Sermon Transcript – Sold as a Slave to Sin

Series A – Fourth Sunday After Pentecost – Sunday, July 6, 2014 | 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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0:27Grace mercy and
0:29peace to you from God our heavenly
0:31father and our Lord and Savior Jesus
0:36our text that forms the basis of our my
0:38sermon this morning is taken from our
0:40epistle reading from Romans chapter 7.
0:42we know that the law is spiritual
0:45but I am unspiritual
0:47sold as a slave to sin
0:50now the Apostle Paul in our epistle text
0:52is setting up the contrast between God’s
0:54holy law and our sinful nature and the
0:58picture isn’t pretty in fact the picture
1:00that is painted of humanity in this
1:01passage of holy scriptures grotesque
1:04painful to even read and yet if a person
1:07is ever going to understand the idea
1:10that sin is slavery and not our friend
1:13or a cute little exotic pet then he or
1:16she must wrestle with this passage yeah
1:19every now and then we get those news
1:20stories right of somebody who’s foolish
1:22enough to bring a baby alligator home
1:25you ever you read these from time to
1:27time right some poor fool went down to
1:29Florida and just thought oh that
1:30alligator is just so cute the babies are
1:33just the cutest little things and they
1:34bring it home and they put it in their
1:36bathtub right
1:38and they keep feeding it and feeding it
1:40and feeding it next thing you know you
1:42have a full-grown alligator living
1:43inside your home’s bathtub and you have
1:45no way to get it out of your house
1:47without you being devoured by it right
1:49that’s kind of a picture there of what
1:52sin is like and each and every one of us
1:54are born with a sinful nature
1:56so reality is this keep this in mind
2:01is an unsatiable or insatiable appetite
2:05sin craves evil and once it has been fed
2:09what it has been lusting for the hunger
2:12pains Begin Again
2:15problem is the next time the hunger
2:17pains are stronger
2:18now we all know someone let’s do this
2:21for a little bit we’re going to talk
2:22about Sin we’ll do this safely let’s
2:24talk about other people right okay
2:27don’t worry I’ll come back to us but um
2:30let’s do this let’s do this clinically
2:32here we’ll talk about it in the abstract
2:33because we all know someone whom sin has
2:36utterly overpowered and and enslaved
2:39maybe you know a meth addict who despite
2:42the fact that their teeth are literally
2:44rotting out of their mouths because of
2:46the effects of their drug
2:48they can’t stop
2:50or how about the alcoholic woman who
2:52night after night seeks to escape the
2:54pain of this life by disappearing into a
2:57or the man who constantly flies into a
3:02and ends up beating the woman that he
3:04swore to love honor and cherish
3:09we know people like this right
3:11or the woman who spends her days on the
3:13phone mining people for juicy little
3:15bits of gossip and news about her
3:18neighbors so that the she can then turn
3:20around and venomously share that
3:22information with others and by doing so
3:26the character of her friends and
3:30or how about the couple
3:32to put that in air quotes the couple who
3:35are clandestinely having an affair
3:38secretly finding ways that they can
3:40spend time together in cheap little
3:42motels or you know places where the
3:44their spouse won’t know what their their
3:46spouse is won’t know what they’re up to
3:50we all know people who’ve done this
3:53and the ones enslaved and ruled by these
3:56sins they know that it’s sin
3:58they know that they are enslaved and are
4:00utterly powerless to break free from
4:02sin’s grip and yet they are driven by
4:04their sinful passions deeper
4:07and deeper
4:08Into Darkness
4:10in fact you’ll find talking with these
4:12people they’ll say it’s so much easier
4:14to give way to sin’s power than to stand
4:16up to it
4:17in fact we all know this because there’s
4:19this annual ritual we do here in the
4:21United States it happens every year on
4:24New Year’s Eve we all make New Year’s
4:27resolutions I’m going to once again be
4:30as skinny as I was when I was 18 years
4:33right I’m gonna stop eating and not
4:36exercising I’m going to take care of
4:39myself I’m going to stop lying about
4:40people or I’m going to do this or do
4:42that right and how long do those New
4:44Year’s resolutions last
4:51three days a week
4:53for the really really self-confident
4:55those who really have the ability to gut
4:58it out three
5:00four weeks right
5:02it’s all an exercise in futility isn’t
5:06yeah none of us can really ever seem to
5:09get our acts together can we
5:13because all of us have a sinful nature
5:16now let me read to you a horrifying list
5:18now this is going to get personal we
5:21talked about Sin in the abstract let’s
5:22do a little examination in Galatians
5:24chapter 5 we have this horrifying
5:26thumbnail sketch of the acts of the
5:28sinful nature here’s what the Apostle
5:30Paul writing under the inspiration of
5:32the holy spirit says he says the acts of
5:34the sinful nature are obvious
5:37they’re not hidden we all know this
5:38right let’s talk about the obvious
5:41sexual immorality
5:44yep we all know that that’s kind of a
5:46no-brainer Greek word there by the way
5:49is pornaya
5:50sound familiar we get the word
5:53pornography from it
5:57sexual immorality is any type of sexual
6:01behavior that is not God ordained
6:05and God ordained sexual behavior only
6:07occurs between a husband and a wife
6:12everything outside of that is pornea
6:16then we have this wonderful word
6:19akatharsia it’s a state of moral
6:22corruption vileness
6:24right when we hear about this we think
6:27about somebody who in a sense is
6:30somebody that we would describe as that
6:32person’s really nasty
6:35and we all know what we mean by that
6:37how about this one debauchery
6:40the Greek this is a fun word and the
6:44definition is somebody who is debaterous
6:46has a complete lack of self-control and
6:49engages in conduct that violates all
6:52bonds of what is socially acceptable
6:54think of it as self-abandonment if you
6:58and then another Act of the sinful
7:00nature a lot of people don’t think of
7:02this as an act of the sinful nature and
7:03yet it is idolatry this is making your
7:06own God how many of you have had a
7:08conversation with a friend or neighbor
7:10maybe you’ve said this to yourself the
7:12god I believe in would never blank and
7:15then fill in the blank the God I would
7:18never the god I believe in would never
7:19blank and the blank is always something
7:21that God has actually revealed about
7:23himself in his word the god I believe in
7:25would never send anybody to hell
7:28the god I believe in accepts everybody
7:31and would never condemn somebody because
7:33they’re born gay
7:35the god I believe in would never vote
7:38Republican you know things like that
7:45you or anyone else says the god I
7:47believe in would never whatever
7:51the gods you believe in isn’t the god
7:52who’s revealed in scripture the god you
7:55believe in is a God you’ve made up and
7:57that God cannot save you because he
7:59doesn’t exist
8:02if the gods you believe in would never
8:04send anybody to hell that’s not the god
8:06revealed in scripture the god revealed
8:09in scripture does send Sinners to hell
8:12but the god of scripture also
8:15forgives and pardon Sinners by the shed
8:17blood of Christ
8:19then there’s witchcraft now this is a
8:22Temptation not a lot of people talk
8:24about this but how much do you want to
8:25bet somebody here has dabbled in this
8:28whether it’s the Ouija board
8:30or the rituals designed to get God to
8:33act on your behalf did you know sending
8:35money to a televangelist on TBN is a
8:38form of Witchcraft it’s a belief that by
8:40sending money that somehow you are
8:42engaging in a ritual that will then open
8:44up God’s hand and send favor your way
8:46that’s a form of witchcraft
8:51how about hatred
9:01oh this is a big one
9:04really jealous that farmer has that
9:06combine I’ve been wanting that for years
9:08and I can’t afford it how did he pull
9:10that off
9:11I don’t care if it’s red or green right
9:14a little weird thing going on culturally
9:17here right
9:20fits of Rage
9:23now this one is an equal opportunity sin
9:25but men seem to have this one more than
9:29when you put your fist through a wall
9:32because you’re so angry
9:35or when you throw chairs or women you
9:37throw dishes fits of rage are completely
9:40out of control all you see is red or
9:42where you’re so angry that when you’re
9:44talking all that’s coming out of your
9:46mouth is spit
9:49this is an act of the sinful nature
9:56oh yeah these are fun I want to get
9:59people on my side now this happens in
10:01the corporate world and it happens in
10:03churches you have these little parties
10:05all centered around a person who likes
10:08to talk behind people’s backs and build
10:11up a little bit of a following and then
10:13they work against the other group or
10:15against the pastor right this is all an
10:17act of the sinful nature and it’s
10:29and the like
10:31this little passage from Galatians 5 has
10:34this as the kicker at the end of the
10:36Paul writing to Christians he says and I
10:39warn you as I did before that those who
10:42live like this will not inherit the
10:45kingdom of God
10:49now you may be thinking right now but
10:51you’ve just described me
10:54who of us can say that we’re completely
10:56sinless in light of that list right
10:59yes I know
11:01I’ve described you because Paul in our
11:03epistle text this morning is preaching
11:05the law to us in order that we can truly
11:07see the darkness of our sin so here
11:10again our epistle text Paul writes we
11:13know that the law is spiritual
11:16but I’m unspiritual
11:19sold as a slave to sin
11:22I do not understand what I do for what I
