Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Holy Spirit will come to our aid, especially when we pray.

Psalm 2:11 "Serve the Lord with fear"
AELW 12:78
"David understood this art, as his sermons testify. Then, too, experience shows that he did not abandon hope when he was punished, for he continues to call on God. But even if his joy was exceedingly weak, still he overcame fear, because he saw the end of the chastisement. Nor was he entirely overwhelmed, as happens to the godless. If you look at the flesh, it is almost overloaded with fear also in David, so that he does not feel any joy. And yet, as Paul says (Rom. 7:25), “he serves the Law of God with his mind.” Even when suffering the punishment of exile, he calls on God. He does not feel that there is no place for mercy, as in the case of a jailer. Even while he receives the blows, he thinks to himself: “He is my Father; He will not be angry forever....

...It is, therefore, easy to say that the true fear of God is a filial fear, that is, a fear mixed with joy or hope. But if you follow your feeling, you will perceive that joy is all but overwhelmed and extinguished by fear. But you must not on that account let your heart sink or despair, but trust in the Lord and lay hold on his Word, which declares that God’s anger is but for a moment (Ps. 30:5) and His favor is for a lifetime. That is, God wants us to live. He does not want us to perish. And for this very reason He sends us blows. And so it happens that you feel at least some small drop of joy. It will grow little by little until it finally overcomes fear. The practice is difficult, but is nevertheless of the kind which the saints of God learned to do, as their examples show. We, too, must follow in their footsteps and learn this art also. Moreover, the Holy Spirit will come to our aid, especially when we pray."

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ps 2:11 More from Luther on vocation...

Psalm 2:11   Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
AELW 12:72

"Consequently you should simply put out of sight whatever has to do with religious practice and rites, even those which God instituted through Moses. For this new King has come, and a new service will also be established accordingly....

...I usually distinguish these two aspects for myself in this way: the “worshiping” is done by a man converted to God, but the “serving” is done by a man sent by God...

...For whoever worships, falls on his knees and shows signs of submission. This is a sort of passive service; in turning to the Lord this way in firm faith in His mercy for Christ’s sake, he receives forgiveness of sins and is justified. And after he has thus been received into grace, he goes out from God, turns to men, and carries out the commandment of God pertaining to the service of men. Now that he has been justified by faith, Paul does just works, that is, he fulfills his duty by teaching; the pious official by governing; the head of a family by working. And so they serve God. They certainly do not do what pleases them, like the monks, but what God commands....

...To serve God, therefore, is nothing else than to do what God demands and to acknowledge this as the obedience owed to Him."

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Psalm 2:11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

Psalm 2:11. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

AELW 12:70

..."what is the point of those commandments of which the books of the Apostles are full, about the love of spouses toward each other, the obedience of servants, the fairness and moderation of lords, and conscientious care in administering the government? Do not these very commandments show that the Gospel recommends all these stations in life? Was it not folly, then, to teach that to serve God meant to flee these positions in life, to change not only one’s dress, but even nature itself and sex? For what else does a monk do than wish, contrary to God’s order, to be something else than a real man? Is this not utter nonsense?....God does not mean you should change your clothing, change your sex, abandon civil and domestic duties, and hide yourself away in a monastery. All these things are external and can be feigned."

Friday, May 19, 2017

Psalm 119:148 My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise

Psalm 119:148 My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise

AELW 11:512-513

"...they seek to be filled here with the riches, the empty glory and pleasure of the world, not that they might meditate on His words. But the faithful people seek spiritual things, which are the greatest things given us in faith and in the Gospel, so that they might not only hear His words (in which He has conferred every good thing upon us) but also meditate on them and make them their own through increase...

...so it is clear that this verse prays literally not for the future church and her goods but for the present church and her good things, which are nothing but the Gospel of grace itself, which is the sign and word of things to be hoped for and not seen (Heb. 11:1). And with such food Christ nourishes us."

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Psalm 119:65 - You have dealt well with your servant,O LORD, according to your word.

Psalm 119:65 - You have dealt well with your servant,O LORD, according to your word.

AELW 11:458

"Therefore, since there is such a mixture among us, if we say that we are good and have no sin, the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8), since only God is good, righteous, and truthful. But no one is altogether evil, unrighteous, and untruthful, for he cannot in any way be exclusively evil. Therefore we are always in the middle between the goodness which we have from God and the evil which we have of ourselves, until in the future all evils are swallowed up and God alone is all in all (1 Cor. 15:28), so that we are not our own but God’s, and He is ours."

