Monday, January 31, 2011

The Daily Meditation

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

1 Moreover brethren, I declare unto you the
Gospel which I preached unto you, which ye have
also received, and wherein ye continue,
2 And whereby ye are saved, if ye keep in memory,
after what manner I preached it unto you, except
ye have believed in vain.
3 For first of all, I delivered unto you that which I
received, how that Christ died for our sins, according
to the Scriptures,
4 And that he was buried, and that he arose the
third day, according to the Scriptures,

Related Scriptures

Psalm 16:9-11;
Psalm 22:15;
Psalm 68:18;
Psalm 110:1;
Isaiah 53:5;
Jonah 2:1;
Luke 24:31-39;
Acts 1:3;
Acts 9:1-6, 15-19;
Romans 1:16;
Romans 5:2;
Romans 11:20;
1 Corinthians 11:2, 23
Galatians 3:4;
1 Peter 2:24;

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Sunday Sermon

The Ten Commandments Part 4a
By Martin Luther

Thus far we have learned the first three commandments, which relate to God. First that with our whole heart we trust in Him, and fear and love Him throughout all our life. Secondly, that we do not misuse His holy name in the support of falsehood or any bad work, but employ it to the praise of God and the profit and salvation of our neighbor and ourselves. Thirdly, that on holidays and when at rest we diligently treat and urge God's Word, so that all our actions and our entire life be ordered according to it. Now follow the other seven, which relate to our neighbor among which the first and greatest is:

Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother.
Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16;

To this estate of fatherhood and motherhood God has given the special distinction above all estates that are beneath it that He not simply commands us to love our parents, but to honor them. ( Ephesians 6:2;) For with respect to brothers, sisters, and our neighbors in general He commands nothing higher than that we love them, so that He separates and distinguishes father and mother above all other persons upon earth, and places them at His side. For it is a far higher thing to honor than to love one, inasmuch as it comprehends not only love, but also modesty, humility, and deference as to a majesty there hidden, and requires not only that they be addressed kindly and with reverence, but, most of all that both in heart and with the body we so act as to show that we esteem them very highly, and that, next to God, we regard them as the very highest. For one whom we are to honor from the heart we must truly regard as high and great.

We must, therefore impress it upon the young that they should regard their parents as in God's stead, and remember that however lowly, poor, frail, and queer they may be, nevertheless they are father and mother given them by God. They are not to be deprived of their honor because of their conduct or their failings. ( Proverbs 1:8; Proverbs 6:20; Proverbs 23:22;) Therefore we are not to regard their persons, how they may be, but the will of God who has thus created and ordained. In other respects we are, indeed, all alike in the eyes of God; but among us there must necessarily be such inequality and ordered difference, and therefore God commands it to be observed, that you obey me as your father, and that I have the supremacy.

Learn, therefore, first, what is the honor towards parents required by this commandment to wit, that they be held in distinction and esteem above all things, as the most precious treasure on earth. Furthermore, that also in our words we observe modesty toward them, do not accost them roughly, haughtily, and defiantly, (Mark 7:10) but yield to them and be silent even though they go too far. Thirdly, that we show them such honor also by works, that is, with our body and possessions, that we serve them, help them, and provide for them when they are old, sick, infirm, or poor, and all that not only gladly, but with humility and reverence, as doing it before God. For he who knows how to regard them in his heart will not allow them to suffer want or hunger, but will place them above him and at his side, and will share with them whatever he has and possesses.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Daily Meditation

1 Corinthians 14:33

33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of
peace, as we see in all the Churches of the Saints

Related Scriptures

Psalm 71:1-3;
Jeremiah 33:6;
John 14:27;
John 16:33;
Romans 14:17;
Romans 15:33;
1 Corinthians 11:16;
Galatians 5:22;
Philippians 4:7;
Colossians 3:15;
2 Timothy 3:16;
Hebrews 5:9;
Hebrews 12:2;
James 3:14-18;

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Daily Meditation

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and
Angels, and have not love, I am as sounding brass,
or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I had the gift of prophecy, and
knew all secrets and all knowledge, yea, if I had all
faith, so that I could remove mountains, and had
not love, I were nothing.
3 And though I feed the poor with all my goods,
and though I give my body, that I be burned, and
have not love, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Love suffereth long: it is bountiful: love envieth
not: love doth not boast itself: it is not puffed up:
5 It doth no uncomely thing: it seeketh not her
own thing: it is not provoked to anger: it thinketh
no evil:
6 It rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the
7 It suffereth all things: it believeth all things: it
hopeth all things: it endureth all things.
8 Love doth never fall away, though that
prophesying be abolished, or the tongues cease,
or knowledge vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in
10 But when that which is perfect, is come, then
that which is in part shall be abolished.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child: I understood
as a child, I thought as a child: but when
I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass darkly: but
then shall we see face to face. Now I know in part:
but then shall I know even as I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope and love, even
these three: but the chiefest of these is love.

