Dean’s Lent Addresses 2017: Sin – all fall short of the glory of God

On this page you can find details of the first of the Dean of Melbourne’s Lent Addresses 2017, “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done” – Knowing Jesus Christ: Finding Salvation.

You can read the readings Dean Andreas reflects on in his talk, and you can watch his talk.

When you have done so, you may wish to use the questions for group reflection our congregations are using for their Lent discussion, and the ‘thought for the week’ for your personal reflection. You may wish to conclude by praying the prayer used at our Lent discussion.

Readings for the First Sunday in Lent:

You first may wish to read the three Bible readings on which this talk is based.

You can click on each to read them in the NRSV version used at St Paul’s: Genesis 3.1-7: The Fall of AdamMatthew 4.1-11: The Temptation of Jesus, and Romans 3.21-26: All fall short of the glory of God.

Dean’s Address:

A transcript of the address may be read here.

Questions for Group Discussion or Individual Reflection:

  1. Reflecting on Dean Andreas’s sermon and our readings today, how would you explain “Sin” to someone who had never heard the term? Is there a difference between “Sin” and “Sins”?
  1. What did Paul see as signs of sinfulness in the Roman church? Do these signs exist in our Christian community today?  How does Paul say sin is overcome?
  1. How is Paul’s teaching lived out in our lives today?
  1. Paul teaches that it is through God’s grace and forgiveness that we can be made whole again. What does “Grace” mean in this context?
  1. On Ash Wednesday, when we are marked with ash, the priest says, “Turn away from sin, and be faithful to Christ”. How do we “turn away” from sin?  How can we “be faithful to Christ”?

A Question for Personal Reflection During the Week:

Dean Andreas’s sermon referred to our Gospel reading and the temptation of Jesus in the time immediately after His baptism.  Jesus, the Son of God was tempted and we are told by one of the Gospel writers that the evil one returned to Jesus at other times to tempt him.  “Respectable” people in today’s society don’t often discuss the reality of temptation.  The temptations Jesus faced were subtle and meant to trip him up.  How does temptation affect you?  How do you deal with it?  Are you turning away, and turning to Christ?  If this is a struggle for you, should you speak privately with one of the clergy or a trusted friend about it, in order to be supported?

A Prayer at the end of your Study Time:

God our Father, we thank you for your grace, which is given so freely to all who believe.  We thank you for your Son our Lord Jesus Christ who died so that we might be forgiven for our sin, and can receive eternal life.  During this Lenten time, help us to daily turn away from sin and turn to Him who strengthens us through the power or the Holy Spirit.  Give us courage to share with those around us the wonderful news that sin can be forgiven, and new life is available to all.  These things we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

© The Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne, 2017