Sermon Transcript – Those Who Preach Moses, the Prophets & Apostles

Series C – Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost – Sunday, September 25, 2016 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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Time StampTranscript
0:26The holy Gospel According to Saint Luke
0:31chapter 16 verses 19 through 31. Jesus said
0:36there was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen who feasted sumptuously every day at his gate was
0:43laid a poor man named Lazarus covered with sores who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table
0:50moreover even the dogs came and licked his sores the poor man died and was
0:55carried by the angels to Abraham’s side the rich man also died and was buried in Hades being in torment he lifted up his
1:01eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side he called out Father Abraham
1:08have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue for I may I am in anguish in
1:16this Flame Abraham said child remember that in your lifetime you received your good things
1:21and Lazarus in like manner bad things but now he is comforted here and you are
1:27in anguish and besides all of this between us and you is a great Chasm that has been fixed in order that those who
1:34would pass from here to you may not be able and none may cross from there to us and he said I beg you father to send him
1:43to my father’s house for I have five brothers so that he may warn them lest
1:48they also come into this place of Torment but Abraham said they have Moses and the prophets let them hear them and
1:54he said no Father Abraham but if someone goes to them from the dead they will repent and he said to him if they do not
2:02hear Moses in the prophets neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead
2:08in the name of Jesus today we’re going to be talking about
2:13pastors yeah now have you ever been to a church where they had a pastor of parking lots a pastor of finance a
2:21pastor of this that or the other the pastor of Chief cook and bottle washer we live in
2:26a day where people have taken the name pastor and they pretty much slapped it on just about any job description the
2:33problem is is that Pastor is not a title Pastor is in office it’s the office of
2:40overseer that we will hear and the reason why God has given us this office that we will learn is so that people
2:48will be brought to penitent faith in Christ for the Forgiveness of their sins that their faith will be strengthened
2:54and ultimately that they will pass through that last portal as we sung in
2:59our hymn to eternal life with Christ so let me frame my sermon today by
3:05reminding you of the end of that awful story we read in Luke chapter 16. the
3:11story of a man who finds himself in the Flames of Hades and this was a man who had no penitent
3:18Faith he did not trust in Christ in fact he lived only for himself and
3:23you’ll note this important theological point the man’s name is never given and the
3:29reason for this is simple if your name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life you go to Eternity
3:34in Hell nameless and so we hear Abraham saying to this fellow
3:41they have Moses and they have the prophets let them hear them and he said
3:47no Father Abraham if someone goes to them from the dead they will repent and he said to him if they do not hear Moses
3:54and the prophets neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead
4:00and Abraham’s right think about the day of the Resurrection think about what happened in Jerusalem with the chief
4:07priests and those who were responsible for putting Christ to death they knew the grave was empty and what did they
4:13say ah the disciples stole the body how does faith come to us scripture is clear on this in Romans chapter 10 it says
4:21faith comes by hearing hearing by the word of Christ now let me
4:26remind you how our Lutheran confessions the Augsburg confession
4:31summarizes the chief doctrine of Christianity and then its relation to the office of the ministry here’s what
4:38it says in the Augsburg confession article 4. it is taught Among Us that we cannot obtain the Forgiveness of sins
4:44and righteousness before God by our own merits our own Works our satisfactions
4:49but we receive forgiveness of sins and become righteous before God by grace for
4:55Christ’s sake through faith when we believe that Christ suffered from us for
5:00us and that for his sake our sin is Forgiven and righteousness and eternal life are then given to us for God will
5:07regard regard and reckon this Faith as righteousness and then it cites two
5:13passages of scriptures to which we all say amen amen this is small catechism stuff salvation is by grace through
5:19faith it is not a result of works so that no one may boast but if you pay attention to the next
5:25article Article 5 to obtain such Faith what kind of faith is this saving Faith
5:32to obtain such faith God has instituted the office of the ministry that is
