Sermon Transcript – Wilderness Temptations and Suffering

Series B – First Sunday in Lent – Sunday, February 21, 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:
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Time StampTranscript
0:28the holy gospel according to saint mark
0:30the first chapter
0:37in those days Jesus came from nazareth
0:39of galilee and was baptized by
0:41john in the jordan and when he came up
0:43out of the water immediately he saw the
0:44heavens opening in the spirit descending
0:46on him like a dove
0:48and a voice came from heaven you are my
0:50beloved son with you i
0:52am well pleased and the spirit
0:53immediately drove him out into the
0:56and he was in the wilderness 40 days
0:58being tempted by satan
1:00he was with the wild animals and the
1:02angels were ministering to him
1:04now after john was arrested Jesus came
1:06into galilee proclaiming the gospel of
1:09and saying the time is fulfilled the
1:11kingdom of god is at hand
1:13repent and believe in the gospel this is
1:16the gospel of the lord
1:18in the name of Jesus amen
1:21probably one of the most saddest things
1:22i’ve seen as a Christian yellow
1:24is a pastor this past week the news was
1:27announced that
1:28fred price the very famous televangelist
1:31who was from los angeles that he died of
1:3519. and the reason why it is so
1:38sad is because this is a fellow who
1:40taught in his
1:42career as a prosperity televangelist
1:46healing is guaranteed by god
1:49it’s guaranteed all you have to do is
1:52the right faith-filled words and you
1:54will be healed
1:55that didn’t save him and i would also
1:57note that as far as televangelist goes
2:00he was one of these fellows
2:01that very early on started showing his
2:05wealth invisible signs he was one of the
2:08first televangelists to drive
2:10a rolls-royce in fact when called out
2:13regarding the fact that he was driving a
2:15rolls-royce which seems
2:16kind of an odd thing for somebody a pat
2:18who’s a pastor to be doing
2:20he said these words he said that Christ
2:24has left us an example that we might
2:26follow in his steps
2:30did Jesus drive a rolls royce
2:33i’d seem to remember that Jesus borrowed
2:36a donkey
2:37when he went in his triumphal entry on
2:39palm sunday
2:40and if those circumstances had gone
2:44Jesus would have been rung up on charges
2:46of grand theft donkey
2:48right this is a fellow who says foxes
2:51have holes and
2:52and animals have places to lay their
2:53head but some man has nowhere to lay his
2:56head right
2:57so Jesus didn’t leave us an example of
2:59living in opulence of
3:01having it easy in fact that’s kind of
3:03the problem there’s so many preachers
3:05who turn Christianity and the major
3:07message of Christianity is it’s going to
3:09solve all your problems
3:11and Jesus is all about dollar bills and
3:16but he’s not we like lollipops though
3:19and we make the boar kids the lollipops
3:22are okay
3:24but that’s not what Jesus is about in
3:27fact we would do well to pay attention
3:29to the passage that fred price twisted
3:32as the his justification for having
3:36a rolls royce that text does say that
3:39Christ left us an example that we might
3:41follow in his steps but listen to what
3:43peter said in
3:44proper context he said this in first
3:47peter 2
3:4819 this is a gracious thing when mindful
3:51of god
3:52one endures sorrows
3:55while suffering unjustly what credit
3:59is it if when you sin you are beaten for
4:02and you endure it if you if you
4:06sin and you’re beaten for it that’s
4:07called punishment
4:09and by the way you know we dads are
4:11always tasked with the job of spanking
4:13our children when they misbehave
4:14and we’re totally lying when it say it’s
4:16going to hurt me more than you i just
4:17want to let that out you know
4:19that that’s just not true but you’ll
4:21note that there’s no
4:22there’s nothing commendable about
4:24suffering when you’ve done
4:26wrong but here’s what scripture says but
4:28if when you do
