Sermon Transcript – The Scandal of Weakness

Series B – Sixth Sunday of Pentecost – Sunday, July 4, 2021 | 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
0:23The holy gospel according to saint mark
0:30the sixth chapter [Music]
0:39Jesus went away from there and came to his hometown and his disciples followed him and on the sabbath he began to teach in
0:45the synagogue and many who heard him were astonished saying where did this man get these things what
0:50is this wisdom that is given to him how are such mighty works done by his hands is not his
0:56this the carpenter the son of mary the brother of james and joseph and judas and simon and are not his
1:02sisters here with us and they took offense at him and Jesus said to them a prophet is not without honor except in his hometown among his
1:09relatives and in his own household and he could do no mighty work there except that he laid his hands on a few
1:15sick people and healed them and he marveled because of their unbelief and he went about among the villages teaching
1:20and he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits he charged them to take nothing for
1:27their journey except a staff no bread no bag no money in their belts but to wear sandals and not put on two
1:33tunics and he said to them whether you enter whenever you enter a house stay there until you depart from there
1:39and if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you when you leave shake off the dust that
1:44is on your feet as a testimony against them and so they went out and proclaimed that people should repent and they cast out
1:51many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them this
1:56is the gospel of the lord in the name of Jesus all right today we’re going to be
2:01talking about something scandalous but it may not seem scandalous at first but it is when you start to push on the
2:08topic so let’s start with just a basic question what happens to a child
2:13if you do not discipline a child and you give a child everything that it wants
2:22turns into a monster right boy or girl doesn’t matter turns into a monster
2:27this is popular in our own literature you guys remember the original willy wonka in the chocolate factory
2:33all right and veruca salt remember that chick by the way it wasn’t an accident that
2:39she was wearing red like satanic red and that her fate
2:45was that she ended up perishing in a furnace at least that was kind of the implication right well do you all
2:50remember the song that she sang i won’t sing it to you because i don’t really know the lyrics the the tune all that well
2:57but you all know the song it kind of goes i want the world i want the whole world
3:02right this is what she’s saying listen to these lyrics i want to lock it all up in my pocket
3:07it’s it’s my bar of chocolate give it to me now i want today and i want tomorrow
3:15i want to wear them like braids in my hair and i don’t want to share them i want a party with roomfuls of laughter
3:2210 000 tons of ice cream and if i don’t get the things i’m after i’m gonna scream i want the works i want
3:30the whole works presents and prizes and sweets and surprises of all shapes and sizes
3:36and now i don’t care how i want it now
3:45who does she sound like satan exactly
3:51like satan what did Jesus say you are of your father the devil
3:57that’s what he said he said you are of your father the devil and without discipline without correction
4:03we exemplify the devil what was it the devil said i
4:10think it was in isaiah 14 listen to these words oh you are fallen
4:15from heaven o daystar son of the dawn how you are cut down to the ground you who laid low the nations
4:22you said in your heart i will ascend to heaven above the stars of god i will set
4:28my throne on high i will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north i will ascend
4:34above the heights of the clouds and i will make myself like the most high
4:39and i want it now right so here’s the idea
4:46there are literally no joke only two religions in the world two i know it seems odd you sit there
4:52and go wait a second here you got Christianity you got islam you got buddhism
4:57there’s two religions one of them is the theology of
5:02self-glory and the theology of self-glory is all about me
5:12right and the theology of self-glory has no room for suffering no room for weakness no none
5:19at all in fact it gets annoyed by it all right if i don’t get what i want from my deity and get it
5:26now because i need it and what do i want i want power i want riches i want
5:33sex without consequence i don’t ever want to suffer anything involuntarily
5:41no consequences whatsoever and don’t even talk to me about sickness i i need
5:46a god who’s going to give me perfect divine health and all i got to do is write a check
5:51i can do that it’s pretty simple right the theology of self-glory is the
5:58theology of satan and if you are listening to pastors or preachers or people on the radio or television