5:37provided and that is provided the gospel and the sacraments through these as through means he gives the Holy Spirit
5:44who works faith when and where he pleases in those who hear the gospel and
5:50the gospel teaches that we have a gracious God not by our own merits but by the Merit of Christ when we believe
5:57this now you may have heard people talk about the Church of you know recently if
6:02you listen to Christian radio or even watch Christian television and I strongly advise you not to watch
6:07Christian television but you may have heard oh Christianity the church is a movement it’s not an
6:14institution ha it’s not true the church is an institution it is not a
6:21movement it is an institution set up by God and to this day there exists a
6:28couple of offices that need to be filled one of them is the office of Pastor which is one of the reasons why we
6:35recognize this office we cover our pastor up to make sure that he doesn’t get uppity and things like that but all
6:43of this is given to us by God so that men and women can obtain saving Faith
6:49through the preaching of the word that they may receive the Lord’s body and blood for the Forgiveness of their sins
6:56that they would be baptized and have their sins washed away God has instituted this office of the ministry
7:03for the means by which he brings salvation to people now the fourth
7:09paragraph in Article 5 of the Augsburg confession begins with these words condemned are the anabaptists and I’m
7:16going to stop right there condemned are the anime Baptists there’s a reason why they’re condemned in Article 5 of the
7:24Augsburg confession but I’m going to pause for a minute we’ll do some textual work and at the end of the sermon we’ll
7:30explain why so let’s return to our epistle text first Timothy chapter 3.
7:35today I’ll be focusing in on the office of overseer which is a pastor and here’s
7:40what it says starting at verse 1. the saying is trustworthy if anyone aspires
7:46to the office of Pastor and you can when you see that word you can say you know you can say pastor we might say Overseer
7:53in your in your Bible if anyone aspires to the office of overseer or Pastor he desires and pay close attention to these
8:00words he desires a noble task a noble work
8:07you must be aware of the man who seeks to be called pastor wants the title but
8:14doesn’t want to do the work pastors are servants they are not rulers and reigners the one
8:20who wants to be called Pastor but not lift his finger to actually do the task is a self-centered man who does
8:28not understand what it is that the office of the overseer is designed for and he will always work things in his
8:35benefit and always at the expense of others keep that in mind one of the church fathers cesarius of Arles here’s
8:43how he describes this verse and I think he’s right he says the office of a pastor is a good work
8:50dearest Brethren as the Blessed Apostle says whoever wants to be an overseer aspires a noble task now when task is
8:57heard labor is understood therefore whoever desires the office of the overseer with this understanding wants
9:04it without the arrogance of ambition to express this more clearly if a man
9:09wants not so much to be an authority over the people of God as to help them then he aspires to be an Overseer in the
9:16true spirit the one who desires to be a pastor so that he can rule and Reign and laud it
9:22over other people well avoid that guy like the plague if you
9:27ever get one of those here get rid of them if I ever start talking like this get rid of me it’s that simple the one who desires to
9:34be a pastor desires a noble task it’s work and then we get these words
9:40therefore an overseer a pastor must be above reproach
9:47now you’ve heard me say it many times everybody here is a sinner including me so how does one
9:55go from being thinner to being above reproach how does one do that I mean I wear black
10:01down here at the bottom to visually remind you all that I’m a sinner
10:06so how do I go from being centered to above reproach well a little cross-reference work will
10:12help here Colossians chapter 1 verses 21 through 23 uses this exact phrase above
10:18reproach and watch the context in which it is stated Colossians 1 21 you
10:24who once were alienated and hostile in mind doing evil Deeds
10:30Christ has now reconciled in his body of Flesh by his death in order to present
10:36you holy and blameless and above reproach before him if indeed you
10:42continue in the faith stable and steadfast not shifting from the hope of the Gospel that you heard which has been
10:49proclaimed in all creation under heaven and of which I Paul became a minister
10:56above reproach first and foremost means that your pastor is one who holds the
11:02faith he trusts the gospel he has had his sins washed away he is one who
11:08believes in Christ for the Forgiveness of his sins and bears fruit in keeping with
11:13repentance kind of two parts if you would here you don’t want a pastor who thinks that the gospel is somehow a
11:20license to sin well Christ has died from my sins Jesus likes to forgive people I’m a sinner
11:27this is a match made in heaven right that’s not how that works because scripture over and again makes it clear
11:33the one who is truly in Christ daily walks in Repentance
11:39and that’s the idea so above reproach first and foremost is he holds the faith trust that he’s
11:45forgiven bears fruit in keeping with repentance that’s what this is all about now above reproach does not mean that a
11:53man who is a pastor doesn’t have critics and I would point this out especially in light of today’s culture right you think
12:01of it this way well that Pastor is not above reproach everybody in the community hates him because he keeps saying that this that and the other
12:08thing is a sin he’s pro-life he doesn’t believe women should be pastors he actually thinks that Jesus is the only
12:15way so he’s not above reproach in the eyes of the community
12:20well see it doesn’t say well a pastor must not have critics
12:25okay another Church Father Theodore of maps westia Great Name by the way you know
12:32that just rolls off the tongue mops westia right here’s what he said without reproach can scarcely mean without
12:39critics since Paul himself had such but blameless as regard to his living
12:45and here it gets really really controversial are you ready for the next part husband of one wife are you saying
12:53that a pastor can only be a man um that’s what this text is saying women
13:00are not to hold the Pastoral office husband of one wife now let me tell you what this does not mean this does not
13:06mean that if you have a pastor and his wife dies and he’s widower and then he
13:12finds some other girl that he likes and she likes him and they get married that somehow he’s now barred from being a
13:18pastor that’s really not what’s going on here because scripture is very clear that you are released from the law of
13:24marriage upon the death of your spouse or if a pastor has a wife who runs off with another man or leaves him or
13:30whatever that that’s somehow you know bars him from being a pastor that’s not what this is talking about here husband
13:36of one wife means that he’s faithful to his wife that he’s not running around known to be some kind of sexually immoral womanizer
13:43or thing like that you know trading in his wives every few years like getting a new car like Donald Trump
13:50yeah I said that mm-hmm yep that’s what that is referring to he
13:56must be sober minded not prone to fits of Flights of Fancy self-controlled respectable hospitable
14:05important one he also needs to be able to teach
14:10it doesn’t matter if the guy’s a nice guy if he cannot rightly handle a Biblical
14:15text and actually give you the true sense of it rightly dividing law and gospel
14:21all the other stuff doesn’t matter you know the Pastoral office is a teaching office he must be able to teach
14:28he must not be a drunkard that means an alcoholic now when I Was preparing my sermon one of the funniest quotes I’ve
14:34read in a while from the church fathers Jerome talking about this says to
14:39pastors let your breath Never Smell of wine lest the Philosopher’s words would
14:45be said of you instead of offering me a kiss you’re giving me a taste of wine I thought that was kind of fascinating so
14:51it’s good advice on the part of Jerome there he must not he must not be violent but gentle not be a striker is what it
14:59says there not quarrelsome not a lover of money oh man I wish people would pay attention to this one just a little side
15:07note here not a lover of money you want a 100 accurate test as to whether or not
15:12a person who claims to be a pastor is a lover of money it’s real simple here’s a
15:17this one works every single time anyone who is a pastor or a teacher who tells
15:23you that God wants to bless you you financially but his hands are tied he can’t do that until you actually send
15:30them money called a sowing a seed yeah once you sow a seed into their Ministry then God will bless you a hundred fold
15:36as soon as somebody says that you know with 100 certainty that person you’re listening to is an idolater and a lover
15:43of money and is not qualified to be a pastor think about this as soon as somebody
15:49starts talking like that they’re not qualified anymore they’ve been disqualified from being a pastor because
15:56they’re a lover of money if their home shows up on the internet and people are
16:02scandalized by it like have you seen this person’s ten thousand square foot
16:07estate on 50 acres with a guard shack and a helicopter in a and a airport
16:13landing strip that guy’s a lover of money and then they’ll argue and they’ll sit
16:20there and say well really how much is too much private jet is too much
16:25okay 10 000 square foot mansion is too much at some point it gets obscene because the world sees that and you know
