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Scripture Alone (Reformation, November 5, 2017)

Old Testament Lesson

2 Kings 22:1-11; 23:1-3

Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he ruled for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah from Bozkath. 2He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He walked in all the ways of his father David. He did not turn aside to the right or to the left.

3In King Josiah’s eighteenth year, the king sent the secretary, Shaphan son of Azaliah son of Meshullam, to the House of the Lord, saying, 4“Go up to Hilkiah the high priest and have him weigh out the entire amount of silver which has been brought to the House of the Lord, which the gatekeepers have received from the people. 5It is to be given to those who are appointed to supervise the work on the House of the Lord. They are to give it to those who are working in the House of the Lord to repair the damage to the temple. 6Give it to the craftsmen, builders, and stonemasons so they can buy wood and quarried stone to repair the damage. 7But no accounting is to be demanded for the silver which is given to them, because they are acting honestly.”

8Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the House of the Lord.” Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan, and he read it. 9Then Shaphan the secretary went to the king and reported: “Your servants have paid out the silver which was found in the temple, and they have given it to those who are appointed to supervise the work on the Lord’s house.”

10Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.” Then Shaphan read it in the presence of the king.

11When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law he tore his clothes.

23:1Then the king summoned all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 2The king went up to the House of the Lord, and every man of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets and all the people from the least to the greatest, went with him. In their hearing he read all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the House of the Lord.

3Then the king stood before the pillar and made a covenant in the presence of the Lord to follow the Lord, to keep his commandments, his testimony, and his statutes with all his heart, and with all his soul to uphold the words of this covenant, which were written in this book.

Then all the people affirmed this covenant.

New Testament Lesson

1 Corinthians 2:1–14

As for me, brothers, when I came to you, I did not come with superior speech or wisdom in order to proclaim to you the testimony of God. 2For I had no intention of knowing anything among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3I came to you in weakness, in fear, and with much trembling. 4My message and my preaching were not marked by persuasive words of human wisdom, but by a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your faith would not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

6Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature, but it is not a wisdom of this world or of the rulers of this world, who are being reduced to nothing. 7Instead we speak God’s wisdom that has been hidden in mystery—before the ages, God foreordained that this wisdom would result in our glory. 8None of the rulers of this world knew it. (If they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.) 9But as it is written:

What no eye has seen and no ear has heard

and no human mind has conceived—

that is what God has prepared for those who love him.

10But God revealed it to us through his Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11Indeed, who among men knows a man’s thoughts except the man’s spirit within him? So also, no one else knows God’s thoughts except God’s Spirit.

12What we received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we might know the blessings freely given to us by God. 13We also speak about these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual truths with spiritual words. 14However, an unspiritual person does not accept the truths taught by God’s Spirit, because they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually evaluated.


John 8:31–36

31So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples. 32You will also know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

33“We are Abraham’s descendants,” they answered, “and we have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be set free’?”

34Jesus answered, “Amen, Amen, I tell you: Everyone who keeps committing sin is a slave to sin. 35But a slave does not remain in the family forever. A son does remain forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.”

Sermon Text

Jeremiah 23:1-6

Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! declares the Lord.

2Therefore, this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says about the shepherds who shepherd my people.

You have scattered my flock.

You have driven them away.

You have not taken care of them,

but I will certainly take care of you,

because of the evil things you have done,

declares the Lord.

3I will gather what is left of my flock

out of all the countries where I have driven them,

and I will bring them back to their pastures.

They will be fruitful and multiply.

4I will raise up shepherds over them

who will shepherd them.

They will no longer be afraid or terrified,

nor will any be missing, declares the Lord.

5Listen, the days are coming, declares the Lord,

when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch,

who will reign wisely as king

and establish justice and righteousness on earth.

6In his days Judah will be saved

and Israel will dwell securely.

This is his name by which he will be called:

The Lord Our Righteousness.

Christ Alone (Christ the King, November 26, 2017)

Old Testament Lesson

Isaiah 45:5-6, 18-25

5I am the Lord, and there is no other.

Except for me, there is no god.

I will equip you even though you do not know me,

6so that people will know from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets

that there is no one except me.

I am the Lord, and there is no other.

7I am the one who forms light and creates darkness,

the one who makes peace and creates disaster.

I am the Lord, the one who does all these things.

18This is what the Lord says.

He created the heavens,

He is God!

He formed the earth and made it.

Yes, he established it!

He did not create it to remain empty.

He formed it to be inhabited.

I am the Lord, and there is no other.

19I did not speak in secret,

or from someplace in a land of darkness.

I did not say to the descendants of Jacob,

“Seek me in the midst of chaos.”

I, the Lord, am speaking in righteousness.

I am declaring what is right.

20Gather! Come! Draw near together,

you survivors from the nations.

They have no knowledge

—those who are lifting up their idols of wood

and praying to a god that cannot save.

21Make an announcement and come close.

Let them consult together.

Who made this known ahead of time?

From time past who announced it?

Was it not I, the Lord?

There is no god except me,

a righteous God and Savior.

There is no one except me.

22Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth,

because I am God,

and there is no other.

23I have sworn by myself.

From my mouth a righteous word has gone out,

and it will not return unfulfilled.

Indeed, to me every knee will bow,

and every tongue will swear allegiance.

24“Only in the Lord,” they will say of me,

“Only in the Lord is there true righteousness and strength.”

