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A Twin Spin

June 15, 2014

Holy Trinity 20

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The Holy Trinity                                                     Trinity Lutheran Church

15 June 2014                                                            Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

Fourth Commandment:  Honor Your Father

 

Well, it’s that time of the year again.  Trinity Sunday and Father’s Day!  What a combination!  I’m going to do my best to hit both of these topics.  So, as they say on the radio, you get a “twin spin” or a “double play” today!  No better time than to hear the Word of the Lord.  So, off we go:  “Honor your father.”  The commandment speaks to both children and fathers.  Children are to honor.  Fathers are to father.

 

I give you fair warning.  Parts of the sermon today will be very hard to hear.  Good.   That’s the way it should be. You need to learn to daily fight against your sin instead of letting it reign full bore.  In addition, when the Law is preached, it kills.  That’s what needs to happen to your old Adam.  THE ONLY THING!  Your old sinful nature needs to be put to death — DAILY.  Why?  Here’s why.  So that through the preaching of the Gospel the Holy Spirit will daily raise up the new man of faith — THE NEW CREATION who will live according to the Holy Spirit-filled Word.

 

So, get ready to be repented by the Lord today – be prepared to tell the truth about your sinful condition, confess your sin, hear the Lord’s forgiveness for you the sinner, and then have the willing heart to “honor your father” and do the tasks God has given you fathers to do.  After all, our communities and our congregation need children to honor and fathers to be FATHERS.  “He who has ears to hear let him hear!” (Matthew 11:15)

 

“Honor your father.”  Would you ignore the Lord’s Word?  As if you have better words than the Lord?  I’m here to tell you that you don’t.  Your words don’t trump the Lord’s!  News flash:  YOU ARE NOT GOD!  THE HOLY TRINITY IS!  One God – three Persons.  Therefore, the triune God has the last word on this topic, not you.  Children, you are to honor your Dad.  What does that mean?  It means this.  “We should fear and love God so that we do not despise or anger our parents and other authorities, but honor them, serve and obey them, love and cherish them.”  This is the Lord’s will for you regarding the Fourth Commandment.

 

In addition, the All Authority In Heaven And On Earth Jesus categorically teaches you to pray this way.  He says:  “When you pray, say, Our Father who art in heaven …” Again, do you have better words than the Lord?  You don’t.  This is precisely how you are to pray.  All-Authority-In-Heaven-And-On-Earth-Son-of-the-Father-Jesus has the say so.  No one else.   So let’s get this straight right out of the chute:  GOD IS FATHER.  Not like a father.  He is Father.  He is the Father of the eternally begotten Son that-took-on-human-flesh-and-died-on-the-cross-Jesus from whom the Holy Spirit proceeds.  He says: “When you pray, say, Our Father who art in heaven …”

 

I know that’s it is politically incorrect and theologically irresponsible these days to pray this way.  Believe me, I am fully aware that the smile on their faces, utopian, purple shirt, high church, elegant chasuble sporting and pectoral-cross-wearing, tyrannical-of-the-highest-order ecclesiastical big wigs are all about DECONSTRUCTING what Jesus says.  The “Welcoming Place People” bullishly insist that you pray differently.  Paganly.  Goddessly.  Priestessly.  Gnostically.  Don’t believe me?  Go to herchurch.org and behold how the largest “Lutheran” “church” body in the United States tolerates and promotes not the words of Jesus but “better” words of their own.

 

Such “Welcoming Place People” follow a different spirit than the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, they mandate that you pray to God not as “Our Father” but as “Our Mother.” Or more specifically you are to pray to “Our Mother who is within us.”[1]  In addition, the genteel black or purple shirts with white tab clerical collars insist that baptisms be done in the name of the “Mother, Lover, and Friend – or Wisdom, Word and Breath of Life.”[2]

 

Now, let’s be clear.  When you pray to God not as “Our Father” but as “Our Mother within us” or apply water not according to Jesus’ mandate and institution words of Matthew 28 (“Father, Son and Holy Spirit”), then you no longer have access to the Triune God and those are not Christian baptisms.  People are getting wet but that’s it!  People are absented from the Triune God.  They’re mumbling words that the Triune God doesn’t hear.

 

After all, you only have access to the Triune God according to His Name:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  I’m going to say it again.  God only gives you access to Himself by and through His Name given to you in Holy Baptism.  And that Name is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Deconstruct that, claim to have better words than Jesus to whom all authority in heaven and of earth has been given, and you’re no longer church.

 

“Our Mother within us” is just the satanic lie of Genesis 3 all over again:  “you shall be as God.”  “Our Mother within us” is the warmed-over-like-a-refrigerator-leftover-satanic-lie that you have the spark of divinity within you.  All you need to do is look deep inside the darkness and quietness of your inner soul, become one with the hidden spark of divinity deep within you, and fan it into flame so that you can reach your potential: i.e. become the god that you are. The “Welcoming Place People” teach that you need to realize that you are in fact God!  Do you realize how false that is?  We’re sinful human beings.  What got us all into trouble in the first place was when our parents Adam and Eve decided to ditch being humans and scratched the satanic itch to be like God!  God within you?  Seriously?  That’s all in the way of death and damnation.  Seriously.  It’s absolutely hellacious!

 

Well, I’ve got the truth and good news for you.  The Trinity is only God FOR YOU and for your salvation as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  He gave you His divine Name in your Baptism.  To be given God’s name in Holy Baptism means that God has saved you!  The Triune Name and salvation go together.  Give thanks to God every day that your earthly father together with your earthly mother brought you a pastor who faithfully baptized you according to Jesus’ words in Matthew 28.

 

In the New Testament Jesus uses “Father” more than any other name for God.  By doing this Jesus expresses His particular Father-Son relationship that He then extends to you through the Holy Spirit’s delivery of Jesus’ Holy Week and Good Friday forgiveness through the preached and sacramental Word.  In the Holy Trinity the Father has always been and always will be Father to His only begotten Son.  God is Father!  He is God the Father FOR YOU by creating you, redeeming you and sanctifying you.  Again, that’s a fact!  The essence of what it means to be father is found in God the Father not in human fathers!  Warning!  This may come as a shock!  But here goes:  God the Father exercises His fatherhood through human fathers!

 

So, the word “father” describes exactly who God is!  He is not as the deists taught, a creator who gets everything going and then takes off to let everything fend for itself!  God is Father!  As such He loves what He creates.  He’s no deadbeat Dad!  He sticks with His creation to care for it, redeem it and holy it!  He actually uses His creation or creatures (fathers) as His instruments in creation!

 

That’s precisely why the Fourth Commandment begins with the word:  “honor.”  Honor your father.  Because God the Father used your father to give you life and to take care of your life – physical as well as spiritual.

 

Through the office/vocation of father God calls a man to serve a neighbor!  Not only his wife but also his child(ren)!

 

When the mother carries the child in her belly the father serves his child indirectly.  At this time he serves his child as he takes care of his wife who carries the baby.  Together with his wife, the father is to live sacrificially for his child.  His authority, headship and care with which God vested him are now extended to the baby.  In the vocation/office of father God is at work giving a gift through the father and to the father.  God embodies His love through the father for the sake of the growing family.  As the father lives sacrificially for his family he exhibits parts of God’s incredible and perfect love for us.

 

Listen to another of the important tasks of self-sacrificial service that the Lord has given to fathers.  Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, … bring up [your children] in the training and admonition of the Lord.”  Who is responsible for the child’s spiritual welfare?  The father! He is to be the Lord’s mouth that teaches God’s Word to His family and children in the home.

 

It’s time to learn once again or maybe for the very first time that it pleases God the Father to use the vocation of father to bring salvation to sinners.  Jesus declared:  “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom,” (Luke 12:32).  The Lord uses fathers to do just that!  In the Book of Acts when a man was converted to faith in Jesus he brought his entire household with him (Acts 10-11, 16, 18)!

 

The father is to do evangelism.  He is to “evangelize” or gospel his child.  Evangelism or mission starts in the family and continues in the family!  Or to use the biblical terminology, Dad is to raise and train up a faithful member of the “holy and royal priesthood,” (1 Peter 2:5, 9)!  He must see to it that his child is baptized in the Triune Name (Matthew 28:19), brought to faith in Jesus (Romans 10:17), sustained in that faith through the proper teaching of God’s Word, attend the divine service (Hebrews 12), receive the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-28 “do this”), pray (1 Timothy 2) and hunger for all the Lord’s good gifts. Dad is to establish a Christian home where God’s grace and forgiveness are given to the sinners in his home.  He must take this work very seriously.  It is eternal life or death serious.  Not just for his child but also for himself.  The father must tend to his own spiritual care in the same way and in order to be an example for his family.

 

For faithful fathers we give the Lord profuse thanks and praise!  However, to be quite honest, this is where fathers are most disobedient and they (and our congregation) must be exhorted to repent and do better.  Fathers put everything else first:  work, ESPN, fishing, hunting, racing, golfing, ball practices, ball games, sleep, yard work, home improvement projects, or anything that they can do at 10:30 a.m. on a Sunday.  Everything but …

 

Teach God’s Word to his child?  Teach her to pray the Commandments, the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer?  Take his child to Sunday School and be an example by going to Bible study?  Take his child to church?  Generally speaking it’s not even on his radar screen!  Fathers abdicate this divine responsibility (and we as an entire congregation disobediently and foolishly give them permission to do it)! Is it any wonder that too many of the children in our congregation know absolutely nothing or very little from God’s Word, care nothing for God’s Word and the divine service where God’s Word is taught and proclaimed, and that after they are baptized and/or confirmed we never see them again?

 

It shouldn’t surprise our congregation one bit that too many of our children are completely apathetic to God, His Word, and His gifts of salvation given in the divine service!  The apple doesn’t fall far from the …!  They are just like their fathers!  They have learned well!  The children then become easy prey for cults like the Latter Day Saints, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Scientology.  They quite easily become full-blown materialists, narcissists, nihilists or practicing atheists.

 

It is high time for all of us at Trinity to repent!  For our sins against our fathers and for the father’s sins against their children and family.  Seriously!  Before it is too late.  There will come a day when we won’t be able to repent.  When Jesus reveals Himself in glory on the Last Day the time for repentance will be over.

 

So we at Trinity had better use the time the Lord’s given us to listen to His Word, use Jesus’ Blood for the forgiveness of our sin in this matter, and beg the Lord to use all of us and most especially fathers as His instruments to care for our children’s spiritual health and salvation.

 

That’s what you want, right?  Right?  Good.  Now, I’ll say one last thing.  It’s also what Jesus has mandated for pastors to proclaim.  And no doubt you’re hungry for it especially after everything that I’ve preached today.  I won’t be stingy and I won’t hold back.  Are you ready?  All right.  Here goes.  The Lord Jesus has died for you His sinners.  His Blood that stained the wood of the cross and reddened the earth purifies you from all your sin.

 

So, do you believe that my forgiveness is God’s forgiveness?  Do you?  Good!  As you believe so you have.  And as a called and ordained servant of Christ and by His authority I declare unto you the entire forgiveness of all your sin in the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

     [1]See http://www.herchurch.org.

     [2]Barbara K. Lundblad, “Baptizing in the Name….,” Word & World 9 (Fall 1989) 384.  To see what else is tolerated and promoted in American “Lutheranism” go to:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTvWaX46X4E&feature=youtu.be

 

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