Related Scriptures

1 John 1:5-6;
1 John 4:11, 16, 18, 20;

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Daily Meditation

1 Corinthians 12:12-13

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members,
and all the members of the body, which is one,
though they be many, yet are but one body: even so
is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one
body, whether we be Jews, or Grecians, whether we
be bond, or free, and have been all made to drink
into one Spirit.

Related Scriptures

Matthew 26:28;
John 7:37-39;
John 17:11, 22;
Romans 3:22;
Romans 6:5;
Romans 12:4-5;
1 Corinthians 10:17;
Galatians 3:16, 26;
Ephesians 2:13-18;
Ephesians 4:4;
Colossians 3:11;

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Daily Meditation

1 Corinthians 12:3-11

3 Wherefore I declare unto you, that no man
speaking by the spirit of God, calleth Jesus, execrable: (a)
also no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by
the holy Ghost.
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same
5 And there are diversities of administrations,
but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but
God is the same which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to
every man, to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of
wisdom: and to another the word of knowledge, by
the same Spirit:
9 And to another is given faith by the same
Spirit: and to another the gifts of healing, by the
same Spirit:
10 And to another the operations of great works:
and to another, prophecy: and to another, the discerning
of spirits: and to another, diversities of tongues:
and to another, the interpretation of tongues.
11 And all these things worketh one and the
selfsame Spirit, distributing to every man severally
as he will.

Related Scriptures

Psalm 25:12-14;
Matthew 16:17;
Mark 3:15;
Mark 9:31;
Mark 16:17-18
John 13:15;
John 14:16-18, 23, 26;
Acts 2:4-11
Romans 12:3-8;
Romans 15:14;
1 Corinthians 2:6-7;
1 Corinthians 8:6;
1 Corinthians 15:28;
2 Corinthians 4:13;
Ephesians 4:4, 7;
Philippians 2:11;
1 John 4:1;

(a) Editor’s note - the NKJ translation uses the word “anathema” which translates to;
anathema an-ath'-em-ah -accused, anathema, curse. Source Strong’s Concordance
Anathema - An imprecation; a curse; a malediction. Source Webster’s Dictionary Edition 1913

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Sunday Sermon

The Ten Commandments Part 3c
By Martin Luther

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy
Exodus 20:8

Therefore the force and power of this commandment lies not in the resting but in the sanctifying so that to this day belongs a special holy exercise. For other works and occupations are not properly called holy exercises, unless the man himself be first holy. But here a work is to be done by which man is himself made holy, which is done (as we have heard ) alone through God's Word. ( Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3;) For this, then, fixed places, times, persons, and the entire external order of worship have been created and appointed, so that it may be publicly in operation. Therefore, so much depends upon God's Word that without it no holy day can be sanctified, we must know that God insists upon a strict observance of this commandment, and will punish all who despise His Word and are not willing to hear and learn it, especially at the time appointed for the purpose. ( 1 Kings 9:6-9; Nehemiah 1:9;)

