Sermon Transcript – Abide in Christ’s Word

1 Year Lectionary – Reformation Sunday – Sunday, October 30, 2022 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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Time StampTranscript
0:22The holy Gospel
0:29According to Saint John the eighth chapter foreign
0:39Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him if you abide in my word you are
0:46truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free
0:51they answered him we are offspring of Abraham and we’ve never been enslaved to anyone how is it that you say you will
0:59become free Jesus answered them truly truly I say to you everyone who commits
1:04sin is a slave to sin the slave does not remain in the house forever the son remains forever so if the sun sets you
1:12free you will be free indeed this is the gospel of the Lord in the name of Jesus
1:18Amen Jesus says if you abide in my word you are truly my disciple you will know
1:25the truth and the truth will set you free now as we get into our Reformation
1:31Day sermon today you’re going to note I don’t like reminiscing about the victories of the past because the
1:37Reformation must continue today so you’ll note that the work isn’t completed but all of that being said let
1:44me kind of frame our sermon this way I remember like the first iterations of
1:49video games I remember in the 70s being exposed to pong for the first time and
1:55absolutely being floored by the great advances in technology that had taken
2:00place shortly after that we had asteroids and Pac-Man and things like this but I remember when the first
2:06gaming consoles became available for in-home purchase and there was a game that was available called punch out all
2:13right and punch out was a boxing game and it was all about you being a boxer
2:19getting better skills and climbing the ladder but at the very top of the ladder was Mike Tyson and you know in punch out
2:27you would go Toe to Toe in the boxing ring with Mike Tyson and let’s just say
2:33that the first time and the second time in the third and Fifth and 10th and 20th times that you did this it was a
2:39bloodbath I’m mean he would pound you into the ground so fast but if you were
2:44diligent and worked hard at your button pressing skills you could eventually defeat Mike Tyson and it was gloriously
2:52stupid okay what is it with Humanity that we have these weird delusions
2:59regarding having fantasies of doing things Way Beyond what is humanly
3:04possible let me put it this way if I were to actually have a boxing match with Mike Tyson at the proverbial two
3:12hits would take place he would punch me in the face I would be knocked out and then my body would hit the floor okay
3:19same with you by the way the only chance I ever have of beating Mike Tyson is if
3:25he suffers from osteoporosis in a nursing facility and when he’s not looking then I punch him but if that
3:32happens I’m going to jail because that’s called assault okay so you’ll note that when it comes to humanity
3:39we have these weird fantasies these weird ideas and they are not based in
3:46anything that can be even remotely described as true and this is the same
3:52regarding our condition as Fallen creatures as Sinners we somehow have
3:59this stupid idea that listen we don’t really need to listen to God’s word I
4:05mean that’s kind of an old book it’s a little crusty I mean after all how relevant could it be these are a bunch
4:11of people who are living in a Judean Wilderness back in the ancient days before toothbrushes and they probably
4:17all had bad teeth and bad breath how much could we really listen to them right this is how we talk and so we say
4:23we’ve got a better way and always and again when somebody comes up with a better way it is ridiculous the reality
4:31is this Jesus talks about the need for the son to set you free and that’s him and
4:38here’s the reason why because each and every one of us like it or not it’s true we were born dead in trespasses and sins
4:46we were born under the Dominion of darkness and the devil is real he’s not
4:52a pretend you know mythological creature this Devil is a tyrant and his desire is
5:00to send you to hell you guys remember the four spiritual laws pamphlet The People is to hand out an evangelism
5:06right it begins with the words God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life I think that there’s something
5:11wrong with this approach by the way I I think we need to come up with like the four demonic spiritual laws law number
5:17one the devil hates you and he has a terrible plan for your eternity and law number two you are powerless to do
5:24anything about this it doesn’t matter how hard you try how moral you decide
5:29that you’re going to be I this year I’m not going to cheat on my tax as much as I did last year well good on you and do
5:36you expect to gain Heaven from this right okay well I’m I’m gonna call my
5:41mom this Mother’s Day way to go I’m gonna talk to her for 30 whole minutes oh you are so selfless
5:48right we are utterly delusional in thinking that somehow our paltry
5:54sin-filled good works can somehow free us from the slavery that we are under as
6:01it relates to sin death and the devil we need a true champion to set us free but
6:07our delusion even goes farther than that we’re so deluded we think we know better
6:13than God how God operates okay now there’s this weird thing that happens
