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True worship

Genesis 4:1-15

Pastor David Ernst

Eleventh Sunday after Trinity
Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela


right-click to download MP3 of this sermon

Sun, Aug 27, 2017 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In our Old Testament lesson and in the gospel for today we find comparisons between different ways of worshiping God. The comparison is between true worship and false worship.

The gospel (Luke 18: 9-14) is a well-known parable of the Lord: that of the Pharisee and the tax collector. Both went up to the Temple of Jerusalem to pray to God. The Pharisees were known among the Jews as good and pious men, faithful in doctrine and practice. The publicans were tax collectors for the Romans. They had a very bad reputation, as dishonest men and traitors to their people. They collected taxes for a foreign government and many times collected more than their masters demanded and kept the difference in their own pockets.

"The Pharisee, standing, prayed to himself in this way: God, I thank you, that I am not like other men, thieves, unjust, adulterers, even as this publican; Fasting twice a week, I give tithes of all that I possess. But the publican being far off did not even look up to heaven, but struck his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me a sinner."

The first is an example of pride and selfishness; The other of humility and repentance. Our model must be the publican, because no one deserves good things from God for his own works. All should confess their sins and seek the righteousness of Christ for their justification.

In the book of Genesis, we also find two men: Cain and his brother, Abel. After the fall of Adam and Eve, the first parents of the human race, Eve gave birth to two children. In the first generation after the departure from paradise, we see the consequences of disobedience and original sin. We like to think of the family as a refuge of harmony and love, because this is the will of God. But because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve, sin entered into this world and twisted all human relationships. The sad reality is often the most bitter conflicts are between brothers. So it is in the account of the first homicide.

And why did Cain kill Abel? The two brought offerings or sacrifices of thanksgiving to God. The text does not say that God ordered those sacrifices, but the natural response to the blessings of God is to thank Him.

"And Abel was a shepherd, and Cain was a husbandman of the land. And it came to pass in time, that Cain brought an offering unto the LORD out of the fruit of the ground. And Abel also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of his fat. And the Lord looked upon Abel and his offering; But he did not look favorably upon Cain and his offering. And Cain became very angry, and his countenance fell. "

We do not know how Cain knew that his brother's sacrifice pleased God more than his. But the text says that Abel brought the best of his harvest, but Cain only a part, not necessarily the best. In his heart Cain did not feel grateful to God; He brought his offering only to gain the favor of God.

"And the Lord said unto Cain, Why hast thou provoked thee, and why hath thy face been troubled? While you do, will not you be exalted? And if you do not do well, sin is at the door: with all this, it will be your desire, and you should rule over it. "

Because of his thoughts, Cain was in danger of doing wrong. That's how it went. "And Cain spake unto Abel his brother, and it came to pass, as they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."

But, no one can hide anything from the eyes of God. "And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he answered, I know not; Am I my brother's keeper? And he said to him, What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to me from the earth. Now then, cursed be you from the land that opened its mouth to receive the blood of your brother from your hand: When you till the land, it will not give you its strength again: wandering and stranger you will be on earth. "

The Lord punished Cain. After Cain came a lineage of evil men. Eve gave birth to her third son, Seth, who was faithful as Abel. But, in time, the children of the faithful sought the daughters of Cain for their beauty and nothing else. When believers mingle with unbelievers in this way, believers deviate from the right path. God finally saved only Noah's family from the flood.

Through Noah, the human race survived the flood, but we are still children of Adam and Eve and need a Savior. We have one in Jesus Christ, who as the second Adam, was born of the Virgin Mary and broke the cycle of sin. In Him we have the promise of eternal life.

In Cain and Abel we have the model of false and true worship. True worship comes from the heart. The right attitude is that of humility and repentance before God. Because of our sin, we do not deserve anything good from God. However, through the grace and love of God in Jesus Christ, we can ask the Lord's Prayer for our daily bread, that is, all the things we need. Also in the catechism, let us learn that the commandment, "Do not kill" means not only not to harm others with a pistol or a knife, but also to help others in all their material needs. This love for our neighbor is the response to the love that God has shown us in Jesus, then it is not the fruit of our nature, but a gift of faith. In this we have peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In our Old Testament lesson and in the gospel for today we find comparisons between different ways of worshiping God. The comparison is between true worship and false worship.

