Sermon Transcript – The God Who Does Everything For Us

Series B – Fourth Sunday in Advent – Sunday, December 20, 2020 | 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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Time StampTranscript
0:23The holy gospel according to saint luke
0:30the first chapter [Music] [Applause]
0:39in the sixth month the angel gabriel was sent from god to a city of galilee named nazareth to a virgin betrothed to a man whose
0:46name was joseph of the house of david and the virgin’s name was mary and he came to her and said greetings o
0:53favored one the lord is with you but she was greatly troubled at the saying and try to discern what sort of greeting
0:59this might be and the angel said to her do not be afraid mary for you have found favor with god
1:04and behold you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus and he
1:10will be great and will be called the son of the most high and the lord god will give to him
1:15the throne of his father david and he will reign over the house of jacob forever and of his kingdom
1:21there will be no end and mary said to the angel how will this be since i am a virgin and
1:27the angel answered her the holy spirit will come upon you and the power of the most high will overshadow you
1:33therefore the child to be born will be called holy the son of god and behold your relative
1:39elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son and this is the sixth month with her who
1:44was called barren for nothing will be impossible with god and mary said behold
1:50i am the servant of the lord let it be to me according to your word and the angel departed from her this is
1:56the gospel of the lord in the name of Jesus when i was a lot younger i was required
2:04to take a class on world religions so actually it took some time to
2:09study up on buddhism hinduism i don’t know if you’ve ever heard of jainism that’s another major
2:14religion in the world and you got taoism and no don’t forget islam and then all the animistic religions
2:20and the one thing i can say after having studied all of these other religions is that there is one thing that they all have in common
2:26and the one thing they all have in common is that it’s up to you it’s up to your obedience and your
2:32sacrifices to placate the anger and the displeasure of whatever deity or concept of deity
2:41that they have created it’s up to you so all the world religions fall into the
2:48kind of the same bucket if you would in fact many lutheran theologians argue that there really are only two religions in the
2:54whole world first religion is the one i’ve described the one that it’s up to you your works your obedience becomes
3:01currency currency that you then exchange with the deity in order to receive from the deity the
3:08things that you want his favor his pleasure his blessings and then there’s Christianity in fact
3:15the bible from beginning to end from its very first sentence in the beginning god created the heavens and
3:20the earth to the closing sentences of the book of revelation everything is consistent with this idea
3:27that god is the one who saves us he has provided us with everything that we need to be
3:34saved and himself has provided the sacrifice and the obedience that is necessary to placate his wrath
3:42and for us to be reconciled to him and enjoy his favor again all provided because of his great
3:50love his kindness and his mercy and in that regard we’re going to see if we can weave
3:56together all three of our texts today and we’re going to begin with our old testament text and this is an
4:01interesting text because here we see david very piously
4:07wanting to do something for god what does he want to do well
4:13he’s a little bit embarrassed by that ugly thing that tent that’s been around for a few
4:19hundred years that moves around from place to place in israel the tabernacle that god had moses
4:25create let’s just say it’s a little bit long in the tooth right now the fabric is wearing out it was never
4:30really that pretty to begin with the covering for this thing is kind of a ugly brown
4:36sand color which i’m sure the sands of the judean wilderness haven’t added much to it it’s just all
4:42just this bland kind of thing but what david doesn’t
4:48recognize and realize at this point is that that tabernacle itself in all of
4:54its humility and all of its non-splendor and all of its just ordinariness
5:01is a type and shadow of Christ let me explain in the gospel of john chapter one
5:08we hear these words in the beginning of this chapter and the beginning was the word the word was with god and the word was
5:14god he was in the beginning with god and all things were made through him and without him was not anything made
5:20that was made and then it goes on to talk about how Christ is the light and then in verse 14 we get these words
5:27in the gospel of john chapter 1 and the word became flesh and well
5:33interesting thing here the greek could be translated tabernacled among us the word became flesh
5:40and tabernacled among us and so we recognize that that tabernacle as humble and well
5:48non-glamorous as it is is really a picture of Christ himself the son of god
5:55clothed in human flesh the two two natures coming together in the one
6:01Jesus Christ in fact think of it this way we are getting ready to celebrate Christmas and what is it that we need we need a
6:07savior we need a hero we need a champion to come and defeat the devil to defeat the world to defeat sin and
6:14death and what does god send us a baby whose diapers need to be changed
6:22right what is god thinking ah but see that’s kind of how it all works so let’s kind of work through our
6:28text here so it says this in 2nd samuel chapter 7. now when king
6:34david lived in his house and yahweh had given him rest from all of his surrounding enemies the king said to
6:40nathan the prophet see now i dwell in a house of cedar but the ark of god dwells in a tent
6:49and nathan said to the king go and do all that is in your heart for yahweh is with you and nathan at this
6:55point kind of is on board thinking this is a pious thing but god’s response is one that we should
7:01take careful note of because had this gone the other way and david and his pious
7:07inclinations had been permitted by god to build the temple then oh man the sermons that would be
7:14coming out today pointing us to our need to build our own temples to god would be abounding
7:19and inst and everything would be turned on its head and people would actually have an argument for salvation by
7:25works now i want to make something clear here at the outset that there is a place for obedience in
7:31Christianity in fact not only a place obedience is absolutely
7:37necessary within Christianity but it has its place and there’s a way in which it
7:42comes and it is there is a way in which it is produced and that way is the way of
7:47utter dependence of non-self-reliance and so god here
7:53decides he’s going to have a chat with nathan overnight because nathan spoke a little presumptuously so that same name same
8:00night the word of yahweh came to nathan you go and you tell my servant david thus says yahweh would you build
8:08me a house to dwell in but when god asks a question in that
8:15kind of tone of voice you sit there and go you know that may not be exactly the smartest way of thinking this through
8:20right the theology seems to be a little bit off and god then goes on to say i
8:26have not lived in a house since the day i brought the people of israel from egypt to this day and watch how the
8:31verbs work who brought the people of israel up out of egypt god brought the people of israel up out
8:38of egypt but i have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling and in all places where
8:43i have moved with all the people of israel did i speak a word with any of the judges of israel whom i
8:50commanded to shepherd my people israel saying why have you not built me a house of
8:56cedar and when he puts it that way it kind of seems a little out of place have
9:01you ever noticed that god is really kind and compassionate slow to anger
9:07abounding and steadfast love and it’s really kind of the false gods that demand
9:13oh you had better build me a house and you had better make your sacrifice big and it had
9:19better really be a sacrifice one that really hurts your pocketbook otherwise it’s not really a sacrifice and so
9:27what does these false religions demand oh your best and if your best isn’t up
9:33to snuff you had better make your best even better god says yeah i’ve never complained yeah
9:40it’s all right i’ve never said anything why have you not built me a house of cedar now therefore thus you shall say to my
9:46servant david thus says yahweh savath the god of armies i took you
9:54from the pasture oh who did the whats ah god took david from the pasture
10:00i took you from following the sheep that you should be prince over my people israel and i have been with you
10:08wherever you went and i have cut off all of your enemies from before you oh boy who’s been doing all the work the
10:15entire time in the life of david god right and so he then says to him
10:21and i will make for you a great name like the name of the great ones on the
10:27earth and i will appoint a place for my people israel and i will plant them so that i so that
10:35they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more and violent men
10:40shall afflict them no more as formally from the time that i have appointed judges over my people
10:47israel hmm this seems to have it you smell that that’s like a hint yeah
10:52that’s the aroma of the new earth kind of wafting through this text and you can see here the promise here
10:59of being disturbed no more by violent men oh this is a great promise now we’re shooting way past all of us
11:06on into the new earth and you’ll note that this is an amazing thing have you ever noticed that we human
11:12beings have this really really boneheaded proclivity for putting tyrants in
11:18control over us have you ever noticed that human history is just
11:24has example after example after example please enslave us please take away all