6:19from time to time in my marriage okay have you noticed that in marriages that sometimes you disagree with your spouse
6:24okay it’s it’s prone to happen it just is one of these things but there’s this
6:29funny thing that my wife does and that is is that while my wife and I are having a disagreement my wife starts
6:37telling me what I’m thinking and feeling and I go wait wait time out here no this
6:44is not how this works flag on the play wrong okay when we have a conversation
6:49here’s how this is supposed to go you have your thoughts your feelings your ideas I have my thoughts my feelings and
6:58my ideas you don’t get to play both sides of the conversation right this is just not going to work and so she says
7:04okay I’m sorry please tell me what you’re thinking and then the conversation changes right but when it comes to God we play that same game all
7:12right we take the Bible and we just well you know kind of put it over here or
7:17maybe put it on a shelf over there and it collects dust but all the while we’re
7:22very religious and Pious in our thinking and all of a sudden these weird ideas creep up and we get this idea we know
7:29better than what God has revealed in his word as to what it is that we we need to be doing what we need to be thinking
7:35what we need to be believing and what we can what we should be doing and always and again it steers us straight into the
7:42ditch of God’s law all right or man-made law when I was in Nazarene there were
7:48very important rules that we had to follow do not dance do not drink do not smoke do not chew do not go with girls
7:55that do right and you look in the Bible and you sit there and go well Jesus drank well yeah but and here’s the thing
8:04that happens as soon as you start playing this game where you think you know better than God when the Bible contradicts what you say we need to be
8:11doing it always is then confronted with the words yeah but forget the yabbits
8:17all right yabbits are a bad thing yabbits show that you don’t even have the truth okay Christ drank yeah but no
8:26no yeah but okay so your rule you cannot drink is wrong all right well if you you
8:33don’t drink then you’ll never get drunken if you never get drunk then you’re obeying God’s law and then you’ll be saved oh you’re trying to be saved by
8:39your works now are you right and then you’ll note that during the time of the Middle Ages well the Bible itself was
8:47locked up now I don’t mean that it was chained to The Altar and no one was allowed to read it it was at the devil’s
8:54far more clever of an adversary than that people could come to church they
9:00can go to church and they can hear the Bible read but not in their language
9:08right so they go to church and they hear
9:14Spirit who sanctu right this is what they hear okay because the Bible’s
9:19locked up in Latin and without the Bible the voice of God telling us what Christ
9:27has done for us who disappears Jesus does what also disappears The Gospel
9:34itself but don’t think that because the Bible is locked up that somehow that’s the only way to cause people to not hear
9:40God’s words oh we are Awash in Bibles today I mean you go to your local
9:46Christian bookstore do they even have those anymore go to you can buy Bibles of Plenty you can buy the New
9:52Living Translation the ESV the nasb do you have a hankering for the old NIV oh
9:57what if he like King James right you can buy Bibles aplenty but here’s the thing
10:04good luck reading it good luck understanding it
10:10and if you’re prone to uh watching Trinity Broadcasting Network or imbibing
10:15on a lot of Christian programming today are you going to hear anything substantive about what God’s word really says
10:21nope not at all it’s as if we need a suddenly we need the suddenly of the
10:26Gospel to come back sorry my apologies for those of you who know what I’m talking about but here’s the thing we
10:33don’t know better than God and here’s where we have to pay attention to this each and every one of us according to
10:39scriptures has the law of God written on our hearts and that law of God convicts
10:46us and it rightly condemns us each and every one of us even if you have never
10:52set foot in a Christian Church you know that you’re going to stand before Jesus someday and have to give an
10:59accounting of your life it always fascinates me that when I’m having insomnia and I go all right I’m going to
11:04flip through Tick Tock or something right so I’m flipping through Tick Tock and my Tick Tock stream is bizarre okay
11:11it’s just absolutely bizarre but there was I was recently doing this flipping through Tick Tock and there was a woman
11:17who was suggesting something that was overtly immoral
11:22and she said I kid you not her aside she stopped and she paused and she says man I can’t believe I said that I really
11:28need Jesus you know you’re not wrong you know
11:34you’re not wrong when you do that we all recognize that we’re going to stand Before the Throne of Christ someday
11:39whether you attend church or not and you’ll note that that thought doesn’t
11:45generally result in people feeling Comfort it doesn’t result in them feeling like I have a peace in my heart
11:52I just know that things are going to go so well on the day of judgment that’s not where you’re going to find your
11:58peace regarding that and it’s in this regard I think we should consider the assigned psalm for today now I didn’t
12:05read it out but the assigned Psalm 4 uh for the Reformation Sunday is Psalm 46
