Sermon Notes for 25th Sunday after Trinity, 18 November 2018 Anno Domini

The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide

(NOTE: In the Lectionary for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity, the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel are taken from the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany as indicated by the Book of Common Prayer rubric:

If in any year there be twenty-six Sundays after Trinity, the service for the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany shall be used on the Twenty-fifth Sunday. If there be twenty-seven, the service for the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany shall be used on the Twenty-sixth, and the service for the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany on the Twenty-fifth. If there be fewer than twenty-five Sundays, the overplus shall be omitted.)

 

THE COLLECT: The TWENTY-FIFTH Sunday after TRINITY

O GOD, whose blessed Son was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil, and make us the

sons of God, and heirs of eternal life; Grant us, we beseech thee, that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves, even as he is pure; that, when he shall appear again with power and great glory, we may be made like unto him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, he liveth and reigneth ever, one God, world without end. Amen

There are those special Sundays on which the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel fit together so perfectly that it would seem negligent not to shine the bright light of understanding upon that union of meaning and purpose so brilliantly expressed. The Collect for today is one of the most inspiring, and inspired, of the Prayer Book; and it suites the sense and meaning of the Epistle and Gospel text of the day to an extraordinary degree.

We should acknowledge the truths of today’s Collect. The works of the devil are ancient – from even before Adam’s Fall in the Garden at Eden. He had rebelled against God and the very powers of Heaven and was cast down. Full of despoiled pride and vengeance, he set out to mar and destroy the beauty of God’s Creation, and most significantly, the man whom God had made as His crowning glory of Creation. As the Collect reminds us, our Lord Jesus Christ was foreordained to destroy the works of the devil and save His Elect from the curse of sin brought about from the temptations emanating from the Ill-Winded Tree. There is an allusion here to the sons (and daughters) of God who stand separate and distinct from the sons of mammon (the world). In this fact we must admit of only two generations of families upon God’s green earth – those of God, and those of the devil. In the purification of our souls, God refines us through the fires of tribulation and rejection of the world. The greater the fires, the purer the soul – just as silver being purified seven times in the Refiners Fire. Each refinement brings dross to the surface which is gathered by His Dipper and cast aside. After the seventh refinement, the silver is so smooth and pure as to reflect the image of the Refiner. Now we are altogether the sanctified vessels in the Household of God for service and for our soon glorification in Him. Sanctification is the process of BECOMING MORE AND MORE  like Him in this mortal coil; but glorification is that transient moment in time when the scroll of our earthly life ends, and we are gathered to be with Him eternally and are LIKE HIM:

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Cor 15:51-55 (KJV)

 

THE EPISTLE:

1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:1-8 (KJV)

It may escape our daily awareness that we are too often given to impersonating the devil as much as we do our Lord. Our careless actions often betray an unsettled sinfulness of which there needs to be repentance. Do you realize that careless ignorance is also sin. We are to study to show ourselves approved of God: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” 2 Tim 2:15-16 (KJV) Have we done this as zealous for understanding, or have we sat lazily to hear the Word preached but never devoutly studied? Do you recall the admonition of the Lord to Peter when that apostle attempted to dissuade Jesus (out of ignorance) from offering Himself up? “Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” Matt 16:22-23 (KJV) In his ignorance, Peter became the voice of Satan. Pride of ignorance can get a Christian into trouble with the Lord. In this case, a man who knew Christ well completely lacked understanding in saying words that were fed him directly by the devil. When we try to speak God’s Word in ignorance, we personify that evil one.

Our Epistle for today defines clearly what sin is! “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” So, do you ignorantly suppose that the Law has been done away? Perish the thought! We could not know righteousness were it not for the Law, and we could neither know sin were it not for the compelling manifestation of the Law. In fact, we were saved under the provision of the Law which Christ satisfied – but DID NOT ANNUL! Sin is still sin, and the Law condemns it. The elect are accounted righteous, not by their own works, but by the meritorious, imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ! Our measure of faith will result in good works which give evidence of that faith.

 

THE HOLY GOSPEL

23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matt 24:23-31 (KJV)

The operative word in the opening line of this text is ‘IF’. There are no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it – our Lord has declared that there will truly be false prophets among us in these latter days, not a FEW, but MANY! “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And MANY FALSE PROPHETS shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matt 24:4-13 (KJV)

Now, my friends, which part of the Lord’s counsel above does not exist in our day? Have you noticed how Christians are viewed with almost uniform disgust around the world while those who, in the name of Allah, rape and behead little children, and these latter are viewed with greater respect? Has the world gone mad? Yes, in fact, it has always been so. The world can never comprehend the beauty of God’s Word, or even make sense of it. It is the Holy Ghost, our Guide and Counsellor, who imparts wisdom in our hearts and minds.

