Posts Tagged ‘historic lectionary’

The Mysterious Joh. Eichorn

February 23, 2014 Leave a comment

johann eichhorn 1565A reader asked me who this “Johannes Eichhorn” is who wrote all the prayers for the Sundays of the historic lectionary. There is another more famous Johannes Eichorn who lived in the 18th or 19th century, but our Eichorn doesn’t appear to have a biography in English.

I’m flattered to have someone read this blog, and it makes me happy to see other people getting a taste of the old Lutheran piety that is hidden away from most of us in German.  So I’m looking into it.

But right now I only have sketchy information.  This is exacerbated by the fact that there are other Eichhorns who did stuff in Germany around the time of the reformation.

Anyway,  I got those prayers out of Evangelische Lutherischer Gebets-Schatz published in 1881 by Concordia in St. Louis.  My version is a free download from Google Books.

On p. 17 in the adobe numbering of my version there is a list of sources.  The information it gives about the author is (translated from German):

Joh. Eichorn (died 1564).  Armory and Treasury (1715).

If you search for a Joh. Eichorn d. 1564, you’ll probably eventually find this Wikipedia page:

which is where I got the picture.  In addition to having some information in German that I don’t have time to translate now, it also links to a biographical blurb on another site (also in German).  I’ll try to translate it soon, but in the meantime you can probably cut and paste it into Google translate and get some idea what it says.,20Johannes.htm

Sciurus, Johannes

auch: Eichorn, Aichorn


Geburtsdatum unbekannt, geb. in Nürnberg, gest. 3.11.1564 in Königsberg


S. stammte aus Nürnberg und kam 1546 als Professor nach Königsberg, wo er anfangs Griechisch und auch Mathematik lehrte. Ab 1550 übernahm er zusätzlich die Professur für Ethik. Als Anhänger Andreas Osianders trug er zur Verschärfung des Konflikts zwischen Joachim Mörlin und Osiander bei. In einer handschriftlichen Stellungnahme, die an Matthias Flacius gerichtet ist, vertrat auch S. die osiandrische Gotteslehre und den Satz „In Deum non cadit accidens.“ Auf die Verdächtigung, nestorianische Lehren zu vertreten, die bei einer Disputation „De fortitudine“ am 28.5.1552 gegen ihn erhoben wurde, veröffentlichte er eine „Apologia gegen Bartholomäus Wagner und Johann Hoppe“. Darin vertritt er ebenfalls die osiandrische Gotteslehre. Osiander trat S. mit einer Flugschrift zur Seite, in der er die Vorwürfe Wagners in sieben Thesen zurückwies. Nach dem Tod Osianders wurde S. einer der Bevollmächtigten, die sich um Osianders Nachlass kümmern sollten. 1554 wechselte er die Lehrfächer, unterrichtete nun Hebräisch und von 1554 bis 1558 auch Theologie. Gleichzeitig war er Hofprediger Herzog Albrechts.


Deutsches Biographisches Archiv (DBA): I 1166,68-71;II 1208,351




Prayer on the Sunday of Cantate

April 22, 2013 4 comments

Prayer on the Sunday of Cantate (5th Sunday of Easter)

O Lord God, heavenly Father! Through Your Son You promised us the Holy Spirit, that He would convict the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment.  We beseech You, enlighten our hearts, so that we recognize our sins, and through faith in Christ attain the righteousness which endures forever.  In every sorrow and distress, whenever the devil mounts his charge against us, let us seize hold of this comfort—that Christ is the Lord over the devil, death, and all things, and that He will in the end will deliver us from every evil and give us everlasting blessedness.  Amen.  Johannes Eichorn, 1511-1564

Prayer on Palm Sunday. Gebets-Schatz.

March 15, 2013 3 comments

84.  Prayer on Palm Sunday

O Lord God, heavenly Father, Who out of fatherly grace did not spare Your only begotten Son, but instead gave Him over to death, even death on the cross: we beseech You, give us Your Holy Spirit in our hearts, that we earnestly comfort ourselves with this Your grace, and further that we guard ourselves against sin; that whatever suffering you send us, we might bear it patiently, to the end that through Him we live with You forever.  Amen.