4:29good and you suffer for it and you
4:33this is a gracious thing in the sight of
4:37for to this you have been called and
4:39listen to the words
4:41because Christ also suffered for you
4:45he’s left you an example that you might
4:47follow in his steps
4:49wait wait a second Christianity is not
4:51about the easy life
4:53no it’s not not at all and Christ has
4:56left us an example for us to suffer
4:59in a way that god considers to be
5:01gracious and then he notes the gospel
5:03Christ committed no
5:04sin neither was any deceit found in his
5:07mouth was Jesus’s life
5:09easy no not at all
5:13notice it was found in his mouth when he
5:15was reviled he did not revile in return
5:17when he suffered he did not threaten but
5:19he continued entrusting himself
5:21to him who judges justly he himself
5:25bore our sins in his body on the tree so
5:28that we might
5:28die to sin and live to righteousness
5:32sin isn’t your friend and by his wounds
5:35we have been healed for you we’re
5:36straying like sheep
5:37but have now returned to the shepherd
5:40and the overseer of your souls
5:42so consider it in this light then as we
5:45look at our gospel text today
5:48our gospel text teaches us that Christ
5:52after being baptized after hearing the
5:55voice of the father
5:56that says that the spirit immediately
5:58drove Jesus
5:59into the wilderness now a little bit of
6:01a note here you’ll note that when you
6:03read through the gospel of mark
6:05it’s it’s kind of like listening to an
6:06audio book at double speed
6:08you ever notice that about the gospel of
6:10mark everything happens immediately
6:12all right so immediately this holy
6:15spirit drove
6:15Jesus out into the wilderness now we
6:18have to do a little bit of work here
6:20have you ever heard a bad sermon where
6:21somebody says oh i’m getting a download
6:24from god and
6:24the spirit is saying that in the season
6:26ahead that you
6:28are going to uh you’re going to leave
6:30your wilderness and
6:31enter into your promised land and what
6:34they’re talking about is like find a new
6:36job you know or you know
6:38things are going to go well for you
6:39financially listen
6:41that ain’t the promised land so when we
6:43look in scripture
6:45the wilderness is a type and shadow it
6:47is something that we should pay
6:49attention to
6:50but it’s not about a current season that
6:53you’re in or a dry season or whatever
6:56it’s about the life we’re all living as
6:58baptized believers in Jesus
7:00think of it this way the children of
7:02israel after they were set free from
7:04slavery in egypt
7:05they were baptized into moses first
7:08corinthians 10 says
7:09they crossed the red sea and they went
7:12and spent 40 years
7:14where in the wilderness that’s a
7:18before they entered the promised land
7:20it’s kind of if you would a
7:22map of the Christian life and so Christ
7:25himself now does the israel thing he
7:27goes into the wilderness so for us
7:29we recognize then that a right
7:31application of the wilderness for us to
7:33consider it is is that
7:35we are all in the wilderness presently
7:38unless you’re in the graveyard over
7:40there then you’ve entered the province
7:42right this is the wilderness the
7:44promised lands out there
7:46you see that you see how that works so
7:49and i know that we haven’t got much snow
7:51this year but
7:52hopefully we’ll pray for something it
7:53won’t that our wilderness won’t be so
7:55dry come spring
7:56but you get the idea so we’re each
7:58presently in our wilderness wanderings
8:01and Christ he does the israel thing and
8:03he is driven out by the spirit into the
8:06for what reason he was in the wilderness
8:0940 days
8:10being tempted by satan
8:14not even Jesus lived his best life now
8:18and so you’ll note that he also like us
8:21have been tempted
8:23and he was with the wild animals and he
8:26the angels were ministering to him so
8:29then consider then
8:30in this context the idea that we as
8:32Christians are called
8:34to suffer paul says that we should
