Sermon Transcript – Collision of Truth and Lies

1 Year Lectionary – 5th Sunday in Lent – Sunday, April 3, 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 according
0:29to saint john the eighth chapter [Music]
0:39jesus said to them which uh one of you convicts me of sin if i tell the truth why do you not
0:45believe me whoever is of god hears the words of god the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of god
0:52the jews answered him are we not right in saying that you are a samaritan and have a demon
0:57jesus answered i do not have a demon but i honor my father and you dishonor me
1:02yet i do not seek my own glory there is one who seeks it and he is the judge truly truly i say to you if anyone keeps
1:08my word he will never see death the jews said to him now we know you have a demon
1:14abraham died as did the prophets yet you say if anyone keeps my word he will
1:19never taste death are you greater than our father abraham who died and the prophets died
1:26who do you make yourself out to be jesus answered if i glorify myself my glory is nothing it is my father who
1:33glorifies me of whom you say he is our god but you have not known him i know him if i were to say that i do not know
1:40him i would be a liar like you but i do know him and i keep his word your father
1:45abraham rejoiced that he would see my day he saw it and was glad so the jews said to him you’re not yet 50 years old
1:52and you’ve seen abraham jesus said to them truly truly i say to you before abraham was i am so they picked up
2:00stones to throw at him but jesus hid himself and went out of the temple this is the gospel of the lord in the name of
2:06jesus today in our gospel text we see the collision between the religion of
2:12works and truth the religion of grace religion of works it’s a satanic
2:18religion it takes on many forms but the religion of works is all about exalting
2:24oneself quite demonically so if you think about it you go well i’ve got to
2:29save myself so here’s what i’m going to do i’m going to get busy and i’m going to clean myself up i’m going to be make
2:37myself into a shiny new penny i’m going to work hard i’m going to well keep all
2:43of my new year’s resolutions i’m going to give money to the poor i’m even going
2:48to clean up my act and watch what i’m watching on tv you know all this kind of stuff i’m going to do that and at the
2:54very end of it all god’s going to owe me eternal life
3:01to me be all praise and glory at the end of that
3:07but that’s not that is not the true religion and jesus
3:12christ is not about showing you all how you can save yourself by your good works
3:18and jesus he comes in mercy and grace but he also comes in truth and so you’re
3:24going to note that the religion of works like the devil likes to operate in two
3:30primary categories lies or slander and murder it’s funny
3:36how this works when shown to be false
3:42it becomes slanderous and murderous and so i’m going to back up a little bit
3:47into our text i like the context here because it’s so good so i’ll start at verse 21. if you want to follow along in
3:53the gospel of john chapter 8 jesus said to them i am going away you will seek me
3:59and you will die in your sin where i’m going you cannot come jesus is saying this to unbelieving jews
4:05he’s not saying this to pagans he’s not saying this to atheists he’s saying this to very religious people but religious
4:12people nonetheless who are relying on their good works in order to save them
4:19so the jews said to him will he kill himself since he says where i’m going you cannot come he said to them you are
4:26from are from below i’m from above you are of this world i’m not of this world
4:32i told you you would die in your sins for unless you believe that i am egoi me
4:40greek that’s the divine name unless you believe that i am you will die in your sins well see if they believe that jesus
4:47was god in human flesh that he was the i am of exodus 3 then you know what they would be doing they’d be listening to
4:53every single word that jesus was saying and hanging on every one of them writing
4:58them down as best as they could writing them onto their hearts but they don’t believe that jesus is god they deny this
5:05fact and jesus is quite clear unless you believe that i am you will die in your sins
5:11yeah jesus is none other than god the son second person of the trinity in human flesh
5:17so they said to him who are you jesus said well just what i’ve been telling you from the beginning i have
5:23much to say about you much to judge but he who sent me is true and i declare to
5:28the world that what i what i have heard from him now jesus here is referring to the father he says he declares to the
5:35world what he’s heard from the father now the text says they didn’t understand that he had been speaking to them about
5:41the father so jesus said to them when you have lifted up the son of man
5:47then you will know that i am he or i am and that i do nothing on my own
5:52authority now interesting point here the unbelieving jews even at
5:58christ’s crucifixion and the miraculous things that took place while jesus was
6:03being crucified you know the sun going dark for three hours then when jesus lifted up his voice and