Therefore not only those sin against this commandment who grossly misuse and desecrate the holy day, as those who on account of their greed or frivolity neglect to hear God's Word or lie in taverns and are dead drunk like swine; but also that other crowd, who listen to God's Word as to any other trifle, and only from custom come to preaching, and go away again, and at the end of the year know as little of it as at the beginning. For hitherto the opinion prevailed that you had properly hallowed Sunday when you had heard a mass or the Gospel read; but no one cared for God's Word, as also no one taught it. Now, while we have God's Word we nevertheless do not correct the abuse; we suffer ourselves to be preached to and admonished, but we listen without seriousness and care. (Mark 4:3-23;)
Know, therefore, that you must be concerned not only about hearing, but also about learning and retaining it in memory, and do not think that it is optional with you or of no great importance, but that it is God's commandment, who will require of you how you have heard, learned, and honored His Word. Likewise those fastidious spirits are to be reproved who, when they have heard a sermon or two, find it tedious and dull, thinking that they know all that well enough, and need no more instruction. (a) (1 Corinthians 3:2; Hebrews 5:12-13; 1 Peter 2:2;) For just that is the sin which has been hitherto reckoned among mortal sins, and is called _achedia_, i.e., torpor or satiety, a malignant, dangerous plague with which the devil bewitches and deceives the hearts of many, that he may surprise us and secretly withdraw God's Word from us. (b)
For let me tell you this, even though you know it perfectly and be already master in all things, still you are daily in the dominion of the devil, who ceases neither day nor night to steal unawares upon you, to kindle in your heart unbelief and wicked thoughts against the foregoing and all the commandments. Therefore you must always have God's Word in your heart, upon your lips, and in your ears. But where the heart is idle, and the Word does not sound, he breaks in and has done the damage before we are aware. (Mark 3:27;) On the other hand, such is the efficacy of the Word, whenever it is seriously contemplated heard, and used, that it is bound never to be without fruit, but always awakens new understanding, pleasure, and devoutness, and produces a pure heart and pure thoughts. (Isaiah 55:11;) For these words are not inoperative or dead, but creative, living words. (Hebrews 4:12; Psalm 147:15;) And even though no other interest or necessity impel us, yet this ought to urge every one thereunto, because thereby the devil is put to flight (James 4:7;) and driven away, and, besides, this commandment is fulfilled, and this exercise in the Word is more pleasing to God than any work of hypocrisy, however brilliant. (Matthew 6:19-20;)

(a) Editor’s thought - The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates summed it up nicely by saying;

“As for me, all I know, is that I know nothing.”

(b) Editor’s note - Satiety - Properly, fullness of gratification, either of the appetite or any sensual desire; but it usually implies fullness beyond desire; an excess of gratification which excites wearisomeness or loathing; state of being glutted.
Synonyms - Repletion; satiation; surfeit; cloyment. Source Webster’s Dictionary Edition 1828

Scriptures as quoted above

Matthew 4:4;
Luke 4:4;
Deuteronomy 8:3;
1 Kings 9:6-9;
Mark 4:3-23;
1 Corinthians 3:2;
Hebrews 5:12-13;
1 Peter 2:2;
Mark 3:27;
Isaiah 55:11;
Hebrews 4:12;
Psalm 147:15;
James 4:7;
Matthew 6:19-20;

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Daily Meditation

1 Corinthians 10:16-17, 24

16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not
the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread
which we break, is it not the communion of the body
of Christ?
17 For we that are many, are one bread and one
body, because we all are partakers of one bread.
24 Let no man seek his own, but every man
another’s wealth. (a)

(a) Editors note - The NKJ translation uses the words “well - being”. In the ancient Greek, the word “wealth is defined as “chrema khray'-mah something useful or needed”. There are also other direct translations meaning personal property, such as money, riches, etc. I think here, however, that Paul is referring to the prior translation, in so far as, he means that we should be mindful of others and consider their needs in life, both spiritual and natural.

Related scriptures

Numbers 15:39;
Matthew 26:26-28;
Acts 2:24;
Romans 15:1-2;
1 Corinthians 8:6;
1 Corinthians 12:21, 27;
Galatians 3:28;
Galatians 5:25-26;
Philippians 2:3-4;

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Daily Meditation

1 Corinthians 10:13

13 There hath no temptation taken you, but such
as appertaineth to man: and God is faithful, which
will not suffer you to be tempted above that you be
able, but will even give the issue with the temptation,
that ye may be able to bear it.

Related scriptures

Deuteronomy 7:9;
Psalm 125:3;
1 Corinthians 1:9;
1 Thessalonians 5:24;
Philippians 1:6;
Hebrews 10:23;
James 1:12;
1 John 1:9;
Revelation 3:10;

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Daily Meditation

1 Corinthians 7:17, 20, 23 -24

17 But as God hath distributeth to every man,
as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk:
and so ordain I in all Churches.
20 Let every man abide in the same vocation
wherein he was called.
23Ye are bought with a price: be not the servants
of men.
24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he was called,
therein abide with God.