11:24want to do I do not do
11:27but what I hate to do that’s what I keep
11:29on doing
11:30and if I do what I do not want to do
11:32well then I agree that the law is good
11:35as it is it is no longer I myself who
11:37does it but it’s sin that’s living in me
11:39I know that nothing good lives in me
11:41that is in my sinful nature for I have
11:43the desire to do what is good
11:46but I cannot carry it out
11:48for what I do is not the good that I
11:50want to do no
11:52instead it’s the evil that I do not want
11:54to do
11:54and this I keep on doing
11:57now if I do what I do not want to do it
11:59is no longer I who do it but it is sin
12:02that is living in me that does it
12:05so I find this law at work when I want
12:07to do good evil is right there with me
12:11for in my inner being I Delight in God’s
12:15but I also see another law at work in
12:17the members of my body that is Waging
12:18War against the law of my mind and
12:20making me a prisoner to the law of sin
12:22at work that was in that’s within my
12:24note here Paul is not talking here about
12:27his struggles before he became a
12:31he’s talking about the struggles that
12:33Christians experience due to the war
12:34between the spirit and the sinful nature
12:37but the solution to this war the
12:40struggle is not the law of God just try
12:44harder just obey just do more right
12:48good luck on that
12:50the law does not have the power to save
12:55it only has the power to condemn us
13:00that’s why Paul says oh what a Wretched
13:01Man I am who will rescue me from this
13:04body of death
13:06it’s a great question who will rescue us
13:09who will rescue us
13:13who stand condemned by God’s holy law
13:17and with the law shining in all of its
13:19bright Glory
13:21it only shows the darkness of our heart
13:23even more
13:24that’s what it does
13:26so who’s going to rescue us from this
13:28body of death I have to cheat a little
13:30bit and go forward in the text
13:32Romans 8. says this
13:35there is therefore now no condemnation
13:39for those who are in Christ Jesus
13:45the law condemns and says you are a
13:47sinner you are guilty but you baptized
13:51Believers you are in Christ therefore
13:53there is no condemnation God does not
13:57condemn you
13:58at all because he’s condemned Christ
14:02for the law of the spirit of life has
14:04set you free in Christ from the law of
14:08sin and death for God has done with the
14:10law weakened by the flesh could not do
14:12by sending his own son in the likeness
14:14of sinful flesh and for sin he has
14:17condemned sin in the flesh in order that
14:19the righteous requirements of the law
14:20might be fulfilled in us who walk not
14:23according to the flesh but we walk
14:25according to the spirit
14:27so the solution to this problem is the
14:31gospel the good news the Christ died for
14:34your sins that’s the solution and that’s
14:37the law of the spirit the gospel Johann
14:40Gerhart the great Lutheran Theologian
14:42writes puts it this way think of this
14:44Great Exchange Christ’s Soul was grieved
14:48unto death
14:50so that we might Rejoice forever
14:53Christ he sweated bloody sweat and
14:56struggled in the throes of death so that
14:58we need never despair in the agony of
15:00our deaths
15:02Christ was led in captivity so that we
15:05would never have to be eternally captive
15:07to the devil
15:08Christ was bound so that he would rescue
15:11us from the bonds of sin and Hell
15:15Christ was forsaken by all the disciples
15:18so that he can reconcile us with God
15:20from whom we have become disgracefully
15:23alienated in disloyal apostasy
15:27Christ was struck in the face so that we
15:30would not be eternally battered by the
15:32fists of Satan and his angels
15:34Christ was falsely accused so that the
15:37law could not accuse us before God’s
15:40Christ kept his silence when he was
15:43falsely accused so that we would not
15:45have to be struck dumb before God on
15:48Judgment Day
15:50Christ was despised so that we would not
15:53end up in Eternal humiliating disgrace
15:56Christ was stripped of his clothes so
15:59that he would win for us the Garment of
16:02his righteousness
16:04Christ was stabbed with thorns in order
16:06to heal every sticker and thorn in our
16:09Christ was sentenced and condemned to
16:12so that we do not end up in Eternal
16:15Christ carrying the burden of the Cross
16:17so that he could lift up the burden of
16:19Eternal punishment from us Christ felt
16:21nothing less than that he was actually
16:23forsaken by God so that we would not be
16:27eternally forsaken or rejected by God
16:28Christ suffered thirst on the cross so
16:31that we did not end up in Eternal thirst
16:33Christ gave up his spirit with a great
16:36price so that we would not have to fall
16:38into Eternal wailing and gnashing of
16:40teeth Christ became for us a curse upon
16:43the timber trunk of the Cross so that we
16:46would not be eternally cursed by God
