Sermon Transcript – Delivered from the Hand of Our Enemies

Series A – Fourth Wednesday of Advent – Wednesday, December 21, 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
0:22Our readings
0:29tonight are taken from the Gospel of Luke chapter 1. in those days Mary arose
0:34and went with haste to the Hill Country to a town in Judah she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth and
0:42when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary the baby leaped in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy
0:48Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry blessed are you among women and blessed
0:54is the fruit of your womb and why is it granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me for behold when the
1:01sound of your greeting came to my ears the baby in my womb leaped for joy and
1:06blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord and Mary
1:13said my soul magnifies the Lord my spirit rejoices in God my savior
1:20for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant for behold from now on all generations will call me blessed for
1:27he who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is his name and his
1:33Mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation he has shown
1:39strength with his arm he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts he is brought down the mighty
1:46from their Thrones and exalted those of humble estate he has filled the Hungry with good
1:53things and the rich he is sent empty away he has helped his servant Israel in
1:59remembrance of his Mercy as he spoke to our fathers to Abraham and to his offspring forever and then Mary remained
2:06with her for about three months and returned to her home now the time came for Elizabeth to give
2:11birth and she bore a son and her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great Mercy to her and
2:19they rejoiced with her and on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child and they would have called him Zechariah
2:25after his father but his mother answered no he shall be called John and they said to her well none of your relatives is
2:32called by this name and they made signs to his father inquiring what he wanted him to be called and he asked for a
2:39writing tablet and wrote his name as John and they all wondered and immediately his mouth was opened and his
2:44tongue loosed and he spoke blessing God and fear came on all their neighbors and
2:51all these things were talked about through all the Hill Country of Judea and all who heard them laid them up in
2:56their hearts saying what then will this child be for the hand of the Lord was with him and his father Zechariah was
3:03filled with the Holy Spirit and he prophesied saying blessed be the Lord God of Israel for his visited and
3:10redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David
3:18as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand
3:25of all who hate us to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His Holy Covenant the oath that he swore
3:33to Our Father Abraham to grant us that we being delivered from the hand of our
3:39enemies might serve him without fear in Holiness and righteousness before him
3:45all our days and you o child will be called the prophet of the most high for
3:52you will go before the Lord to prepare his way to give knowledge of Salvation to his people and the Forgiveness of
3:59their sins because the tender mercy of our God whereby the sunrise shall visit
4:04us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness in the shadow of death to guide our feet into the way way
4:12of peace in the name of Jesus amen
4:18have you noticed that being a Christian can be a dangerous and dicey thing I I
4:24say this because we would be foolish to think that we do not have enemies and
4:30when you list out our enemies it’s vital that you remember one very important
4:36enemy but let’s take a look at the Unholy Trinity shall we the world yep
4:41the world has it out for us have you noticed that in many places around the world that Christians are not permitted
4:48to publicly worship and praise Christ to speak the truth of the Gospel to their
4:55neighbors to call them to repentance and faith in Jesus in fact to quote Ahmed
5:01the Dead Terrorist you do that many people will say I kill you right that’s
5:07how that goes but then there’s another enemy that we’re all very familiar with and that is Satan himself Satan and his
5:13demons yep they have it out for us and wherever a church exists Satan and his
5:22hordes lay Siege to that church and they send in people and operatives
5:27on the inside they attack it from the outside and the let’s just say the
5:33suffering and the persecution never seems to end in fact that’s always how
5:40this works out but then we have this other enemy and here’s the thing that
5:45enemy isn’t out there it’s not Beyond behind a tree on the horizon no this the
5:53enemy is your own sinful flesh which wages war against the spirit of
5:59the Holy Spirit within you and the new person that you are made in Christ in fact Paul says that your old man Wars
6:06against against the spirit in you so that you do not do the things that you want to do uh yeah that war is real and
6:15so you’ll know we have enemies and we need to be very careful uh regarding our
6:21enemies but I want you to consider this that you’ll note then that all of these enemies seek
6:28to disrupt seek to bring to an end to somehow take away our ability to
6:37freely worship God in an unfettered manner
6:43if Satan were bound completely and all of his hordes taken off of the earth and there were no satanic influences
6:51the world would still be there to to keep you from worshiping Christ
6:57and speaking the truth and if the world were bound up and all of a sudden
7:02decided that it was going to go the right direction which I don’t think I
7:07don’t think I can point to a time when that has happened in human history but uh if the world decided it was going to
7:13go head in the right direction I’ll ask don’t worry your sinful flesh is going to wage war in an even more aggressive
7:21manner to keep you from hearing and believing the truth to keep
7:29you from worshiping God in an unfettered manner so you’ll know the life of the Christian here on this Planet under
7:37these circumstances under the curse the life of a Christian is one of
7:43warfare in fact Jesus even says to the religious leaders of his day yeah and in chapter
7:50chapter 23 of Matthew he calls down woes on them same in Luke 11. and listen
7:57listen to what Jesus says about the religious leaders the Pharisees the people who well had kind of snuck in and
8:03taken over the synagogues woe to you you build the tombs of the prophets whom
8:10your fathers killed so you are witnesses and you consent to the Deeds of your
8:17fathers for they killed them and you build their tombs therefore also the wisdom of God said I will send them
8:23prophets and apostles some of whom they will kill and persecute so that the
8:29blood of all the prophets Shed from the foundation of the world may be charged against this generation from the blood
8:35of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the Altar and the sanctuary yes I tell you it will be
8:42required of this generation oh wow so you’ll you’ll note that uh
8:47being a religious leader in the visible Church okay is no guarantee that you’re
8:53on Jesus’s side in fact Satan’s agents uh they always masquerade as angels of
9:00light they are wolves in sheep’s clothing and the one thing they want to get rid of and well that is the gospel
9:08they want to get rid of it all together and they are going to persecute and Hound and drive out any who would stand
9:16for biblical Orthodox truth and a True christ-centered Confession of Faith oh
9:23man and believe me your sinful nature will conspire with them because he
9:28doesn’t want to hear that at all your old Adam and so you’ll note then this last uh a midweek service in Advent
9:37you’ll note that I’m not going to be taking a look at the message of the
9:42Christmas angels when they shout it out and sang glory to God in the highest peace to his people on Earth because the
9:50baby hasn’t been born yet it’s just a little bit early so we we have to deal
9:55with the fact that we’re still in a penitential season and so I’m going to I’m going to call an audible I can do
10:02that as a pastor because there’s no assigned readings for midweek services but I’m going to call an audible because I said I was going to be doing a sermon
10:09series on the Christmas angels but the the Greek word for Angel is ang Halas
10:16and I would note that that doesn’t necessarily mean a Heavenly being an
10:22angle us can also be a messenger when Jesus has the Apostle John writing
10:28letters to the seven churches right to the angel of the Church of Smyrna right
10:33to the angel of the Church of Ephesus right God Jesus isn’t having John right
10:39to to Angelic beings of the spiritual world
10:44he’s having him right to pastors and so you’ll note that in our final look at
10:51the Christmas angels we have two Messengers to consider one is none other
10:56than the Virgin Mary and the second is Zechariah and listen to what they are
11:03saying under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit both of them are uttering things
11:08given to them by God the holy spirit that were so important that they were
11:13set to memory they were written down for us and and when Luke consulted the
11:19eyewitnesses the eyewitness who gave him this information it could only have been Mary herself that that she had put this
11:28so deep in her memory that she would never forget it so that we can continue
11:34to hear it so we consider then when Mary shows up
11:40to help her cousin Elizabeth who’s six months pregnant and she’s an old lady okay old ladies need help period
11:47pregnant old ladies doubly so I would note that probably being pregnant in
11:52your old age cannot possibly be an easy thing I remember when my wife was
11:58pregnant with our three kids she was in her 20s and and each and every time
12:03afterwards I thought oh my goodness that was the most horrible thing ever I can’t believe we decided to do this three
12:10times right but alas you know it wasn’t even easy for a woman in her 20s can you
12:15imagine a woman well past the age of bearing children so Mary shows up and
12:22just like the angel promised Zechariah when when the angel appeared to him in the temple while he was offering up the
12:30the the the the the incense offering of the prayer at the time of prayer that
12:35John would be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb apparently the Holy Spirit can spill
12:41over because now his mother Elizabeth as soon as she comes in contact she herself
12:47is filled with the Holy Spirit and gives a message and we here then she says
12:52these important words in fact you can almost say Elizabeth is another one of these Messengers filled with the Holy
12:58Spirit she exclaims blessed are you among women blessed is the fruit of your womb and why is it granted to me that
13:05the mother of my Lord should come to me now here’s where we have to do a little bit of Theology and it gets a little bit
13:10uncomfortable but alas we’ve got to do this and we’ve got to do it right we’ve got to rightly divide the word of Truth
13:16for a Jewish woman to say say the mother of my Lord You See Jesus is both God and
13:24man he’s not two people he’s one who comes together in one hypostasis he is
13:30the god man he has a divine nature and a human nature and just like we have a body and a soul that come together that
13:38makes the one person that you are the one person that I am so the two Natures of Christ his divine nature second
13:45person of the Holy Trinity and his human nature come together to create the one
13:50person Jesus Christ and he is both God and man and here Elizabeth shouts out
13:57that Mary is the mother of her Lord let me put it another way Mary is the mother
14:03of God now that those are words that make everyone go are you Roman Catholic
14:09no no we’re not but here’s the thing by virtue of the fact of the Incarnation
14:16and God and man and divine nature and human nature coming together to make
14:22Christ you can say things about God that you couldn’t say before he was incarnate
14:29God now becomes hungry God has a mommy God can die that’s all part of the
14:37mystery of the Incarnation so note this it is heresy and the church has always
14:42recognized this it is heresy it’s called the nestorian heresy when you take the
14:48two Natures of Christ and you do not bring them together in one person then
14:54the story in heresy would basically take the human nature and the divine nature and basically apply glue to one side and
15:02then smash them together and and so you’ve got kind of like plywood no no that’s not how the Incarnation works and
15:07that’s not how the hypostatic union works so it is absolutely true that
15:13Jesus is Elizabeth’s well how do I put the mother of of
15:18Elizabeth’s Lord and as a Jewish woman that can only mean one thing God yep same same and so we can
15:26literally legitimately as the church has always confessed we can say that Mary is the theotakas that she’s the mother of
15:34God but when you say that boy and blessed is she who believed that there
15:39would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord and here’s the thing that same blessing comes to us
15:45because all who believe that Jesus Christ has bled and died for their sins
15:51those people are also blessed because God has fulfilled what he has spoken through the prophets through Elizabeth
15:57through Mary and others that he has sent us a savior and that’s what you need
16:03that’s what I need we don’t we don’t need by the way you’ll notice that Jesus wasn’t any good at those TED Talks okay
16:10Jesus isn’t a motivational speaker in fact if Jesus were alive today most
16:16people would say what on Earth is this man getting on about because what was he talking about talking in these Parables
16:22like that that doesn’t make a good a good Ted Talk come on Jesus don’t you
16:27understand we want wisdom we want the wisdom of the world we want to learn how to make our lives better we want some
16:33kind of aha moment that basically feels like our brain has been expanded Jesus
16:39comes along and he says things like well the Kingdom of Heaven It’s Like A sower who went out to sow seed you know and
16:45he’s threw it everywhere through some on the path some on the rocky soil some on the weedy soil some in the middle of
16:51good soil and and and and and people sit there and go
16:56say what right in fact you’ll note that the vision casting leaders in the mega
17:02churches they claim that the reason why Jesus was talking in Parables is because he was the greatest Communicator ever
17:08and the thing is is that they’ve never read the biblical text clearly because it said that Jesus said these things so
17:14that they wouldn’t understand well what good is that well that’s to fulfill the prophecy ever hearing never
17:21perceiving you know they’re always seeing but not understanding yeah and
17:27said huh we need a TED Talk Jesus well that’s not why he’s here right
17:33but then Mary by virtue of the Holy Spirit then she
17:39gives us a message and listen carefully to it because she’s going to talk about
17:45humbleness and poverty and here you’re going to note that this
17:50is a woman who knows poverty again I would remind you after Christ is
17:58born and he’s presented in the temple Mary and Joseph couldn’t even afford the
18:04proper sacrifice they went with the poverty one because they know a thing or two about poverty
18:11and here’s the thing poverty is a result of the fall and you’ll know it is absolutely true that
18:18there are many people who make a lot of money exploiting and manipulating the
