Sermon Transcript – Lord I Believe, Help My Unbelief

Series B – Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost – Sunday, September 13, 2015 | 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
0:26The
0:29holy Gospel According to Saint Mark
0:30chapter 9 verses 14 through 29.
0:35when they came to the other disciples
0:37they saw a large crowd around them and
0:39the teachers of the law arguing with
0:41them as soon as the people saw Jesus
0:43they were overwhelmed with Wonder and
0:45ran to greet him what are you arguing
0:47with them about he asked amend the crowd
0:50answered teacher I brought you my son
0:53who was possessed by his spirit that has
0:55robbed him of speech whenever it seizes
0:58him it throws him to the ground he Foams
1:01at the mouth gnashes his teeth and
1:03becomes rigid I asked her disciples to
1:05drive out the spirit but they could not
1:08no unbelieving generation Jesus replied
1:10how long shall I be with you how long
1:13shall I put up with you bring the boy to
1:15me
1:16so they brought him when the spirit saw
1:19Jesus it immediately threw the boy into
1:21a convulsion he fell to the ground and
1:24rolled around foaming at the mouth
1:26Jesus asked the boy’s father how long
1:28has this been like this from childhood
1:31he answered
1:32it often thrown has thrown him into the
1:35fire or water to kill him but if you can
1:38do anything take pity on us and help us
1:41if you can said Jesus everything is
1:45possible for him who believes and
1:47immediately the boy’s father exclaimed I
1:49do believe help me overcome my unbelief
1:52when Jesus saw that a crowd was running
1:55to the scene he rebuked the evil spirit
1:57you deaf and mute Spirit he said I
2:00command you come out of him and never
2:02enter him again the spirit shrieked
2:04convulsed him violently and came out the
2:07boy looked so much like a corpse that
2:09many said he’s dead but Jesus took him
2:11by the hand and lifted him to his feet
2:13and he stood up and after Jesus had gone
2:17indoors his disciples asked him
2:18privately why couldn’t we drive it out
2:20he replied this kind can come out only
2:24by prayer in the name of Jesus
2:27and
2:28all right so this is an interesting text
2:31Jesus has just been on the Mount of
2:34transfiguration
2:36and immediately before what we just read
2:38Jesus Takes Peter James and John with
2:41him and then he is transfigured Before
2:43Their Eyes Elijah and Moses show up and
2:46they are discussing Jesus’s Exodus
2:48that’s how the text talks about it and
2:51beginning to talk about Jesus heading to
2:54Jerusalem to Bear our sins and die on
2:57the cross for our sins so Jesus coming
3:00down from the mountain you know you can
3:02say he’s set his face like Flint he’s on
3:05his way to the Cross things have changed
3:06a little bit which explains in part why
3:09he’s got a little bit of an attitude in
3:11this text
3:12and so keep in mind so he had Peter
3:14James and John with him the other
3:17disciples the other nine they were down
3:19at the base of the um the Mount of
3:21transfiguration
3:22and what happened while Jesus was up
3:25there is a man who had a son who was
3:28demon-possessed comes to get help Jesus
3:33isn’t there and the disciples if you
3:35remember when Jesus sends out the
3:37seventy he’d given them authority to
3:40cast out demons and so the disciples get
3:43to work to cast out this demon and
3:46nothing happens
3:49nothing
3:50happens
3:52awkward moment right well put yourself
3:56in the shoes of this man for a while if
3:58you would we’ve all seen those horror
4:01movies about demon possession I know
4:02some of you don’t like to watch those
4:04kinds of movies but trust me when I tell
4:06you they’re harrowing what that what we
4:08see in those movies this guy is Living
4:10For Real
4:12this is not a joke this is true demonic
4:14possession and over and again this demon
4:18has set out to not only possess this
4:20child but to kill this child
4:22and so the idea here is is that this man
4:25has no rest this man has no respite
4:29he and his wife have to keep a you know
4:31a watchful eye on their son because you
4:34never know when he’s going to go into a
4:36seizure because of this this demon and
4:39then when it happens oftentimes it
4:42happens when there’s an open flame
4:44or they’re near water and the whole goal
