Full Text for CTM The Nassau Pericopes 19-7

of the soul. The surface may be calm, but storms may rage within. Preaching Emphases. - The diagnosis of Jesus goes to the root of man's trouble: (a) Sin does not only damn to all eter- nity, it makes men unhappy, it dwarfs their lives, it lies at the root of all personality problems. (b) All efforts to find happiness outside Jesus only add to the problem. Because the soul came from the creating hand of an eternal God and is destined for eternity after the brief interlude of this life, nothing mundane can satisfy. Even the noblest exercise of the mind leaves a void where the fullness of peace should dwell. A psychology and psychiatry that does not operate with the psyche, the soul, is quackery. Problem and Goal. - The problem: unhappy lives through sin. The goal: blessed lives because Jesus forgives sin; happy and full lives under the yoke of Jesus. Outline: JESUS HEALS THE SOUL I. He diagnoses the ills: 1. Your soul is crushed under a heavy burden; 2. Your soul exhausts itself in futile and destructive labor. II. He prescribes the remedy: 1. It consists in a. removing the burden: "rest"; b. supplying healthful, life-giving, soul-satisfying ac- tivity: "My yoke," "learn." HOMILETICS 541 2. It is a simple remedy: a. all that is required is to "come" and "take"; b. it is so simple that the "wise" reject it but "babes" can apply it (see the context). 3. It is a sure remedy: a. The Physician has the credentials of heaven. "I," "all things" (context); b. it is available in inexhaustible supply: "all" can come; c. it cures the worst case: "all" will receive rest. 4. It affords "rest for the soul" and thus supplies the basis for the remedy of all ills of personality, life, and death. WALTER R. ROEHRS FOURTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY MATT. 7:13-14 The Text and the Day. - This text provides refreshing emphases for the standard lessons for this Sunday. The Epistle wants us to "walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh," and this text illustrates the walk of the Spirit as strait and narrow and that of the lusts of the flesh as wide and broad. The Gospel tells of ten healed lepers, nine of whom are un- grateful, and this text finds a similar proportion between the many walking on the broad way and the few who find the strait gate. Notes on Meaning. - In the Sermon on the Mount, before the text, Matt. 5: 17-7: 12, Jesus contrasted Pharisaic keeping of the Law to obedience motivated by the love of God and our neighbor. Now He calls on His disciples to enter the strait gate of the "poor in spirit," to whom He referred at the beginning, 5: 3. Incidentally, after the text, He continues His emphasis by warning, on the same basis, against false prophets: "Know them by their fruits"; also against the dan- ger of lip service without true life: "Not everyone that saith, etc." "Enter in," to God's Kingdom and eternal life, ch. 19: 17 and 2 Pet. 1: 11; "at the strait gate," now opened to you through the words I have spoken unto you. Anything dic- tated by human reason can be included under the concept "wide gate." Note the difference of verbs used: for wide gate, "go in"; for strait gate, "find it." 542 HOMILETICS Preaching Pitfalls. - Since the Sermon on the Mount is advice for Christian life, avoid the conclusion of reason, which may be drawn by hearers, that we gain life by our own efforts in striving to walk the strait and narrow way. It is the Way, not we, that leads to life. Scripture has much to say about the true Way. Supply the Gospel background. Preaching Emphases. - Christ, Himself the Way, must be "all in all." The cemeteries of the world are full of people who went down beaten and despairing because they thought God would be satisfied with something less than full devotion. "Forsake all, and follow Me." Even: "He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me." Or: "Who- soever will save His life shall lose it, and whosoever shall lose His life for My sake and the Gospel's, the same shall find it." If a man insists on remaining his natural self, the end is always destruction. Problem and Goal. - The human heart is terribly deceit- ful, especially in matters of religion, and this text must be used to break down all pride in anything that we are, do, or say, to make ourselves acceptable in God's sight. The only right thing to do is to follow the path outlined in God's Word, "a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." This is in agreement with Christ's own application of the Sermon on the Mount in 7: 24-27. Outline: THE TWO WAYS I. The Way of Destruction: A. The wide gate; B. The broad way; C. Many go in thereat. II. The Way of Life: A. The strait gate; B. The narrow way; C. Few find it. HENRY GEO. HARTNER •••