Faithlife Sermons

Sin and Temptation

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In the Name of the Father, And of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. {Pause} Please Be Seated {Pause} ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Some may very well claim to have heard (Or at least to have read) this sermon before That would be true, in part. The bread of this sermon Is indeed identical to a sermon I submitted To the search committee, when seeking To become your rector. The meat of the sermon, Indeed, exactly resembles a sermon Which I delivered almost a year ago To a parish in Wisconsin In the Third Sunday of Lent. ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// If you claim to have heard or read this sermon before, I will ask you the same question, I asked myself Before delivering it, That question would be, Have you completely and perfectly applied it? And if your answer resembles mine, That no, I have not completely & perfectly applied The lessons of this sermon, I would ask you to listen carefully again And attempt to grasp, some of the concepts Of this ugly thing which our church labels Sin and temptation. Oh, and I would advise you, that until the Holy Spirit Advises ME, that I have reached perfection Regarding Sin and Temptation, That you will probably hear very similar sermons Every Lent and Advent season. ///////////////// (I genuinely believe, we should plan for a sermon (On sin and temptation (Every Lent and Advent Season, (Because I do not foresee (That I shall personally conquer sin (Or temptation, (On this side of the resurrection, (Though, Thanks be to God, Jesus did!) //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// With that out of the way, With the reminder of our failure as mankind Before the tempter, in the story of Adam & Eve; With the reminder of Christ’s victory, Before the Satan, in the story of his temptation; And MOST importantly, with the reminder From Romans Chapter Five, of the FREE gift, Of justification through Christ’s obedience Which ALONE makes us righteous Let’s discuss sin, temptation, and consequences … //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// I ask that we look closely at our lives for a moment, /////////////////////////////////////////////////////// When we look at our lives, Do we even for a fleeting moment Somehow believe that we have received The Good things that we have because We somehow deserve them? Perhaps a house that we labored to buy Saving and working to provide a safe harbor From the inevitable storms of human life. /////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (What if, especially in this season of Lent), We looked at our lives, And asked why we have been spared The evil consequences That our willful separation from God Actually earns us? ////////////////////////////////////////////////////// What do we really deserve for our actions before God? Lent is an excellent time to examine our faults // And confession is an excellent way to get sins behind us. //// ////////////////////////////////////////////////////// In one of my first seminary courses We were provided tools for self-examination Especially before a first confession to a Priest I would recommend confession directly to a Priest To anyone as an excellent means of revitalizing The soil of the souls of our lives. ///////// //////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Looking at our lives, While remembering the Ten Commandments And mindful of Christ’s teachings In Matthew Chapter Five regarding Murder, Adultery, Divorce, and Oaths Should help us to confess our faults //////////////////////////////////////////////// //////////////////////////////////////////////// 1. In the First Commandment we are told to have no other Gods, but God. We should ask a. Have I been more interested in myself than God? b. What do I place in the place reserved for God only? 2. The Second Commandment is a prohibition against Idolatry, and we might ask: a. Have I loved money or clothes too much; or even sinned to get them? b. Have I gone to mediums or placed my trust in horoscopes or similar schemes? c. Have I revered my car, or my job, or my status? 3. In the Third Commandment we are told not to use the name of God in curses or silly banter: // a. Have I spoken profanely? /// b. Especially, have I misused the name of God? 4. We are to Keep the Sabbath Holy according to the Fourth Commandment. Therefore, we might ask: a. Have I always kept a Sabbath Day as it ought to be kept? b. Have I failed to pray earnestly? c. Have I sometimes been irreverent (or barely reverent), or joked about holy things? 5. Honor thy Father and Mother, the fifth commandment. It tells us to honor our elders and be obedient: a. Was I always as loving and respectful to my father or mother as I ought to have been? b. Have I been grateful enough for all that they did for me? c. Have I contributed as much as I ought toward the support or the happiness of my parents? d. Did I ever disobey them or others who had authority over me; or did I ever obey them slowly and reluctantly? Have my actions ever caused them anxiety or shame? 6. The sixth commandment, in the light of Jesus’ words in the fifth chapter of Matthew is a prohibition not only against murder but also against Hate: a. Have I killed anyone or wished someone was dead? b. Have I ever cursed people// gossiped about them? (Even on the blessed 9N Highway) … c. Is there anyone who I hold a grudge against or am unwilling to forgive? 7. Jesus’ words regarding the seventh commandment moves us to ask not only if we have committed adultery but if we have relished impurity: a. Have I committed adultery? b. Have I been impure in thought, word or deed? c. Have I looked at evil pictures? d. Have I read bad passages in books? e. Have I been immodest in actions or in dress? 