FROM THE DESK OF THE ARCHBISHOP AND APOSTOLIC HEAD
His Grace Sir Dr. Godfrey Gregg
Another day in the Lord to give praise and thanks for the sparing of our lives. Through all the changing scenes of time in trouble and in joy, let this be your song of praise to Almighty God.
The God whom we adore has rescued us and brought us out in this perverse and wicked generation to be His sons and daughters. Hallelujah
I want to look at St. Matthew chapter 5 this morning. Let’s read verse 11, “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Praise the Lord and may Thy word be blessed in all things.
I will try by the Grace of God to help us understand the passage we have just read. Trusting God to impart the knowledge to know and to teach.
Blessed – Happy.
Persecute – To pursue after in order to overtake.
Revile – To abuse; attack with evil words.
When men shall revile you, and persecute – The persecution mentioned in the preceding verse comprehends all outward acts of violence – all that the hand can do.
Blessed are ye when men shall revile you – Reproach you; call you by evil and contemptuous names; ridicule you because you are Christians. Thus, they said of Jesus that he was a Samaritan and had a devil John 8:48; that he was mad John 10:20; and thus they reviled and mocked him on the cross, Matthew 27:39-44. But, being reviled, he reviled not again 1 Peter 2:23; and thus being reviled, we should bless 1 Corinthians 4:12; and thus, though the contempt of the world is not in itself desirable, yet it is blessed to tread in the footsteps of Jesus, to imitate his example, and even to suffer for his sake, Philippians 1:29.
All manner of evil against you falsely – An emphasis should be laid on the word falsely in this passage. It is not blessed to have evil spoken of us if we deserve it; but if we deserve it not, then we should not consider it as a calamity. We should take it patiently, and show how much the Christian, under the consciousness of innocence, can bear, 1 Peter 3:13-18.
For my sake – Because you are attached to me; because you are Christians. We are not to seek such things. We are not to do things to offend others; to treat them harshly or unkindly, and. to court revilings. We are not to say or do things, though they may be on the subject of religion, designed to disgust or offend. But if, in the faithful endeavor to be Christians, we are reviled, as our Master was, then we are to take it with patience, and to remember that thousands before us have been treated in like manner. When thus reviled or persecuted, we are to be meek, patient, humble; not angry; not reviling again; but endeavoring to do good to our persecutors and slanderers, 2 Timothy 2:24-25. In this way many have been convinced of the power and excellence of that religion which they were persecuting and reviling. They have seen that nothing else but Christianity could impart such patience and meekness to the persecuted; and have, by this means, been constrained to submit themselves to the gospel of Jesus. Long since it became a proverb, “that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”
Today we rest assured that we are walking in the steps of Him who has brought us out of bondage and placed us on the solid rock. My brothers and sisters of The Mystical Order I encourage you to stand on the word of God and be faithful in all things. The world will not love you and even some among you. Remember Jesus choose twelve disciples and one of them betrayed Him, one denied Him. Yet Jesus loved them all and to Peter that denied was the one who had the revelation to know who Jesus was. It was upon that Rock the church of the Living God was built, and the gates of hell can never prevail against it. Bless the Lord.
So it is my encouragement to you today that those who are living for Christ will suffer at the hands of many. From within and without it will not be easy but I am praying our faith fail not so we will be able to strengthen our brethren. You will be dragged by others, pulled down but do not give occasion to the devil. Count it all joy when you are persecuted and show your strength. To you the believer will know that all your battles are fought by the Lord.
We will bless the Lord at all times for His praise shall continually be in our mouths. I love you and may Almighty God bless and keep us, may He continue to move This Mystical Order to higher heights, and deeper depths.