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Church of the Faithful Centurion -
sermon brought the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together.
Twenty-Third Sunday after Trinity
our refuge and strength, who art the author
of all godliness; Be ready
beseech thee to hear the devout prayers of the Church; and grant that those
things which we ask faithfully we may obtain; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect says Our God is the author of all perfection; we ask Him to be ready,
to hear our sincere prayers: He may answer those things which are good for the
Church and the world for which we ask and from His Grace we may receive those
things which are good for us.
unsaid is that we must be ready to hear and act on His Word. In order to
receive those things which are good for us, we must be ready and willing to
have them. Which means opening our hearts up to the Holy Ghost and be
performing actions which are consistent with Scriptures.
the Epistle, St. Paul tells the Philippians to follow God and not be dependent
on man, as so many in this country are now. The problem he explains with many,
who claim they are followers of Christ, but don’t walk the walk, is they are
selfish and only think of themselves. There are too many people around the
world that think and act in this manner.
They have no desire to help others, and in fact have a desire to tear
others down rather than lend them a helping hand. This is not a manner
consistent with what Christ has taught us and violates the Summary of the Law,
wherein it talks about loving our neighbor as ourselves. He warns them will
lead them onto a path of doom and destruction.
Whereas if people would love their neighbor as themselves, it would lead
them on a path to prosperity and eternal life. And also, he talks about how the
enemies of Christ glory in our shame; this will be their undoing in the end
also. It may benefit them for a short while here on Earth but in the end, it
will lead them to their everlasting doom. We are not to worry, but rather lean
on Our Lord, even in these times of trials and tribulations, some of which we
have yet to face. We realize our citizenship is in heaven, for which we look to
Our Saviour. If we are on the side of righteousness, of the Lord, of godliness,
then who are we to fear?
save a respectful fear of Our God.
will not bow before the forces of darkness; but rather stand tall, equipped
with the armor of light, the shield of truth, and the helmet of faith. We will
give those in authority the respect that they are due as tradition, but we will
not be dependent upon them for our every need and whim.
This is why those who seek to create a larger
government are working on supplanting God’s authority over us. For if God is
the authority, as He is; man has no power to determine what is right and what
is wrong. Man is not responsible for his own power. This is why those who are
seeking to enlarge their power over the people in this country are working on
destroying the Church. Paul says in the end, these people’s efforts will be in
vain and they will be destroyed, as much as they are attempting to destroy us
here on Earth. We can be cheered up in these depressing times, knowing we are
on the winning side for eternity. We are to turn to God; if we are to be
dependent on anything, it must be God upon whom we are dependent, and not Man.
Being dependent on man only leads to eternal death for us, but being dependent
on God leads to eternal life for us. So, must we put our trust in God as our
Eternal Navigator, our Guide throughout the rocky path of life. Returning to
Him when we are lost, He will always guide us back to the straight and narrow
brings us to the point of the Gospel, in which Christ tells the Pharisees of
how they are to deal with the problem of tribute to Caesar. They have no love
for the Roman Government, as we have very little love for the swamp dwellers in
our Government. However, Christ reminds them to separate their hatred of the
government, and do the right thing. As we must give God His due (our worship
and prayer), we must give the government their due (taxes, etc.), but this does
not mean we treat the government as demi-gods, to put it one way, as
politicians often think of themselves.
The government has to earn our respect, not the other way around, which
too often it and the members in it forget this simple fact.
are not to think of the government replacing God, but rather that God has
granted the government their authority to govern, but not to supplant Him. His
authority is where the government gets their authority, and will always be;
whether they choose to recognize that or not, is up to them. That is what we
pray for when we pray for the President, that he would recognize God’s
authority and align his leadership with that of God’s will. The statists in this
country believe the false lie that man can govern man without assistance from
God or God’s authority. Governments which do not recognize this fact are in the
end, doomed to fail. The history books are filled with pages of failed
governments, all failed because they refused to recognize God’s rightful place
as the source of their legal authority.
Jesus’ point is that we give them what they
are owed, no more and no less.
Pharisees were trying to trick Christ to say that you must honor one or the other,
when you can do both.
We should be serving
God and not man; that does not mean that we do not have to pay our dues to the
government that rules us. It is only through God’s grace that he allows
government to rule over man. The government we have was established with the
recognition it serves at His pleasure. Its Declaration of Independence
establishes people have rights endued them by their Creator, not the
government. It is with the authority of the people that the government serves.
It must exist to serve the people and God. It is not to be a self-licking ice
cream cone. Jesus told us to feed the poor people, not create laws that took
money from other people to do that purpose, of which he commanded us to do.
Collect, Epistle and Gospel tie together, laying out, detailing and reinforcing
the same message, ultimately.
We have to
respect the authorities that govern us, no matter how we disagree or dislike
them, and conduct ourselves like Christians. However, that does not mean that
we replace the rule of God with the rule of Man. Man’s laws should merely be a
restatement of God’s laws, not to replace God’s laws.
at the end of an uphill trail.
downhill trail does not lead to the summit.
The time is
now, not tomorrow.
The time has come,
How will you ACT?
It is by
our actions we are known.
Be of God - Live of God - Act of God
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