Sermon for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity July 23, 2023
Text: Ex.20:14; 1Tm.5:22 Summer Sermon Series 23:2396
Theme: LORD, THY WILL BE DONE BY US…That We Keep Ourselves Pure
“Just follow your heart. Trust your feelings.” Do you cringe when you hear such advice. Often, I do. Can you always trust your feelings? An airplane pilot might disagree with that advice.
Imagine a pilot flying a single engine airplane. He passes an ocean’s shoreline. After a time flying over open water, he begins to descend, a common danger that pilots encounter over water. It’s called vertigo, a condition in which one becomes disoriented as to what is up and down, what is left and right. It all looks the same and is difficult to distinguish with just one’s feelings. Many a plane has crashed into icy waters because of such disorientation.
A passenger in such a plane once asked the pilot, “Do you trust your feelings and instincts for direction or the plane’s instruments?” The pilot replied, “The instruments, always the instruments, never your feelings! They can deceive you.”
Some of the strongest feelings that reside in us are feelings of love and sexuality. God created us as loving and sexual creatures, with natural feelings and bodily urges and desires. It was a good gift, like all others, that God gave to Adam and Eve in the beginning, enabling them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. God was concerned that people should be raised up.
However, with the fall into sin this good gift, like all others, was affected so that abuse, misuse, and perversion of God’s will and intent crept in. Just look at our society today with all its sexual distortions, apart from what God has said in His Word about love, sexuality, and marriage. Talk about vertigo as many follow their own corrupt feelings rather than the sure instrumentation of God’s Word. Without repentance such persistent perversion of God’s will spirals into sickness and death, both temporal and eternal
To aid us in going in the right direction, the Lord steps in with the Sixth Commandment, giving us the guidance we need to live a chaste and decent life in Him. To that end we pray: LORD, MAY THY WILL BE DONE BY US…That We Keep Ourselves Pure.
I. With this commandment God throws a protective shield around the first institution and most important one that He gave for our happiness and welfare in life – marriage, and closely along with it, the family. God honors and commends wedded life since He confirms and protects it with a special command and requires us to honor, guard, and observe it as a divine and blessed estate.
Think about it. Marriage is the first institution that He established. With it in view, He did not create man and woman alike. His plain purpose was not that they should live anyway that they wanted in a life of wickedness, but that they might be true to each other, bear children, nourishing and raising them up, all to His glory! He blessed this institution above all others and made everything on earth to serve and spring from it. Marriage is of God and therefore it is a glorious institution not to be misused, abused, or mocked. It is above government and all other estates. Think of that – God’s institution of marriage and the family is above government. Can you see how we have gone backwards in our day from that which God established?
He brought it about in a special way. After creating Adam and finishing His work, God looked on all that He had made. For the first time in creation’s account He did not say, “It is good,” as He said at the end of all other creative endeavors. Instead, He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Then He told Adam, “I want you to name the animals.” He brought them to Adam to see what Adam would name them. Whatever Adam saw in each, he called them.
But God had so much more in mind than just the naming of the animals. Goodness, He could have done that more quickly than Adam. As He brought them to Adam they came in pairs, each creature having a counterpart to it, a suitable companion – male and female. Not male and male or female and female, but those of opposite genders. Yet, none was like Adam. “No helper was found who was a suitable partner for him.” He was alone.
I believe that God wanted Adam to come to that realization on his own so that he might hold in gratitude and esteem that which God would give him. He needed more than just a friend. He needed a companion who would fit his needs and plug into whatever he was lacking, and vice versa: a suitable helper, complementary, separate from all other creatures, corresponding to him, somewhat like two pieces of a puzzle, different, yet fitting together perfectly to complete the picture, each plugging into what was lacking in the other, emotionally, physically, intellectually, sexually, spiritually. So, God made Eve, not Steve, and thereby established the institution of marriage between one man and one woman.
All other forms that man incorporates is an abomination and affront to God. God will judge those who pervert His design and seek to overturn it. Paul writes, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor males who have sex with males, nor thieves, nor the greedy nor drunkards, nor the verbally abusive, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1Co.6:9f). Marriage as God designed it is between 1 male and 1 female, as the Lord has made them, committed to each other. Lord, Keep Us Pure in Your intent.
