Sermon Transcript – The Lion of Judah is On the Move

Series C – First Sunday of Advent – Sunday, December 6, 2015 | 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:
Intro bumper
Time StampTranscript
0:27Holy Gospel
0:29According to Saint Luke chapter 3 verses
0:311 through 14.
0:33in the 15th year of the reign of
0:35Tiberius Caesar when Pontius Pilate was
0:37governor Judea Herod tetrarch of Galilee
0:40and his brother Philip tetrek of ichiria
0:42and trachonitis and lycinius the
0:45tetrarch of Abilene during the high
0:47priesthood of Anis and Caiaphas the word
0:49of God came to John the son of Zechariah
0:52in the desert and he went out into all
0:54the country around the Jordan preaching
0:57a baptism of repentance for the
0:59Forgiveness of sins as it is written in
1:02the book of the words of Isaiah the
1:03prophet a voice of one calling in the
1:06desert prepare the way for the Lord make
1:08straight paths for him every Valley
1:10shall be filled in every mountain and
1:12Hill made low the Crooked Road shall
1:15become straight the rough the rough ways
1:18smooth and all mankind will see God’s
1:21salvation John said to the crowds coming
1:24out to be baptized by him you brood of
1:27vipers who warned you to flee from the
1:29coming wrath produce fruit in keeping
1:31with repentance and do not begin to say
1:34to yourselves we have Abraham as our
1:36Father for I tell you that out of these
1:38Stones God can raise up children for
1:40Abraham the ax is already at the root of
1:42the trees in every tree that does not
1:44produce good fruit will be cut down and
1:47thrown into the fire
1:48what should we do then the crowd asked
1:51John answered the man with two tunics
1:52should share with him who has none and
1:55the one who has food should do the same
1:57Tax Collectors also came to be baptized
1:59teacher they asked what should we do
2:02don’t collect any more than you are
2:04required to he told them then some of
2:07the soldiers asked him and what should
2:09we do and he replied don’t extort money
2:11and don’t accuse people falsely be
2:14content with your pay
2:16in the name of Jesus
2:18and when the Apostle Paul arrived at
2:20Antioch and presidia on his first
2:22missionary journey he went to the
2:24synagogue as part of his proclamation of
2:26the gospel and he reminded the people of
2:28the history and the story of the people
2:30of Israel so this morning to start off
2:32with I’m going to borrow a little bit of
2:34Paul’s retelling of that story I’ll add
2:36to it at the end here so that we can
2:39understand the historical context for
2:41Our Gospel text this morning I’ll be
2:43reading from Acts chapter 13 I’ll start
2:46at verse 16 and go to 22. here’s what
2:49the Apostle Paul said to the people in
2:51the synagogue at Antioch of basidia men
2:53of Israel you who fear God listen the
2:58God of this People Israel chose our
3:00fathers and made the people great during
3:02their stay in the land of Egypt and with
3:04uplifted arm he led them out of it and
3:07for about 40 years he put up with them
3:09in the wilderness and after destroying
3:11Seven Nations in the land of Canaan he
3:13gave them their land as an inheritance
3:15and all of this took about 450 years and
3:19after that he gave them judges until
3:21Samuel the prophet then they asked for a
3:24king God gave them Saul the son of Kish
3:26a man of the tribe of Benjamin for 40
3:28years and when he had removed him he
3:31raised up David to be their king of whom
3:33he testified and said I have found in
3:36David the son of Jesse a man after my
3:38heart who will do my will now the rest
3:42of the Old Testament reveals that
3:45the people of Israel then went on to
3:47forsake the God who had delivered them
3:49from slavery and in the time of the
3:51Kings they end up worshiping the false
3:53gods of Baal Molech ashereth and others
3:57so God sent them prophets to call them
4:00to repent of their idolatry and to be
4:02forgiven but they refused to listen and
4:04they refused to repent so God in
4:08judgment raised up Nebuchadnezzar and he
4:10destroyed Jerusalem 90 percent of the
4:13inhabitants of Israel
4:14he’d also destroyed Solomon’s Temple and
4:17drugged the remnant of Israel the
4:19survivors into Exile in captivity in
4:21Babylon after 70 years had passed the
4:24children of Israel returned to the land
4:26and shortly after the return God spoke
4:29through the final Old Testament prophet
4:32and his name is Malachi
4:34Malachi prophesied the appearance of
