Righteous Before God
Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church
An Independent Lutheran Congregation “Holding Forth the Word of Life”
2305 S. Dixieland Road/P.O. Box 2335
Rogers, AR 72757
Sixth Sunday After Trinity
July 19, 2020
Pastor Randy Moll 479-233-0081 / Deacon Marty Jackson 479-899-2807
Ron Wellander – Music Director / Lois Wellander – Choir Director
Lee Allen and Wolfgang McKenzie – Acolytes
Prelude and Lighting of the Altar Candles
The congregation is seated and quietly prepares for worship.
Liturgy: LSB 184 “Divine Service, Setting Three”
LSB #578 “Thy Strong Word”
LSB #579 “The Law of God is Good and Wise”
LSB #635 “O Gracious Lord, I Firmly Am Believing”
LSB #537 “Beautiful Savior, King of Creation”
Psalm: Psalm 19 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. 12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Lord of all power and might, author and giver of all good things, graft into our hearts the love of Your name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of Your great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Catechism Lesson: The Apostles’ Creed (Article 1)
115. What are the evil angels? The fallen spirits, forever rejected, who are the declared enemies of God and man, and endeavor to destroy the works of God.
209) Jude 6. The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
210) Eph. 6:12. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
211) John 8:44. The devil was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar and the father of it.
212) 1 Pet. 5:8-9. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith.
B.H. Gen. 3:1-5. The serpent. — Job 2. Satan. — Matt. 4:1-11. The Tempter.
Old Testament Lesson: Exodus 20:1-17
1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. 12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 13 Thou shalt not kill. 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15 Thou shalt not steal. 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
Epistle Lesson: Romans 6:1-11
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Gospel Lesson: Matthew 5:17-26
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
Sermon: “How can you and I be righteous before God?” Matthew 5:17-20
We welcome you and pray that you are built up and strengthened in your faith through the hearing of God’s Word among us and invite you to join us again. If you would like one of our pastors to call or visit, please speak to him after the service, or call, or contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We ask our visitors to fill out a guest information card at the table near the door.
Holy Communion will be administered during our worship today. Since Christ Jesus offers and gives us to partake of His body and blood, given and shed for us upon the cross for the remission of sins, since the Bible calls upon us to examine ourselves before partaking of Christ’s Supper and since partaking of the altar is a profession of agreement with the doctrine proclaimed among us, we practice “closed communion” and ask that only communicant members of this congregation who have examined themselves come forward to partake of the Lord’s Supper (cf. 1 Cor. 11:23ff.; 10:16ff.). Any others desiring to commune with us are asked to speak to the pastor about receiving instruction and becoming a member of the congregation by a public profession of faith. Members desiring the Lord’s Supper but not comfortable attending services during the COVID-19 pandemic may call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at pastor @goodshepherd- rogers.org and he will arrange a time to bring the Sacrament to them (to the front porch or to a suitable location at members’ homes, or at the church when no one else is there).
Upcoming Events: Wednesday Evening Bible Study meets at the church, or online via Google Meet, at 7 p.m. each Wednesday. The link is posted in the church calendar on the church website. For other scheduled events and cancelations, check the church website at https://goodshepherdrogers.org and click on the Calendar tab.
Online Services will continue via Facebook Live and recorded YouTube videos each week. Our Sunday bulletin will be emailed to members and made available online. Since our Sunday services at the church use the Lutheran Service Book and many of the hymns and the liturgy are subject to copyright protection, we suggest that members and guests order a copy of the hymnal on Amazon or at CPH.org to follow along with hymn verses and the liturgy. If members or guests need assistance in obtaining a copy, please call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at pastor@good- shepherdrogers.org. Copies may also be borrowed from the church.
COVID-19 Precautions — In compliance to a new Rogers’ city ordinance requiring individuals to wear face coverings when not able to maintain a minimum of 6 feet between family groups at indoor venues, including houses of worship, we ask that those attending services in-person spread out and maintain the required social distancing and wear a face mask when that is not possible. Anyone who is ill and running a fever or presenting symptoms of COVID-19 is asked to refrain from in-person attendance until fever and symptom free for at least 3 days.
How can you and I be righteous before God?
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-20
Some in Jesus’ day misunderstood and thought that Jesus was trying to throw out all that is taught in the Old Testament Scriptures because He offered forgiveness and life through faith in His name.
Unfortunately, some today assume that Jesus’ teaching does away with the Old Testament and makes these Scriptures obsolete and unnecessary for Christians. Many even believe and teach that one can be a Christian and disregard some or all of what the Bible teaches. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
It is as Jesus said: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Jesus, the long-promised Messiah and Savior, came to fulfill all that is taught in the Old Testament, not to destroy it. Not the smallest letter (jot) of the Law or the smallest part of a letter (tittle) in the Scriptures will pass away until all is fulfilled.
Thus, Jesus went on to say: “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
Thus, it is a grave offense to break even the smallest commandment in the Scriptures and teach others so. Those who do so will be least or excluded entirely from God’s kingdom (cf. Ex. 20:1-17; Rom. 6:1ff.).
And, as a study of the Scriptures will reveal, the righteousness which God demands is far greater than the outward righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. It far exceeds the righteousness of the churchgoers of our day who depend on their own righteous works and deeds.
The Scriptures demand perfect righteousness of heart, soul and mind (cf. Matt. 5:21ff.; 5:27ff.; 5:33ff.; 5:38ff; 5:43ff; 5:48; Lev. 19:2). The Scriptures demand a holy life in thought, word and deed — righteousness which we do not have and cannot attain by our own attempts to keep God’s Law (cf. Rom. 3:9-20).
But Jesus came to keep every commandment of the Scriptures perfectly for us. He regarded the Scriptures as the very Word of God and was obedient in thoughts, desires, words and actions to every teaching of the Law and the Prophets! He fulfilled all and regarded all as absolute truth. He fulfilled the righteous demands of the Scriptures for us.
Jesus also, as prophesied by the Law and the Prophets (the Old Testament Scriptures), took our place under God’s Law and took the guilt and punishment of our sins upon Himself, that we might have forgiveness and life through faith in Him and His blood shed for us upon the cross (cf. Isa. 53:6).
And these same Scriptures declare to us Christ’s full atonement for our sins and the acceptance and pardon of a merciful God for Jesus’ sake (Cf. 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Rom. 3:21-28; 4:3-8; 4:23ff.)! They offer to us the imputed, perfect righteousness of Christ Jesus that we might stand in God’s judgment through faith in Jesus’ name.
And, the Bible assures us that all who trust in Christ will be saved. Those who trust in Him will not be condemned but have eternal life (cf. John 5:24; 3:18; Mark 16:16; Rom. 8:1; 10:9-13)!
Dear LORD Jesus, holy Son of God and true man, our Savior, thank You for fulfilling for us the perfect righteousness taught and demanded in the Holy Scriptures, and thank You for bearing upon the cross the full and just punishment for all our sins and then rising again to grant us forgiveness and life — perfect righteousness — through faith in Your name. Amen.
Hymn texts and tunes used by permission under LSBHymnLicense.net #100010399. Scripture quotations are from the King James Version.