6:11cried out to telesty into your hands i commit my spirit then what happened the
6:17great earthquake the curtain in the temple from the holy of holies to the holy place was torn into from top to
6:24bottom great things happened did they even then believe that jesus was god no
6:29but you know i do find it fascinating that in fulfillment to this the ones who recognized that jesus was the i am were
6:36none other than the roman soldiers who were crucifying him if you think about it this way the roman
6:42soldiers who were tasked with the job of crucifying fellows which you think you have to think is a really grim job
6:49they they knew how it went they’d done it a few times they know the standard procedure it’s a terrible way to die by
6:55the way terrible way because once they nail you to the cross in order to breathe you have to pull yourself up
7:03and then you had to let yourself down to you know and then to exhale and
7:08it’s in most of the fellows who died via crucifixion died via expixiation you know they basically wore out jesus went
7:16when he was finished he chose when he was going to die and what did the roman soldiers say surely
7:22this man was the son of god so christ’s words were fulfilled when you have lifted up the son of man
7:28then you will know that i am and that i do nothing on my own authority but i speak just as the father has taught me
7:35and he who sent me is with me he has not left me alone i always do the things
7:40that are pleasing to him and as he was saying these things many of the jews then believed in him so jesus then told
7:47the jews who believed in him and understand there’s two groups here the jews who believe in him and the jews who don’t the jews who
7:54believe in him are listening the jews who don’t well they’re still being cantankerous right so he says to the
8:01jews who believe in him if you abide in my word you are truly my disciples and you will
8:08know the truth and the truth will set you free here’s where i have to make a point if you abide in my
8:15word you are truly my disciples a disciple is a learner a disciple is a learner and well if you’re a learner
8:22that means there’s a curriculum let’s pretend for a second that i was so inspired by the movie rudolph the
8:28red-nosed reindeer that i’ve decided that i’m going to seek after a third career and i’m going to become a dentist
8:36right well in order to become a dentist i have to go to dental school don’t i
8:41which would mean i have to read dental texts now let me make this clear
8:47i avoid dentists at all costs i never want to see one again as long as i live
8:53i don’t even want to be one i don’t want to want to be in their presence i mean i don’t consider them despised of the
8:59earth like accountants and the attorneys but they’re kind of up there you know what i’m saying but all of that being
9:04said if i never read a dental text and i didn’t really apply myself to my
9:11homework and didn’t pass the tests and then afterwards set up my own dental
9:17shop would you all come to visit me would you all want me to examine your teeth not on your life
9:24right i would be the most inept dangerous dentist in all of grand forks
9:31might even get arrested for practicing dentist dentistry without a license but
9:36all that being said why is it then in the church why is it in the church that people who call
9:44themselves christians attend churches where god’s word is piecemealed out tiny
9:50little specks of it a half a verse here part of a sentence there out of context
9:56and god’s word barely makes an appearance at all one of the things i’ve heard from people who attend our
10:02services online and this is a common refrain they hear more bible in one
10:08service at kong’s winger than they do in an entire year at some of these large big box mega churches
10:16how can you say you are a disciple of jesus when you don’t abide in the words
10:22of christ and by the way there’s only one place you can go to find those words it’s the bible
10:28all right that’s the only place all right if you are if you abide in my word you are truly my disciples you will know
10:35the truth and the truth will set you free um ah men to that and what do we
10:40need to be set free from slavery to sin death and the devil which are not our friends
10:47these are this is an unholy trinity that’s conspired to drag us into hell with the demons and the devil on the
10:53last day so the jews answered him uh we’re offspring of abraham
10:59and we’ve never been enslaved to anyone how is it you say that you’ll become free
11:06now this shows something here and that is that they don’t understand the scriptures
11:11they’ve clearly heard the text regarding the exodus but they have not been able
11:16to kind of piece together what it all means and i find this fascinating because if you understand how judaism
11:22works one of the things that they make very clear in their annual rehearsing of
11:28the exodus in the in their passover celebration is that they recognize that
11:35each generation of jews they are participants in the exodus as well
11:41there is no generation of jews since the exodus that hasn’t participated in the exodus if that’s the case then then if
11:49you’ve participated in the exodus then you have been slaves the question is slave to what so note here they are not
11:57properly abiding in the words of christ already because they’re not rightly understanding the biblical text
12:03so jesus answered them truly truly i say to you everyone who practices sin is a
12:09slave to sin the slave does not remain in the house forever the son remains forever
12:16so if the son sets you free you will be free indeed and he says i know that you
12:22are offspring of abraham yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you and you’re going to note here
12:29who’s jesus talking to jews and there’s this weird thing that runs around in the
12:34visible church today that somehow being genetically jewish gives you some kind of an inside track with god
12:41jesus is saying i know you’re sons of abraham yet you seek to kill me there’s a huge disconnect here and that’s the
12:48point he says i speak of what i’ve seen with my father you do what you’ve heard from your father
12:55and boy that kind of has a that has an interesting air to it
13:00is jesus insulting us a little bit here so they answered him abraham’s our
13:07father jesus said to them no no no no no if abra if you were abraham’s children
13:13truly his children i’m not talking genetically here i’m talking having the same faith as abraham because wasn’t
13:19isaac the son of the promise right if you were abraham’s children you’d be doing the works abraham did
13:26but now you seek to kill me a man who’s told you the truth that i
13:33heard from god have you noticed that the world seems to be less and less tolerant
13:38regarding truth if you remember it was just a little while ago we had kyle mann from the
13:44babylon bee for our fundraising event since then just a few weeks ago the babylon bees
13:50twitter account has been suspended you want to know why because
13:56they dared to call a man a man [Laughter]
14:02just think about that for a second here you know even though the fellow likes to wear dresses and stuff like that that doesn’t
14:09make you a woman i’m sorry that’s just not how that works biology cannot be changed by wardrobe
14:15changes in psychology you are a man because god has made you a man you are a woman because god has made you a woman
14:21and so the babylon bee whose twitter account had more than a million followers was locked and suspended
14:28for daring to call a man who dresses in women’s clothes a man
14:36isn’t that how the devil offer isn’t it no toleration of truth whatsoever
14:42so you’ll note jesus ran into that too you know if jesus were on twitter they would have canceled him so he says you
14:49seek to kill me a man who’s told you the truth that i’ve heard from god this isn’t what abraham did you’re doing the
14:54works your father did and there it is again your father who is he referring to
14:59so they said to him we weren’t born of sexual immorality we were we have one father even god and
15:06you’ll note here they’re trying we’re we’re sons of abraham jesus said nah and well you’re doing the works of your
15:12father and they’re well we’re not illegitimate children here what’s going on we have one father even god and
15:18there’s the irony because the god they claim to be believe in is standing right
15:23in front of them and telling the truth to them and they’re like can’t hear you right that’s what they’re
15:30doing so jesus said if god were your father you would love me for i came from god
15:37and i am here i came not of my own accord he sent me why do you not understand what i say
15:44it’s because you cannot bear to hear my words you are of your father the devil
15:51your will is to do your father’s desires he was a murderer from the beginning and he does not stand in the truth because
15:58there is no truth in him [Music] wow that’s quite the
16:05it you’ll note if you believe that jesus never said anything blunt
16:12firm that could offend somebody you are gravely mistaken if the jesus you
16:17worship looks like that little precious moments jesus i can’t stand that guy you know you know who wouldn’t harm a
16:22butterfly that ain’t jesus right so you’re going to note that jesus when
16:27it comes to false teachers to those who are destroying people’s
16:33eternal souls jesus stands his ground and he lets them have it with the truth
16:39and he says the hard things that need to be said he says this for our benefit but he also says it for theirs because he
16:46wills for them to repent and to be forgiven you are of your father the devil when he lies he speaks out of his
16:52own character for he is a liar and the father of the law of lies because i tell
16:57you the truth because i tell you the truth you do not believe me one of the things i always
17:03get asked is how do you know that you’re right right because you know isn’t that
17:08isn’t that really arrogant you know you you think that christianity is true that jesus is the only way how do you know
17:14you’re right it’s real simple because every other religion out there relies on
17:20lies and they enforce their lies murderously
17:25yet it’s just the truth it’s absolutely the truth in fact i can always tell a false teacher because they’re twisting
17:31up the word if a teacher in the pulpit is fluent in speaking lies and you sit
17:37there and go well what he just said isn’t what the bible says
17:43well there’s a reason why he’s speaking parcel mouth all right little harry potter reference there he’s got the got
17:50the tongue of the serpent you know back in his teeth and that’s how he’s speaking to people
17:55you are of your father the devil jesus says so because i tell you the truth you don’t believe me and now jesus decides
18:02to go all objective on them all right which one of you convicts me of sin
18:07come on let’s hear it can you point to any sin that i’ve committed at all
18:13this is objective truth today’s people call this hate facts so you know jesus is giving the hate fact
18:20here uh you can’t convict me of any sin can you you’ve never seen me once do anything wrong which of you convicts me
18:27of sin so if i tell you the truth why don’t you believe me whoever is of god hears the words of god
18:34the reason why you don’t hear them is you’re not of god
18:42again he’s talking to religious people who read the bible well out it comes because remember the
18:49devil’s a liar and a murderer so the jews answered him are we not right in saying that you are a samaritan and you
18:55have a demon all right so there’s the explanation right it’s all it’s a slanderous
19:00narrative the reason why jesus is doing the things he’s doing because he’s secretly a samaritan and the term
19:08samaritan well i hate to say this is uh pretty much the jewish equivalent of the time
19:13of the word that we can’t say that begins with n that they used down in the south back in
19:18the times of segregation you say the word samaritan and it’s invoking that kind of racism are we not
19:24saying that you’re a samaritan and that you have a demon out comes the slander can’t defeat the facts can you jesus is
19:31speaking truth you can’t convict him of sin you got nothing on him which means you need to listen to him and repent no
19:38we’re not going to repent we’re just going to slander you so he says i don’t have a demon i honor my father you
19:44dishonor me yet i don’t seek my own glory there is one who seeks it he’s the judge
19:50and here comes some great words for us truly truly amen amen i say to you if
19:57anyone keeps my word he will never see death
20:03now we listen to these words with faith and boy is that a great gospel promise
20:08truly truly i say to you anyone who keeps my word he will
20:14never see death now the last person we buried here was
20:19arlen stengrim right that’s the last person and let’s be blunt christ told the truth he didn’t see
20:24death in fact i remember getting a phone call from victor okay over at deboer right after he’d
20:31picked up arlen’s remains and he said you know i just want to let you know pastor that i picked up arlen today and it’s like this
20:39is the first time you’ve called me to tell me that well yeah okay all right and he goes and he really had a peaceful
20:44look on his face i go okay and he says yeah as a
20:50mortician that’s kind of an interesting thing i just want to let you know thanks okay
20:56but here’s the thing we know that jesus is telling the truth you will never see death how do i know
21:05fast forward just a little bit to the book of acts in the book of acts chapter 7
21:12we have the account of the first christian martyr the first man to die
21:18for his confession of christ his name is stephen right and he was telling the truth about
21:24christ and he was able to stand his ground against the jews who didn’t believe in him and their response was we
21:32will we will rock you all right sorry i just had to put that in there
21:38so they stoned him and as he is being stoned to death
21:44here’s what happens he said behold
21:50i see the heavens opened and the son of man standing at the right hand of god
21:57he’s about to die he doesn’t see death he sees jesus
22:03you see the difference and so they cried out with a loud voice and they stopped their ears and they
22:09rushed together at him and then they cast him out of the city and they stone him and the witnesses laid their
22:14garments at the feet of a young man and as they were stoning stephen he called out lord jesus receive my spirit this is
22:20the lord jesus he was already seeing with his own eyes standing
22:26standing at the right hand of the father and then following to his knees he cried out with a loud voice lord did not hold
22:32the sin against him and then he went and when he said this he fell asleep
22:38jesus is right all who believe in him who keep his words they will never
22:44see death you won’t see death you’ll see jesus well at this point the unbelievers just
22:49think well now we know you’re looney tunes so they said we know that you have a demon and then you can just kind of
22:54hear the snark in their voice listen abra jesus abraham died
23:00so did the prophets and what’s their point abraham heard the voice of god he
23:06died the prophets gave us the bible and they died are these not the words of
23:11god they died so yet you say if anyone keeps my word he will never taste death
23:18are you greater than our father abraham who died and the prophets who died who
23:23do you make yourself out to be
23:29it’s a great text so jesus answered if i glorify myself my glory is nothing it is my father who