6:03who are filling your heads with this nonsense they are the verrucka salt pastors
6:10and they all might as well be wearing red just like her because they’re going to suffer her same
6:15fate and it’s in that context we consider then that what paul was doing in our epistle
6:22text i love it when this passage comes up in our lectionary love it because the presenting problem if you
6:28don’t know the history here is that after paul left the church of corn a church that he planted
6:35a church that he catechized he had put everything in motion taught them the basics of the Christian
6:41faith no sooner did he leave everything went off the rails all right
6:46this was a crazy bizarre charismania churches all right they were abusing the gifts of
6:53the spirit they the rich were keeping the poor from having the lord’s supper and worse than that there were these
7:01guys who called themselves not apostles but super apostles all right
7:07they they were even better than the apostles because you know peter james and paul well paul he probably
7:13really wasn’t a real apostle i mean and this is what they would say about paul because paul
7:18wasn’t one of the pretty people church history tells us that paul was probably short scrawny hook nosed cock-eyed and he was
7:26a horrible speaker and of course the super apostles
7:32probably keyed in on this and would say things like you know the apostle paul you know the reason why he
7:37doesn’t charge you when he comes and preaches in your church is because no one would pay him a
7:43denarius to listen to him in fact he even killed a fellow did you read about it in luke’s book
7:48called axe there was paul he was droning on and on and on and on and on three hour long sermon who preaches for
7:54three hours and some poor fellow fell asleep who can blame him he fell out of a window and it
8:00killed him he died for real lucky for him the apostle paul could
8:06raise him from the dead but you know he raised him and dusted him off but still
8:11okay but the super apostles oh man they they traveled with disco light
8:17balls skinny jeans they had they had a warm-up rock band and boy these guys when they spoke
8:24they could just keep you in the palm of their hands one minute you would be just laughing
8:30hysterically because their jokes were so on point and then
8:35they would bring you into the depths of despair you’d have to pull out your napkins and start wiping your eyes because oh and of
8:43course they expected you to pay top dollar for their appearance and if you ever
8:50ever questioned them they’d strike you in the face put you in your place
8:56touch not god’s anointed you know right this is how these guys operated they
9:01were super apostles they in fact they had the letter sigma on their on their togas i mean that’s
9:08how important they were right and they let everybody know it but see when somebody behaves like that
9:15it’s a dead giveaway they have nothing to do with Jesus Christ
9:21nothing whatsoever they are filling your heads with the doctrines of demons
9:26and teaching you to glorify yourself and expect god to share his glory with don’t forget
9:32sharing you’ll just take his glory and apply it to yourself that’s what they’re really all about
9:37and so paul has been put into the unenviable position of having to figure out how to unwind
9:45the satanic anaconda that has wrapped itself around the hearts and minds
9:50of the church of corinth and it comes up with a very clever way of doing it
9:55and it’s in this context that we’ll look at before we get back to chapter 12 because that’s a continuation of it back
10:01in second corinthians 11 paul starts to ease into
10:07the rebuke it’s going to be a little soft at first but increase in intensity as he goes he says
10:14i wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness do bear with me
10:19you see i feel a divine jealousy for you since i betrothed you to one husband
10:25to present you as a pure virgin to Christ and it’s here i’d like to point something out
10:31what great words those are present you as a pure virgin to Christ we will recognize
10:37properly that each and every one of us because of our sin we are anything but pure virgins
10:46if sin is the thing that makes us well no longer virgins then none of us
10:52were born pure none of us were virginal in our births we were the exact opposite
10:57born dead and trespasses and sins under the power and the dominion of the devil and yet Christ his cross his suffering
11:04and bleeding and death for your sins and mine is so powerful
11:10that we are made pure by his blood by his sacrifice
11:16and that god himself sees us as pure virgins
11:21note that what he said there let that be your interpretive key to understanding what’s going on in
11:27that parable in matthew 25 about the ten virgins right that’ll help but we continue
11:34he says i’m afraid for you in corinth that just as the serpent deceived eve by his cunning
11:40your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ paul pulls no punches here he makes it