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Psalm 119:43 - Take not the Word of truth utterly out of my mouth

Luther's translation
119:43 Take not the Word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for in Thy judgments I have hoped exceedingly.

AELW 11:449-450

"That is to say: “Do not let the word of faith be silenced by me because of the opposition of the adversaries, but help me to speak and preach it all the more, because in Your judgments, etc., that is, in the very words of Your promise of things to come I have set my hope.”

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Psalm 119:41-42 - every man who regards as shame what God turns into glory is a liar.

Psalm 119:41-42
       Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD,
      your salvation according to your promise;
      then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me,
      for I trust in your word.

AELW 11:449
"And I will have an answer for those who reproach me, because I have trusted in Thy words. Namely, for those who say, “Where is your God?” Or, “You are stupid in looking for mercy and a salvation different from salvation in earthly things.” Thus the shame of the cross is made a matter of reproach and abhorrence for the faithful, not only before Christ would come and sanctify, dignify, and make most precious in God’s sight the cross and all evils of punishments in this world through His blessed suffering, so that this mercy is better than all lives...

Therefore, having obtained the mercy and salvation of God, who is Christ, they easily despise the shame of the cross, yes, they glory in the cross and have a word of response for the reproachers. These are not reproached in return, but they are admonished and gently taught that every man who regards as shame what God turns into glory is a liar. Faith and hope in things to come accomplishes this. If they did not have faith and hope, they would not respond, but keep silent and agree with them, fleeing the cross and seeking only the good things in this life, and thus the Word of truth would be removed from their mouth."

Friday, May 5, 2017

Psalm 119:27 - Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts, and I will be exercised in Thy wondrous works

 Psalm 119:27 - Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts, and I will be exercised in Thy wondrous works  

AELW 11:437

"Words cannot be exercised in any other way than with the tongue, since it is certainly something else for works to be exercised. Therefore “to be exercised in wondrous works” means to discuss, speak, and debate the words of Christ and “chirp” them to each other sweetly and swiftly, like the little birds in May. This is what the church did in its early days."

Thursday, May 4, 2017

I don't know what the Bible says, but I believe....

Psalm 119, verse 24 - Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors

AELW 11:431-433

"24. For Thy testimonies are my meditation, and Thy statutes my counsel. This is again directed against those who hold their own opinion, for neither their counsel nor their meditation is the law of Christ, but their counsel is the invention and thought of their own head, after they have disregarded the study of Scripture...

Yes, it is as if Scripture ought to say to them: “Your meditation is My testimonies,” when it ought to be the other way around; our reason should be taken captive, and the testimonies of God should be our meditation...

Those people, on the contrary, want the commandments of God to be meditated and considered in their own commandments, yes, they want the meditations of men and their own teachings to be the commandments of God...

They do not consider the ways of God, but the ways of God should leave themselves behind and consider the ways of those people, that is, the ways of God should become what those people are thinking. Thus they do not meditate on the statutes of God, but they want the statutes of God to meditate on theirs, that is, become their meditations. All of this is that they impose their meaning on Scripture and do not permit its sense to be imposed on them...(See Note below)

But with them, on the contrary, it is “Your statutes,” “their counsel,” that is, “whatever they themselves have decided, this these exceedingly vain men want Your statutes to be...

So likewise do all the proud when they impose their own meaning on the Scriptures and want them to bear witness to what pleases them, not what they themselves in truth testify."

Note - The reference may be to De Trinitate, II, 3, where Hilary says: “Many have given to the plain words of Holy Writ some arbitrary interpretation of their own … Heresy lies in the sense assigned, not in the word written; the guilt is that of the expositor, not of the text.”

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Psalm 118 - Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.

Psalm 118:1 - 1. O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.

AELW 11:410
" It is goodness when someone does good to the undeserving and unworthy. One does not impart benefits to those who are deserving, but it is done justly, and good is returned for good, and it is due to be returned to them. But to those who are worthy, it is not rendered to them as to the deserving, but as something justly owed to them as superiors and equals. God, however, imparted benefits through the incarnate Christ to the unworthy and undeserving, in fact, to those who deserved much ill, for also through this He showed Himself to be not an imaginary God, but a true and living God, in that He received nothing good and meritorious from us, but granted it altogether without charge."