First Sunday after Holy Trinity Sunday June 18, 2017
Title: I am your shield - Holy Scripture is the Inerrant Word of God by which God works in you saving faith.
Grace and mercy to you from God our Father and the Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
It is written in Luke 16 - 29 Abraham said to the rich man being tormented in hell, ‘Your brothers have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And the damned man said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But Abraham said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”
Thus far the text. Let us pray. Heavenly Father, whose Holy Spirit wrote your inerrant Holy Scriptures through the prophets and apostles, grant us to so ….. Read, hear, learn and inwardly digest them so that… through You Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
Summary: Holy Scripture (Moses & the prophets) is inerrant because it is inspired by God. Therefore, Holy Scripture is God’s Word. The difference between the rich man and Lazarus is not their outward appearance but their inward unbelief or faith. The rich man is not an immoral man but highly respected by the world. Yet he shows forth no fruits of faith or love. His daily delight is in his expensive clothes and fine food, rather than the Word of God. A fruit of this unbelief is his lack of love for his neighbor. An example of rich men today are those who teach that Holy Scripture is errant or that only the Gospel is inerrant. Lazarus is despised by the world. No one desires to be like him. Yet he clings to the inerrant Holy Scripture which has the power to save him. He would show love to his neighbor but has no opportunity. And yet, he is teaching us the faith to this day. Let us cling to Moses and the prophets like Lazarus.
God is the author. Therefore, Moses and the prophets are without error. God’s Holy Scripture is beautiful because He is beautiful God’s Holy Scripture is inerrant because God does not err.
Isn’t that fabulous. You have in your hands the Book that God wrote. His thoughts and His ways are not hidden. Open His Book and you hear God. Open it here at church. Open it at home. Open it in your car. Open it during a break at work. Memorize beauty and truth as God writes to you.
Unfortunately, few Christians believe this. I know the scoffer dismisses an inerrant Holy Scripture. God hates scoffers. But, Christians are following the fad. Christians are denying what Holy Scripture says about itself. Let them hear Holy Scripture again.
For “All Scripture is God breathed and useful for rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21).
“Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me/Jesus” (John 5:39).
Now some say the Gospel is inerrant. They would say that has the power to save from sin. However, these Christians would claim that only the Gospel is inerrant. But also, the history has errors. And also, the culture has changed. These Christians would also say that the Bible is full of errors and contradictions.
For example, this Christian who holds to an error free Gospel will believe that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, but will deny that God created everything in six days. Another example, this Christian who holds to an error free Gospel will believe that God instituted marriage, but will deny that a wife should subordinate herself to her husband as the church subordinates itself to the Lord. This denies the inerrancy of Scripture. If you believe in the Gospel but reject an inerrant Holy Scripture, you have found your repentance for this morning. Repent from your unbelief but rather believe that the Holy Lord could write clearly to you on any topic he chose.
The rich man and Lazarus show us the difference between unbelief and faith. Let’s take a closer look at these men to help illustrate a current crisis in the Christian church today. But let us not look at outward appearances. Let us instead look at their faith and love.
First, rich man. The rich man is not an immoral man. He is not an adulterer or thief. He is a hard working and upright man. He is the kind of man we would like to be. He wears expensive clothes. He enjoys fine food. He invites many people to his parties. He is respected by his many guests and members of the community. There is nothing wrong with that. Abraham, Job, and David were men of great wealth and fame. So what makes these men different from the rich man?
Abraham sought his wealth in the promises of God. He refused to take any war plunder from other kings. Abraham did not want anyone think he received his wealth from anyone but God. He gave a tenth of all he had to Melchizedek. Abraham would give up his wealth to remain faithful to the Holy Scriptures and its God. The rich man in our text loved his wealth more than God.
Job lost his wealth. In Job’s poverty we see his faith. Job mourns the death of his children and servants. Job mourns the loss of his health. However, Job remain faithful to the Holy Scriptures and its God. The rich man didn’t mourn until he was in hell. But that was too late.
King David would have preferred to remain a private citizen. He would have preferred to remain a shepherd of sheep rather than king of a nation. David would have gladly given up the kingship except God wanted David to serve His people that way. So, David served the nation. The rich man delighted daily in his public reputation. He had no desire to become an unknown, private citizen.
The rich man shows us the nature of unbelief. Unbelief has no regard for Holy Scripture or its God. And the only way God wishes to be regarded is through His commands and promises. And these God has put into writing through Moses and the prophets. Holy Scripture is God’s Word.
