20th Sunday After Pentecost
Proper 24 (October 22)
Isaiah 45:1–7; Ps. 96:1-13; 1 Thessalonians 1:1–10; Matthew 22:15–22
Entrance: LSB 940 Holy God, We Praise Thy Name
Of the Day: LSB 734 I Trust, O Lord, Your Holy Name
Offertory: LSB 781 We Give Thee But Thine Own
Distribution: LSB 732 All Depends on Our Possessing;
We Are Recreated in the Image of God by the Cross of Christ
Plotting against Jesus, the Pharisees attempted “to entangle Him in His talk” by asking about the payment of taxes to Caesar (Matt. 22:15). The Lord pointed to coins required for the tax, and He answered that we should “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:21). But if coins bearing the image of Caesar should be rendered to him, then man–who is made in the image of God–must be rendered to the Lord. That tax is paid for us by the Lord Jesus, the Image of God in the flesh, by His self-offering on the Cross. And from His Cross, as the Lord’s anointed, He reigns as the true Caesar over all nations “from the rising of the sun and from the west” (Is. 45:6). The Lord once called and anointed Cyrus “to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings” (Is. 45:1). Now by the preaching of the Gospel, “in power and in the Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 1:4), foreigners from all over the world are “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess. 1:9–10).
Dr Martin Luther:
“The tribute money had never been paid before the time when Christ was to be born. In this manner he indicated how his realm should not be in any way secular and that he should not rule as a secular ruler over a secular dominion, but that he would subject himself and his parents to the secular powers....Since, however, all his works are nothing but precious teaching, there is no other possible explanation than that, following God’s counsel and purpose, he does not want to exercise worldly rule, but wants to be a subject.” LW 52:8
Worldview Everlasting – Render Unto the Hypocrites (Matthew 22:15-22)
Worldview Everlasting Greek Tuesday takes on Matt. 22:15-22
Worldview Everlasting – Don't Let Your Confession Go Country (1 Thessalonians 1:1-10)
Thanks, grace, joy, relief. Paul has them all as he writes 1 Thessalonians and Pastor Fisk walks you through chapter 1 in this edition of Greek Tuesday. The word has spread that the Thessalonians have remained faithful to their confession. And in today’s Greek Tuesday, like Paul to the Thessalonians, Pastor Fisk encourages you not to get caught up in new fads that will fade, but to cling to the Word which never changes and will always remain.
Pastors’ Roundtable -- Matthew 22:15-22, “Paying Taxes to Caesar” -- Issues Etc
Pr. Brian Holle of Messiah Lutheran, Lebanon, Ill. and Pr. Jim Roemke of Good Shepherd Lutheran, Middleville, Mich., discuss Matt 22:1-14 with Pr Todd Wilken (mp3, 57:20, 23.4 MB, 2012-Nov-08)
Looking Forward to Sunday Morning (3 Year Lectionary): Twentieth Sunday of Pentecost — Dr. Carl Fickenscher — Issues Etc.
Dr. Carl Fickenscher, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Ind., discusses the readings and propers with Pr. Todd Wilken on Issues Etc. (mp3, 57:51, 53.0 MB, 2017-Oct-16)
15 Τότε πορευθέντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι συμβούλιον ἔλαβον ὅπως αὐτὸν παγιδεύσωσιν ἐν λόγῳ.
16 καὶ ἀποστέλλουσιν αὐτῷ τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτῶν μετὰ τῶν Ἡρῳδιανῶν ⸀λέγοντες· Διδάσκαλε, οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἀληθὴς εἶ καὶ τὴν ὁδὸν τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ἀληθείᾳ διδάσκεις, καὶ οὐ μέλει σοι περὶ οὐδενός, οὐ γὰρ βλέπεις εἰς πρόσωπον ἀνθρώπων·
17 εἰπὸν οὖν ἡμῖν τί σοι δοκεῖ· ἔξεστιν δοῦναι κῆνσον Καίσαρι ἢ οὔ;
18 γνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὴν πονηρίαν αὐτῶν εἶπεν· Τί με πειράζετε, ὑποκριταί;
19 ἐπιδείξατέ μοι τὸ νόμισμα τοῦ κήνσου. οἱ δὲ προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ δηνάριον.
20 καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· Τίνος ἡ εἰκὼν αὕτη καὶ ἡ ἐπιγραφή;
21 λέγουσιν ⸀αὐτῷ· Καίσαρος. τότε λέγει αὐτοῖς· Ἀπόδοτε οὖν τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι καὶ τὰ τοῦ θεοῦ τῷ θεῷ.
22 καὶ ἀκούσαντες ἐθαύμασαν, καὶ ἀφέντες αὐτὸν ἀπῆλθαν.
(15) Then going, the Pharisees took counsel so as they might trap Him in words.
(16) And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth, and it does not concern You about anyone, for You do not look to the face of men.