Related Scripture

Leviticus 25:42;
Nehemiah 9:17;
Romans 8:15, 21;
1 Corinthians 4:17;
1 Corinthians 6:20;
Galatians 4:9;
Galatians 5:1;
Ephesians 4:23, 31;
Ephesians 6:5-8;
Colossians 3:22-24;
1 Timothy 6:1;
Hebrews 2:15;
1 Peter 1:18-19;
Revelation 5:9;

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Sunday Sermon

The Ten Commandments Part 3b
By Martin Luther

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy
Exodus 20:8

How, then, does such sanctification take place? Not in this manner, that [with folded hands] we sit behind the stove and do no rough [external] work, or deck ourselves with a wreath and put on our best clothes, but (as has been said) that we occupy ourselves with God's Word, and exercise ourselves therein. (Deuteronomy 4:29; Job 8:5; Luke 12:31;)
And, indeed, we Christians ought always to keep such a holy day, and be occupied with nothing but holy things, i.e., daily be engaged upon God's Word, and carry it in our hearts and upon our lips. But (as has been said) since we do not at all times have leisure, we must devote several hours a week for the sake of the young, or at least a day for the sake of the entire multitude, to being concerned about this alone, and especially urge the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord's Prayer, and thus direct our whole life and being according to God's Word. (Ezekiel 20:19; Psalm 61:8; Proverbs 8:30, 34;) At whatever time, then, this is being observed and practiced, there a true holy day is being kept; otherwise it shall not be called a Christians' holy day.

For the Word of God is the sanctuary above all sanctuaries, yea, the only one which we Christians know and have. For though we had the bones of all the saints or all holy and consecrated garments upon a heap, still that would help us nothing; for all that is a dead thing which can sanctify nobody. But God's Word is the treasure which sanctifies everything, and by which even all the saints themselves were sanctified.(Psalm 119:89, 103, 105, 140, 160; Psalm 19:10; Proverbs 7:1-4; Proverbs 8:17-19;) At whatever hour then, God's Word is taught, preached, heard, read or meditated upon, there the person, day, and work are sanctified thereby, not because of the external work, but because of the Word which makes saints of us all. Therefore I constantly say that all our life and work must be ordered according to God's Word, if it is to be God-pleasing or holy. Where this is done, this commandment is in force and being fulfilled.

On the contrary, any observance or work that is practiced without God's Word is unholy before God, no matter how brilliantly it may shine! (James 2:18-26)

Scripture as used above

Deuteronomy 4:29;
Job 8:5;
Luke 12:31;
Ezekiel 20:19;
Psalm 61:8;
Proverbs 8:30, 34;
Psalm 119:89, 103, 105, 140, 160;
Psalm 19:10;
Proverbs 7:1-4;
Proverbs 8:17-19;
James 2:18-26;

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Daily Meditation

1 Corinthians 6:17, 19-20

17 But he that is joined unto the Lord, is one
19 Know ye not, that your body is the temple
of the holy Ghost, which is in you, whom ye have of
God? and ye are not your own.
20 For ye are bought for a price: therefore glorify
God in your body, and in your spirit: for they are

Related Scriptures

Psalm 31:5;
Psalm 77:15;
Isaiah 52:3;
Isaiah 63:9;
Luke 1:68;
John 2:21;
John 17:21-23;
Acts 20:28;
Romans 8:9-11;
Romans 14:7;
1 Corinthians 3:16-17;
1 Corinthians 7:13, 23;
2 Corinthians 6:16;
Galatians 3:13;
1 Peter 1:18;
2 Peter 2:1;
Revelation 5:9;

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Daily Meditation

1 Corinthians 4:20

20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in

Related Scriptures

Exodus 9:16;
Psalm 29:4;
Psalm 62:11;
1 Corinthians 2:4;
Ephesians 1:19;
Ephesians 3:7;
Ephesians 6:10;
Colossians 1:16-17;
1 Thessalonians 1:5;
2 Timothy 1:7;
Hebrews 1:3;
Hebrews 4:12;
2 Peter 1:3;

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Daily Meditation

1 Corinthians 4:4-5

4 For I know nothing by myself, yet am I not
thereby justified: but he that judgeth me, is the
5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until
the Lord come, who will lighten things that are hid
in darkness, and make the counsels of the hearts
manifest: and then shall every man have praise of

Related Scriptures

Psalm 35:24;
Isaiah 45:3;
Matthew 4:16;
Matthew 5:14-16;
Matthew 7:1-2;
Matthew 10:26-27;
Luke 2:32;
Luke 12:3, 14;
John 1:9;
John 3:19-21;
John 8:12;
Romans 2:29;
1 Corinthians 3:13;
2 Timothy 4:8;
Hebrews 10:30;
1 Peter 3:4;
Revelation 21:4;

