Full Text for CTM Outlines on the Standard Gospels 15-9 (Text)

.... J'l'l .. Leu4e Are.N , Cltutuurbia 14tn1nlli:tal &ttdIJlu' Contin.iDS LBHRS UNO W'EHRe MAGAZIN POEll Ev.-LUTH. HOMILETll{ THEOLOGICAL Vol. XV September, 1944 CONTENTS PilbUshetl f.'" .~ Q»KCOBDIA I'1JBLISIIING BOUsi:, It.Lends No.9 QUARTERLY-THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY no..s eoates ~-Kul H. BbJers ------".--_G8S l!'.s JIt Item J)Iq. c1u die ~bid ~ ~bebaeIt daan die aute .~-~. 11 ihe .~..... an: ~ 1OuDd. wbO. -.au.~ldbeIf·1o the battle" -1CcW.14:1 L1dIa. SJ1lOCl of MII'IearJ, 'ow.. .... OtW:,StIdes ~110. Outlines on the Standard Gospels 605 been more effective than when George Duffield quoted to his congregation at the end of his sermon a hymn he had written during the week, the hymn "Stand Up! -Stand Up for Jesus!" especially since this was his timely tribute to his friend, a prominent young preacher, who in that very week had lost his life after a corn sheller had literally torn out his arm by the roots? Yes, "the arm of flesh will fail you; ye dare not trust your own." Surely the aversion for the use of poetry, which some profess, would not have been felt by them on that occasion. It is not the use of poetry which is to be condemned, but its abuse by those who for some reason or another do not quote it with wisdom, skill, understanding, and discretion. Cleveland, Ohio KARL H. EHLERS 4 II ~ Outlines on the Standard Gospels Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity Luke 17:11-19 Christ is on His last journey to Jerusalem, traveling along the borders of Samaria and Galilee, v. 11. He is still bent upon preach­ing the Gospel of salvation and proving Himself to be the Benefactor of mankind. But He meets with ingratitude. Also today He is moved to ask Where are the Nine? 1. At Christ's direction they have gone to the priests to be pronounced clean 2. They have failed to return to give thanks to their Benefactor 1 V. 12. These men were affiicted with a disease too horrible to be described in detail. In advanced stages ears, nose, fingers, and toes would drop off. Contagious. Lepers were segregated, had to live in uninhabited regions, were not permitted to drink from a running stream from which others might drink, to sit upon a stone upon which others might sit. Required to avoid every contact with people not afflicted. "Stood afar off" -at the pre­scribed distance, yet near enough to make themselves heard by t.h.e Lord. -V. 13. This was a cry of faith. In some way they must have received tidings concerning Jesus which engendered faith in their hearts. Cried for mercy. -V. 14. Cpo Lev. 13: 2; 14: 2,3. Cleansed by the omnipotent power of Jesus. What joy that must have brought them! -Have you experienced something similar? You were sick, perhaps desperately. Physicians gave no hope. 606 Outlines on the Standard Gospels You cried to the Lord for mercy. Or it was not quite so serious. You were in great pain and distress or had other difficulties, troubles which seemed insurmountable. You cried to the Lord. He did not send you to any priest but let you experience deliverance. Joy. But Jesus has delivered you from a malady infinitely worse than any leprosy. Leprosy is a type of sin. Contagious? Worse! Hereditary, Ps. 51: 5. It has penetrated every portion of you -your body and soul. Is. 1: 6; Rom. 3: 10-18. Incurable, Jer. 2: 22. Has made you an outcast, Is. 59: 2a. Disastrous and fatal, Rom. 1: 18; 5:12b; 6:23; Matt. 25:46; Rev. 14:10,11. No hope? Indeed! This same Jesus has freed you from the leprosy of sin, 1 John 1: 7. Not by the power of His might; but Rev. 5: 9 b. As a Christian you daily cry to God for mercy and forgiveness, Luke 11: 4; Ps. 51: 1, 2. He pronounces you clean: Son, be of good cheer; thy sins are for­given thee. He receives you into the company of His children, Eph. 2: 19, as children, Gal. 3: 26; John 1: 12, as heirs of eternal life, Rom. 8: 17a; Gal. 4: 7; 1 John 3: 2; Rev. 21: 4. The Lord has indeed done great things for you, whereof you are glad. What everlasting gratitude should fill your hearts! Ten were cleansed, v. 12, only one returned to give thanks, vv.15,16. But where are the nine? The Lord is asking for them, expects their gratitude, and justly so. He is disappointed in their failure to return and give