Sermon Transcript – The Key to Unlock the Scriptures

Series A – Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany – Sunday, February 05, 2023 | 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
0:27The holy Gospel
0:29According to Saint Matthew the 5th
0:37Jesus said you are the salt of the earth
0:40but if the salt has lost its taste how
0:43shall its saltiness be restored it’s no
0:45longer good for anything except to be
0:47thrown out and Trampled Under people’s
0:48feet you are the light of the world a
0:50city set on a hill cannot be hidden nor
0:52do people light a lamp and put it under
0:54a basket but on a stand and it gives
0:56light to all in the house in the same
0:58way let your light shine before others
1:00so that they may see your good works and
1:03give glory to your father who is in
1:04heaven do not think that I have come to
1:07abolish the law and the prophets I have
1:09not come to abolish them but to fulfill
1:10them for truly I say to you until Heaven
1:12and Earth pass away not an Iota not a
1:15DOT will pass from the law until all is
1:18accomplished therefore whoever relaxes
1:20one of the least of these Commandments
1:21and teaches others to do the same will
1:23be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven
1:26whoever does them and teaches them will
1:28be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven
1:30for I tell you unless your righteousness
1:32exceeds that of the scribes and the
1:34Pharisees you will never enter the
1:36Kingdom of Heaven this is the gospel of
1:39the Lord grace mercy and peace to you
1:41from God the Father Son and Holy Spirit
1:43you may be seated
1:45in the name of Jesus
1:47amen have you ever seen that channel put
1:50out by a guy who calls himself the lock
1:52picking lawyer it’s a fascinating
1:55Channel and I gotta admit I’m kind of
1:58addicted to it at the moment it’s it’s
2:00this weird little thing that when I’m
2:02having insomnia when his stuff shows up
2:04on social media I sit there and I watch
2:07this guy people send him padlocks and
2:10different kinds of door locks and locks
2:12of all kinds from all over the place
2:14including bike locks and he picks them
2:17open legitimately it’s actually quite
2:20impressive and locks that are declared
2:22to be pick proof are shown definitively
2:25to be not so right now I would note that
2:29there is one thing that I know of that
2:32is absolutely pick proof okay it’s the
2:35scriptures you can’t pick them nope
2:38there is one key to unlocking the
2:41scriptures there’s one key to
2:43understanding the Biblical text and that
2:45is what Paul is talking about
2:48in our epistle text when he says I
2:50decided to know nothing among you except
2:53for Jesus Christ and him crucified
2:56without that message without Christ and
2:59him crucified for our sins you can pick
3:02away at the Bible all you want and you
3:06will never understand it now this is not
3:10to say that there are not other topics
3:12covered in scripture there are other
3:16topics covered in scripture but think of
3:18it this way without the cross without
3:21Christ and him crucified you still can’t
3:23even properly understand those other
3:25topics the Bible remains a locked book
3:29and you can’t pick it it ain’t going to
3:32work in fact chat GPS or that AI thing
3:35that’s out there if you were to ask it
3:37please explain to me what the Bible
3:40means and give me a proper understanding
3:43of it it would not sit there and go it’s
3:45all about Christ and him crucified he
3:47even AI can’t crack it and you sit there
3:50and go well I mean is it really that
3:54simple I mean doesn’t the Bible talk
3:56about a whole bunch of other stuff of
3:57course it does of course it does but I
4:01always like to think back to when I was
4:02a Nazarene and when I was a Nazarene I
4:06studied my Bible I did in fact somewhere
4:09in the murky recesses of my attic space
4:13in a box that’s full of dust and things
4:17like this there are there are copies of
4:19my Bibles from when I was in high school
4:21and from time to time I like to pull
4:24them out blow the dust off of them and
4:26just flip through and see what were the
4:30texts that I highlighted you know what
4:32those texts were they were all follow
4:34along with me
4:37it was all about the la la la la la la
4:39la la la la la la la la right it was all
4:42about the law and as a young Nazarene I
4:45was devoted to the law I was oh man I
