The guilty, naked sinner!
from E. P. Rogers sermon, "The Syrian Leper"
It is extraordinary how different are the
conclusions of FAITH, from those of REASON.
Once REASON came along, and she heard a man cry,
"I am guilty, guilty!" REASON stopped and
said, "The man
is guilty- God condemns the guilty- Therefore this man
will be condemned." REASON went away and left the man
condemned, ruined, and quivering with fear.
Then FAITH came and heard the same cry, rendered
more bitter by the cruel syllogism of REASON.
FAITH stopped and said, "The man is guilty- Christ died for
the guilty- The man will be saved." FAITH's logic was right!
The man lifted up his head and rejoiced.
REASON came one day and saw a man 'naked',
and she said,
"He does not have a wedding garment on- Can naked souls
appear before the judgment of God? Should they have a place
at the supper of the Lamb? That man is naked- He must be
cast out, for naked ones cannot enter heaven."
Then FAITH came by and said, "The man is naked- Christ
wove a robe of righteousness- He must have made it for the
naked- Christ would not have made it for those who have a robe
of their own- That robe is for the naked man, and he shall
stand in it before God." FAITH's logic was right and just!
REASON once heard a man say that he was righteous and
good. REASON saw him go up to the temple and pray--
"I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else!
For I never cheat, I don't sin, I don't commit adultery, I fast
twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income."
REASON concluded that this man was better than others,
and that he would be accepted by God in the day of judgment.
But REASON's logic was wrong, for REASON then saw a poor
sinner who stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes
to heaven as he prayed. Instead, this man beat his chest in
sorrow, saying, "O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner."
REASON saw this poor sinner, not the proud
Pharisee, return home justified before God!
The logic of FAITH is to argue 'white' from 'black',
while the logic of REASON argues 'white' from 'white'.