8:37in our sufferings the Christian life
8:39isn’t easy street
8:41and because paul says that we are to
8:43rejoice in our sufferings
8:45martin luther actually pointed out that
8:47when we are experiencing suffering
8:49we should consider it to be a friend a
8:52friend that is teaching us not to rely
8:54on ourselves or our money or our talents
8:57but teaching us humbly that we are
9:00of doing anything apart from Christ
9:03suffering is a friend that
9:05teaches us to trust even more
9:08in Jesus and so you’ll note that in this
9:10regard that abraham the great man of
9:13was tested by god and it’s important to
9:16note what our epistle text
9:17said there’s a difference between
9:19testing and tempting
9:21james says it this way blessed is the
9:23man who remains steadfast under
9:25trial for when he has stood the test he
9:27will receive the crown of life
9:28which god has promised to those who love
9:31him so when we face
9:32trials of different types or when our
9:35faith is tested by god
9:37it is not because god is trying to trip
9:39us up have us fall on our face
9:41and for us to end up in hell in fact
9:43when god is testing our faith
9:45it is more akin to what a metallurgist
9:47does with gold when it’s being smelted
9:50testing the gold to get rid of the dross
9:54whereas the devil himself throws
9:56temptations at us and those are just no
9:59fun but james makes it clear that when
10:01we are tempted god is not the one
10:03us god is not tempted nor does he
10:06tempt anyone and so our temptations then
10:10come from our own evil desires when we
10:13are enticed
10:14and led astray by our passions but note
10:17here in genesis
10:1822 we have this interesting account of
10:21testing abraham and asking him to do
10:24something that makes
10:25no sense because
10:28god isn’t molech moloch is the one who
10:32demands that you sacrifice your children
10:34so what is going on
10:36in this passage and you’ll note that
10:38this had to be probably an extremely
10:41painful thing for abraham
10:44god tested him and said abraham he said
10:46here i am
10:47he said take your son your only son and
10:50by the way that language should
10:51cue you into the fact there’s something
10:53deeper going on here
10:54how many sons does abraham have at this
10:58two right your son your only son
11:02he has two sons two but god here
11:06i think is kind of hinting at the bigger
11:08picture of what’s going to happen
11:09on that same mountain because mount
11:11moriah is the place where the temple
11:14is today mount moriah the slopes of
11:16mount moriah
11:17are also the place where Christ was
11:18crucified just outside the city
11:21walls of jerusalem take your son
11:24your only son whom you love go to the
11:27land of moriah
11:28offer him then there is a burnt offering
11:30on one of the mountains of which i
11:32shall tell you abraham rose early in the
11:35morning saddled his donkey took two of
11:36his young men with him
11:38and his son isaac he cut the wood for
11:40the burnt offering arose and went to the
11:42of which god had told him on the third
11:46always pay attention to that third day
11:47stuff isn’t it amazing how often i have
11:49to say that
11:50when working through texts they’re there
11:53for a reason
11:53it invokes Christ on the third day
11:56abraham lifted up his eyes
11:58and he saw the place from afar then
12:00abraham said to his young men
12:02stay here with the donkey and
12:05and come and i will come again to you so
12:07abraham took the wood of the burnt
12:09offering laid it on isaac his son
12:11laid the wood on his son i seem to
12:14remember that Christ carried his own
12:17it kind of seems like a dress rehearsal
12:18for the crucifixion if you ask
12:20me but it goes on and it says so abraham
12:23took the wood for the burnt offering
12:24laid it on his son he took in his hand
12:26the fire and the knife
12:27so the they both went together and isaac
12:30said to his father
12:31abraham my father and he said here i am
12:34my son.
12:35and here comes the awkward conversation
12:38he said behold the fire and the
12:39wood but where is the lamb for a burnt
12:46it’s difficult to imagine what’s going
12:47through abraham’s mind at this point
12:49now a little bit of a confession one of
12:51my favorite times in my life
12:53is when all my kids were past diapers
12:57but not really teenagers yet it was so
13:00much fun
13:00all right they were crazy they were
13:02awesome i mean the
13:04the laughter the jokes the stories the
13:07movies the games the puzzles
13:09ah it was just amazing and i am
13:13that had god asked me to do this that i
13:16probably would have failed the test
13:19because i could not for a second
13:22imagine having to take a knife and
13:25plunge it into one of my own children
13:28so what is going through abraham’s mind
13:32here you’ll note even abraham his
13:36faith and he is the man of faith his
13:39walk is taking him down dark paths
13:42ours go down dark paths as well
13:45thankfully we do not have to guess what
13:48was thinking scripture tells us
13:51and here’s what it says in hebrews 11 by
13:54faith abraham when he was tested
13:58he offered up isaac and he who had
14:00received the promises
14:02was in the act of offering up his only
14:06of whom it was said through isaac shall
14:08your offspring be named
14:10he considered that god was able to even
14:13raise him from the dead
14:14from which figuratively speaking he did
14:16receive him back
14:18and there it is abraham the man of faith
14:21knew full well the promises of god
14:23in fact his wife sarah long after
14:26menopause had given birth to isaac just
14:30god had said at the exact time that he
14:32said that she
14:33would conceive and bear a son abraham
14:36knew full well
14:37that when god says something is going to
14:39happen it’s going to happen
14:41and that same god who said that sarah
14:44would conceive and bear a son
14:46is the same god who said that from that
14:49abraham’s descendants would be numbered
14:52so abraham’s thinking was
14:53well he wants me to offer him up well
14:56that’s god’s problem because he said
14:57that he’s
14:58that’s the kid that my descendants are
15:00going to be named through
15:01so god’s going to have to raise him from
15:02the dead
15:04still not an easy proposition
15:07but you’ll note that the promises of god
15:10were firmly fixed in front of him and
15:12abraham is held up by hebrews as the
15:15man of faith the one who believed the
15:18promises of god
15:19and that’s the thing is that our
15:23right now in Christ are that through his
15:27death resurrection and ascension we
15:30are reconciled to god by grace through
15:34Christ is the one who has made peace
15:37with god
15:38taken our sin died in our place
15:41just like that ram that god provided you
15:44remember isaac said where’s the burnt
15:46offering and abraham said god himself
15:48will provide
15:50sacrifice and he did but god
15:54provided all of us the sacrifice the
15:56real one and that’s Christ
15:58he died in our place so that be we can
16:00be reconciled to god and our hope now
16:03in our wilderness wanderings as we are
16:05heading towards the real promised land
16:07and the real promised land
16:09is the new earth which he gives us as a
16:12that in this life we are promised by
16:15Christ persecution
16:17suffering temptation difficulty
16:20and trial peter was not engaging in
16:24hyperbole when he said
16:26your adversary the devil is prowling
16:29around like a roaring lion
16:30seeking whom he may devour
16:34that’s for sure that’s real and so
16:36you’ll know we’re not promised like i
16:38said dollar bills and lollipops
16:40not now no we’re not promised the wealth
16:43of the nations no
16:45not now and so i always like to tell
16:48adults that i baptize
16:50i want to warn you ahead of time and you
16:51need to be you need to expect this
16:54that once you are baptized in the name
16:56of the father son and holy spirit
16:58that you should expect that the devil
17:00and his entire
17:02army of legion of demons are going to
17:04come at you and come at you
17:06hard have any of you all notice here at
17:08kong’s winger
17:09things are not exactly rainbows and
17:18that’s exactly what we should expect
17:22and so Christ himself suffered
17:25he had to endure it buckle up under even
17:28he himself was slandered
17:30and he bore up under when he was reviled
17:32he did not revile
17:33in return and so you’ll note that all of
17:36then this this invoking of these
17:38wilderness wanderings of these
17:40difficulties these
17:41sufferings and trials first corinthians
17:43gives us clarity regarding them here’s
