Sermon Transcript – Stumbling Blocks

Series C – Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost – Sunday, October 2, 2016 | 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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0:27The holy Gospel
0:29According to Saint Luke chapter 17
0:31verses 1 through 10.
0:34Jesus said to his disciples Temptations
0:37to sin are sure to come but woe to the
0:40one through whom they come
0:42it would be better for him if a
0:43millstone were hung around his neck and
0:45he were cast into the sea then he should
0:47cause one of these little ones to sin
0:50pay attention to yourselves
0:52if your brother sins rebuke him
0:55if he repent forgive him
0:57if he sins against you seven times in
0:59the day and turns to you seven times
1:01saying I Repent you must forgive him
1:05the Apostle said to the Lord increase
1:07our faith and the Lord said if you had
1:10the faith like a grain of mustard seed
1:12you could say to this mulberry tree be
1:14uprooted and planted into the sea and it
1:16would obey you
1:17will any of you
1:19who has a servant plowing or keeping
1:21sheep say to him when he comes in from
1:24the field come at once recline at the
1:26table will he not rather say to him
1:28prepare supper for me dress properly
1:31serve me while I eat and drink and
1:33afterwards you will eat and drink does
1:35he thank the servant because he did what
1:37he was commanded
1:39so you also when you have done all that
1:41you were commanded say we are unworthy
1:44servants we have only done what was our
1:47duty in the name of Jesus
1:50all right so this Sunday’s gospel text
1:54and next Sunday’s gospel text are a wee
1:58bit challenging to exegete correctly
2:00Exige by the way is just a fancy term
2:03for rightly reading out what the
2:06scriptures say you want pastors who
2:08execute texts you don’t want pastors who
2:11engage in what’s called Ice Age eating
2:13that means reading stuff into the Bible
2:15that ain’t there including yourself
2:17you’re not in there all right we might
2:19put you in there as representative but
2:21the idea is you want to rightly handle
2:23God’s word and so on the exegesis scale
2:26of difficulty
2:28this text is a clear eight and a half
2:31nine on a scale of one to ten as far as
2:33rightly understanding it and where
2:36people oftentimes go wrong is they think
2:39that in this prick of P Jesus is talking
2:41kind of like three different things it’s
2:42like he talks about this then he talks
2:45about that then he talks about another
2:46thing no actually all of the things that
2:49Jesus is saying are interrelated and
2:52here’s the key
2:53this is still part of an ongoing well
2:57teaching moment that Jesus is having
3:00with his disciples and so this is Jesus
3:03talking to the Future Leaders pastors
3:07preachers teachers and even the apostles
3:09who will lead his church and so this is
3:14the context of of what’s going on here
3:17and then you can see that they’re all
3:19interrelated these aren’t three
3:20different things that Jesus is talking
3:21about this is Jesus saying something
3:24disciples going whoa and them saying
3:27well then Lord help us with this and
3:28then him saying and then now this is how
3:31you frame these things I’ll explain it
3:33as we go
3:34so our text begins Jesus said to his
3:37disciples and I know that the ESV says
3:40Temptations to sin
3:43and I think that’s too narrow
3:45and I think that’s one of the ways in
3:47which you can misunderstand what Jesus
3:49is talking about I think it’s better to
3:51go with what the Greek says
3:53stumbling blocks
3:55stumbling blocks would be a better way
3:57of putting it stumbling blocks are sure
4:00to come but woe to the one through whom
4:03they come it would be better for him if
4:06a millstone were hung around his neck
4:08and he were cast into the sea and that
4:10he should then that he should cause one
4:13of these little ones to sin who are
4:15these little ones well these are
4:17Christ’s sheep
4:19think of them as the people who are
4:21young in the faith those who are
4:23learning who are catechumens or new to
4:26Christianity and they’re being discipled
4:28these are Jesus’s little ones so what’s
4:31a stumbling block well I grew up on
4:34Looney Tunes cartoons and I don’t know
4:36if you’ve all remember the Road Runner
4:39and the Wiley Coyote right there’s the
4:41Road Runner and I loved how he never
4:43would be caught it just is amazing but
4:45there’s the Road Runner tearing down the
4:47highway doing his thing and what was
4:49Wiley Coyote doing he was trying to put
4:51stumbling blocks in the way of the Road
4:54Runner some ingenious ones at that all
