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Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity

Matthew 22:34-46 The two chief doctrines revealed to us from God in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, Law and Gospel, we find concise and clear in today's text. Hence our elders have called this text the "little Bible."1 And rightly so. Whoever rightly understands this text has covered the whole of Scripture, is fit for the kingdom of heaven. Yes, here we are shown Sinai and Golgotha: Sinai, in order to kill us, Golgotha, in order to resurrect us. And Jesus Himself, the Master come from God, is the teacher. (briefly show the occasion for this instruction.) So we consider: We must come from the Law to the Gospel, if we want to be saved. 1. The Law is ever sacred, and the commandment is holy, right, and good; but we cannot keep it. a. The holy God is the Author of the Law; as He Himself is holy, so also His will is revealed in the Law. God does not require some outward works in the Law, as the Pharisees said2, but perfect love for God and neighbor for each commandment.3 . Love for God with all your heart, therefore no apparent love, but genuine, sincere; with all your soul, that is, not a fake love, but consistent; with all your mind, that is, not consisting in mere words, but a love showing itself in work. The whole man should thus love God by heart, soul, and mind, God should be our highest good, however, He is far from it. "My son, give Me your heart!" says God; "Lord, if I have only You!" should be our full confession. "We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things."4 . In addition is a second equally severe demand.5 This other demand is equal to that one, is equally serious, equally important, equally binding, for it has the same Author. .Our neighbor is every man who needs our love, he is related or unknown, he is our friend or our enemy; .We should love him as ourselves, i.e., as sincerely, intimately, constantly, just as we love ourselves. Thus is the love of the Law fulfilled. 6 b. This two-fold requirement is too high and too hard for us. Yes, if the law would be satisfied with externals, works done every now and then, we could without a doubt never satisfy God; but in relation to God's holy, unchanging requirement, no man can speak the

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H. Mller, "Evangelical Chain of Inference". Matthew 22:36. 3 Matthew 22:37-40. 4 Luther. 5 Matthew 22:39. 6 Romans 13:10.

truth.7 Sin has corrupted us, we are an inverted Law. Show on individual commands, how far we are from the required love.8 c. So the Law has nothing else left for us than to be a curse and damnation. God cannot give away His holiness.9 And to recognize this is a chief purpose of the Law.10 Woe to us if He would only reveal the doctrine of the Law to us! 2. But Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law and also purchased sonship for us. a. The chief summary of the Gospel is based in the knowledge of Christ and in the Word from the cross. Who is Christ?11 . His person according to God and man in one Person, David's Son and David's Lord, to become man for this purpose: that He would be our Savior12; . according to His office: Christ, i.e., the Anointed. Anointed as High Priest, He has perfectly fulfilled the Law for us, sacrificed Himself for us; thereby turning from us the curse.13 Anointed as King, He reigns14 over His and our enemies. Anointed as Prophet, He knows to speak to the weary at the right time.15 b. Whoever has this knowledge of Christ through the working of the Holy Spirit, sets his confidence in Him, has redemption from the curse of the Law for his person, is a child of God, an inheritance of eternal life.16 Thanks be to God for His precious Gospel! Behind Christ stands not a prophet; whoever will not hear and receive Him, as the Pharisees of old and modern times, remains under the Law, therefore under the curse. Therefore: This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased, hear Him!17

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Matthew 19:20. Romans 7:14, 18a; Isaiah 64:6; Psalm 143:2; James 2:10. 9 Deuteronomy 27:26; Galatians 3:10; Ezekiel 18:20. 10 Romans 3:20. 11 Matthew 22:42-45. 12 Psalm 49:8-9. 13 Hebrews 7:26-27; Galatians 4:4-5; 1 Peter 2:24. 14 Matthew 24:44. 15 Isaiah 50:4, 61:1-2; TLH 74:2. 16 Romans 8:1a, 17a. 17 Matthew 17:5b.