16:32what they think of Christianity oh all they want is your money we should look at this text and say that person’s
16:39not qualified to be a pastor we need to figure out how to have charges brought to have him defrocked
16:45he’s not qualified in the same way in the same way if he was an alcoholic or
16:51had committed adultery we get rid of those guys with no problem why are we
16:56not getting rid of these money grubbers they need to go away they’re not qualified to be pastors
17:03all right another controversial statement he must manage his own household well with all
17:09dignity keeping his children submissive for if someone does not know how to manage his own household how will he
17:16care for God’s church this rules out the requirement
17:22that the pastor must be celibate and can’t be married in fact I would argue this text is saying that many pastors
17:30learn how to be good pastors by having to deal with the crazy little people we
17:35had three crazy little people show up at our house and we had to raise them that’s a good place to learn how to be a
17:41pastor right and if you can’t do the crazy little people well you’re not going to be able to handle the crazy big
17:46people I’m just saying here’s an important one also he must not be a recent convert or he may become puffed
17:54up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil now this doesn’t really apply to the
18:00aalc but I will say this this is a this problem is rampant in evangelicalism
18:05many of the most popular mega church pastors were made pastors very shortly
18:11after they became Christians and that’s a problem and to a man I can
18:16name several of them to a man they all have major problems because the one who
18:23was a recent convert does become puffed up with conceit and he comes in thinking he knows better how to run the church
18:29than the way the church has been run for thousands of years it’s a big problem now we must we be well thought of by
18:36Outsider so that he may not fall into this into disgrace and into a snare of the devil
18:42yeah there’s qualifications for a pastor
18:48you don’t sit there and say you know what we need a pastor maybe what we need to do is um you know set up a wheel and
18:54we’ll put different names on the wheel and just spin it and whatever the name falls on that guy
18:59gets to be our pastor it doesn’t work that way this takes thought this takes prayer this takes examination this takes
19:07time and this is all important and the reason being is because this is the
19:12office by which God’s word goes out to sustain you in your faith and to
19:19bring others to penance and faith in Christ as a good cross cross-reference to this I’d like you to look at Acts
19:25chapter 20 with me starting at verse 17. here the Apostle Paul is on his way to
19:31Jerusalem and he’s absolutely convinced that this is going to be the last time he sees the pastors from the city of
19:39Ephesus and so he calls all the pastors from the city of Ephesus to come and meet with him as he’s journeying to
19:45Jerusalem and he has some parting words for them you have to think about the
19:51magnitude of what it is that he’s saying if you were ever bedside with somebody who’s dying and their last words to you
19:57were this that or the other thing you usually pay attention to those words now Paul isn’t dying at this point but he’s
20:04convinced he’ll never see him again and so this is the thing he wants them to always remember here’s what it says
20:09starting at verse 17. now from militis he sent to Ephesus called the elders that’s the pastors of the church to come
20:15to him and when they came to him he said to them you yourselves know how I lived
20:20among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia serving the lord with humility and with tears and
20:26trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews how I did not shrink back from declaring anything that was
20:32profitable a little bit of a side note here you’ll note then the Apostle didn’t shrink back from
20:40teaching what is profitable and pastors are not allowed to do that either
20:46the pastor who sits there and sticks his finger into the wind looks it goes and sticks it up in the Wind figures out
20:53which way the cultural winds are blowing and decides to go with that cultural winds well you know
21:00there’s a lot of people who think that abortion’s okay same-sex marriage is
21:06okay so we’re not gonna actually say it’s not we just won’t talk about it
21:13we’ll just skip over those passages of scripture that discuss these things that guy is changing the message and he’s
21:19refusing to teach all that is profitable and in doing so he’s actually shrinking
21:25back because who’s the person he’s really worried about when he starts shaving off parts of God’s word
21:31himself I want to make sure that I I get invited to All the Right Christmas parties
21:37that the people in the community see me as well magnanimous is great it’s wonderful and they’re not going to do
