The Second Sunday In Lent
(25 February 2018)
Genesis 17:1–7, 15–16; Ps. 22:23–31; Romans 5:1–11; Mark 8:27–38
Entrance: LSB 837 Lift High the Cross
Of the Day: LSB 708 Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart
Offertory: LSB 734 I Trust, O Lord, Your Holy Name
Distribution: LSB 763 When Peace, like a River;
By the Cross of Our Lord Jesus, We Inherit Life Everlasting with God
In His covenant with Abraham, the Lord promised to be with him, to bless him and to make him “the father of a multitude of nations.” It is “an everlasting covenant” in Christ Jesus, the seed of Abraham who is blameless before God Almighty. All who believe in this Lord Jesus are the offspring of Abraham and are blessed “throughout their generations” (Gen. 17:1–7), because the Christ has suffered many things. He was rejected and killed, and after three days He rose again (Mark 8:31). To comprehend this theology of the cross, we must set our minds “on the things of God,” and not “on the things of man” (Mark 8:33). “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Therefore, having been “reconciled to God by the death of his Son,” much more “shall we be saved by his life” (Rom. 5:10). Baptized into His cross and resurrection, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” and by faith we rejoice in the hope of His glory (Rom. 5:1–2).
Dr. Martin Luther:
SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT - Mark 8:27–38 (Feb. 25)
“You are Peter, that is, a man of rock. For you have recognized and named the right Man, who is the true rock, as Scripture names him, Christ. On this rock, that is on me, Christ, I will build all of my Christendom, just as you and the other disciples are built on it through my Father in heaven, who revealed it to you.” Luther's Works 41:314
Worldview Everlasting – Blind Dumb Confession (Mark 8:27-38)
Who do you say that I am? That’s Jesus’ question for his disciples in today’s Greek Tuesday text - Mark 8:27-38. And yet, in spite of Peter’s clear confession, he still doesn’t get it. Nor do the rest of the disciples. Could this be the reason Jesus tells them to keep silent and not tell anyone about him?
Worldview Everlasting – When God is a Jerk (Romans 5:1-8ff)
Greek Tuesday takes on Romans 5:1-8 where we learn that God is a jerk. No seriously. If you pay attention to the world around you, he is! But thanks be to God that we are redeemed in Christ so that in the midst of our real problems, we have hope.
Lectionary Podcast — Lent 2 - Series B — Dr. Peter J. Scaer
Dr. Peter J. Scaer, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Ind., discusses the Gospel Lesson from the Greek text.
27 Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰς κώμας Καισαρείας τῆς Φιλίππου· καὶ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἐπηρώτα τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ λέγων αὐτοῖς· Τίνα με λέγουσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι εἶναι;
28 οἱ δὲ ⸂εἶπαν αὐτῷ λέγοντες⸃ ⸀ὅτι Ἰωάννην τὸν βαπτιστήν, καὶ ἄλλοι Ἠλίαν, ἄλλοι δὲ ⸂ὅτι εἷς⸃ τῶν προφητῶν.
29 καὶ αὐτὸς ⸂ἐπηρώτα αὐτούς⸃· Ὑμεῖς δὲ τίνα με λέγετε εἶναι; ⸀ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Πέτρος λέγει αὐτῷ· Σὺ εἶ ὁ χριστός.
30 καὶ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτοῖς ἵνα μηδενὶ λέγωσιν περὶ αὐτοῦ.
31 Καὶ ἤρξατο διδάσκειν αὐτοὺς ὅτι δεῖ τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου πολλὰ παθεῖν καὶ ἀποδοκιμασθῆναι ⸀ὑπὸ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων καὶ τῶν ἀρχιερέων καὶ τῶν γραμματέων καὶ ἀποκτανθῆναι καὶ μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας ἀναστῆναι·
32 καὶ παρρησίᾳ τὸν λόγον ἐλάλει. καὶ προσλαβόμενος ⸂ὁ Πέτρος αὐτὸν⸃ ἤρξατο ἐπιτιμᾶν αὐτῷ.
33 ὁ δὲ ἐπιστραφεὶς καὶ ἰδὼν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἐπετίμησεν ⸀Πέτρῳ ⸂καὶ λέγει⸃· Ὕπαγε ὀπίσω μου, Σατανᾶ, ὅτι οὐ φρονεῖς τὰ τοῦ θεοῦ ἀλλὰ τὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων.