(17) Then tell us, what do You think? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?
(18) But knowing their wickedness, Jesus said, Why do you test Me, hypocrites?
(19) Show Me the tribute coin. And they brought a denarius to Him.
(20) And He said to them, Whose image and inscription is this?
(21) They said to Him, Caesar's. Then He said to them, Then give to Caesar the things of Caesar, and to God the things of God.
(22) And hearing, they marveled. And leaving Him, they went away.
Scripture quotations marked SBLGNT are from the SBL Greek New Testament. Copyright © 2010 Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software. Holmes, M. W. (2011–2013). The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Lexham Press; Society of Biblical Literature.
Organ Playing 101:
Responding to Teenagers' Questions about Christianity (multiple parts) - Dr. Jan Lohmeyer - Issues Etc
Dr. Jan Lohmeyer, adjunct professor, Concordia University, Texas, discusses Apologetics and Teens with Pr. Todd Wilken:
1. (mp3, 28:23, 26.0 MB, 2017-Jun-15)
2. (mp3, 44:39, 40.9 MB, 2017-Jul-19)
3. (mp3, 28:34, 26.2 MB, 2017-Aug-23)
The Elders have asked Dr. Paul Schilf, a member of our congregation, to lead a Midweek Family Bible Study. The study will be held Wednesdays at 6:30 pm, starting September 6th. The schedule of topics is:
06-Sep: Gender Identity Disorder - A Lutheran Perspective
13-Sep: Gender Identity Disorder - A Lutheran Perspective
20-Sep: Gender Identity Disorder - A Lutheran Perspective
27-Sep: Gender Identity Disorder - A Lutheran Perspective
04-Oct: The 4th Commandment and Aging Parents
11-Oct: The 4th Commandment and Aging Parents
18-Oct: The Reformation - Historical, Geographical and Theological Perspectives
25-Oct: The Reformation - Historical, Geographical and Theological Perspectives
01-Nov: People with disabilities - Worship and LCMS Church Life
08-Nov: People with disabilities - Worship and LCMS Church Life
15-Nov: 3 Powerful Hymns
22-Nov: No Class - Thanksgiving
29-Nov: No Class - Advent
06-Dec: No Class - Advent
13-Dec: No Class - Advent
20-Dec: No Class - Advent
27-Dec: No Class - Christmas
03-Jan: The Office of the Keys - Catechism Review
10-Jan: No Class
17-Jan: The Office of the Keys - Catechism Review
24-Jan: Baptism - Catechism Review
31-Jan: Baptism - Catechism Review
07-Feb: Lent - Nothing to give up
14-Feb: No Class - Lent
21-Feb: No Class - Lent
28-Feb: No Class - Lent
07-Mar: No Class - Lent
14-Mar: No Class - Lent
21-Mar: No Class - Lent
28-Mar: Same Gender Marriage
04-Apr: Same Gender Marriage
11-Apr: Same Gender Marriage
18-Apr: Same Gender Marriage
25-Apr: 3 Powerful Hymns
02-May: Stress & Sin
09-May: Highlights of the Divine Service
16-May: Highlights of the Divine Service
23-May: Luther on Prayer
4801 E. 6th St
Christ Lutheran Church is a member of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.
9:30 am Divine Service with Lord's Supper (The Lord's Supper is celebrated every Lord's Day and Festival Service)
10:45 am Sunday School and Bible Classes (except August)
Advent and Lenten services: Wednesday, 7:00 pm
Note: Services on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day are held at 9:30 am.
Recorded sermons can be heard here.
UPDATE: The Voters Assembly, at its meeting of Jan 22, 2017, adopted its 2017 budget, and voted to continue as a member of the Issues, Etc. 300, for the 7th year.
The Voters Assembly at its regular meeting of January 9, 2011, adopted its 2011 budget. As part of its Missions budget is a line item for Issues, Etc. (via Lutheran Public Radio) and has become a member of the Issues, Etc. 300.
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Issues, Etc. Journal, Summer 2017
More than a decade ago I wrote “A Listeners Guide to the Pulpit.” At the time, my goal was simple: I wanted to help the average Christian sitting in the pew to tell the difference between good preaching and bad preaching. I dealt with the most egregious forms of bad preaching I could think of, and I thought I had covered it all. I hadn’t. Since then I have become aware of other kinds of bad preaching, some of which I had engaged in myself. To ﬁll in the gaps and confess to my own bad preaching, I offer this update of the original essay.
Most of the preachers were dynamic, engaging, interesting and even entertaining. Most of their sermons were terrible.
How hard could it be? You go to church. The preacher preaches. You sit and listen. Easy, right?
But how do you tell the difference between a good sermon and a bad sermon? What makes good preaching good, and bad preaching bad?