16:50Christ was pierced in the side to atone
16:52for the sin which was brought into the
16:54World by Eve who was crafted from the
16:56side of Adam
16:57Christ died so that we might live
17:00and from this we see the suffering of
17:03Christ as the clearest reflector of
17:05comfort in the face of sin
17:08this is what Jesus has done for us
17:11and this is what defeats sin death the
17:14devil and even overcomes the law
17:17all of this was done by Christ in order
17:19to set you you free from slavery to sin
17:22and now that Christ has set us free now
17:26that Christ has set you free and has
17:28washed away your sins and the Waters of
17:30your baptism and given you the Holy
17:32Spirit as a disposite that guarantees
17:34your inheritance or as Paul says in
17:37Romans 8 the law of the spirit of life
17:38has set you free in Christ from the law
17:40of sin and death that means that we who
17:42are in Christ can now walk according to
17:45the spirit and begin mortifying our
17:48sinful natures and stop obeying its
17:52sinful Desires in other words we who are
17:55now in Christ
17:57can walk in Freedom
17:59this is what Paul talks about in
18:01Galatians chapter 5. this is a great
18:03cross reference by the way Romans 7 and
18:06Galatians 5 they work together he’s
18:08talking about the same thing so let’s
18:10take a look at the same thing from a
18:12slightly different perspective Galatians
18:13chapter 5 13-26
18:18you my brothers were called to be
18:24that’s right
18:25you were called to be free
18:28free from slavery to the devil free from
18:30slavery to sin free
18:33so do not use your freedom to indulge
18:35the sinful nature rather serve one
18:39another in love or as Christ says as I
18:43have loved you
18:45so love one another
18:48and how has Christ loved you
18:50he’s loved you by dying for you right
18:55so the entire law is summed up in a
18:58single command love your neighbor as
19:00yourself but if you keep on biting and
19:02devouring each other watch out or you
19:05will be destroyed by each other
19:08so I say
19:09live by the spirit you can also say live
19:12by the gospel
19:13they’re kind of interchangeable in this
19:16for and you you live by the spirit and
19:18you will not gratify the desires of the
19:20sinful nature for the sinful nature
19:22desires what is contrary to the spirit
19:23the spirit what is contrary to the
19:25sinful nature they are in conflict with
19:27each other so that you do not do what
19:28you want
19:29but if you are led by the spirit you are
19:32not under the law now the acts of the
19:34sinful nature are obvious sexual
19:36immorality impurity debauchery idolatry
19:39witchcraft hatred Discord jealousy fits
19:42of Rage selfish ambition dissensions
19:46factions and envy drunkenness and orgies
19:49and the like I warned you as I did
19:51before that those who live like this
19:52will not inherit the kingdom of God
19:56but the Fruit of the Spirit
19:59the fruit of the Gospel
20:01is love
20:13gentleness and self-control
20:16against such things there is no law
20:19and those who belong to Christ
20:21that’s you you belong to Christ those
20:25who belong to Christ have crucified the
20:27sinful nature with its passions and its
20:29desires and since we now live by the
20:32spirit the gospel let us keep in step
20:36with the spirit
20:38so let me use the words of Our Lord from
20:41today’s Gospel text to end up
20:43what does Jesus say
20:45come to me and I’ll put a burden on your
20:47back come to me and I’ll give you steps
20:49that you can apply to make things work
20:51out in your life that doesn’t work
20:53that’s the law
20:55and it only condemns no Jesus says this
20:57come to me all who are weary and
21:03is that you
21:05are you weary and burdened of your sin
21:08word burdened by the fact that you are
21:11helpless to change yourself that you
21:13haven’t got your act together and you
21:15know you stand condemned before God
21:17knowing that you you just can’t seem to
21:20measure up no matter how hard you try
21:24are you burdened
21:26Jesus says come to me
21:28and I will give you
21:32take my yoke upon you learn from me for
21:35I am gentle and humble in heart and you
21:38will find rest for your souls
21:40he says my yoke is easy
21:42and my burden is light and the reason
21:45why his yoke is easy and his burden is
21:48light is because he has carried your
21:51burden for you to the cross
21:55there’s nothing left for you to do
21:56except for to believe and receive this
21:59wonderful gift
22:00this good news that Christ died
22:03for your sins and he rose again on the
22:06third day for your justification you are
22:09in Christ your burden is lifted Christ
22:12has borne it for you and carried it to
22:15the Cross suffered and bled and died for
22:17it and by doing so he has suffered and
22:20bled and died for you there is no burden
22:22left to bear
22:24come follow Jesus
22:27in the name of Jesus Amen
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