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Church of the Faithful Centurion -
Today’s sermon brought
the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and is partly contained in the
Consider these words from the
… we, who for our evil deeds do
worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of thy grace may mercifully be
In the Collect, as is oft the case, we acknowledge to
God our sad state, our evil nature, and then ask God to grant us His Grace to
be relieved of being accounted as evil, rather accounted as perfect even though
we are so far from perfect. This
is a constant refrain, so many of the collects have this same theme; we are
imperfect, perfect only in our imperfection; yet God is with us and is willing
to help us, but only if we let Him.
To let Him help us requires us to let Him into our hearts.
To gain eternal life, to leave
this Shadowland world for the real world, the world of Eternal Life, God’s
World, that is to say Heaven, requires us to be perfect. For only those who are perfect at the
final accounting can gain entrance into heaven. Actually, we don’t need to be perfect to get into heaven
which is very handy as we will never in fact be perfect, no matter how hard WE
try, inasmuch as by our very nature we are imperfect.
How is this possible?
Death is oft referred to as the
“Final Accounting”, and as an accountant I can tell you that things can
sometimes be accounted as what they are not, legally, too!
At that final judgment day,
imperfect creatures that we are, we can be accounted as perfect through God’s
Grace of His Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Paul is right on point when he talks
about the two sons of Abraham, one of the bond, one of the free.
These two are representative of
the two covenants with God, the bond under The Law and the free under The New
The people of old are The People
of The Law. Six Hundred Thirteen
Laws each of which by which they must abide. A very complex and even more difficult life to live, with
trying to comply and uphold those laws and failing. We still fail miserably at
times, but we only have two laws, which we will hear about in a second. They
are still hard to uphold, but if we manage to, easier to remember. Perhaps more
properly said in practice 613 laws that they must live around; not so much as
comply with, but avoid breaking.
Yet, they cannot comply with all the laws nor even work around
them. They are doomed to failure
with no help from God.
The New Convenant is much less
complex. Remember this from Holy
Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ
HOU shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the
first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it; Thou shalt love
thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the
Under the New Covenant, we have
only two laws which we must comply with.
But, there is a catch. We
are not to just avoid breaking those laws, we must actually live them in our
hearts, souls, minds AND bodies.
We must actualize them. It is the common theme of Action not just
Diction, that appears in the sermons past here.
Hey! That is way harder.
We are imperfect creatures with free will. That is a combination doomed to failure.
True, but we have the Get out of
Jail Free card – Jesus Christ the righteous and He is the propitiation for our
sins! Remember that? He accounts us as perfect at our final
So, now that we know there are
two choices, two covenants, we can choose either to be people of slavery,
enslaved to sin and Satan, or to be free people, under God and Jesus. This is
the two sides that Paul speaks of, we can be either enslaved to sin, or we can
be truly free and under God. Only
one side will give us true freedom and happiness and I know which side I want
to be on, but the question is do you? You, and you alone can make this choice,
nobody else here can make it for your. This is yet one of the actions you have
to act on, and not just say it.
We always have a choice, it is
upon us to choose and decide. But we must pick a side. As I quoted last week, “He that is not
with me is against me.” Middle
ground exists, but it is quicksand.
Any feeling of safety there is illusory. We must take sides.
And, we cannot keep with those who oppose the side we choose.
We cannot have one foot standing
on the slavery side and one foot on the free side. We cannot just be fence
sitters, we must have our feet planted on one side. From rational viewpoint, there is only one side to pick, and
that is the side of freedom, of the New Testament offered to us by Christ
himself. As people of The New Covenant, the original and real New Deal, we have only to comply with those two laws or
rules; To love the Lord with all our hearts and to love our neighbor. While it is true that those two are
much harder to fully comply with than avoiding the 613 laws of The Law, we have
the key – Jesus Christ. He came to
earth not only to lead us to heaven, from the front; but to be a propitiation
for our sins, to make us account as perfect to God to allow us to come into His
Now, think about the Gospel. When we need help, how about instead of
worry, we substitute trust and action?
Trust that God will give us what we need. And, then act based on what we can and should do, not what
we want to do. Acting on what we
should do gets results.
These results may or not be obvious right away, but they will be soon
enough. Whereas if you never do anything, you’ll never see any results of your
actions, for you are doing exactly nothing. If one is disillusioned enough by
the fact he does not need to do anything, I suppose it probably doesn’t matter
to that person. But to those of us who feel the acute need to do something, if
we do nothing, we are going to feel that lack of action. Therefore, we are
compelled to act upon our faith. Perhaps not what we want right at the time,
but certainly what we need then and in the eternal future. In the middle of nowhere, two thousand
years from the nearest McDonalds, the disciples looked to Jesus to fill the
needs of their congregation. Jesus
took what they had and gave them what they needed; “for he himself knew what he
would do.” He acted
to help them. Do ye likewise:
It is by our actions we are known.
Be of God - Live of God - Act of God
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