St. Matthew Sermon

St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
St. Matthew 9:9-13
September 21, 2014
Trinity Lutheran Church—New Haven, MO

Biography of St. Matthew from Treasury of Daily Prayer.

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

3.   St. Matthew was sent as an Apostle and inspired as an Evangelist.

a.   With St. John, only two who receive title of both Apostle and Evangelist.

i.   Personal and immediate call from Jesus
ii.   Sent by Jesus to baptize and teach at end of Matthew’s Gospel
iii.   May have been the congregational secretary for the disciples
iv.   Inspired by the Holy Spirit—prompted to write, supplied very words

b.   Received John’s baptism and was present with disciples until the time that Jesus ascended into heaven.

c.   Ascension is not the end of his discipleship, but the beginning. St. Paul writes,

But in each of us, grace was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Therefore it says, “Ascending into the heights, He led captive the captives, giving gifts to men.” But what is it that He ascended, except that He also descended into the lower regions of the earth? He who descended is Himself He who also ascended high above all the heavens in order to fill all things. And this One gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, toward the equipment of the saints, for work of service, for edification of the body of Christ (vv 7-12).

2.   Christ ascended and gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to gift His gifts to men.

a.   He gave some apostles

i.   Apostle means “sent one”
ii.   Immediate call from Jesus—only 13 named in Scripture
iii.   Sent with the Holy Spirit to preach with accompanying signs
iv.   In some cases, moved to write letters (epistles)

b.   He gave some prophets

i.   Prophet means in general “one who speaks God’s word;” in particular those OT men who spoke from direct revelation
ii.   OT style prophecy ended when the Apostolic age began (John Baptist last OT prophet)
iii.   Moved by the same Spirit to write books of the OT.

c.   He gave some evangelists

i.   Evangelist is in general “one who puts forth the Gospel;” in particular the four authors of the Gospels.
ii.   Moved by the same Spirit to write the history and teaching of Jesus
iii.   Eyewitness accounts, preserved by the promised Spirit

d.   Apostles, prophets, evangelists are God’s revelation in Holy Scripture.

e.   Old Adam wants to find God’s revelation elsewhere

i.   Preachers preach without being sent (Anabaptists—sneaks & in the corner preachers)
ii.   Imagine God speaks directly to them—own thoughts and opinions
iii.   Own religious experience instead of the person, life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

f.   So Christ also gives pastors and teachers

i.   Same Office of the Holy Ministry, but no immediate call or direct revelation (called through Church)
ii.   Pastor—shepherds and leads to Holy Scripture as sole source of doctrine and fount of life; to baptism to reveal Holy Trinity; and to Supper to remember He died for our forgiveness
iii.   Teacher—teaches all that Christ has commanded (all articles of faith)

1.   These gifts are toward the equipment of the saints, for work of service, for edifying the body of Christ.

a.   The Office is to equip you for holiness

i.   The equipment of the Office is the Word and Sacrament—Holy Spirit uses these as instruments of grace (AC V)

So that we may obtain this faith, the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted. 2 Through the Word and Sacraments, as through instruments, the Holy Spirit is given [John 20:22]. He works faith, when and where it pleases God [John 3:8], in those who hear the good news that God justifies those who believe that they are received into grace for Christ’s sake. 3 This happens not through our own merits, but for Christ’s sake.

ii.   Your holiness flows from these holy things
iii.   Baptism sets you apart and marks you as one redeemed by Christ the crucified
iv.   Preaching & absolution forgive sins and create clean heart and right spirit
v.   Supper feeds you and sustains you and prepares you for the eternal wedding feast of the Lamb

b.   The Office is for work of service

i.   Divine service is from God to you, not you to God.
ii.   Pastor is not an essential mediator between God and man—there is one Mediator between God and man, the man Jesus

For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ, who gave Himself as a ransom on behalf of all, the Martyr at the proper time (1 Tim 2:5-6).

iii.   Divine Service serves you with the gifts of God to justify you on account of Christ
iv.   Faith is to receive these gifts and believe they are “for you”

c.   The Office is for edifying the body of Christ

i.   The community of believers is a house of living stones

You also are as living stones, being edified into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 Pet 2:5).

ii.   Edification is the work of the Spirit, building up in the common faith

…until everything should arrive into the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, into a completed man, into a measure of maturity of the fullness of Christ (v 13)

iii.   Christ Himself is the cornerstone; Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelists lay foundation; pastors and teachers joining each new generation to the spiritual house

St. Matthew Was Given as an Apostle and Evangelist to Build You Up in the Faith

d.   Office of the Ministry still points you today to what Matthew wrote nearly 2,000 years ago

i.   Person and work of Christ
ii.   Gift of the Spirit
iii.   Holy Baptism, Preaching, and Supper

In +Jesus’ name. Amen.

Rev. Jacob Ehrhard
VD+MA