–Johannes Eichorn (1511-1564)

Evangelische Lutherischer Gebets-Schatz

Related Articles

The Monster of Uncertainty Invocabit Sermon 2013. Matthew 4

February 21, 2013 3 comments

jesus tempted


St. Peter Lutheran Church

St. Matthew 4:1-11

February 17, 2013

Jesu juva!


 Beloved in Christ,

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Temptation by the devil

Being alone


Forsaken by other supports


Uncertainty…Did God say?  Is God with me?  Am I pleasing to God?


Fortifying self with God’s word—catechism [review during Lent]


“Baptized for this moment.” [LCMS theme]


  1.  Theme:  Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
    1.  The Word of God gives us our lives in this world.
    2. The Word of God gives us eternal life in Christ.


 The Word of God gives us our lives in this world.

God will preserve our lives

1st article

Our callings: identity/ lives given to us by God through His Word/ Commandment [ie…Honor your father and mother.  Husbands, love your wives.  Wives, submit to your own husbands…etc.  Table of Duties in catechism]

Certainty that our work, etc. is pleasing to God.

Certainty for life in the Church


Order: Church is built by Word and Sacrament.  Pastors have the highest office in the church.  Yet the pastoral office, instituted by Christ, is ministry       of      service.  Church life regulated by the Word of the Lord, by love that submits itself to the brother where God leaves us free.


Worship: Preaching of the pure Gospel.  Right administration of the sacraments.  Freedom  in ceremonies for the sake of the edification of the church (ie not freedom to do whatever we want, but freedom to do what best serves the preaching of the Gospel…including concern that the hearers understand, but also concern that our use of freedom does not undermine the true unity of the Church in doctrine and administration of the sacraments.)  The Word of the Lord gives us Divine Worship; it gives us the Gospel, Holy Baptism, Absolution, Christ’s body and blood, prayer, Scripture.  We don’t create worship but receive it through the means of grace; then the fruits of faith–prayer, thanksgiving, giving, serving…etc. are generated in us by the faith given by the Spirit.


Preservation of the Church…the Lord’s Word builds church and preserves it.  The Lord gives the church.  We work in the Church, but the Lord preserves it and makes it grow.

Certainty in prayer–given in the Word that commands us to pray and promises that we will be heard.


A good conscience–given through the Gospel and Sacraments by Holy Spirit




The Word of God gives us eternal life in Christ.


“The monster of uncertainty”…not being sure about the Word of God is unbelief.

The devil works to get us into a position where we violate our conscience and do what we believe to be wrong, or what we are uncertain about.

Willful sin destroys faith.  But where the devil can’t put our conscience to sleep, he works to make us uncertain all the time–inventing sins, constantly telling us that for one reason or another we are not allowed to take hold of the comfort of the Gospel of Jesus for ourselves.


Jesus our substitute


His    Baptism…He takes our guilt

Temptation…He overcomes in our place

Death…He atones for our sins.




Jesus our Priest








Our brother


Tempted as we




Conquered for us.





His promises are our defense and certainty.


Word (Scripture passages, Catechism)




Holy Baptism








Sacrament of the Altar




Their use in prayer (certainty)




Our teacher. (sensei?)




Teaches us faith and prayer through temptation




Teaches us combat with Satan.






The author and finisher of our faith.




He has completed our reconciliation with God.




He will bring to completion the good work that He began


Your personal salvation


The Church’s salvation.





The Word gives us our lives/callings in this world.

The Word of Christ gives us everlasting life when our consciences are uncertain, proclaiming Christ who is God’s “Yes” to us.




The peace of God, which passes understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Amen.




Soli Deo Gloria


The Cult Leader Who Did Not Change With the Times and Went out of Business. Quinquagesima 2013 Sermon.

February 11, 2013 1 comment

jesus' back 14Quinquagesima

St. Peter Lutheran Church

St. Luke 18:31-43

February 10, 2013

“The Cult Leader Who Did Not Change With the Times and Went out of Business”

Jesu juva!

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

“the people in …charge of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod hate gays way more than they love the schoolchildren of Sandy Hook.”

“It kind of makes me want to send all the LCMS ministers who believe this [excrement] to Missouri. Give them a county to live in, but don’t allow them to spread their narrow-minded church outside it.”