11:46clear that what’s at stake is their very souls and it’s the devil himself who’s crept into the corinthian church
11:51and is speaking lies in order to deceive them he says if someone comes to you and
11:58proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed or if you received a different spirit from the one you received or if you
12:04accept a different gospel from the one you accepted you put up with it readily enough
12:10and that’s not a compliment that’s a rebuke listen a different Jesus can’t save you
12:16a different Jesus is an idol a different spirit cannot save you that is an idol
12:21a different gospel is no gospel at all and paul says in galatians even if we or an angel from heaven
12:27should preach to you a gospel other than one already preached let him be damned
12:32that’s how strong this is what’s going on right here he goes now he gets to it
12:39indeed i consider that i am not in the least inferior to these super apostles
12:45what a stupid name by the way super apostles who does that all right and who falls for it really
12:52you know what i’m no longer a pastor i’m a super pastor okay i can clear kong’s finger out in a
12:58week if i just carried on like that come on right
13:04but paul says this even if i am unskilled in speaking yeah i killed a guy
13:09i am not so in knowledge indeed in every way we have made this plain to you in all things
13:15and then he asked an interesting question did i commit a sin in humbling myself so that i might be
13:20exalt so that you might be exalted because i preached god’s gospel to you free of charge
13:26i mean could you imagine a pastor an apostle who makes a point of like not having an
13:32offering not taking a penny a daenerys of farthing anything from people
13:37working with his own hands in order to support his own ministry but then also accepting help from other
13:44churches so that he can do his missionary work who has barely anything to his name he’s
13:50constantly traveling right and people say you know what there’s something really fishy about that that
13:56he’s not charging you for his work that’s how bad things have got twisted around
14:02he says now i did rob other churches by accepting support from them in order to
14:07serve you and when i was with you and i was in need i didn’t burden anyone
14:12for the brothers who came from macedonia they supplied my needs so i refrained and i will refrain from
14:18burdening you in any way as the truth of Christ is in me this boasting of mine will not be silenced
14:25in the regions of ikea and why because i don’t love you god knows i love you and what i am doing
14:32i will continue to do and listen to what he says in order to undermine the claims of those who would like to claim that in
14:39their boasted mission that they work on the same terms that we do
14:44paul is speaking as a true apostle of Christ and now he just lays it bare such men
14:51they are false apostles they are deceitful workmen they are
14:56disguising themselves as apostles of Christ and no wonder even satan disguises himself
15:02as an angel of light and here paul the implication is clear and he will not apologize for it these
15:08men are not from Christ these men were sent by the devil
15:13they are filling your heads with a false Jesus a false spirit a false gospel they are disguising themselves as
15:20apostles of Christ but they are in fact agents of lucifer the one who fell from heaven
15:26all of their doctrines are luciferian so it’s no surprise then if his servants disguise themselves as servants of
15:33righteousness but their end will correspond to their deeds did paul just say they’re going to hell yeah he did
15:40and that’s what their fate was so paul then says this i repeat and let no one think me foolish but even if you do
15:46accept me as a fool so that i so that i too may boast for a little now what i’m saying in this
15:52boastful confidence i’m saying not as the lord would but i’m saying this as a fool so paul is going to make a fool of
15:58himself intentionally he’s going to speak stupidly for the whole point of making a point
16:03and making a want one that well will not quickly be forgotten he says since many boast about according
16:10to the flesh well then i’m going to boast too for you gladly bear with fools of course being wise yourselves
16:17for you bear it if someone makes slaves of you or devours you or takes advantage of you
16:25or puts on heirs or strikes you in the face that’s what the super apostles were
16:31doing to the saints at corinth and when you recognize what’s going on
16:37here sit there go ugh that ain’t good paul says though to my shame i must say we were too weak for
16:44that but whatever anyone else dares to boast of and he reminds him i’m speaking now
16:50as a fool i also dare to boast of that are those super apostles hebrews
16:55so am i are they israelites so am i are they the offspring of
17:01abraham so am i are they servants of Christ