21:44that if I start teaching everything that’s in God’s word we got to be relevant you know
21:50because if we start saying everything that’s in God’s word and saying well this is what God says there might be people who are offended
21:57and then they won’t come back and then I won’t get my annual bonus in my raise
22:02they won’t invite me to their Christmas parties and I’ll be lonely and people will think I’m just stupid that is a
22:09selfish person and he’s not fit for the office the Apostle Paul’s life demonstrates how it
22:18is a pastor is to behave not shrinking back from declaring anything that was profitable profitable and teaching you
22:24in public and from house to house testifying to both Jews and Greeks of
22:31watch this repentance towards God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ
22:37law and gospel and now behold I’m going to Jerusalem constrained by the spirit not knowing what will happen to me there
22:44except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me apparently Paul
22:50didn’t have his best life now but I do not account my life of any value or as precious to myself if only I
22:57may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus Christ important words there everybody
23:04who is in Christian Ministry in one of these offices has received this ministry
23:12from Christ that’s important now behold I know that none of you among whom I
23:17have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again therefore I testify to you this day that I am
23:23innocent of the blood of all for I did not here it is again shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of
23:32God scripture warns all men who seek the Pastoral office that those who hold it
23:38will be held to a stricter judgment than any other Christians
23:43stricter and notice what Paul says here he says I’m innocent of all of your blood
23:49because I did not shrink back from teaching the whole counsel of the word of God this gives you a hint as to the
23:57extra part of the Judgment the pastors face because God’s going to hold pastors accountable for the blood of those who
24:04they refuse to preach the truth to foreign think about that so pay careful
24:10attention to yourselves Paul says to these pastors and to all of the flock Christ’s sheep
24:17in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers
24:22who is it that makes men pastors is the Holy Spirit
24:30we must keep this in mind there are many churches today who treat
24:36they’re pastors as if they’re just mere employees
24:41they’re around for a few years and we fire him and we get another one there are many men who I’ve received
24:47emails from over the years who are faithful pastors who preach God’s word and Proclaim Christ who have found
24:54themselves well out of the job because they were irrelevant weren’t
25:00really producing the goods things like that and I would warn you all
25:06resist that Temptation because every man who is a pastor has been set up by Christ and the Holy Spirit has called
25:12him think long and hard before you ever decide to take an action to remove a man
25:19from Ministry you need to have actual biblical cause because he’s sent by
25:24Christ sent by the Holy Spirit then he says this so pay careful
25:31attention to yourselves and all the flock in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers to care for the Church of
25:36God which he obtained by his own blood that’s right God bled on the cross
25:41that’s what that’s saying and the whole church was purchased with the precious blood of Christ
25:47and I know that after my departure Fierce wolves will come in among you not
25:53sparing the flock and from among your own selves will arise men speaking
25:59Twisted things notice where these wolves are coming from
26:04they’re coming from men who are in the ranks of pastors these are men who arise from other
26:11pastors or this whole group and now they’re twisting God’s word they’re
26:16teaching Twisted things they don’t spare the flock they’re exploiting the flock they’re not caring for the flock they’re
26:22fleecing it they will speak Twisted things and they will draw away disciples after
26:28themselves and there’s how you always can tell the person who is not bound to
26:34what God’s word says not bound to what the church has historically taught but begins coming up with his own
26:39interpretations his own ideas and say hey I’ve got an idea what this text means I know everybody else has always
26:45said it means this but it really means this that guy’s teaching heresy and he’s no longer making disciples of Jesus he’s
26:52making disciples of himself and the person who is making disciples
26:57of himself is a wolf this is why historically all of the Heretics have had their heresies named
27:04after them the Aryan heresy named after Arius because he was drawing away disciples after himself not Jesus the
27:11pelagian heresy named after Pelagius because he was drawing away disciples after himself