4:49didn’t drink smoke too and my wife she
4:51definitely didn’t do any of that stuff
4:52either you know but she was my
4:53girlfriend at the time right she didn’t
4:55dance drink smoke or two but then again
4:57I do think about that one thing when we
4:59were seniors uh our our high schools uh
5:03senior class rebelled and you see we
5:06weren’t even allowed to have a prom no
5:08that was for Boateng you can’t do that
5:10because you know there’s dancing
5:12involved and so what our senior class
5:14did you know what we did some people
5:17it’s some enterprising parents who had
5:19some money they rented out a hotel
5:22Ballroom in Huntington Beach California
5:24we had to we had to like go like several
5:26counties down we had to be like nowhere
5:28near so that no teacher could raid us
5:30and actually see us getting jiggly with
5:33uh Depeche Mode you know that
5:36you get the idea here but as somebody
5:38who is dedicated to the law I did not
5:41understand the scriptures and it wasn’t
5:42too long after my wife and I graduated
5:44from high school we went head long into
5:47the the latter rain movement and we were
5:50under the the thumb of a cult leader and
5:54a false prophetess and when we came out
5:57of that my wife at least she
5:59legitimately said who can we trust what
6:03are we supposed to believe and my
6:05response at the time was I think we can
6:07trust the Bible but I’m pretty convinced
6:09we don’t know what it means
6:12I’m pretty convinced that we don’t and
6:14the reality is this we didn’t we didn’t
6:17understand that if somebody had come to
6:19me at that time and said listen the
6:21thing you’re missing is the one thing
6:23you the only thing you need to know
6:25nothing except for Christ and him
6:26crucified I would have thought he was
6:28nuts in fact I know for a fact I would
6:31have thought he was nuts because that’s
6:34exactly when I was first confronted with
6:36the gospel and somebody who actually
6:39believed that there was nothing except
6:41for Christ and him crucified I thought
6:43the guy was a complete wing nut and
6:44whacker doodle I mistook him for a false
6:47teacher it was Dr Rod rosenblatt now if
6:50you know anything about Dr rod
6:54um to say he’s a man of the earth is as
6:57a uh it’s a good way to put it he’s he’s
7:00salty but salty in the right sense and
7:03I’ll explain that in a second rosenblatt
7:05always in his classes he would say
7:07things like this if if if I depended on
7:11anything of my own good works for
7:14salvation then I’m doomed and then he
7:17would use an inappropriate analogy he
7:19says if if your life is like a roulette
7:21table you’ve got to bet all the blue
7:23chips on Jesus how dare you use gambling
7:26metaphors to talk about salvation
7:28rosenblatt right and one time again I go
7:31up to him and I say rosenblad if what
7:33you’re saying is true that we’re saved
7:35completely by what Christ has done for
7:37us then you’re saying I can do whatever
7:39I want
7:41and he says of course Chris now that
7:43Christ has set you free from slavery to
7:45sin death and the devil what do you want
7:46to do
7:53Christ Christ and him crucified for our
7:57sins I chose to know nothing think of it
8:01this way without the gospel the law just
8:04becomes a tedium and at the end of the
8:07day you become exhausted all right I
8:11remember back in the day trying so hard
8:15to get my sinful desires under control
8:19and felt like I was making some kind of
8:22progress but over and again I would look
8:24in the Bible and I would hear the voice
8:25of the law do nothing but condemn me and
8:29I got angry at God what is it going to
8:31take for you to love me how what do I
8:34have to do
8:36and you’ll note by thinking this way
8:38I was missing
8:40the key
8:42and the key is Christ and him crucified
8:45for our sins now it’s absolutely true
8:48that the law tells us that we are to not
8:51do certain things and we are to do
8:53certain things we are to love the Lord
8:55Our God with all of our hearts soul mind
8:58strength how’s that working out for you
9:00by the way all all means all by the way
9:02I looked it up in the Hebrew all means
9:04all right the whole thing the whole
9:06kitten caboodle every
9:07ounce of your fiber and being and you’ll
9:10note the Bible also commands us to honor
9:12our parents and honor those in authority
9:15over us forbids us from murdering and
9:18you sit there and go well thank god I’ve
9:20never done that oh yes you have yes you
9:23have uh next week’s gospel text will put
9:26that to rest definitively you’re going
9:28to hear Jesus talk about even having
9:30hatred inside of your heart you’ve
9:32already murdered a person even if you
9:35haven’t plunged a knife into their chest
9:38and what about that adultery bet oh well
9:40yeah I’ve never physically committed
9:42adultery on my spouse well good on you
9:45but does that mean you’re not an adult
9:46or not even close because Jesus says if
9:49you look at somebody lustfully you know
9:52look at her huh you know or you know are
9:55the women talking about Brad Pitt’s you
9:57know six you know six pack in his
9:59washboard abs honey right oh you’ve
10:02already committed adultery with that
10:04person right
10:05and you’ll note that the law condemns us
10:08all but does the law give us even an
10:12ounce of power to obey its commands in
10:16its precepts no not at all
10:19so what are we to make of this well
10:21without the cross without Christ and him
10:23crucified for our sins the law is a
10:25drudgery because we are under the
10:27mistaken belief that we are saved by our
10:30good works when in fact we are not
10:32you’ll know when the Apostle Paul
10:34opposing the judaizers refused to
10:37compromise what the gospel
10:41he refused to compromise and give in
10:43even an inch to the legalists so Christ
10:46and him crucified for our sins
10:49is the only way of understanding
10:51scripture and every single Doctrine
10:54within the biblical texts a good way to
10:58think about it is is that Christ and him
11:00crucified for our sins is like the son
11:03and all of the other doctrines revealed
11:06in scripture they orbit it if you were
11:09to study them apart from their orbit
11:11around the sun you will not understand
11:13those doctrines at all let me give you
11:15some examples from our gospel text by
11:18the way did you notice it was a supreme
11:20lack of gospel in Our Gospel text today
11:22that happens from time to time but
11:24here’s what Jesus says to those who are
11:27his disciples you are the salt of the
11:30earth but if the salt has lost its taste
11:33how shall its saltiness be restored is
11:37no longer good for anything except to be
11:39thrown out and Trampled Under people’s
11:42feet I remember as a Nazarene hearing
11:45tax sermons about this particular text
11:47and saying that the salt means that our
11:51good works have to be the thing that the
11:53world sees that’s not really what’s
11:55going on here because if you think about
11:57it it doesn’t make any sense and I
11:59remember one of my Nazarene pastors
12:01telling the story telling the story of a
12:04man who lived just a few doors down and
12:08his house caught fire and when his house
12:11caught fire this is the days before they
12:13had cell phones and things like this
12:15okay he needed help and he knew that the
12:18only person he can come to for help was
12:20the pastor who lived a few doors down
12:22and the reason why is because he knew
12:25that he hadn’t been drinking that night
12:26and that he’d be sober enough to help
12:29and so that was an example of being the
12:32salt of the earth
12:33no it’s not it’s not so this idea then
12:38you don’t drink lest you well in a pinch
12:41when you’re called upon to help your
12:42neighbor you are unable to do so because
12:44you are not of a sound mind to be able
12:46to help them that’s not what this text
12:49let me explain
12:52salt is a interesting thing when you
12:55study it out in scripture in the Book of
12:57Leviticus and if you’ve ever read
12:59Leviticus we did Leviticus for for years
13:02didn’t we it’s it took a long time to
13:05work through Leviticus when we worked
13:06through Leviticus we noted that there
13:08were all kinds of sacrifices that were
13:11required different you know sheep and
13:13goat and and Bulls and Rams and
13:15different animal sacrifices and food
13:18sacrifices in every sacrifice right it
13:21was well interesting in detail but
13:25there’s one passage in The Book of
13:27Leviticus and I’ll have you Google it
13:29look it up one little text that if you
13:32miss it you’re gonna miss the whole
13:34thing and this little sentence in the
13:37Old Testament in The Book of Leviticus
13:39says that every sacrifice must be
13:42offered with
13:49maybe saltiness has something to do with
13:51you know Christ and him crucified for
13:54our sins I Paul meant what he said I
13:57chose to know nothing among you except
13:59for Christ and him crucified for our
14:01sins have you ever been punched in the
14:03mouth or maybe accidentally bit your
14:06cheek oh man is that hateful okay there
14:10you are minding your own business
14:11enjoying a nice meal and all of a sudden
14:14your mouth doesn’t work and you Chomp
14:17down on your cheek and
14:20right and you can feel the blood flowing
14:23what’s it taste like
14:27have you ever noticed how salty blood
14:29tastes you see to be the salt of the
14:33really legitimately means those who
14:36understand the mercy and the grace of
14:38Christ the Forgiveness of our sins you
14:42see if you’re going to do the law and do
14:44the law and do the law there is no mercy
14:46or Grace for you in fact there’s no hope
14:49for you at all but with Christ and him
14:51crucified for our sins we recognize that
14:55Jesus has taken upon himself our
14:58transgressions has taken upon himself
15:00our guilt and he is the one who although
15:04he kept the law perfectly all of my lack
15:07of perfect law keeping is placed upon
15:12your imperfect law keeping is placed
15:15upon him and he bleeds and dies in your
15:17place and he gives you salvation fully
15:21as a gift have you ever heard the
15:23scriptures talk about how it’s God’s
15:25Wrath and his
15:27malice and hatred that’s going to lead
15:29us to repentance no
15:32what is it that leads us to repentance
15:33God’s kindness
15:36his Mercy
15:38his forgiveness and his love
15:41and so to be salty Christians is not to
15:44put out spicy memes on the internet to
15:46be salty Christians means to be those
15:49who well continue to preach and know
15:53nothing except for Christ and him
15:56crucified for our sins what about the
15:59next portion of the Gospel Pastor
16:01Rosewood says it talks about being the
16:02light of the world and that we’re
16:04supposed to let our lights shine right
16:06do you guys know how passive verbs work
16:09you know how passive things isn’t Jesus
16:12the light of the world I seem to
16:14remember during the time of Christmas
16:16right that we read in the beginning of
16:18the of the Gospel of John that the true
16:21light of the world was coming into the
16:23world and though the world was made
16:24through him the well the world didn’t
16:26recognize him because men loved the
16:29darkness instead this is absolutely true
16:31right so the Light of Christ has come
16:34into the world and Christ says you are
16:36the light of the world is that because
16:38that by some sub substantive process I
16:42have now shine and begin shining before
16:46this only works because of the Gospel
16:49Paul chose to know nothing
16:51except for Christ and him crucified for
16:54our sins we would be wise to adopt what
16:56the scriptures say here and then Jesus
16:58says a city that said on a hill can’t be
17:00hidden that’s true nor do people light a
17:03lamp and put it under a basket but on a
17:05stand and it gives light to all that are
17:07in the house in the same way listen to
17:09the words let your light shine
17:15it doesn’t say Shine Your Light
17:20passive let your light
17:25that assumes the gospel it assumes that
17:28you are forgiven assumes that Jesus is
17:30your light and that he is the one
17:32shining through you and he is the one
17:34who has taken you out of Darkness into
17:37the Dominion of his kingdom which is
17:39described as the kingdom of white right
17:41so in other words being a Christian is
17:44all about being what Christ has made you
17:47to be and that is a reality given to you
17:50when the Waters of baptism
17:52when you are buried with Christ and
17:54raised with Christ and seated with
17:56Christ in Heavenly places Christ is our
17:59light and when we let our light shine
18:03Even in our good works it is Christ who
18:06is doing The Shining again the passive
18:08nature of the verbs proved this out if
18:11you think this is all about you actively
18:13actively shining your light you’ve
18:15missed the whole point and you don’t
18:17know how passive verbs work
18:20so Paul says I chose to know nothing
18:24except for Christ and him crucified for
18:27our sins and then came a passage of
18:30scripture in Our Gospel text that when I
18:32was in Nazarene I could not understand
18:34it couldn’t crack it at all in fact it
18:37sent me on basically kind of a New
18:39Year’s Eve Bender that lasted for a long
