Sermon Transcript – Overcome Evil With Good

1 Year Lectionary – Fourth Sunday After Trinity – Sunday, July 10, 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:
Intro bumper
Time StampTranscript
0:27The holy gospel according
0:29to saint luke the 6th chapter
0:39jesus said
0:41be merciful even as your father is
0:45judge not and you will not be judged
0:47condemn not and you will not be
0:50forgive and you will be forgiven give
0:52and it will be given to you
0:54good measure pressed down shaken
0:56together running over will be put into
0:58your lap for with the measure that you
1:00use it will be measured back to you he
1:02also told them this parable can a blind
1:04man lead a blind man will they not both
1:07fall into a pit a disciple is not above
1:09his teacher but everyone who when he is
1:11fully trained will be like his teacher
1:14so why do you see the spec that is in
1:16your brother’s eye but you do not notice
1:18the log that is in your own eye how can
1:21you say to your brother brother let me
1:23take out the speck that is in your eye
1:25when you yourself do not see the log
1:27that is in your own eye you hypocrite
1:30first take the log out of your own eye
1:32then you will see clearly to take out
1:35the speck that is in your brother’s eye
1:37this is the gospel of the lord in the
1:39name of jesus
1:41hear the words again of the apostle paul
1:44from our epistle text if your enemy
1:47is hungry
1:49feed them
1:51say what
1:52uh-huh and if he’s thirsty you give him
1:55something to drink for by so doing you
1:57will keep burning coals on his head
1:59do not be overcome by evil
2:03but overcome
2:06with good
2:08man this is a this is tough to swallow
2:11this is not easy to take in consider
2:15this it’s it’s when we talk about like
2:17suffering in the abstract or persecution
2:19in the abstract we might talk about what
2:21the saints are experiencing in islamic
2:23countries or in countries that are
2:25overtly hostile to the message of christ
2:28but enemies
2:31they’re a little closer to home for many
2:33of us in fact let me add to our readings
2:36today from the gospel of matthew chapter
2:3910. i’d like to read the sense that we
2:41can talk about enemies in the concrete
2:44jesus says in matthew chapter 10 far
2:46starting at verse 16
2:49i am sending you out as sheep in the
2:52midst of wolves so be wise as serpents
2:55and as innocent as doves what kind of
2:58job is that i mean have you guys noticed
3:00that sheep and wolves don’t get along
3:02and that the
3:03wolves usually get the upper hand and
3:04the sheep not so much okay note that
3:07christ is saying these things he says
3:09beware then of men for they will deliver
3:11you over to courts they will flog you in
3:13their synagogues what kind of church is
3:14that you will be dragged before
3:16governors and kings for my name’s sake
3:18to bear witness before them and to the
3:20gentiles and then when they deliver you
3:22over don’t be anxious about how you are
3:25to speak or what you are to say
3:27for what you are to say will be given to
3:29you in that hour it is not you who speak
3:31it’s the spirit of your father speaking
3:33through you
3:34and here it comes brother
3:37will deliver brother over to death
3:39and father his child and children will
3:42rise up against parents and have them
3:45put to death
3:46and you will be hated by all for my
3:48name’s sake but the one who endures to
3:50the end will be saved and then in verse
3:5234 jesus continues now do not think that
3:55i have come to bring peace to the earth
3:58i’ve come not to bring peace but a sword
4:01for i have come to set a man against his
4:03father a daughter against her mother a
4:05daughter-in-law against her
4:07mother-in-law and a person’s enemies
4:09will be those of his own household
4:13whoever loves father or mother more than
4:15me is not worthy of me whoever loves son
4:18or daughter more than me is not worthy
4:20of me whoever does not take up his cross
4:22and follow me is not worthy of me
4:24whoever finds his life will lose it
4:27whoever loses his life for my sake will
4:29find it
4:30so now we can talk about enemies enemies
4:34often times it’s not the people out
4:36there it’s your own family members it
4:38could be your mother it could be your
4:39father it could be your child it could
4:41be your brother it could be your sister
4:43it could be your well daughter-in-law it
4:45could be your son-in-law yeah enmity
4:48for the sake of christ is something that
4:50is a real thing now note i got to put
4:53this aside for a second here we’re not
4:56talking about enmity as a result of you
4:58doing something stupid we’re not talking
5:02about the kind of enmity that because
5:04you’re just a jerk to your family your
5:06family doesn’t want to have anything to
5:07do with you anymore and if that’s really
5:10what’s happening
5:11whoa what a terrible witness for christ
5:13you’re being right that’s
5:16needs to be addressed
5:17in a different sermon you know there’s
5:19one that christ preaches the sermon on
5:21the mount he says if your brother has
5:23something against you you go to him
5:25right so if that’s you this is not your
5:28sermon your sermon’s coming later in the
5:31but we’re talking about enemies as a
5:33result of being a christian and so what
5:36are we to do in the face of all of that
5:39and you’ll note that in this life
5:42we often times want justice we want
5:45vengeance we want for people to get
5:48what’s coming to them because of the
5:49evil that they’ve made us suffer that is
5:52not the way that christ has called us to
5:54behave and it’s important to remember
5:56that the prophet isaiah writes the words
5:58of yahweh for us where god reveals he
6:01says my thoughts are not your thoughts
6:03neither are my ways your ways declares
6:06yahweh for as the heavens are higher
6:09than the earth so are my ways higher
6:11than your ways and my thoughts than your
6:14thoughts and so you’ll note that
6:17everything in this world because of sin
6:20is backwards upside down and inside out
6:24it’s all wrong and as a result of it in
6:27this world we are led to believe that
6:30evil is good and that good is evil
6:33and everything is backwards but as
6:35christians our minds being transformed
6:38by the word of god us having been
6:42graciously and abundantly forgiven of
6:45our transgressions
6:47the expectation that is clearly laid out
6:50for us as christians
6:51is that we do not act as god’s agents of
6:55judgment that is not our call
7:01when people are putting on the brakes
7:03and persecuting us or acting coolly
7:06towards us or worse becoming our enemies
7:08even enemies within our own household we
7:10have standing orders in light of the
7:15and in light of how god’s ways are
7:18higher than our ways we are to act we
7:20are always ambassadors of christ and as
7:23ambassadors we give jesus a bad name
7:27when we behave
7:28badly note that so here’s our standing
7:32orders bless those who persecute you
7:36are you kidding me
7:37bless do not curse them rejoice with
7:40those who rejoice weep with those who
7:42weep and then live in harmony with one
7:44another don’t be haughty associate with
7:47the lowly and never be wise in your own
7:51and repay no one evil for evil but give
7:54thought to do what is honorable in the
7:57of all
7:58and if possible so far as it depends on
8:06with all
8:07never avenge yourselves leave it to the
8:10wrath of god it is written vengeance is
8:12mine i will repay says the lord note you
8:15are not the agent of god’s vengeance god
8:17so in this life
8:19between the cross and the ascension of
8:22christ and his resurrection and his
8:24return as ambassadors we are ambassadors
8:26of the gospel we are making an appeal to
8:29the world and those within our own
8:31households that they be reconciled to
8:33god because of christ and what he has
8:36done for them and so you’ll note if you
8:38want to talk about the pinnacle person
8:40who exemplifies
8:42overcoming evil with good
8:45it is christ
8:47but i’m getting ahead of myself now some
8:49of you might be saying you know but you
8:51don’t understand how cantankerous how
8:54mean how vicious my enemies are how
8:58poorly they treat me you
9:00my family is a special case
9:03have you read the story of joseph
9:06all right now we live in a world and
9:08you’ll note that one of the main
9:09features of like the gen z folks and the
9:14is that when they hear something they
9:16don’t like
9:18okay and they’re offended
9:21cancel cancel cancel right when i was a
9:24kid i i kid you not when i was a kid if
9:27i were flipping channels on the
9:28television and i saw a program where
9:31somebody said something i didn’t like
9:34you know what i do i change the channel
9:37and find something i did like okay but
9:40in the world we live in and the
9:41entitlement attitude it’s this crazy
9:44thing that’s going on somebody says
9:45something that offends you doesn’t agree
9:47with quote your truth what is that by
9:50the way okay they want to cancel you
9:53deep platform you you don’t even have a
9:55right to a job okay i always think man i
9:59better behave as a pastor because if i’m
10:01ever dropped out of the ministry i can’t
10:03imagine any hr department in any fortune
10:05500 company giving me a job after they
10:08look through my social media okay it
10:10ain’t gonna happen i’ve been effectively
10:12cancelled by everybody except for the
10:14church already
10:16but that being the case
10:17in the ancient world when they canceled
10:19you it was a little more permanent okay
10:23it usually involved well
10:25a stone a rock a sword some kind of
10:28blunt instrument and at the end of being
10:30canceled you weren’t breathing anymore
10:33right but you’ll note the canceled
10:35culture goes all the way back to the
10:37garden of eden and so here let’s let’s
10:40see let’s talk about joseph’s
10:42dysfunctional family and his cancel
10:44brothers right if you know the story
10:47joseph is the son of well israel’s
10:51favorite wife why is he a polygamist not
10:55that was not something he set out to do
10:57talk about a screwed up family right he
10:59had the hots for this woman oh rachel
11:01what a beautiful young lady a shepherd
11:03and he every time he would see her his
11:05heart would go pitter-patter right and
11:07so he he he offered to work for seven
11:09years for her father for her hand in
11:12marriage and of course
11:14well his father did the old switcheroo
11:17on the uh on marriage night and poor
11:20fellow when he woke up in the morning
11:22after the wedding
11:24well he looked and
11:26okay it wasn’t the love of his life it
11:29was her sister
11:30what happened what have you done to me
11:32right and so he his father assured him
11:35no big deal we don’t normally give the
11:38youngest in marriage first it has to go
11:40oldest so just finish out the marriage
11:42week with her and then we’ll give you
11:44the other one too for another seven
11:46years right and this starts off
11:49really interestingly and of course the
11:52the sister who he wasn’t setting out to
11:54marry she starts conceiving and bearing
11:56children well his love does not and and
11:59so what ends up happening is is that she
12:03her husband her her maidservant
12:07yeah and so now he’s got like three
12:09wives and then the first girl stops
12:11conceiving and so she gives him and now
12:14he’s got four wives
12:16okay and this is just a mess
12:19okay but finally the love of his life
12:21conceives and bears a son and guess
12:24who’s the favorite of dad right and by
12:27this time he’s already had 10 sons you
12:30know and so he’s the 11th but he’s a
12:32young kid and
12:33now his wife gives birth to his final
12:36son benjamin and she dies in the process
12:39and so dad plays favorites and all the
12:45joseph can’t stand this kid right
12:50then god intervenes and god gives joseph
12:54two prophetic dreams and joseph like an
12:57idiot shares those dreams with his
12:59family right you know when one has to
13:02wonder if he’s uppity or not and did i
13:04mention the coat of many many colors
13:06that distinguished him among his
13:08brothers oh man he got the best things
13:10ever okay so he shares his prophetic
13:12dreams with his brothers about their
13:14she’s bowing down to his sheep and the
13:17stars and the moon and the sun bowing
13:19down to him and his brothers said that’s
13:22it cancelled we’re going to kill this
13:25right and so they waited just the
13:28perfect amount of time they were off
13:30shepherding off a long distance and so
13:33dad sent joseph to go check in on them
13:36right of course like a fool he’s wearing
13:39that coat of many colors who struts
13:41around in the judean wilderness in one
13:43of those anyway he’s strutting around
13:46looking for his brother’s fine fine
13:48his he gives directions to where they
13:50are they see him coming that’s it he’s
13:53they’re going to kill him
13:55and they’re going to they’re going to
13:57use goat blood to make it look like it
13:59was a wild animal that tore them tore
14:01him up it’s just it’s beautiful but one
14:04of their one of the brothers prevails
14:05says let’s not let’s not kill him let’s
14:07sell him into slavery instead
14:10and so he’s betrayed for pieces of
14:13that sounds familiar right and he sold
14:15into slavery
14:17what a great family
14:19now we all know how this story is
14:21supposed to end if you’re not familiar
14:23with how the sport story is supposed to
14:24end according to the way the world
14:26thinks just read the count of monte
14:28cristo okay edmund dantes gets his
14:31revenge and everybody’s dead and and has
14:34justice exacted against him but that’s
14:35not what happens okay joseph is now in
14:38slavery and he’s a really good slave he
14:41like excels at slavery who knew right
14:45the lord is with him and he’s the best
14:46slave ever
14:48and then i always like to point this out
14:50because of the anti-patriarchy people
14:52that the very first recorded incident of
14:55workplace sexual harassment in all of
14:57human history okay takes place
15:01in well joseph’s workplace and it was a
15:05who was
15:06well harassing him
15:08okay so we’ll note that those sins go
15:11both ways you know the the evil
15:13patriarchy and somehow women only being
15:16victims that’s a lie it’s a lie we’re
15:18all dead in trespasses and sins and so
15:21what happens she she makes moves on him
15:23he says no she makes moves on him he
15:26says no and finally she entraps him he
15:29has to run away and she lies and what
15:32happens to joseph now
15:36and i’m i have this on good authority
15:39that ancient egyptian prisons are not
15:42the hygienic places that they are today
15:45okay and they’re barely hygienic today
15:48okay not a place you want to be and he
15:50spends more than a decade there and is
