of the old Adam enter largely into the Ufe of every individual, it cannot be denied that conscience, operating on sound moral principles, develops a moral character and produces a moral IiIe. Its influence enters into the various ramifications of human conduct, and, subjecting man to the judgment of God, it l'eaches out into eternity. We are counselors of conscience to our people. What a l'esponsibility! Let us see to it that in all matters of moral conduct we give them sound counsel and instruction from the Word of God. But at the same time, let us address ourselves not merely to their intellect, but follow the advice Dr. F. Pieper gave his students: "Suchen Sie das Gewissen zu treffen." If the things we teach our people become a matter of conscience with them, then their con- science will urge them to observe in life what we have taught them. In our pastoral practice we have to deal with all sorts of consciences, and it requires wisdom and tact to treat them properly. Profes- sionally, therefore, it is of importance to us to give some thought and study to the functions and the treatment of conscience. River Forest, Ill. E. W. A. KOEHLER 4 • ~ Outlines on the Wuerttemberg Epistle Selections Fourth Sunday after Easter 1 Thess.2:9-13 Work, work, work! Each and all, severally and jointly, as in- dividuals, as congregation - work! Some complain that they are overtaxed by legalistic compulsion or overworked by overorgani- zation. Before a congregation can work at all, work must have been done upon it; if it should continue working, work upon it must keep it in working condition. Today, then, we shift from work rendered by the congregation to work done upon the con- gregation for its welfare. The Welfare of the Congregation Requires Work 1. God's work 2. The pastor's work 3. The Word's work 1 The Gospel of God is mentioned v. 9, and v. 13 we find the word fvE:Qyd"tU~, energize, exert energy. Paul preached the Gospel of God to the congregation. He preached that Christ died for them and that He arose again. Justification. Christ worked to obtain it for man; He labored to redeem, Is. 43: 24,25; 53; Eph. 5: 2,25-27. Active and passive obedience. - Christ justified the Thessalonians by His travail and triumph before they knew of it. Rom. 5: 8,10. Re worked for the congregation before it existed by working that it Outlines on the Wuerttemberg Epistle Selections 365 might exist and enjoy all spiritual privileges. His work is its foundation. - Then the Holy Spirit did His work upon the Thes- salonians, v.12. What was the result? The same as Eph. 2: 1-10. Sanctification. Third Article. Complete salvation wrought by divine labor and operation. We read of no complaint made by the Thessalonians of being overtired, but rather: 1: 3, and later: 2 Thess. 1: 3, 4; 3: 13. Have any among us lost zeal in the spiritual work assigned to us? Are we becoming weak, while the Thessalonians were strong under the pain of persecution? Is there any indication of Laodicean lethargy? Let us evaluate what God has wrought upon us from eternity, in time, now, and will work for eternity. His work upon us is truly undeserved work of love. The Gospel of God tells us that. 2 Cor. 5: 15. 2 The text reads like a faithful pastor's official report to his con- gregation. Paul labored and travailed at the birth and for the life of the congregation - exhorting, comforting, charging, preaching. (And all this, waiving his right to an adequate salary, v.6, which at best would be insufficient in comparison with his invaluable service, 1 Cor. 9: 11, offering for his privileged disregard of the divine order, Luke 10: 7; 1 Cor. 9: 14; Gal. 6: 6.7; 1 Tim. 5: 17, the excuse of Christian pastoral love, rejecting the thought of estab- lishing a precedent.) Paul served with intense zeal publicly (preaching) and privately (every one of you), tirelessly (without ceasing). He adorned the doctrine with a godly life, v. 10; he served well as an example to all, in prosperity and in adversity. He notarizes, as it were, his report, as one would an affidavit, with a solemn oath, calling upon God as the witness of truth and upon the congregation as the evidence, the exhibit, of the truth. - Every- one was in need of all this labor upon that congregation. Paul labored strictly along the plan designed by God for the welfare of the congregation, and he thanks God for the success of the plan. No pastor should, on peril of his soul, report faithfulness to doctrine, practice, life, to God and his congregation unless he can confirm his report with an oath without committing perjury.- God emphasizes the importance of the pastor's work. According to God's order, Eph. 4: 11-15, the welfare of the congregation re- quires the service of a faithful pastor. An extended vacancy is detrimental, as also experience proves. But the pastor must not be expected to do the tasks which the members must perform per- sonally as their own Christian duties. Let the congregation learn to estimate the work of the pastor . and to evaluate his example of life. Then the congregation, realiz- ing what work is being done for its welfare, will not become weary in welldoing. 366 Outlines on the Wuerttemberg Epistle Selections 3 God works for our welfare by means of the -Word, which js the spirit of His mouth, v. 13. The faithful pastor, God's co-worker, works for our welfare by means of the ~Nord, which is the power of God unto salvation. God, the Author of the Word, gave it by inspiration. VIe see that Word in operation in the congregation at Thessalonica, as God's power effectively working on the hearers, administering doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction, comfort, as the entire text states, perfecting the believers in faith and life for time and eternity, because it gives and conveys Jesus Christ. "Also in you" the Word proves to be the power of God. You see its success upon us. Every other work which would crowd out the work of the Word must be energetically opposed. The welfare of the congregation comes only by means .of the Word. Lul{e 11: 28. You are a highly favored congregation. Show your appreciation by observing actively v.12. G. H. SMUKAL Fifth Sunday after Easter 1 Tim. 6:11-16 Many people have false ideas about the way to eternal liie. Some believe that eternal life will come to them as a due reward from God for their good deeds; others believe that etenlal life will come to those who hold ce.:tain religious opinions and observe certain ceremonies, regardless of their conduct in Lfe. We must know the truth about the way to eternal life. If one misunder- stands road directions, one may get lost; but one can turn back and start over. However if one does not underst:md the way to heaven correctly, he will be lost forever, unless he is shown the right way. Lay Hold of Eternal Life! 1. Helve faith in the Selvior 3. Flee from sin 2. Confess His name 4. Follow after Christian, virtue 1 "Fight the good fight of faith"; to do this, one must have faith in Jesus. This most important truth, briefly stated here) is repeated in many places in the Bible: Mark 16: 16a; Rom. 1: 17; 4: 3; John 3: 16; and many others. It is evident that faith in Jesus is the hand that takes the gift of eternal hie. But what js faith? We must know whether we have faith, 2 Cor. 13: 5. Faith is not a sweet, pleasant feeling that everything will be all right; j t is a conviction, based on God's promise, that our sins are forgiven and that God will take us to heaven. If you know that you are a sinner cast out by God, if you are sorry that Outlines on the Wuerttemberg Epistle Selections 367 you sinned, if you believe that the blood of Jesus has cleansed you from your sins and that God has forgiven them all: that is faith in the Savior, based on God's Word and promise. If you have that faith, then you have eternal life, John 3: 36. 2 We cannot, however, retain this faith unless we are willing to confess Jesus' name. st. Paul tells Timothy that he has made a good confession, v.12, even as Jesus did before Pilate, v.13. And this confession voiced by Timothy is demanded of Christians in many places in Scripture: Rom. 10: 9; Phil. 2: 11; 1 John 4: 15. Men of God, who were on the way to eternal life, confessed their faith: Matt. 16: 16; John 20: 28. Some things are desirable in the Christian's life, but not ab- solutely necessary for salvation: Walther League, voting member- ship, ladies' aid, men's club, etc. Since denial of our Savior and His holy name will rob us of salvation, Matt. 10: 32, we must confess His name and let people know that we are Christians. There must be something about us that tells people what we are. One way of making this confession is by belonging to Christ's Church, by at- tending services and by going to Communion. Open adherence to the true Church is a courageous confession of Christ. 3 Those who desire eternal life must flee from sin, v. 11. "These things" - what things? The apostle had named various sins in the preceding verses, particularly, v.10, the burning desire for money and the power that comes from money. The love of money is a ruinous thing and causes men to err from the faith, v. lOb; Saul became covetous and lied, 1 Sam. 15: 13; Ahab became covetous and committed murder, 1 Kings 21; Achan became covetous and committed theft, Josh. 7: 21; Judas became covetous and betrayed ":luist. And today the love of money leads men to theft, em- bezzlement, cheating, and many other sins. If a man does these things, if he serves sin in any form, he will err from the faith and be lost. Therefore a man of God must flee these things if he wants to remain on the way to eternal life. And anyone who believes that his sins are forgiven through his Savior will gladly flee these things out of gratitude to his Savior, who showed him so much love. 4 And the fourth requirement for those to consider who have laid hold on eternal life is to follow after Christian virtue, v. 11 h. It is not our privilege to choose whether we care to attain these virtues or not. They are fruits of faith. Where there is faith, these virtues will show themselves: obedience to God, kindness to 368 Outlines on the Wuertternberg Epistle Selections others, patience v..