23:35glorifies me of whom you say he is our god but you have not known him
23:40i know him if i were to say that i don’t know him i’d be a liar like you but i do
23:46know him and i keep his word your father abraham rejoiced that he would see my day he saw it and was glad
23:53and here jesus adds information to the biblical text because there ain’t no text in genesis that says abraham saw
24:00the days of the messiah and rejoiced that he saw him there’s no text that says that it’s not in the torah it’s not
24:06in the psalms it’s not anywhere in the prophets this is extra biblical information which jesus could have only gotten had
24:13he known abraham and of course he knew abraham if when you read the genesis account who do you think melchizedek was
24:21right who do you think it was that said to abraham look up at the stars of the sky
24:27count them if you can your descendants will be more numerous than these
24:32jesus said of course he knew abraham so the jews
24:38still not listening to jesus who had already said if you do not believe that i am you will die in your sins he said
24:45they said you are not yet 50 years old you’ve seen abraham
24:50and here comes amen amen i say to you before abraham was
24:57i am this one hits the light bulb goes on they ask the
25:04question who are you making yourself out to be and all of a sudden it hits
25:09you’re claiming to be oh so what do they do they picked up stones to throw at jesus
25:16but can anyone take jesus’s life no jesus says i lay it down on my own
25:22accord you can’t take the life of the son of god he can only give it and so he hid himself and went out of
25:28the temple so what does it all mean what does it all mean i think a good way to think about this
25:34is is that we come back to some of the salient points one of the salient points had to do with keeping the words of
25:40christ guarding them holding them true the one who abides in the words of jesus
25:46that those are the ones who are truly jesus’s disciples in the third commandment we are admonished admonished
25:54to hold god’s word sacred to gladly hear and learn his word but
26:00how many of us turn a cold ear to god’s word or look at our schedule you know
26:06hang on a second here church yeah no i don’t think i’m gonna be able to work that in today um i’ve
26:12i’ve got gardening to do it’s warm outside you know how many of us do things like this or you sit there and go
26:18ah you know i was up late last night and i i don’t really i or you know i’ll i’ll go to church at christmas
26:25maybe easter yeah i’ll twice a year that that’s that’s all and man i you know i
26:30go to church but that stupid rose bro guy he preaches forever okay
26:37[Laughter] right
26:43so you’ll note then we oftentimes
26:48are guilty of these exact same things that christ is talking about of not wanting to hear his word of not
26:56truly being attentive to it of being cold and tepid even with our prayers and
27:01we not only that we have this uncanny ability with our own sin
27:06to hear a biblical text god says don’t do that and we take god’s word we go
27:13and then we do the thing it says not to do this is a scary thing right this is a scary thing but here’s
27:20the good news that jesus christ and we hear this in in our epistle text he is our great high
27:27priest he has died for all of our breakings of the third commandment the first command all of the commandments
27:33all of the ways in which we have not truly heard god’s word let it sink in
27:39allow the holy spirit to have that work in us where he produces within us true
27:45sorrow and contrition for our sin and as well an equal and above measure of
27:51confidence in the forgiveness of sins in christ and then also through the holy spirit producing us
27:58the fruit of the spirit in good works and love towards neighbor each and every one of us there isn’t a
28:03sunday that goes by where we do not have to say i have sinned against you and thought
28:09word indeed and so you’ll note then that abiding in the words of christ isn’t merely looking
28:15at the law and saying yeah i’ve screwed up because christ here is confronting
28:21self-righteousness abiding in the words of christ is truly believing that he is the one who bore
28:27your sin on the cross that his blood is the blood that sanctifies you eternally that his
28:33sacrifice is a once for all sacrifice that atoned for all of your sins so that
28:39you can have peace with god so that every single one of us rather than getting what we deserve instead we are
28:46given what christ promises eternal life and that we will never
28:52see death his words are always true and so this
28:59fifth sunday of lent let us repent of all the ways in which
29:04we have been inattentive to god’s word in our thoughts in our words and our deeds and let us have confidence growing
29:12confidence in fact daring confidence to believe that as the scriptures say as the words
29:18of Christ say that we are truly the sons of God adopted by by grace through faith
29:23and that we then have peace with God because of this Jesus who
29:29went toe-to-toe with the self-righteous that day in john 8 in the name of Jesus
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