Being Made Better
Christ the Word did not come to affirm us. All creatures are made by Him to become better and more perfect, to reach the ends for which they were made. Clergymen who tell people that “God wants you just the way you are”are full of the devil. They stand against the laws of nature and they deny the power of Grace. Man is fallen. And, No, it is not a sin to hate the sin and love the sinner. Post-moderns caught in a prepubescent or adolescent prison, disguised in adult bodies, conflate the two. Evidently one is not permitted in the post-modern playground to hate certain sins. And yet if we do not hate our sins, we shall never be freed from them. We are made to eschew the evil and cleave to the good. We are made to be carried out of the one and into the other. Making excuses for our sins means that we shall continue to live as those who know not God and hew out for ourselves broken cisterns which can hold no water. (Jer. ii. 13) He who did cause water to gush out of the stony rock, desires to break and melt our rocky hearts into such contrition that works repentance unto salvation. (B. Jenks)
But Woe to the rulers and people of this land who call good evil and evil good, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness…(Is. v. 20) and who teach our children the same. They are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. (Phil. iii. 18, 19)
God made us to become His sons and daughters. This means that He has made us for Himself. But we are all fallen and need the refashioning of our nature through Jesus Christ our Lord. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 St. John i. 8,9) Only sinners can be made better. This Lent let us claim and confess our sins truly and exhaustively that we might be made new through the love of the Lamb of God. In Him let us become vulnerable enough to be changed and transformed by His Heavenly Passion. Let us let Him remake us into His image, likeness, and pattern. And let us, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Gal. vi. 7,8)
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St. Michael and All Angels Sermons