Sermon Transcript – Forgetting Which Past?

Series A – Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost – Sunday, October 4, 2020 | 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:
Intro bumper
Time StampTranscript
0:28the holy gospel according to saint
0:30matthew the 21st chapter
0:41Jesus said here another parable there
0:43was a master of a house who planted a
0:46put a fence around it dug a wine press
0:48in it built a tower and leased it to
0:50and went into another country when the
0:52season for fruit drew near
0:54he sent his servants to the tenants to
0:56get his fruit and the tenants took his
0:58servants and beat one
1:00killed another stoned another again he
1:03other servants more than the first and
1:05they did the same to them
1:07finally he sent his son to them saying
1:08they will respect my son
1:10but when the tenants saw the sun they
1:12said to themselves
1:13this is the heir come let us kill him
1:16and have his inheritance
1:17and they took him and threw him out of
1:19the vineyard and killed him
1:20when therefore the owner of the vineyard
1:22comes what will he do to those tenants
1:24they said to him they will put those
1:26wretches to a miserable death
1:28and let out the vineyard to other
1:31tenants who will give him the fruits in
1:33their seasons
1:34Jesus said to them have you ever read in
1:36the scriptures the stone that the
1:37builders rejected has become the
1:40this was the lord’s doing and it is
1:42marvelous in our eyes
1:43therefore i tell you the kingdom of god
1:45will be taken away from you
1:47and given to a people producing its
1:48fruits and the one who falls on the
1:50stone will be broken into pieces
1:53and when it falls on anyway anyone it
1:55will crush him
1:56and when the chief priests and the
1:57pharisees heard this parable they
1:59perceived that he was speaking about
2:01and although they were seeking to arrest
2:03him they feared the crowds because they
2:05held him
2:06to be a prophet this is the gospel of
2:08the lord
2:09in the name of Jesus all right so here
2:12are the words again
2:13of our epistle text the apostle paul
2:16saying forgetting
2:17what lies behind and straining forward
2:20to what lies ahead a forward focus
2:24if you would and a forgetfulness of
2:26things in the past
2:28now it’s really tempting as you’re
2:30reading this passage to think that what
2:32paul is talking about forgetting
2:34is forgetting his sin but that’s
2:37not what he’s talking about think of it
2:41this way
2:41what he’s really talking about and we’ll
2:43see this as a as we work back through
2:45the text
2:46he’s talking about forgetting what he
2:48would consider
2:49in the past his meritorious works the
2:52stuff that he was doing in order to save
2:54himself his own
2:56self-righteousness and paul had a great
2:58pedigree and so the idea here is
3:01we do not live in the glory of our past
3:04achievements as if our past
3:06achievements somehow can merit something
3:08with god in relation to our salvation
3:11think of it this way the ultimate
3:13example of a person who is
3:15living in the past and cannot forget the
3:17past or forget what is behind
3:19is uh is that character from napoleon
3:21dynamite uncle rico
3:23okay kind of show i love napoleon
3:25dynamite it tells you how bad
3:27my uh my taste in comedy is you guys
3:30look like you’re in pain
3:31this is horrifying there will be a
3:33stoning after church
3:36but uncle rico if you remember uncle
3:37rico and this is a guy who
3:39in the present is living the glory of
3:42his high school past
3:43there he is with a vhs video recorder
3:47in his van because he’s living in a van
3:50because he
3:51he’s living in the past working on his
3:53football moves
3:54and saying that he can throw this
3:55pigskin over that mountain over there
3:57this is a guy who’s a washout why
4:01he can’t forget what lies behind but see
4:03the thing is we’re a lot like uncle rico
4:05when we somehow think that our past
4:07achievements the stuff that we put on
4:09our resume
4:10somehow is going to resonate with god
4:13i mean could you imagine on the day of
4:15judgment standing before Christ
4:17and Christ kind of looking at you and
4:19your stroke and his beard going
4:20and again could you remind me why i
4:24should let you into heaven
4:26well you see there was that year uh back
4:28in 1994
4:31i joined a gym i joined la fitness and i
4:33was faithful
4:35to go to the gym four days a week for at
4:39a good six weeks
4:43really that’s that’s quite impressive
4:46what else have you got well
4:48i got a bachelor’s degree in religious
4:50studies in biblical languages
4:52uh-huh okay and master’s degree
4:56yeah and this is the reason why you
4:59should be
5:00coming to heaven well remember that time
5:02when i
5:03i i did that thing to help my wife
5:06without her even asking me
5:08yeah that was quite monumental you know
5:10what about all the other times when she
5:12had to ask for your help
5:13oh boy you see all the things that we
5:17would think are like
5:18bonuses stuff that goes good on a resume
5:21if you think that somehow that’s going
5:23to be meritorious
5:25when you stand before Christ well that’s
5:27what we call
5:32self-righteousness and to kind of put it
5:36self-righteousness isn’t going to cut
5:38the mustard so
5:40that being the case let’s work our way
5:42back through our text
5:43our epistle text and we’ll see quite
5:46clearly that the apostle paul
5:48is talking about forgetting what lies
5:52as far as his resume building
5:56philippians 2 we’ll back up just a
5:59little bit into the context
6:00philippians chapter 3 verse 2 look out
6:03for the dogs
6:04look out for the evildoers look out for
6:06those who mutilate the flesh
6:08i always like pointing this out you’ll
6:09note that the apostle paul
6:11he had some pretty strong rhetoric for
6:14the judaizers these were fellows
6:16who argued with paul and the apostles
6:19and in fact they were so argumentative
6:21on their point in their theology
6:23that church council had to be called to
6:26with the issues that they were raising
6:28up and the judaizers were the ones who
6:31were saying
6:32unless you are circumcised according to
6:34the mosaic covenant and the custom of
6:37you cannot be saved
6:40paul says of them their dogs and their
6:42evildoers and they
6:43their circumcision is nothing in fact
6:46it’s so nothing that it’s just a
6:47mutilation of the flesh and in galatians
6:50the apostle paul says you know
6:53would they chop the whole thing off
6:57if they think that’s the holiness is
6:58based on that then go all the way
7:00why be half-hearted about it so paul
7:03then says this
7:04we we Christians who believe that we are
7:07saved by grace through faith
7:09we are the circumcision we are those who
7:11worship by the spirit of god
7:14and glory in Christ Jesus and
7:17listen to the phrase put no confidence
7:18in the flesh and here
7:20confidence in the flesh is an idiom it’s
7:22a it’s a way of saying i put no
7:24confidence in my abilities the things
7:27that i can do
7:28uh in carrying out and doing good works
7:31and then the apostle paul gives us his
7:33pedigree and it’s quite
7:35the resume though i myself he says have
7:38reason for confidence in the flesh
7:40also if anyone else thinks he has reason
7:42for confidence in the flesh
7:44listen i have more and then listen to
7:47this list
7:47circumcised on the eighth day of the
7:49people of israel of the tribe of
7:51a hebrew of the hebrews as to the law of
7:55as to zeal a persecutor of the church as
7:57to righteousness
7:58unto the torah blameless now that’s
8:02a good list you’ll note that the list
8:05Christians try to put together today if
8:07they’re under the influence of what we
8:09pietism those lists don’t quite sound as
8:13you know for instance let me give you an
8:14example kind of a pietistic
8:16approach so well i can’t say that i’m a
8:20you know that i’m a member of the tribe
8:21of benjamin but i can say
8:24that i don’t dance drink smoke or chew
8:30um my dog luther doesn’t do any of those
8:33things either
8:35just saying yeah okay so it’s not as
8:38impressive it’s not as impressive
8:40as as well circumcised on the eighth day
8:44of the people of israel of the tribe of
8:46benjamin the hebrew of the hebrews as to
8:48the law pharisee as the zeal of
8:49persecutor of the church it’s
8:50yeah it doesn’t have quite the same ring
8:53in fact
8:54that’s the thing is that you’ll note
8:56that paul’s
8:57list actually includes requirements
9:01of the law of the bible whereas
9:05the lists that are put together by the
9:06self-righteous by pietas
9:09oftentimes is a list that includes good
9:12works that they’ve made
9:14up that they’ve invented that are not
9:17ever listed in scripture as good works
9:20so you’ll keep that in mind so paul has
9:23a better credential in this
9:24area and he says but then whatever gain
9:27i had
9:28gain i had in being self-righteous i now
9:30count as a loss for the sake of Christ
9:33indeed i count everything as a loss
9:35because of the surpassing worth
9:37of knowing Christ Jesus my lord
9:40it’s like having the perfect resume
9:44the one that you know is supposed to get
9:46all the accolades
9:47and then taking it crumpling it up
9:52throwing it in the trash and saying
9:55forget it it’s worthless it’s utterly
9:59worthless and that’s what paul is saying
10:02so indeed i count everything as a loss
10:04because of the surpassing worth of
10:06knowing Christ Jesus my lord
10:08and then listen to these words for
10:11sake for his sake i have suffered the
10:14of all things and there’s the word that
10:18shows up for the first time in this text
10:19and the word is suffered
10:21and you’ll note that the apostle paul in
10:23considering his
10:25righteousness under the torah as
10:28in fact he goes on in just the next part
10:30of the sentence and says he counts it as
10:33why so that he can gain Christ in his
10:35confession of Christ
10:37and denial of his own righteousness and
10:40that his righteousness is given as a
10:42gift from god paul
10:44was made to suffer
10:47and suffer greatly in fact he considered
10:52life in this old this life that we’re
10:54presently living nothing here
10:56to be worth grasping for or to be
11:00out in order to achieve in in in build
11:04so he said and i want to be found in
11:08not having a righteousness of my
11:11own that comes from the law
11:18not having a righteousness of my own and
11:21when you understand god’s law
11:22correctly you recognize that even your
11:26best good works
11:28are tainted with sin and so the idea of
11:32having a righteousness of my own that’s
11:34self-righteousness and paul is having
11:36none of it but
11:37he says instead i want to have the
11:39righteousness that comes through
11:41faith in Christ this is the
11:43righteousness that is from god
11:45and it depends on faith over and again
11:48we emphasize the fact
11:49that Christ bled and died for our sins
11:52god made Jesus to be sin who knew no sin
11:56so that we can become the righteousness
11:58of god so that we will be clothed in the
12:00righteousness of Christ
12:02and that comes and is given by grace
12:05god’s grace and his mercy
12:07through faith and so you’ll understand
12:09then that for paul
12:10everything is about the cross everything
12:12is about Christ in fact he says
12:14i chose to know nothing among you except
12:16for Christ and him crucified
12:18and that’s the point if our great god
12:22and savior Jesus Christ
12:24has bled and died for all of our sins
12:27our unrighteousness has been imputed to
12:31and it has and by faith his
12:34righteousness is imputed to us
12:36can you improve upon that
12:39i can’t so i would consider any attempt
12:43to save myself to resume build to live
12:46in the glory of my past
12:48as if it’s that glorious anyway and
12:52think that that’s going to get me in
12:54with god
12:55that that’s that’s just being uncle rico
12:58it’s just
12:59silly and stupid
13:03and then he goes on so that i might know
13:07so that i might know the power of his
13:10so that i might share his sufferings and
13:13again here he’s talking about
13:15suffering paul was one of these fellows
13:17who was made to suffer
13:18greatly in the book of second
13:22corinthians chapter 11
13:24paul gives us a different list than the
13:26list that we heard
13:28at the beginning of philippians 3 and
13:31this one is quite fascinating
13:33and this is an account of all the
13:34sufferings that paul went through
13:36because he denied his own righteousness
13:38and wanted
13:39to know Christ and to share in the
13:42sufferings of Christ
13:44paul writing to the corinthian church
13:47who did something really
13:48bizarre all right there was a group of
13:51people in the ancient world who called
13:52themselves not apostles
13:55but they were super apostles
13:58super apostles see i’m not just a pastor
14:02i’m a super pastor you know
14:05you guys aren’t buying it okay but for
14:09there was a group of people who called
14:11themselves super apostles yeah see the
14:13apostle paul they
14:14they denied they thought you know maybe
14:16paul isn’t really an apostle
14:18peter they said yes for sure he’s an
14:19apostle but we we
14:21we’re the super apostles and they would
14:23charge a lot of money for their
14:25uh for their pulpit time you know they
14:27were itinerant preachers and they would
14:29come in and they would actually mistreat
14:31people and treat them poorly and and
14:35of course put on heirs as super apostles
14:37and here’s the thing
14:38the church in corinth went for it
14:42you’re a super apostle wow can i have
14:45your autograph
14:46okay that’s kind of what what happened
14:49so the apostle paul is doing his best to
14:52wake them
14:53up it’s like come on guys
14:56super apostles really and so paul comes
15:00up with this great strategy in second
15:02corinthians 11
15:03and he’s going to engage in boasting
15:07the way the super apostles boast but the
15:09things he’s going to boast about
15:11are nothing like what the super apostles
15:13boast about super apostles would boast
15:16how much money they could charge a
15:18church when they would come and preach
15:20super apostles would talk about how good
15:22their accommodations were
15:24how much money they hauled in last week
15:26how many people cried and wept and
15:29and all that kind of stuff when they
15:30would preach they were super apostles
15:33so paul here listen to his list this is
15:35from second corinthians chapter 11
15:38and i’ll start halfway through verse 21.
