Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

  1. Not because of the flesh
  2. But because of the Cross
SERMON TEXT:  Galatians 6:12–16

See Second Lesson

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Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  Judges 16:22-31

But the hair on his head began to grow after it had been shaved. Meanwhile, the serens of the Philistines gathered to make a great sacrifice to their god Dagon and to celebrate. They said, “Our god has given our enemy Samson into our hands.” When the people saw him, they praised their god: “Our god has given into our hands our enemy, the devastator of our land, who has caused the death of many of us.” When they were feeling good, they said, “Send for Samson, so he can provide amusement for us.” They summoned Samson from the prison, and he served as their entertainment. They made Samson stand between the pillars. He said to the young man who led him by his hand, “Put me where I can touch the pillars that support the building, so I can lean upon them.” The building was full of men and women, as well as all the serens of the Philistines. On the roof were about three thousand more men and women watching Samson as he was amusing them. Samson called out to the Lord. He said, “Lord God, remember me, I pray. Give me strength, I pray, this one more time, O God. Let me get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes in one act of vengeance.” Samson then grasped the two central pillars supporting the building. He leaned against them, one with his right hand and one with his left. Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” He pushed with all his strength, and the building fell upon the serens and upon all the people who were inside. The Philistines he put to death when he died were more numerous than those he put to death during his lifetime. Then his brothers and his father’s entire household went down, carried him back, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had judged Israel for twenty years.

SECOND LESSON:  Galatians 6:12–16

Those who want to look good in the flesh are the ones who are trying to compel you to be circumcised. Their only reason is so that they are not persecuted for the cross of Christ. As a matter of fact, those who are circumcised do not keep the law themselves. But they want to have you circumcised, so that they can boast about your flesh. But far be it from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. In fact, in Christ Jesus circumcision or uncircumcision does not matter. What matters is being a new creation. Peace and mercy on those who follow this rule, namely, on the Israel of God.

VERSE OF THE DAY:  Jeremiah 15:16

Your words became a joy to me, and the delight of my heart.

GOSPEL: Matthew 16:21–26

From that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he had to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law, and be killed, and on the third day be raised again. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “May you receive mercy, Lord! This will never happen to you.” But Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a snare to me because you are not thinking the things of God, but the things of men.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. In fact whoever wants to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. After all, what will it benefit a person if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his soul? Or what can a person give in exchange for his soul?”