17:10that’s where the difference begins no they’re not servants of Christ he’s already made it clear that they are servants of the devil so paul now
17:17takes his foolishness and takes it up to 11. he goes well i’m a better one he says
17:24now reminder i’m speaking as a madman with far greater labors far more imprisonments with
17:32countless beatings often near death five times i received at the hand of the jews
17:38the 40 lashes lest one three times i was beaten with rods once i was stoned
17:44three times i was shipwrecked a night in the day i was adrift at sea on frequent journeys and danger from river
17:50danger from robbers danger from my own people danger from gentiles danger in the city
17:56danger in the wilderness danger at sea danger from false brothers in toil and hardship
18:02through many a sleepless night in hunger and thirst often without food and in cold and
18:07exposure and apart from the other things as the daily pressure on me of the anxiety
18:13that i have for all the churches who’s weak and i’m not weak who’s made to fall and i’m not indignant
18:20paul in reciting that list you can almost hear joel osteen from houston go well he ain’t doing it right he’s
18:27supposed to be having his best life now he just needs to decree and declare with
18:32faith-filled words bellogna paul’s right on point
18:38and this is the difference between the religion of satan and the religion of Christ
18:47so paul says so if i’m going to boast i’m going to boast of the things that show my weakness
18:54who does that boast of the things that show your weakness come on
19:00everybody knows that this is a world that we live in as a result of evolution
19:05and evolution tells us what survival of the fittest right
19:13you got to be strong you got to take over you got to be in control
19:19you got to be cool as a cucumber and you got to crush your enemies you know what’s really interesting is
19:26that there was a fellow his name was anton levay he was the founder of the church
19:33of satan anton levay founder of the church of
19:38satan made it very clear he pulled no punches that he believed that satan worship was
19:44really all about self-indulgence it was all about you
19:52in fact he came up with his own satanic version of the beatitudes i apologize in advance for reading these
19:59here in this holy place but i want you to hear these words because when you hear it you can
20:05recognize wait a second that’s the same religion of the televangelists of the theo
20:11theologians of glory here’s what he says anton lavey blessed are the strong
20:16for they shall possess the earth cursed or the weak they shall inherit the yoke
20:22blessed are the powerful for they shall be reverenced among men cursed are the
20:28feeble for they shall be blotted out blessed are the bold for they shall be the
20:34masters of the world cursed are the righteously humble for
20:39they shall be trodden under cloven hoofs blessed are the victorious for victory
20:44is the basis of right cursed or the vanquished for they shall be vassals forever
20:49blessed are the iron handed for the unfit shall flee from before them cursed of the poor in spirit for they
20:56shall be spat upon
21:01here’s the thing my sinful nature says amen to all of
21:09that so does yours at the core we are born under the
21:16dominion of darkness in league with the devil and you want to know why our world is so
21:22screwed up is because we have enacted these luciferian values we buy
21:28into them by nature the reason why our world is such a mess
21:35is because we exemplify in our actions these very satanic values
21:41and i’m not talking about them i’m talking about you you do this with your friends you do
21:48this at work you do this with your family you do it with yourself
21:54and it’s here where we have to recognize where this really comes from and that’s why i said this is a
22:00scandalous sermon because we’re talking about what not strength weakness
22:08it’s in this context then that paul’s going to talk about a thorn that he receives from god in
22:15order to prevent him from becoming conceited and i would note something here before we get into this portion of the text
22:22that we live in a world where there are a lot of people who are ex-Christians and they’re very vocal
22:28about it i follow them on social media because i’m always curious about what they’re talking about and what they’re saying
22:35and recently a bunch of them were talking on social media chatting among themselves talking about
22:41how what fools they were because when they were Christians in high school growing up
22:47they took vows of purity and chastity and promised to keep their virginity until they got
22:53married and they were saying basically we got duped we were abused by that this was wrong of
23:01them how dare they wha well what is it that they’re saying
23:07well they’re buying into the luciferian value that hey be yourself follow your heart
23:15you want a formal kabuto late you go right ahead you don’t don’t keep anything back from
