Lord, Thy Will Be Done By Us…That We Know and Use the Law for the Purpose You Gave It.

by Pastor Edwin Lehmann on August 25, 2023 in

Sermon for the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity       August 27, 2023

Text: Galatians 3:19-26 Summer Sermon Series            23:2401

                    That We Know and Use Your Law for the Purpose You Gave It.

When Jesus said, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mk.16:16), He stated most clearly and simply the issues of salvation and damnation. Faith saves eternally; unbelief damns.
By nature, man does not accept this. Our flesh wants to save itself through its work and merits of which it likes to boast. Unregenerated man refuses to accept that only faith saves. So it is that we must be reborn by the Spirit, for our thoughts are not God’s thoughts, and His ways are not our ways (Is.55:8).
“By grace are you saved through faith…not by works…,” the Bible says (Ep.2:8f). Never forget that, especially as you view the Law and the Ten Commandments. Christians do not keep the Law in order to save themselves. No commandment enables you to do that. That’s why Paul said, “If there had been a law given that could give life, certainly righteousness would have been derived from the law.” But righteousness and life come by faith. The Law and Ten Commandments cannot save you. So, what’s their purpose?
Their purpose must be understood by us otherwise our study of the commandments this summer has been in vain. Therefore, we pray: LORD, MAY THY WILL BE DONE BY US…That We Know and Use the Law for the Purpose You Gave It.

I. It has not been given to us that we may be saved through it.
If I asked, “What is it that saves, Law or Gospel?” I pray that as Christians you would be quick to respond, “the Gospel!” You have been taught that from Scriptures in Sunday school, confirmation class, and onward. That’s what the pastor tells you again and again in the Sunday sermon. That’s what you read in your Meditation’s devotions at home. But because of the deceit of our sinful flesh, you dare not take that for granted. You must know why the Gospel and only the Gospel saves you. Then if you are faced with death tonight, you will understand and fully trust in the only reason God will receive you into His heavenly Kingdom. In the Gospel is found the surety of your salvation. It begins with a correct understanding of the use of the Law and the purpose for which God gave it.
Paul wanted the Galatians to be sure of such things and put their hope and trust in the Gospel alone, not the Law. But in the beginning of his letter, we learn that false teachers had infiltrated the church. These teachers taught that faith alone in Jesus Christ as Savior was not sufficient to obtain forgiveness, life, and salvation. In addition, they taught that it was necessary to keep the Law and do good works to save yourself. That’s a perverted teaching of the Law and especially of the Gospel. To teach that imperils the believer’s peace of mind and heart, but worse, his soul’s salvation.
It is no wonder that Paul writes in great agitation, “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting the One who called you in the grace of Christ, for a different ‘gospel,’ which is no gospel at all!….Oh, foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you?…If anyone preaches to you any gospel other than the one you received – a curse on him” (1:6-7,9; 3:1).
Those preachers were teaching salvation through the keeping of the Law. The Law cannot save unless you keep it perfectly without ever failing at any point. God says, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the book of the Law. No one is declared righteous before God by the Law” (3:10-11). Clearly, the Law cannot save. That’s not its purpose! But that begs the question: “What about the Law? What is its purpose?”
To the person who holds a saw in his hand, sees what it is, but does not know what it does, it will be absolutely useless and a worthless tool for him. So it is with the Ten Commandments. If you don’t know and use them for the purpose God gave, how can they help you? In fact, if not used according to their purpose, they will harm you eternally.
Paul wants you to know that the Law has not been given that we might be saved through it. So he writes, “What about the Law? It was added for the purpose of revealing transgressions.” The Law was an addition. Added to what? To that which Paul had been speaking in the previous verses where he pointed out that Christ, the “seed” who was promised to Abraham, the Savior – in Him life and salvation would be given through His redeeming work.
That promise God gave to Abraham 430 years before the Law and the commandments were given on Mt. Sinai. There on Sinai, God added them in writing so that all would be clearly understood. They do not disannul, override, or supplant the Promise. The promise of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is the only way to God and has not changed. The Law was not given to save us. That’s not its purpose. How foolish then for a man to use the Law as a means to save himself. But many do.
Try it out sometime. Ask 10 people on the street why they keep the commandments and see if the majority don’t in some way say, “So that I can go to heaven,” or, “So that I don’t go to hell,” which is really the same answer. But the commandments don’t serve that purpose. As Paul implies, no commandment and your keeping of it can save you. Yet, so many use the Law to be saved by it.
That is not the reason we made the Ten Commandments our study this summer. After seeing what each one tells us, don’t be tempted to say something like, “God will be special to me and save me if I don’t lie, cheat, or steal and if I honor my parents, go to church every Sunday, am content with what I have, and don’t covet other people’s things,” – or even, “if I have no other gods except Him.” Even that First Commandment won’t save you. The Law does not and cannot serve that purpose. It has not been given to us that we might be saved through it. So, what’s its purpose?

