Sermon Transcript – Missing the Full Council of the Word of God

1 Year Lectionary – Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity – Sunday, October 16, 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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0:22The holy Gospel
0:29According to Saint Matthew the 22nd chapter foreign
0:41that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees they gathered together and one of them a
0:46lawyer asked him a question to test him teacher which is the great commandment
0:51in the law and he said to him you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul with all of
0:57your mind this is the great and first commandment and the second is like it you shall love your neighbor as yourself
1:04on these two Commandments depend all the law and the prophets now while the
1:09Pharisees were gathered together Jesus asked them a question saying what do you think about the Christ whose son is he
1:15they said to him the son of David and he said to them well then how is it that David in the spirit calls him Lord
1:22saying the Lord said to my Lord sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet if then David calls him
1:29Lord how is he his son and no one was able to answer him a word for from that
1:35day did nor from that data to anyone dare to ask him any more questions this
1:41is the gospel of the Lord in the name of Jesus well the Pharisees and Sadducees are
1:47still at it they’re doing that Wily coyote thing that we mentioned last week and if you guys have seen the movie
1:53um Indiana Jones in the Last Crusade you know like when they get to the final you know challenge that they’ve got to work
1:59their way through it’s it’s a gruesome scene because the bad guys show up first in order to get the holy grail and
2:07they’re sending in these soldiers one after another and they can’t get past the first thing and one guy goes forward
2:13his head gets cut off and rolls backwards and they send the next guy in and you see how this is going I kind of
2:19kind of think that’s what’s going on in Our Gospel text here the Sadducees had
2:25just been silenced by Jesus yet they were the ones who instigated the
2:30conversation for the whole purpose of testing Jesus to kind of get that thing
2:35that Jesus would say then that they can turn around and use in order to put him to death so we read in Our Gospel text
2:43when the Pharisees heard that he silence the Sadducees they gathered together and
2:49you have to wonder were they nervous you know here they’ve got to gird up their loins they’re going to go in we’re gonna
2:54we’re gonna succeed where the Sadducees had failed but we’re going to note this
2:59both the Pharisees and the Sadducees they are not people who recognize and
3:05understand the scriptures properly at all I mean not even close the Sadducees
3:12didn’t even believe in the resurrection Jesus silences them by basically asking
3:18a question how is it that that God is referred to as the god of Abraham Isaac
3:24and Jacob isn’t God the god of the living not the dead and the Sadducees go and the people say hmm something’s wrong
3:31with their theology right well the Pharisees we’re going to note this about them they are obsessed with the
3:39Commandments they love debating the Commandments and as a result of it
3:44you’ll see by the end of our gospel text Jesus Nails them to the wall because of
3:51their lack of understanding of the full counsel of the word of God now if you
3:56think about that Ark of the Covenant you know and I’m not trying to do an Indiana Jones theme here this is purely
4:03coincidental but the Ark of the Covenant on the very lid the very lid of the Ark
4:08of the Covenant you have what’s called The Mercy Seat and you have these two angels facing each other with their
4:16heads down towards The Mercy Seat Wings spread out right now I am I I’m on
4:23record and I’m not changing my mind on this I’m convinced that The Mercy Seat is a visible prophetic representation of
4:31what the Angels did while Christ’s body lay in the Tomb we learn from the gospel
4:37accounts that there were two angels one at Christ’s head one at Christ’s feet and you have to sit there and go hmm But
4:44it’s really interesting and considering maybe the theological significance of the imagery
4:50of The Mercy Seat itself Johann Gerhart and the church fathers all have a
4:55slightly different perspective now I’m not saying their perspective is wrong I’m saying I think both are true yeah if
5:02you remember back to infomercials when was the last time you saw an infomercial by the way I can’t remember last time I
5:07actually watched Television right you know there you are you’re having a fit of insomnia that telling you a little
5:13bit about myself having a fin of insomnia it’s two in the morning so you’re downstairs and you’re flipping
5:18channels right and you see oh this is the most amazing product ever you can take potatoes and turn them into French
5:24fries in three seconds flat and if you act now wait there’s more we’ll even throw in free Ginsu Knives right you
5:31remember remember these things okay so I like to think of it when it comes to The Mercy Seat you know wait there’s more
5:37and here’s how the church fathers and Johann Gerhard talk about The Mercy Seat
5:44if you were to think of it this way The Mercy Seat has two angels and for my
5:50Greek students uh the the word Angel Angelas is also has kind of the same
5:56meaning that it does in Hebrew and an angel is a messenger right an angel is a
6:02messenger so it is not out of place to think of the two angels Over The Mercy
6:08Seat as maybe representing God’s law the messenger of the law and the gospel both
6:13are in both Testaments and some people like to talk about it just kind of in crass you know simplistic terms uh one
6:20Angel is the Old Testament the other is the New Testament it’s not a bad way to think about it in Exodus chapter 25
6:25here’s what it says when God gives the command and I think this this interpretation by the church fathers in
6:31Johann gerhardt really Bears out here’s what it says God says you shall make a mercy seat of pure gold two cubits and a
6:39half shall be its length and a cubit and a half its breath and you shall make two share a beam of gold of hammered work
6:46shall you make them on the two ends of The Mercy Seat make one cherub on one end and one cherub on the other end and
6:55one piece with The Mercy Seat shall shall you make the cherubim on its two ends the cherubim shall spread out their
7:03wings above overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings their faces one to
7:10another toward The Mercy Seat shall the faces of the cherubim be and you shall
7:15put the mercy seat on the top of the Ark and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you there I
7:22will meet with you and from Above The Mercy Seat from between the two cherubim
7:29that are on the Ark of the testimony I will speak with you about all that I
7:35will give you in commandment for the people of Israel so God says I’m going to speak with you
7:44from Right Above The Mercy Seat between the cherubim hmm that’s kind of an
7:51interesting concept so this interpretation of The Mercy Seat the two cherubim one being law the other gospel
7:58one being the Old Testament one being the New Testament not a bad way to think about it in fact you have to understand
8:04that God does send two Messengers in the scripture one for the express purpose of
8:11condemning us and showing our sin and our need for the Savior and the other
8:17assuring us that God is merciful and kind and in the New Testament we learn that God’s mercy and kindness is for the
8:24sake of Christ who fulfilled God’s law perfectly for us and bled and died for
8:30our sins in our place in order to reconcile us to God and you’ll note the
8:35Pharisees they were focused in only on one of the messengers and that was the
8:44law right it was all law and these guys oh
8:51man it everything they did everything they said was about debating the finer
8:57points of the law and their own man-made laws that they had added through the oral Torah the tradition of the elders
9:03and as a result of that you’ll note that Jesus’s question to them exposes their
9:10biblical ignorance and their focus being incomplete if you
9:17were to think of the Apostle Paul his parting words to the pastors of the Church of ephesite Ephesus in Acts
9:23chapter 20. he says to them I am Guiltless regarding the blood of all of you for I did not withhold teaching to
9:30you the full counsel of the word of God but here’s the thing all the
9:37self-righteous they’re um let’s say they are biblically illiterate when it comes to the aspects
9:44of scripture that don’t well jive with their theology their self-righteousness
9:50their assumption that somehow my good works now Merit salvation for me right
9:58and this is how the how the Pharisees thought this is what their theology expressly taught in fact they added to
10:05the 630 Commandments of the Mosaic Covenant their own set of like a thousand more and made it clear that if
10:12you kept their Commandments you’d never break God’s commands and you’d be in with God and you’d be and you’d be saved
10:19but you cannot be saved by the law in fact none of us can and it’s in this
10:26regard then that we consider Our Gospel text so one of them a lawyer what a bad
10:32combo a Pharisee and an attorney okay if he invites me to lunch I’ll pass
10:38right a lawyer asked him a question in order to test him here goes Wiley Coyote
10:45again I can hear the whistle now Splat right you know this is what’s
10:50going to happen and the question itself seems pretty straightforward teacher what is the great commandment in the law
10:58and one has to wonder what’s going on with this question right because you’ll
11:03note that over and again we learn in the gospels that the Pharisees were incensed
11:09and scandalized by the fact that Jesus forgave Sinners that Jesus ate with
11:17Sinners he hob-nobbed with Sinners so the question itself makes me wonder if
11:24they were thinking that Jesus was some kind of antinomian that was somehow putting the law of God aside but Jesus
11:32wasn’t putting the law of God aside at all remember there’s two angels the law and the gospel we must hear both so
11:39Jesus Takes on their question and says all right you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your
11:47soul with all your mind this is the great and first commandment
11:53so let me ask you a question how are you guys doing on that one by the way not so good yeah me either we’ll talk
12:01about that more in a minute all right now this is and a second commandment is like it you shall love your neighbor as
12:07yourself on these two Commandments depend all the law and the prophets now
12:13here’s an important point that we need to take into consideration is that many
12:19people who profess Jesus as their savior mistakenly think that the gospel
12:27is love you ask some people that are Christians what’s the gospel love God
12:33and love neighbor no love is the Commandment of the law and each and
12:40every one of us falls woefully short I don’t think that there has been a single
12:46moment in my existence on planet Earth from the time I was conceived until this
12:53moment now in my 54th year of life that I could legitimately say yup did that I
13:00loved God with all my heart with all my soul and with all my mind not even close
13:07and you’ll note that this condemns me because I haven’t loved God with all of
13:14me and neither have you and then the second one hinges from the first and you
13:21shall love your neighbor as yourself maybe I’ve gotten closer with that one
13:28but you’ll note that each of my arrows still seriously and egregiously misses the
13:35mark and so do yours loving my neighbor as myself my general problem is I love
13:41myself right I got half of that right but it’s the loving other people like the way I love me that’s the tough bit
13:49and you are the same as I am but here’s the thing when we consider the fact that
13:56love is the core root of the law we recognize then that Christ is perfect
14:03Christ he has loved God with all of his
14:08heart with all of his soul with all of his mind at no point has Christ ever
14:14broken this first and great command and you’ll note that the whole reason why
14:20Jesus is on Earth is because as the second commandment says he has loved his
14:27neighbors perfectly as he has loved himself that’s the whole reason why why
14:33he came so you’ll note that love then is the motivation for the gospel but it is
14:40not the gospel you have to make that distinction so Jesus says on these two
14:45Commandments depend all the law and the prophets and now Jesus who literally
14:51Wills for the Pharisees to repent of their heresies Pharisees heresies that
14:57kind of Rhymes I should become a rapper right maybe not okay stop stop stop rolling your eyes I saw that I saw that
15:06all right okay I I relent of said disaster okay
15:12so the Pharisees they now Jesus is going to confront them regarding their heresies and point out what’s really
15:19missing in their theology for all their debating of the law they haven’t considered the full counsel
15:26of the word of God and so Jesus does a little Messianic theology with them from
15:32the Old Testament because the New Testament didn’t exist when he said this and so he asked a straight up question
15:37all right what do you guys think about the Christ the Messiah whose son is he
15:44and you’ll note it’s a straightforward question but Jesus here the physician of
15:49their souls is willing for them to see what is missing in their theology for
15:55them by them not being able to answer these questions to see their need to go
16:01back into the scriptures and consider again what is revealed there because you’ll note that one of the things that
16:08the Pharisees and the scribes and the chief priests had all said was the
16:14reason why Jesus was such a dangerous fellow was because he said that God was
16:19his father and he was making himself equal with God so Jesus’s question here who do you
16:27think the Christ is whose son is he they immediately answer the question he’s the son of David but then going into the
16:34Psalms and this is said in in the Psalms very explicitly he said to them well
16:39then how is it that David in the Holy Spirit calls the Messiah Lord saying the
16:47Lord said to my Lord sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your