18:42long period of time and what I mean by
18:43that is but by making well these
18:46resolutions that I’ve got to fulfill and
18:48here’s the here’s what Jesus said I tell
18:50you unless your righteousness exceeds
18:53that of the scribes and Pharisees you
18:55will never enter the kingdom of heaven
18:58doesn’t that preach Works righteousness
19:00Pastor Rose bro not at all quite the
19:03opposite but when I read this as a
19:05Nazarene remember my mindset as a
19:08Nazarene was I heard the gospel long
19:11time ago when I made the decision to go
19:13down to the Altar and ask Jesus into my
19:16heart I don’t need to hear the gospel
19:18over and over and over and over and over
19:20again I need to be busy obeying Christ I
19:23need to mature move on to more important
19:26things but note that Paul was talking to
19:29Christians in First Corinthians 2. he
19:32wrote that to us who are Christians I
19:35chose to know nothing except for Christ
19:36and him crucified for our sins so how
19:39are we to understand this well we can
19:42only understand it through the cross
19:45because you see God made Jesus to be sin
19:48who knew no sin so that you might be the
19:51righteousness of God
19:54Paul in Philippians 3 talks about not
19:57having a righteousness of his own that
19:59comes through the law but the
20:00righteousness of God that is given
20:02through faith so here’s the thing back
20:05in the day Jesus’s listeners would have
20:07heard this and go whoa how is supposed
20:10to how is somebody supposed to be more
20:12righteous than the Pharisees you’ll note
20:15back in the day if your daughter was
20:17dating a Pharisee you you’d think that
20:19that would be a good thing because those
20:21righteous those Pharisees they were
20:23righteous dudes man they tithe all the
20:25way down to the herbs in their Garden
20:27these were guys who were very attentive
20:30to the law and Jesus says it’s not
20:35in fact they were so attentive to the
20:37law that they took the law of God kind
20:38of bundled up into a inner package and
20:41then built a big fence of other laws
20:44around it with the idea you keep our
20:46laws and you’ll never break the laws in
20:47the center that was their thinking right
20:49and Jesus says unless your righteousness
20:51succeeds out of the scribes and
20:53Pharisees you will never enter the
20:55kingdom of God
20:57well then how are we to have
21:00righteousness that exceeds that of the
21:02scribes and Pharisees well I chose to
21:04know nothing except Christ and him
21:06crucified for our sins Paul says even
21:09this statement of Christ you cannot pick
21:11it you cannot unlock it without the key
21:15of the cross the key of the Cross will
21:17unlock this and you will recognize that
21:19in the gospel of righteousness of God is
21:21revealed from Faith to Faith for those
21:24who believe and this is a righteousness
21:27given by God and so each and every
21:29single Christian is clothed with the
21:31righteousness of Christ because he was
21:34clothed in your sin and iniquity on the
21:39so I can say to each and every one of
21:41you that your righteousness because
21:44Christ is your righteousness exceeds
21:47that of the scribes and Pharisees in
21:49fact your righteousness is faultless and
21:52perfect in the eyes of God because you
21:55are clothed with the very righteousness
21:56of God given by faith and that’s Jesus’s
22:00so is it true is it true that we should
22:04know nothing except for Christ and him
22:06crucified for our sins yes it’s
22:09absolutely true and so we always
22:12interpret every other doctrine of
22:16through the light of the Cross so let us
22:20repent of all the ways in which we’ve
22:23thought that we can study out the
22:25scriptures apart from the cross that we
22:27think that we can pick it open without a
22:30proper understanding of the Cross or say
22:32that this Doctrine has nothing to do
22:34with the cross you’re wrong
22:37every passage of scripture has to do
22:39with the cross and you cannot understand
22:42the text otherwise so put your picks
22:45away you’re never going to open this
22:47this is the only thing on planet Earth
22:49that is unpickable and not even the lock
22:52picking attorney the lock picking lawyer
22:54can open up the scriptures without the
22:56proper key and the key is Christ and him
22:59crucified for our sins in the name of
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