15:43so he says this whatever anyone else
15:45dares to boast of talking about the
15:46super apostles
15:47and then he makes a little bit of a
15:49commentary note here
15:50he listen i want to remind you about
15:52right now i’m speaking as a fool
15:55so he says i also then will dare to
15:57boast of that
15:59are the super apostles hebrews
16:02paul says yes well so am i are the super
16:06apostles israelites you betcha
16:09so am i are the super apostles offspring
16:12of abraham
16:14don’t you know absolutely so am i
16:17are they servants of Christ
16:21now notice he doesn’t affirm that they
16:22are servants of Christ
16:24but here’s what he says i’m a better one
16:27now he reminds us again i’m talking like
16:29a madman
16:30now here’s his pedigree here with far
16:33greater laborers far more imprisonments
16:37with countless beatings often near death
16:40five times i received at the hands of
16:43the jews the forty lashes left one
16:45three times i was beaten with rods once
16:47i was stoned
16:48three times i was shipwrecked at night
16:51and a day and
16:52i was adrift at sea on frequent journeys
16:55in danger from rivers
16:56and danger from robbers danger from my
16:59own people
17:00danger from the gentiles danger in the
17:04danger in the wilderness danger at sea
17:07danger from false brothers
17:09in toil and hardship through many a
17:12sleepless night
17:13in hunger and thirst and often without
17:15food in cold
17:17and exposure and apart from other things
17:19there’s the daily pressure on me
17:22of my anxiety for all the churches
17:25who is weak and i am not weak who was
17:29made to fall
17:30and i am not indignant if i must boast
17:34i will boast of the things that show my
17:40who does that could you imagine putting
17:43a resume together and expecting to get a
17:46job with it
17:46where everything on the list was all the
17:48things that you had done
17:50that show your weakness
17:54no one would take it seriously but
17:58there is what paul has done he’s taken
18:00his list
18:01when he was a self-righteous jew and
18:03pharisee it’s in the
18:05trash can and now out comes the other
18:07list and he boasts of all the things
18:09that show his weakness
18:10and he boasts of the fact that he has
18:14in the sufferings of Christ
18:20and the reason he does this is because
18:22where is his focus
18:24on the resurrection
18:28now some of you look healthier than
18:29others some of you are young
18:32i’m old it’s getting worse by the day i
18:35can’t believe you guys are not telling
18:37me how bad it is i know that you’re
18:38doing that
18:39out of kindness to me
18:44but the reality is this is whether
18:46you’re young or old whether you’re
18:47healthy or unhealthy
18:50whether you have a gym membership and
18:51actually go to the gym or not
18:54we are all dying and our hope is not in
18:56this life our hope is in the
18:58as Christ has said that anyone who would
19:01want to follow him must
19:02deny himself that’s deny your
19:07deny your ambitions deny anything
19:10to do with setting up an empire to
19:13yourself or establishing yourself in
19:15this world
19:16take up your cross consider yourself a
19:18dead man walking
19:20and follow Jesus participate in his
19:25embrace the fact that we are to
19:29be servants of each other count others
19:31as more
19:32important than ourselves share in the
19:34sufferings of Christ
19:36for confessing his name and all of this
19:38we can do because
19:39Christ himself though he was
19:43god by nature humbled himself and became
19:47even to the point of death even death on
19:49the cross
19:50and so we too now following Christ have
19:53that same mindset that we are
19:55armed with it won’t get us very far in
19:58this world
20:00it won’t establish this as powerful
20:03or as great business people or as people
20:07people will end up writing stories about
20:09later on
20:11but instead we know that what we have
20:14awaiting for us is the resurrection of
20:16the dead
20:16a new life with Christ in a world
20:18without sin
20:20so that i might share in his sufferings
20:21become like him in his death
20:24so that by any means possible i may
20:27the resurrection from the dead paul says
20:30and not that i’ve already obtained it or
20:32am already perfect you know the the
20:34apostle paul is he’s getting close to
20:36the end of his life
20:37philippians not is not early in his
20:38ministry philippians is written