12:14and it begins with words that we are all very familiar with you may have even
12:20seen this on a Christian bumper sticker or maybe heard Joel Osteen take these words and try to weave it into an entire
12:27sermon but out of context here are the words God is our refuge and our strength
12:33a very present help in times of trouble now we’ve all heard these words but I
12:40want you to consider this that those words are spoken in the context of
12:46looking forward to the day when Jesus returns in glory to judge the living and
12:51the dead and God being a refuge and a strength and a very present help and trouble is
12:58not talking about necessarily here in this context the difficulties and the
13:04struggles that we go through in this life but the trouble that comes upon planet Earth on the last day when Jesus
13:11returns and he’s riding a horse swinging a sword and the world is being judged by
13:19him and brought to an end it’s a fearful thing and so God is our refuge and our
13:25strength a very present help in trouble Psalm 46 says therefore we will not fear
13:31though the Earth gives way though the mountains be moved into the heart of the
13:36sea though its Waters Roar and foam though the mountains tremble at its
13:42swelling you’ll note the cross references to Psalm 46 and this portion of verses 2 and 3. this is talking about
13:49the days the day when Christ returns it is a day of dark Darkness not light it
13:54is a day of Terror you know and I I think about you know some of the natural disasters we’ve witnessed In Our
14:01Lifetime and you’ll note that as as big as those were I remember the you know
14:08the the earthquake that took place in the late 80s in California during uh
14:13during the World Series and uh and watching you know the the destruction you know the bridges that
14:20fell and the buildings that collapsed and the people who died and the fires that were started because of that large
14:26earthquake that happened and we were watching the World Series when that all
14:31went down but what is described here in Psalm 46 2 and 3 is makes those natural
14:40disasters seem like nothing and the reality is is that those natural
14:46disasters that we experience oftentimes create within us fear and anxiety what
14:53if something like that were to happen here are we capable of having an earthquake here in Minnesota I don’t
14:59know but you get the idea all right but God is a present help and he’s our
15:06refuge and strength on the day of his return and then these words comforting
15:11says there is a river whose streams make glad the city of God the holy habitation
15:18of the most high God is in the midst of her she shall not be moved and you’ll
15:25note he says God will help her his church his bride when the morning Dawns
15:31and here the psalmist picks up some of the same themes that are revealed in the Book of Ezekiel when Ezekiel is out
15:38measuring the the temple of God there in Jerusalem and there’s a river flowing
15:43for from the Throne of God and flowing down into the Jordan and even the Dead Sea with this river flowing in it is no
15:50longer a dead sea but a living sea the picture is what quite comforting but this is a picture then of the ascaton
15:58and so God is there to help us when the morning Dawns and gives us
16:03shelter and a fortress in order to withstand the storm
16:08we recognize that the wrath of God is something that we all need to soberly really consider yes it’s true God acts
16:16in Wrath he does so when provoked he does so when uh when he is slow to anger
16:22patient abounding instead fast love and he continues to endure provocation after
16:28provocation after provocation while men continue to take his word cast them cast
16:34it behind them and then continue on with their sin and iniquity without ever repenting at some point God’s patience
16:42wears out and he says fine you don’t want to be forgiven I’m going to give
16:47you what you want because if you don’t want to be forgiven by God which you there is only one other
16:54option and that’s his Wrath but God is there to help his church the
17:00scripture says the Nations rage the psalmist continues the kingdoms they
17:06taught her God utters his voice the Earth melts
17:14what is coming is terrifying God’s true true wrath against sin him finally
17:23settling accounts and basically when God settles accounts with people who do not
17:29want to be forgiven it’s a terrifying thing and even Peter in second Peter talks about how the Earth itself will
17:35melt in the in the atoms and the material of the universe will come to a
17:41cataclysmic end as God destroys our present Earth with fire it is a
17:47terrifying picture but here in the midst of this terrifying picture we again hear words of comfort the Lord of hosts he is
17:55with us the god of Jacob he is our Fortress and here if we could pull on an
18:02old theme in the scriptures there’s the theme when God acts in judgment that he always finds a way to
18:09shelter to protect to hide if you would his his Believers from his wrath you
18:17think all the way back to the children of Israel in slavery in Egypt they weren’t able to save themselves and God
18:23sent Moses and God delivered them from slavery and the Final Act of God’s
18:29judgment against Egypt and against Egypt’s false god was the curse of the
18:35killing of the firstborn it’s a horrible curse if you think about it and yet God made it very clear that he