4:47is to destroy this child these people
4:48are living a living hell
4:51and so think about what he’s been
4:53through I mean it’s taking at this point
4:56Jesus is his only hope
4:59he has very weak and wobbly Faith we’ve
5:02learned from this text and so he takes
5:05his weak and wobbly Faith goes to find
5:08Jesus the disciples are there nine of
5:11them Jesus isn’t there and they go to
5:14exercise the demon and the demon says ha
5:18nope I ain’t going nowhere
5:21Pharisees and the scribes seize on this
5:23opportunity because you’ll see that they
5:25were having an argument with the scribes
5:27and Pharisees when Jesus comes down it’s
5:29like ah your Jesus couldn’t get rid of
5:31that demon that proves that this Jesus
5:33isn’t really the son of God kind of
5:35stuff that’s going on
5:36so Jesus comes down from the Mount of
5:39transfiguration into the midst of this
5:41kerfuffle that’s what he’s up to so it
5:45says this in our text we’ll return to it
5:47now when they came to the other
5:49disciples they saw a large crowd around
5:51them and teachers of the law arguing
5:53with them
5:54and as soon as all the people saw Jesus
5:57they were overwhelmed with Wonder and
5:58ran to greet him the reason why they’re
6:00overwhelmed with Wonder is it’s like wow
6:02we were just talking about you Jesus
6:04yeah you’re lousy disciples they totally
6:06blew it you know here we thought you had
6:09all this power and well you don’t you
6:11know because they tried to cast out this
6:13demon it didn’t work what do you have to
6:16say for yourself kind of thing right so
6:18Jesus kind of takes control of the
6:20situation and he says what are you
6:23arguing with them about
6:25yeah it’s kind of a forceful question
6:28and so a man in the crowd answered now
6:32he steps forward the man with the wobbly
6:34faith I brought you my son who is
6:37possessed by a spirit that has robbed
6:40him of speech
6:42whenever it seizes him it throws him to
6:45the ground he Foams at the mouth gnashes
6:48his teeth and becomes rigid
6:51I asked her disciples to drive out the
6:53spirit but they could not do it
6:57so when the spirit manifests this boy
7:00goes into a full-blown epileptic seizure
7:04and if you have ever had a child have a
7:06seizure I can tell you it is a harrowing
7:08experience because the one thing you
7:11begin to do as soon as they go into a
7:13seizure is you start to count
7:15and the reason you’re counting is
7:16because your child’s not breathing
7:19you’re counting how long is this thing
7:22happening
7:23how long can they go without oxygen
7:26I mean it is just a terrible situation
7:30and this is his life
7:32you don’t have to convince him of Good
7:34and Evil right and wrong right he knows
7:37the good and evil exists but the problem
7:39is is that despite all of his pleas
7:43to God
7:45nothing has worked for his son
7:50so Jesus says oh unbelieving generation
7:55how long shall I stay with you
7:57how long should I put up with you bring
8:00the boy to me
8:02so they brought him when the spirit saw
8:05Jesus it immediately threw the boy into
8:08a convulsion he fell to the ground
8:10rolled around foaming at the mouth now I
8:13guarantee you if something like this
8:14were to happen right now in church
8:17and I’ve actually been in a church
8:18service where somebody’s gone into an
8:19epileptic seizure everything stops
8:22everything stops and the person you’re
8:25tending to is the person having the
8:27seizure Jesus has got this all backwards
8:30watch what he does
8:31so here we got this boy foaming at the
8:34mouth rolling around at the ground I
8:35mean this is demonic apoplectic seizure
8:40right
8:43and Jesus doesn’t tend to the boy he
8:45looks at the father and says how long
8:46has this been going on like this
8:48and you can almost hear this guy going
8:50you’re going to ask me this now
8:54he’s on the floor
8:56you know
8:58so he says all right from childhood
9:02it’s often thrown him into fire
9:04or water to kill him
9:07and then here comes the important words
9:09but
9:10if you can do anything
9:12take pity on us and help us
9:14now it’s important to note in other
9:16passages in the gospels oftentimes
9:18people who have faith in Christ and who
9:21need a healing they will say something
9:23to the effect of if you will
9:25if you desire to heal you can and