4:37both John the Baptist as well as the
4:40Messiah so let me return again and read
4:42a portion of our Old Testament text this
4:44morning Malachi chapter 3 behold I send
4:47my messenger he will prepare the way
4:50before me and the Lord whom you seek
4:52will suddenly come into His Temple and
4:55the messenger of the Covenant in whom
4:57you Delight behold he is coming says the
4:59Lord of hosts but who can endure the day
5:01of his coming and who can stand when he
5:03appears and then the very final words of
5:06the Prophet Malachi are these behold I
5:09will send you Elijah the prophet before
5:11the great and awesome day of the Lord
5:13comes and he will turn the hearts of the
5:16fathers to their children the hearts of
5:17the children to the fathers lest I come
5:20and strike the land with the decree of
5:22utter destruction
5:24and then after the prophet Malachi
5:27records these words given to him by God
5:29himself then the Lord says
5:36was heard from God for 400 years
5:40complete silence from the Throne of
5:42Heaven as Israel was conquered by the
5:44Persians complete silence from God as
5:47they were then conquered by the Greeks
5:49complete silence from God as they were
5:53then subjugated to the Roman Empire
5:56but despite God’s silence and despite
6:00the fact that Israel lost its freedom
6:02and was subjugated to occupation by a
6:04pagan Empire during the interim God’s
6:07written word still spoke and God
6:10preserved the people of Israel and he
6:12remembered his promises to Israel and to
6:15the world and to the Old Testament
6:16Patriarchs of the seed of the woman who
6:19would come to crush the head of the
6:20serpent and so in this today’s Gospel
6:23text God breaks his silence and he
6:26signals that he’s about to do something
6:29it is like the story of the inhabitants
6:32of Narnia now I apologize I have to use
6:36a little bit of a metaphor here and
6:38hopefully you have all read The
6:40Chronicles of Narnia the first book is
6:41absolutely brilliant it’s entitled The
6:43Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and we
6:45find in the story that the land of
6:47Narnia has been subjugated to an evil
6:49wicked witch named Jadis and she has
6:53made it always winter in Narnia but
6:55never Christmas that’s got to really be
6:58awful right could you imagine winter
7:00here without Christmas and so but there
7:02was a prophecy there was a prophecy that
7:06there would be four children four
7:09descendants of Adam and Eve sons of Adam
7:12and daughter of saviv who would be put
7:14on the throne at karaparavel and the
7:16Witch’s spell would be broken so we pick
7:18up in the story here in The Chronicles
7:20of Narnia where the children have come
7:23into Narnia but they have not yet been
7:25well enthroned as kings and queens in
7:29fact they’ve got a harrowing battle to
7:31fight and deathly things could happen to
7:34them and so they’re at the home of
7:36beaver Mr and Mrs Beaver having dinner
7:40with them I’m not sure what beavers eat
7:42but I’m sure it’s not as well it might
7:44be better than lutefisk but anyway
7:48let me pick up some of the dialogue here
7:51Peter says not meaning to be rude Mr
7:53Beaver but you see we’re strangers
7:57quite right quite right the bits of the
7:59Beaver here’s my token and with these
8:02words he held up to them a little white
8:04object they all took it looked at it in
8:07Surprise until suddenly Lucy said oh of
8:09course it’s my handkerchief the one that
8:11I gave to poor Mr tumnus that’s right
8:13said the beaver poor fellow he got wind
8:15of the arrest before it actually
8:17happened and handed this over to me he
8:20said that if anything happened to him I
8:22must meet you here and take you on to
8:25and hear the beaver’s voice sank into
8:28silence and it gave one or two
8:30mysterious nods and then signaling to
8:33the children to stand as close around as
8:35they possibly could so that their faces
8:37were actually tickled by its whiskers it
8:40added in a low whisper
8:42they say Aslan is on the Move perhaps
8:46he’s already landed
8:48and now a very curious thing happened
8:51none of the children knew who Aslan was
8:54any more than you do but the moment the
8:55beaver had spoken these words everyone
8:57felt quite different perhaps it has some
9:00times happened to you in a dream that
9:03someone says something which you don’t
9:05understand but in the dream feels as if
9:08it had some enormous meaning
9:10either a terrifying one which turns the
9:12whole dream into a nightmare or else a