The gospel (Luke 18: 9-14) is a well-known parable of the Lord: that of the Pharisee and the tax collector. Both went up to the Temple of Jerusalem to pray to God. The Pharisees were known among the Jews as good and pious men, faithful in doctrine and practice. The publicans were tax collectors for the Romans. They had a very bad reputation, as dishonest men and traitors to their people. They collected taxes for a foreign government and many times collected more than their masters demanded and kept the difference in their own pockets.

"The Pharisee, standing, prayed to himself in this way: God, I thank you, that I am not like other men, thieves, unjust, adulterers, even as this publican; Fasting twice a week, I give tithes of all that I possess. But the publican being far off did not even look up to heaven, but struck his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me a sinner."

The first is an example of pride and selfishness; The other of humility and repentance. Our model must be the publican, because no one deserves good things from God for his own works. All should confess their sins and seek the righteousness of Christ for their justification.

In the book of Genesis, we also find two men: Cain and his brother, Abel. After the fall of Adam and Eve, the first parents of the human race, Eve gave birth to two children. In the first generation after the departure from paradise, we see the consequences of disobedience and original sin. We like to think of the family as a refuge of harmony and love, because this is the will of God. But because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve, sin entered into this world and twisted all human relationships. The sad reality is often the most bitter conflicts are between brothers. So it is in the account of the first homicide.

And why did Cain kill Abel? The two brought offerings or sacrifices of thanksgiving to God. The text does not say that God ordered those sacrifices, but the natural response to the blessings of God is to thank Him.

"And Abel was a shepherd, and Cain was a husbandman of the land. And it came to pass in time, that Cain brought an offering unto the LORD out of the fruit of the ground. And Abel also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of his fat. And the Lord looked upon Abel and his offering; But he did not look favorably upon Cain and his offering. And Cain became very angry, and his countenance fell. "

We do not know how Cain knew that his brother's sacrifice pleased God more than his. But the text says that Abel brought the best of his harvest, but Cain only a part, not necessarily the best. In his heart Cain did not feel grateful to God; He brought his offering only to gain the favor of God.

"And the Lord said unto Cain, Why hast thou provoked thee, and why hath thy face been troubled? While you do, will not you be exalted? And if you do not do well, sin is at the door: with all this, it will be your desire, and you should rule over it. "

Because of his thoughts, Cain was in danger of doing wrong. That's how it went. "And Cain spake unto Abel his brother, and it came to pass, as they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."

But, no one can hide anything from the eyes of God. "And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he answered, I know not; Am I my brother's keeper? And he said to him, What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to me from the earth. Now then, cursed be you from the land that opened its mouth to receive the blood of your brother from your hand: When you till the land, it will not give you its strength again: wandering and stranger you will be on earth. "

The Lord punished Cain. After Cain came a lineage of evil men. Eve gave birth to her third son, Seth, who was faithful as Abel. But, in time, the children of the faithful sought the daughters of Cain for their beauty and nothing else. When believers mingle with unbelievers in this way, believers deviate from the right path. God finally saved only Noah's family from the flood.

Through Noah, the human race survived the flood, but we are still children of Adam and Eve and need a Savior. We have one in Jesus Christ, who as the second Adam, was born of the Virgin Mary and broke the cycle of sin. In Him we have the promise of eternal life.

In Cain and Abel we have the model of false and true worship. True worship comes from the heart. The right attitude is that of humility and repentance before God. Because of our sin, we do not deserve anything good from God. However, through the grace and love of God in Jesus Christ, we can ask the Lord's Prayer for our daily bread, that is, all the things we need. Also in the catechism, let us learn that the commandment, "Do not kill" means not only not to harm others with a pistol or a knife, but also to help others in all their material needs. This love for our neighbor is the response to the love that God has shown us in Jesus, then it is not the fruit of our nature, but a gift of faith. In this we have peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.





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