16:53feet and you’ll note for all their debating of The Commandments they had never
16:59considered this in fact in the next chapter chapter 23 is that whole well
17:06that whole woe section that I read out last week where Jesus calls down woes on
17:12the Pharisees how they strain out in that swallow a camel how they’ve ignored
17:17the weightier matters of the law Justice and mercy and faithfulness and things like this and you’ll note the
17:24self-righteous they are utterly Blind by their belief that they can somehow save
17:29themselves by their good works it never works that way so Jesus here and asking
17:37the questions puts his finger on the fact that they’re only listening to one
17:42of the messengers of the scripture and that God speaks from The Mercy Seat with
17:47two Messengers not one law and gospel and this gets at the heart of the gospel
17:53and who Jesus is who the Messiah is if then David calls him Lord
17:59how then is he his son and no one was able to answer him a word nor from that
18:07day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions well that failed spectacularly in fact
18:16Jesus isn’t the one who walks away from that encounter looking embarrassed they are the ones who are truly embarrassed
18:22and now their theology is suspect and it should be so what do we do with this
18:28commandment to love like I said love is the very motivation for the gospel
18:33itself that scripture we’re all familiar with God so loved the world that he gave
18:39his only begotten son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have
18:44eternal life I love the way Paul puts it in Titus Chapter 3 and here’s what he
18:50says in describing what we were like prior to the appearance of Jesus he says
18:55we ourselves we were once foolish we were disobedient
19:01LED astray we were slaves to various passions and pleasures and we were
19:07passing our days in Malice and envy hated by others and hating one another
19:15well that sounds like Twitter and Facebook doesn’t it yeah it does you’ll note that nothing
19:21has changed have you noticed that as the world has changed and boy has it it
19:26hasn’t changed for the better it’s changed for the worse it is palpable just how much hatred there is in the
19:33world have you ever stopped to think that the real reason why we are paying
19:38four five six dollars a gallon for gas is because of hatred and because of a
19:44lack of love I mean the timing is impeccable just think back when do the gas prices start going up as soon as war
19:52broke out in Ukraine right that’s not an act of love that’s an act of hatred and
19:57well people seeing ah There’s an opportunity here they jacked up the gas prices
20:04in order to make more money right this is motivated out of malice this is
20:12motivated out of greed the world that we live in you’ll note that love is a rare
20:19commodity difficult to find hatred you can find
20:24that aplenty just turn on the news right
20:30every single day it’s a Litany of hatred man’s offenses against man and it’s
20:37getting worse by the day have you noticed that when mass shootings take
20:44place here in the United States they’re happening with such frequency it it doesn’t even phase us anymore ah
20:52another one oh well those poor people right and then don’t even get me started
20:59about the hatred and the malice that exists within our own relationships you
21:05know over and again I think about you know when I conduct a wedding ceremony
21:10and I haven’t conducted that many of them I’m kind of hoping there’s one coming up in the future but uh all of
21:17that being said all of that being said I really think I should change make a
21:23slight modification to the right of holy matrimony okay and and here’s here’s the
21:31change I would like to offer are you ready right after they exchanged their vows
21:37and they say I do to each other do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife to heaven to hold to in
21:43Fitness in his health until death to you apart I do do you take this man to be your husband in sickness and in health
21:50you know for better for worse till death do you apart I do you may now kiss the bride right and I want to make one
21:57slider like slight modification and here’s the modification we put a boxing ring bell right here and
22:06as soon as they’ve kissed each other ding ding ding ding ding let’s get ready to rumble right
22:15because that’s how marriage works it’s a realistic look at these things
22:22and everybody who’s married knows what I’m saying is true but don’t let that scare you
22:30right don’t let that scare you and you’ll note that even within our
22:36most cherished relationships there is anger malice hatred Discord
22:45Strife anger right and
22:51I would not be telling the truth if I said it’s only coming from your spouse
