Sermon Transcript – Slandering God

Series B – Tenth Sunday of Pentecost – Sunday, August 1, 2021 | 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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0:23The Holy Gospel according to Saint John
0:30the sixth chapter [Music] [Applause] [Music]
0:38on the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there and that Jesus had not entered the boat
0:45with his disciples but that his disciples had gone away alone other boats from tiberias came near the
0:51place where they had eaten the bread after the lord had given thanks so when the crowd saw that Jesus was not
0:56there nor his disciples they themselves got into the boats and went to capernaum seeking
1:01Jesus when they found him on the other side of the sea they said to him rabbi when did you come here Jesus answered
1:08them truly truly i say to you you are seeking me not because you saw signs but because you ate your fill of the
1:14loaves do not labor for the food that perishes but for the food that endures to eternal life
1:19which the son of man will give to you for on him god the father has set his
1:24seal then they said to him what must we do to be doing the works of god
1:30Jesus answered them this is the work of god that you believe in him whom he has sent so they said to him well then what sign
1:37do you do that we may see and believe you what work do you perform our fathers ate the manna in the
1:43wilderness as it is written he gave them bread from heaven to eat Jesus said to them truly truly i say to
1:48you was not moses who gave you the bread from heaven but my father gives you the true bread from heaven for the bread of god
1:54is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world and they said to him sir give us this
2:00bread always Jesus said to them i am the bread of life whoever comes to me shall not hunger
2:06whoever believes in me shall never thirst this is the gospel of the lord what must
2:12we do to be doing the works of god that’s that’s a big question
2:20isn’t it what must we do to be doing the works of god and kind of behind it is an interesting assumption let me
2:26explain in fact the assumption is really bad really really really bad and he’s
2:31thinking how bad can it be it’s the worst kind of bad you can possibly imagine you see to be doing the works of god the thing
2:38that you’re thinking is well i’ve got to save myself you see you know the world is full of
2:46bad people i need to apply myself to being intentional
2:51to being good to well being good enough pious enough praying enough obeying
2:58enough and not the word enough when when do you fulfill the word enough
3:04now my parents are here today so i have to do a little bit of group therapy to get some of the the the
3:10baggage out of my system from when i was being raised but i i will i will tell you this my parents will tell you
3:15that i wasn’t the easiest child to raise it’s it’s absolutely true in fact when i was in fifth grade that
3:22was when i had my first bout with depression i decided i would just stop going to school i did i just
3:28up and stopped and and so i found other things to do during the day and my mom had no clue that i had
3:35stopped going to school and i missed quite a bit of school more than a week when she got a phone call
3:41is chris okay because he hasn’t been coming to school he hasn’t what he hasn’t been coming to school and well
3:48you know let’s just say that i got disciplined thoroughly for this for this offense and rightfully so but because i had
3:55missed so much school guess who had to do makeup work during the summer me right
4:01and guess who was my teacher mom all right and boy okay she was the
4:08toughest teacher i ever had in my whole life and she had very strict rules strict rules will end something like
4:14this you cannot have your friends over you cannot play until you do your homework
4:21okay so she would make me read books we would go to the library we’d check out books and then she’d make me write five
4:28paragraph thesis you know summaries on what i read and of course my handwriting was miserable but that’s
4:34a different story altogether it still is if you want to read clear handwriting i have to write it in greek so i hope
4:40you read greek but anyway the whole point then went something like this i would write out
4:46my homework and i would turn it in to my mother for her to review and oh my
4:53word she would take a red marker and by the time she was done with my paper it looked like
5:00evidence from a murder scene all right and she would say
5:05not good enough rewrite it
5:12okay not good enough rewrite it okay all right and then
5:18my parents they gave me chores i had to like wash cars and stuff like this and after
5:23i washed cars there would be inspections inspections so my mom would come out and look at the car