8. Commandment Eight: Thou shalt not steal: a. Have I ever stolen anything, either as a child or more recently? Have I shared in stolen goods? b. Have I cheated in business, games, school, taxes? c. Have I gambled or bet too much? d. Have I tried hard to pay all of my debts, or have I contracted debts unnecessarily? e. Have I wasted (stolen) God’s given time? 9. Do not bear false witness; the ninth commandment: a. Have I been deceitful, unfair, or a hypocrite? b. Have I allowed others to receive blame for my faults? c. Have I been harsh toward others, or in speaking of others, for sins which I also have committed? 10. Finally, the tenth; Do not covet: a. Have I been dejected because of the position, talents, or fortune of others? b. Have I been glad when others failed or were in trouble, or was I glad when I heard people speak ill of others? ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Thinking of our evil natures is hard work But confessing our sins even in private Can be extremely rewarding //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// But even now, as I have already exhorted us From the Book of Common Prayer, ………… … “It is important to examine our lives and conduct by the rule of God’s commandments, that we may perceive wherein we have offended in what we have done or left undone, whether in thought, word, or deed. It is important That we acknowledge our sins before Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment of life, being ready to make restitution for all injuries and wrongs done by us to others; And also being ready to forgive those who have offended us, in order that we ourselves may be forgiven. And then, being reconciled with one another, come to the eucharistic banquet ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Yet if, in this preparation, /// Should you find you need additional help and counsel, then go and open your grief to a discreet and understanding priest, and confess your sins, that you may receive the benefit of absolution, and spiritual counsel and advice; to the removal of scruple and doubt, the assurance of pardon, and the strengthening of your faith. ///////////////////////////////////////////// ///////////////////////////////////////////// Remembering from another Gospel Reading That if we be the fig tree Christ be the Gardener and Our Triune God is willing to dig around our roots Laying fresh soil And allowing us to bear good fruits ////////////////////////////////////////////////////// During this Lenten season, (In the words of Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians) Let us work to put off our former manner of life, The old man, who is corrupt according To deceitful lusts. Let us be renewed in the spirit of our minds; That we put on the new man, Which after God is created in Righteousness and true holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, Speak every man truth with his neighbor; For we are members one of another. Be not angry, and sin not; Let not the sun go down upon your wrath; Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more; but rather, let him labor, working with his hands The thing which is good, That he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication Proceed out of your mouth, But that which is good to the use of edifying, That it may minister grace unto the hearers. Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, By Whom ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, And evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice; And be ye kind one to another, Tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, For Christ's sake, hath forgiven you. //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Yet most importantly of all regarding the blight of sin Remember this: That in all that we do and in all that we fail, The Love of God for us still remains, And He desires, very earnestly, even to death on a cross To forgive us our sins! //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Fear not, for God takes no pleasure in the death Of the wicked, For God sent not his son into the world To condemn the world, But that the world might through him be saved. For there is now no condemnation For those who are in Christ Jesus … If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus From the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead Will give life to your mortal bodies also Through His spirit which dwells in you For who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, Or famine Or Nakedness, or peril or sword? NO! In all these things we are more than conquerors Through him that loved us. For I (with Paul) remain persuaded, That neither death, nor life, nor angels, Nor principalities, nor powers, Nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, Nor any other creature, Shall be able to separate us From the love of God, Which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Now, since I did speak of confession, After already having the liturgical confession I believe it appropriate, that if anyone feels Convicted of any additional sin, That they have an opportunity To be relived of the burden of such sin Which may have become unburied //////////////////////////////////////////////////////// If there are any sins bearing on you I urge you to take a moment Collect up those faults And ask God in silent prayer for forgiveness ////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ////////////////////////////////////////////////////// {Pause – QUITE LONG — 15 to 30 seconds?} ////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ////////////////////////////////////////////////////// {Absolution} Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath left power to his Church, To absolve all sinners who truly repent And believe in him, Of his great mercy, forgive you your offenses, And by His authority, committed unto me, I absolve you from all your sins. In the name of the Father, And of the Son, And of the Holy Spirit, AMEN. ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Abide in peace, and pray for me also, a sinner.
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