Pastor Weise’s Sermon – The Power of the Word

Pastor Weise's Sermon - Remember the Sabbath, to Keep it Holy

Pastor Weise’s Sermon – The Power of the Word

Romans 10.9-17/St. Mark 7.31-37

Trinity XII/September 8, 2019

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd/Good Shepherd Community Chapel, Sauk Rapids, MN

Rev. Keith R. Weise, pastor/chaplain



Prayer of the Day

Almighty and merciful God, by Your gift alone Your faithful people render true and laudable service.  Help us steadfastly to live in this life according to Your promises and finally attain Your heavenly glory; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Epistle Reading:  Romans 10.9-17

. . . if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,

Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.                                                          NKJV


The Holy Gospel:  St. Mark 7.31-37

31 Again, departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee. 32 Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him. 33 And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue. 34 Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”

35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly. 36 Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it. 37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”                                                                                                                                                   NKJV











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

I          In our scripture readings today

we see the power of words.

In the Gospel—

Jesus speaks one word—


Ephphatha!                                                                                                                     (St. Mark 7.34)

he says.

Open up!

And by the power of that single word from the mouth of the Lord—

a man’s deaf ears are opened

and his muted tongue set loose.

When Jesus speaks—

things happen.

Because his word

is the word that is

living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.                                                                           (Hebrews 4.12)


Jesus is


He is

the Eternal Word of God made flesh.


when he speaks—

what says

is what happens.


II         Jesus’ words are powerful words—

they are perfect words.

St. Peter confesses

Lord . . . you have the words of eternal life.                                                            (St. John 6.68)


Jesus himself says

If anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.                                               (St. John 8.51)


That’s the power of Jesus’ perfect word.

His word has power

to open deaf ears

to untangle muted tongues

to raise the dead to life


to welcome you into eternity.

Jesus’ word is indeed a very powerful word.


III       So what about your words?

What about my words?

Do our words have power?

Maybe we should ask the last person to whom you spoke?

What did you say?

What did you mean?

How did your words make that person feel?

Your words do have power.

Unlike Jesus’ words though—

way TOO often—

we use our words for unholy things.

There are times when we use our words

to say mean things


to hurt other people


to curse and swear.

When we use our words for those things

we reveal to all who hear

what’s really in our heart.

St. James says

. . . no man can tame the tongue.  It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.  With it we bless our God and Father and with it we curse men who have been made in the similitude of God.  Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not to be so.                                                                                  (James 3.8-10)

Jesus has a word about our words, too.

He says—

those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man.                                                                   (St. Matthew 15.18-20)


IV        How often

do evil thoughts find their way out of your mouth?

How often





false witness



fly off your tongue

like you just can’t wait to make it happen?

Our words are indeed powerful—

VERY powerful—

but way too often we use their power for evil

rather than for good.

V         We use our words to take the name of the Lord in vain.

We use our words to harm other people.

We use our words to bear false witness and gossip about our neighbors.

We use our words to give voice

to the covetousness that lives in our hearts


to the anger that wells up within our souls.

We talk and talk and talk and talk

and the more we talk

the more

our words give birth to






VI        So today God is giving us the opportunity to examine how we speak.

How do you use your words?

Do you use your words

in service of Christ Jesus, the Word Made Flesh?

Do your words

reveal Jesus’ love

and his marvelous, miraculous deeds?


Do your words give voice

to a faith in the wonderful grace of Christ

and tell the story of his salvation?

Or do your words do more harm than good?

VII      Today—

the Holy Spirit holds the power of Jesus’ word before us

that we may repent of the sinful way we use our words                                                                                         and renew the use of our mouths for speaking

the wondrous things of God.

God holds up this gospel today

that we might pray with the blessed David

Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth;

                                    Keep watch over the door of my lips.                                                  (Psalm 141.3)

VIII    The blessed David leads us in prayer—

and St. Paul shows us how to use our words as God intended.

In our epistle reading

Paul shows us what Jesus

opens our mouths


loosens our tongues

to say.

He says

. . . if you confess WITH YOUR MOUTH

if you use your words

to express and proclaim your faith

in Jesus Christ

and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, AND WITH THE MOUTH CONFESSION IS MADE UNTO SALVATION.                         (Romans 10.9-10)

IX       God has promised to save you from your sins—

even your sinful misuse of words.

And he shows us that salvation in the gospel today

as Christ

opens that man’s ears


loosens his tongue

as a preview of what he will do for us all

in the life of the world to come.


God shows us his salvation

by Christ on the cross

and the final words he said right before he died.

It is finished—                                                                                                               (St. John 19.30)

were Jesus’ final words

before he breathed his last upon the cross.

In that moment—

from the cross of Calvary—


He uses his words

to tell us

that our sin is finished

that death is defeated

that all our battles with the devil are over for


and that it’s high time we start using

our words RIGHT!

In those precious words of Christ—

It is finished

we see the same power at work

that we saw when Jesus sighed and said Ephphatha

                                                            to that man in the gospel.

When Jesus speaks

we see the power of the Word of God at work

to work faith in the hearts of all who hear his word.

When Jesus speaks

we see the power of God at work

to repair our broken bodies

to forgive our sin

to heal our sickness

to relieve our suffering

to rescue us from sin/death/the devil/and hell

to fill us up with his unending life

and even the power to put HIS words in OUR mouths.


X         So put away the sinful use of your words.

Set your heart to speak with the mind—


of Christ.                                                                                 (I Corinthians 2.16)

Use your words

to confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God has raised him from the dead.

Use your words

to express the belief in your heart

that by the power of Jesus’ word

your words are made holy

and your life is made eternal.

Use your words as God intends.

Use your words for good.

Use your words to reveal Christ

and his gracious salvation.


XI       Because the day is coming—

the Day of the Lord—

the Last Day is coming.

And on that day

you will hear Jesus’ words come from his very own mouth—

just like that formerly deaf man in the gospel

heard Jesus speak to him.

On that great day

you will hear our Lord say


Open up!—

one more time.

But this time Jesus won’t be talking to your ears.

He won’t be talking to your tongue.

On that day

Jesus will be talking to your coffin.

He will be talking to your grave.

When Jesus says, Ephphatha!—Open up!—on that great day—

                        the very ground in which you are buried will be opened up


your tongue will be loosed

your ears will be made whole

your whole body will be perfected in God’s glory

and we will all be raised up

to live—


in the perfection of almighty God

forever and ever and ever and ever.

Such is the power of Jesus’ word.

Such is the power of Jesus—the Word Made Flesh.

XII      So God grant that by his grace—

we would use our mouths

to speak his words


to reveal his great salvation.

Praise God.


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

Hymn of Response:  Create in Me.


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