5:29and she’d always have her nose up you know looking like like like through her glasses oh you missed a spot oh oh this this
5:36there’s spots on the window here and stuff like this and what and what would she say not good
5:41enough re-wash it no i have plans i have people to play with i’ve got
5:49right and the thing is we’ve all had experiences like this we all have but here’s the thing
5:55at no point have i ever questioned my mom’s love for me because she disciplined me
6:01in fact her discipline showed her love for me the fact that she was involved in my life showed that she cared
6:08and so at no point did i ever do chores or do homework or rewrite things in
6:15order to earn my mom’s love i just had it right in fact what she was doing was showing
6:20me that she loved me but here’s the thing when it comes to god we have a different
6:25approach all together and the thinking goes something like this
6:31well god’s a meanie poopy head yeah i mean you ever read the bible like
6:36the old testament god he just seems like he’s always grumpy and he’s always
6:42out there to well you know you step out of line and lightning comes from the sky and zaps
6:47you dead and so in order to get on god’s good side i’ve got to do
6:55enough you see the difference here basically
7:01what you’re saying is is that in order for god to love me
7:06i have to earn that love in order for me to be saved i have to
7:13earn that salvation and over and again we kind of think of like the old scales right you take your your good
7:20works you put them on one side of the scale you take your bad works on the other side of the scale and there on the day of judgment you
7:26know things are being weighed in the balance and if the good outweighs the bad well you’re in and god goes good
7:32job you have earned my love and favor
7:38what kind of deity is that
7:45what kind of deity is that that’s a pretty horrible
7:53savage abusive deity that’s not what god is like at all
8:00you’ll note that scripture teaches us that god is our father do children have to earn their
8:08father’s favor no not at all and so with that i want
8:14you to consider this and that is is that the word devil you know devil or satan
8:22the word itself means slanderer the accuser or the slanderer right
8:31and so you’ll note that the devil all the way back in the garden of eden all the way back you remember that first
8:38question he asked eve that’s the second first question first
8:44question is it true is it true that you can’t eat from any of the trees
8:50in the garden let me rephrase it for you because the question itself just has this
8:56nasty slander attached to it i i’ve heard that god’s not even feeding
9:02you guys and making you work is it true he’s not even feeding you you’re not allowed to eat
9:08see the slander right what was the devil doing painting got out to be well a meanie
9:15grumpy pants right that’s the whole point but god
9:20isn’t like that at all and so you’ll note then that in our old testament text i’ll just
9:26kind of point this out in our old testament text you have the children of israel in the
9:31wilderness and let’s put this back into a bigger context shall we
9:37in the bigger context they had just been set free after spending
9:43400 plus years in slavery in egypt the united states isn’t even 400 years
9:50old we’re like halfway there just a little over halfway
9:55to the 400 and something mark that the children of israel spent in slavery in egypt
10:01generation after generation after generation died in absolute poverty and slavery and
10:07subjugation but god remembered his promises because god always keeps his promises his promises to abraham to isaac to
10:14jacob that he would send a deliverer and so god sent moses moses kind of a stand-in for
10:21Christ and through ten powerful acts of judgment the plagues of egypt
10:26god tore the children of israel out of the grasp of the egyptians judge
10:33their deities judged their false god king and they all came up wanting and the children of israel marched
10:40triumphantly out of slavery and goshen on towards the promised land then of
10:45course they run into the red sea and the armies of pharaoh are chasing them
10:50and they meet at the shores of the red sea and god puts himself between the army of egypt
10:57and the people of israel and then miraculously rescues the children of israel by
11:03opening up the red sea creating a chasm down the center of this thing and the
11:08children of israel walk on the bottom of the sea as on dry land and this is where aquariums first showed
11:15up right and they were vic and then when the the
11:22armies of egypt went into the red sea god destroyed them
11:28do you think for a second that in that context the grumbling makes any sense i mean we
11:36tell stories it’s in our movies it’s in our story books of some fellow who was
11:41walking down the street about ready to be hit by a bus because he had a couple of air pods in his ear wasn’t even
