Wednesday, 23 January 2013

What shall I do?

I love the pithy sayings of the Desert Fathers such as Anthony who had this amazing ability - a little like Jesus - to encapsulate great truths in small sentences. Here's one of my favourites and a good outline for a three point evangelistic sermon:

Pambo said to Antony, "What shall I do?"
Antony said, "Do not trust in your own righteousness. Do not go on sorrowing over a deed that is past.
Keep your tongue and your belly under control."

1. "Do not trust in your own righteousness."  The Gospel clearly reminds us that because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and no one can save themselves but must throw themselves, in humility, on the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8).
2. "Do not go sorrowing over a deed that is past." Jesus said "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Matthew 4:17) We enter the kingdom repenting and then accepting the forgiveness that Jesus gives. This means that "as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12
3. "Keep your tongue and your belly under control." We then have to go on from there and "work out
(y)our salvation in fear and trembling." (Philippians 2:12)

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