17:45what it says in first corinthians 10
17:47i don’t want you to be unaware brothers
17:49that our fathers were all under the
17:51all passed through the sea all were
17:53baptized into moses in the cloud and in
17:55the sea
17:56and they all ate from the same spiritual
17:58food they all drank from the same
17:59spiritual drink
18:00for they drank from the spiritual rock
18:02that followed them and that rock was
18:05and so here you can see the typologies
18:07now being brought forward into the new
18:09for us to consider nevertheless with
18:11most of them god was not pleased for
18:13they were overthrown in the wilderness
18:15now these things took place as examples
18:17for us so that we
18:18might not desire evil as they did
18:22so do not be idolaters as some of them
18:24were as it is written the people sat
18:26down to eat and drink and they rose up
18:27to play
18:28we must not indulge in sexual immorality
18:30as some of them did
18:32and 23 000 fell in a single day we must
18:35not put Christ to the test as some of
18:37them did and were destroyed by
18:38serpents nor grumble as some of them did
18:41and were destroyed
18:42by the destroyer now these things happen
18:44to them as an
18:45example but they were written down for
18:47our instruction
18:48on whom the end of the ages has come
18:51what temptations the children of israel
18:54faced in the wilderness do we not face
18:58same temptations we do
19:02so paul then says this so therefore let
19:05anyone who thinks that he stands take
19:08heed lest he fall
19:11don’t worry Jesus i got this
19:14i got it all worked out that guy is
19:17going to fall on his face
19:18get out of the way so that you don’t get
19:21caught up
19:22in the tumble none of us are capable of
19:25standing on our own strength
19:26period and that’s the point of our
19:30to drive us to our knees and say i can’t
19:33do this god please
19:37have mercy on me and help me and note
19:40then no temptation
19:42has overtaken you that is not common to
19:45and god is faithful he will not let you
19:48be tempted beyond your ability
19:50but with the temptation he will also
19:52provide a way of escape
19:53so that you may endure it now if you’re
19:56honest you’re going to say to me pastor
19:58but um you see there’s these
20:01temptations that even though the word
20:05i wasn’t being tempted beyond my ability
20:08that rather than
20:10um go the way i should have i gave into
20:13the temptation
20:15what about me
20:19well you’re in good company that’s all
20:21of us
20:23and so you’ll note then that in our
20:26gospel text it says the Christ was
20:28tempted in the wilderness and we know
20:29from the other gospels
20:30that Christ in weakness repulsed the
20:34and note then this hebrews 4 says this
20:37since we have a great high priest who
20:39has passed
20:40through the heavens Jesus the son of god
20:42let us hold fast to our confession
20:45for we do not have a high priest who is
20:47unable to sympathize with our weaknesses
20:50but one who in every respect has been
20:52tempted as we are
20:53and yet is without sin so note that
20:58when tempted did not sin and it’s not so
21:01that he can rub
21:02our noses in our sin and say i was able
21:04to do it what’s wrong with you
21:06that’s not the point at all instead the
21:09fact that scripture tells us that Christ
21:11was tempted in every way that we were
21:12and yet is without sin
21:14gives us comfort because scripture makes
21:16it clear that
21:17by faith we are clothed in the
21:20righteousness of Christ
21:22not only has Jesus bled and died for our
21:26he was the one who died instead of you
21:30he has also gifted us his royal
21:33robes of perfect sinless righteousness
21:37so that we can well
21:40stand before god not in the soiled
21:43garments of sin
21:44but in his righteous
21:47righteousness and so because of this
21:50paul then
21:50not paul the author of hebrews writes
21:52and concludes this section of
21:54of hebrews by saying so let us end with
21:56confidence because Christ has been
21:58tempted in every way that we are
22:00and what yet is without sin let us then
22:02with confidence
22:03draw near to the throne of grace so that
22:06we may receive
22:07mercy and find grace to help
22:10in time of need so our gospel then
22:13gospel text
22:14ends with these words Christ after
22:16having been tempted by the devil in the
22:18wilderness ministered by angels
22:20among the wild animals after john the
22:22baptist was arrested Jesus now says the
22:25time is fulfilled
22:27the Kingdom of God is at hand repent
22:31repent and believe the good news
22:35in the name of Jesus amen
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