 “I am a Missouri Synod Lutheran who is saddened and discouraged by the reprimand of Pastor Morris. The thought process behind the rebuke is medieval. …LCMS needs to get over this foolish, provincial approach to faith and community. You are driving people away from God.”


“…I’m convinced the Missouri Synod is more of a cult than an actual denomination; at best, it won’t change with the times. I hope this event sends a message to the Missouri Synod leadership to change with the times–or go out of business.”


“Christ the King Lutheran Church is a Hate group “


“Why does this group get tax privilage and minister allowances, they are not contributing to a stronger America, only a stronger control of the group with spiritual blackmail.”

During the past week or so the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod made the news over an incident that happened in the wake of the killings in Newtown, Connecticut.  You may not have heard about it.  I only accidentally stumbled on it on Friday.

Basically what happened is this: after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a number of religious leaders gathered to offer prayers and consolation to the grieving community.  Various Christian clergy were present along with Jewish, Islamic, and Bahai religious leaders.  A young pastor from the local Missouri Synod Lutheran congregation was also present to offer a prayer or blessing.

But his presence caused some controversy in our synod….


[Prayer with those who deny that Jesus is “very God of very God” is participation in idolatry and denial of Christ.


Joint preaching/worship/Holy Communion with other pastors who confess false doctrine is to confirm people in error and to become guilty of profaning God’s name


Closed communion (or “close” communion, if one prefers) is a way that orthodox congregations confess God’s Word.  In doing it we are not saying, “We are better than you,” or “You are not Christians,” but instead saying, “In spite of our many sins and our great sadness over the outward divisions in Christendom, we believe that the doctrine of our Church is Christ’s teaching, His pure Word, drawn from the Holy Scriptures.  Because we are certain that our church’s confession and teaching is the teaching of Christ in the Holy Scriptures, we do not have fellowship with those who publicly profess error—either by teaching it, or by holding membership in a fellowship that holds erroneous doctrines.”]

Needless to say, this teaching is unpopular.  It’s unpopular among many of our own members.  It’s not accepted by all Missouri Synod pastors.  And if it’s like that in our own house, what will it be like outside of the Church?

It’s time to wise up, to stop being blind.  It’s delusional to think that if we just say and do everything right, no one will be offended by God’s Word.  We live in a time when people want to believe that all religions lead to God and salvation, that people are basically good, that in the Christian Church we shouldn’t waste much energy worrying about teaching and doctrine, or that it’s rude to point out false doctrine. We should not be surprised if people don’t like it and leave.  What we should be surprised about is the way God not by human power but by His Spirit keeps bringing people to St. Peter who believe this doctrine that gets us scorn and hatred from the world.  God keeps doing this even though the congregation itself is divided about it, even though there are those in the congregation who reject and oppose it.

As time goes by no one should be surprised if people leave more frequently, because people are likely to be faced not only with the offense of the Word of God but also with the pain of hostility and persecution from the world.  Are you ready to be called a member of a “hate group”?  It seems like those days are approaching very quickly.

This is what Jesus tried to tell His disciples on three occasions before His arrival in Jerusalem.  In the Gospel for today we hear His third and final prediction of His passion in the Gospel according to St. Luke.

“Taking aside the twelve disciples, Jesus said: Look—we’re going up to Jerusalem, and everything  that was written by the prophets about the Son of Man will happen.


He will be betrayed to the Gentiles, and ridiculed, and put to shame, and spit on.


They will beat Him to a pulp with whips.  Then they will kill Him.  And the third day, He will rise.”  But the disciples understood nothing of what He said.  The saying was hidden from them, and they didn’t know what He was talking about.”


+The disciples didn’t understand because our sinful flesh cannot accept that the whole Scripture is about Jesus’ death for our sins on the cross.  The Scripture is not about your accomplishments, suffering, or works.  It is about Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins.

  • Luther wrote in a sermon for this Sunday: ”But the disciples understood none of these things,” says Christ, ”And this saying was hid from them.” That is as much as to say: Reason, flesh and blood, cannot understand it nor grasp that the Scriptures should say how the Son of man must be crucified; much less does reason understand that this is Christ’s will and he does it cheerfully; for it does not believe it is necessary for him to suffer for us, it wants to deal directly with God through its own good works. even those to whom the Spirit reveals it in their hearts believe it with difficulty and must struggle with it. Such a great and wonderful thing it is that the Son of man died the death of the cross willingly and cheerfully to fulfil the Scriptures, that is, for our welfare; it is a mystery and it remains a mystery.