thanks. They had showed their faith in appeal­ing to Him for mercy and in going to the priests to be pronounced clean even before they had experienced cleansing. Whatever the reasons may have been, the fact is that they failed to return to give thanks. The Lord is not only disappointed -He is grieved. They had rewarded their Benefactor with the grievous sin of ingratitude. Ingratitude is a very common sin. Are you among the nine? What about the time when you were delivered by Him of your serious illness or when you were freed from that severe pain or anguish? What about all mercies which the Lord has showed unto you? And all because you pleaded for mercy, and even before you pleaded. Did you thank your physician, nurses, hospital attendants, but fail to thank Him who deserves all your gratitude? Did you give all glory to God? Remember that the Lord expects your gratitude, Ps. 50: 15, and is grieved by your failure to thank Him, because ingratitude is a sin against your divine Benefactor. Where are the nine? Are you among them? If so, examine your faith, and you will find that it is very weak and in need of strengthening. Repent of your sin of ingratitude and seek strength Outlines on the Standard Gospels 607 for your faith in the Word of God and in the Sacrament. Then you will not be in the company of the nine ingrates, but in the company of the one healed and grateful leper. You will thank the Lord in all humility, Gen. 32: 10, in private and public, with fervor and devotion. R. NEITZEL Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity Matt. 6:24-34 Luther, St. Louis, XIII: 870: "This is a rich Gospel and long sermon against avarice, which our Lord God hates especially because there is no other vice which hinders the Gospel more or does more harm to Christians. . .. But this sermon applies chiefly to fathers and those who rule in office, and almost mainly to pastors, who fare evil in the world and of whom some are forced by poverty to be concerned as to how they may provide for themselves and wives and children." Christians who have families to support often cast anxious glances into the uncertain future. Such perplexing cares are a disease which wastes away both spiritual and physical life. The Consuming Cares About Food and Clothing 1. The Disease 2. The Remedy 1 "Mammon" as used here, personified, signifies: that which one trusts in. Inordinate concern for the necessities of life does not accord with normal spiritual life, but is a disease. a) It is shortsighted, vv. 25, 30. Our Maker has given us life and body, the greater; shall He withhold the lesser? That is credit­ing our God with less foresight than we claim for ourselves, v. 32 b. b) It defeats its own purpose, v.27. By worrying we want to accomplish something: security for the future. We never reach that state of mind through worry, rather the reverse. Luther (XIII: 879) : "It would be insanity if a little man sat himself in a corner and there worried and planned how he might become taller. Shall I worry myself with fretting -over vain trifles?" c) It endangers physical health. The medical profession is agreed that few things militate against health as does worry. We weary ourselves with fretting. It is a drag on the day's tasks. A worried mind blurs the vision and paralyzes the energies. d) Above all, worry is a fatal disease which wars against the soul, destroying Christian faith and works, v.32. Faith deals with invisible things; the mammon servant wants to see. Gentiles, having no God, trust in their own resources, saying, "God helps those who help themselves." Christian faith says, "He who hitherto 608 Outlines on the Standard Gospels hath fed me Will not leave me now to pine." Heathenish cares destroy this trust, assuming the attitude: God fails to keep His promises. Luke 8: 14. Abruptly Jesus warns: v.24. Destroys also good works. These fruits of faith proceed from love of God. If we trust mammon for sustenance, we shall at best do "dead works." The servant of mammon will not willingly give for the cause of missions, etc. 2 "I am the Lord that healeth thee," Ex. 15: 26. There is "healing in His wings," Mal. 4:2. a) V. 34. Each day has its cares; to anticipate them is to double them. Rather pray: "Give us this day our daily bread." Ex. 16: 19. Then go to your daily task. Use your hands to work; your eyes to look up for blessing. God provides for the birds, but He does not throw the food into their nests. 