9:15lovely meaning too lovely to put into
9:17words which makes the dream so beautiful
9:19that you remember it all of your life
9:22and are always wishing that you could
9:23get into that dream again
9:25it was like that now
9:27at the name of Aslan each one of the
9:30children felt something jump
9:32in its inside Edmond felt a sensation of
9:36mysterious horror Peter felt suddenly
9:38Brave and adventurous Susan felt as if
9:41some delicious smell had some delightful
9:43and or some delightful strain of Music
9:45had just floated by her and Lucy got the
9:48feeling you have when you wake up in the
9:50morning and realize that it’s the
9:52beginning of the holidays or the
9:54beginning of Summer
9:55and so in Our Gospel texts this morning
9:58it’s like the inhabitants of Narnia the
10:01people of Israel with the arrival of the
10:04promised Elijah began to stir
10:06their hearts began to Hope
10:09maybe just maybe the lion of the tribe
10:14of Judah was on the move and perhaps had
10:16already landed on their Shores
10:19finally our Redemption has drawn nigh
10:23and indeed it has
10:25he has
10:27and just as he had promised the Lord
10:29sent his messenger ahead of him a
10:31messenger who would signal his eminent
10:34appearing but who would also prepare
10:36them for his arrival
10:38which then begs the question how are
10:41people prepared for the arrival of their
10:44merciful forgiving and pardoning savior
10:50they’re prepared through the preaching
10:51of God’s law and they’re called to
10:55you see
10:56you’re not ready to be forgiven until
10:58you know that you’re a sinner you’re not
11:02Jesus has come to save the ungodly and
11:04unless you understand that you’re one of
11:07he’s got nothing to offer you
11:10so they’re prepared the same way that we
11:12are prepared for Jesus’s arrival they’re
11:15prepared through the preaching of
11:16repentance and this is why Advent has
11:19always historically been a penitential
11:21season because this is how you prepare
11:24for the arrival of your savior and so we
11:26return now to our text and I’ll be
11:28reading from my translation
11:30now in the 15th year of the government
11:32of Tiberius Caesar Pontius Pilate being
11:35governor of Judea Herod being tetrarch
11:38of Galilee Philip his brother being
11:40tetrarch of the region of ichiria and
11:42trachonitis and lysenius being tetrarch
11:44of Abilene in the time of the high
11:46priest Anis and Caiaphas
11:48the word of God came to John the son of
11:51Zechariah in the wilderness two notes
11:53Here one you’ll notice that this didn’t
11:56take place a long time ago in a galaxy
11:58far far away in the foggy Misty
12:01time of Mythology this happened in human
12:04history but you’ll also notice here that
12:06much like the prophets of the Old
12:08Testament over and again it would say
12:10the word of the Lord came to the prophet
12:12Malachi the word of the Lord came to the
12:14prophet Isaiah the word of the Lord came
12:15to the prophet Hosea the word of the
12:17Lord came to John the son of Zechariah
12:19this is a man who has one foot in the
12:22Old Testament and one foot in the new
12:24he’s part prophet and part preacher of
12:27the Gospel it’s kind of a transition
12:29figure of your wood and so he went into
12:32all the surrounding region of the Jordan
12:34proclaiming a baptism of listen
12:37repentance for the Forgiveness of sins
12:42this is odd
12:45this is really odd
12:46the reason why is because how did people
12:48get their sins dealt with
12:52in this time
12:53they take an animal to the temple and
12:56sacrifice it but John’s not pointing
12:59them to the temple he’s pointing them to
13:00the Waters of baptism something
13:02completely new
13:04and so it continues as it is written in
13:08the book of the words of Isaiah the
13:09prophet a voice of one shouting in the
13:12wilderness prepare the way of the Lord
13:14be making his path straight every Valley
13:17will be filled in every mountain and
13:19Hill will be made low the Crooked paths
13:22will become straight and the rough will
13:24become smooth past paths and All Flesh
13:28will see the salvation of God
13:31and so our sin here is likened to
13:34Crooked paths it’s likened to mountains
13:38it’s lightened to all things that aren’t
13:40straight and flat and perfect
13:43and so this
13:46Prophet preacher Baptist is going to
13:49prepare the way of the Lord and fill in
13:51all the mountains and valleys make all
13:53the paths rather than rambling and