11:32of our freedoms please oppress us and punish us and murder us and kill us
11:37please he says they’re going why on earth are we like this
11:42there’s a real simple reason there’s a really simple reason and it’s well it’s not very flattering
11:47but the reason is this Christ says to those who do not believe in him you are of your father the devil and your
11:55will is to do your father’s will what is the devil like he is the ultimate tyrant
12:00ever he makes darth vader look like a school girl
12:06and what is it that we the children of the devil want oh we want a father like that and so we put
12:13men like hitler and stalin and castro and pol pod and mouzy tongue
12:19and oh name the tyrants right and what do they do to us
12:28they murder us they kill us they abuse us they persecute us they cause us
12:34to live in terror but note the promise here that god is
12:40giving to david because the promise is something very different have you ever noticed that
12:45Jesus is nothing like hitler or stalin or even like me or like you Christ is
12:53kind he’s not demanding what he demands he provides
12:59he is merciful gracious loving slow to anger man
13:06nothing like that and so when i hear a text like this talking about no longer being disturbed
13:12by violent men that’s something that my heart yearns for even the violence of my old sinful
13:19adam within me i would like to see no more
13:26so from the time that i appointed judges god says over my people israel and i will give you rest from all of
13:32your enemies moreover yahweh declares to you that yahweh will make you a house this is not what david was
13:40asking for he says this when your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers i will raise up
13:48your offspring after you who shall come from your body and i will establish his kingdom
13:56he shall build a house for my name and i will establish the throne of his kingdom
14:01forever now on a first glance you might say well of course you know after david dies solomon his
14:08son takes the throne and solomon builds the temple that ain’t what god’s referring to here
14:14he’s not referring to solomon’s temple listen to again to the details i will raise up your offspring
14:20after you who shall come from your body i will establish his kingdom he shall build a house for
14:28my name and i will establish the throne of his kingdom forever
14:36is the throne of solomon still a thing
14:41no we know the history of israel solomon’s who started off well
14:46whom god gave miraculous wisdom to people came from all over the world to hear the wisdom of solomon what did he do
14:54he had 700 wives 300 concubines and most of them were pagan idolatrous
15:01women and what did he do he too he steered himself his whole family and
15:07israel into idolatry and after his death god tore the kingdom of israel into two
15:12parts into two parts and the part that his sons still had reign over
15:21judah the southern kingdom well zedekiah was the last of their kings and that kingdom came to an end
15:30put to an abrupt end by nebuchadnezzar and the babylonian exile and there has never been a descendant of
15:37david or of solomon sitting on the throne of david in human history to this day
15:46so it can’t be him that he’s referring to i will raise up your offspring god says
15:51who shall come from your body and i will establish his kingdom he shall build a house for my name and i
15:56will establish the throne of his kingdom forever this can only be referring to Christ only
16:02be referring to Christ and so the question then is well what is this house that Jesus is supposed to build then
16:09well i’m looking at it right here y’all are stones in this house that god that Christ is building
16:16the temple of god is the body of Christ each and every one of us living stones in it we together are part
16:25of this house that Christ the son of david is building and then god goes on to say interesting
16:32words i will be to him a father and he shall be to me a son are you confused as to who this is
16:39referring to now it’s becoming quite quite clear but then very confusing
16:44words when he commits iniquity i will discipline him with the rod of men
16:50and the stripes of the son of men but my steadfast love will not depart from him
16:55as i took it from saul whom i put away from before you when did Christ commit iniquity
17:03doesn’t the scripture say that he was tempted in every way as we are and yet without sin
17:09well this is most certainly true but here this text a prophecy of Christ says that when he commits iniquity he
17:15will be disciplined with the rod and the stripes of the sons of men and this now gets into that great
17:22doctrine the doctrine of imputation you see isaiah the prophet says that god
17:28laid on Christ the iniquity of us all god did the grim ugly mucky
17:36task you ever seen that television show you know dirty jobs right and it’s always fascinating to me
17:43when you watch an episode of dirty jobs think oh my goodness somebody actually does that right well god the father did something
