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The center of the Traditional Anglican Communion; adhering to the Holy Bible (KJV) in all matters of Faith and Doctrine, a strict reliance on the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion, The two Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, the Two Creeds, and the Homilies and formularies of the Reformation Church of England.

Verse of the Day

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sermon Notes - Fourth Sunday in Lent - Saint Andrews Church - 26 March 2017, Anno Domini (In the Year of our Lord)

If you like this, the entire AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!
The Fourth Sunday in Lent.
The Collect.

RANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

he Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. 42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? 43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life.49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.  (John 6:41-51)

The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect
 GOD, who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright; Grant to us such strength and protection, as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Men hunger and raven after the bread of this world but remain soul-famished for the Bread of Life which comes down from Heaven in the form of our Lord and Savior. But all whose diet consist only of earthly bread will die as the Children of Israel died in the Wilderness after being provided Manna. There is only one Divine Bread that gives life and satisfies forever, and that is the Bread of Heaven. Please bear in mind the words of Christ in which He said: I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (John 6:35) To know Christ in saving faith is to never hunger again for the Bread and Water of Life continually is replenished in abundant profusion. The power of God’s attraction will not allow is to slip from His grasp. We were drawn there by that invisible Cable of Love, and Love never lets go. 

            Perhaps you will aver you came to Christ on your own terms. Not so! You were drawn there. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” He is the Sovereign who disposes – not YOU! No commoner (which the sinner is) can approach the throne of a king without the approval of the king. As a matter of fact, we would never dare to approach the Throne of a Great King without a summons. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. (John 15:16) If you still believe the choice was yours, please tell me with which words of the Lord you disagree!

      Have we not known the old military maxim, “Familiarity breeds contempt?”  Such contempt for our neighbors who receive high honors is not only expressed  by acquaintances and friends, but even find expression from among those of one’s very family. We find that even the brothers of Jesus resented His renown: Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. (John 7:2-5)  There are four brothers listed in Matthew 13:55 (James, Joses, Simon, and Judas). This alone makes the argument of the Romans regarding the Immaculate Conception quite fallacious.  And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?   (Matthew 13:56). Even the Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims translation contains these verses!  One salient point jumps out at us in this text at the very beginning: We must see Jesus Christ, not simply in bodily form as all doubters of that day saw Him, but with spiritual eyes to view Him as Lord and Savior. Our spiritual eyes should be just as adapt at seeing His Person as those of the ancients.  Those Jews of His day doubted when He told them that He came down from Heaven.  His miracles gave evidence of His divinity (and they wanted to see His miracles) but did not desire to believe that He came from Heaven. To know Him for the Lord that He truly is will result in a metamorphic change from death to life. Just as the unsightly cocoon transforms into a beautiful butterfly, so will the life of man change from a hopeless despair to light and hope in Christ.

            The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?  When men lack spines to speak, they murmur against a greater presence.  They made an eternal error in making a false presumption – that Christ was the son of Joseph.  The same great error is even being engineered into modern translations to create doubt as to the Divinity of Christ. See how the Received Text states the case of Joseph: And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. (Luke 2:33) now contrast this verse to the deceit of the same in the NIV: The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Did you note that the KJV did not refer to Christ as the son of Joseph, but the NIV did make that erroneous designation?  Little eyes, be careful what you read……..Jesus is not the son of Joseph, but the Son of God.

Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. Are you one to murmur? Or do you let speak in simple truth: But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. (Matt 5:37) I have heard men murmur to themselves even against God. To whom do such men address their murmurings? No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: I remind you here that you did not choose Christ, but Christ chose YOU in the first place!  (John 15:16) The sinner, of his own volition, cannot come to Christ and be saved. This does not mean that men and women who strongly desire to come to Christ for salvation are barred from coming, but it does mean that the very desire to come to Christ is born of the conviction of the Holy Ghost working to draw that person to Christ. When we are drawn to, and accepted by, Christ, then we shall have life in the Eternity hereafter: …..and I will raise him up at the last day.

It is written in the prophets. Do you know what is written in the prophets? If you do not know, you will also fail to see Christ in a more perfect light. But, you say, the Holy Ghost will teach me all things! Then what meaneth this verse? But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26) How can the Holy Ghost bring any point of scripture to your remembrance if you have not even taken the interest to read and study it? And they shall be all taught of God. This is a reference by Christ to Isaiah 54:13. The first step in coming to Christ is to be taught of Him. There are a good number of churches of our day who are winging it as far as truth is concerned. They seldom make reference to Scripture for the authority they claim. How can we be taught of God unless we have read and studied His Textbook – the Bible? Christ is the very Word and Teacher!

Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.  Have you truly LEARNED of the Father? Have you been so enamored by His Word that you cannot resist going to that Fountain of Life time and again in a day? Do you thirst for the Water of Life and the Bread of Heaven? If so be it, you have also come to Christ! “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.” No man has descended, OR ascended, from Heaven but Christ. We know the Father because we KNOW the SON!