(II. It has been given for the purpose of convincing us of sin and pointing us to grace.)
Paul gave the answer in our text when he said, “It was added for the purpose of revealing transgressions until the Seed, to whom the Promise referred, had come.” The Law was given to show our sin and need because of it. We are guilty of going against God. Our study of each commandment this summer should have shown us that. We have not kept them in all their points. Israel was guilty too. So, God wrote down the commandments to show all people their need of a Savior because we failed to keep His requirements.
That’s the primary purpose of the Law, to show us our sin. It shows how we have utterly failed to live according to the will of God so that we cling to the precious promise of Christ who saves by faith in Him alone. The Law convinces us of our need and thereby points us to God’s grace in the Gospel. That is where salvation lies. As the Bible says elsewhere, “through the Law one become conscious of sin (Ro.7:7; 3:19).”
We like to say the Law acts like a mirror reflecting the ugliness of my inner self. It lets me see the smudges of sin that blacken my whole life: the anger, hatred, foul language, stealing, cheating, gossiping, impurity, not speaking well of others. The times I neglect Him in not coming to His House or paying attention to His Word, the discontent, anxiety I’ve felt, and more. In knowing and understanding what each commandment means, I see smudges of sin all over me. I need help because I can’t undo what I have already done. I cry with Paul, “Oh, wretched man that I am Who will rescue me from this body of death?”(Ro.7:24). Help!!!
Here, to keep from falling into dismay and despair, you must keep in mind that the apostle said, “The Law was added.” The Law is subservient to the Gospel. The Ten Commandments are under the cross. They do not override or go against the promise of grace. They show us our sin; but the Gospel shows us our Savior. He is “the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.”
The Law is like a huge flashing sign telling you, “Dead End! You can’t make it to heaven this way.” And then I am pointed to the Gospel promise in Christ who says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (Jn.14:6). So come to me all you who are burdened and heavy laden and I will give you rest for your soul”(Mt.11:28f). When the Law does that, convincing me of sin and pointing me away from myself, it has accomplished the purpose for which God gave it.
Finally, do not think that the Law has no use for you after your conversion to faith. Do not think you no longer need it and can disregard the commandments for we daily sin much and must see our constant need of the Savior. By a continued use of the Law, we gain deeper knowledge of our sin. Then the Gospel message of full forgiveness in Christ becomes all the sweeter. Hold fast and cling to the Savior. Then you will be able to use the commandments as a rule for life, not to save yourself, but to guide you, the saved, in a life lived to say, “Thank You, Lord, for Your grace in saving me!”
I pray our study this summer has helped you in this, that we may ever abide in faith in Christ who alone is our forgiveness, life, and salvation. God grant it to us for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity     August 27, 2023

   Welcome in the Savior’s name. We are happy to have you worshipping with us today as we are reminded that our sufficiency in every situation in life is found in Christ.

The Scriptures lessons today continue with the thought of last Sunday’s lessons that emphasized our need in all things to rely solely on the mercy and grace of God. As the tax collector cast himself upon God’s mercy for forgiveness, so the believer knows that his sufficiency in all matters comes from God alone.

This thought is expanded in the lessons today as we see the great Physician of body and soul at work in the Gospel Lesson restoring people’s health to them. With Him at our side, the strength will be there to make it through every situation in the present until He restores us fully to Himself in eternity.

In the sermon text today, we close out our study of God’s Law in the Ten Commandments with the Apostle Paul’s words in his letter to the Galatians on the proper use of the Law and the purpose for which God gave it to us.

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“Our Sufficiency in All Things Is from God.”

 The Preparation

Opening Thoughts on the Service

The Entrance Hymn: “Oh, That I Had a Thousand Voices”                                     #484

The Order of Service: Morning Prayer (Matins)                                       Hymnal pg.207

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: #19 “The Heavens Declare the Glory of God”

Isaiah 29:17-21 Concerning the coming Messianic age, the faithful in Israel will rejoice in the One God promised to send. In Him will be found hope for the future of God’s people. He will open the ears of the deaf and the eyes of the blind. In Him the humble will find their sufficiency. But those who continue in wickedness will be cut off

2 Corinthians 3:4-11 Paul contrasts the Old and the New Covenants. Both have great splendor, for both are of God. But the splendor of the Gospel is far greater than that of the Law, which cannot save the sinner. The New Covenant, rooted in the Gospel of Christ, is sufficient to save one before a holy God. Its splendor lasts forever.

