I consider the government of the U.S. as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.
‹Thomas Jefferson›
Atlantis: the domain of the Stingray
30Jun
2019
Sun
15:50
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Second Sunday after Trinity

Luke 14:15-24

Trinity II 2019 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

If you wanted to get Jesus to talk to you, you’d say something that sounded religious.

It’s an age-old habit. If you want to impress someone in a given field, you say what little you know about their field. If you want to make a good impression on a native speaker of a foreign language, you say what you can in their language—or at the least, learn to greet them in their language. Your God recognizes this, which is part of the reason why St. Paul was inspired to write, “Knowledge puffs up.” (cf. 1 Corinthians 8:1)

So it should come as no surprise as Jesus was eating with a group of Pharisees, that one of them would speak up and say something religious. Now, Luke did write that they were watching Him carefully, and you know that means that they were waiting for an opportunity to catch Him in an “A-ha moment.” There’s little better way to do that to someone you acknowledge to be a good teacher (cf. Luke 10:25; 18:18) than to shoot off at the mouth something that sounds like good teaching.

“Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”

23Jun
2019
Sun
15:55
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Presentation of the Augsburg Confession (transferred)

John 15:1-11

Presentation of the Augsburg Confession (transferred) 2019 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Articles IV, V, and VI form the crux of Lutheran doctrine and practice—you can read them on the back of your bulletins this morning. Everything else that is taught and believed in the Lutheran church is informed by what is espoused in these three articles. Why aren’t they the first three articles? Basically because the first three—on God, Sin, and the Son of God—get you to these three. So, you can’t have these three without those three, and on those three, most of Christianity agrees. Once you get to Articles IV, V, and VI, though, confessions and denominations diverge.

  • Article IV states that man is justified freely before God on account of the Son of God and for His sake, and this through faith, apart from any works, strength, or the merits of his own. This faith is trust in God and a belief that one’s sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake by the all-atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
  • Article V states that this faith is obtained by way of the Word of God being proclaimed to you, and that the Office of the Holy Ministry was especially instituted by God in order that you would have the Word proclaimed to you, hear of your sins forgiven, and that the means of grace would be given to you. Of chief importance, though, is that faith is obtained by way of the Word, as you heard in today’s Epistle:
But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:14-17)
  • Article VI states that good works that a Christian does are bound follow this gift of faith. These works are necessary—yes, they are required of you—but not insofar as they inform your justification or salvation, as was aforementioned.

Anything other than this is a perversion of Biblical doctrine and should be rejected as either heterodox—which can simply be understood as a different teaching held by anyone—or heretical—which would be an established, false teaching. Even the Augsburg Confession does this.