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Sunday Sermon

The Ten Commandments Part 3a
By Martin Luther

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy
Exodus 20:8

In the Old Testament, God separated the seventh day, and appointed it for rest, and commanded that it should be regarded as holy above all others. As regards this external observance, this commandment was given to the Jews alone, that they should abstain from toilsome work, and rest, so that both man and beast might recuperate, and not be weakened by unremitting labor. Although they afterwards restricted this too closely, and grossly abused it, so that they traduced and could not endure in Christ those works which they themselves were accustomed to do on that day, as we read in the Gospel just as though the commandment were fulfilled by doing no external [manual] work whatever, which, however, was not the meaning, but, as we shall hear, that they sanctify the holy day or day of rest.
This commandment, therefore, according to its gross sense, does not concern us Christians; for it is altogether an external matter, like other ordinances of the Old Testament, which were attached to particular customs, persons, times, and places, and now have been made free through Christ.
But to grasp a Christian meaning for the simple as to what God requires in this commandment, note that we keep holy days not for the sake of intelligent and learned Christians (for they have no need of it [holy days]), but first of all for bodily causes and necessities, which nature teaches and requires; for the common people, man-servants and maid-servants, who have been attending to their work and trade the whole week, that for a day they may retire in order to rest and be refreshed.
Secondly, and most especially, that on such day of rest (since we can get no other opportunity) freedom and time be taken to attend divine service, so that we come together to hear and treat of God's and then to praise God, to sing and pray. (Psalm 22:25-26; Psalm 28:7; Psalm 33:2; Psalm 69:30; Psalm 100:4; Psalm 107:32;)
However, this, I say, is not so restricted to any time, as with the Jews, that it must be just on this or that day; for in itself no one day is better than another; but this should indeed be done daily; however, since the masses cannot give such attendance, there must be at least one day in the week set apart. But since from of old Sunday [the Lord's Day] has been appointed for this purpose, we also should continue the same, in order that everything be done in harmonious order, and no one create disorder by unnecessary innovation.
Therefore this is the simple meaning of the commandment: since holidays are observed anyhow, such observance should be devoted to hearing God's Word, so that the special function of this day should be the ministry of the Word for the young and the mass of poor people, yet that the resting be not so strictly interpreted as to forbid (Luke 6:7-9; Luke 13:10-15;) any other incidental work that cannot be avoided.
Accordingly, when asked, What is meant by the commandment: Thou shalt sanctify the holy day? answer: To sanctify the holy day is the same as to keep it holy. But what is meant by keeping it holy? Nothing else than to be occupied in holy words, works, and life.(Leviticus 19:2; Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 5:27;) For the day needs no sanctification for itself; for in itself it has been created holy [from the beginning of the creation it was sanctified by its Creator].(Genesis 2:2); But God desires it to be holy to you. Therefore it becomes holy or unholy on your account, according as you are occupied on the same with things that are holy or unholy.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Daily Meditation

1 Corinthians 3:18-21

18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seem to be wise in this
world, let him be a fool, that he may be wise.
19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He
catcheth the wise in their own craftiness.
20 And again, The Lord knoweth that the thoughts of the wise be vain.
21 Therefore let no man rejoice in men. For all things are yours.

Related Scriptures

1 Chronicles 16:10, 29;
Job 5:13;
Job 11:11;
Psalm 60:11;
Psalm 94:11;
Psalm 105:3;
Proverbs 3:7;
Proverbs 21:2;
Jeremiah 9:23-24;
2 Corinthians 4:5;
2 Corinthians 10:17;

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Daily Meditation

1 Corinthians 3:9, 16-17

9 For we together are God’s laborers; ye are God’s husbandry, and God’s
16 Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit of God
dwelleth in you?
17 If any man destroy the Temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the Temple
of God is holy, which ye are.

Related Scripture

Exodus 3:5;
Ezekiel 36:26-27;
Matthew 23:21;
Mark 16:20;
John 14:10, 17;
Acts 15:4;
Romans 8:9, 11;
1 Corinthians 6:19;
2 Corinthians 6:1, 16;
Ephesians 2:20-22;
Colossians 2:7;
Hebrews 3:3;
1 Peter 2:5;

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Daily Meditation

1 Corinthians 3:3-4

3 For ye are yet carnal; for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and
divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
4 For when one saith, I am Paul’s, and another, I am Apollos’, are ye not carnal?