17:50even muckier than the muckiest of the dirty jobs he went through all of humanity and all of human history and he gathered up
17:57our sin gathered it up into one big muck filthy stinking pus
18:04filled ball and placed it on Christ god has laid on him the iniquity of us
18:11all and when that iniquity our iniquity your iniquity my sin your sin every one of
18:17our idolatries every one of our murderous thoughts all of our dishonoring of our parents
18:23and our authorities every adulterous action thought word
18:28deed every theft every murder every lie and slanderous gossip
18:36peace that we’ve slandered and murdered our neighbor with everything that we’ve coveted that god
18:41has given to somebody else every one of the breaking of god’s commandments god the father has taken
18:48all of that put it on Christ and when it was on him god said you’re guilty
18:55when he commits iniquity and that’s the thing
19:01when our iniquity is placed on him god saw him as the sinner and he was disciplined
19:09with a rod of men and the stripes of the son of men Christ’s
19:15sufferings begin with punches to the face a rod on his back being strapped
19:23to a pole while they take out a cat of nine tails and open up the back of him with it in the stripes he did
19:30receive the forty lashes less one all of this because god counted
19:36him to be the sinner it was his obedience
19:43perfect obedience active and passive that won our salvation not yours not
19:50mine it’s his blood his obedience it is the currency of our salvation
19:57but god says of this Christ who loves us so much that he did that and see that’s the thing he did that so
20:03that we can be clothed in his righteousness so that we would not have to be disciplined by god
20:09in eternity he says of him my steadfast love will not depart from him
20:18and then he says in your house your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me
20:25your throne shall be established forever in accordance with all these words in
20:31accordance with this vision nathan spoke to david
20:37and what could david do at this point but to respond in utter gratitude this is not what he expected he wanted
20:44to do something for god and oftentimes we want to too but god says no that’s not how it works i’m going to do
20:51something for you you cannot build a house for me i will raise up a son who will build a
20:58house and he is my son so david then went on sat before the lord who who am i o lord
21:07and what is my house that you have brought me thus far and yet this was a small thing in your
21:13eyes o lord god you have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come
21:19and this instruction is for all of mankind o lord god and so even david recognizes
21:26that in this prophecy that he received from nathan that this was not merely for him that this was
21:31instruction for me and for you for all of us here today all of mankind on the earth and what more can david say to you for
21:38you know your servant o lord god because of your promise and according to your own heart you have brought about all this
21:45greatness to make your servant to know it therefore you are great oh lord god
21:51and that’s the thing isn’t it you see because over and again we learn that salvation is by grace through faith and
21:56paul asks then where is the ground for boasting
22:03do any of you boast oh i was so i’m so amazing this year i got the best Christmas present ever because i’m such
22:09a good boy no that’s not how it works when we
22:15receive a great Christmas present all we can say is thank you
22:20and that is it here in this text we get god’s
22:27promise of the coming Christmas present of the savior the first hints
22:34the very very first faint wasps heared on the air of those Christmas
22:41carols proclaiming the glory of god who was provided to us a savior here you can vegan just in the distance
22:48to hear the melodies of Christmas begin to play and sing
22:55o lord god there is none like you there is no god besides you
23:01according to all that we have heard with our ears and who is like your people israel the one nation on earth whom god
23:08went to redeem to be his people making himself a name and doing
23:15for them great and awesome things by driving out before your people whom you redeemed for yourself from
23:22egypt a nation and its god and indeed we have been grafted into israel and it’s
23:28our god who has done great things for us awesome deeds by driving out the devil
23:34before us conquering him and crushing his head with his own feet
23:41rising victorious from the grave and taking the spoils of war
23:47and what it is that he purchased with his blood and now giving out to free free to all of us
23:56the gift of salvation what a mighty god we have
24:02you established for yourself your people israel to be your people forever and you o lord god became their god and
24:09now oh lord god confirm forever the word that you have spoken concerning your servant
24:16and concerning his house and do as you have spoken and your name will be magnified forever
24:22saying yahweh sava oath is god over israel and the house of your servant david will