1 Tim. 5: 8; 2 Thess. 3: 11. b) Vv. 26, 28, 29. Birds and flowers are our teachers. Two sparrows are sold for a farthing; incapable of sowing, reaping, or storing; yet they find food. Flowers are decked with a beauty surpassing that of Solomon's court. "Are ye not much more than they?" God is Creator and Provider for birds and flowers, but a Father to us. Luther at Coburg. c) V.33. Chief remedy, summing up all. Law of proportion: first things first. Let the day's highest concern be to nourish and clothe the soul, partaking of the fruits of redemption and putting on Jesus' righteousness in faith. That has the promise: v. 33 b. Cpo 2 Chron. 1: 11, 12. An effective antidote to avarice: Give gen­erously and cheerfully to the Lord's kingdom and observe the returning blessings, Luke 6: 38. Applying the Lord's remedies will heal. If we trust in Him who cannot lie, anxious cares will be supplanted by a cheerful, coura­geous spirit. "He who God for his hath taken 'Mid the changing world unshaken Keeps a free heroic heart." L. J. ROEHM Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity Luke 7:11-17 The Gospels of the Trinity season picture to us the deep, saving interest of Christ in sinners. We find in them doctrine and admonition, but above all encouragement and consolation. They describe to us Jesus as the Good Shepherd seeking the lost sheep (Third Sunday after Trinity); as the faithful Lord feeding the multitudes that come to Him (Seventh Sunday); as the merci-Outlines on the Standard Gospels 609 ful Savior weeping over Jerusalem (Tenth Sunday); etc. In our Gospel we see Jesus as the Conqueror of man's greatest conqueror, namely, death. Let us consider Two Conquerors 1. Death, the conqueror of man 2. Christ, the Conqueror of death 1 a) Our Gospel is no doubt one of the most touching narratives in the New Testament. Briefly and simply, yet most impressively, the wondrous story is told, vv.ll, 12. In Nain, the village beautiful, they were bearing to his last rest the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, beloved by ali, for much people of the city was vlith her. No further details are necessary for us to comprehend the utter tragedy of the happening. b) Yes, death is the conqueror of man. No one can resist this foe, for death is God's punishment upon sin, Gen. 2: 17; Rom. 5: 12 ff. Men seek to extend human life beyond the limit marked in Scrip­ture, Ps. 90: 10; but death cannot be removed from this sinful world, Ps. 14: 1 ff. Many say that death is a natural phenomenon, the result of the perishable nature of matter, but God says: Gen. 3:19; Rom. 6: 23. Man dies because he is a sinner, Ezek.18: 20,26. The cause of death is man's original and actual sin, Rom. 5: 17; Ezek. 33: 18; Luke 16: 23. c) Just that makes death so dreadful a conqueror of man, for death does not end all, as atheists and other unbelievers say. Through sin there has entered into the world spiritual death, Eph. 2:1ff.; Rom. 7:14,18; 8:7; Is. 64:6; Ps.143:2; Rom. 3:23; Job14:4; Gen. 8: 21, and, with spiritual death, temporal and eternal death, 1 Peter 3: 19, 20; Luke 16: 23; Prov.11: 7. Unless the sinner repents, there is no hope of salvation for him after death, Eccl. 11: 3; Luke 16:26. d) We must not weaken the meaning and force of death, for death is God's own actual, stirring Law preaching. Also we Chris­tians are sinners according to the flesh, Rom. 7: 14,18,23,24, and so death must be to us an earnest warning, Is. 38: 1. Death is also our conqueror, because we have sinned, Rom. 3: 23. But, thank God, to this severe Law preaching there is added in Scripture a most blessed Gospel preaching: Christ is the Conqueror of death. 