Related Scripture

Proverbs 14:30;
Proverbs 15:18;
Proverbs 16:28;
Proverbs 17:1;
Jeremiah 15:10;
Romans 1:29;
Romans 8:7;
Romans 13:13;
Galatians 5:19-26;
1 Timothy 6:3-5;
Titus 3:3;
James 3:14-18;
James 4:5;

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Daily Meditation

1 Corinthians 2:14, 16

14 But the natural man
perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of
God, for they are
foolishness unto him;
neither can he know them,
because they are spiritually
16 For who hath known the
mind of the Lord, that he might
instruct him? But
we have the mind
of Christ

Related Scriptures

Job 15:8;
Isaiah 40:13;
Matthew 16:23;
John 10:11;
John 15:13;
Romans 11:34;
Philippians 2:2-8;
1 John 3:16;

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Daily Meditation

1 Corinthians 2:7-10

7 But we speak the wisdom of God
in a mystery, even the hid wisdom,
which God had determined
before the world, unto our glory.
8 Which none of the princes of
this world hath known; for had they
known it, they would not have
crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written,
The things which eye hath not seen,
neither ear hath heard,
neither came into man’s heart, are,
which God hath prepared for them
that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them
unto us by his Spirit; for the
Spirit searcheth all things,
yea, the deep things of God.

Related Scriptures

1 Chronicles 28:9;
Psalm 7:9;
Proverbs 20:27;
Matthew 11:25;
Matthew 13:11;
Matthew 16:13; 17;
Matthew 27:33-50;
Mark 8:27, 29;
Luke 10:21-24;
Luke 23:34;
Romans 8:27;
2 Corinthians 4:18;
Galatians 1:12;
Ephesians 3:3, 5;
Hebrews 11:1, 7;

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Sunday Sermon

The Ten Commandments Part 2c
By Martin Luther

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain
Exodus 20:7

Therefore I advise and exhort as before that by means of warning and threatening, restraint and punishment, the children be trained betimes to shun falsehood, and especially to avoid the use of God's name in its support.( Proverbs 22:15; Proverbs 23:13; Proverbs 29:15;) For where they are allowed to do as they please, no good will result, as is even now evident that the world is worse than it has ever been and that there is no government, no obedience, no fidelity, no faith, but only daring, unbridled men, whom no teaching or reproof helps; all of which is God's wrath and punishment for such wanton contempt of this commandment.

On the other hand, they should be constantly urged and incited to honor God's name, and to have it always upon their lips in everything that may happen to them or come to their notice: For that is the true honor of His Name, to look to it and implore it for all consolation, so that (as we have heard above) first the heart by faith gives God the honor due Him, and afterwards the lips by confession. (Proverbs 22:6; Romans 10:8-9; Isaiah 45:23;)

This is also a blessed and useful habit and very effectual against the devil, who is ever about us, and lies in wait to bring us into sin and shame, calamity and trouble,(1 Peter 5:8;) but who is very loath to hear God's name, and cannot remain long where it is uttered and called upon from the heart. And, indeed, many a terrible and shocking calamity would befall us if, by our calling upon His name, God did not preserve us. I have myself tried it, and learned by experience that often sudden great calamity was immediately averted and removed during such invocation. To vex the devil, I say, we should always have this holy name in our mouth, so that he may not be able to injure us as he wishes.(Zechariah 3:8; Jude 1:9; Mark 8:33; Luke 4:8; Mark 1:34;)

For this end it is also of service that we form the habit of daily commending ourselves to God, with soul and body, wife, children, servants, and all that we have, against every need that may occur; whence also the blessing and thanksgiving at meals, and other prayers, morning and evening, have originated and remain in use. This would be more pleasing and acceptable to God than all false sanctity. (Psalm 9:10; Isaiah 26:9; Psalm 27:8; Proverbs 7:15; Mark 1:37;)

Behold, thus we might train our youth in a childlike way and playfully in the fear and honor of God, so that the First and Second Commandments might be well observed and in constant practice. Then some good might take root, spring up and bear fruit, and men grow up whom an entire land might relish and enjoy. Moreover, this would be the true way to bring Up children well as long as they can become trained with kindness and delight. For what must be enforced with rods and blows only will not develop into a good breed and at best they will remain godly under such treatment no longer than while the rod is upon their back.

But this [manner of training] so spreads its roots in the heart that they fear God more than rods and clubs. This I say with such simplicity for the sake of the young, that it may penetrate their minds. For since we are preaching to children, we must also prattle with them. Thus we have prevented the abuse and have taught the right use of the divine name, which should consist not only in words, but also in practices and life, so that we may know that God is well pleased with this and will as richly reward it as He will terribly punish the abuse.