24:29be established before you for you o lord of hosts the god of israel have
24:34made this revelation to your servant saying that i will build you a house therefore your servant has found
24:40courage to pray this prayer to you and now o lord god you are god your words are true
24:47and you have promised this good thing to your servant now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant
24:53so that it may continue forever before you for you o lord have
24:59spoken and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever
25:04and then we know we’ve already made reference to the history that follows the kings of judah generation after
25:11generation slipped lower and lower and lower into apostasy and finally god
25:16snuffs out the kingdom of israel altogether the last king zedekiah marched off
25:23into exile in babylon in fact his sons were slaughtered before his
25:28eyes and then his eyes were gouged out by nebuchadnezzar because of his evil and his refusal to
25:34bend the knee to god but then we come to our gospel text
25:41today centuries later centuries later god’s word
25:46doesn’t rest it waits it waits until its appointed time and at
25:52the appointed time six months after god had sent the angel gabriel to speak to zechariah a priest in the
25:59temple of god to let him know that his barren wife was going to bear a son and that he would be the forerunner
26:05of Christ the fulfillment of the prophet of malachi talking about the one who would
26:10make straight the ways of the lord before the coming messiah now six months after elizabeth has
26:17conceived john the baptist in her womb the angel gabriel now shows up in a
26:22backwoods town off in an obscure district of the roman empire
26:28a little village called nazareth
26:33and you’ll note that the house of david
26:39well it’s slipped into complete obscurity
26:44people know who the descendants of david are but rather than sitting on a throne
26:51rather than wearing a crown rather than wearing royal robes
26:58the house of david the heir to the throne a man named joseph he’s a day laborer
27:06a construction guy he’s got calloused hands he’s good with a hammer nails and saw he
27:12works in drywall and stucco that’s what he does for a living how the
27:18mighty have fallen right so in the sixth month the angel gabriel was sent from god to a city of
27:23galilee named nazareth to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was joseph they were
27:28planning a wedding he was at the house of david and now
27:34that Christmas song that began centuries earlier that you can just hear
27:40off in the distance quite can’t make out the lyrics yet can now be heard for the
27:46first time and the lyrics start coming
27:52he came to her and he said greetings oh favored one yahweh is with you she was greatly
27:59troubled at the saying trying to discern what sort of greeting this might be and the angel said to her do not be
28:06afraid mary for you have found favor with god oh she’s a woman of faith
28:11how does one find favor with god scripture’s so clear on this don’t be confused
28:17without faith it’s impossible to please god so in this humble town of nazareth
28:25this little virgin girl probably in her mid-teens betrothed to get married to a day
28:32laborer who was technically the heir to the throne of david she has found favor with god
28:40because she believes the promises of god she believes the promises of the
28:46forgiveness of sins of the messiah who would come god has reckoned to her righteousness
28:54because she believes so he said to her do not be afraid mary
28:59you have found favor with god behold you will conceive in your womb and you will bear a son and you shall call his name yeshua
29:07yahweh saves he will be great he will be called the
29:13son of the most high and the lord god will give to him the throne of his father david
29:19and he will reign over the house of jacob forever and his kingdom of his kingdom there
29:25will be no end the first strains of handel’s
29:30messiah start to come through and he shall reign forever and ever
29:38mary said to the angel how how will this be since i am a virgin and the angel
29:44answered her the holy spirit will come upon you the power of the most high will
29:49overshadow you therefore the child to be born will be called holy
29:54the son of god and behold your relative elizabeth in her old age has conceived a son and
30:02this is the sixth month with her who is called barren for nothing will be impossible with god
30:08and mary said behold i am servant of the lord let it be to me according to
30:14your word and the angel departed from her is it any wonder that martin luther said that
30:20mary conceived Christ in her womb through her ears through the words spoken by the angel
30:27gabriel the holy spirit worked in her womb the conception of our savior
30:38so as we consider these texts i made a big to-do about the fact that scripture clear clearly says we
30:44cannot earn salvation by our works and our
30:50obedience but our epistle text mentions obedience so let me frame it this way we’ve looked