13:55running this way and that straighten
13:57them all out referring to our sin and
14:00then it says this All Flesh will see the
14:03salvation of God
14:06hold on to that sentence we’ll come back
14:08to it therefore he was saying to the
14:10crowds coming out to be baptized by him
14:13this is not a feel-good message you
14:16ready here’s his message you brood of
14:19vipers who showed you to flee from the
14:22Wrath to come
14:25I don’t think any church Council would
14:27call this guy as their pastor
14:30right yeah
14:33who warned you to flee from the Wrath to
14:35come produce fruits worthy of repentance
14:38and don’t begin to say within yourselves
14:40we have Abraham as our father notice
14:42he’s countering their religious claims
14:45we’re children of Israel we’re
14:46descendants of Abraham we are we have an
14:49inside track with God not so not so for
14:53I say to you that God is able to raise
14:54up children for Abraham from these
14:56stones and indeed the ax is already
14:59lying at the root of the trees therefore
15:01every tree not producing good fruit is
15:03cut down and thrown into the what
15:08referring to the fires of hell
15:12let me pull a little John the Baptist
15:15so do you think that because you’ve
15:16shown up to church
15:18that makes you a Christian
15:20you think that maybe because you put a
15:22few coins in the plate when it’s passed
15:24around Sunday after Sunday that makes
15:26you a Christian
15:27if that’s what you think makes you a
15:29Christian you need to repent
15:32you need to repent God owns the cattle
15:34on a thousand hills he doesn’t need your
15:36measly coins
15:37if you think the things you do are the
15:40things that save you you are wicked and
15:42still in your sins
15:45don’t think for a second that you can be
15:47saved by what you’re doing
15:49the text continues so the crowds were
15:51questioning him saying What then shall
15:53we do and this is important that the
15:56next couple verses make it clear that
15:58they’re asking this question after
16:00they’re baptized if you don’t understand
16:03that you’re going to confuse and think
16:05well the thing I got to do in order to
16:06be saved is to do right things that’s
16:08not what he’s saying he was baptizing
16:10them for the Forgiveness of their sins
16:12they’re coming up out of the water going
16:13now what
16:15right whereas in the book of Acts
16:17chapter 2 remember that great preaching
16:19of the Apostle Peter on the day of
16:21Pentecost he preaches law and gospel
16:23everyone’s cut to the quick and then
16:25they said Brothers what shall we do and
16:27what does Peter say repent and be
16:28baptized every one of you for the
16:30Forgiveness of your sins so the people
16:32on the day of Pentecost are asking prior
16:35to baptism these people are asking after
16:38they’ve been baptized after they’ve been
16:40forgiven this is what’s going on so the
16:42crowds were questioning him saying what
16:43should we do
16:44and having responded he was saying to
16:46them all right let the one having two
16:49tunics give to the one not having and
16:52the one having food be doing likewise
16:55and tax collectors also came to be
16:57baptized and they said to him teacher
16:59what should we do and the one said to
17:01them be collecting nothing more than the
17:03amount having been commanded in other
17:06words you’ve now been forgiven of your
17:09sins set free from bondage to sin death
17:11and the devil you want to know what
17:13Freedom looks like stop living for
17:17start thinking about others
17:19love them serve them
17:23so the one serving as soldiers they were
17:25also questioning him and and us what
17:28should we do he said to them don’t
17:30violate violently extort anyone or
17:33extort with false charges and be content
17:35with your wages
17:39so like these soldiers tax collectors
17:43and people coming to be baptized
17:46we need to remember that we ought not
17:48think for a second that doing good works
17:50out of fear or punishment or an
17:52expectation of a reward from God is a
17:55good work
17:56the reason why you’re doing your good
17:57works is because you fear his punishment
17:59and because you’re expecting a reward
18:00then those works are selfish works and
18:03they are done only for yourself and
18:05they’re not for the good of your
18:08if you’re keeping a tally sheet saying
18:10you know the way I figure it God is that
18:12you know based on all of these great
18:13things I’ve done for other people I’m
