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Eighth Sunday After Trinity (1883)

Eighth Sunday After Trinity (1883)

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Published by David Juhl
Matthew 7:15-23. Outline by Georg Stöckhardt
Matthew 7:15-23. Outline by Georg Stöckhardt

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Published by: David Juhl on Jul 17, 2013
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07/17/2013

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Eighth Sunday after Trinity (1883

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Matthew 7:15-23 The danger of being deprived of our salvation is so great and the obstacles to come to faith in the Lord Jesus and persevere in faith to the end are so great that the Lord Himself calls the way that leads to life a narrow way that only a few find. The danger of being lost, however, would be significantly less great than it really is if everywhere preachers of the Word would be upright servants of Christ, faithful leaders on the way to heaven. But this is not the case. Rather, there are whole flocks of swindlers and false teachers that show a wrong way, who not only are lost eternally, but plunge thousands into hell with them. Therefore the Lord regards it as necessary at the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount to warn about false prophets in all earnestness. He does this in today's Gospel. Christ's earnest warning about false prophets. The Lord describes namely for this purpose: 1. The nature and composition of false prophets; a. they lack a proper call. They "come", says the Lord1, i.e., they come by themselves; they run without being sent.2 How could a preacher who preaches a false Christ be sent by God for this purpose? No, they take this honor unto themselves3, sneaking back and forth into houses.4 Yes, Christ says they come "to you". They burst in the most where true sheep of Christ are, where a congregation is in God's blessing. And what herd would be safe from them? Have not even the apostolic churches been devastated by false prophets? b. they have a deceptive appearance, because they come in sheep's clothing5, i.e. with the claim to be a sheep of Christ themselves and therefore to remain faithful with the flock of Christ. But with this good appearance is nothing but deception. They play the part of apostles of Christ6, they merely have an appearance of piety7, they purport wisdom and humility8, quite deliberately carry the name of the Lord in the mouth9, their mouth overflows with pioussounding words; but c. they are truly ravenous wolves.10 As nice as they glisten from the outside, inwardly they are of a much different nature. They are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.11 They are lying
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Matthew 7:15. Jeremiah 23:21. 3 Hebrews 5:4 4 2 Timothy 3:5-6. 5 Matthew 7:15. 6 2 Corinthians 11:13. 7 2 Timothy 3:5. 8 Colossians 2:18, 23. 9 Matthew 7:22. 10 Matthew 7:15. 11 Matthew 23:28.

preachers.12 Their talk will spread like cancer.13 They are not shepherds of sheep, as they purport, but wolves, ravenous wolves who do not spare the flock.14 Unspeakable is the damage they cause in the Lord's congregation. One thinks of Arius, Pelagius, above all, of the Roman Antichrist, the Pope! How can the calamity be adverted? Behold 2. the characteristics by which they may be recognized. These are their fruits15, their prophetic fruits. As the fruits of a Christian are his works, so doctrine is the fruit of a teacher, prophecy the fruit of a prophet, speech the fruit of an orator, therefore false doctrine the fruit of a false prophet. As soon as the doctrine of a preacher is contradictory to your Lutheran catechism, does not agree with the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Words of Baptism and the Lord's Supper and cannot refer to it, then one recognizes false prophets in this fruit. Whoever ascribes a merit to works, anything good to the natural man, whoever overthrows the conscience by his teaching either into despair or fleshly security, whoever invokes the saints or mutilates the Sacraments, whoever teaches anything that is detrimental to the suffering and merit of Christ to dishonor and to the salvation of souls, whoever robs the glory of God and gives it to mankind, is recognized in his fruit as a false prophet and allowed you to be fooled by sheep's clothing. The judgment for such fruit is safe.16 Arius, Pelagius, the Antichrist, etc. have been recognized in it; 3. the punishment that they will meet. False prophets are like bad trees.17 They will not proceed farther18 and are finally uprooted.19 Hypocrisy does not help anymore before Christ's judgment seat.20 Their end corresponds to their deeds.21 They bring swift destruction upon themselves22 and their fate is in the lake of fire.23 Should this not serve as a warning to us all? This is no joke. Precisely for that very reason false prophets are called soul murderers and wolves, because all who follow them are also at the same time eternally lost with them. Therefore take heed! G[eorg] S[töckhardt]

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Micah 2:11. 2 Timothy 2:17. 14 Acts 20:29. 15 Matthew 7:16. 16 Matthew 7:16-20. 17 Matthew 7:19. 18 2 Timothy 3:9. 19 Matthew 15:13. 20 Matthew 7:21-23. 21 2 Corinthians 11:15. 22 2 Peter 2:1. 23 Revelation 19:20.

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