Jul01

The Sin of the World

Categories // Sermons

6th Sunday after Pentecost

The Sin of the World

            Grace, Mercy and Peace to you from God our Father and His only Son, Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

         In life we experience hate, regret and pain. We may experience these feelings individually or collectively. In any of these situations the cause is sin.

         Whether it is illness or sadness, whether hate or remorse, our lives are condemned in our sin. We feel the pain of that sin and we cry out in grief because of that sin. It is sin that causes the deterioration of our bodies and souls. It is sin that leads to death. Because we are given the gift of thought and reason, we are able to know the cause of our ultimate demise and thus lament the outcome.

         Our pain may be short or long lasting. Our sickness may be brief or terminal. In all things, we suffer. The simple fact is – we are uncomfortable and it all has to do with sin. Now you may be thinking, “Hold on there fella! How do you make the connection of sin with an illness? One is what we do and the other is how we are.” My answer to that is, ‘You are exactly right!’ We both commit sin and we are sin-full.

         Let me put it another way. When Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, did they ever have a cold or athlete’s foot? They never needed tough Tough Actin'® Tinactin® or Vick’s Formula 44D because they were holy and righteous before God. We know this because in Genesis we are told the Lord God walked in the garden with his creation. [Gen 3:8]

         This was before Adam and Eve had partaken of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the first disobedience to our creator and the first sin. From that moment on, we no longer enjoyed the fruitful life in the garden. No longer would woman bring forth children without pain. [Gen 3:16] No longer would the ground be soft and loamy. Now thorns and thistles claw at our skin. [Gen 3:18] We toil to produce the bread we eat. [Gen 3:19] No longer could we stand in the presence of God for we were cursed.

         God cast Adam and Eve out of the garden before they could eat of the tree of life. The Lord God declared that all human kind would sweat and struggle until we return to the ground, “For out of it you were taken; [for] dust you are and to dust you shall return.” [Gen 3:19b]

         This is why we grow old. This is why our bodies ache and our hearts fail. We are sinful by nature and unclean. We try to placate ourselves with sayings like, ‘I’m just getting old.’ or, ‘It is what it is.’ But we were not created to get old or to suffer. It ‘is’ because we made it this way.

         Yet from the moment we left the righteousness of God, our salvation was already in place. Yes we are destined to return to the dust of the earth from which we came, but we are not to remain separated from our Father in heaven. We left God when we sinned against him, but He did not leave us.

         He kept His promise to bring us back to his everlasting loving kindness.

The Lord God said to the serpent:

      “Because you have done this…[Gen 3:14]

      …I will put enmity

      Between you and the woman,

      And between your seed and her Seed;

      He shall bruise your head,

      And you shall bruise His heel.” [Gen 3:15]

      God gave us the means through the law to return to His infinite grace and mercy. Still we failed Him. We sinned, we repented and He forgave, yet we could never become cleansed from our sin or become righteous in His sight.

      We were doomed! It seemed as if we were destined to return to the dust of the earth never to walk with our Lord again. Our pains, our disease and our labor were to be the only life we would know.

      Our salvation in the promise of God Almighty, made in the garden at the beginning of our existence, came to fruition in His only Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

      Jesus Christ is the promise fulfilled. He is the seed of the woman who would bruise the head of our adversary. In fact, he would do more than bruise his head; he would conquer him and rescue us from the dusty grave of death.

      Our Old Testament Lamentations are accredited to the prophet Jeremiah. Hear now the comfort of the word of the Lord:

      Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,

      Because His compassions fail not.

      They are new every morning;

      Great is [His]faithfulness.

      “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,

      “Therefore I hope in Him!”

      The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,

      To the soul who seeks Him.

      It is good that one should hope and wait quietly

      For the salvation of the Lord. [Lam. 3:22-26]

We put our hope in our Lord while our backs sting and our heads and hearts ache. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

      Consider the work of our Savior when he came into our midst. Jesus Christ healed the sick. He raised the dead. He made the lame walk and the blind see. Even though we daily sin against him in thought word and deed, he humbled himself to be born into our human existence.

        St. Mark tells us of a woman who suffered greatly. Hers was an illness that not only plagued her physical health, but also prevented her from being a part of her community. By the Levitic Law, she was considered unclean. This was not a temporary state, as we are told; for it beleaguered her for twelve years.

      But this woman had a different outlook on life than the many doctors she had seen. She was not one to accept her illness as a by-product of her age. She did not give up and say to herself, ‘It is what it is.’ No. Within her heart and mind was hope – a hope in the Lord. This woman waited for the Lord, her soul sought the promise given those many years ago.

      The woman thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”[Mark 5:28] Unlike our potions and pills today, when she touched his cloak, her illness immediately stopped. “She felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.” [Mark 5:29] Was it her good works, her money, or her name that healed her? No. It was her hope in the Lord. Jesus confirms for us why she was healed. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” [Mark 5:34]

      To Jairus, who feared the death of his daughter, Jesus exhorts, “Do not be afraid; have faith.” [Mark 5:36b] Jesus tells us that we no longer must wait for the Lord because the kingdom of God is in our midst. The promise is complete. We no longer need to wait for the fulfillment of God’s Word, we only need faith in its triumph.

      The saving mercy and grace of our Father in heaven has come to us in His only Son. The sin we could never overcome has been taken to the grave by Jesus Christ. Being truly God and truly man, he raised himself from that tomb of death to once and for all conquer Satan and crush his head.

      No longer is there enmity between man and God. We no longer die but merely sleep in Christ Jesus. The Lord Jesus Christ has come to us and now we have faith that we will see him face to face.

      On that last day, our Lord will take us by the hand and say to us, “koum!” which means, “Stand up!” Stand up and receive your inheritance from your Father in heaven. The wait is over. God will wipe away every tear from your eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain. [Rev 21:4]

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,

      Because His compassions fail not.

      They are new every morning;

      Great is [His]faithfulness.

      “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,

      “Therefore I hope in Him!”

      We no longer need to lament our death or feel remorse for the loss of this world. These are results of our sin in this life and God has taken away this condemnation through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. We now hope in the Lord with sure confidence because:

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,

      To the soul who seeks Him.

      It is good that one should hope and wait quietly

      For the salvation of the Lord. [Lam. 3:25-26]

Amen

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