  Read more…

The Seed Bears Fruit According to its Kind–Sexagesima Sermon (edited) (2013)

February 3, 2013 10 comments

franz joseph 3This is the shorter version, something like what I actually preached.  It was about 25 minutes.  I’m going to post the first draft because even I can’t believe how long it was. 


St. Peter Lutheran Church

St. Luke 8:4-15

February 3, 2013

“The seed  bears fruit according to its kind”


Jesu juva!


Dear Congregation:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.


Our kids get their DNA from their mom and dad, so they are different from their parents.  But not that different.  Look at pictures of your great-grandparents and great-great grandparents and see.  Seeds produce fruit according to their kinds.  A pine cone never grows into a lemon tree.  And human beings conceived in the womb always grow up to be the kind of seed they are—Adam and Eve seed.  What we are when we’re full grown is the same as what we were at conception; fallen man.  A creature that once had the glorious image of God but exchanged it for shame and a curse, for death and God’s anger.


The world we live in is full of quiet witnesses to the wisdom, power, and goodness of God.  He is able to concentrate abundant life into the tiniest of containers, as He does with seeds.  And He does it all the time.  But the world doesn’t tell us that God who is able to make life will restore life to humankind.  It tells us that each new human seed that grows up in the world dies just like the one before it.  How could it be different?  An unclean seed can only produce seeds like itself.  The first man’s nature was hostile to God when he took the fruit God commanded must not be eaten.  That was the only kind of life Adam could pass on—life that begins in rebellion against God and ends in death.


The Bible tells how as soon as the first man and woman confessed their sin, God promised that the seed of a woman would come and destroy the one who holds the power of death—the liar, the ancient serpent.  God would plant His Son into the midst of the human race, and He would bring forth offspring in His image—seed not hostile to God, but well-pleasing, sharing His life.


Jesus is that seed.  He is true man and true God.  He is a new man, not corrupt from birth like Adam and his seed.  He is innocent and not under judgment.


He comes to bring forth other sons of God.  And to do this, He sows the seed of His Word.  Jesus sows His life giving, fruitful seed among us—the Word of His death and resurrection.  The seed produces fruit according to its kind.  Just as a tree brings forth other trees like itself through its seed, Jesus brings forth other sons of God like Himself through the seed of His Word.



  1. How the seed works

If you lived two thousand years ago and wanted to grow wheat, you had to sow.  This was not a scientific process.  You just threw handfuls of seed around your field as you walked through it. Then some would land in the dirt and start growing.

  1. Faith

Jesus’ Word works the same way.  The Word is the Word of Christ—it is the Word that tells about Jesus.  More than that, Jesus Himself is in the Word, like the future plant is “in” the seed.


Where Jesus’ word is received in faith, the seed of Christ’s Word is growing.  Wherever it is growing, Christ’s kingdom is present.  The person who believes in Jesus is a son of God in the image of Jesus, a co-worker and co-ruler with Jesus.


  1. Fruit—Christ does His work in us

Usually when a sower goes out to sow seeds in a field, he doesn’t want these plants to just produce a stalk and leaves.  He wants fruit—tomatoes, or cucumbers, or corn, or grain.


Jesus is the same when He scatters His seed.  He’s not satisfied just to have the Word fall on your ears, or even to have it take root in your heart and begin to grow.  He wants it to come to maturity, to completion.  He wants it to bear fruit.


i.      Fruits of the Spirit

The seed of His Word begins to grow when it is heard and believed.  “You are justified by Christ alone,” the Gospel says, and immediately in the one who hears and believes new life begins.  It is the new life that is in the seed—the new creature that you are in Christ instead of the old creature born from Adam’s seed.

A seed that has germinated starts living and growing immediately.  But you don’t see it.  It takes several days before the little green shoot pushes through the dirt.  And it takes a long time for that little shoot to grow to the point where you can be reasonably sure it’s going to survive.  Even after that, a lot of things can happen that might keep it from successfully bringing forth fruit.