23:21yourself and don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t do that or that it’s even wrong to do so the
23:28only thing that’s wrong in this luciferian system is to deny yourself anything
23:37i want you to think about that the scripture is clear thou shalt not commit adultery
23:45it’s a commandment we break it all the time even if you haven’t physically broken it you still do it in
23:52thought you still do it in your heart right so note here
24:00that when you buy into this luciferian value you will not take instruction
24:06you will not take correction and you will wrongly believe that anybody who is speaking biblical sense
24:13to you is not your friend but your enemy
24:19that’s the that’s the real depth and magnitude of it augustine in this regard says this not everyone
24:25who spares is a friend nor is everyone who strikes
24:30an enemy love mingled with severity is better than deceit with indulgence
24:38that’s a good quote something we should consider augustine was right so in this regard
24:44then we actually now get to our epistle text paul says if i must go on boasting though there’s nothing to be
24:50gained by it i will go on to visions and revelations of the lord oh yeah the super apostles they talked
24:57about their dreams and their visions and paul here pulls a trump card out because he actually had a
25:03vision where he got to see what was going on in the third heaven the abode of god and
25:10you’ll note he wasn’t allowed to talk about it he says i know a man in Christ who 14 years ago was caught up
25:15to the third heaven whether in the body or out of the body i i don’t know god knows and i know that this man was
25:22caught up into paradise whether in the body or out of the body i don’t know god knows and he heard things that cannot be told
25:29which man may not utter listen to those words which man may not utter
25:34if you are following anybody on the internet who claims that they’ve been to heaven written a book about it or travels there
25:41often i think like cat kerr i mean she i think she goes to heaven like 50 times a week does video blogs about it at least you
25:47know four times a week i mean she practically and she’s got a flat up there and she you know she stays up there all the time
25:54when people talk like this they’re not telling you the truth at all they’re not saying the truth at
26:00all paul couldn’t utter what he saw paul says on behalf of this man i will boast
26:05but on my own behalf i will not boast except of my weaknesses though if i would wish to boast i would
26:11not be a fool for i’d be speaking the truth but i’ll refrain from it so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me
26:17or hears in me so to keep me from becoming conceited that’s really what the text says here to
26:24keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelation
26:30a thorn was given me in the flesh a messenger of satan to harass me and to keep me from becoming conceited
26:38note the reason he had this thorn in the flesh we don’t even know what it was the reason he had the thorn in the flesh
26:44was to keep him from becoming like the devil what is the devil’s sin pride
26:51arrogance conceit they’re all synonyms and so because paul had
26:58this uh well gift given to him where he got to see what was really truly happening in the
27:05heavenly kingdom god didn’t want him to become like the devil
27:11why because god loves paul and god loves you
27:19and so you’ll know he pleaded with god three times i pleaded with the lord about this that it should leave me and what did god
27:26say no
27:32why did he say no because he loved him he said my grace is
27:39sufficient for you and here’s the scandal my power Christ says it is made perfect in
27:49weakness not strength
27:56enough no truer words can be spoken and that’s the scandal of Christ is it not
28:01oh listen to anton levay and the luciferians oh they mock Jesus oh he was a complete failure
28:08why because they nailed him to a cross and he died
28:15but was he a failure you see scripture is clear that although
28:22Jesus was by nature god he did not consider equality with god a thing to be grasped
28:28even though he was the actual god he doesn’t harbor any luciferian
28:33thoughts [Music] and so what did he do he humbled himself
28:39he was born of a virgin teenager from a town well
28:45that’s wrapped in poverty nazareth and he humbled himself taking on the
28:52form of a slave and Jesus god in human flesh was
28:57obedient everybody’s supposed to be obedient to god yet Christ humbled himself and he
29:04was obedient obedient to the point of death even death on a cross
29:09i can point to no greater example of complete abject
29:15weakness than Christ and yet his death on the cross is the
29:21very thing that conquered the devil his death on the cross is the thing that
29:26set us free from slavery to the dominion of darkness forgave us of all of our rebellion
29:33against god forgave us for all of our luciferian selfish conceited prideful ways
