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About posted sermons:

     By posting this sermon, I do not mean to suggest that reading a sermon on the Internet does in anyway replace your need to attend the Divine Service. Jesus commissions His ministers with these words, “He who hears you, hears Me.” Luke 10:16. The sermons are meant to be heard as the pastor proclaims them in Christ's stead. Further, Holy Scriptures cautions us all, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is.” Heb 10:25.

     However, there are some good reasons to post a sermon. First, if ill, or unable to attend, at least the sermon can be read. Second, the sermon can be used in a devotional manner in the course of the week. And lastly, in the posting of a sermon, the congregation's commitment to Christ's Word and Sacrament ministry can be both demonstrated and observed.

     May the Holy Ghost bless Christ's Word as you use these sermons to read, study, and meditate upon Christ crucified the only Way, Truth, and Light.

Rev. Thomas A Ludwig

Green Lectern
Crucifix on Crucifier

Where God’s word is read in the daily lessons from the Bible.

Green Pulpit

Where Christ speaks through His minister, His Word to the congregation. Jesus says, “He who hears you, hears me.” Luke 10:16

The Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity

10/15/17

Deuteronomy 10:12-21, 1 Corinthians 1:4-9, & St. Matthew 22:34-46.

830, 694, 549, 842, 402

Grace, Mercy, and Peace to you, from God the Father, and Christ Jesus the Lord. Amen.

The sermon text is the Gospel appointed, the Gospel according to St. Matthew, the 22nd chapter, with particular focus on these words:

And [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

The text in part. Please be seated.

In the name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Last Sunday's Law really beat us up. There is no denying that the proud arrogant old man flesh is alive and well within us. We get mad, say hurtful things, and shun people we don't like.

Yet as we despair of our own abilities to please God, and rightly so(!), as His Baptized we rejoice at Christ's life, suffering, death, and resurrection for the forgiveness of all sin, especially yours and mine.

Today, the Holy Spirit has gathered some hard hearted Pharisees to Jesus. All three persons of the Holy Godhead desires that all men might be saved, even Pharisees like you and me.

And so we consider Jesus' words this morning:

On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

  • The Law must not be broken.
  • The Law is broken again, and again.
  • The Law is kept.
  • T T T

The Law must not be broken.

Moses writes,

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?”

Life was very good in the garden. Adam and Eve had every good thing of all Creation. Sinless, they were Holy creatures in an intimate and real happy relationship with God. He was their loving Father, and they were His created children.

Worship in the garden was very simple. They ate of every good thing and did not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil for God had said,

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Ge 2:16–17).

God gave them every good thing, created them Holy and they gladly obeyed His Commandment, well, …, until they didn't.

God's Word can't be broken. He can't lie. What He says and promises must and will happen. The verdict for disobedience was given before the transgression. “In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die”

With the first bite, perhaps really with that intention to bite, that desire to be like gods, sin entered the world. And death was inevitable. God's Word, “you shall surey die,” can't be broken. By the very Word of God, at Adam's sin, death was born.

Adam and Eve covered their nakedness which now began to show death's advance. Their conscience also binding their guilt to their own terrible fear of death.

Hiding in the bushes afraid, covered with leaves in a vain attempt to mask their sinfulness, they awaited God's wrath, their death, and worse the devil's domain. They must have been thinking, “He's going to kill us!”

The Law is broken, again, and again.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

In the hearing you and I are slain.

  • There are times and things in our lives that we sometimes treat with the devotion that which we should give only to the Lord God.
  • There are also times we do not love our neighbor as ourselves, but instead hate him, call him names, covet his stuff, and even take his things, and if not in deeds, in omissions of the good we should shower upon him.
  • On thing is for certain our deeds will not purchase heaven! They can't! For one of our sins alone is enough to condemn us.

Over and over again in our daily life we sin against God and neighbor. Who will save us from our own wicked flesh!?

The Law is kept!

Scared to certain death in the bushes, Adam and Eve heard, through made to hear ears. the first Gospel message, that promised Seed, the Savior from their sins and eternal death. What joy their forgiveness gave them!

For your sin too, Jesus was promised to be the Savior. And for your sins too, God sent His Son to live, suffer, die, and rise again for the forgiveness of Adam and Eve and their heritage, for the whole world, and especially for you.

There is forgiveness for your sins, and it is given to you through the blood of Christ – in the waters and Word of Holy Baptism, in the Word pronouced in Holy Absolution, in the Word proclaimed and taught, in the Holy Communion, and out in the world in the Holy Consolation of the saints, (you to each other and they to you).

T T T

It is always hard, hearing the Law, for you and I can't stand before its righteous accusations. The Law is right and good and just. We do break it. And as the Baptized this is brought home to us daily through the work of Holy Baptism.

We are rightly brought to sorrow and contrition over our sinfulness. We repent! And the Word of Holy Baptism is gracious and good and it always points us back to the crucified Savior Who already paid the full penalty of all the sins of the world.

Baptism gives faith in the atonement for sin and death that Christ's life, suffering, death, and resurrection purchased for you.

And forgiven, we get to give thanks to our heavenly Father through our lives with our neighbors. With Christ's forgiveness the works He wills in us spring up, not toward salvation but because of it.

And you live in Christian freedom to give thanks to God for your forgiveness so that you get to love your neighbor, because of Christ's meritous works for you. Even your sin-tarnished lives are accepted by the Father now as sweet smelling incense for Christ's Holy Passion's sake.

These words:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And, …, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

These words will always sting and show you your sins, but as the Baptized, in your forgiveness you get to use these words as a guide to live in Christ.

Your sin-tarnished service, daily repented of, will accompany your life with your neighbor, but the body and blood of Christ, given to you, eternally declare:

that you are forgiven, you are saved, and you have already begun to live forever (point to the fount). For Jesus' most Holy Passion's sake. Amen.

In the name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Please stand.

The Peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus the Lord. Amen.

 

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