9:29Jesus’s response in those situation is I
9:32will I desire and he heals them this guy
9:36doesn’t say that
9:38he says if you can do anything
9:41so far nothing has worked
9:44absolutely nothing
9:47I came to you Jesus your disciples you
9:50gave them authority to cast out this
9:51name they couldn’t do it so if you can
9:54do anything
9:55help us
9:57and Jesus said if you can if you can if
10:03everything is possible for him who
10:05believes now this is a text that gets
10:08twisted a lot by people and this is the
10:10important thing here
10:11Jesus is not saying if you stretch out
10:14with audacious faith if you decree and
10:16declare anything is possible that’s not
10:19faith in God that’s faith in your faith
10:21there’s a big difference between faith
10:24in God and faith in your faith faith in
10:26God says not my will but your will be
10:30done
10:32because here’s the thing
10:35Faith always has an object faith is like
10:38eyesight it always is looking to
10:40something what is your faith looking to
10:42is your faith looking to your bank
10:44account
10:45is your faith looking to your upwardly
10:47mobile job is your faith looking to your
10:52crops
10:53is your faith looking at yourself
10:56or is your faith looking to your
10:58crucified and Risen Savior Faith always
11:01has an object
11:03and if you have faith in Christ then you
11:06know this you are a creature
11:09and everything you have
11:12from the air that you breathe to the
11:14shoes on your feet to the hair on the
11:16top of your head if you still have some
11:19all of this comes from God
11:22all of it you are creature he is God and
11:26creatures approach their god with these
11:28words not my will
11:30but your will
11:32see all things are possible for the one
11:35who believes because nothing is
11:36impossible for God
11:39does that make sense
11:41but that does not mean that just because
11:42everything is possible for him that he
11:45Wills to give you everything that your
11:48sinful nature wants
11:50sometimes we pray and ask and we do not
11:53receive because the things we are
11:55praying and asking for are the things
11:56that our sinful flesh wants to indulge
11:59in
12:01and God says no
12:03I will not give you that because I do
12:06not will for you to be destroyed by sin
12:09I will for you to be set free from it
12:11does that make sense
12:12so all things are possible for the one
12:15who believes means then we pray this in
12:18our Lord’s Prayer
12:20thy kingdom come
12:22thy will be done
12:25you see the difference now a little bit
12:27of an aside the big mistake that a lot
12:30of people are making is is that somehow
12:31I’ve got to stretch out in faith I’ve
12:33got to decree I got to declare I’ve got
12:36to shout the devil down and bind him and
12:38all this nonsense
12:40it’s not true that’s faith in faith
12:43and where that leads is Despair and I
12:45want to give you an example of this do
12:47you all remember Jim and Tammy Faye
12:49Baker
12:50yeah do you remember what happened to
12:53Tammy Faye
12:54she got cancer
12:56she got cancer
12:58and as she was getting weaker and weaker
13:03and smaller and smaller cancer is a
13:06terrible thing
13:07just to completely eat somebody out from
13:10the inside right
13:12she thought all things are possible for
13:15the one who believes so I don’t believe
13:18I have cancer
13:21and to her dying day she was decreeing
13:25and declaring and making positive
13:28confessions that she is healthy then she
13:32does not have cancer up until the moment
13:35when cancer killed her
13:38all things are possible for the one who
13:40believes right well if that’s what this
13:43text meant then why did she die
13:48if you have faith in your faith when
13:51things continue to go badly in your life
13:53and when they will just give it time
13:56because I haven’t met anybody at Kong’s
13:58Winger who’s been able to avoid ending
13:59up in the cemetery right next to the
14:01church
14:03have many no one’s been able to avoid it
14:05all of the generations of the people who
14:07bit at Kong’s finger from when it was
14:09founded until now everybody’s always
14:12ended up in the same place the graveyard
14:17so if you have faith in your faith when
14:20things start to go bad and really start
14:22to head downhill for you and it’s just a
14:24matter of time