18:24system in order to take advantage of others and to oppress them so that they
18:30are rich off the backs of the poor that’s always how it happens okay and
18:37that’s happening to this day if you think that that’s not active in the world today get your head out of the
18:44sand many people who are wealthy they they haven’t gotten their wealth in
18:51upright positive moral ways oftentimes they’ve gotten Wealthy by cutting
18:58corners and doing shoddy work or taking advantage of others keep that in mind so
19:04Mary now one of our Christmas angels she’s a messenger listen to what she
19:09says my soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit it rejoices in God my
19:18savior oh look at that Mary needs a savior alas
19:23there goes the Immaculate Conception out the window right Mary was a sinner like
19:28you and like me and she is rejoicing in God her Savior for he has looked on the
19:35humble estate of his servant for behold now all all generations will call me blessed for he who is mighty has done
19:42great things for me and holy is his name and you’re going to note here that Mary
19:48is the exact opposite of Kim Kardashian all right she is the polar opposite of
19:54any Hollywood Starlet or any in you know beautiful influencer on Instagram she’s
20:02nothing like that at all in fact if you were to take photographs of her at this
20:07time and post them on Instagram she would look like any other poverty-stricken girl
20:14living in tough mean circumstances and by the
20:20world standards listen to me when I say this by the world standards Mary is
20:26nothing have you noticed that we human beings because of sin
20:33we look at somebody’s financial situation and we determine Somebody’s
20:38Worth based upon how much money they bring in and if they’re not bringing home the
20:44bacon they ain’t worth nothing how many marriages have ended in divorce
20:51because well one of the one of the members of the marriage became well
20:58dissatisfied with having to scrape out a living having to work hard not having a
21:06large savings account and things like this and so they’ve left for greener pastures you see by the world standard
21:13Mary doesn’t fit any of this but note here God doesn’t look for Kim Kardashian
21:19who is it that now is the one who’s going to carry Christ in her womb
21:26a humble poor lowly
21:32girl from nowhere
21:38he is he who is mighty has done great things for me holy is his name
21:45his Mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation listen to the
21:50words of Mary that’s right God’s Mercy is for all who fear Him it doesn’t matter what generation you live in I I
21:57know we’re 20 you know 20 20 centuries on almost 2 000 years since Christ
22:02walked the Earth and we’re getting ready we’re just we’re Within Reach of the
22:082000th anniversary of his crucifixion it’s close it’s nearby but note here
22:14God’s Mercy is for us as much as it was for her as much as it was for every
22:19generation of humanity and it is only for those who fear Him God has shown
22:25strength with his arm and note then that God by doing what he
22:31has done choosing to do what he has done he has scattered the proud and the
22:36imaginations of their hearts and this isn’t that always how the proud
22:41are the imaginations the thoughts of their hearts so never never in line with God
22:47and never in line with the truth never in line with what is good right and holy
22:54and so God comes and he just completely shatters all of this Paul makes it clear
22:59in First Corinthians that that the wisdom of God was to show the
23:05foolishness of the wisdom of the world because in God’s wisdom he didn’t choose
23:10what was wise in the eyes of the world he chose what is lowly poor and despise to shame the wisdom of the wise he has
23:18brought down the mighty from their Thrones he’s exalted those of humble estate
23:26he’s filled the Hungry with good things but the rich he sent empty away
23:32he has helped to serve in Israel in remembrance of his Mercy as he spoke to our fathers to Abraham and to his
23:38offspring forever what a great message that Mary has brought to us she also is one of the
23:46Christmas angels Messengers but Zechariah also remember a few weeks ago we talked about Zechariah and
23:52zechariah’s well you know struggled that he had in believing the words of the
23:57Angel and as a result of it he lost his voice for a little bit and then when the son was born he finally
24:05did exactly what the angel commanded and you’ll note that once his tongue was
24:10loosed when he said his name is John then by the power of the Holy Spirit he
24:16too now gives us an important message and here’s where we got to pay attention because this message really is sharp
24:26sharp in against our enemies and remember we have three Satan the world
24:31and our own sinful flesh here’s what Zechariah says blessed be the Lord God
24:37of Israel for he has visited and redeemed his people hmm
24:43and here’s the thing we we in the 21st century have a hard time kind of
24:49grasping just how weighty those words are God himself has visited him redeemed
24:56his people it’s a big deal if you want to kind of get a glimpse of how powerful
25:02this is you can kind of get at it via analogy if you’ve read The Chronicles of
25:08Narnia right it’s always a big deal in Narnia when Aslan shows up and Aslan
25:14visits an Aslan redeems and Aslan conquers and Aslan is up to something
25:21right and and always and again in Narnia when when Aslan is on the Move that’s
25:26the words that they use he’s on the move ah Aslan really and and when Aslan shows
25:32up you know people will say what’s he like what’s he like because we haven’t we we’ve never seen him but we’ve only
25:38heard but here’s the deal God himself he has tabernacled Among Us
25:48God himself has taken on human flesh he has visited Earth he was one of us he
25:57has redeemed us his people he has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the
26:04house of his servant David in fact Jesus is going to Reign on the throne of David
26:11forever just as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old that we should
26:18be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us
26:25this sounds good I like this idea of being saved not only that not here
26:31salvation we are saved from the wrath of God but note another theme of Salvation is
26:39being saved from our enemies being saved from Satan being saved from the world
26:46being saved from our own sinful flesh ah and and the Hand of all who hate us
26:53finally being able to worship God unfettered by any of our enemies to show
27:01the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His Holy Covenant the oath that
27:07he swore to Our Father Abraham to grant us that we being delivered from the hand of
27:14our enemies might serve him without fear
27:22what a great idea could you imagine even for a minute
27:28being able to worship God without any fear at all
27:34no fear of reprisal no fear of persecution no fear of suffering no fear
27:39of being canceled no fear of your own sinful flesh going what are you doing
27:45truly being able to serve god without Fetter without fear without enemy
27:52that’s a promise that we have and it will come to pass in his Holiness and
27:59righteousness before him all of our days we might serve him without fear and you
28:04child John you will be called the prophet of the most high for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways to
28:11give knowledge of Salvation to his people in the Forgiveness of their sins oh it’s
28:17right there even before the birth of Christ ah the message of John the Baptist giving knowledge of Salvation
28:23how there’s only one way to be saved brothers and sisters that’s in Jesus Christ and you must be forgiven if you
28:32are not forgiven you have no share in Christ’s Kingdom if you think you do not need to be forgiven of anything you are
28:39woefully delusional it says in scripture if we say we have no sin we deceive
28:45ourselves and the truth is not in US but if we confess our sins God is faithful
28:50and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness if
28:56we say we have no sin we make God out to be a liar and so note here there is salvation only through Jesus Christ the
29:03one who humbled himself was born of the Virgin lived in abject poverty in a zip
29:09code that was so poor that I mean it makes today’s projects in the United States seem like luxury living right
29:17this Jesus he humbled himself and is obedient all the way to death on a cross
29:22and he was obedient for you keeping God’s law perfectly so that he can be your spotless Lamb of God the one who
29:29takes away the sin of the world and he does this he carries your sin to the cross and he suffers the wrath of God in
29:36your place on a Friday morning on into the afternoon in the early evening
29:42all so that you can be forgiven in him there is Rich and plentiful forgiveness
29:48repent trust in this one whom God has sent this one who was well declared by
29:55angels from Heaven declared By Angels on Earth Elizabeth Mary and Zechariah and
30:04note here in John the Baptist true salvation is only in the Forgiveness of
30:09our sins and because of the tender mercy of our God whereby the sun rise shall
30:15visit us from on high what a beautiful picture no the reason why God has sent his son
30:21is because of God’s Great tender Mercy
30:27God takes no joy when a sinner perishes
30:33there’s nothing to be joyful about there is Joy among the Angels when one
30:39sinner repents so note God in his tender Mercy has sent
30:45Christ to save us to Deliver Us from all of our enemies
30:51to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death
30:56and to guide our feet ultimately in the way of peace you’ll note that there is no real peace
31:03here on planet Earth even when there is no war going on there still is conflict
31:09and all of this because of our sin far fall into sin so brothers and sisters
31:15let us this last midweek service in Advent consider these messages messages
31:23from these angels and let us again recognize that we do have great enemies
31:29and one of them is within us that’s our old sinful atom and let us
31:34pray that God would grant us true peace and that he would give us True
31:40Deliverance from all of our enemies Satan the world and our sinful flesh so that we may finally on that great day
31:47when we see him face to face worship him without fear without enemies without
31:53conflict without persecution without being canceled in the name of Jesus Amen
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