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“A Firm Confidence,” 2 Timothy 4:3-8

Grace, mercy, and peace be to you through our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen.

The basis for today’s sermon comes from those few words from St. Paul the Apostle to Timothy, where he writes, 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing (2 Timothy 4:3-8).

With these words, St. Paul writes to Timothy, his spiritual son in the faith (i.e. 1 Timothy 1:2). St. Paul the Apostle knew that his death was approaching. He recognized that his days were numbered (Psalm 90:12). He knew that he could not escape his own death, but with confidence, he wrote to Timothy of what he was sure.

In confidence, he declared, 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

From where had St. Paul the Apostle obtained such confidence? From where had St. Paul, even in the midst of facing his own death, such certainty that he was able to face death head on, positive of the crown of righteousness awaiting him, positive that he had kept the faith, sure that he had finished the race, and in unwavering faith declare, I have fought the good fight?…

11.01.26FuneralSermon.GenevaBennett.pdf

“Keeping the Commandments,” Matthew 5:21-37

"By the words of today’s Gospel, Jesus dispels the myth that anyone can keep the commandments outwardly according to the Father’s will, for to keep the commandments outwardly means also and first to keep them inwardly, which no one can do. But all the more does this truth extol Jesus Christ as the keeper and the doer of the commandments. Jesus held no bitterness or hatred to anyone, only true, agape (sacrificial) love, even toward those who crucified Him on the cross, even towards us, that we have life. Jesus had and has a pure heart, desiring only our good, and He is faithful—always—to His Word and promise. And this He demonstrated, not with extra oaths and meaningless vows, but with the shedding of His blood on the cross, even that which is poured out, for you, for the forgiveness of sins."

Mt05.21-37, Epiphany 6 Sermon, 2.13.11.pdf

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