2 a) As the Conqueror of death Christ appeared to the widow, when He said, "Weep not"; for His living, powerful words actually dried her tears and removed her sorrow. We humans can only 39 610 Outlines on the Standard Gospels say, "Weep not." But Christ by His almighty Word puts an end to our weeping, v.13. b) As the Conqueror of death Christ appeared to those who bore the dead young man, v. 14a. They recognized His authority even when He only touched the bier. This was a manifestation of His sovereign power. c) As the Conqueror of death Christ appeared to the dead young man himself, for when He commanded him to arise, the fetters of death were broken, vv. 14b, 15. This was no sham, but an actual miracle, vv.16, 17. d) Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, Rev. 14: 13. Through faith in Christ they have forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation, Rom. 5: 15; Is. 53: 5; 1 Peter 2: 24; when, therefore, they die, they are with Christ, Phil. 1: 21 ff.; 2 Cor. 5: 4; Luke 2: 29; 23: 43; 2 Cor. 5: 8; Acts 7: 59; Eccl.12: 7. And in God's appointed hour their own glorious resurrection hour will come, 1 Thess. 4: 16, 17; Heb. 9: 28; 2 Tim. 4: 8; Phil. 3: 20. This blessed Christian hope, which is the sweetest Gospel preachLTlg, must be preached again and again, since because of our flesh we Christians are so very slow to grasp it. Our Gospel guarantees to us our own resurrection, ror it proves that Christ is the Conqueror or death. e) Let us keep in mind our death and so continue in faith, that when our own resurrection hour shall come, we may by God's grace in Christ Jesus inherit eternal life, 2 Cor. 5: 10; Job 19: 26; John 6: 40, 54; Rom. 8: 11. JOHN THEODORE MUELLER Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity Luke 14:1-11 Man as Psychology Sees Him; Man the Unknown; Human Nature and Conduct -titles of some modern studies of mankind. But often philosophers, psychologists, etc., express views that are in conflict with Holy Scripture and have a pernicious effect upon faith and life. Therefore, good to consider text, which presents The Savior's View of Mankind A realistic view. 1 Text. He saw that men were by nature inimical to Him, as at the Sabbath dinner in the Pharisees' house. He knew the courtesies were feigned; "lawyers and Pharisees" were present to "watch Him," (v. 1), find fault, perhaps a Sabbath infraction. Therefore He "answered" them (v.3) before they had spoken; He exposed their enmity with the confuting question "Is it lawful," etc. He Outlines on the Standard Gospels 611 saw that "they held their peace" (v.4) with malicious intent. Inimical they were, like all unconverted. About that Jesus had no illusions. His view was true, realistic. Applications: 1. To say, "Nothing is wrong with mankind; it is naturally inclined toward God," or, "There is yet that in every nature which may be lighted up; every man has a divine spark in him, some latent faculty to apply himself to God's grace," is false, unrealistic. That is an age-old heresy, rejected by Scripture and experience. Rom. 8: 7; Eph. 2: 1; Matt. 15: 19; etc. 2. It is extremely important to view mankind as Jesus did. Unless we do, we shall lose all great Christian truths, to wit, the need of salvation, redemption, a spiritual rebirth, justification by faith, through grace, etc. What need of a reconciliation if man is not by nature at enmity with God? To all is issued the plea "Ye must be born again!" John 3:7. An ennobling view. 2 Text. Jesus regarded man as infinitely more than animals and did not hesitate to say so. To the lawyers and Pharisees, who appeared ready to censure :him for healing a man of the dropsy on the Sabbath, He said: "Which of you, having an ox," etc. That is, if you have no scruples about extricating your own ox from a water pit on the Sabbath, should you grumble if I deliver this dropsical sufferer from the water that is choking him? Is not man more than an ox? Applications: 1. What a contrast to the degrading views of those who say: "Man is the miscarriage of an ape, a brute without a soul," or, "Man is but a placental mammal that has no more value for the universe than the ant, the fly, or the smallest bacillus"! (Haeckel.) But Jesus: "More value than many sparrows," Matt. 10: 31. His soul worth more than whole world, Mark 8: 36. 2. It makes a vast difference in life what view is taken. The brute philosophy of evolution drags man down to beasthood and leads to moral disintegration, pessimism, and hopelessness with regard to the future and hereafter. "Monkey men make monkey morals." Provo 23: 7. Would we escape such degradation, we must take Jesus' view: man is more than the ox; he is endowed with an immortal, blood-bought soul, eic. A. hopeful view. Text. Jesus regarded the lawyers and Pharisees with the hope of winning them. In spite of their meanness, He did not ta..ke a pessimistic view and turn from them in disgust. To gain them, 612 Outlines on the Standard Gospels He performed an astoWlding miracle and addressed searching questions to them. And when He observed their love of prominent places, their self-esteem and self-righteousness, which were blinding them and hindering their entrance to His kingdom, He gave the needed warning and counsel: v.n. Applications: 1. Many today view mankind pessimistically, as A. Pierce: "For a planet overgrown with human vermin what remedy but another deluge, what alchemy but annihilation, what redemption but to be hurled against a ball of consuming fire?" But Jesus heralded another redemption -redemption of mankind wrought by His blood, Eph. 1: 7 -a divine remedy, Rom. 1: 16. 2. As long as we have Christ and His Gospel to proclaim, dare we look at any living man as beyond hope? Must we not do as Jesus; make every effort to win the unconverted by the power of His Gospel and be cheerfully sure of success, Mark 16: 15,16. ALVIN E. WAGNER Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity Matt. 22:34-46 Our text speaks of the Pharisees. Most of these Pharisees were hypocrites. -In the 23d chapter of Matthew we may read the sharp condemnation uttered by Jesus against these pretenderso However, Jesus did not only reprove them -He tried to save them, and He actually did win some of them, e. g., Nicodemus. Cf. Acts 26: 6. -In our text we hear Jesus instructing these Pharisees. He is trying to rescue these deluded people by pointing out to them the cause of their hypocrisy. Let us be thankful that the dear Savior has recorded this precious instruction also for us, so that we may be preserved from the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Let us follow Him as He points out The Causes of Hypocrisy 1. Hypocrisy is caused first of all by ignorance of the Law of God. a. It was this very ignorance of the content of God's Law which caused the hypocrisy of these people. The Pharisees imagined God's Law to be a code of innumerable regulations for external behavior. They disputed endlessly the question which of these rules or laws were the most important. Hence their ques­tion: v.36. Now it is true, in the Old Testament God gave to the J eV1S many detailed regulations, but some of these simply referred to the political conditions of those days and to certain proprieties of the Temple worship. Others were mere applications of God's Law to certain conditions. However, these were not properly the Outlines on the Standard Gospels 613 Law of God as given to all men for all times, in all places, under all conditions. The Moral Law, which is binding upon all men under all con­ditions at all times and in all places, is referred to here by the Lord Jesus, vv.37-40. Even in the Old Testament the people were told that this was really the sum and substance of what God demanded of them, Deut. 6: 15; Eccles. 12: 13; Is. 1: 10-14. God always insisted that we give Him our heart, Provo 23:7; 4:23; 23:26. The true saints of the Old Testament had learned this. b. These Pharisees also misunderstood the purpose of God's Law. To us sinful, weak men God did not give His Law in order that we should be saved through it. We have already broken the Law and cannot keep it perfectly even in the future; how, then, can we compensate, or make good, that which we have done amiss while we even fail in our present duty? No; the Law of God is given us that it may convince us of our sinfulness and of our sin, the corruption of our nature, and our inability to help ourselves, Rom. 7: 7; Rom. 3: 20; Gal. 3: 2. Application. -In order to avoid this cause of hypocrisy, we should frequently examine ourselves according to the Law of God and follow the example of the Publican, Luke 18: 13, and the Teturning Prodigal, Luke 15: 21. 