-ith another's weakness, readiness to forgive, and many more. We may be assured of receiving eternal life because we are called unto it, v.12. God will give us that to which He has called us, Rom. 8:30. Yet, having received eternal life as a gift of God's grace, 'we must lay hold on eternal life, not stand listlessly by, but grasp it with vigorous effort, an "aU-out effort." St. Paul commands Timothy to make such an earnest effort toward ills salvation) vv. 13, 14; to be prepared for the coming of Christ in His glory, VV. 14-16. Let us, then, prove our faith in Christ by confess.ing His name, by fleeing sin and following after virtue, lest we lose our hold on eternal life. Hymn "Fight the Good Fight." Ascension Day Heb.4:14-16 FREDERIC NIEDNER Our text speaks of a high priest. Many have a somewhat vague conception of the pecuUar work or office of a priest. Properly speaking, a priest is one who offers a sacrifice to God. In the 'Old Testament we read that priests daily offered sacrifices of lambs or goats to the Lord. The ordinary priest brought these daily sacrifices. But the Jews also had a high priest. He was the one who alone was per- mitted on the great Day of Atonement to enter the Most Holy Place of the Temple, there to bring a bloody sacrifice first for his own sins and then for the sins of the people, Heb. 9: 7-22. Now, aU this sacrificing by priests and by the high priest was symbolic only. Those sacrifices were to remind the people that in God's own appointed time a true, genuine High Priest was to come who was to bring one sacrifice for all sins and, having finished His work, return to His Father, Heb. 1: 3. Of this true High Priest and His ascent into heaven our text speaks. It answers the question Why Should We Confidently Trust Our Ascended High Priest Jesus Christ? We should confidently trust in Him 1. Because this High Priest, Jesus, is acceptable to God. He is acceptable a) Because of His sinless life, v. 15 b. The high priests of the Old Testament were sinful. Before they could appear before God for the pe<>ple, they had to bring a bloody sacrifice for their own sin. Jesus does not need to do this. He is sinless, Heb. 7: 26,27; John Outlines on the Wuerttemberg Epistle Selections 369 8: 46. He is the only man who because of His own life pleased God, Matt. 3: 17; Ps. 2: 7. b) Because of His sacrifice. Tr.:~ sacrifices of the Old Testa- ment did not actually atone for sin, Heb.l0:4; Micah 6:6,7. They only pictured the true, valid, and efficacious sacrifice. This valid, sin-removing sacrifice was made by Jesus when He offered up Himself, Heb.l0:l0-12; 1 John 1:7. Therefore our text calls Jesus "a great High Priest." This sacrifice is precious beyond all cal- culation. Therefore it pleased God. c) Our text mentions another reason why we may be sure that Jesus, our High Priest, is acceptable to God; namely, He has even now passed through the heavens, i. e.) above all heavens, v. 14. It is for this reason that we celebrate our Lord's ascension. We even set aside a specific day. We are to be sure Jesus, our High Priest, has gone where we hope to go. We are not only sure that God will accept Him; we know that He has accepted Him. Our High Priest's credentials have been approved. He has finished all that was to be done for us, and is now pleading our cause with the Father. He has told us: John 14: 3; 12: 26. Certainly we have every reason confidently to entrust our case to this High Priest, since God has received Him into the glories of heaven. 2. 'Because He is so well fitted to represent us and to aid us. Our text does not only declare that this High Priest is pleasing and acceptable to God, but also that He is so well fitted to represent us and to aid us, v. 15. a) He was "tempted in all things like as we are." A physician who does not understand your case is liable to make great mistakes, but we may have confidence in one who thoroughly understands our case. Jesus is not a stranger to our plight, our struggles, temptations, weakness. He Himself passed through life with all its trials and temptations. He was misunderstood, He was unjustly criticized and condemned. He was threatened and flattered. Satan tempted Him. Well-meaning friends misunderstood Him and troubled Him. Open enemies maligned and persecuted Him. Traitors betrayed Him. He is no stranger to the difficulties, trials, and little sorrows which beset us. Indeed, He is an understanding Helper. b) And more than this, He is a merciful High Priest. "He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities," He sees our danger, He knows the