20:40close to the end of paul’s life and paul
20:43clearly stated he’s not already perfect
20:47not even close
20:50and that’s kind of the thing the thing
20:53we’re looking for
20:54is the perfection of the resurrection
20:58but can you imagine a world without sin
21:05i’m having a hard time picturing it i
21:07have no idea what that would be like
21:09in fact think of it this way we’re
21:11suspicious we’re suspicious of the
21:13of a perfect world of perfect society a
21:16world without sin
21:18always and again when a movie starts
21:21everybody’s lawns are manicured all the
21:24white picket fences
21:25are up and perfect and people dress
21:29and all the kids say yes sir and no sir
21:31and yes ma’am and no ma’am
21:33and people say hey neighbor how’s it
21:35going it’s a great day
21:37we know what kind of movie we’re
21:38watching it’s a horror movie
21:40okay that’s the setup
21:44okay because it’s not perfect
21:48okay but the thing is is that
21:51as sinners we can’t imagine
21:54a perfect world so much so that if
21:58any hint of that shows up we know that
22:00something is terribly wrong
22:02as the old robot would say danger will
22:04robinson danger
22:05right that’s the idea but paul is
22:09talking that
22:09there is a world coming where we will be
22:12made perfect in Christ
22:14as a gift by grace through faith and so
22:16he says then i press
22:18forward then to make this my own
22:21and here’s the reason why because Christ
22:24has made me his own and this is
22:27wonderful for us this is
22:28an actual great hook into the good news
22:31of the gospel of Christ
22:32because we know that it is not by our
22:36own reasoning by our own decisions by
22:38our own
22:39merits that we are Christ’s own
22:42it’s because Christ himself he is the
22:45one who has made us his own
22:47he has done this through the preaching
22:49of the gospel
22:50or in the waters of baptism Christ has
22:52made us his
22:54own so he says this then brothers i
22:56don’t consider that i’ve made it my own
22:59but one thing i do forgetting what lies
23:03and straining forward to what lies ahead
23:06forgetting all the self-righteousness
23:07the resume building and keeping your
23:10on the forward prize the prize of the
23:13upward call of god in Christ Jesus
23:16of the resurrection of the dead a
23:17perfect life to come
23:19and a world without sin and paul then
23:22kind of finishes his thought when he
23:24says this let those of you who are
23:27think this way and if any anything you
23:30think other any of you think otherwise
23:32god will reveal also to you only let us
23:35hold true to what we have attained
23:37so brothers and sisters on the occasion
23:40of this text again showing up in our
23:43let us again repent of our
23:46let us again repent of our resume
23:50building regarding the day of judgment
23:52thinking that somehow we can have
23:54confidence in the things that we’ve
23:55achieved in our flesh
23:56and hold them up to Christ as the
23:59currency by which we can purchase
24:01salvation from him because we can’t let
24:04us as paul has said forget
24:06what lies behind and strain forward to
24:09what lies ahead
24:11a new world a world without sin face to
24:14meeting with Christ in fact next sunday
24:17with a little bit of a note here next
24:19sunday in our old testament text
24:21there’s going to be a little bit of a
24:22preview of the menu of the wedding feast
24:24of the lamb
24:25and i got to tell you this wedding this
24:27meant the things that are on the menu
24:29are not going to make pita happy
24:30it’s not vegan and it’s not keto and
24:34wine i’m just saying so all of that
24:37given as a gift so again let us repent
24:40of our self-righteousness and embrace
24:43what Christ has done for us and count
24:46all of that other stuff
24:47as rubbish so that we might have the
24:50thing the meritorious one the one who’s
24:54done all the work for us
24:55Jesus Christ our lord in the name of
Auto-generated (English) from YouTube
If you would like to support the teaching ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church, you can do so by sending a tax-free donation to:
Kongsvinger Lutheran Church
15950 470th Ave NW, Oslo, MN 56744

We thank you for your support. All of our teaching messages may be freely distributed as long as you do not edit or change the content of the message, and, again, thank you for listening.
Outro bumper

Blog at