That’s the way it is with the life of Christ in us.  When faith begins, immediately His life starts to grow in us.  Virtue, knowledge of God, self-control, joy, peace, patience, steadfastness, godliness, kindness, gentleness, goodness, love—they begin to grow the way a seed grows into roots and a stem—all aiming toward the mature plant that bears fruit.


  1.                                                                         ii.       Co-rulers and co-workers with Jesus


The seed of the Word reaches maturity when we are completely new and nothing remains of the nature of Adam.  We are our new selves in Christ.  We have died and risen again.  In the meantime we grow.  We grow in Christ.  But that means our old nature dies.  “Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day,” St. Paul says in 2 Corinthians (4:16). 


That dying of the old and rising of the new is a process.  But Christians don’t live hoping that the process will continue to its completion; we live by faith in Jesus.  In His death and resurrection we are already complete.  We don’t simply live hoping that we will one day become fully grown sons of God.  We are already “Sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ, for all of [us] who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” [Galatians 3].  We already call God “Father” as though we were already completely renewed in Christ.


“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come,” St. Paul tells us  [2 Corinthians 5:17].  We are justified.  Our sins are not counted to us.  They were accounted to Jesus on the
cross.  Now His righteousness is counted to us.  So we pray to the Father as sons together with Jesus.


“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…” [Romans 8:16-17].  We are co-heirs with Christ and also co-rulers and co-workers with Him.  He does His work in us and through us.


  1.                                                                         iii.      Whatever you ask in my name…

“If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples.”  Jesus says this to His disciples in John 15 [:7-8].


We bear much fruit when, as children of God, we pray with the access Jesus have given to the Father.  Those prayers that come from faith in Christ’s Word receive whatever they request from the Father.  Because we know the Father and are His children, He hears us.  Because the Holy Spirit teaches us through the Word of Christ, we not only are changed into the image of Christ, but we learn to pray according to God’s will.  We learn what God has promised and what He has commanded, and we pray for the things He has promised.


In this way we bear “much fruit.”  We don’t merely do human work. We are working together with Christ.  He works in us to pray for what He sees is needed by the Church, the world, and our neighbors.  The faith in Jesus that starts to grow when the seed of His Word in our hearts makes us participants in Jesus’ work as priest and king.  The fruit that comes from this prayer is fruit that endures to eternal life, because it is the fruit of Jesus Himself coming forth in us.



  1. Failed sowing

Yet according to Jesus, in 3 out of 4 types of hearers, His Word does not result in fruit.  Why is that?  It’s not because there was something wrong with the seed.  The seed of the Gospel says “Your sins are forgiven through Jesus’ blood.”  It is not an uncertain word.  It is a word of salvation.  In every case where the seed of the Gospel does not result in a person coming to maturity in Christ and reaching eternal life, it is because the hearer does not allow it to do its work.


The Gospel is not received.  Or it is received, but only as long as things feel good and look good.  Or it is received by faith but is stunted and choked by all the other concerns of this world.


It’s not that Jesus doesn’t earnestly desire the full salvation of everyone who hears the Word.  He sows it everywhere; He lets the good news of the forgiveness of sins fall on hard hearts that don’t listen, and on those who are unwilling to keep His word unless everything is nice, and on those who refuse to trust His Word alone, but divide their loyalty between Jesus and the wisdom of this world.

Read more…

Prayers for Sexagesima and Quinquagesima

February 2, 2013 3 comments

van gogh sower77.  Prayer on the Sunday of Sexagesima

Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank You that You have sown Your blessed Word among us through Your Son, Jesus Christ.  We beseech You that You would so prepare our hearts through Your Holy Spirit that we would hear this Word with diligence, keep it in noble and good hearts, and with patience bring forth fruit.  Mercifully grant that we may not be choked by sins, but that by Your merciful help we smother them.  In every kind of danger may Your grace and eternal consolation hold us steady and give us sure comfort.  Amen.  Johannes
Eichorn, 1511-1564

