Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church
“Holding Forth the Word of Life”
2305 S. Dixieland Road/P.O. Box 2335
Rogers, AR 72757
April 30, 2023
Order of Matins
V. O LORD, open Thou my lips. R. And my mouth shall show forth Thy praise.
V. Make haste, O God, to deliver me. R. Make haste to help me, O Lord.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost: R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Hallelujah.
V. O come, let us worship the Lord. R. For He is our Maker.
O COME, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving: and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God: and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is His also. The sea is His, and He made it: and His hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God: and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
The Hymn: “O Lord, Look Down from Heaven, Behold” by Martin Luther
O Lord, look down from Heaven, behold
And let Thy pity waken:
How few are we within Thy fold,
Thy saints by men forsaken!
True faith seems quenched on every hand,
Men suffer not Thy Word to stand;
Dark times have us o’ertaken.
With fraud which they themselves invent
Thy truth they have confounded;
Their hearts are not with one consent
On Thy pure doctrine grounded.
While they parade with outward show,
They lead the people to and fro,
In error’s maze astounded.
May God root out all heresy
And of false teachers rid us
Who proudly say: “Now, where is he
That shall our speech forbid us?
By right or might we shall prevail;
What we determine cannot fail;
We own no lord and master.”
Therefore saith God, “I must arise,
The poor My help are needing;
To Me ascend My people’s cries,
And I have heard their pleading.
For them My saving Word shall fight
And fearlessly and sharply smite,
The poor with might defending.”
As silver tried by fire is pure
From all adulteration,
So through God’s Word shall men endure
Each trial and temptation.
Its light beams brighter through the cross,
And, purified from human dross,
It shines through every nation.
Thy truth defend, O God, and stay
This evil generation;
And from the error of their way
Keep Thine own congregation.
The wicked everywhere abound
And would Thy little flock confound;
But Thou art our Salvation. Amen.
Epistle: James 1:16-21
DO not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
V. But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us. R. Thanks be to God.
Gospel: John 16:5-15
BUT now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away. the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.
V. But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us. R. Thanks be to God.
Sermon: “The Witness of the Holy Spirit” — John 16:7-15
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”
From Jesus’ words to His disciples before His death, resurrection and ascension, we learn much of the Holy Spirit’s ministry. When Jesus ascended into heaven and poured out His Spirit, the Holy Spirit was a witness against the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment.
The Holy Spirit, through the preaching of the apostles and ministers of Jesus, testifies against the whole world of unbelievers, convicting them of sin because they have rejected and crucified Jesus Christ, God’s own Son and the only source of forgiveness and life (cf. Acts 2:1ff.; Heb. 10:26-31); convicting them of righteousness because Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, had ascended to the very throne of God with the only righteousness that is acceptable to God (cf. Acts 4:11-12; Rom. 3:10ff.; 1 John 2:1-2); and convicting them of judgment because the devil, who rules over the world of sinners, has already been overcome and judged by Jesus’ victory on the cross, meaning that all who continue under Satan’s rule will soon share in his judgment and condemnation (cf. Luke 10:18; Rev. 12:1-17; Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10-15).
But for those of us who believe, the Holy Spirit comes alongside us and dwells in us as a Helper and Encourager to keep us trusting in Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness and life eternal.
He guides us into all truth because He takes the things of Jesus Christ and tells them to us. Through the apostles and prophets, He has given to us the Holy Scriptures, “which are able to make [us] wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15; cf. 3:14-17; James 1:18).
The Holy Spirit teaches us as we read and study His Word so that we know the truth and are made free from slavery to sin and alive to God through faith in Jesus and His blood shed for sin (cf. John 8:31-32; 1 John 2:27; Psalm 119:97-105).
The Spirit reminds us that, though we have sinned, through faith in Jesus’ shed blood we have forgiveness and life everlasting (cf. 1 John 1:8-2:2; Rom. 3:23-24; Isa. 1:18).
And the Spirit comforts us with the knowledge that, though our lives in this world are full of pain and suffering, we have an eternal inheritance awaiting us in heaven for Jesus’ sake (cf. 1 Pet. 1:3-9; Rev. 7:9-17; John 14:1-3; 16:33).
Dear Lord Jesus, grant us the help and comfort of Your Holy Spirit that we may learn the truth from Your Word and trust in You for forgiveness and life and follow You unto life everlasting. Amen.
The Canticle — Te Deum Laudamus
We praise Thee, O God, we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord. All the earth doth worship Thee, the Father everlasting. To Thee all Angels cry aloud, the heavens, and all the powers therein. To Thee Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth; Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy Glory. The glorious company of the Apostles praise Thee. The goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise Thee. The noble army of Martyrs praise Thee. The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge Thee; The Father of an infinite Majesty; Thine adorable, true and only Son; Also the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ. Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father. When Thou tookest upon Thee to deliver man, Thou didst humble Thyself to be born of a Virgin. When Thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, Thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Thou sittest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father. We believe that Thou shalt come to be our Judge. We therefore pray Thee, help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy precious blood. Make them to be numbered with Thy saints in glory everlasting. O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine heritage. Govern them and lift them up for ever. Day by day we magnify Thee; And we worship Thy Name ever, world without end. Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin. O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us. O Lord, let Thy mercy be upon us as our trust is in Thee. O Lord, in Thee have I trusted, let me never be confounded.
Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ, have mercy upon us. Lord, have mercy upon us.
OUR Father, Who art in heaven; Hallowed by Thy Name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven; Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil; For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
V. The Lord be with you. R. And with thy spirit.
Collect for Grace
O LORD, our Heavenly Father, Almighty and Everlasting God, Who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this day: Defend us in the same with Thy mighty power; and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all our doings, being ordered by Thy governance, may be righteous in Thy sight; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
V. Bless we the Lord. R. Thanks be to God.
THE Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
[Scripture quoted from the King James Version of the Bible]