22:58it comes from me it comes from you husband and wife and children when they
23:04are added into the mix just make it even more complicated
23:10so you’ll note love is a thing that we all don’t have much of
23:16and it’s really to our detriment and you’ll note so Paul says we were
23:22once foolish disobedient let us pray slaves to various passions and Pleasures passing our days in Malice and envy
23:28hated by others and hating one another but here’s the here’s the turn but when
23:34the goodness and the loving kindness of God our savior appeared
23:40what an amazing set of words when the goodness and the
23:45loving kindness of God our savior appeared it makes me wonder if the
23:51reason why the self-righteous hate Jesus is because they imagine God to be like
23:58them they project their own hatred their own Pride their own prejudices their own
24:05malice they project it on to God and assume that God is as hateful and spiteful and wicked as they are
24:12and they’re offended to find out that God is not like that at all that’s the
24:18devil that they’re worshiping the devil that they are like but see God is good
24:24God is loving God is kind Christ wasn’t sent to condemn you and I when the
24:31goodness and the loving kindness of God our savior appeared he saved us not
24:38because of Works done by us in righteousness but according to his own
24:43Mercy by the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit whom God
24:50has poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ Our Savior
24:57so that being declared righteous by his grace we might become heirs according to
25:03the hope of eternal life um that will preach
25:10the goodness and the loving kindness of God Christ has loved God and loved us
25:16perfectly and done so for us John writes it this way in first John chapter 4.
25:23beloved let us love one another for love is from God
25:30whoever loves has been born of God and knows God anyone who does not love does
25:38not know God because God is love in this the love of God was made
25:44manifest Among Us that God sent his only son into the world so that we might live
25:51through him and what kind of love is that we who’ve rebelled against God
25:57participated in the sins and the pride of the devil have mistreated each other
26:03horrifically gained an advantage over our own fellow human beings we who’ve
26:09hated God who thumbed our nose at him and shaken our fist at him and said if you were really good you’d give me more
26:16of what I want and since you don’t give me more of what I want I hate you God
26:21right but God doesn’t give us what we deserve in his great love he sends Jesus into
26:28the world so that we might live rather than die eternally in this is love not
26:35that we have loved God but that he has loved us and he has sent
26:41his son to be the atoning sacrifice and the propitiation for all of our sins
26:48and see Christ he took all of our hatred all of our Rancor all of our malice in
26:54himself and he swallowed it up on the cross because of his great love because
27:01by his great love and mercy he laid down his life so that you and I could live
27:09in this is love not that we have loved God he has loved us sent his son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins
27:15beloved if God has so loved us we also ought to love one another no one has
27:22ever seen God if we love one another God abides in us and his love is perfected
27:28in US is it any Wonder then that Jesus makes it clear the people
27:33would know his disciples not by whether they danced or smoked or chewed or drank
27:41alcohol he said that they will know you by your love for one another
27:46and so it’s then that we should consider that our love has failed
27:52our love for God has failed our love for others has faltered our prayers have
27:59been weak our good works for our neighbor for our neighbor’s sake have
28:05been well all too missing and here we must repent but be assured brothers and
28:11sisters both Angels speak today the law condemns us rightly but the second Angel
28:18is the Angel of the gospel and it speaks two words of comfort and peace forgiveness and mercy because of God’s
28:25great love for you so again as a baptized believer in
28:30Christ repent repent of your tepid
28:35lukewarm half-hearted love for God and for others
28:41repent and be forgiven and be assured Christ is bled and died for that and cry
28:46out to God the holy spirit that he would give you strength to no longer Focus
28:52only on loving yourself but that you would be unbent from looking only Inward
28:59and see then the God who loves you and love him in return and also see your
29:05neighbor and love them in good works all for the sake of Christ in the name of Jesus Amen
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