78.  Prayer on the Sunday of Estomihi (Quinquagesima)

Lord God, heavenly Father, Who graciously opened the eyes of the blind man through Your Son, Jesus Christ, and let the Light be seen, we poor sinners beseech You that You would enlighten our hearts through Your blessed Word, that we would learn to know You rightly through Christ, Your Son, Who died for us on the cross and paid for our sins.  Mercifully grant us in all distresses and attacks of Satan to look only at Your gracious help and Your tender-hearted mercy, seek them by a prayer uttered in faith, and thus find solace and rescue from the devil, sin, and death, and be numbered among the blessed.  Amen.  Johannes Eichorn, 1511-1564

(2013 translation)

Crawl to the Cross. Septuagesima Sermon (Matt. 20:1-16), Jan. 27, 2013

January 28, 2013 4 comments

wanatah crucifix 3Septuagesima

St. Peter Lutheran Church

St. Matthew 20:1-16

January 27, 2013

“Crawl to the Cross”


Jesu juva!

Dear Congregation:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The law makes sin known

And strikes down the conscience.

Then the Gospel comes to help

Revives the sinner, and says,

“Just crawl to the cross

The law gives no rest or quiet

No matter how many works you do.”

That’s a more literal and less poetic version of one of the stanzas of the hymn for this Sunday, “Salvation unto us has come.”  That hymn was in the very first hymnal published for use in the churches of the Gospel in 1524.

On the face of it, it is kind of dry as far as the words go.  Later German hymnwriters taught sound doctrine while at the same time managing to write poetry.  “Salvation unto us has come” sounds like someone took the Augsburg Confession or the Catechism and put it in rhyme and meter.  On the face of it, it isn’t a heartwarming hymn.  Not even in German, when you compare it to the hymns of Paul Gerhardt, who wrote “Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me”, or Philip Nicolai, who wrote “O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright”.

But it was not written by a theologian in a university, by a nitpicker who wanted to make sure people in the pews weren’t making theological mistakes.  It was written by a man named Paul Speratus in 1523, a year before its publication.  He was in prison.  He was waiting to be burned at the stake as a heretic.  The year before he had been excommunicated because he preached a sermon in which he rejected his vows to be a monk, saying that those vows were against the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Deutsch: Paul Speratus

Deutsch: Paul Speratus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Condemned to burn to death in earthly fire, and condemned to burn forever in hell’s eternal fire by the pope, who claimed to be the head of the church by Christ’s will, Speratus wrote a hymn that teaches the difference between faith and good works.  Waiting for death, he writes a dogmatic hymn about the justification of the sinner before God through faith in Christ alone.  The justification of sinners through faith in Christ alone apart from works was not just dogma.

It is[God’s] salvation that has come to us

Out of His grace and great kindness

Works can never help,

They cannot protect us.

Faith only pays attention to Jesus Christ

Who has made satisfaction for us all

He has become the mediator.

It was not just dogma, this right distinction between faith and works.  For Speratus it was the very salvation of God that had come to him out of God’s great goodness and mercy alone.  That’s why he wrote a hymn explaining it in plain prose as he waited to be burned at the stake.

Learning doctrine is not a work you have to perform.  Pure doctrine is not something the Lutheran Church emphasizes because it is legalistic or old-fashioned.  It is because the pure doctrine Jesus entrusted to the disciples, the pure doctrine taught by the Holy Spirit, gives us the righteousness that will stand before God.  It gives us certainty and a peaceful conscience.  It makes a new heart in us that loves our neighbor and begins to do the will of God.  It makes us able to face hatred, mockery, persecution with a peaceful conscience that does not respond in hatred toward our persecutors.  It makes us stand when the devil sifts us and threatens us with hell, tempting us to find relief from His accusations in our works instead of Christ’s work.

When doctrine is not kept pure, these things are lost.  People become uncertain of their salvation.  Or they become self-satisfied, self-righteous, and secure, like the workers hired at the beginning of the day in Jesus’ parable.  That is why it is no small thing when false doctrine is taught or tolerated in the church, or when those who speak or proclaim the Word of God wrongly apply it and do not properly distinguish the law of God and the Gospel of God, faith in Christ and good works.  Tolerance of false doctrine does not hallow God’s Holy Name, but blasphemes it.  It also robs people of the certainty of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.  It prevents good works (even though it usually claims to promote them).

False doctrine is like dandelions, crabgrass, or creeping Charlie.  I’ve never heard of anyone planting dandelions or crabgrass.  I never planted them in my yard and yet every year they threaten to take it over.

