The Sermon Notes of Harold Buls

The Sermon Notes of Harold Buls

On the Gospel Lessons of the Ingrian Lutheran Church of Russia

Text from Mark 16:14-20


1. In this message Mk. briefly summarizes what is explained more fully by Mt., Lk., Jn. and Acts. Vs. 14 summarizes what Lk. and Jn. tell us about the evening of Easter Sunday. Vs. 15 tells us of the Great Commission in Galilee described by Mt. Vss. 16-18 are not found elsewhere but the same thoughts are found here and there in the Gospels and Acts. Vs. 19 is the Ascension found in the last chapter of Lk. and the first chapter of Acts. Vs. 20 is a summary of the entire book of Acts. Read the clear statement in Heb. 2:4.

2. Again and again the Gospels remind us of the sinfulness and weaknesses of the disciples of Jesus. At the same time they remind us of the firm gentleness and kindness of our Lord. Vs. 14.

3. Throughout the ages missionaries have fulfilled the command of vs.15. Missionaries were always the first to go into foreign lands. The most important message was always what Jesus Christ has done for all men. Most language and translation work has been done by missionaries.

4. Vs. 16 is one of the most often quoted vss. in the Bible. Baptism is a work of the Triune God in man for Jesus' sake. But it is not magic. It must be attended by the faith which is also a gift of God. The way of salvation is here very simply described. The vs. does not say that the lack of baptism damns. It is the rejection, not the lack, of baptism that damns. Sin does not damn. Unbelief damns. Unbelief is the mother of all sins.

5. Vss. 17-18 are devoted to signs, the word used for miracles in the Gospel of John. A "sign" is a phenomenon which must not be disregarded. For a good example read Matt. 12:38-40. The scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign. But they asked in unbelief. He warned them with the prediction of the sign of the resurrection which dare not be disregarded. Mk. here in vs. 17 says that signs would attend believers. Signs were not permanent possessions of believers. God gives these signs to believers as the Spirit wills, I Cor. 12:11. The apostles did not have permanent powers to cast out demons, speak in strange languages, heal the sick, raise the dead or hold snakes in their hands. But when it was necessary to affirm the validity of the Gospel, God temporarily gave then this power. Read Hebr. 2:4. Peter and John did not have a permanent gift to heal the lame, Acts 3:1-7, but on this occasion this sign was given to their faith. Paul did not permanently take hold of poisonous snakes, Acts 28:3-6, but on this occasion this sign was given to his faith. God proved that He was protecting His apostle. It was always entirely in the interest of faith and the Gospel, giving all glory to God and all benefit to man. It was not sensational. The apostles never said: "Come to my meeting and witness miracles." Believers don't speak thus. Only unbelievers speak thus.

6. During the days of His humiliation (from conception to burial) He was truly God but did not constantly use the powers of His divinity. He did use them in a limited way (like miracles) to prove His divinity. But beginning with His revivification in the grave the Father exalted Him. From then on He used His divine power constantly. His human nature now uses all the powers of the divine nature. When He ascended His human nature sat at God's right hand but His human nature is still with us on earth. The right hand of God is everywhere. He said: "I am with you alway, even to the end of the age." He gives us His very body in the Lord's Supper. His session at God's right hand proves that His saving work for mankind is complete.

7. While Jesus was on earth He performed miracles to prove that He was the Messiah, Jn. 2:11. Mk. 16:20 says that the Lord worked with them and confirmed His Word through the signs that attended them. Read also Hebr. 2:4. The NT was not recorded immediately. God gave His Word through the apostles. During the apostolic age the Lord proved and affirmed the Word through the signs. Now we have the written Word of God. There is no need for these signs though, of course, if God wills them to occur through faith they surely happen.

The Sermon Outline of Harold Buls

On the Gospel Lessons of the Ingrian Lutheran Church of Russia

Text from Mark 16:14-20


THEME: The Wonders Attending Jesus' Ascension Into Heaven


The occasion of Jesus' Ascension is fully described at Acts 1:9-11 and Lk. 24:50-53. Mk. compresses it into one vs. in our text. But in our text for today Mk. summarizes everything from Easter Sunday to Ascension, forty days. Jesus prepared the disciples before His Ascension and attended them after His Ascension.





After the ascension the disciples returned to Jerusalem with joy. They held church services in which they preached the Word and celebrated the sacraments, baptism and the Lord's Supper. So it is with us today.

This text was converted to ascii format for Project Wittenberg by Cindy A. Beesley and is in the public domain. You may freely distribute, copy or print this text. Please direct any comments or suggestions to: Rev. Robert E. Smith of the Walther Library at Concordia Theological Seminary.


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