14:27then your faith in your faith is going
14:30to give out
14:33and you’ll be left doing nothing but
14:35blaming yourself and thinking that God
14:37somehow hates you
14:38but remember what Jesus prayed in the
14:41Garden of Gethsemane
14:43on the night that he was betrayed
14:47if it’s possible let this cup pass from
14:49me
14:50but not my will your will be done
14:56all things are possible for the one who
14:58believes
15:00Jesus trusted God the Father
15:04and said not my will your will and what
15:07was the will of the Father scripture
15:09says this it was the will of the father
15:11to crush him
15:14because he was pierced for our
15:16transgressions bruised for our
15:18iniquities
15:20the chastisement that brings us peace
15:22was upon Christ not my will but your
15:25will be done and Jesus goes to the cross
15:27and oh he suffers and oh he dies
15:31and oh he rises again
15:34Victorious from the grave
15:36because not only was it the will of the
15:38father to crush him for our sins it was
15:40also the will of the father to raise him
15:42up on the third day
15:45and see that’s the thing when you pray
15:48and understand that all things are
15:49possible With God all things are
15:52possible with for the one who believes
15:53you can pray not my will but thy will be
15:56done and when God says it is now my will
15:59for you to pass from this life into
16:03eternity
16:03you will not see God as angry and
16:06vindictive and capricious but will
16:09continue to trust in his promises of
16:11mercy and forgiveness and you will go
16:14the way of death the way Christ did and
16:16because you are in him you will be
16:18raised again on the on the day when
16:20Jesus returns in glory to judge the
16:22living and the dead
16:24because God has willed that the wages of
16:27sin is death
16:28but the gift of God is eternal life
16:31so always remember when you pray all
16:33things are possible for the one who
16:35believes
16:36so we pray not my will but your will be
16:39done
16:41so let’s go back to our text
16:45if you can Jesus said
16:49everything is possible for him who
16:51believes
16:52and immediately the boy’s father
16:53exclaimed
16:55I do believe
16:57help me overcome my unbelief
17:03that’s a prayer
17:04note this that’s a prayer
17:08I do believe
17:10help me overcome my unbelief
17:13and Jesus is going to answer this prayer
17:16be careful what you pray for
17:18be careful what you pray for
17:21because no sooner does this man pray
17:23this prayer and it’s an authentic prayer
17:25we’ve all had this prayer yes I believe
17:28in you Jesus but why is this
17:31circumstance so hard I Believe In You
17:34Jesus but why am I made to suffer so
17:37much I Believe In You Jesus but why did
17:40my mother or father have to die I
17:44Believe In You Jesus right
17:48I believe help my unbelief
17:53this is an authentic prayer and we all
17:54know what this prayer is like
17:57so Jesus is going to answer this prayer
18:00and watch it’s going to go from bad to
18:03worse before it finally gets better
18:09so remember the boys foaming on the
18:11ground
18:13so when Jesus saw that the crowd was
18:15running to the scene he rebuked the evil
18:17spirit you deaf and mute spirit I
18:20command you come out of him and never
18:22enter him again
18:24now keep in mind demons were not created
18:27as demons they were originally angels
18:31who rebelled against God and they became
18:33demons
18:34but by virtue of the fact that they were
18:36created by God when their creator speaks
18:39they must obey
18:41but don’t be confused when I say with
18:44Jesus is their creator he didn’t create
18:46them demons they created themselves
18:49recreated themselves as demons does that
18:51make sense but they still have to obey
18:53the voice of God so I command you come
18:55out of him and never enter him again
18:58and now it goes from bad to worse the
19:02spirit shrieked and I’m sure that was
19:05harrowing to listen to convulse the boy
19:07violently
19:09and then came out
19:12and the boy looks so much like a corpse
19:15many said he’s dead
19:20that means that it shrieks it comes out
19:23of him and everyone’s looking on and
19:26there’s enough time that elapses that
19:28this boy actually looks like he’s dead
19:30the crowd saying he’s dead
19:33he’s dead
19:36Jesus failed he’s dead
19:43I believe