2. Hypocrisy is caused also by ignorance of Christ. a. These Pharisees knew something about Christ, they knew that He was to be the Son of David, V. 42, but they thought that He would, like David, subdue the political enemies of their nation and make of the Jews a rich and powerful people. b. Jesus corrects this error by showing them that Christ is not only the Son of David, but also David's Lord and God. By Teferring them to the testimony of the Old Testament concerning Christ, He wanted to call their attention also to the wonderful work which Christ came to finish as the Prophets had foretold, 2 Sam. 7: 18-29. As long as a nominal Christian does not recognize this truth concerning Jesus, the Christ of God, he will remain a hypo­crite before God, trusting in his own righteousness and goodness, thinking even to deceive God Himself. But when through knowl­edge of the Law we have become poor sinners and have abhorred ourselves and taken our refuge to that one and only Savior Jesus, whose blood alone cleanseth us from all sin, who alone has per­fectly fulfilled all the Law of God for us, then we will escape from this foolish and ruinous delusion of hypocrisy. Hymn 370: 1. MARTIN S. SOMMER 614 Outlines on the Standard Gospels Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity Matt. 9:1-8 Jesus is good to His own. So we sing and say; e. g., Hymn 349; 357. Do we know what we are saying? Do we mean it? Is it just lip service? Can it stand up against disappointment and pain? Here is an old, dear story which tells of The Goodness of Jesus to His Own It tells us that this goodness consists in this, 1. That He forgives their sins 2. That He gives heed to their other needs likewise 1 A. When these four friends succeeded in bringing their patient through the roof before the Savior, Mark 2: 3 ff., Jesus said, "Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee." That applied also to his friends. But He said it also to the sick man, to signify his greatest need and his first gift from the Savior. -1. Forgiveness is man's greatest need. For thTough his sin he is separated from God. Eph. 2: 2,3. Hence his entire life, physically and spiritually, is without hope. -2. Jesus Christ was bent on changing this situation. He dealt much with physical ill; but His fust and all-inclusive object was to put men back into the right relation with God. Matt. 4:17; to that end He appointed His co-workers; Luke 24: 46,47; 2 Cor. 5:19. B. Christ's own are they who have accepted Jesus' solution to this problem. -1. His solution was His vicarious suffering and death, innocent, hence applied to man's account. 2 Cor. 5: 19. -2. Our problem of sin and need is solved when we accept Christ as the Savior, His work as our redemption. That we call faith; and that very faith is the work of God through the Gospel of Christ Jesus. Eph. 2: 8,9. 1 Pet. 1: 18-23. C. Hence Jesus gives priority, in His supply for our needs, to the forgiveness of sins. -1. This story is a classic example. But cf. also Matt. 6: 33 and the entire section preceding John 6: 27. -2. The forgiveness of sins, the restoration of our right relation with the Father, is the guarantee of our every other need. Again Matt. 6: 33; 1 Tim. 4: 8; Mark 10: 30; Rom. 8: 31,32. 2 The Christian is apt to wonder whether the forgiveness of sins is actually such a guarantee. Our flesh may lead us to doubt the power of this spiritual relationship with God. Outlines on the Standard Gospels 615 A. We should have no doubt, because Jesus has the power. Jesus went to great pains to make clear that the difficult, great gift is the forgiveness; the earthly help He rendered simply to prove that He had power to forgive. Text vv. 4-6. B. But we should have no doubt, because J,esus with the power has the purpose and the love to help. Text v. 2; Matt. 11: 28. C. That purpose Jesus carries out according to a grand plan which involves both the person in need and the bystander whom Christ would also reach with His love. -1. Here His plan for the man in need was to take away the malady. The man had the faith, which needed no further chastening. At the same time the multi­tudes saw the power of Christ, the Son of God, and were the readier to hear His Gospel. V.8. Sometimes Jesus' miracles did not serve that purpose, and He held them back. Luke 11: 29. -2. Sometimes the plan of Jesus means retaining the malady. But that does not mean less love, less power, less forgiveness; but just as much as though He had removed the need. 2 Cor. 12. Hence let us understand the priorities of Jesus in giving of His goodness to His own. Then shall we be at peace with God and be sure of His supply for our every eart:rJy need likewise. RICHARD R. CAEMMERER