To him they will come and be ashamed—

all those who are angry at him.

25In the Lord, all the descendants of Israel will be justified.

They will be praised by him.

New Testament Lesson

Romans 3:19–24

19Now we know that whatever the law says is addressed to those who are under the law, so that every mouth will be silenced and the whole world will be subject to God’s judgment. 20For this reason, no one will be declared righteous in his sight by works of the law, for through the law we become aware of sin.

21But now, completely apart from the law, a righteousness from God has been made known. The Law and the Prophets testify to it. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all and over all who believe.

In fact, there is no difference, 23because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,


John 14:1–6

1“Do not let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that you may also be where I am. 4You know where I am going, and you know the way.”

5“Lord, we don’t know where you are going,” Thomas replied, “so how can we know the way?”

6Jesus said to him, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.”

Sermon Text

Acts 4:1–12

As Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the commander of the temple guard, and the Sadducees approached them. 2They were very upset because Peter and John were teaching the people and proclaiming the resurrection from the dead in connection with Jesus. 3They arrested them and put them in jail until the next day because it was already evening.

4But many of those who had heard the message believed, and the number of the men increased to about five thousand.

5The next day, the rulers, the elders, and the experts in the law assembled in Jerusalem 6with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all the rest of the high priest’s family. 7After they made Peter and John stand in front of them, they began to question them: “By what power or by what name did you do this?”

8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel, 9if we are being questioned today for a kind act that was done for the lame man, as to how this man has been healed, 10let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that it was by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead! By him this man stands before you healed. 11This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you builders, which has become the cornerstone.

12“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.”

Grace Alone (The Third Sunday in Advent, December 17, 2017)

Old Testament Lesson

Jeremiah 31:31-34

31Yes, the days are coming, declares the Lord,

when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah.

32It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers,

when I took them by the hand

and led them out of the land of Egypt.

They broke that covenant of mine,

although I was a husband to them, declares the Lord.

33But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days,

declares the Lord.

I will put my law in their minds,

and I will write it on their hearts.

I will be their God,

and they will be my people.

34No longer will each one teach his neighbor,

or each one teach his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,”

because they will all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord,

for I will forgive their guilt,

and I will remember their sins no more.

New Testament Lesson

Ephesians 2:1–9

1You were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2in which you formerly walked when you followed the ways of this present world. You were following the ruler of the domain of the air, the spirit now at work in the people who disobey.

3Formerly, we all lived among them in the passions of our sinful flesh, as we carried out the desires of the sinful flesh and its thoughts. Like all the others, we were by nature objects of God’s wrath.

4But God, because he is rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved! 6He also raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. 7He did this so that, in the coming ages, he might demonstrate the surpassing riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8Indeed, it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.


John 3:14–16

14“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15so that everyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Sermon Text

John 1:1–3, 14, 16-17

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him everything was made, and without him not one thing was made that has been made.

14The Word became flesh and dwelled among us. We have seen his glory, the glory he has as the only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

16For out of his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Faith Alone (Epiphany, January 7, 2018)

Old Testament Lesson

Genesis 15:1–6

1After these events the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision. He said, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”

2Abram said, “Lord God what can you give me, since I remain childless, and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3Abram also said, “Look, you have given me no offspring, so a servant born in my house will be my heir.”

4Just then, the word of the Lord came to him. God said, “This man will not be your heir, but instead one who will come out of your own body will be your heir.” 5The Lord then brought him outside and said, “Now look toward the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” He said to Abram, “This is what your descendants will be like.” 6Abram believed in the Lord, and the Lord credited it to him as righteousness.

New Testament Lesson

Romans 4:13–25

13Indeed, the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not given to Abraham or his descendants through the law, but through the righteousness that is by faith. 14To be sure, if people are heirs by the law, faith is empty and the promise is nullified. 15For law brings wrath. (Where there is no law, there is no transgression.) 16For this reason, the promise is by faith, so that it may be according to grace and may be guaranteed to all of Abraham’s descendants—not only to the one who is a descendant by law, but also to the one who has the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”

In the presence of God, Abraham believed him who makes the dead alive and calls non-existing things so that they exist. 18Hoping beyond what he could expect, he believed that he would become the father of many nations, just as he was told: “This is how many your descendants will be.” 19He did not weaken in faith, even though he considered his own body as good as dead (because he was about one hundred years old), and even though he considered Sarah’s womb to be dead. 20He did not waver in unbelief with respect to God’s promise, but he grew strong in faith, giving glory to God 21and being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”

23Now the statement “it was credited to him” was not written for him alone, 24but also for us to whom it would be credited, namely, to us who believe in the one who raised our Lord Jesus from the dead. 25He was handed over to death because of our trespasses and was raised to life because of our justification.


Matthew 16:13–19

13When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

14They said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15He said to them, “But you, who do you say that I am?”

16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not overpower it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Sermon Text

Hebrews 11:1–2, 8-12

Faith is being sure about what we hope for, being convinced about things we do not see. 2For by this faith the ancients were commended in Scripture.

8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go to a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance, and he left without knowing where he was going.

9By faith he lived as a stranger in the Promised Land, as if it did not belong to him, dwelling in tents along with Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

11By faith Abraham also received the ability to conceive children, even though Sarah herself was barren and he was past the normal age, because he considered him faithful who made the promise. 12And so from one man, and he as good as dead, descendants were born as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand along the seashore.