15:52he stewing on how he’s going to get his
15:56revenge do you all remember like the
15:58second star trek movie with khan
16:00ricardo montalban this is where we hear
16:03these important words revenge
16:06is a dish best served cold right
16:10this is what joseph should be doing his
16:13brothers are his enemies but by some
16:17account some miraculous thing god takes
16:21joseph from being in prison
16:23and now exalts him to being second in
16:25command of all of egypt after pharaoh
16:27had two prophetic dreams regarding a
16:29coming well season of seven years of
16:32plenty followed by seven years of famine
16:35we know how the story goes and while the
16:37seven years of plenty came and went the
16:3970 years of famine begin and guess who
16:42shows up in egypt to buy grain because
16:44there’s no grain anywhere else
16:47joseph’s brothers
16:51right this is how this is supposed to go
16:55but the story
16:56doesn’t go like that
16:59at all
17:00despite the evil that has been done to
17:04him the suffering that he has been made
17:07to endure the pain the stenches oh all
17:11the different experiences of being a
17:13slave and then a prisoner in egypt
17:16all of that
17:17doesn’t jade him
17:19nor does it cause him to seek revenge
17:22against his brothers
17:24and in chapter 45 after joseph had put
17:27his brothers to the test
17:29really for the legitimate reason of
17:31discovering whether or not they had done
17:33in his brother benjamin
17:36once he knew that he was safe and all
17:38was well with benjamin
17:40he finally makes himself known to his
17:43and it’s one of the most amazing texts
17:45in all of scripture
17:46in chapter 45 it reads joseph could not
17:49control himself all of his brothers were
17:52invited to his home for a meal
17:54and before all those who stood by him he
17:56cried make everyone go out from me so no
17:58one stayed with him when joseph made
18:00himself known to his brothers
18:02and he wept aloud so the egyptians heard
18:05it and the household of pharaoh heard it
18:07joseph said to his brothers and i love
18:10the hebrew here ani yosef i am joseph
18:14is my father still alive
18:18no revenge
18:19a tender
18:21moment a moment where
18:23he’s let down his guard his brothers
18:26couldn’t answer him they were all
18:27dismayed at his presence the thing they
18:30dreaded the most was now happening to
18:32them but they weren’t getting what they
18:33dreaded joseph said to his brothers come
18:36near to me please
18:38so they came near
18:39and he said i am your brother joseph
18:41whom you sold into egypt and now do not
18:44be distressed or angry with yourselves
18:46because you sold me here for god sent me
18:49before you to preserve life for the
18:52famine has been in the land these two
18:53years and yet there are five years in
18:55which there will be neither plowing or
18:58god sent me before you to preserve for
19:01you a remnant on earth and to keep alive
19:04for you many survivors so it was not you
19:07who sent me here but god
19:10he has made me a father to pharaoh and
19:12lord of all of his house and the ruler
19:15all of the land of egypt
19:18christ has sent us into the world
19:21as his ambassadors
19:23that’s our job as well and he has given
19:26us the task of proclaiming repentance
19:28and the forgiveness of sins and you’re
19:30going to note the parallels between
19:31joseph and jesus are profound
19:34it says in john
19:36the opening uh chapter of the gospel of
19:38john talking about christ the true light
19:40which gives light to everyone was coming
19:42into the world
19:43he was in the world
19:45and the world was made through him and
19:47yet the world did not know him what a
19:50tragic thing our god comes to tabernacle
19:53with us comes and joins humanity is
19:56incarnate of the holy spirit in the
19:59virgin mary and he himself is born and
20:02grows to be a man and we didn’t even
20:07god among us i remember that song from
20:10the 1990s the song goes what if god was
20:13one of us
20:14just a slob like one of us a stranger on
20:17the bus trying to find his way home
20:20the reality is i always found that
20:22particular song from the 90s to be
20:26interesting because
20:28christ was
20:29is one of us
20:31and yet we did not recognize him he was
20:34our brother in humanity he came to his
20:37own his own did not receive him but to
20:40all who did receive him who believed in
20:42his name he gave the right to become the
20:44children of god people who were born not
20:47of blood or of the will of the flesh nor
20:49the will of man but truly born
20:51of god the word became flesh and dwelt
20:54among us we have seen his glory glory is
20:57of the only son from the father full of
20:59grace and truth this is christ
21:03god the father has sent him to us and
21:07what did we do to him and notice i’m
21:10saying we’re guilty of this all
21:12we murdered him
21:15what joseph’s brothers
21:18did not have the guts to do
21:21we did to jesus