11:47paying attention he was texting his girlfriend and some guy sees the danger pushes him out of the way
11:53saves his life and what does he say i’m eternally grateful
11:58right and so that person feels like he owes the person who saved his life
12:04a huge debt god went above and beyond that with the children of israel saved
12:10them spectacularly and when the first rumblings of hunger
12:15came up in their bellies out comes not
12:20real grumbling but slander i want you to hear the slander the whole
12:26congregation the people of israel grumbled against moses and aaron in the wilderness and the people of israel said to them oh
12:32would that we had died by the hand of yahweh in the land of egypt when we sat by the meat pots ate bread
12:38to the full for you’ve brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger
12:45are you kidding me so at this point you’ll note our old
12:52testament text moses rightly says you’re not your grumbling isn’t against us it’s against yahweh and what are they doing they’re accusing yahweh
13:00of having the intention of bringing them out of slavery for the purpose of killing them in the
13:10that is absolute slander and you’ll note how quickly how
13:18easily we human beings slander god just like the devil does
13:26we do and when it comes to our salvation i’m going to postulate this today and
13:33that is is that if you think you can save yourself by your good works by your piety you know what your core problem is
13:41you think the worst of god let me explain god has made it clear
13:47that salvation is a gift given purely out of his love his mercy and his grace because god is
13:56nothing like the devil paints him out to be and nothing like those who do not know their bibles paid them out to be
14:02when people say oh that god of the old testament he just seems so so full of himself and you know and
14:09he just is so angry all the time you know nothing about the god of the bible nothing you’re slandering him when you
14:15speak that way but when you say i’m going to save myself what are you saying it’s up to me
14:22because i know that god says salvation’s a gift i totally get that and that Christ died
14:27for my sins yeah yeah yeah i heard it a thousand times
14:33but at the end of the day i’m not gonna believe that i’m gonna go ahead and well get out
14:41the scrubbing brush and shine myself up like a shiny penny because you don’t want to show up
14:48because you know maybe just maybe god isn’t all that merciful maybe he’s really not
14:53kind maybe he’s not loving at all maybe what he’s really like is he’s capricious like
14:59everybody paints him out to be and so i can’t trust him i can trust myself
15:09you see the issue those who are trying to save themselves
15:15are explicitly saying that god is a liar
15:22that his promises of the forgiveness of sins are a pipe dream his promise of eternal
15:29life as a gift because of his great mercy isn’t true and that god really isn’t loving he
15:36isn’t kind he doesn’t forgive he’s not slow to anger he’s not abounding instead fast love and
15:43he truly doesn’t pardon iniquity
15:48and this is how we grumble against god and so you can see this in our gospel text when you kind of learned what to look
15:54for in our gospel text it says that on the day the next day the crowd that remained on
15:59the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat and the Jesus had not entered the boat
16:04with his disciples but that his disciples had gone away alone now a little bit of a note i love
16:10the fact that during this this part of the three-year lectionary we get the feeding of the 5 000 and
16:16we’re not moving far from it last week we heard about Christ walking on the water and the whole reason why he
16:22was walking on the water is because they were going to make him king by force
16:28the big miracle of all of these israelites in the wilderness being miraculously fed
16:36by god their eyes are open they know exactly who Jesus is and they’re basically saying hold still
16:42in fact why don’t we just bind you up we’re going to put a crown on your head and we’re going to march into israel we’re making you our king whether you
16:48want to be our king or not is that what Christ came to do in his first advent
16:54nope not not at all he didn’t come to establish his kingdom in that way he came to bear
17:02your sin in his body and go to the cross and to die for
17:07the ungodly that’s me that’s you and so Jesus the whole walking on the
17:13water bit was kind of a way of like throwing them off the trail because there was no other way to leave
17:19and so they how did Jesus get away we were going to make him king today how
17:25did he get away well he took a route that nobody can take he walked across the sea of galilee and that was the point so when the other
17:32boats from tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the lord had given thanks so when the crowd saw that Jesus was not
