1st Sunday in Lent – Sermon 198

9th June 2011 Off By Derek Buckthorpe

Bible References :

Holy Communion, 10.00am, CW –

13th March 2011

Prayer to start
May the words of my lips and the thoughts of our hearts be graciously received for the Glory and Honour of our Lord Jesus ChristAMENIntroduction“For just as by – the one person’s disobedience – the many were made sinners – so by the one man’s obedience – the many will be made righteous”the last verse of our NT lesson – from Paulthrough the disobedience of the first Adam in the garden of Eden – sin and death has spread to us all – but because of the obedience of the second Adam Jesus Christ – forgiveness and life – is now freely available to us all –
Do we believe it ?or do we think – we are innocent until proven guilty?
First Point

 Our OT reading describes what is commonly known as the “fall” – the temptation and breakdown in the relationship between Adam and Eve and God in the garden of Eden –

Many of us read the OT as if it were the “bad old days” – before Jesus – but the first three chapters of Genesis in particular – give us a glimpse of how God intended His creation to live – in benevolence – abundance and obedience – that is – until it was marred by human sin –

God made Adam – which in Hebrew – means “mankind” – in His own image or nature – to enjoy an intimate relationship with Him – He gave us freedom to choose – dominion over the rest of creation – and even though we have been – given so much – we are still dependent on Him –

Eve was tempted by the serpent – with a doubt and a denial – doubt – whether the word of God would mean what it says – denial – that judgment would follow – They found the gifts that God provided more attractive than God Himself – and took it upon themselves to decide what was good and what was evil –

After eating the fruit the couple were uncomfortable together – they covered themselves up – felt ashamed – both tried to put the blame elsewhere –

They had been warned – that the day they chose to disobey they would die – and immediately their relationship with God died –

God’s punishment is spelled out in graphic terms in the rest of Chapter 3 – Adam’s created task would remain – but it would be a trying and bruising effort – that would continue until his death – when he would return to dust from which he had been formed –

the loving relationship that God wanted with Adam was broken by sin – and sin became part of human nature – spreading to the next generation –

and their bid for moral independence – and attack on God’s sovereignty – would set the scene – for the rest of mankind – on a life that would try to ignore – or even deny that God exists –

We have all helped to make this world – the place it is – we have been destructive – to the environment – to ourselves – to those who come after us – our sins leave their mark – both on us as individuals and on our culture –

The heart of the problem is that we often don’t recognise our guilt – and we plead innocence instead of guilty –

we all have – a considerable overdraft of sin – and we have to face up to it honestly – we need a fresh start – a new beginning – we need rescuing – some one to break sin’s power over us –


Point 2

And such is God’s love that He sent His only Son Jesus Christ – to rescue us – to show us how to begin again –

“the word became flesh, He made His home among us and we saw His glory – such Glory as befits the Fathers own Son – full of grace and truth”

His baptism completed – our Gospel reading shows Jesus going into the wilderness – and taking on the tempter –

The temptations He faces are the fundamental ones – that wreck our lives –

1) to use our gifts selfishly for ourselves:

why not turn stone into bread – if you are famished and you can do it? – we might say –

but Jesus’ special gifts are given to bring people to God – and not to provide Him with His breakfast –

2) to achieve happiness by our own plans and not God’s way

the people had been looking for their deliverer for more than 700 years – and wanted a knight in shining armour – a political and military leader that would rid them of the Romans – and thats what the tempter was trying to persuade Jesus to become – he wanted Jesus – to do the spectacular – and to forget God – and worship him –

3) to use God to make others admire us

the tempter dangles the apple of being – as wise or – as powerful as God – in front of Him – just as it had been dangled in front of Adam and Eve –

But here as in the other two cases Jesus is the victor –

Jesus quotes from Scripture – from Deuteronomy – from the story of the Israelites in the wilderness – they like Adam failed God – and was disobedient –

But each time Jesus answers – He reaffirms His commitment to living only off God’s word – and to trusting God completely – loving and serving Him – alone –


Point 3


God sent Jesus – to show us how to make a new start –

Jesus became a man – for our sakes – and was sent to die a criminal’s death – on the cross – for our sins –

through His death on the cross – and resurrection – a new seed of life was sown – that would enable our sins to be forgiven – and enable us to be reconciled again to God –

Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection – we can approach God through Jesus – and experience that intimate personal relationship – that God so desires

Paul uses the word “one “ eleven times in our NT reading – and presents Adam and Jesus – as heads of the old and new humanities –

Whether we believe there was a real Adam and Eve or think it was just an inspired story – which explains why our relationship with God was spoiled – is not important – which ever way we look at it – the story tells us a lot about the side effects of self rule – about temptation and about God and the importance of obedience –

From our very beginnings we have had a choice to make – to choose the way of the world – or to be obedient to God’s ways – to follow our natural instincts – or to follow the instincts of Christ –

In life we should ask ourselves – what would Jesus do ? – He not only taught about the life that God wants us to lead – He actually lived it – and showed us what God is like – that God’s love and Grace are immense – and available to us – here today

Jesus regenerates us by His spirit – and with that regeneration comes faith – and freedom –
freedom from fear – freedom from ourselves – freedom from others – and freedom from sin –




Lent is a time of preparation and challenge – and in life we are faced with different kinds of choices –
As we begin our Lenten regeneration – we need to look to Jesus for help and direction –

Jesus was tested for our salvation – He showed us what we must do – to overcome our human frailties

– to resist temptation – and trust in the Father –
to seek help and guidance from the Scriptures – to depend on the Holy Spirit – and Jesus Himself –

there is only one way to freedom – one Saviour -and one hope for sinners –

through the one man on the cross we have the gift of forgiveness and the promise – that we too will be lifted up and become one with Christ
Prayer to Finish

In the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit