The Weekend Word
MLD has graciously agreed to take us through the book of Matthew in similar fashion.
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
- Remember, all we do as a Christian is in Christ and through Christ
16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
- We have direct access to God – we are all priests. (we are our own priest not the priest of others like the clergy.)
- There no longer is a need for sin offerings
- So what is the sacrifice we offer? – Our spiritual offering
- Giving thanks – offering of praise. (15)
- How do we give thanks and offer praise? By repeating back to God what he has promised us – as we do in the Collect during the liturgy.
- Doing good works (16) For we Lutherans = vocation.
- Not a salvation issue – Eph 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
- Paul speaks of other spiritual offerings Phil 4:18 “I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.”
- Romans 12:1 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
- What is the role of the church leaders … if we are all priests?
- Watching out for your soul – make it easy for them
- How does the pastor watch out for your soul?
- By protecting you from false teaching – In the old days false teaching was delivered by traveling preachers – such as the Judaizers in Paul’s day – circuit riders in the old west – today false teaching comes to us via books, in Christian Bookstores – tapes – the internet.
- Our pastors must always point out the wolves.
- Sadly many / most not only don’t, but refuse to. I myself will always call them out.
- This is the correct method used in the Book of Concord that not only confesses what we believe, but boldly states what we are against.
18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.
- This is a good example of a leader who knows how to care for his people through prayer. Briefly and beautifully he sums up the epistle in a prayer for them.
19 I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.
- A personal prayer request
- Where is he? We don’t know
20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,
- In this one sentence (20-21) he summarizes all that Christianity has to offer.
- Peace with God – not a peace so you can sleep at night … but God is no longer at war with you.
- Throughout Hebrews there has been much talk about sacrifice – not much talk about the resurrection – but here it is.
21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
- Equipping – teaching – Exactly what we do here.
- What work is God doing in us? – He is directing what you do with your life for his glory.
- You, me and future generations becoming Christians is what pleases God.
22 Brothers and sisters, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for in fact I have written to you quite briefly.
- That’s a LOL for us – but he was probably dead serious.
23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.
- I always wondered when Paul would say this if it was a warning – perhaps this writer picked up the same tactic.
- Watch out – don’t let me catch you … or, stay on your toes.
24 Greet all your leaders and all the Lord’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.
- I would think that the letter went to the leaders and was handed down – like greet your congregants.
- Those from Italy. Are these Italians (Romans) living in exile?
- Paul was in Rome Italy. Again, a who’s who mystery.
25 Grace be with you all.
- Amen and THE END!