4:57designed to trip the road runner up so
4:59that he can have the road runner for a
5:01meal so a stumbling block is something
5:03that’s put in your way that trips you up
5:06so that you don’t get to where you’re
5:08trying to go to so that’s what a
5:12stumbling block is and so when in this
5:14context then speaking to his disciples
5:17not only the twelve but also the 72 who
5:20are going to be the leaders of his
5:22church what would a stumbling block be
5:24it’s more than just a temptation to sin
5:27a stumbling block would also include
5:29false teaching false Doctrine anything
5:31that would take the eyes of our faith
5:34off of Christ cause our faith to stumble
5:38and then ultimately we not attain the
5:42goal of our faith which is the Salvation
5:43of our souls
5:45so a stumbling block if you want to do a
5:47little play on words keeps you from
5:49getting to the stumbling block who is
5:52Christ right the rock that makes men
5:55so that’s what’s being talked about here
5:58so then Jesus says so
6:01woe to the one through whom these
6:03stumbling blocks come note this when
6:07Jesus throws out woes he doesn’t throw
6:09them out like candy Jesus isn’t you know
6:11one of these guys who just starts saying
6:13woe and woe and woe and a woe is a big
6:16deal woe is like a warning of damnation
6:19and here Jesus is saying to his
6:21disciples woe to the one through whom
6:24these stumbling blocks come this is an
6:27explicit warning of the fires of hell it
6:30would be better for him if a millstone
6:32were hung around his neck and he were
6:33cast into the sea then that he should
6:36cause one of these little ones to
6:40and that’s the idea
6:42and so Jesus then tells his future
6:45pastors and leaders and apostles so pay
6:49attention to yourselves
6:52watch it be very cautious in how it is
6:57that you preach and teach so that you
7:00care for Christ’s little ones the poor
7:03the outcasts The Young and the faith so
7:06that they may not be led into apostasy
7:09and then Jesus says oh and by the way
7:12here’s a little bit more information not
7:15only guard your Doctrine carefully but
7:18here’s what your ministry is going to be
7:21like if your brother sins notice in this
7:24part of the text it’s talking in general
7:26it’s not saying against you the first
7:28part is if your brother sins if your
7:31brother sins
7:32rebuke him
7:35really you want me to do what rebuke him
7:39and if he repents forgive him you can
7:42kind of think of this as like the office
7:44of the keys when somebody who is a
7:47brother in Christ sins we as Christians
7:50don’t wink at it and say well that’s all
7:52right well that’s just what he does or
7:54you know don’t worry it’s covered by the
7:56blood no when somebody sins we rebuke
8:00him and if he repents
8:02here’s the Absolution he’s forgiven and
8:08we get a little bit more specific then
8:10if he sins against you personally seven
8:15times in a day and turns to you seven
8:18times saying I Repent you must forgive
8:23now most of us pretty much get derailed
8:27when one person sins against us just one
8:30time one time in a week one time in a
8:32month one time in a year that’s a lot
8:34and when that happens to us we have a
8:37tendency like all of the gears in our
8:40love box grind to a halt right and the
8:43machine stops working and then now you
8:46can’t sleep at night and you’re thinking
8:47I’m gonna get back at this person right
8:50but Jesus says to his disciples if
8:52somebody sins against you seven times in
8:55a day who is this fellow sitting against
8:58me seven times in a day doesn’t he have
9:00better things to be doing right
9:04so in that scenario Jesus says get this
9:10if he says seven times I repent
9:13you must forgive him
9:15put the Bat Away
9:18put all that away forgive right and why
9:21is this wow we forgive because we are
9:24forgiven right and we pray every day in
9:28the Lord’s prayer Lord forgive us our
9:31trespasses as we forgive those who
9:33trespass against us and this all comes
9:35from Jesus’s great commandment of the
9:38New Testament as I have loved you so
9:41love one another and how has Christ
9:43loved us
9:45sacrificially leading and dying for our
9:49so when somebody sends you rebuke him if
9:52you repents you forgive him if he sins
9:54against you personally seven times in a
9:56day and turns to you seven times saying
9:57I Repent you must forgive him a little
10:00bit of a note here and I’m not going to
10:03pick on you women but I want you to know
10:04I’ve noticed something about women women
10:07have a tendency to keep scorecards
10:09so let’s talk about this for a second
10:12here if somebody sins against you seven
10:14times in a day and then turns and says I
10:17Repent you must forgive him
10:19do not take your score card out and say
10:22well I forgave him but
10:26keep this for later
10:28no no no no okay love keeps no record of
10:31wrongs take the score card tear it up
10:34throw it away and if you are a man and
10:37you’re doing this too this applies to
10:39you I’ve noticed so that women have a
10:41tendency to do this more than men and
10:43the reason why men don’t keep scorecards
10:45is because it’s too much work
10:48and they’re just lazy so
10:52after saying all of this Jesus’s
10:55disciples well now they’re like freaking
10:59out okay it’s like you want us to do
11:03what so the response is quite
11:07fascinating so now the apostles the text
11:09actually says the apostles you have to
11:11think about the twelve they said to the
11:14okay Lord then increase our faith
11:17because in order to pull this off it’s
11:21going to take a ginormous amount of
11:23faith and then Jesus corrects them and
11:27notes something here and I’ve said this
11:28before and I’ll reiterate the idea is
11:32faith is like eyesight Faith always is
11:36looking to something there is always an
11:39object of your faith that your faith is
11:41looking at so what is your faith looking
11:43at is your faith looking at your
11:45sanctification and your moral progress
11:47is your faith looking at your good works
11:50is your faith looking at your faith
11:53I have great faith look at my faith I
11:55can do great things with my faith that’s
11:57called faith and Faith that’s kind of
11:59silly stuff but if your faith is in
12:02Christ even though it seems minuscule
12:05small and microscopic it isn’t and the
12:08reason for this is quite simple because
12:10even tiny microscopic Mustard Seed Faith
12:14has its eyes on the king of kings and
12:18Lord of lords
12:19the object of our faith is ginormous
12:22greater than the universe itself so
12:25Jesus says if you had Faith Like a grain
12:28of mustard seed you could say to this
12:30mulberry tree be uprooted and planted in
12:32the sea and it would obey you so the
12:35idea here is is that the hiddenness of
12:37the kingdom of God in the preaching and
12:39teaching of the disciples and those who
12:41have become the leaders through their
12:43healing their forgiving they may feel
12:46as if they do not have enough Faith
12:49that’s what they may be tempted to feel
12:51like and Jesus telling them to do all
12:52this forgiving kind of made them feel
12:54like their faith is really small who can
12:56pull this off but like a mustard seed
12:59the smallness of their faith in Christ
13:01conceals Christ’s great power and
13:04through them Christ produces great
13:07wonders for the kingdom not them Christ
13:10does it he does it through them even
13:13through their microscopic
13:15faith and then Jesus
13:18kind of drops the bomb Oh and by the way
13:22let’s talk about how this leadership
13:24thing works in my church and I’m going
13:28to give you a little bit of a contrast
13:29we have a problem today in
13:30evangelicalism and that is is that there
13:33are many pastors who think that being a
13:36pastor is all about ruling and reigning
13:39and being in charge and in control and
13:42being the man at the top Pastor is
13:44somewhere well akin to president of the
13:47United States just a little bit smaller
13:49they create little kingdoms for
13:51themselves and so everybody points out
13:53how amazing and wonderful that man is
13:58and not for Jesus’s teachers not for his
14:01pastors not for his Apostles so here’s
14:04how Jesus wants his pastors preachers
14:07teachers and even his Christians to
14:08think about themselves ready will any
14:11one of you having a servant servants a
14:13little weak let’s Crank that up a little
14:15bit slave if any one of you has a slave
14:18plowing or keeping sheep and say to him
14:22when he has come in from the field come
14:24at once recline at the table oh it looks
14:26like it’s been a hard day outside oh it
14:28was really hot would you like some
14:30lemonade here let me serve you the owner
14:32of a slave doesn’t talk this way so
14:36will he not rather say to his slave
14:38prepare supper for me dress properly
14:40take a shower you stink
14:43serve me while I eat and drink that’s
14:45what he’s going to say
14:47and afterwards then you can eat and
14:51drink and then when that slave has done
14:53everything he can does he thank the
14:56servant because he did what he was
15:01not at all so you also when you have
15:06done all that you were commanded all
15:09that preaching all that forgiving all
15:11that rebuking all that helping and
15:14serving and watching and guarding your
15:16doctor not putting any stumbling blocks
15:18in any ways after you’ve done all of
15:20that you are to say
15:23you are to say
15:25we are unworthy servants
15:28because we’ve only done what was our
15:33that’s how Jesus’s pastors teachers and
15:38preachers are to conduct themselves and
15:40even view their Ministry they are not to
15:42say oh Lord look how amazing I am wasn’t
15:46that Sermon Just a hit everyone seemed
15:49to love it oh we’re really growing here
15:52oh things are going swimmingly I am so
15:55amazing I must be experiencing the favor
15:57of God
16:02when it’s all said and done
16:04when all the sermons are preached when
16:06all the Catechism classes are taught
16:09when all the doctrine is carefully
16:11checked when all the sins are forgiven
16:14when all the prayers are prayed
16:16Christ’s teachers say
16:19I’m just an unworthy servant
16:22because all I’ve done
16:24is what it is I’ve been commanded to do
16:28and any Pastor who acts other than this
16:33is really in danger
16:35because he’s made himself an idol
16:39and that’s a problem
16:41now I would point you to our epistle
16:43text and in our epistle text we see that
16:47the Apostle Paul though he wasn’t
16:49present when Jesus was teaching his
16:51Apostles and his disciples this
16:53important lesson about how he wants
16:56leadership to be done in his church
16:59the Apostle Paul
17:01through the work of the Holy Spirit
17:03Bears this fruit and his ministry
17:06exemplifies this exact way of doing
17:10notice that Paul doesn’t start off and
17:12say Paul King ruler of the Universe I am
17:16the dude that Jesus met on the road to
17:19Damascus you must bow before me and obey
17:21me he’s writing to a young Pastor
17:23instead he says to him Paul an apostle
17:26of Christ by the will of God
17:28according to the promise of the life
17:30that is in Christ Jesus
17:32see even his apostleship he realizes is
17:35not as a result of his great works or
17:37even anything that he’s done his
17:39apostleship is by the will of God God
17:41willed this that’s why I’m an apostle
17:43and it’s according to the promise of
17:45life that is in Christ Jesus to Timothy
17:49my beloved child
17:51and see you’ll notice here
17:54that pastors and teachers who are like
17:58they see the ones that they are
18:01instructing and building up in the faith
18:03as Jesus’s little ones as little
18:07and their love for them is according to
18:09that he says to him grace mercy peace
18:12from God the father in Christ Jesus our
18:14lord I thank God whom I serve as did my
18:18ancestors with a clear conscience as I
18:20remember you constantly in my prayers
18:23night and day and so you’ll notice here
18:27the Apostle Paul isn’t saying you know
18:29I’m an apostle you better be praying for
18:31instead he says you are my child in the
18:34faith and I labor in prayer for you
18:37night and day
18:41as I remember your tears I longed to see
18:43you so that I may be filled with joy I’m
18:46reminded of your sincere faith of faith
18:48that dwelt first in your grandmother
18:49Lois and your mother Eunice and now I’m
18:51sure dwells in you as well for this
18:54reason I remind you fan into Flame the
18:57gift of God which is in you through the
19:00laying on of my hands for God gave us a
19:02spirit not a fear of power and love and
19:06self-control in other words God gave a
19:09to Young Pastor Timothy when he was
19:12ordained and laying on of hands
19:15and then he says this
19:19do not be ashamed of the testimony about
19:23our Lord you see
19:27the testimony of Christ
19:29the news that God became man born of the
19:32Virgin Mary suffered under Pontius
19:34Pilate was crucified died and was buried
19:37as a stumbling block to the people in
19:38the world and people who think the way
19:40the world thinks
19:43but remember I said Christ is the
19:45stumbling block that causes men to
19:47and so he says don’t be ashamed about
19:50the testimony of our Lord and there’s a
19:52lot of Shame there if you’re thinking in
19:54a worldly way
19:55nor be ashamed of me his prisoner the
19:58Apostle Paul
19:59chosen by God
20:01a prisoner instead he says share now in
20:05the suffering for the gospel by the
20:07power of God
20:09young Pastor Timothy take up your cross
20:11follow me share in the sufferings for
20:15the gospel that I have suffered we are
20:18not princes and kings to rule and Reign
20:21and build kingdoms here on Earth
20:23we are called to proclaim the offense of
20:26Christ and him crucified for our sins
20:28and share in suffering for the gospel by
20:31the power of God and even that suffering
20:33is they were able to endure it because
20:35God has given us the power to do so and
20:38God saved us called us by to a holy
20:40calling not because of our works over
20:43and again Paul keeps pointing that out
20:45God called us to these things not
20:47because we were so amazing not because
20:49we were holy and righteous and doing
20:50good works but because of his own
20:52purpose and his grace which he has given
20:54to us in Christ Jesus before the ages
20:56began and now has been manifested
20:59through the appearing of our savior
21:01Christ Jesus who abolished death brought
21:04life and immortality to light through
21:06the gospel for which I was appointed a
21:08preacher and an apostle and a teacher
21:10which is why I suffer as I do but I am
21:14not ashamed
21:15for I know whom I have believed and I am
21:18convinced that he is able to guard until
21:22that day what has been entrusted to me
21:27indeed Christ is
21:29and that’s the point his faith the
21:32object of his faith is Christ and even
21:34if Paul had faith of a mustard seed all
21:37of the amazing things that God did
21:39through him was because Christ is so
21:42amazing and so powerful and he is the
21:45one that Paul knows is able
21:48able to guard until that day what has
21:50been entrusted to me
21:52is faith salvation
21:55in fact he knows he’s in good hands with
21:57Jesus and so are you
22:00and so he says follow the pattern of the
22:02sound words that you have heard from me
22:05that’s right the Apostle Paul never laid
22:07any stumbling blocks in his preaching
22:09and teaching
22:11that would get in the way of people
22:12seeing Christ and trusting in them and
22:14believing in them him for the
22:16Forgiveness of their sins and life and
22:18salvation so follow the pattern of sound
22:21words sound Doctrine you’ll notice over
22:23and again the scriptures make a big deal
22:25about sound words sound Doctrine healthy
22:28the reason for this is simple is false
22:31teaching creates stumbling blocks false
22:33teaching obscures Christ false teaching
22:35leads to apostasy an apostasy causes
22:38your faith to be Shipwrecked
22:40so continue to follow the pattern of
22:42sound words that you have heard from me
22:43in the faith and love that are in Christ
22:46Jesus by the Holy Spirit who dwells
22:48within us guard the good deposit
22:51entrusted to you and you notice even the
22:54guarding of the good deposit is through
22:56and by the Holy Spirit
22:59Paul over and again is confessing I am
23:02not able to do these things but God does
23:06them in me and through me
23:09for his glory and his salvation apart
23:11from Christ I can do nothing and that’s
23:14what he’s confessing
23:15so brothers and sisters
23:18do not be ashamed
23:19do not be ashamed of Christ
23:22I know that he was crucified outside the
23:25city Gates of Jerusalem
23:27Stark naked bleeding dying scourged
23:30dying a criminal’s death
23:33but that death he died he died for you
23:35and he rose again for you so don’t be
23:38so when people your brothers or sisters
23:41sin rebuke them
23:43when they repent forgive them
23:46if they sin against you seven times in a
23:48day which seems quite exorbitant
23:50and they repent forgive them
23:53and trust that Christ has given you the
23:55faith to do this
23:57even if it’s as small as a mustard seed
24:00because mustards Seed Faith looks to the
24:02great Christ who was crucified died and
24:05was buried and don’t look to your good
24:06works and sit there and say I’m so
24:09amazing because I’m able to do all these
24:11things instead after you’ve done all
24:13that you have been commanded say of
24:15yourself I am still an unworthy servant
24:17because all I’ve done
24:19is what I’ve been commanded to do
24:21but Christ is conquered he is risen
24:24he has forgiven he has raised you from
24:26the dead and he is working in you right
24:28now so come join us all as we suffer for
24:33this good news and the gospel and do
24:35that suffering by the power and work of
24:37the holy spirit because he is able to
24:40guard until that day
24:42that which has been entrusted to us and
24:44the good deposit that has been given to
24:46us guarantees our inheritance in the
24:49Kingdom of Light when Jesus returns in
24:51glory again to judge the living and the
24:53dead trust in him look to that day today
24:56we service slaves
24:58when Christ comes We Rule and Reign and
25:02we will rule and reign
25:04in the same love Mercy Grace that he
25:08rules and Reigns now all to his glory in
25:11the name of Jesus Amen
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