That is the way false doctrine is.  It doesn’t take work for false doctrine to appear.  It grows naturally and vigorously in the soil of human hearts.  Human hearts by nature are “good soil” for false doctrine.  Why?  Because they are naturally self-righteous.  They are naturally completely corrupt, full of lies and hatred of God.  Your heart and mine.

That’s why the disciples were so slow to learn what Jesus taught and so quick to believe a different gospel about Jesus, which led to them abandoning Him when He was crucified.  That’s why the Church so quickly began to tolerate and embrace false teaching.  Within a few centuries after the Apostles the Church was permitting or encouraging prayer to the mother of God and the saints as mediators, teaching that by taking monastic vows we become more pleasing to God.

In the parable of the workers in the vineyard, Jesus is warning the disciples about this—about putting confidence in our flesh and its works instead of relying on grace.

+++The first will be last

++Ch. 19—Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Disciples: Who can be saved?  Jesus: With man this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.

+Peter: We left everything to follow you.  What will we get?  Jesus: You will sit on 12 thrones…and everyone who forsakes family, home, etc. for me will receive a hundred times more and eternal life.  But many who are first will be last and the last first.

+After this parable, Jesus explains that He is going to Jerusalem and will be mocked, flogged, and crucified.

+Then James and John want to sit at his right hand.  Jesus: whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant, and whoever wants to be first will be your slave.  For even the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

+The parable says, Do not think your labor or good works or suffering earns you anything; don’t put your trust in those.

++We owe God perfect obedience

+1st article

+Our idleness

+We don’t want to work, love, or suffer unless we get something out of it

++To enter into the kingdom of heaven is to enter work, like laborers in vineyard; the greatest in the kingdom is the biggest slave

+The burden of the day

-Hearing and confessing the word

-Pastoring family

-Bearing with the weak in the church

-Helping those in need (not only monetarily).

-Speaking the truth in love (in kingdom of the world as well as the church) (abortion, homosexual marriage, freedom of religion)

+The scorching heat

– We can’t do much for others because we’ve spent so many years selfishly

-Disciplining the flesh (Lent, 1 Cor)

-What sins should we confess (catechism) (Here consider your station in life according to the ten commandments)

-Persecution and suffering…that’s what comes as a result of speaking the truth in love.  Not gratitude or honor, but being cast out, rejected, despised.

+Those who compare themselves to others will fall.

-This is what we feel like doing: see how much I’ve suffered!  See how much harder I’ve tried than these others!  And no one stood with me!

-Then if they get the same reward we are angry.  This is covetousness.

-Eph. 5:5 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

-To be in the kingdom working is grace.  It was earned for us by Jesus’ suffering.

– Looking at the law, comparing yourself to others, you add sin to sin.

– grumblers cast out.


Theme: Crawl to the cross.  Jesus has made satisfaction for your sins there.  He has done enough (genug tun).


+++The last will be first.

++We cannot keep the law or find rest there.


It was not possible for our corrupt nature

To free itself by its own power.

The more it tried,

The more sin increased.

God damns this hypocritical work

The shame of the sin in our flesh

Clings to every one of our works.

++The Triune God is always working for our good.

+Jesus became man and bore all the burden and heat; He labored for our salvation and accomplished it.

+God the Father keeps giving us daily bread and preserving our lives, and now His heart is turned toward us.  He is reconciled.

+The Holy Spirit testifies and consoles us in the Gospel that Jesus has satisfied the Father’s wrath against our ungodliness.

++Through the forgiveness of sins earned by Jesus, the Holy Spirit gives us new hearts that desire to keep the law.

+Why we don’t want to labor and suffer out of love—original sin

+The Holy Spirit renews our hearts.  We begin to desire to love and suffer for our neighbor’s good and the honor of Christ.

+But that is not why we are righteous.

+The Holy Spirit urges, Crawl to the cross!

+Faith looks only to Jesus; only pays attention to Jesus.

-And since it [the Law] is now fulfilled through Him

Who was able to keep it

Thus now a Christian learns

The right order and pattern.

No more then [do I rely on my works], dear Lord of mine

Your death has become my life.

You have paid for me.

++He has made satisfaction for our sins and turned away the Father’s wrath.

+He is not idle and lazy.  His heart is full of love toward me.