Today, who are the rich men? One example, seminary and college professors who teach that Holy Scripture is not to be trusted. They teach that Holy Scripture contains errors. They don’t agree what the errors are. They argue that you need their knowledge to figure this out. And who do they teach? A second example, future pastors who sit at the feet of these unbelieving rich men. And who do the pastors teach? A final example, the mom’s and dad’s who are doing their best to hand the living Word of God to their children.
Every seminary in the U.S. has gone through this controversy. Is Holy Scripture God’s inerrant Word or not? In each case except two, Christian seminaries have concluded the Holy Scripture has errors. The two exceptions are the Southern Baptist Convention and the two seminaries of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. The Missouri seminaries continued to believe, teach, and confess the Holy Scripture is God’s inerrant Word. The bad news is the controversy continues.
The rich man delighted daily in his worldly wealth and reputation. Teachers experience the same temptation. However, to hold to the inerrancy of Holy Scripture is to be looked on as a poor beggar in the academic community and to be covered in unsightly sores in a local congregation. The two indications that a teacher does not hold to an inerrant Scripture is:
First, the refusal to teach a six day creation. Each day being one evening and morning. They argue that there are multiple uses for the word - day. No, one day is one evening and morning cycle. Regarding a description of God’s patience versus man’s, Scripture says that one day of man’s patience is like a thousand years of God’s patience. God is more patient than you. But errancy teachers have greater respect for man’s science of evolution than God’s inerrant and Holy Scripture.
Second, the refusal to teach subordination is a Christian family. Husband and wife are to subordinate themselves under God. God promises to provide for both. And also, the wife is to subordinate herself to her husband. God promises to provide for both. And finally, the man, subordinated to God, promises to care for his wife. It’s not an excuse to be mean just as there is no excuse to teach against Holy Scripture. God will provide His Word to strengthen the man in his subordination to God and his headship to his wife. And God will provide His Word to strengthen the wife in her Godly subordination to both God and husband. But errancy teachers have greater respect for man’s philosophy of feminism that God’s inerrant and Holy Scripture.
This is our repentance for today. Repent of our unbelief. Teach the inerrancy of Holy Scripture whether you are a seminary professor, or pastor, or a mom or dad.
And you do. This congregation has much in common with Lazarus. You trust Holy Scripture is God’s Word. You trust God created you. You trust God to continue to provide for you.
You also carry the sores of Lazarus. You are accused of being old-fashioned because you love God’s Holy Scripture. You are accused of being strict because you practice what God’s Holy Scripture teaches. You are accused of foolishness because you trust God created you and provides for you in every time of need.
But there is nothing wrong with these sores. The Lord has said you will not receive your good things here and now. You, like Lazarus, will one day receive only good things. Come quickly Lord Jesus. It is written in Genesis, the Lord said to Abraham “I am your Shield.” Abraham believed this. God counted this faith as Abraham’s righteousness.
The world sees your sores. They see a building that is not so worldly beautiful as to be a daily delight. They see a congregation that is placed at the front gate of worldly success, but goes unnoticed by the rich men. You feel the worldly poorness that is a result of holding to Holy Scripture alone.
You know the affliction of Lazarus. Your delight is in your heavenly Father. You interact with Him in the only way He has promised to come to you in grace and mercy. You interact with God by hearing Holy Scripture. Your faith comes by hearing.
And Jesus carries your sores in His crucified body. All Holy Scripture is about Jesus. And Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. One day, Gabriel the archangel came and spoke to the Virgin Mary. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in that speaking on that day. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary on another day, the day of Jesus’ birth. Jesus suffered many sores on the day of Pontius Pilate and on that same day was crucified and died. On the third day, Jesus rose from the dead. Forty days after that Jesus ascended to the Father. Fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus gave the promised Holy Spirit just as He promised according to the written Words of Moses and the prophets. Jesus is the Lord of His church. He governs all creation according to the commands and promises written by Moses and the prophets. Jesus governs heaven and earth according to His Holy Scripture.
The scientific method cannot give comfort in the face of sin and death. Hear today that Jesus died for you in accordance with the Scriptures. He gives His life to the weak so that they might not die eternally.
Feminism cannot give comfort in the face of sin and death. Hear today that Jesus subordinated Himself to the will of the Father. For “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to be the atoning sacrifice for them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4).
It makes no difference whether you are strong or weak; male or female. By faith in Christ, you are now first born sons of God; in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The peace of God which passes understanding, protect and keep you in Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.