19:45help my unbelief
19:48and now it’s gone from bad to worse my
19:51boy is dead
19:55that’s what this man’s thinking that’s
19:57what this man is experiencing
20:00but the reality of the situation is this
20:02is that Jesus is answering his prayer
20:05and this is the way of the Cross by the
20:07way
20:08the way of the Cross is that when God
20:11helps our unbelief oftentimes he helps
20:14our unbelief by sending us into
20:16suffering
20:19sending us into suffering to show us our
20:22total need
20:24for God
20:27he brings us to the end of our rope so
20:29that we have nothing of ourselves left
20:33and the only thing that we can now have
20:35is God so Jesus is helping his unbelief
20:38so there’s his boy everyone saying he
20:41looks like he’s dead
20:44and then this happens but Jesus took him
20:47by the hand
20:48lifted him to his feet
20:51and he stood up now important thing in
20:53the Greek the word therefore he stood up
20:55that’s the same Greek word for the
20:59resurrection when somebody arises from
21:01the grave
21:03so whether he was dead or not we don’t
21:05really know it doesn’t really matter
21:06does it he look like he’s dead this man
21:09is now seeing things go from bad to
21:12worse and all of a sudden there’s a
21:13complete turnaround
21:14complete turnaround and he stood up
21:19Lord I believe
21:21help
21:23my unbelief
21:25When you pray that prayer it’s a good
21:27prayer
21:28don’t expect things to get better
21:30immediately sometimes they get way worse
21:32but that’s to help your unbelief
21:36because your sinful nature doesn’t want
21:37to believe
21:39and only when you’re stripped of
21:40everything are you ready now to have
21:43nothing but your eyes on Christ
21:47and so the man leaves Jesus has won
21:51but of course this begs the question
21:53Jesus you gave us the authority to cast
21:56out demons what gives here right verse
22:0028 after Jesus had gone indoors his
22:03disciples asked him privately why
22:05couldn’t we drive it out
22:08and Jesus gives this very cryptic and
22:10somewhat scary answer and I the reason I
22:12say it’s scary is because you have to
22:14think about the implications of what he
22:15says this kind can come out only by
22:18prayer
22:20my immediate reaction in reading this is
22:22this kind
22:23how many kinds are there
22:28is very little information and I mean
22:30this very little information in the
22:32scriptures about demons
22:34and Jesus just throws out this huge
22:36honking fish you know it’s flopping
22:39around this kind there’s kinds
22:42kinds
22:44how many kinds are there
22:46ten are there levels you know do they
22:50have super powers at level five I mean
22:52what’s what do we do with this right
22:54so this particular kind only comes out
22:59by prayer
23:03which kind of begs the question
23:05well that was quite a stubborn ornery
23:07demon was it not
23:10I mean not even the disciples could get
23:13rid of it in their own strength could
23:14they not
23:17they couldn’t well no demon could be
23:19cast out in anybody’s strength you and I
23:22have no strength to cast out such things
23:24we know very little about them but we
23:26know there’s kinds and we know that they
23:28come out by prayer on Alternate reading
23:30in this text is this one comes out by
23:32prayer and fasting
23:34so I understand this
23:37we’re not to go out and be demon Hunters
23:40you know casting out demons here and
23:42casting out demons there
23:45some of the stronger more stubborn
23:47demons
23:48are cast out Simply by people praying
23:52it’s not sexy it’ll never make a good
23:55movie
23:56right
23:58but Jesus hasn’t given us a lot of
24:00information about these things we’re not
24:02to worry about them although our
24:04struggle is against them he’s conquered
24:05them for us
24:06so when you suspect such things pray
24:12and notice this he said this kind can
24:14come out only by prayer so I asked the
24:17question
24:18if this kind the kind that we just met
24:21here can come out only by prayer who was
24:24it that prayed
24:25that resulted in this demon leaving
24:28the answer was the father
24:30of the boy who prayed Lord I believe
24:32help my unbelief
24:35that was the prayer that led to this
24:38exorcism was it not
24:39yeah in the name of Jesus Amen
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