II. This is God’s intent, 1 man, 1 woman in life-long union. Jesus said, “In the beginning their Maker made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will be one flesh. So, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate” (Mt.19:4f). In marriage God wishes to bless His creation by joining together two who not only live with one another but live for Him and for one another. Then the puzzle is complete.
And in His eyes the coming together of a man and a woman in a sexual relationship is the seal and bond of this divinely instituted estate: “The two become one.” It is reserved for husband and wife. Thereupon, God guards it by commanding, “You shall not commit adultery.” And again, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge sexually immoral people and adulterers” (Hb.13:4). “Keep yourselves pure” (1Tm.5:22).
Dear friends and especially young people, have no false delusions about this. Our society is wrong in its present teachings on love, sexuality, homosexuality, and gender identity. Those who support the wrongs they promote, doing it without repentance, “will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” And as it is for all the commandments, one is guilty of sin not only with acts of the body, but also with the thought and plans of the heart and mind (Mt.5:28)
I don’t know if we could have lived in an age in which it is more difficult to keep oneself pure. God commands, “Flee from all sexual immorality” (1Co.6:18). How can we escape? Only in Christ and through the blood of His cross is there rescue for us.
III. For “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2Co.5:21) and be saved. There is our forgiveness. He is our purity. Set your eyes and heart on Him and His will. To aid us in that, Paul has this advice: “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you….Therefore, honor God with your body” (1Co.6:19).
Think of your body in terms of a building, a temple, God’s House wherein He dwells daily. Picture Him living inside you.
Now, how do you treat the home in which you live? Do you let the weeds creep inside; do you let layer upon layer upon layer of dirt pile up on the floors; do you tear at the furniture and turn everything upside down, smash holes in the walls, pull out the electrical outlets and more? Do you simply trash your homes and live in knee high filth? Maybe your home is not as spotless and as comfortable as you would like it to be, especially if a surprise guest should come to stay. But I hope that you still treat your homes with some measure of pride and enjoyment.
Now think of your body as God’s home where He dwells, which is exactly what He said: “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you” Jesus also told His disciples on the night before He was crucified, “I and the Father will come to you, and we will dwell in you” (Jn.14:23). What a special guest each believer has within him! What a high privilege to know that this vessel is the home of God, and that the Savior is pleased to make His dwelling within! How can I knowingly defile it? It is a great honor to have the Father, the Spirit, and my Savior dwelling here. If we but think that way, which God says is most true, we will have the means to overcome the spiritual vertigo that would cause us to fall against this commandment and any other.
To that end we pray: LORD, MAY THY WILL BE DONE BY US…That We Keep Ourselves Pure. God grant it in our lives of faith for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
The Seventh Sunday after Trinity July 23, 2023
Welcome in the Savior’s name. We are happy to have you worshipping with us today. We pray that you find joy, hope, and healing in God’s gifts of grace in your life.
God’s acts of care for the creatures He has made is known as His Providence. He provides for their needs, even the needs of those who do not acknowledge Him, that they may see His gracious works in their lives and turn from their opposition to Him. Paul writes in Romans 2 that the “kindnesses of God lead to repentance.” If the individual humbly views God’s care for him in life, the care that God gives to both body and soul, that person, normally, could not help but respond in gratitude and service to His gracious Lord. Sadly, that does not always happen, even among those who believe.
In the sermon text we continue in our study of the Ten Commandments with the Sixth Commandment. Starting with the Fifth Commandment, the remaining commandments teach us to guard against harming our neighbor. In the Sixth Commandment He teaches us not to interfere with that which is nearest and dearest to our neighbor – his or her spouse. What blessings He has provided us through them!
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“The Providence of God Revealed in the Gifts of His Grace”
Opening Thoughts on the Service
The Entrance Hymn: “Today Your Mercy Calls Us” #916
The Order of Service: Morning Prayer (Matins) Hymnal pg.207
Prayer of the Day
The Ministry of the Word
(The Lessons for the Day are taken from the Historic Pericope Series of the Christian Church.)
Psalm of the Day: #34 “Through All the Changing Scenes of Life”
Isaiah 62:6-12 God promises to restore His people from their time of captivity and to provide them with food and drink. Best of all, His Chosen One, the Savior will come. In view of His gracious providence, His watchmen, the prophets and coming apostles, will not be silent.
Romans 6:19-23 In response to God’s gift of grace, Christians live as being set free from sin and as having a new master, the Lord Christ. They serve Him in love with holiness of living.
Hymn Response: “Renew Me, O Eternal Light” #689
Mark 8:1-9 Jesus feeds over 4,000 people (men) who had listened to Him teaching for three days. He is the Savior who graciously provides for both body and soul.
The Sermon Hymn: “Lord, When You Came As Welcome Guest” #763
The Sermon:Lord, Thy Will Be Done By Us…That We Keep Our Lives Pure.
Our Response to the Word
The Te Deum Laudamus pg. 210
The Closing Order of Morning Praise: Hymnal pg.213-214
The Kyrie (“Lord, Have Mercy”)
Prayers and The Lord’s Prayer
The Lord Blesses Us
The Benediction: Hymnal pg.214
Closing Hymn: “Abide, O Dearest Jesus” #924
This Month’s WELS Connection
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The Organist: Jane Rips
The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann
Point to Ponder: “Married life is not a subject for jest, but an excellent state. God bestowed upon it all the goods of the earth (Gn.1:28). He honored it so highly that He reposed everything in it; for what He is concerned with here is that people should be raised up. Therefore, let each one see to it that he remains with his wife and vice versa, and that both keep their bodies pure not only outwardly but also that you may not set your heart upon another. ‘They shall become one flesh,’ it is said (Gn.2:24). Therefore say, ‘O my God, grant me grace that I may not fall and that I may keep my marriage pure.’ This means that you are to live chastely in your marriage in body, words, gestures, and heart. That is why God give to each his wife or husband.”
— Martin Luther in a sermon on Marriage and the Sixth Commandment
The Seventh Sunday after Trinity – Historic Series
Old Testament Lesson: Isaiah 62:6-12 God Promises to Save His People
6 Upon your walls, Jerusalem, I appointed watchmen. All day and all night they will never be silent. You who keep reminding the Lord, do not rest! 7 Do not give him rest until he establishes Jerusalem,
and he causes her to be praised on the earth.
8 The Lord swore by his right hand and by his strong arm: I will certainly never again give up your grain as food for your enemies, and foreigners will not drink the sweet new wine you worked for.
9 For those who pick fruit will eat it, and they will praise the Lord, and those who harvest grapes will drink in my holy courtyards.
10 Go through, go through the gates. Prepare a way for the people. Build up, build up the highway. Clear it of stones. Raise a banner for the peoples.
11 Listen, the Lord is making a proclamation to the end of the earth. Tell the daughter of Zion:
“Look, your salvation is coming. Look, his reward is with him,and his compensation is out in front of him.”
12 Then they will be called holy people, the redeemed of the Lord. Then you will be called Sought After, A City Not Abandoned.
Epistle Lesson: Romans 6:19-23 – Serve God, Not Sin, In Your Life.
19 I am speaking in a human way because of the weakness of your flesh. Indeed, just as you offered your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness, resulting in more lawlessness, so now offer your members in the same way as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness. 21 So what kind of fruit did you have then? They were things of which you are now ashamed. Yes, the final result of those things is death. 22 But now, since you were set free from sin and have become slaves to God, you have your fruit resulting in sanctification—and the final result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the undeserved gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Gospel Lesson: Mark 8:1-9 – Jesus Feeds More than 4,000 Men.
1In those days, when there was again a large crowd and they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples and said to them, 2 “I feel compassion for the crowd because they have already stayed with me three days and do not have anything to eat. 3 If I send them home hungry, they will faint on the way. Some of them have come from a long distance.”
4 His disciples replied, “Where can anyone get enough bread to feed these people here in this deserted place?”
5 He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they said.
6 He commanded the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves, gave thanks, and broke them. He gave the pieces to his disciples to distribute to the crowd, and they did so. 7 They also had a few small fish. He blessed them and said that these should be distributed as well. 8 The people ate and were satisfied. They picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 9 About four thousand men were there. Then he sent them away.
The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®) © 2019
The Sixth Commandment
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
What does this mean?
We should fear and love God that we may lead a chaste and decent life
in works and deeds and each love and honor his spouse.
(English text as published in the Concordia Triglotta, 1921)
How this commandment is transgressed.