craft and deceit of our enemies; and He pities us, He wanls to help us. Even the Jews, \d~o rejected Him, ex- per ienced His love and kindness. He went 8Jter the lost sheep, H e gave His life for the sh eep; and over those who rejected Him, Hc \vept and said, "If thou hadst known," etc., Luke 19: 41,42. See 24 370 Outlines on the Wuerttemberg Epistle Selections how He dealt with ills weak disciples Peter and Thomas. Cer- tainly that is the kind of high priest we weak and sinful people need. Should all this not give us boldness to approach the throne of God's grace? We do not offer Him the filthy rags of our own righteousness, but the spotless, precious sacrifice of His own be- loved Son. Nor do we alone offer all this; the perfect, sinless Jesus, who is pleasing to God, offers God this sacrifice for us. Come then, v. 16. This Jesus, our High Priest, has been preached, proclaimed, and pointed out to all the world by all true prophets from the beginning of the world, Acts 10: 43; the angels of heaven have proclaimed illm; God from heaven has declared Himself satisfied with this High Priest and His sacrifice for our sins; the Holy Spirit continually testifies of Him and glorifies Him. Today again you have been told of the sacrifice for your sin. Remember Acts 4: 12. But: Hymn 220. MARTIN S. SOMMER Sunday after Ascension Day Col. 3:1-10 Nearly all things are now being put to the test, e. g., blood, lungs, heart, intelligence. The testing of spiritual life is mostly neglected. Yet that is even more important than all other testing. 2 Cor. 13: 5; Ps. 139: 23, 24. Christians, Put Your Christianity to the Test 1. Do you set your affections on the things above? 2. Do you possess the evidence of sincerity? 1 V.1a. Being Christians, you have been raised with Christ from spiritual death unto spiritual life, in Baptism, 2: 12, through faith of the operation of God. By faith you are partakers of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, and all the blessings accruing therefrom, Rom. 6: 3; Gal. 3: 26,27. By faith you have the forgiveness of all your trespasses, 2: 13 b, 14, through Him who has blotted out the handwriting. V.3. Ye are dead, dead to the Ceremonial Law and to man- made ordinances, 2:16-23, especially 20; dead to sin. Alive in Christ, dead to sin. Rom. 6: 12,14. V. 3 b. Your We is hid with Christ in God. Christ, though ever present with us, is now invisible, removed from the world of sense. He now lives to God, Rom. 6: 10. Even so the Christian's spiritual life. The world knows nothing of it; it knows neither Christ nor the Christian. It is wholly ignorant of the fact that Christ dwells in the believer, blesses him with all spiritual blessings in heavenly Outlines on the Wuerttembe)'g Epistle Selections 371 places, and motivates his life. To be sure, unbelievers cannot but notice some of the manifestations of the Christian's spiritual life. They ask, What is it that makes the Christian so different from others? Because they find no answer, they are ever ready with the verdict "Hypocrites." Even the Christian himself, though he is aware of his spiritual life and all that it includes, finds it all, its source and power, to be a mystery. But it will not always be hid, v.4. Christ, who is your Life, will appear, become visible to all men. Then shall ye Christians also appear with Him in glory. 1 John 3: 2. Therefore: Seek, keep seeking - set your affections on vv. 1 b, 2. On what? Not on things on earth. Paul is evidently referring to what he has just written, 2: 8 and 16-23, vain philos- ophies and man-made religions. They can give man no comfort, no direction or strength for the service of God. The same is true of all other things on earth: money, honor, etc. A Christian finds pleasure in his family, in his work, in art and music, etc. That is not wrong, provided it is of a kind that has God's approval, even blessing. But he must not forget that his chief concern should be directed toward the thlngs which are above. He should with his whole heart seek Him of whom Paul has written: 1: 13-23; 2: 9-15. Christians, put your Christianity to the test. Do you follow this admonition? Luke 12: 34,31 a. Is your Christianity worth much or little to you? Remember that all things else are of little importance and become insignificant in comparison with Christ and His blessings. 