The Third Sunday in Lent
March 10, 1996
"Blessed are those who hear the Word and keep it."
I. Blessing of Mary
A. Not blessed by people
B. Blessed by the Word
II. Indifferent to Word by nature
A. Opposed to God
B. Resent the Law
III. Mercies of Christ
A. Given to humble sinners
B. Only through the Holy Spirit
"A hardened heart will not be instructed, no matter how plainly and clearly the truth is presented; but the faith of the righteous is strengthened when they see that the ground of their faith is right and good."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 157.
"The unavoidable conclusion then is that, as long as the Holy Spirit does not enter our hearts, we are not only incapable of any good, but are of necessity in the kingdom of Satan."
Sermons of Martin Luther, II, p. 159.
"The will does nothing. It is rather the substance (causa materialis) in which the Holy Spirit works also in those who resist, as in Paul. But working on the will of him who resists He moves the will to consent."
What Luther Says, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 347.
"As Paul was converted, so others are; for all of us resist the Word. But the Holy Spirit draws us through the ministry of the Word when He pleases. Therefore the spoken Word is always to be held in high esteem, for those who despise the spoken Word are presently made heretics."
What Luther Says, I, p. 347.
"Unless the rocky subsoil in their hearts has been pulverized by the Law, the sweet Gospel is of no benefit to them."
C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 119.
P: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. What does this mean?
C: We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, nor defame our neighbor, but defend him, speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.
P: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house. What does this mean?
C: We should fear and love God that we may not craftily seek to get our neighbor's inheiritance or house, nor obtain it by a show of right, but help and be of service to him in keeping it.