Hymn Response: “Jesus, Your Blood and Righteousness”                                       #573

Mark 7:31-37 Jesus is the Great Physician. He can heal the body of its infirmities, as was prophesied by Isaiah. He can put His fingers into a deaf man’s ears and touch His speechless tongue, providing healing. Such power and grace is sufficient to heal and to save eternally.

The Sermon Hymn: “O God, Our Lord, Your Holy Word”                                          #643

The Sermon:    Lord, Thy Will Be Done By Us…

                                          That We Know and Use the Law for the Purpose You Gave It.

                                           Galatians 3:19-26

Our Response to the Word

The Te Deum Laudamus pg. 210

The Offering

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: “God’s Word Is Our Great Heritage”                                                  #640

Silent Prayer

This Month’s WELS Connection

*                    *                  *

The Organist: Jane Rips

The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Points to Ponder on the Difference Between the Law and the Gospel

–  The Law is our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ that we might be justified by faith.

– The threat of the Law is like the muttering of distant thunder. It warns of the approaching storm of God’s wrath for sin; and so we flee for refuge and shelter to Christ and the Gospel.

– The Law condemns and slays us. Then faith in the Gospel justifies and gives us life.

–  Faith in Christ and the Gospel gives us a new heart to keep God’s Commandments. – Not the Law but the Gospel sanctifies. You cannot frighten man into loving God any more than you can hammer a rosebud open. If you do, you spoil its petals.

— select authors

The Twelfth Sunday after TrinityHistoric Series

Old Testament Lesson: Isaiah 29:17-21 – Israel’s Hope for the Future.

17 Isn’t it true that in a very short time Lebanon will be turned into a fertile field, and the fertile field will seem like a forest? 18 On that day, the deaf will hear the words from a book, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. 19 The humble will rejoice in the Lord once again; the poor will delight in the Holy One of Israel. 20 But the ruthless will come to nothing. Those who mock will be no more, and all those who plan evil will be cut off— 21 all those who slander others with a word, all those who argue cases at the city gate, all those who use false testimony to deprive the innocent of justice.

Epistle Lesson: 2 Corinthians 3:4-11 – The Ministry of the Spirit.

Such is the confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent by ourselves to claim that anything comes from us; rather, our competence is from God. He also made us competent as ministers of a new testament (not of letter, but of spirit). For the letter kills, but the spirit gives life. If the ministry that brought death (which was engraved in letters on stone) came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look directly at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face (though it was fading), how will the ministry of the spirit not be much more glorious? If the ministry that brought condemnation has glory, the ministry that brought righteousness has even more. 10 In fact, in this case, what was glorious is no longer very glorious, because of the greater glory which surpasses it. 11 Indeed, if what is fading away was glorious, how much more glorious is that which is permanent!

Gospel Lesson: Mark 7:31-37 – “Be Opened!”

31 Jesus left the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, within the region of the Decapolis.32 They brought a man to him who was deaf and had a speech impediment. They pleaded with Jesus to place his hand on him. 33 Jesus took him aside in private, away from the crowd. He put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 After he looked up to heaven, he sighed and said, “Ephphatha!” (“Be opened!”) 35 Immediately the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was set free, and he began to speak plainly. 36 Jesus gave the people strict orders to tell no one, but the more he did so, the more they kept proclaiming it. 37 They were amazed beyond measure and said, “He has done everything well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak!”

Sermon Text: Galatians 3:19-26 – The Law as Chaperone (Custodian).

19 Then what about the law? It was added for the purpose of revealing transgressions, until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. It was transmitted through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not needed for one party, but God is one.

21 Then is the law against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given that could give life, certainly righteousness would have been derived from the law. 22 But Scripture imprisoned all things under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ would be given to those who believe. 23 But before this faith came, we were held in custody under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed. 24 So the law was our chaperone until Christ, so that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a chaperone. 26 In fact, you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.                                      The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®) © 2019

The Uses of the Law

  1. As a check, it restrains, in a measure, the outbursts of gross sin and thereby helps to maintain outward order and discipline in the world – the Law as a Curb. (1 Timothy 1:9-10)
  2. As a Mirror, it teaches us to know and grieve over our sins. (Romans 3:20; 7:7)
  3. As a Tutor, it leads us to Christ. (Galatians 3:24)
  4. As a Rule, it explains God’s will and helps believers to judge and do what is pleasing to God.