34 Καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τὸν ὄχλον σὺν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· ⸂Εἴ τις⸃ θέλει ὀπίσω μου ⸀ἐλθεῖν, ἀπαρνησάσθω ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἀράτω τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀκολουθείτω μοι.
35 ὃς γὰρ ⸀ἐὰν θέλῃ τὴν ⸂ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ⸃ σῶσαι ἀπολέσει αὐτήν· ὃς δʼ ἂν ⸀ἀπολέσει τὴν ⸄ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ⸅ ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ καὶ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ⸀σώσει αὐτήν.
36 τί γὰρ ⸀ὠφελεῖ ⸀ἄνθρωπον ⸂κερδῆσαι τὸν κόσμον ὅλον καὶ ζημιωθῆναι⸃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ;
37 ⸂τί γὰρ⸃ ⸀δοῖ ἄνθρωπος ἀντάλλαγμα τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ;
38 ὃς γὰρ ἐὰν ἐπαισχυνθῇ με καὶ τοὺς ἐμοὺς λόγους ἐν τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ τῇ μοιχαλίδι καὶ ἁμαρτωλῷ, καὶ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐπαισχυνθήσεται αὐτὸν ὅταν ἔλθῃ ἐν τῇ δόξῃ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ μετὰ τῶν ἀγγέλων τῶν ἁγίων.
(27) And Jesus and His disciples went out to the villages of Caesarea of Philip. And in the way, He questioned His disciples, saying to them, Whom do men say Me to be?
(28) And they answered, John the Baptist, and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.
(29) And He said to them, And you, whom do you say Me to be? And answering, Peter said to Him, You are the Christ.
(30) And He warned them that they may tell no one about Him.
(31) And He began to teach them that it is necessary for the Son of Man to suffer many things and to be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, and after three days to rise again.
(32) And He spoke the Word openly. And taking Him aside, Peter began to rebuke Him.
(33) But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, Go behind Me, Satan, because you do not mind the things of God, but the things of men.
(34) And calling near the crowd with His disciples, He said to them, Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take his cross, and let him follow Me.
(35) For whoever desires to save his life, he shall lose it. But whoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel, that one shall save it.
(36) For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
(37) Or what shall a man give as an exchange for his soul?
(38) For whoever may be ashamed of Me and My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father, along with the holy angels.
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.
From Gottesblog, as found in TLH Agenda (pp. 117-20):
O Almighty God, merciful Father, I, a poor, miserable sinner, confess unto Thee all my sins and iniquities; especially do I acknowledge my indolence in prayer, my neglect of Thy Word, and my seeking after good days and vainglory. But I am heartily sorry for them and sincerely repent of them; and I pray Thee, of Thy boundless mercy and for the sake of the holy, innocent, bitter sufferings and death of Thy beloved Son, forgive me all my sins, and be gracious and merciful to me. Yea, cleanse me through Thy Spirit by the blood of Jesus Christ, and give me more and more power and willingness to strive after holiness, for Thou has called me that I should be holy and blameless before Thee in love.
I thank Thee also, O faithful God, for my family, my wife and children, and for all my relatives. Thou hast given them to me purely out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. Preserve them in good health, and give them their daily bread; but above all keep them in Thy grace and in the true confession of Thy name unto the end.
Thou, O God of all grace and mercy, hast also called me, a poor unworthy sinner, to be a servant of Thy Word and hast placed me into that office which preaches the reconciliation and hast given me this flock to feed. In and by myself I am wholly incompetent to perform the work of this great office; and, therefore, I pray Thee, make me an able minister of Thy Church. Give me Thy Holy Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge, of grace and prayer, of power and strength, of courage and joyfulness, of sanctification and the fear of God. Fill me with the right knowledge, and open my lips that my mouth may proclaim the honor of Thy name. Fill my heart with a passion for souls and with skillfulness to give unto each and every sheep or lamb entrusted to my care what is due unto it at the proper time. Give me at all times sound advice and just works; and wherever I overlook something or in the weakness of my flesh speak or act wrongly, do Thou set it aright, and help that no one may through me suffer harm to his soul.
Glory and honor, praise and thanks be unto Thee, God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for all the mercy and faithfulness Thou hast shown to this congregation. Thy Word has not returned unto Thee void, but Thou has here gathered a people that knows Thee and fears Thy name. Give me Thy Holy Spirit, that I may at all times see the good things in this congregation and praise and thank Thee for them. Bless Thy Word in the future, that it may preserve the believers in Thy grace, convert those that are not yet Thine, and bring back the erring and delinquent. Gather Thy people as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and be Thou a wall of fire about Thy congregation.
Graciously take into Thy fatherly care the sick and the needy, all widows and orphans, and all who are in any trouble, temptation, anguish of labor, peril of death, or any other adversity. Comfort them, O God, with Thy Holy Spirit, that they may patiently endure their afflictions and acknowledge them as a manifestation of Thy fatherly will. Preserve their soul from faintheartedness and despondency, and help that they may seek Thee, the great Physician of their souls. And if any pass through the valley of the shadow of death, suffer them not, in the last hour, for any pain or fear of death, to fall away from Thee, but let Thine everlasting arms be underneath them, and grant them a peaceful departure and a happy entrance into Thine eternal kingdom.
Furthermore, I pray Thee, Thou wouldst at all times fill the offices of this congregation and its societies with upright, honest, and sincere men and women, who have the welfare of their congregation at heart and are able to help me in my office with their counsel and their deeds. Unite their hearts with me in love for the truth; give them the spirit of prayer for me and for their congregation, so that we may in unity and harmony build Thy kingdom in this place.
And since hypocrites and ungodly people are often found within the visible church organization, I pray Thee, do not permit Satan to disrupt this congregation through such or to hinder the efficiency of my office. If there is such in our midst, let Thy Word be like unto a hammer upon their hearts of stone. Have patience with them, but if they persist in their unbelief, hypocrisy, and wickedness, do Thou reveal them, so that they may be put forth from Thy congregation. Give me a forgiving heart towards all, and help me, especially for their sake, to speak and act cautiously.
Preserve and keep the youth of our Church from falling way and joining the world, and keep them from the many sins of youth. Thou, O Lord, knowest how difficult it is to lead the young on the right paths and to divide the Word of Truth with respect to them; do Thou, therefore, give me particular wisdom and skill to be stern without estranging their hearts, and mild and charitable without strengthening them in frivolity and unruliness.
Mercifully bless the education and instruction of the children, that they may grow up in Thy fear to the praise of Thy name. I commend unto Thee also the nursery of our church, the Christian day school. Hinder and frustrate all enemies of this institution. May I ever regard and accept it as a precious gift of God! Give our congregation able and apt teachers. Preserve them from an indecent and evil walk and conversation. Bless the work of our Sunday school teachers, and help them to lead the little ones into the Savior’s loving arms.
To Thy grace and mercy I also commend all my brethren in office. Arrest and suppress all discord and dissension. Give me a brotherly heart towards all and true humility, and help me to bear with patience their casual weakness or deficiencies. Grant that they also may act as true brothers toward me.
Keep and preserve our whole Synod, its teachers and officers, true to Thy Word. Cause the work of our Synod to grow. Guard and protect all members of Synod against sinful ambitions, dissension, and indifference in doctrine and practice. Bless all higher institutions of learning, our colleges, seminaries, and universities. Accompany all missionaries on their dangerous ways, and help them to perform their work. Gather the elect from all nations into Thy holy Christian Church, and bring them at last into Thy Church Triumphant in heaven.
Grant also health and prosperity to all that are in authority in our country, especially the President and Congress of the United States, the Governor and Legislature of this State, and to all Judges and Magistrates. Endue them with grace to rule after Thy good pleasure, to the maintenance of righteousness and to the hindrance and punishment of wickedness, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
Hear me, most merciful God, in these my humble requests, which I offer up unto Thee in the name of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, whom, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honor and glory, world without end. Amen.
Ash Wednesday Service
Imposition of Ashes, Wednesday Feb. 14 — 6:50 pm
Divine Service, Wednesday Feb. 14 — 7:00 pm
Wednesdays, Feb. 21, 28, March 7, 14, 21
Supper — 5:30 pm
Service — 7:00 pm (Pastors from Sioux Falls Circuit will rotate churches)
Maundy Thursday Divine Service, March 29 — 7:00 pm
Good Friday Tenebré Service, March 30 — 7:00 pm
Sunrise Matins Service, Apr. 1 — 6:30 am
Breakfast, Apr. 1 — 7:30 am
Festival Divine Service, Apr. 1 — 9:30 am
Dr. Paul Schilf leads a Midweek Family Bible Study on various topics. The study is held Wednesdays at 6:30 pm. The schedule of topics is:
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 December 10, 2017, adopted its 2018 budget, and voted to continue as a member of the Issues, Etc. 300, for the 8th 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.
Listen to Issues, Etc. 24/7
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?