30:57at this amazing god of ours whose name is great who rather than
31:03requiring us to build him a house he is building a house and including us
31:09in it here’s what scripture says in galatians 3 all who rely on works of the law note
31:16this scripture is clear we are to obey god’s commands and if you’re not sure what the standard
31:22is the standard is actually quite simple it’s called perfection that’s the standard
31:31okay that’s what’s required of me
31:36i don’t do it this is the reason why scripture says all who rely on works of
31:41the law they’re under a curse if you are relying on your works and on your obedience on your piety on your
31:48prayers on your bible reading if you’re relying on all of that in order to save yourself you are
31:54delusional because you do not keep god’s commands perfectly
31:59all who rely on works of the law are under a curse because it is written cursed is everyone who
32:05does not abide by all the things written in the book of the law and continue to keep on keep on doing them now it’s
32:11evident that no one is justified declared righteous before god by the law for the righteous shall live
32:17by faith the law is not of faith rather than one
32:23who does them shall live by them so Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law which is its condemning power
32:29by becoming a curse for us for it is written as cursed as everyone who is hanged on a tree
32:35so that in Christ the blessing of abraham might come to the gentiles so that we might receive the promised
32:40spirit how through faith and here’s those words again we might
32:46receive the promised spirit through faith what spirit is the spirit
32:52that is promised to all who believe in Christ it’s the holy spirit
32:59and so now consider then our epistle text in this regard because our
33:04epistle tax ends with these words according to the command of the eternal
33:11god to bring about the obedience of faith
33:18so let me ask you what did you do to earn your salvation nothing
33:25now here’s the question do you believe the promises not just regarding
33:31your salvation but also the fact that god has sent his spirit the one he promised
33:37the holy spirit into our hearts indeed have you ever noticed that when
33:42you try really hard to kind of gut it out and decide this time i’m really gonna
33:48get my act together god i’m gonna pull myself up by my bootstraps and you’re gonna be so
33:54pleased with my obedience it’s gonna be awesome how long does that usually last
33:59a couple of days a week oh those who can really really muster up
34:06some some really good old-fashioned fortitude maybe a month or two but then what
34:12happens you wear out and you fall flat on your face
34:18the obedience of faith is different than obedience when you think that you can muster up
34:24your obedience from within yourself you are fooling yourself instead the obedience of faith flows from this idea
34:32you recognize that god’s law demands that you obey him and obey him perfectly
34:37and you do not shave off the hard edges you just say that’s that’s the fact and so you say to god
34:44god i know that you will for me to not do
34:49those things or me for to do that thing i know that you will it but i see within
34:56myself my own sinful flesh working against me to try to get me to do what i don’t want to do
35:02and what it is that you do not command of me so i humbly come before you and i ask
35:10through the power of the holy spirit that you have given me and the promise that you have given me that i would not
35:15be tempted beyond my ability that you would grant to me
35:20the strength and the power from the holy spirit in order to obey you augustine
35:29lays this out in his book on the letter in the spirit
35:34this is how the church of the past understood these things the work of the holy spirit is to
35:40produce the fruit of the spirit in us and so the obedience of faith is that obedience that comes and says i’m fully
35:46dependent upon you lord for my salvation and i’m dependent upon your holy spirit
35:51to produce in me the fruit of the spirit i cannot produce that fruit in and of myself
36:01and you’ll note the humility that is there and i would even argue that you could
36:07say lord may it be done to me according to the word that you have given us
36:12in scripture that you your holy spirit would produce in me holiness
36:19and that you would give me the strength necessary to mortify my sinful flesh to take
36:26off the old self and by the power of the spirit put on the new person that i am
36:31in Christ it all works together and requires
36:38complete humility and a recognition of utter dependence on god
36:44for everything because our god is the one who gives us everything that we need
36:52for life and salvation because he’s nothing like the violent
36:57he’s kind merciful slow to anger abounding and steadfast love and he is
37:03the one who has sent us what we need and what we need most is a savior
37:09and we will celebrate his advent in his birth in the days ahead in the name of Jesus
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