29:41all of that was conquered by the ultimate weakness a man naked bleeding
29:49dying in shame and in darkness suffering languishing on a cross
29:58that’s how Christ conquered the devil and saved you and i
30:07it is true Christ’s power is made perfect in
30:13weakness and this calls us to repent
30:19and to recognize man i really have been in league with the devil because you have
30:28paul says that then therefore because Christ has said these words
30:33i will boast all the more gladly now of my weaknesses chastened by the thorn that was in his
30:40flesh the one that was given to him by the god who loved him too much to let him go his
30:46own way he now embraces these words of Christ and he will only boast in his weaknesses
30:53therefore i will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me
30:59for the sake of Christ then i am now content with weaknesses i’m content with insults with hardships
31:07persecutions and calamities you see because when i am weak it is then that i am strong
31:15with the strength of Christ augustine writing on this text said
31:20therefore in these trials that we suffer as Christians which can be both our blessing and our bain
31:27we don’t know how we should pray yet because these trials are hard
31:34because they are painful because they go against the feeling
31:41excuse me because they go against the feeling of our human weakness
31:46by a universal human will we often pray that our troubles may depart from us
31:52but this need not this need of devotion we owe to the lord our god
31:57that if he does not remove them we should not think that he has deserted us
32:02but rather by lovingly bearing evil we are to hope for greater good
32:07this is how power is made perfect in infirmity to some indeed who lack patience the
32:13lord god in his wrath grants them what they ask just as on the other hand he in his mercy
32:19oftentimes refuses people’s requests have you ever thought about that think
32:26back across your life have you ever prayed for something
32:32and then only later realized oh thank god god said no to that prayer
32:40i think of the late walter martin walter martin used to have this funny analogy he’d use along these times he says remember when you were in high
32:46school and you loved her right or you girls him
32:54right and so you prayed to god god please let me marry her
33:00or him right and then god said no and you were really
33:06upset because god said no and then at your 30-year high school reunion you said thank god
33:12thank god they said no right i know all the girls who had the hots
33:18for me when they see me now they go thank you lord thank you
33:23right but sometimes you’ll note then
33:29that when god gives us something that is harmful it is because he is doing so in wrath
33:35a no oftentimes by god can be a loving fatherly no because he cares for you and if god
33:41gives you what you want and what you want is evil god’s basically turning you over to it
33:47consider that cyprian of carthage on this text says thus also
33:53the apostle paul after shipwrecks after scourgings after many grievous tortures of the flesh and body
33:58he says that he was not harassed but he was corrected by adversity in order that while he was still more
34:05heavily afflicted he might the more truly be tried there was given to me he says a thorn in
34:11my flesh an angel of satan to buff at me lest i be exalted concerning the thorn i asked the lord
34:17three times that it might depart from me he said my grace is sufficient for you for when there is some infirmity and
34:22weakness and desolation that attacks us then is our power perfect then our faith is crowned
34:30if though tempted it has stood firm this finally is the difference between us and the others who do not know god
34:36they complain they murmur in adversity while adversity does not turn us from
34:41the truth of virtue and faith instead proves us in suffering
34:48scandals when you think about it runs completely contrary to the values of the world and even what you believe inside of your
34:55own sinful flesh but it’s true Christ’s strength is made perfect
35:01in our weakness so let us renounce the devil in all of his ways
35:08again and repent and embrace the infirmities the difficulties the
35:14afflictions the tortures the suffering that we go through as Christians and
35:20rejoice then in our weaknesses because the world is coming where there will be none of that
35:26but it only comes to the weakness of the cross and we are called to deny ourselves
35:31and to take up our crosses and follow Christ in the name of Jesus amen
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Kongsvinger Lutheran Church
15950 470th Ave NW, Oslo, MN 56744

We thank you for your support. All of our teaching messages may be freely distributed as long as you do not edit or change the content of the message, and, again, thank you for listening.
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