Skip to comments.The Rev. Canon James T. Payne: sermon for Trinity 24
Posted on 11/12/2005 3:51:34 PM PST by sionnsar
From the Rev. Canon James T. Payne of St. Thomas of Canterbury REC in Houston, we have this sermon for Trinity 24, which is an exposition on Jesus' healing of the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue in Matthew 9. In this sermon, Rev. Payne makes several good points about the effect of unbelief, including this one:
Unredeemed man knows that he sufferers for his selfish decisions, but sees no source of peace for his guilt. He knows no god who will forgive him. If such an unredeemed person knows anything at all it is "a man sows what he reaps." He will try to do good works in a effort to feel good about himself Thus, without a forgiving Christ, such a man is motivated by the burden of his guilt to balance the books by doing good works. Such a man is victimized by every false prophet who comes along to separate him from his billfold in the vain hope that the guilt pangs will be eased.Note also the excellent way Rev. Payne illustrates this from the account of the healing of the ruler's daughter, showing how the unbelief of the mourners who were there precluded their seeing this miracle, for our Lord had to have them "put out of the house." Note also, as Rev. Payne shows, the similarity between these mourners and some clergy in our day who too would "laugh Him to scorn." This is another sermon well worth pondering for its truths, and I commend it to you.
Such persons do not really understand a God who forgives, a Christ who heals. The mistake we make is to assume that because we "are made in Gods image" that God is like us. This is wrong because we are sinners and God is holy. Therefore, God does not make decisions in the same manner that man does. "My ways are not your ways, my thoughts are not your thoughts" says Scripture. Thus, when we are not of the same mind as God, we assume that God has rejected us, when it is we who have rejected Him. Deep down, man assumes that it would be only natural for God to reject him, because, in a sense of guilt, we feel unworthy of God's love. As a result, many people live their entire lives without spiritual help because they are convinced that no such help is available. As a result, the average man is lost in his own spiritual helplessness. This is the life of the non- Christian: a life without hope.
On the other hand, Christians understand that God sent Jesus Christ, His only Son, into the world "to save sinners." St. Paul writes: "God commendeth his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us-the Godly for the ungodly. Such is the love of God, that He sent "His only begotten Son to the end that all that believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Jesus did not come simply to give us another chance, another opportunity to fail; rather He gives us a new and better life a different life with different priorities a different world view a different self view. As the first life was the life of Adam, a life of disobedience and failure, so the new life is one of God. The new life of the Christian is one in which the indwelling Christ leads us to God, "walking in His holy ways." Jesus doesn't promise some future benefit, He comes to help us here and now in our lives.
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