Sermon Transcript – Create In Me a Clean Heart

Series C – Ash Wednesday – Wednesday, February 10, 2016 | 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
0:30our Old Testament reading is taken from psalm 51.
0:39have mercy on me o God according to your steadfast love
0:45according to your abundant Mercy blot out my transgressions Wash Me thoroughly
0:51for my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin for I know my transgressions and my sin
0:56is ever before me against you and you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight
1:04so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment behold
1:10I was brought forth in iniquity and incended my mother conceived me behold you Delight in truth and the
1:18inward being and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart me with hyssop
1:25and I shall be clean Wash Me and I shall be whiter than snow
1:33let me hear joy and gladness let the bones that you have broken rejoice
1:40hide your face from my sins blot out all of my iniquities
1:45created me a clean heart oh God and renew a right Spirit Within Me
1:51cast me not away from your presence and take not your Holy Spirit for me
1:57restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit
2:04then I will teach transgressors your ways and sinners will return to you
2:10deliver me from blood guiltiness oh God oh God of my salvation and my tongue
2:16will sing aloud of your righteousness O Lord open my lips
2:22and my mouth will declare your praise for you will not Delight in sacrifice
2:29or I would give it you would not be pleased with the burnt offering the sacrifices of God
2:36are a broken Spirit a broken and can try it hard oh God you will not despise
2:43do good to Zion and your good pleasure build up the walls of Jerusalem then you will delight and write
2:49sacrifices and burnt offerings and in whole burnt offerings then bowls will be offered on your altar
2:56in the name of Jesus amen my sermon is taken from our Psalm today
3:02from our old testament’s text psalm 51. now we all know the historic context of
3:10this particular psalm this Psalm if you look in your Bible and the note right above where verse 1
3:16begins notes the fact that this is the psalm that David wrote after Nathan the
3:23prophet confronted him with his sin and which sin would that be the sin of adultery of Bathsheba
3:31of murder of Uriah the hittite and I got to say this
3:37one of the things that I am a strong advocate of is rightly understanding how scripture
3:43points us to Christ the Psalms are slightly different
3:48and what I mean by that is is that rather than read yourself as David in
3:54the story of David and Goliath it is good for us as Christians to learn how to pray as David has prayed
4:01and so rather than focusing in on what David did I think this Lenten tide as we
4:09begin the season of Lent I admonish you to make this Psalm your
4:22and the reason for that is because as your pastor I know that you are all like me
4:30sinners I know that many of you
4:36you struggle to obey God and you daily fall short
4:44I know that some of you come to church on Sunday and you hang on the very words of the absolution
4:52I forgive you all of your sins and it’s not because you are a hypothetical sinner
5:00because like me you are a real sinner you’ve committed real sins
5:07and there’s several stories in the Bible apart from the gospel
5:13that provides so much comfort for me because I look at those Sinners whom
5:19Christ has forgiven King David in particular and I say to myself
5:28if God can forgive David for that he can forgive you
5:35for that and see the thing is is that
5:40it’s kind of a cockeyed way of looking at things and the reason why it is is that James the half-brother of Jesus
5:46makes it so clear that if we have transgressed even one of
5:53God’s holy commands even one we’re guilty of breaking them all
6:01when Moses came down from Mount Sinai when the children of Israel
6:07decided they were going to rise and revel and play
6:13and they had Aaron fashion for them a golden calf when Moses came down the mountain
6:21which commandment was being broken so flagrantly the first you will have no other gods
6:29before me And yet when Moses threw the stones down
6:34all the Commandments were broken think of that
6:40if you have not yet learned how to pray and really truly cry out
6:47from the bottom of your heart in anguish and shame have mercy on me o God
6:55then you do not understand your guilt you do not get it yet
7:02you will not be able to stand before God and say yeah but I was a good person
7:09promise you that answer will land you in hell
7:14Christ didn’t come for good people he came for sinners
7:20and so tonight I encourage you to take up
7:27the words of this psalm and make them your own prayer
7:33the psalter is the prayer book of the Bible and the older I get
7:40the more the psalter becomes the go-to book for me in the scriptures
7:47when I was young and learning Theology and enjoying the headiness of it the
7:52Epistles and Romans and Galatians were my go-to book
7:58eventually I wanted to tackle and learn and really get to understand the Old Testament and it truly came alive in
8:05understanding that all the stories are about Christ and pointing us to him and what he would do for us
8:11but then when you get to the songs Psalms are a little bit of a different
8:16thing and I’m almost convinced you have to be an older man to be able to pray them or
8:21an older woman you have to have a little bit of life behind you and if you look at your life
8:28it’s a lot like mine look behind you there’s a wake of Destruction
8:38you’re not a victim you have victimized other people
8:44you have sinned against your brothers and sisters your neighbors your children your
8:51husbands your wives and you’ve sinned against God
8:59and it’s not going to stand up before God by saying yeah but I’d really tried really hard I meant well
9:06yeah it’s not that at all you see David committed adultery
9:12and he murdered Uriah the hittite this is most certainly true
9:19but I assure you that all of the sins that you have committed are equally as bad because if you’ve
9:25broken one of The Commandments you’re guilty of breaking them all
9:33so when you tell that little white lie to your neighbor and you justify it by saying it’s a
9:38white lie since when do lies become White
9:43lies well that’s the language of the devil that’s his native tongue
9:49I didn’t realize the devil was able to speak in light speak in white
9:55you justify it I say well it was just a little bit of a lie when you do that
10:02you are guilty of being an idolater a blasphemer a
10:08thief an adulterer a murderer a coveter name the list you’ve broken them all
10:16period and God’s law makes it clear that the
10:22wages of these transgression is not only temporal death
10:30this is my second Ash Wednesday it’s been a year and a day
10:36if you would since why was last here preaching on Ash Wednesday and you know what
10:42I looked in the mirror this morning I said Chris you’re looking you look a year older maybe two
10:49but I’m looking across and I’m saying the same thing none of you are any closer to 18 than you were last year
10:56you’re closer to the Grave you’re closer to joining them out in the graveyard
11:04and if you’re like me that thought actually jars you
11:10there have been nights when I’ve woken up in a cold sweat gasping for breath
11:18I’m gonna die someday and I don’t think my experience and my
11:24fear of death is unique to me I think you all have a sinful nature
11:29just like I do that doesn’t want to die
11:36I’ve heard people close to death crying and weeping saying that they
11:42didn’t want to die and there was nothing I could do to keep them from doing it
11:51so this Lenten tide
11:56think hard on your sins you say but Pastor that is really
12:02depressing it’s not going to make me feel good
12:08it’s not supposed to but there’s a method to God’s Madness
12:16there is you remember the story that Jesus tells
12:22about the one the two people who had big debts remember this story let me see if
12:28I can do this from memory Jesus was visiting Simon
12:34the leper also a Pharisee I like to read that text and say well if Jesus was at
12:39his house for dinner he was Simon formerly known as the leper but he was also still a Pharisee right
12:45and as The Story Goes Jesus is there at Simon’s house
12:52and they don’t offer him anything to wash his feet or to care for his basic needs they’re quite rude to Jesus Simon
12:59is Simon the former leper right and she
13:05crashes the party we all know who she is she’s the town
13:13she’s the one with the loose morals she’s the one rumored to be making money on the side
13:20on her back everybody knows about her
13:25right she walked into Kong’s finger some of you might be tempted if she sat
13:32on this side you might have want to move over there because whatever she got you don’t want to you don’t want to get it right
13:40she crashes the party she crashes the party
13:45and she runs straight to Jesus
13:51and the text says that she washed his feet with her hair
14:01because she was weeping and we know what kind of weeping this is
14:08who of you have never weeped like this I have weeping is a terribly ugly thing to look
14:15at and it’s just darn awful to experience you can’t see anything
14:23and not only is water flowing from your eyes mucus is running out of your nose
14:32it’s just a mess and this is the days before Kleenex right
14:38so what does she do with her own tears she washes Jesus feet
14:44and then in what had to be ugliness upon ugliness
14:50she takes her hair and dries Jesus’s feet
14:56with her hair Simon inside of his heart is thinking
15:02this if Jesus knew who was touching him
15:07if only he knew who was touching him he would not be allowing this to happen
15:15Jesus knowing what’s going on inside of his heart says to Simon Simon
15:22there was a certain man who lent money out to two people
15:29one huge amount of money the other not so much
15:37and here’s the explosive sentence neither of them could pay
15:43neither of them could pay the debt back that’s the sentence that you can almost
15:49see Simon three days later washing his dishes wait whoa wait a second Jesus said none
15:57of neither of them could pay because clearly one of the people in this Parable was referencing her
16:05and the other was referencing him and Jesus asked the question so neither of them could pay so the man canceled the
16:12debts of both who do you think will love him more
16:19and Simon rightley Says the one who had the greater debt canceled
16:26right Jesus makes the point the one who is forgiven much
16:32loves much
16:39now I want you to think about this we don’t like penitential Seasons we
16:44just don’t they’re dreary they’re a drudgery they seem negative even the songs are all in these minor
16:51Keys good night how are we supposed to get through this Lenten tide I feel like
16:57we’re going on a March through a dirge right there’s a reason for this
17:04and the reason for this is quite simple because the one who is forgiven much
17:10loves much and the reality of the situation is this
17:16you have been forgiven much
17:22if you don’t love much it’s not because you haven’t been forgiven much it’s
17:27because you have yet to really understand the magnitude and the depth of your own sin and just how much you
17:33have been forgiven penitential seasons
17:40are times for us to get honest with ourselves and with God put down the pretense
17:48quit the pharisaical prayers I thank you God that I’m not like other people that I vote Republican
17:54right that I am against gay marriage
18:00there’s nothing wrong with that but when you hold up your righteousness up to God as if somehow that earns you brownie
18:06points you still have yet to understand the basics of the Christian faith
18:13so let’s make this prayer Our Own and work our way back through the text
18:19now psalm 51. have mercy on me o God
18:24according to your steadfast love according to your abundant Mercy
18:32blot out my transgressions Wash Me Wash Me thoroughly for my iniquity
18:40and cleanse me from my sin
18:46and that’s what we all need for I know my transgressions
18:52and my sin is ever before me it’s a constant companion
18:58and know this that at the end of the day regardless of who you’ve sinned against what David says here is true against you
19:06God and you only have I sinned and done what
19:11is evil in your sight
19:16so that you might be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment
19:22those are important words how many of us when we approach God’s
19:27law somehow try to blame our faults on God
19:34this might be a little simplistic but God if you hadn’t have made your law so difficult to keep I’d actually be a
19:42pretty good person I don’t know if you’ve ever thought that thought I hope you haven’t unfortunately
19:48I have but against you and you only have I sin
19:54Lord and you are justified in your words and you are blameless in your judgments I’m the one who’s at fault
20:02and you know that part that we confess in our corporate confession the words are
20:09I confess that I am by Nature sinful and unclean
20:16we get that idea from these words Behold I was brought forth in iniquity
20:23and in sin did my mother conceive me David was not saying that his mother was
20:29a woman of loose morals that’s not what he’s saying what he’s saying is that when he was
20:38conceived in his mother’s womb he was conceived a sinner
20:43and that’s all of us by the way all of us we have inherited Adam’s sin
20:51the reason why we sin is because we are sinners in sin
20:57did your mother bring you forth did my mom bring me forth
21:03behold God you Delight in truth in the inward being
21:08and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart and he does that here every week when we
21:15come to hear the Lord’s words and so he says Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean wash me and I shall be
21:22whiter than snow who’s doing the washing in this washing
21:28are you washing yourself are you scrubbing yourself
21:33this isn’t a shower this is a bath
21:39these are the Waters of your baptism and God is the one doing the washing
21:45right let me hear joy and gladness let the bones that you have broken rejoice
21:54and that’s the idea is that God breaks our bones with the law
22:01so that we will rejoice because what a terrible fate it is for the person who never feels the guilt
22:09associated with the law of God who goes about their life thinking that
22:15good is evil and that evil is good and goes
22:21blissfully on to their grave never having God’s law break their bones and crush them and show them their need for
22:26the savior that’s not a blessing that is a curse
22:32hide your face from my sins God blot out all of my iniquities
22:38and then we sing this we’ve sung this many times here since I’ve come created me a clean heart oh God
22:46renew a right Spirit Within Me notice that David is right in his prayer
22:51David doesn’t look inside of himself and say I’m just going to try harder God this time I’m going to clean up my ACT
22:58God this time I’ve I really mean it Jesus
23:03it’s not what he says he pleads with God
23:09Lord created me a clean heart because David knows if God is not the one who creates that clean heart within you you
23:15are incapable of doing it yourself creating me a clean heart o God and
23:21renew a right Spirit Within Me cast me not away from your presence and take not
23:26your Holy Spirit from me restore to me the joy of your salvation
23:34and uphold me with a willing spirit and see that’s the idea when God creates
23:40a clean heart in you and he does this he circumcises your heart in the waters of baptism when God creates a clean heart
23:47in you through his word through his body and blood received in the Lord’s Supper
23:53through the absolution he restores within you a willing spirit
24:00a spirit that does good works because it has been
24:06created and renewed by God it is a gift given
24:11not something to be striven for as if something how you earn it
24:17and then he says this after God has done all of these things then I will teach transgressors your
24:23ways and sinners will return to you indeed the one who knows the gospel
24:31and the wonderfulness of the Forgiveness of sins can’t help but go and tell
24:37everybody in Christ there is forgiveness it in God there is Mercy
24:45and by doing this transgressors and sinners return to God
24:50why scripture is clear that it’s God’s kindness
24:57his Mercy forgiveness his love that leads us to repentance
25:04so deliver me God from blood guiltiness o God of my salvation and my tongue will
25:11sing aloud of your righteousness O Lord you open my lips
25:16and then my mouth will declare your praise for you will not Delight in sacrifice or
25:22I would give it you will not be pleased with a burnt offering but listen to this
25:28the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit
25:33a broken and contrite heart o God you will not despise
25:40that’s the spirit of Lent the whole purpose
25:46is that together we look into God’s law and it’s crushing
25:53work breaks us knowing this that the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a broken and
25:59contrite heart God does not despise these things no this is exactly what it means to humble
26:06yourself so do good in Zion and your good pleasure build up the
26:11walls of Jerusalem and you will Delight in right sacrifices now let me end with the traditional Old
26:18Testament texts for Ash Wednesday Joel chapter 2
26:23starting at verse 12. yet even now declares the Lord
26:29return to me with all of your heart return to me with fasting return to me
26:37with weeping and return to me with mourning rent your hearts not your
26:43clothes return to the Lord your God
26:50for he is gracious and he is merciful he is slow to anger
26:56and he’s abounding in steadfast love he relents over disaster who knows
27:02whether he will not turn and relent and leave a blessing behind him a grain offering and a drink offering for the
27:08Lord your God so blow the trumpet in Zion consecrate a fast call a solemn
27:14assembly gather the people consecrate the congregation assemble the elders gather the children even the
27:21nursing infants let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber between the vestibule and the altar let
27:28the priests the Ministers of the Lord weep
27:33let them weep and say spare your people O Lord
27:39and make not your heritage or reproach and a byword among the Nations why
27:45should they say among the peoples where is their God then the Lord became jealous for his
27:50land and had pity on his people the Lord answered and said to his people behold I am sending you grain wine and oil and
27:58you will be satisfied and I will no more make you a pro reproach among the
28:03Nations so let us this Lenten tide Rend our hearts not our garments
28:10let us with the people of Israel of old
28:16with the congregation weep and say spare your people O Lord
28:22spare us and make not your heritage make not your
28:29people of Kong’s Winger reproach or a byword among the Nations
28:34have mercy on us O Lord and with God
28:40we hear these words again return to the Lord your God
28:47return for he is gracious he’s merciful
28:52he’s slow to anger he’s abounding in steadfast love and he relents over disaster and you
29:00want to know what the disaster he even relents over the very fires of hell that our own sin has earned each and every
29:07one of us me included twice he relents over disaster why
29:15because Jesus is going to the cross he’s going to the Cross to bleed and to
29:22die for your sins to suffer in your place
29:27so that you might live so that you might be made the righteousness of God or as our epistle
29:35text said God made him Christ to be sin who knew no sin so that you
29:42you yes you Janet yes you Robin yes you Don yes you Dwayne
29:50yes figurines yes you Renee even you Arlene
29:56so that you can be the righteousness of God
30:02with him there is Mercy therefore he is feared in the name of
30:08Jesus amen
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