Sermon Notes, Septuagesima Sunday, 17 February 2019 Anno Domini

Sermon Notes, Septuagesima Sunday, 17 February 2019 Anno Domini

St. Andrews Anglican Church

 

Matt 5:1-16   1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

     3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

     13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 

The lectionary text begins today with blessings redounding on those who love the Lord, but let us also remember that curses fall upon those who do not.

 

Deut 11: 26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: 28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

 

In the spiritual world, as well as in physical nature, there can be no positive without a negative. There can be no flow of fluids without a vacuum, or a plus without a minus – no light without contrasting darkness, or no high without a low.

 

But in today’s passage, Christ is telling us who receives His blessings and, by omission, who will not.

 

Note the appeal to meekness, a quality of character that seems to be gravely absent from today’s man.

 

The passages read today fit perfectly together, and the ancient church meant it to be so in its development of the lection of daily scripture readings.

 

13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

 

This is an interesting statement when we consider that God made all things including every element  and compound which they comprise.

 

Purpose of salt: preserves, adds a quality of flavor, healing properties, has value especially when scarce.

Salt makes life possible and creates thirst.Salt a chemical compound:  NaCl (sodium chloride) Sodium a yellowish metal never found in a pure state in nature. If not joined with chlorine, it will be joined to some other element of the earth such as hydrogen, potassium, carbon, etc. But never pure in itself.

Sodium is much like we humans. We are all possessed of a sinful nature and can do no good apart from Christ. Another characteristic of sodium is this: it is poison if consumed alone.

 

The other element in the compound formula for salt is chlorine. Chlorine is an invisible gas that is also deadly.

Chlorine is so deadly that it was used as a chemical weapon during World War I. God is deadly to those who forsake Him.

 

But look: when we join this deadly gas to another deadly poison called sodium, we get a compound that is essential to life. Man cannot live without a percentage of salt in his body.

 

When sinful man (sodium)  is joined to the deadly element (chlorine) an essential for life and health is created.

 

When lost man is joined to God, eternal life is imparted by the union.

 

Moreover, if we look at table salt through a microscope, we see that it is pure white, and forms perfect cubes.

 

Even if you crush a cube of salt, it will break down into many smaller cubes.

 

When crushed by slander and persecution, the Christian maintains his integrity in God.

 

What about Light? What does Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity say about the nature of Light?

 

Travels in a straight line

 

Travels at absolute speed regardless of frame of reference (186,00 miles per second)

 

Can not be defined, only described

 

Light cannot be seen. It has no weight. It scatters the darkness for darkness cannot abide even a candle light.

 

Look at how Christ describes those who love Him:

 

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

 

But wait! Look at how Christ describes Himself:

 

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

 

Does Jesus here contradict Himself? Matt 5:14 vs John 8:12? Why not?

 

WE reflect the Light of God just as the Moon reflects the Light of the Sun. If a large object passes between the moon and sun, we observe an eclipse. The same with the light we receive from Christ: if the world and her attractions come between us and God, our light is darkened.

 

Purpose of Light is to reveal Truth and scatter error.as described below:

 

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 

The Psalms reading for today was from Psalms 1 – six small, but powerful verses;

Psalms 1:

 

The Joy of the Godly

     1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The unGodly shall perish

     4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

God is not referring to an abject sinful nature in verses 1 thru 3, but a direction that sin takes us. We start with minor indiscretions and end up sitting and making our fires with the ungodly. Just as did Lot, the nephew of Abraham.

Lot was a keeper of sheep. His herd grew so large that they began to trespass onto the pasturelands belonging to Abraham. So Abraham made a peaceful solution:

Gen 13: 9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. 11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. 12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.

Lot pitched his tent only TOWARD Sodom, but wound up sitting as a judge in its gates – a city destroyed by God for its wickedness of homosexuality.

     1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Eve stopped before the devil’s tree, she listened, she partook of its evil.

 

David failed in his duty to accompany his army. He could not sleep. He arose and walked on the roof. He gazed down to the home of one he knew to be a beautiful woman and saw her bathing.  Perhaps this was not his first glimpse of Bathsheba. This led to adultery and murder.

 

Sin takes us in the wrong direction! But those who do not fall for its temptations are blessed as a green tree whose roots are anchored by the rivers of waters. Always alive and living from the Water of Life which is God’s Holy Word.

 

But the ungodly count for nothing!

 

     4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Young people of St. Andrews – you are ALL young to me – remember the counsel of God. Flee from sin at its first manifestation, and you will be like that tree whose leaves are always green and fruitful. Your roots shall suck up daily the Water of Life provided by God’s Word.

By |2019-02-18T16:35:43+00:00February 18th, 2019|Sermons|0 Comments

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