18:42was not going to make any distinction between Egypt or Israelite the only thing that will distinguish those who
18:48perish from those who survive would be whether or not they listened to his words
18:54and slaughtered a lamb and put the blood of that lamb over the doorpost of their
19:00home God acting then in judgment against Egypt sent the destroyer in to kill the
19:06firstborn of man and Beast and when the Destroyer came to a door and found the
19:12blood of a lamb over it the Destroyer passed over and went to the next house
19:18and if the Destroyer found a home where there was no blood over it these were those who did not trust the words of
19:25Yahweh who did not heed his command who would not listen and bend the knee or
19:31believe and Obey and as a result of it the Destroyer went in and all the first
19:36born of man and beast in that house perished in a moment you can think of that particular plague
19:43as the first fruits of the Judgment that is to come but in the Judgment that is to come it is not merely the firstborn
19:49that will perish it is all of humanity male female firstborn second born 10th 12th it
19:58doesn’t matter Christ is bringing it all to an end how then can we survive well
20:03God our God himself is our Fortress and he has hidden us inside of Christ and
20:10this is why we must listen to Jesus’s words we must be attentive to the words
20:15of scripture so that we are not deceived by our own sinful nature and our own
20:21high opinions of our religious piety but instead that we would listen to the
20:26voice of Christ and heed his word and Obey as he has called us to obey but in
20:32this type of obeying the obedience that saves us is not like The Obedience of the law The Obedience that saves us is
20:38The Obedience of the Gospel which calls us to trust to have faith in Jesus to
20:44believe that he has won our salvation for us in in its totality and that he is
20:49our Fortress he is our Salvation he is our Rock he is our deliverer her and
20:55here’s the thing you can’t find that message anywhere else
21:00if you were to read the Holy books and I put air quotes there of all the religions of the world you read the holy
21:07book of Islam the Quran there is no gospel there in fact an overt denial of
21:14Christ’s crucifixion is in the Quran and an overt denial that he is the
21:19actual Son of God who bled and died for the sins of the world you will not find it the gospel in the bahad Vegeta you
21:27will not find it in the Zohar or the Kabbalah you will not find the gospel in
21:32any other place than in the scriptures that God’s holy spirit caused men to
21:37write and Jesus’s apostles also contributed this is the only place where
21:43we can hear of God’s great love for sinners like you and like me even though
21:48each of us have earned God’s Wrath and rightly should fear his wrath on the last day we as Christians have
21:55confidence we have peace and mercy not because of a feeling not because we
22:00believe that we’ve done enough but because the scriptures reveal that God has done enough for us
22:08and this is the gospel that got lost during the Middle Ages but God had mercy on us all and allowed that papered over
22:16gospel to be again brought to the Forefront and we need that good news now
22:22more than ever more than we can possibly imagine and it’s in this context and
22:28that we consider our epistle text Paul in Romans 3 says this now we know that
22:34whatever the law says the Torah of God it speaks to those who are under the law
22:40so that every mouth may be stopped and the whole world may be held accountable to God the law it was written by God God
22:49is the common author of The Law of the prophets the histories of the Old Testament as well as the writings of all
22:54the apostles found in the new and God speaks to us through his law and we do
23:00not like what it says about us in the world we live in the greatest sin that
23:05you can commit against a person is to defend them
23:10well go ahead be offended it doesn’t change the fact you are a sinner
23:17you are ungodly you are incapable of saving yourself when we look at God’s
23:22holy Ten Commandments you haven’t kept any of them and you sit there and go well I haven’t
23:28committed adultery I haven’t murdered a person really really you think that you said well I haven’t plunged a knife
23:34into someone’s back oh really that’s as if that’s the standard right have you ever hated your brother been so
23:41angry at him he wanted to pinch his head off yeah you’re a murderer
23:47and what about that hot chick that you saw walking down the street or at Walmart the other day right had lustful
23:53thoughts towards her some hot guy you’re an adulterer God’s law condemns us but don’t let that
24:01condemnation fool you we need to hear these words of God’s condemning law
24:07because through works of the law not one single person will be justified or
24:14declared righteous in the sight of God it is through the law comes the knowledge of sin and that knowledge is
24:20necessary you are not ready to hear the gospel until you have heard the law and
24:26it has undone you in Romans 4 it says Christ died for the
24:32ungodly and until you see that you are in that group
24:37you’re not ready to hear the gospel but when the gospel comes
24:43it gives us true comfort and peace despite the condemning and rightly condemning word of God of God’s law you