(Psalm 119:9,105; Isaiah 48:18)

“All works performed in obedience to these commandments are inspired by love for others, a love which goes beyond self and embraces God and the neighbor. It does not seek its own interests, but those of God and the neighbor, freely offering itself to the service of everybody according to his need and pleasure.

It is evident, then, that in these commandments comprehensive and systematic information is given concerning all duties connected with man’s life. An endeavor to perform them would mean to be occupied hour by hour with good works. This would render the performance of other, self-chosen works and the running hither and thither in search of self-imposed task altogether superfluous. (Luther means the work righteous acts of the saints and monks and nuns in the monasteries and the world).

All this is demonstrated by the fact that in these commandments no instruction is given in reference to what man is to do or to abstain from for his own advantage, and in reference to his claims upon others. The instruction given is limited to his obligation, both negative and positive, in relation to God and his neighbor. Thus, we cannot but understand that the fulfilment of these commandments does not stand in the love of self but in the love of others.

Man inclines of his own accord to have his own advantage in view in what he does, in what he avoids, in what he plans. That man lives the best life who lives not for himself. That man lives the worst life who lives for himself.

Such is the teaching of the Ten Commandments, and in the light of this teaching it is seen how few there are who live as they ought. Yea, it is impossible for any man to live as he ought. Therefore, it behooves us to learn in the next place where the strength for a good life and for the fulfilment of these commandments is to be found – in Christ and the Gospel.”

— Martin Luther on A Treatise of 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: revelehmann@gmail.com

You can also find us on Facebook
















Next Sun.


9:00 am

Divine Worship Service

online -Facebook

10:15 am

Fellowship & Bible Study



12th Sunday after Trinity

(Pentecost 13)

Confirmation Class recessed for summer. Will begin again after the Labor Day holiday.








11 am

Midweek Bible Class.



















00 am

Divine Worship Service

with Holy Communion online – Facebook

10:15 am

Fellowship & Bible Study


13th Sunday after Trinity

(Pentecost 14)


A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today

The sense of hearing is a wonderful gift from God. With this sense we have an instrument that can receive the wonderful message of deliverance and salvation in the Word of God, as the people in the days of Isaiah did. Woe to the man who hears the Word of God but does not believe and do what it says. Jesus once restored the hearing of a deaf-mute and thus proved his claim as the promised Messiah.

The Gospel Lesson: Mark 7:31-37 (the answers are found on the back side)

  1. Why does Jesus use sign language in healing the deaf man?
  2. What’s the significance, “he spoke clearly?”
  3. Why did Jesus not want them to tell anyone about the miracle that just had taken place?

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; Barbara Breidel; John, Elisha & Isaac Covey; Lucille Huston; Kathy Workentine, Glenn Schulz’s sister, diagnosed with a reoccurrence of cancer; Lois Wiese.

Evaluating Our Ministry With Pastor Lehmann retiring next year, we will begin prayerfully considering the needs of the Gospel ministry for Zion and Peace as a dual parish and where the Lord may take us in the upcoming years. Later in fall we will meet with the WELS MN District President, Pastor Dennis Klatt, who will assist us in the calling process. If you have any thoughts on the needs and opportunities that lie ahead, please share them with one of our church council members.

Lord, May Thy Will Be Done By Us Today we consider the final words in our study this summer on the Law and the Ten Commandments, as the Apostle Paul directs us in their use and purpose in our lives. As we get into the month of September, our next sermon study will center on prayer and the Petitions of the Lord’s Prayer.

Upcoming Services and Events

Sunday, September 10 – Church Council meets after Bible Class to evaluate our congregational needs

Tuesday, September 12, 6 pm – Church Council meets with Peace Church Council in Strafford

Monday-Tuesday, September 25-26 – Fall Pastors’ Study Conference in Cedar Rapids, IA

Saturday, October 14 – LWMS Fall Rally at Zion LC, Springfield

The Week in Review

Last Sunday Worship: 32; Communed: 28; Bible Class 19; Midweek Bible Class: 7; Offerings: $1,487.

Next Sunday’s Lessons:               

The 13th Sunday after Trinity: Zechariah 7:4-10; Galatians 3:15-22; Luke 10:23-37 (Historic Pericope Series)

Answer to Today’s Gospel Lesson Brief Study:

  1. The poor man could not understand what Jesus was doing if he spoke to him. So Jesus used sign language to show the healing that he was giving him.
  2. Jesus healed the man perfectly. He didn’t have to go to a speech therapist and learn how to pronounce words. No, Jesus healed with the ability to speak clearly.
  3. Jesus did not want fame and popularity to slow or hinder his way to the cross.


This week I am praying for……            


Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann