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                           SERMON NOTES

                      The Second Sunday after Epiphany

                                     January 14, 1996


Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16.  KJV)


"The liberal movement in Lutheran circles is not a thing of sudden growth.  In our circles it began half a century ago.  In its early stages it showed itself by an aping of the sects in external things, while our doctrine remained sound.  Perhaps the first thing to go was the Lutheran hymn...Many of the pastors and congregations gave up the ancient Gospels and Epistles, and began to preach on free texts, in imitation of the sects.  There was a fad at one time for series of sermons on Old Testament characters.  Lent was still observed, but the sermons became mere character sketches of Pontius Pilate, Judas, Simon Peter, and the Roman centurion.

"Contributed," "The Development of Liberalism, The Confessional Lutheran, 10/45. p. 121.         


"That it is good and pleasing to God to sing spiritual songs is, I think, not hidden to any Christian.  Everyone is acquainted not only with the example of the kings and prophets of the Old Testament ...but also with the common use of music, especially in the singing of psalms, in Christendom from the very beginning.  St. Paul, too, instituted this in 1 Corinthians 14:15 and bids the Colossians (3:16) heartily to sing spiritual songs and psalms unto the Lord in order that thereby God's Word and Christian doctrine might be used and practised in diverse ways."

What Luther Says, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II,  p. 980.


"In view of their spiritual meaning the psalms are really lovely and sweet; for they are comforting to all depressed, wretched consciences, who are in fear of sin, the anguish and agony of death, and all sorts of trouble and misery.  To such hearts the Book of Psalms is a sweet, comforting, lovely song, because it sings and preaches the Messiah,...Thus David, too, often dispelled, or at least checked or weakened, the evil spirit for Saul with his minstrelsy (1 Samuel 16:17ff.).  For the evil spirit is not at ease when one sings or preaches God's Word in true faith.  He is a spirit of sadness and cannot stay where a heart is spiritually joyful (joyful in God and His Word."  What Luther Says, II, p. 981.


"We know that music is hateful and intolerable to devils.  I firmly believe, nor am I ashamed to assert, that next to theology no art is equal to music; for it is the only one, except theology, which is able to give a quiet and happy mind.  This is manifestly proved by the fact that the devil, the author of depressing care and distressing disturbances, almost flees from the sound of music as he does from the word of theology."

What Luther Says, II,  p. 983.