2 When you were raised with Christ, you became dead to sin, etc., VV. 9, 10. This, however, is a process which never comes to an end during your lifetime. Eph. 4: 22,24. "The Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die, with all sins and evil lusts." V.5, mortify, put to death, your members which are upon the earth. Rom. 6: 13, 19b. Put off the sins that defiJe your own person, sins against the Sixth Commandment, v.5b; the First Commandment, v.5c; Matt. 6: 24; 1 Tim. 6: 9,10. - For all these the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience, v. 6. Already in this life. Is God now pouring out His wrath upon our people because of just these sins? Surely on the day of reckoning. Remember v. 7. But now you are Christians. Put off all sins against the neighbor, vv. 8, 9. In your conversion you have put on the new man, v. 10; Eph. 4: 24. Do you let the "new man daily come forth and arise, who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever?" (See the Christian virtues mentioned in the verses following the text.) 372 Outlines on the Wuerttemberg Epistle Selections Christians, put your Christianity to the test. To put it in another way, is your new man constantly battling against the old, who is forever trying to gain the upper hand? If not, then you are a Christian in name only. If, on the other hand, you are constantly engaged in this warfare, that is an evidence of your sincerity. But just how determined and successful are you in your battle? Are you going from victory to victory, or are you suffering many defeats? What is to be done in order to become more suc- cessful? Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 2 Pet. 3: 18; Col. 1: 9-11. To this end make diligent use of the means of grace, v . 16. Pray for growth and strength. Watch and pray, Matt. 26 : 41; 1 Cor. 16: 13. Pentecost SWlday Acts 2:32-41 R. NEITZEL "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" This is the question which bewildered men and women are asking in these perilous times. Confusion and uncertainty have gripped the world and our nation. Also Christians look to the future with foreboding. That question was asked also at the first great day of Pentecost, and the first Pentecost sermon furnished the answer. It is an an- swer which is the answer today. Men and Brethren, What Shall We Do? 1. Repent 2. Look to the exalted Lord 3. Be assured of His unfailing promise 1 The people whom Peter addressed in his sermon had seen Christ in their midst for a long time. But in this audience there were many who had rejected Him; Peter openly accuses them of having crucified the Lord, v. 36. Now the enormity of their wrong- doing flashes through their minds; they "were pricked in their heart," v. 37. This was no time for them to shift the blame to others - to the leaders, to Pontius Pilate, or others - but to ask, "What shall we do?" Peter's answer is: "Repent." We also have lived through many pleasant and care-free years. Did we perhaps ignore Christ, regard Him as superfluous in our lives, find no time for His Word and for prayer? The Pentecost message to us also is this: Repent. Turn to the Savior in heartfelt sorrow and ask His forgiveness. Evil days are always a call to repentance. Amos 4: 6-11; Haggai 1: 9-11. In his urge to repentance Peter adds: "Save yourselves from this untoward generation," v.40. The world is always the same: Outlines on the Wuerttemberg Epistle Selections 373 greedy, selfish, the enemy of God's kingdom. The members of the visible Church are often not only in the world but also of the world. Neither long years of economic prosperity nor years of depression have brought a general return to God's Word. The Pentecost message of our text is a message also to the Church of our day to save itself from this untoward generation, Rom. 12: 2, and again avow its loyalty to God's Word. 2 Pentecost is removed by fifty days from Easter; yet in reality the events of these festivals are inseparably connected. The miracle of the first Pentecost was the work of the risen and exalted Lord, vv. 32, 33. The Old Testament writer had foretold the exaltation of the risen Lord, vv. 34,35. Tills first Christian congregation was to look to the exalted Lord Jesus as the Ruler over all the Church and over all His enemies. Today forces are at work in this world that seem to argue that the devil, not Christ, has assumed control: war, hatred, destruction, skepticism, despair, and reckless abandon to indulgence are seeking to overthrow everything that the Church in centuries of Christian work has attempted to build up . Can it sti1l be that the Lord rules over all? Through all this turmoil we have the assurance that the exalted Christ has all things under His feet, Ps. 2: 4-6. We may not always see the manner of His rule, but as Christians we have the assurance of the fact of His rule, 1 Cor. 15: 24,25. The message of Pentecost bids the whole Church to look up to the exalted Savior, who rules over all things. 3 The people of our text did not only hear words of warning, but the words of this first Pentecost were also words of far-reaching promises. a) Remission of sins, v.38. (Original words call this a "send- ing away" of sins.) No sin too great to be "sent away," for even those who had helped in crucifying the Lord, v.36, receive this promise. Cpo Is. 1: 18. This assurance is still an assurance today. b) Gift of the Holy Ghost, v.38. This is the gift which every believer has by virtue of faith in Christ. (Note the word 8roOeav, not x