27:17not making disciples of Christ what does Jesus say in the Great Commission go and make disciples of all Nations baptizing
27:24and teaching all that I have commanded true Pastors make disciples of Jesus and
27:32only teach Jesus’s doctrines which we find in the apostles the prophets and in
27:37Moses and does it and rightly handle God’s word the heretic he’s come up with
27:44something totally new and he scratches itch’s itching ears and he takes people’s eyes off of Christ and puts
27:52them squarely on him this is a dangerous dangerous man and the result of which can be
27:59absolutely eternally devastating so you’ll notice he says be alert
28:06be alert pay careful attention for your to yourselves in the flock these men are
28:12going to rise up from your own ranks and they have be alert remembering that for three
28:17years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears and so now I commend you to God and to the word of
28:23his grace I commend you to God and the scriptures that’s the word of his grace which is able to build you up and give
28:30you the inheritance among all those who are Sanctified I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel
28:37you yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me in all things I
28:44have shown that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember
28:50the words of the Lord Jesus how he himself said it is more blessed to give than to receive and see Paul stands in
28:58stark contrast then to today’s Mega Church Pastors in today’s TBN
29:03televangelists who exploit the poorest of the poor by saying oh are you in
29:09poverty God wants you to be rich just send me money and he’ll make you rich Paul he refused to be paid he was a
29:16bi-vocational apostle didn’t take a paycheck so that the gospel can reach
29:22the weakest of the week the poorest of the poor he is the opposite of today’s
29:28celebrity pastors and I thank God for this text so when he had said these things he
29:34knelt down and he prayed with them all prayed with them all
29:39so I come back then again to these words from our gospel text and you can kind of see it now you can see
29:47what’s really going on here that God has truly set up the office of
29:53Pastor for people to hear the gospel to be given Faith to have their sins forgiven
30:00to have their faith strengthened this office that Christ has given us is a
30:06gift and here then again the words from our gospel text the man who had no name the rich man in
30:14the fires of Hades says I beg you father send to my father’s house I have five
30:20brothers so that they may he may warn them lest they also come into this place
30:25of Torment Abraham said they have Moses and the prophets you see God chooses to work by
30:32means he does not choose to work and bring people to penitent faith in Christ by sending apparitions and ghosts from
30:39the grave he’s chosen to bring people to repentance through the preaching of Moses the prophets and
30:46the apostles and Abraham says let them hear them and he said no if someone goes
30:53to them from the dead they will repent he said to them if they do not hear Moses and the prophets neither will they
30:59be convinced if someone should rise from the dead and so I said in the Augsburg confession
31:05Article 5 paragraph 4 says condemned are the anabaptists and here’s the reason why
31:10they’re condemned along with others who teach that the Holy Spirit comes to us through our own preparations through our
31:17own thoughts through our own works and that the Holy Spirit comes to us without
31:22the external word of the Gospel Abraham here teaches us no the Holy Spirit comes
31:29and brings people to repentance not immediately but immediately through the
31:35means that he has established in the means that he has established is the word of God Moses the prophets the
31:41apostles this is how men are brought to repentance this is what Christ has set up and all of this is for you it is for
31:51you so that you can hear the good word from Christ that he was born of the Virgin Mary that
31:57he suffered under Pontius Pilate that he was crucified died and was buried and
32:03that he was raised again on the third day all of this for you and for your salvation and God the Holy Spirit then
32:10Works through this preaching of his living and active word to convict you of your sins but comfort you and assure you
32:18of the grace and mercy of Christ so that you might have confidence confidence that you have a heavenly
32:25father who truly loves you who finds you at your worst not your best
32:32and bleeds and dies for you so that you might have life so that you do not suffer the fate of the nameless rich man
32:39who finds himself in Hades who never repented all of this comes through the preaching
32:45of his word and for the preaching of this word Christ has given us the gift of the office of the Holy Ministry and
32:52for this we thank and praise him in the name of Jesus Amen
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