17:38there his disciples they themselves got into boats and went to capernaum seeking Jesus so when they found him on
17:45the other side of the sea they said to him rabbi when did you come here and now Jesus well he starts saying some
17:53tough things he said truly truly i say to you you’re seeking me not because you saw signs but because you ate you’re fill of
18:01the loaves in other words you know if you kind of
18:06summarize it Jesus is saying you ate your fill of the loaves and you want to make me king by forest because you want
18:11me to be a bread king and what a good bread king Jesus would have been he would have solved
18:16well the world hunger problem in in a short amount of time indeed i mean every day being able to
18:22miraculously produce food ah there would never be a hunger problem on earth again but the thing is is that
18:27Jesus didn’t come to fill our physical bellies and so Jesus says do
18:32not labor for the food that perishes but for the food that endures to eternal
18:37life which the son of man will give to you
18:44give he’s going to give it well they hear the words of Jesus and they’re a little confused
18:50do not labor for the food that perishes but for the food that endures to eternal life what’s that
18:56but Jesus says he’s going to give it to them so they said to him all right what must we be doing to do the works of god
19:03they’re thinking we’ve got to labor for this eternal food and you can almost see Jesus a little
19:09bit annoyed because he made it clear he’s going to give it to them he said this
19:15is the work of god that you believe in him whom he has sent
19:21believe believe in the one whom he has sent you see we are saved by grace
19:29through faith apart from works think of it this way in romans chapter 4
19:36paul talking about the fact that we are saved by grace through faith apart from works he makes an interesting
19:41distinction by pointing to abraham he says what then shall we say was gained by abraham our
19:48forefather according to the flesh if abraham was justified by works
19:54and justified means to be declared righteous by god he has something then to boast about but
20:00not before god for what does the scripture say abraham believed god
20:06and it was counted or credited to him as righteousness now to the one who
20:12works his wages are not counted as a gift but as is due and we all know this that never ever
20:18have we received a gift of being paid by an employer for the work that we’ve done always and again when we get paid that’s
20:25something we’ve earned but salvation isn’t a wage salvation is a gift
20:30so to the one though who does not work but the one who believes in him
20:36in him who justifies the ungodly his faith is counted as righteousness
20:41just like abraham’s so think of it this way the work of god
20:46is to believe to believe in the one whom the father has sent Christ
20:52who goes to the cross and bleeds and dies for you and we then hear these important words
20:58again that god justifies who the ungodly
21:06and yet that’s you that’s me you’re part of that group
21:14if you don’t think that you’re part of your that group and you think well it’s really not that bad i mean after all i pay my taxes
21:21and i work really hard at my job you still don’t understand the magnitude of your sin
21:27Christ didn’t die for good people good people do not go to hell
21:34ungodly people go to hell and each and every one of us has earned that
21:39and so it’s time for you to speak the truth about yourself and stop slandering god god is not
21:46a meanie-pants he is not somebody who’s grumpy he is not somebody who sends
21:52people to hell unjustly each and every one of us fit in this category of the ungodly
21:58and god does not will for us to perish this is why he sent his son so that he
22:04would bleed and die for our ungodliness in our place so that rather
22:09than get what we deserve he can give out of his mercy
22:14his grace his kindness and his love forgiveness to all ungodly sinners like
22:21you and like me and so the one who believes his faith is counted as righteousness
22:27and then he goes on just as david also speaks of the blessing of the one whom god counts righteous apart from
22:33works blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven and whose sins are covered blessed is
22:40the man against whom the lord will not count his sin and indeed everyone
22:45who believes receives from god the forgiveness of all of their lawless deeds
22:50and they receive from god blessing rather than well punishment
22:57this is most certainly true so the question is do you believe this
23:02well Jesus said the work of god is that you believe in him whom he he has sent so the crowd talking to
23:10Jesus they kind of put two and two together and say all right well Jesus here is talking about himself