21:23we are responsible for putting him on
21:25the cross
21:26your sin and mine is what nailed him
21:28there he came among us and we said
21:32crucify him
21:34and rather than selling him into slavery
21:36making a profit of it we killed him and
21:38you’re going to note then that god takes
21:41the murder of christ the most wicked and
21:45event in all of human history we murder
21:48our own god
21:50and what we intended for evil
21:53god now has worked for our salvation so
21:56that we can for be forgiven and pardoned
21:59that’s really what’s going on in our old
22:01testament text when joseph’s brothers
22:05saw that their father was dead this is
22:08they thought that joseph would hate them
22:10and pay back all the evil they had done
22:13to him
22:15listen to what happens here israel when
22:18he was still alive his brothers couldn’t
22:20believe that joseph had actually
22:22forgiven them and that he had overcome
22:24their evil with good and so that now
22:27that dad was dead they sent a message to
22:29joseph saying you know your father gave
22:31this command before he died say to
22:33joseph please forgive the transgression
22:35of your brothers and their sin because
22:37they did evil to you they totally made
22:40that up knowing full well that nobody
22:42can say no to the dying wishes of a
22:45patriarch right your father’s dying and
22:47on his deathbed he says it is my dying
22:50wish that you do this right
22:52so they’re totally manipulating joseph
22:53but joseph doesn’t need to be
22:55manipulated and so they beg please
22:57forgive the transgression of the
22:59servants of the god of your father and
23:00joseph as a result of this he wept and
23:02he spoke to him
23:04and his brothers they came and they fell
23:05down before him said we are your slaves
23:07but joseph said to them do not fear
23:09am i in the place of god
23:13as for you
23:14you meant evil against me
23:16but god meant it for good
23:19to bring about that many should be kept
23:21alive as they are today so do not fear i
23:24will provide for you and for your little
23:26ones and so no those words of joseph
23:29those sound so much like christ
23:32what we intended against christ for evil
23:36has now been worked for our salvation
23:38god made jesus to be sin who knew no sin
23:42so that we might be the righteousness of
23:44god and now we are the ambassadors of
23:47this good news that christ died for our
23:50sins and as ambassadors we have been
23:54told by god that we have no right to
23:57vengeance vengeance belongs to god
23:59therefore christ tells us in our gospel
24:02text be
24:05even as your father
24:07is merciful
24:09judge not
24:10it’s not your job to put condemn
24:13somebody to hell that’s what he’s
24:15talking about here it’s not your job you
24:17never know your enemy may repent and be
24:19forgiven just like you are so do not
24:22judge condemn not and you will not be
24:24condemned forgive and you will be
24:27give and it will be given to you
24:30and so you’ll note
24:33our epistle text
24:34makes sense then only in light of the
24:37gospel each and every one of us knowing
24:39that christ has borne
24:41our sins in his body on the cross we
24:44murdered him and he rather than exacting
24:47vengeance gives us eternal life all as a
24:50gift and so as christians it makes sense
24:53then the forgiven forgive the loved
24:56loved and the persecuted they do not
24:58persecute they bless
25:02if your enemy is hungry
25:05even if he’s in your own household
25:07feed him
25:09if he’s thirsty
25:10even if he’s in your own household you
25:12give him something to drink for so doing
25:15you will keep burning coals on his head
25:18and just like christ just like joseph
25:20before him just like all that god does
25:25do not be overcome by evil instead
25:28overcome evil with good
25:32so show mercy
25:34and peace and love
25:36and care for even those who hate your
25:39guts and want you dead that’s exactly
25:42what christ did because you were one who
25:44was born dead in trespasses and sins and
25:47had you gone the way of the world and
25:49not been converted by the mighty hand of
25:52the holy spirit in the preached gospel
25:54and in the waters of baptism you too
25:56would hate god
25:58and want him dead
26:00but god has had mercy on you he’s
26:02forgiven you given you a new heart in
26:04christ he has overcome your evil with
26:07good and these are our marching orders
26:09and i know they’re not easy you cannot
26:11do it in your own strength it can only
26:13be done by the power of the holy spirit
26:15who produces within you his fruit
26:18so repent of your anger
26:21repent of your desire to seek vengeance
26:23and justice even against those who are
26:25your enemies in your own household
26:27you have been loved well in christ
26:30love well as well
26:32do not be overcome by evil overcome evil
26:36with good in the name of Jesus
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