24:50see by the law comes the knowledge of sin
24:55and always and again I love where the scripture puts the butts the butts always erase the thing in front of it
25:02and here’s the butt but now the righteousness of God has been
25:08manifested apart from the law although the law and the prophets they bear
25:13witness to it Paul knew full well that the scriptures are the voice of God and
25:19that the law and the prophets they all bore witness to the righteousness that was going to come to each of us and that
25:25is God’s righteousness it’s Christ’s righteousness the thing that he clothed
25:30well sinners like you and I who have taken our robes and well mucked them up
25:36with the filth of sin God takes our sin puts it on Christ he Bears our iniquity
25:44on the cross he suffers in your place he is your Passover Lamb so that the wrath
25:51of God will not sweep you away he Jesus is your Fortress to protect you in the
25:56day of trouble the day of Christ’s return because you have received from
26:02God the gift of Christ’s righteousness but the righteousness of God it has been
26:08manifested apart from the law and the law and the prophets they bear witness to it this is the righteousness of God
26:13that is through faith in Jesus Christ it is for all who believe there is no distinction
26:19all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and if you say yeah but
26:25here you need to be quiet yeah but I’m not that bad silence please
26:32all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God that includes you and
26:38Sinners then are Justified declared righteous by God’s grace as a gift
26:46let the law condemn you let the law rail against you it is speaking the truth about you you are wise to say yep that
26:53law is right I stand guilty before God but but God has given me salvation and
27:00Justified me as a gift rather than give me what I deserve
27:06giving you what you deserve so that we are Swept Away in the Deluge of God’s
27:11Wrath God has given us the gift of full pardon and peace all for the sake of
27:17Jesus Christ through the Redemption that is in Christ Jesus God himself put Jesus
27:23forward as an atoning sacrifice so that his blood is then to be received by
27:29faith and this is to show God’s righteousness because in his Divine for parents he had passed over the former
27:35sins it was a show his righteousness at the present time so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who
27:41has faith in Jesus so then what becomes of our boasting it’s excluded
27:47by what kind of law by law of Works no by the law of faith for we hold that one
27:54is justified by faith apart from works of the law and you’ll note then these words that I
28:01just read are found only in the Bible and you ignore these words to the Peril
28:08of your own soul if you seem to think that you know better than God how you can be saved
28:13then you well you might as well think that you can beat Mike Tyson in the boxing ring it ain’t gonna work
28:20but Jesus says these words if you abide in my word you are truly my disciples it
28:26is through God’s living active word that is sharper than a double-edged sword it is through his his words inspired by God
28:34the Holy Spirit whom the Holy Spirit carried along men as they wrote what God
28:40wanted them to write from Moses through the prophets to the apostles it is God’s
28:45word it is Christ’s word that speaks to us and God wants us to know the truth and it is only the truth that will set
28:52us free false Doctrine false piety false
28:57pretenses and nonsense will not set us free these are the tricks of the devil
29:03to give us a false hope rather than the true hope that we have that is in Christ so put away your speculations put away
29:10your Pious opinions put away this idea that somehow you can placate the wrath
29:16of God with your good works and your obedience you are delusional if you think so
29:22it is only through the word of Christ that we hear the gospel and then through that word abiding in it we then know the
29:29truth and it is the truth that sets us free because Jesus says I am the truth
29:36truly Jesus says everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin the slave does not remain in the house
29:43forever only the sun remains but if the sun sets you free you will be free
29:48indeed so brothers and sisters this Reformation day the work continues
29:53the lies of the devil continue to be poured into the visible church and so
29:58many people have been LED astray and are deceived but we all need to hear these words of Christ so repent come back to
30:07the scriptures hear the word of God abide in Christ’s word here is the words
30:13of comfort and peace and the Forgiveness of all of your sins and nowhere else will you find these words and these
30:19words are the truth and it is through the truth that they bear witness to the death and resurrection and Ascension of
30:27our Lord Jesus Christ for the Forgiveness of your sins it is through these words that the truth then sets us
30:33free these are good words as we will sing in our closing hymn Lord keep us steadfast
30:40in your word let those who buy deceit or sword you know let them not have sway
30:46over us curb those who by deceit our sword would rest the Kingdom from your son and bring to Nadal he has done let
30:54that be your prayer and hear the words of Christ and listen to none other in the name of Jesus Amen
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