For several years Issues, Etc. has been doing on–air sermon reviews. We’ve reviewed the sermons of Joel Osteen, D. James Kennedy, T.D. Jakes, Robert Schuller, Joyce Meyer, and many less well–known preachers. We’ve reviewed the sermons of Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Eastern Orthodox, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, and others. Most of these preachers were speaking to packed auditoriums and to worldwide television audiences. Most of the preachers were dynamic, engaging, interesting, and even entertaining. Most of the preachers are considered the best of the best preachers in the world.
Most of their sermons were terrible.
I don’t make this judgment based on my own subjective tastes or my own personal standard. I make this judgment based on the objective difference between good preaching and bad preaching.
Is there an objective standard for good preaching? Yes. It is a standard every Christian should know and use every time they hear a sermon. Every Christian needs to know the difference between a good sermon and a bad sermon.
God’s Two Teachings
St. Paul writes to the young preacher Timothy, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15). Paul says that God’s Word of truth must be handled with care. To rightly divide God’s Word is the preacher’s ﬁrst and most important task. Nineteenth–century theologian, C.F.W. Walther describes what Paul means in his famous treatise, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel:
The doctrinal contents of the entire Holy Scriptures, both of the Old and the New Testament, are made up of two doctrines differing fundamentally from each other; viz.[namely], the Law and the Gospel … Only he is an orthodox teacher who not only presents all the articles of faith in accordance with Scripture, but also rightly distinguished from each other the Law and the Gospel. (C.F.W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1928, pp. 6 http://www.lutherantheology.com/uploads/works/walther/LG/lecture-01.html, 30 http://www.lutherantheology.com/uploads/works/walther/LG/lecture-04.html.)
Walther was simply following the leader of the sixteenth-century reformer Martin Luther. Luther explained this critical distinction between God’s Law and God’s Gospel and the danger of ignoring it:
It is therefore a matter of utmost necessity that these two kinds of God’s Word be well and properly distinguished. Where this is not done, neither the Law nor the Gospel can be understood, and the consciences of men must perish with blindness and error. The Law has its goal fixed beyond which it cannot go or accomplish anything, namely, until the point is reached where Christ comes in. It must terrify the impenitent with threats of the wrath and displeasure of God. Likewise the Gospel has its peculiar function and task, viz. [namely], to proclaim forgiveness of sin to sorrowing souls. These two may not be commingled, nor the one substituted for the other, without a falsification of doctrine. For while the Law and the Gospel are indeed equally God’s Word, they are not the same doctrine. (Martin Luther, “Sermon on the Distinction Between the Law and the Gospel,” Luther’s Works, St. L. Ed. IX, p. 799.)
Through His Law, God shows us His will. Through His Law, God tells us what He requires and what He forbids. Through His Law, God demands perfect obedience in thought, word and deed. Through His Law, God shows us that we have not done what He requires and have done what He forbids. Through His Law, God says, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind... You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37, 39). Through His Law, God calls anything short of perfect obedience sin.
Through His Gospel, God tells us what He has done in Jesus Christ to save those who have broken His Law. Through His Gospel, God shows us that Jesus has done everything He required of us by His Law. Through His Gospel, God shows us that Jesus has been punished under the Law in our place. Through His Gospel, God answers the perfect demands of His Law with the perfect, sinless death and resurrection of Jesus. The Gospel says, “What the Law could not do in that it was weak through the ﬂesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful ﬂesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the ﬂesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulﬁlled in us” (Rom. 8:3–4).Through His Gospel, God answers the requirements of His Law with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus for us. Through His Gospel, God makes no demands whatsoever. There is only the free gift of God’s grace in Jesus Christ.
What does this have to do with difference between a good sermon and a bad sermon? Everything. The essential difference between a good sermon and a bad sermon is whether or not the preacher rightly divides and applies God's Law and God’s Gospel. A good sermon must show sinners their sin and show sinners their Savior. Again Luther writes:
This difference between the Law and the Gospel is the height of knowledge in Christendom. Every person and all persons who assume or glory in the name of Christian should know and be able to state this difference. If this ability is lacking, one cannot tell a Christian from a heathen or a Jew; of such supreme importance is this differentiation. This is why St. Paul so strongly insists on a clean–cut and proper differentiating of these two doctrines. (Martin Luther, Sermon on Galatians, 1532.)
So these two, Law and Gospel, must always go together in every sermon. They must be carefully divided in every sermon. God's Law must show us our sin, and God's Gospel must silence the Law’s accusations against us with the perfect life, death and resurrection of Jesus for us.
This is not to say that a good sermon will ONLY do this. Good preaching, according to Paul, does many things: It rebukes, reproves, admonishes, corrects, comforts, encourages, trains and teaches (Rom. 15:14; 1 Cor. 10:11; Col. 1:28; 3:16; 2 Tim. 2:4; 3:16; Titus 1:9). But whatever else good preaching does, it must above all rightly condemn us on account of our sin and declare us innocent on account of Jesus.
That was a Good Sermon?