18:16thinking maybe eight or ten Lanes on my
18:18olympic size swimming pool in my
18:19heavenly mansion
18:22you haven’t done a single good work then
18:24for anyone else you’ve done every single
18:25one of them for you
18:28those are not good works
18:32in fact keep this in mind
18:35you don’t have to have faith to obey
18:37God’s law
18:39anybody can do it if they try it hard
18:42not perfectly but make some progress at
18:46pagans do things written in God’s law
18:49and they have no faith in God
18:52do you think God’s going to sit there
18:53and say well I understand that you
18:54didn’t believe in Jesus and that your
18:55sins were never forgiven but man you
18:58were like in the 80th percentile of
19:00moral people you know at the end of the
19:02day I’m going to go ahead and let you in
19:05that’s not how that works there’s no
19:07other name given under Heaven by which
19:09men must be saved
19:11so good works apart from faith are
19:16good work’s done because you are
19:18forgiven and have faith are truly good
19:21you see the difference
19:23you don’t do your good works in order to
19:24receive God’s forgiveness you do them
19:27because you have God’s forgiveness
19:30so those works if you’re doing them out
19:32of fear from God
19:34or an expectation of reward they’re
19:37selfish and they’re not done for your
19:38neighbor even worse
19:40those kinds of Works do not require
19:41faith in God those types of works are
19:43worthless before God because they are
19:45thinly veiled attempts to save and
19:48justify yourself rather than receive
19:51salvation as a gift so repent God is Not
19:55So cheaply bought off the price of your
19:58salvation is not some measly groveling
20:00Works done by you so that you can save
20:02your own skin or bargain with God for
20:05better rewards in heaven
20:07if you think that’s what’s your good
20:09works are for you need to repent the
20:11price of your salvation are not the
20:13plastic cheap Chinese trinkets
20:16of your good works the price of your
20:19salvation is the very blood of a perfect
20:21and spotless sacrifice and that
20:23sacrifice is Christ
20:26so we need to repent
20:28the people baptized by John asked What
20:31then shall we do
20:32they were not asking this in order to be
20:35verse 3 says that John was proclaiming a
20:38baptism of the Forgiveness of sins so
20:40the reason they asked what shall we do
20:42was because they were forgiven
20:45so I asked the question
20:47I knew this was going to be rough are
20:50you prepared for the arrival of the Lion
20:51of the tribe of Judah are you prepared
20:54for his Advent he’s on the move he will
20:57arrive very shortly and his winnowing
20:59Fork is in his hand and when he arrives
21:01he will Thresh the wheat separate the
21:03wheat from the chaff the wheat he will
21:05gather into his barn with the chaff will
21:07be burned up with unquenchable fire
21:09repent therefore stop trying to bargain
21:13with God he cannot be bargained with
21:15he’s not coming to negotiate with you
21:17he’s not coming to negotiate the terms
21:19of Your Surrender he’s coming to judge
21:23see the difference so remember read what
21:26we read in verse 3 All Flesh will see
21:28the salvation of God
21:30and you have heard the Salvation
21:32Proclaim to you
21:34let me read it from the Gospel of John
21:36chapter 6.
21:38that came to Jesus and said what must we
21:40be doing to do the works of God chapter
21:426 verse 28 Jesus answered them this is
21:46the work of God
21:48that you believe in him who he has sent
21:52so stop believing that you’re good
21:54and that you can do enough good things
21:56to placate God
21:58you’re not good
22:00and if that is the reason that you’re
22:01doing your good works your good works
22:03will be the very thing that damn you not
22:05your sins so repent change your mind and
22:07instead believe in the one whom the
22:09father has sent to save you to die for
22:11your sins the one who washes away your
22:13sins in the waters of your baptism and
22:15the one who feeds you with this very
22:17body and blood for the Forgiveness of
22:19your sins all of this he does as a gift
22:22out of his great love and mercy and
22:24compassion for you repent believe be
22:27forgiven and then do your good works for
22:30your neighbor not for you you don’t need
22:34them to bargain with God you have Jesus
22:36and he’s paid your debt in for in full
22:39for you already
22:41in the name of Jesus
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