Here is a wonderful thought to consider in relations the above textural reference in Matt 24:27 – “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Traditionally, all Christians are buried with their graves oriented to the east. The purpose of that is to allow them the soonest opportunity to behold our Lord when He appears as the sunrise – from the east. Even the Temple at Jerusalem was so oriented that the very rays of the sun entered directly through the eastern gate to the Holy of Holies. Also consider that we shall behold Christ coming in the clouds. Do you remember that Pillar of Cloud by Day and fire by Night that both led, and followed, the Children of Israel in the Wilderness? And do you remember the Cloud that descended on the Mount of Transfiguration and revealed a glorified Christ? And, finally, do you remember the cloud that received Christ up into Heaven at His Ascension? Does this thought cause you to simply adore clouds. We never know which shall bear our Lord back to us just as He ascended.

Of course, let us not miss the point of the manner in which He returns: “and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” He will not return as He first came – as a baby born in a humble barnyard; but as a conquering Savior bringing judgment to the wicked and salvation to the elect.

Then, consider the sound of the trumpet – an instrument of military distinction. In old Israel a custom of wedding significance was the sounding of the Trumpet.  Just as the trumpet was sounded (often at the unsuspected midnight hour) to signal the approach of the bridegroom for his betrothed; so, does the Trumpet sound for the gathering of our Lord’s Bride, the Church. It will be best for us if we are wearing the proper wedding apparel (Uniform) purchased by our Lord – the Robe of Righteousness purchased by His blood at Calvary. Keep your lamps burning and be sure to be found in that proper apparel. He comes in Power!

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. Matt 25:1-13 (KJV) Don’t be left out in the cold, or HEAT!

 

Prenez en Gré

In Christ Alone

in TRINITY SEASON

,

 Jerry L. Ogles , D.D.

Presiding Bishop
Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide & Chancellor, Faith Theological Seminary

“Metus improbo compescit, non clementia.” – Syrus, MAXIMS:       Fear, not kindness, restrains the wicked!

 

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer – HOLY SCRIPTURE:
“If there were any word of God beside the Scripture, we could never be certain of God’s Word; and if we be uncertain of God’s Word, the devil might bring in among us a new word, a new doctrine, a new faith, a new church, a new god, yea himself to be a god. If the Church and the Christian faith did not stay itself upon the Word of God certain, as upon a sure and strong foundation, no man could know whether he had a right faith, and whether he were in the true Church of Christ, or a synagogue of Satan.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

, 18 November 2018 Anno Domini

The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide

 

(NOTE: In the Lectionary for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity, the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel are taken from the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany as indicated by the Book of Common Prayer rubric:

If in any year there be twenty-six Sundays after Trinity, the service for the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany shall be used on the Twenty-fifth Sunday. If there be twenty-seven, the service for the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany shall be used on the Twenty-sixth, and the service for the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany on the Twenty-fifth. If there be fewer than twenty-five Sundays, the overplus shall be omitted.)

 

THE COLLECT: The TWENTY-FIFTH Sunday after TRINITY

O GOD, whose blessed Son was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil, and make us the

sons of God, and heirs of eternal life; Grant us, we beseech thee, that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves, even as he is pure; that, when he shall appear again with power and great glory, we may be made like unto him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, he liveth and reigneth ever, one God, world without end. Amen

There are those special Sundays on which the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel fit together so perfectly that it would seem negligent not to shine the bright light of understanding upon that union of meaning and purpose so brilliantly expressed. The Collect for today is one of the most inspiring, and inspired, of the Prayer Book; and it suites the sense and meaning of the Epistle and Gospel text of the day to an extraordinary degree.

We should acknowledge the truths of today’s Collect. The works of the devil are ancient – from even before Adam’s Fall in the Garden at Eden. He had rebelled against God and the very powers of Heaven and was cast down. Full of despoiled pride and vengeance, he set out to mar and destroy the beauty of God’s Creation, and most significantly, the man whom God had made as His crowning glory of Creation. As the Collect reminds us, our Lord Jesus Christ was foreordained to destroy the works of the devil and save His Elect from the curse of sin brought about from the temptations emanating from the Ill-Winded Tree. There is an allusion here to the sons (and daughters) of God who stand separate and distinct from the sons of mammon (the world). In this fact we must admit of only two generations of families upon God’s green earth – those of God, and those of the devil. In the purification of our souls, God refines us through the fires of tribulation and rejection of the world. The greater the fires, the purer the soul – just as silver being purified seven times in the Refiners Fire. Each refinement brings dross to the surface which is gathered by His Dipper and cast aside. After the seventh refinement, the silver is so smooth and pure as to reflect the image of the Refiner. Now we are altogether the sanctified vessels in the Household of God for service and for our soon glorification in Him. Sanctification is the process of BECOMING MORE AND MORE  like Him in this mortal coil; but glorification is that transient moment in time when the scroll of our earthly life ends, and we are gathered to be with Him eternally and are LIKE HIM:

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Cor 15:51-55 (KJV)

 

THE EPISTLE:

1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:1-8 (KJV)

It may escape our daily awareness that we are too often given to impersonating the devil as much as we do our Lord. Our careless actions often betray an unsettled sinfulness of which there needs to be repentance. Do you realize that careless ignorance is also sin. We are to study to show ourselves approved of God: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” 2 Tim 2:15-16 (KJV) Have we done this as zealous for understanding, or have we sat lazily to hear the Word preached but never devoutly studied? Do you recall the admonition of the Lord to Peter when that apostle attempted to dissuade Jesus (out of ignorance) from offering Himself up? “Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” Matt 16:22-23 (KJV) In his ignorance, Peter became the voice of Satan. Pride of ignorance can get a Christian into trouble with the Lord. In this case, a man who knew Christ well completely lacked understanding in saying words that were fed him directly by the devil. When we try to speak God’s Word in ignorance, we personify that evil one.

Our Epistle for today defines clearly what sin is! “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” So, do you ignorantly suppose that the Law has been done away? Perish the thought! We could not know righteousness were it not for the Law, and we could neither know sin were it not for the compelling manifestation of the Law. In fact, we were saved under the provision of the Law which Christ satisfied – but DID NOT ANNUL! Sin is still sin, and the Law condemns it. The elect are accounted righteous, not by their own works, but by the meritorious, imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ! Our measure of faith will result in good works which give evidence of that faith.

 

THE HOLY GOSPEL

23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matt 24:23-31 (KJV)

The operative word in the opening line of this text is ‘IF’. There are no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it – our Lord has declared that there will truly be false prophets among us in these latter days, not a FEW, but MANY! “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And MANY FALSE PROPHETS shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matt 24:4-13 (KJV)

Now, my friends, which part of the Lord’s counsel above does not exist in our day? Have you noticed how Christians are viewed with almost uniform disgust around the world while those who, in the name of Allah, rape and behead little children, and these latter are viewed with greater respect? Has the world gone mad? Yes, in fact, it has always been so. The world can never comprehend the beauty of God’s Word, or even make sense of it. It is the Holy Ghost, our Guide and Counsellor, who imparts wisdom in our hearts and minds.

Here is a wonderful thought to consider in relations the above textural reference in Matt 24:27 – “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Traditionally, all Christians are buried with their graves oriented to the east. The purpose of that is to allow them the soonest opportunity to behold our Lord when He appears as the sunrise – from the east. Even the Temple at Jerusalem was so oriented that the very rays of the sun entered directly through the eastern gate to the Holy of Holies. Also consider that we shall behold Christ coming in the clouds. Do you remember that Pillar of Cloud by Day and fire by Night that both led, and followed, the Children of Israel in the Wilderness? And do you remember the Cloud that descended on the Mount of Transfiguration and revealed a glorified Christ? And, finally, do you remember the cloud that received Christ up into Heaven at His Ascension? Does this thought cause you to simply adore clouds. We never know which shall bear our Lord back to us just as He ascended.

Of course, let us not miss the point of the manner in which He returns: “and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” He will not return as He first came – as a baby born in a humble barnyard; but as a conquering Savior bringing judgment to the wicked and salvation to the elect.

Then, consider the sound of the trumpet – an instrument of military distinction. In old Israel a custom of wedding significance was the sounding of the Trumpet.  Just as the trumpet was sounded (often at the unsuspected midnight hour) to signal the approach of the bridegroom for his betrothed; so, does the Trumpet sound for the gathering of our Lord’s Bride, the Church. It will be best for us if we are wearing the proper wedding apparel (Uniform) purchased by our Lord – the Robe of Righteousness purchased by His blood at Calvary. Keep your lamps burning and be sure to be found in that proper apparel. He comes in Power!

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. Matt 25:1-13 (KJV) Don’t be left out in the cold, or HEAT!

 

Prenez en Gré

In Christ Alone

in TRINITY SEASON

,

 Jerry L. Ogles , D.D.

Presiding Bishop
Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide & Chancellor, Faith Theological Seminary

“Metus improbo compescit, non clementia.” – Syrus, MAXIMS:       Fear, not kindness, restrains the wicked!

 

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer – HOLY SCRIPTURE:
“If there were any word of God beside the Scripture, we could never be certain of God’s Word; and if we be uncertain of God’s Word, the devil might bring in among us a new word, a new doctrine, a new faith, a new church, a new god, yea himself to be a god. If the Church and the Christian faith did not stay itself upon the Word of God certain, as upon a sure and strong foundation, no man could know whether he had a right faith, and whether he were in the true Church of Christ, or a synagogue of Satan.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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