23:15and so you’re saying god wants us to believe in you Jesus so they said to him all right what sign
23:20then do you do so that we may see and believe you
23:25sign this is not a bad question by the way i mean remember when moses was commissioned by god in the early parts
23:32of exodus and he said well what if they don’t believe me what if they don’t believe that you’re the one who sent me what do
23:37i do and god gave him three signs sign number one he can turn water into blood
23:43sign number two he can take his staff throw it on the ground it becomes a serpent and then when he picks it back up it
23:48becomes a staff again and then sign number three he could take his hand stick it in his cloak and it comes out leprous put it back and
23:55it comes back out fine so those were the three signs given him so the people of israel here
24:01these jews are asking Jesus all right what sign can you show us though we may believe you what work
24:09do you perform and with bread still on the brain from the miracle that Jesus performed
24:15just yesterday they said our fathers ate manna in the wilderness as it is written he gave them
24:20bread from heaven to eat and here Jesus gives them the sign the
24:25sign of the new covenant Jesus said to them truly truly i say to you it was not moses who gave you bread
24:32from heaven but my father he gives you the true bread from heaven
24:37note again the important verb gives he gives you don’t earn it it’s not a wage it’s a gift given he gives you the true
24:45bread from heaven for the bread of god is he who comes down from heaven and gives
24:52life to the world who’s Jesus saying is the bread of god himself
25:00so they said to him all right sir give us this bread always here comes i am the bread of life
25:08wait what huh you’re the bread of life but Jesus then
25:14gives this promise whoever comes to me shall not hunger whoever believes in me shall never
25:21thirst yeah and when you read the rest of the chapter and we’ll read more of it next
25:26week you can see that they really are having a tough time with this super tough time because how can this
25:34guy give us his flesh to eat but that’s the sign you want a sign here’s the sign Jesus
25:40is the bread of god that comes down from heaven remember when the children of israel went out in our old testament
25:46texts after god had caused the manna to fall from heaven overnight they woke up and they looked
25:51out there and they they call it manna but the word itself is just a hebrew phrase and here’s what
25:58they did they opened up their tents and looked out and went
26:05right what is it okay they had never seen anything like it i would note that every time we have the
26:12lord suffer there’s a big question that comes up and here’s the question
26:17what is it it is exactly what Jesus says that it is
26:23today we will feast on the bread given by the father from heaven Christ
26:30himself his body and blood given and shed for us for the forgiveness
26:35of our sins do you believe this
26:40do you believe that you are a sinner who needs the bread that comes down from heaven Christ
26:49this is what we’re called to believe to not believe in ourselves but to believe in the one whom the father has sent
26:56and Christ promises the bread of life that he is whoever comes to him shall never hunger
27:02whoever believes in him will never thirst in fact Jesus goes on to say all who come to me i will never
27:10cast out all so what does this call for us to do
27:17to repent of our slander to repent of trusting in the most
27:25stupid thing you can trust in on planet earth yourself
27:30and instead believe in him the one whom the father has sent because
27:36note the word father you do not have to earn god’s
27:41love your heavenly father loves you he is your creator and he knows that you have fallen into
27:48sin and he knows that you cannot save yourself he doesn’t love you because you’ve
27:54earned his love he loves you because he truly is your father
28:00he is a kind father he’s a merciful father he’s gracious and he cares for you
28:08so much that he does not want you to face his anger or his wrath and so he has given Jesus his only
28:15begotten son he sent him to humble himself and he was
28:21perfectly obedient in your place so that you can receive forgiveness
28:28mercy grace and life what a great and kind father we have and
28:35that is the God that you find throughout all the pages of the bible don’t listen to the slander the slander
28:42about him is just that and it all has its origin in the devil and those who are the devil’s children
28:48who want to justify their evil justify their self-righteousness justify well their unbelief
28:58but god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever you
29:04included me included whoever believes in him shall not perish
29:09but have eternal life all as a gift trust in the name of Jesus
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