Full Text for CTM Outlines on Gospels Adopted by Synodical Conference 16-7 (Text)

Q!nnrnrbiu m~rnlngit 1 flnntlJly Continuing LEHRE UND W EHRE M AGAZIN FUER Ev.-LuTH. HOMILETlK THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY-THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY Vol. XVI July, 1945 No.7 CONTENTS Page Christian Fellowship. C. August Hardt ............ _ ...... ______ .. ___ . _____ .. _ ......... 433 T he Lord's Prayer, the Pastor's Prayer. G. H. Smukal ........ _ .... _ .... 466 Outlines on Gospels Adopted by Synodical Conference ... __ .... _ ...... 473 Miscellanea ._ ... _ .... ___ ...... _ ....... _._ ........ ___ .. _ ...... _ .... _ ..... _ ..... _._ ..... __ ............... 483 Theological Observer ............... _ ..... _ ............. __ ....... _ ......... _ ........... _._ ....... _. 487 Book Review ... __ .. _ ........................ __ .. _ ..... _. __ ._ ....... _ .. __ ....... __ ... _._._ ...... _ 501 Em Predlger muss IDeM alleln lDe~ den, also dasa er dle Scbafe unter- weise. wie ale rechte Chrlaten Bollen MiD. sandem aucl1 claneben den Woel- fen lDehTtm, dass .:;1 illE; Scl!nfe nieht angreifen lDld mii falscher Lehre vec- fuehren und Irrtum elnfuehren. Luther Es 1st kein Ding. du dIe Leute mehr bel der KJrche behaeli denn die gute PredIgt. - Apologle, An. 24 If the trumpet give an lDlCu!ain sowul. who shall prepare h1mteIf to the battle1-1 CC1f'.14:1t Fublished for the Ev. Luth. Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Otbet" States CO t;ORD PUB BING HOUSE, St.Louis 18, Mo 1"!'\rJ"~ IN TJ. s. a.. Outlines on Gospels Adopted by Synodical Conference 473 Outlines on Gospels Adopted by Synodical Conference Sixth Sunday after Trinity Matt. 18: I -V! P eople usually give good care and treatment to things they value. T rue, there are exceptions. But the successful farmer takes care of his land; the mechanic, the housewife, and others take care of the implements of their work. But another possession, our chil- dren, who are given us by God, should receive special care and treatment. The Child That Is in the Midst of You 1. Do not despise it 2. Do not harm it 4. Be like it 1 3. Be good to it In this sinful, ungodly world, children are often despised. Evi- dence: some desire all the privileges of home life, but children are an unwanted burden; some let their children grow up without thinking it worth while to train them properly, to teach them obedience and respect and manners; some do not think it worth while to lead their children to Jesus, to have them baptized and to teach them religion. Seventeen m illion children in the United States are w ithout religious instruction. We are horrified at the working parents who give their children the key to the door and a dime for a hamburger and then let them shift for themselves. But it is much worse to give the children an education for this life and let the soul shift for itself. The Savior says : Vv. 10, 11. H e gave the children His divine care and love. They, too, were lost. They, too, are redeemed. They, too, have the hope of heaven. They are precious in Jesus' sight. We should not despise them. 2 Nor should we harm them. Who would want to do that? Chil- dren are usually protected and sheltered by their parents; and if the parents fail, the state will intervene. Anyone who abuses a child is punished. And yet the Savior says : vv. 6, 7. That is the greatest harm that can be done to a child: to make it worse, to teach it to sin. That is done by an evil example, by people who curse and use dirty talk before children; by parents who lead worldly lives, who worship Mammon, and who show disregard for God's Word. A ter- rible punishment is threatened in the words of our text to those who offend children. 3 Instead of harming children, we should be good to them, v. 5. Often this passage is understood to refer to the adoption of a home- 47 '1 Outlines on Gospels Adopted by Synodical Conference less child and to the support of orphanages. It indeed includes such deeds of charity, but it refers to more. The Savior uses the same expression that He uses in Matthew 25 when speaking of good works. Jesus is pleased with every deed of kindness done to a child. He regards it as done to Him. Those who show kindness to children, who provide for the bodily needs and for the welfare of their souls, who aid in mission work for children, are performing a God-pleasing deed. 4 The disciples were concerned about the highest places in heaven, v. 1. The Savior told them they would not even get there unless they became different, humble people. So great must be the change, by contrition and repentance, that it is like becoming a child again, beginning life all over again. He illustrates His teach- ing of regeneration by setting a child in their midst and telling them to become like that child. Such a great change is not easy to accomplish. One may have to go a long way. One may have to break fr iendships and con- nections . But the Savior says just that: vv. 8, 9. That is Jesus' teaching about the child in our midst. If we want our homes, our churches, our country to prosper, if we want America to be worth the effort our men have made in the war, we must give our children the care that the . Savior commands in this text. Let us ask God for Christ 's sake to forgive our failings and to mak e us more willing to do our full duty. FREDERIC NIEDNER Seventh Slmday after Trinity Matt. 18: 15-22 War is sin in action. Greed, hatred, jealousy, lie at the bottom of all this mass murder. But God has placed another force into this world to deal with sin, to build where sin has torn down: Christian brotherly love. Christian Brotherly Love in Action 1. It admonishes the sinning brother 2. It seeks to gain the sinning brothe1' 3. It forgives the sinning brother 1 A. Context. God's earnest desire to save souls is the setting of this text. Children are the object of His love, Matt. 18: 11; they should not be led into sin, Matt. 18: 6; they should not perish, Matt. 18: 14. Outlines on Gospels Adopted by Synodical Conference 475 B. But also the sinning brother, one who commits a faith- destroying sin, is still the object of God's searching love. He is to be admonished; he is to be spoken to, not merely spoken of; he is to be observed, not to be ignored. c. God has established detailed procedure for brotherly love in action: Who is to deal with the br other ? First of all, the brother who knows of the offense committed, then a small group of such Christians, then the whole congregation of Christian brethren . How is this to be done? So important is this matter that God has carefully prescribed the details of the procedure, a procedure which is the most likely to produce results. First, eye-to-eye, where the possible hindrance of public interference is excluded and the advantage of a personal, heart-to-heart talk can be fully employed; secondly, by the joint pleading of a small group; thirdly, by a step which employs the dignified seriousness of the whole Christian congregation in the effort. In what spirit is this t o be done? The sinning one is "thy brother ." Only after everything has failed is he to be "unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." Ther efore such admonition is to be done "in a spirit of meekness, considering thyself lest thou also be tempted," Gal. 6: 1. 2 A. For what purpose is such admonishing to be done? To gain the brother, that is, to bring him to sincere repentance. The aim is not merely to "pull the mote from the brother's eye" (Matt. 7:4), nor to humiliate the sinner befor e men, nor to "get even" for a previous insult, nor to get rid of him. Even where the final step, excommunicat ion, is necessary, the aim still is to gain the br other. B. Since this is the noble aim, note the persistence which the Lord prescribes. At least three definite steps of admonition are to be taken, and these may be taken as often as there is hope of gaining the brother. The combined effort of a whole congrega- tion is finally to be employed 'for this purpose. C. Since gaining the brother is the all-important purpose, the Christian congregation is assured of the great power which it has : Whatsoever ye shall bind, etc., v. 18. Such an act of a congrega- tion is not to be compared with a society's dr opping a member from the list or with a club's scratching the names of non-paying persons, but the congregation is the medium by which God speaks to the sinner about his soul's welfare. D. Since the admonition by the congregation is of such im- portance, it is reminded of the great power of prayer in this con-