+He treats us as brothers and wants to treat us as if we had done all the work that HE did

+He went to the lowest place, became the servant of all.

+He left bliss to suffer hell for our sakes; He did this because He loved you.

+Now the Father loves you in Him

-Not because of your renewal, but because of His suffering

-Crawl to the cross with your helplessness in sin.

++ He gives us to drink of the wine of the vineyard while we are still laboring.

+His blood in the Sacrament of the Altar, which cleanses us of sin

+Infuses His life into us

+The blood that beat in His heart which was and is so full of love for sinners.


The peace of God, which passes understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Soli Deo Gloria.


Prayer for Septuagesima. Ev. Luth. Gebets-Schatz.

January 26, 2013 5 comments

j022_workers_vineyard176.  Prayer on Seputagesima Sunday

Lord God, heavenly Father, through Your dear Word You have called us into Your vineyard.  We implore You, pour Your Holy Spirit into our hearts, that we may faithfully labor in Your vineyard, vigilant against sin and all causes of offense, attending diligently to Your Word and will.  Yet in our work may we set all our hope only in Your grace, which You have richly revealed to us in Your Son Jesus Christ, and thus be saved and blessed forever.  Amen.  Johannes Eichorn, 1511-1564

The Father is Well Pleased with the Cross of Jesus. Transfiguration/ Life Sunday Sermon

January 20, 2013 1 comment

P1000266Transfiguration Sunday [Life Sunday]

St. Peter Lutheran Church

St. Matthew 17:1-9

January 20, 2013

“The Father is well-pleased with Jesus’ cross”




[The Father is well-pleased with Jesus’ cross.

  1. 1.        We are pleased with our work and think it brings life.
  2. 2.       The Father is well-pleased with Jesus’ cross because it does bring life to you.]


“I was single, living with some friends, had a good job, and was having a good time. Having a baby just wasn’t in the cards. I told the father, and he said he had no intention of marrying me. He made his intentions quite clear right from the get-go. I had no desire to marry him either. I didn’t think a child was the right reason to get married. He said he’d pay for an abortion. Adoption was, quite truthfully, not an option I ever considered…At the time I thought that I could never give a child up, but now I look back and wonder how I could have done what I did. Giving it up would have been so much better. I didn’t really think of this as being a little person. It was a purely selfish decision. All I thought was, “What am I going to do now? This is a problem, and I have to take care of it.” I went to the doctor, and he suggested a clinic. It all happened so quickly. Looking back, I didn’t agonize. I had to make a decision; something had to be done.”


Those words come from a collection of stories told by women who have had an abortion, and you can find them at the top of the bulletin.  Further on the same woman explains how she has tried to deal with the regret and guilt that came to her later as she looked at the children God gave her in her marriage, wondering whether the child she aborted would have been a boy or a girl, whether the child is in heaven.  “I just don’t think about things that trouble me.  I push them down.” 


She goes on to describe what she thinks about God’s forgiveness: “I hear the pastor saying that it doesn’t matter how great our sins are, that God forgives us.  But I think, ‘But mine are really bad.’  I guess I believe that my sins are forgiven, but a lot of times I have a lot of trouble feeling that they are forgiven.”


There will be people hearing this sermon who have had an abortion or paid for a woman to have one.  Others have been involved in other sins against God’s gift of life.  They should hear at the outset of the sermon, now: God put away your sin on the cross of Jesus.  Don’t despair.  Listen to God’s beloved Son who says “Do not be afraid.”


Others know someone who has had an abortion.  And there are those who do not.  Tuesday is the 40th anniversary of legal abortion in the United States, but it has been done in this country for much longer than that. 


Regardless, the confession of this woman is not only her confession, and not only the confession of people who have had an abortion.  St. Peter could relate with it.  Like her, he also followed the wisdom of his flesh, called God’s work “bad” and tried to replace it with his own work.  Like her he also tried to gain life for himself in his own way, apart from God’s word.  He also fell into grave sin and would have despaired if Jesus had not restored him with His absolution.



What was true of Peter is true of all of us.  Apart from the Holy Spirit

  1. 1.        We are pleased with our work and think it brings life, but
  2. 2.       the Father is well-pleased with Jesus’ cross because it truly brings life to you.

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