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Christ emphasizes, through repetition, those points most needful for our souls to know. Please remember that it is He who is the Bread of Life – not Moses, not some powerful king, and not a favorite preacher – it is CHRIST! From what source do we acquire earthly bread? By the planting of seeds of wheat. The seed fall into the earth, are buried, and die to themselves in springing forth the shoot of life. That shoot strives to grow through the dark soil to the brilliant light of the Sun. It will then proceed manifold the original seed. Those wheat seed are harvested, crushed, milled, and baked in the fires of an oven until whole bread is enjoyed. Christ is that Seed of Heaven who’s planting (death and entombment) has resulted in life eternal for us. He rose from the darkness of the Tomb into the Brilliant Light of His Resurrection. His death and resurrection is producing fruit in the hearts of those who believe. The Church is His Body. Bread, also, in the Lord’s Supper, represents His Body broken for us. But we, too, have become a tiny bit of crushed grain of that Body – and all the saints before us. With what great reverence must we approach the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and with what understanding of its magnitude of meaning!

     All of the lambs, goats, oxen, doves, etc. that were sacrificed as a shadow of that efficacious Sacrifice to come did not result in any other than a life limited in time and space. So the Manna that came down from Heaven was not the fulfillment of the prophecy of God in sending His Son as the Bread of Heaven. It was only a shadow to teach us the real Light. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. The Manna of the wilderness did not offer life eternal. The Manna of God in the form of the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ, does offer life eternal if we will but consume that Bread. Have you done today? This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The bodies we drag about from point to point are dead, or dying, bodies. But the defeat of death by Christ on the Cross and at the Tomb, promises that these bodies can be changed into glorified bodies in Christ. As Paul says, So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:  It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. (1 Cor 15:42-45)

            At that general resurrection morning, how shall you be raised – to damnation on which the second death has force; or to a redeemed and glorified body that shall never see death.?

AOC Sunday Report - Fourth Sunday in Lent

The AOC Sunday Report is available as
an easy to read READER version RIGHT HERE!
Happy Fourth Sunday in Lent!

We have some great sermons today from Bishops Jerry and Roy, as well as Revs Jack and Bryan and a guest sermon from Reverend Gummapu Anand Kummar of the Church of South India.  Gummapu's sermon is a bit different, but I think you will enjoy it.

There are a lot of people who need your prayers.  Please start with Kurt Thomas, the 6'5" warrior laid low by a blood infection which has taken hold in a heart valve, hip and other places.  The infection would have killed most people, but Kurt seems to be recovering.  Please give thanks for that and pray for continued trust and strength for Kurt, his wife Mary and kids.  Give a prayer of thanksgiving for John Young's successful three way bypass surgery, he did not know he needed a month ago.  Go on to Shamul, Jimmy, Mary and Bob, work out from there.

I know we ask you to pray for people each week.  Most of you understand why, those of you who do not will once your name is on the list.

Anyway, have a great week.  Rev Jack and I, Hope DeLong as well, are on travel this week to Dallas for business.

May you let God give you the great week ahead He offers.


Fourth Sunday after Lent

If you enjoy this, the entire AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!

Sermon – Reverend Jack Arnold - Time and Action
Church of the Faithful Centurion
Descanso, California
Today’s sermon brought the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and is partly contained in the forewords above. 

Consider these words from the Collect:

… we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of thy grace may mercifully be relieved …

In the Collect, as is oft the case, we acknowledge to God our sad state, our evil nature, and then ask God to grant us His Grace to be relieved of being accounted as evil, rather accounted as perfect, even though we are so far from perfect.  This is a constant refrain, so many of the collects have this same theme; we are imperfect, perfect only in our imperfection; yet God is with us and is willing to help us, but only if we let Him.  This is because this a truth that remains constant. We are failed beings who need the help of One who is not failed, that need His Grace to be relieved of our many offenses and a renewed sprit. He is the One we must turn to for Help. To let Him help us requires us to let Him into our hearts.
To gain eternal life, to leave this Shadowland world for the real world, the world of Eternal Life, God’s World, that is to say Heaven, requires us to be perfect.  For only those who are perfect at the final accounting can gain entrance into heaven.  Actually, we don’t need to be perfect to get into heaven which is very handy as we will never in fact be perfect, no matter how hard WE try, inasmuch as by our very nature we are imperfect.  

How is this possible?

Death is oft referred to as the “Final Accounting”, and as one who has studied accounting, I can tell you that things can sometimes be accounted as what they are not, legally, too!  

At that final judgment day, imperfect creatures that we are, we can be accounted as perfect through God’s Grace of His Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Paul is right on point when he talks about the two sons of Abraham, one of the bond, one of the free.   Being accounted as perfect requires us to become adopted into the freewoman’s family or God’s. It requires us to follow Him and His guidance. This gift of eternal life is not free. It was paid for by Jesus’ death on the Cross and it requires us to actively following and working for Him here on earth.