He who ruins a virgin, commits adultery, incest, or any unchaste act;
He who is guilty of the monosexual crime or of any of the nameless crimes against nature;
He who by impure conversation, songs, stories, or pictures incites and evinces evil lust;
He who arouses his passions and pollutes himself by unlawful objects of vision or touch, by thought or suggestion;
He who fails to remove the causes of the evil under consideration: intemperate eating and drinking, sluggishness, aversion to work,
late rising, and undue familiarity between man and woman;
The person who arouses the passions of others by lewd dress or gestures;
He who acts as accessory for others by offering the use of his house or by furnishing shelter, help, and opportunity to commit this sin;
He who does not, in word and deed, safeguard the chastity of others.
The fulfillment of the commandment.
Chastity, self-restraint, the manifestation of modesty in works and words, in thoughts and features, moderation in eating, drinking, in sleep, and everything else that conduces to chastity.
To this commandment pertains all that is taught concerning chastity, fasting, sobriety, temperance, prayerfulness, vigilance, industry, and all things that tend to purity.
(Martin Luther on: A Treatise on the Law, Faith, and Prayer of 1520)
Calendar & Announcements for Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
A member congregation of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
4717 S Farm Rd 135 (Golden Avenue), Springfield, MO 65810
Church phone: 417.887.0886 www.zionluthchurch.com
Pastor’s cell phone: 417.693.3244 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find us on Facebook
Divine Worship Service
Fellowship & Bible Study
7th Sunday after Trinity
|Confirmation Class recessed for summer.
|11 am Midweek Bible Class
Divine Worship Service
online – Facebook
Fellowship & Bible Study
Favorite Hymns Song Service
8th Sunday after Trinity
A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today
Our Savior is a God of mercy and kindness. Our very existence is testimony to that fact. Daily he provides us with all that we need to keep our bodies and lives. He also grants protection from all earthly dangers. In addition, our Savior provides us with spiritual blessings—food for the soul. In his Word we receive the good news of sins forgiven and free salvation.
The Gospel Lesson: Mark 8:1-9 (the answers are found on the back side)
- What emergency developed on the third day of Jesus’ teaching?
- What does the crowd’s presence in the wilderness for three days tell you about the people?
- Jesus again performs a miracle to feed a crowd of people. What does this tell you about Him?
Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Greg Miller; William & Laurie Moon; Pauline Jaeger; Kirsten Jaster (Laurie Moon’s sister); Greg Pierson (the Long’s son-in-law); Libya, Jodi Milam’s granddaughter; Barbara Long; Lois Wiese; Barbara Breidel; John, Elisha & Isaac Covey; Lucille Huston.
Favorite Hymns Song Service July is a 5 Sunday month. Write down some of your favorite hymns and we will see how many we can sing next Sunday.
Installation Seminary candidate Philip Schroeder will be installed as pastor at Christ Our Savior LC, Collinsville, IL. You are invited to the installation service at 4 pm this afternoon. The service will be held at Martin Luther LC, in south St. Louis County. A supper will follow the worship service.
Lord, May Thy Will Be Done By Us Today we continue on our journey through the Ten Commandments with Commandment #6. Each Sunday we will review a commandment and Martin Luther’s Catechism explanation of it. We would encourage each member and friend to read through the sections of each commandment from the Catechism the week before it is the sermon text for the day. What a good review of your precious confirmation instruction that would be! If you don’t have a catechism, see Pastor for one. Next Sunday we look at the Seventh Commandment.
Upcoming Services and Events
Sunday, July 30 – Favorite Hymns Song Service
July 31-Aug.3 – WELS 54th Biennial Convention in Saginaw, MI (Pastor Lehmann is a delegate from our area)
The Week in Review
Last Sunday Worship: 27; Bible Class 13; Midweek Bible Class: 5; Offerings: $2,133.
Next Sunday’s Lessons:
8th Sunday after Trinity: Jer. 23:16-29; Rom. 8:12-17; Matthew 7:15-23 (Historic Pericope Series); Commandment 7
Answer to Today’s Gospel Lesson Brief Study:
- After being with Jesus for three days in the wilderness, they had run out of food.
- To stay out in the wilderness for three days shows how intent these people were on learning what Jesus had to say. Like Mary, they were eager to sit at Jesus’ feet, hear His words of life, and put all other concerns aside.
- Jesus feels compassion for His people and wonderfully supplies their everyday needs. There is no reason on our part to worry and fret. If He daily feeds the birds of the air and clothes the flowers in the field, He will provide the needs of those for whom He gave His life.
This week I am praying for……