SERMON OF THE WEEK -October 30, 2011
- SERMON OF THE WEEK
October 30, 2011
Next Sunday is "Koodosh Eetho" Sunday. It is the beginning of the church calendar year.
Gospel reading for Sunday is from Mathew 16:13-20. " 13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
14They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
16Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ,[a] the Son of the living God."
17Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it.[d] 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[e] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[f] loosed in heaven." 20Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ."
Message: Koodosh-Eetho means sanctification of the church. It is the process of becoming holier by taking divine properties of God. Man does not become divine, but in Christ he can partake in divine nature. It restores God's image in man. It is in close union with God that the image is restored..
As the church year begins, we are to reflect on the sanctity and grandeur of the church. The church is founded, sustained and sanctified by God. According to the doctrines of the church, each believer is suppposed to be a rock of faith and such faithfuls constitute the body of the church. It is in communion with God that brings moral perfecion in man. For the church, it is the ability to produce and secure holiness in its members. On this Sunday, the faithful attempt to become holier by restoring God' image in close association with Him.
Church and its Foundation: Church is God's creation and design. It is God's method of providing spiritual nurture for the believer and the community of faithful through which the gospel is proclaimend and God's will is advanced to every generation.
The English word "Church", according the Webster's dictonary, has originated from the Greek word "kuriakos", meaning "belonging to the Lord" and came to designate the place where God's people met for worship. So the church is "a group of people called out to a life belonging to the Lord and regularly gathers with the intention of worshipping, discovering and doing the will of God." The church is the influencing agent for God.
In the gospel, Jesus and his followers entered the district of Caesarea Philippi. There Jesus looked at the disciples in a moment of reflection and asked, "Who do men say that I am?". The disciples began sharing with Jesus what they have heard from other people. "Some say you are Elijah, oters say John the Baptist, still other, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." Many people in the area spoke of Jesus as a prophet, teacher, holy man or a spiritual leader. However, people did ot consider him as the Son of God.
Then Jesus asked the disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" That's where the truth about Jesus' divinity is revealed. Peter answered, "You are the messiah, son of the living God.' Jesus was delighted to hear Peter's answer. Then Jesus said to Peter, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for it was not revealed to you by man, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are the rock, and on this rock I will build my church."
Jesus recognized Peter's faith that Jesus is the messiah and the son of the living God. Jesus was saying this truth was revealed to Peter by the holy spirit. Jesus says it is on this rock, meaning Peter's faith, that Jesus' church will be built. The gates of hades, meaning the power of evil, will not be able to overpower God's hold on His people.
Peter's response that, "You are the Christ - the annointed one, savior, redeemer, the son of the living God" is the foundation of the church.. When Peter said he is the Son of God and savior of the world shown in the flesh, Jesus affirms the spirit of God was in Peter to have said it correctly. This is the foundation of faith upon which Jesus built his church.
The Church was founded by God in the person of Jesus Christ. Our Lord named Peter the future leader of the church, when he said to him "Thou art Peter (Rock), and upon this rock I will build my church. I will give you the keys of the kigdom of heaven. (Mathew 16:19)
Rev. Dr. V Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil