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The Rev. Benjamin Bernier: "The Renewal of the Mind"
Prydain ^ | 10/09/2005 | Will

Posted on 10/09/2005 5:31:16 PM PDT by sionnsar

From the Rev. Benjamin Bernier of Providence Reformed Episcopal Church in Texas, we have this excellent sermon, The Renewal of the Mind, which is based on Ephesians 4:17-32. There is much to like about this sermon, and I in particular liked this part, where Rev. Bernier talks about the dangers of those within the visible Church who still allow their hearts to be filled with unbelief, deception, and untruth:

The Epistle lesson is an exhortation for Christians he is not speaking to the unbelieving gentiles. He is speaking to believers to whom in the beginning chapters of Ephesians he has summarized the wonderful mystery of redemption they had been granted in Christ in his Church.

For them and for us is this exhortation. Which means that the dangers of embracing an empty state of mind is true for us also. We are also responsible for the renewal of our minds.

How dreadful to proclaim to follow the King of life and truth while we allow our minds to be filled with illusion, deception, prejudice and untruth.

We must be careful, and affirm our lives upon the truth. "Thy word is truth", The Lord said. That should be our standard. That is the mind of Christ. There is no darkness in the light. Nothing less than that will do. No compromise is possible between these two contrary states of mind.

See how St Paul describes it:

17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the vanity of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

Here the ethical connection between understanding and action is clearly presented. Ideas are not just ideas. Ideas always translate into actions. A vain way of thinking translates into a vain way of living.

The gentiles walk in the futility of their minds. A mind emptied of truth, entails a walk emptied of life. A dark understanding, alienated from the life of God. Why? Because of the ignorance. Why? because of the hardness of heart.

You see. Truth is not hard. The problem is the heart. The heart is hard and becomes harder ignoring the truth.

The heart becomes harder as it rejects the truth. Ignorance hardens the heart. So that the heart becomes callous in its ignorance; and tolerates more and more all forms of impurity, making the heart harder and harder embracing sensuality and greediness.

These are the fruits of a hardened heart. Where one sees these fruits one is witnessing the results of a state of mind in which Christ is not the King.

So there is a choice that is always before us: a continual calling to see who we will follow, which of these states of mind will prevail in us. The old or the New.

By today's standards, particularly in Anglicanism, this would be considered a hard-hitting sermon--but that is what we need sometimes, and may the Holy Spirit grant us "ears to hear" this message.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 10/09/2005 5:31:22 PM PDT by sionnsar
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2 posted on 10/09/2005 5:32:04 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || (To Libs:) You are failing to celebrate MY diversity! || Iran Azadi)
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