The one of the bondwoman’s represents the state of God’s people before Christ and also those who choose not to follow Him. They are stuck in bondage to their own sins and to Satan and will never truly be free. They are in essence slaves of their own will. We have free will, let us exercise it in the way God intended, that is to follow the path of righteousness to Him.

These two are representative of the two covenants with God, the bond under The Law and the free under The New Covenant.  

The people of old are The People of The Law.  Six Hundred Thirteen Laws each of which by which they must abide.  A very complex and even more difficult life to live, with trying to comply and uphold those laws and failing. We still fail miserably at times, but we only have two laws, which we will hear about in a second. They are still hard to uphold, but if we manage to, easier to remember. Perhaps more properly said in practice 613 laws that they must live around; not so much as comply with, but avoid breaking.  Yet, they cannot comply with all the laws nor even work around them.  They are doomed to failure absent help from God.  The 613 laws could not accomplish what Christ has accomplished through His death on the Cross, His Resurrection and His Establishing of the New Covenant, which is eternal life for us in heaven with Him. The Holy Ghost helps us along the journey to this goal, to bring us to that eternal life.

The New Covenant is much less complex than the Old Covenant.  It is much easier to remember the ways of the New Covenant than the Old Covenant. However, the Old Covenant had to come first to get people’s hearts ready to follow the New Covenant.  For the New Covenant could not be introduced, or in other words, Jesus could not come to Earth until the people were ready for His Teachings. The Old Covenant was a stepping stone to the New Covenant.

Remember this from Holy Communion:

Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ saith:

HOU shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

Under the New Covenant, we have only two laws with which we must comply.  But, there is a catch.  We are not to just avoid breaking those laws, we must actually live them in our hearts, souls, minds AND bodies.  We must actualize them. It is the common theme of Action not just Diction, that appears in the sermons past here. The only way in which we can follow these two laws is we have to put them into practice in our day to day lives, which requires Action and not just Diction. We have to actually perform those actions in order to back up our faith. Faith without actions to back it up is a hollow faith, a non-existent faith.

Hey!  That is way harder.  We are imperfect creatures with free will.  That is a combination doomed to failure.

True, but we have the ultimate Get out of Jail Free card – Jesus Christ the righteous and He is the propitiation for our sins!  Remember that?  He accounts us as perfect at our final accounting!

There are two choices, two covenants, we can choose either to be people of slavery, enslaved to sin and Satan; or to be free people, under God and Jesus. These are the two sides that Paul speaks of. We can be either enslaved to sin or we can be truly free and under God.  One side leads to eternal freedom and happiness and the other leads to eternal suffering and death. I know which side I want to be on, but the question is do you? You, and you alone can make this choice, nobody else here can make it for you. This is one of the actions you have to act on, and not just say it.

We always have a choice, it is upon us to choose and decide. To paraphrase a quote from Gandalf, All we have to do is decide what to do in the time that we are given. But we must pick a side.  As I quoted last week, “He that is not with me is against me.”  Middle ground exists, but it is quicksand.  Any feeling of safety there is illusory.  We must take sides.  And, we cannot keep with those who oppose the side we choose.

We cannot have one foot standing on the slavery side and one foot on the free side. We cannot just be fence sitters, we must have our feet planted on one side.  From rational viewpoint, there is only one side to pick, and that is the side of freedom, of the New Testament offered to us by Christ himself. As people of The New Covenant, the original and real New Deal, we have only to comply with those two laws or rules; To love the Lord with all our hearts and to love our neighbor.  While it is true that those two are much harder to fully comply with than avoiding the 613 laws of The Law, we have the key – Jesus Christ.  He came to earth not only to lead us to heaven, from the front; but to be a propitiation for our sins, to make us account as perfect to God to allow us to come into His Land.

Now, think about the Gospel.  When we need help, how about instead of worry, we substitute trust and action?  Trust that God will give us what we need.  And, then act based on what we can and should do, not what we want to do.  Acting on what we should do gets results.   These results may or not be obvious right away, but they will be soon enough. And this may be a hard principle for us to follow, but in the end, it is worth the struggle to trust God instead of worrying and or doing what we want to do. Whereas if you never do anything, you’ll never see any results of your actions, for you are doing exactly nothing. If one is disillusioned enough by the fact he does not need to do anything, I suppose it probably doesn’t matter to that person. But to those of us who feel the acute need to do something, if we do nothing, we are going to feel that lack of action. Therefore, we are compelled to act upon our faith. Perhaps not what we want right at the time, but certainly what we need then and in the eternal future.  In the middle of nowhere, two thousand years from the nearest McDonalds, the disciples looked to Jesus to fill the needs of their congregation.  Jesus took what they had and gave them what they needed; “for he himself knew what he would do.”  He acted to help them.  Do ye likewise:


Heaven is at the end of an uphill trail.  The easy downhill trail does not lead to the summit.

The time is now, not tomorrow.  The time has come, indeed.  How will you ACT?

It is by our actions we are known.

Be of God - Live of God - Act of God