Sermon, 3rd Sunday in Lent, 4 March in the Year of our Lord the 2018th

Before reading the entire passage, let us take a look at at two particular verses that are contained in the larger text, and as we read, keep these two verses uppermost in your minds:

“ When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.” (Luke 11: 21-22; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)

Now let us read the whole sermon text for today –

Luke 11:14-28

“And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” (Luke 11: 14-26)

“And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” (Luke 11:27-28)

It is the nature of devils to possess us in obedience to their master, Satan. Demons do not always possess us in great alarm and demonstration, but often in quiet solitude.
Satan is not so much concerned with whether you go out and perform all manner of evil as much as he is concerned that you do not acknowledge Christ as your Sovereign Lord.
All of mankind have a sovereign. We are all born into the world as children of darkness. We are born ignorant of our condition and need of a Saviour from our rightful condemnation.
As we grow and learn, we begin to recognize that we are somehow incomplete. We can not be the masters of our own fate and success or failure.
The opportunity of learning of Christ comes at the moments of greatest personal failure. When we are at the last knot in the rope which prevents our falling in the abyss, we then recognize, more than any other moment, that we need a power greater to, and outside of, ourselves to save us.
The Holy Spirit oftentimes warms our hearts to truth and knowledge, yet we are all too prone to reject those approaches over any long period. We offend the Holy Spirit finally when, after his appeals to us over and over are rejected, our ears become deadened to His constant beckoning. He still speaks, but our ears have drowned the Voice out. Thus we have placed our souls beyond the reach of the Holy Spirit and have become reprobate through our own habitual disregard.
This is the most tragic of all states.
Some one is standing by the Highway shouting “Bridge Out Ahead!” but we can no longer hear because we have been travelling too much through the playgrounds of the world and the noisy commotion of the world of sin has caused other sounds to seem muffled. We plunge ahead and perish in flames.

“And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered.” (Luke 11:14)

This was not a noisy devil, but a silent one. Yet, this devil possessed the man’s soul and heart. Had the dumb devil not been in possession of him, this man may have proclaimed wondrous words of truth to the world, but he could not. His heart was occupied by a devil!
Jesus worked a silent miracle that resulted in the gift of speech.
There are two ways to look at the miraculous works of God: 1) Wonder and Awe.
2) Jeers and accusations.
Some of the big name preachers of the day (Pharisees) claimed the power of Christ was the power of Beelzebub – Lord of the Flies. The larvae of flies on a dead carcass appeared to them to create a low form of life.
A third means is to tempt God to show a sign. The miracle is a sign unto itself.
In today’s churches, there is a clamour for signs and wonders, but listen to what Christ says : “Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:38-40)

It is miracle enough that you have been born into the world, that you see the mighty works of God in Creation, and that Christ came and died a redemptive death for you and me on the cross, and that he arose from the grave on the third day and ascended up into heaven in bodily form.
This is a matter of historical fact and not conjecture.
There are demons that wish to have possession of us. And those who have possession of the heart in strength, rest in peace for there is not challenge to their rule in your heart.
If you banish this devil from your heart under your own power, he will return to your swept and garnished heart with seven more and take illegal possession. We must invite a mighty King and a Warrior into our hearts over whom the demon will have no power, and there will be no place for him to come in.

“When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”(Luke 11:21-26)
You may believe you occupy neutral ground in this battle between God and evil, but to do nothing is to stand on the side of evil: “He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.” (Luke 11:23)
Even our good intentions, uttered or performed without the truth and power of God are evil: “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day2 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matthew 16:21-23)

Our best intentions, without God, are all hopeless. We may go to church, read the Bible occasionally, but we all fall short of the glory of God and we are all unrighteous.

“ But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him:…” (Hebrew 11:6)

“ As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Romans 3:10)

The very moment we begin to feel that we are good and pleasing to God, this is the very moment we are not so. It is not our goodness that will gain the prize, but our humility and faith.
Place a strong and invincible presence in your heart and it will be safe. The only invincible power that exists is Christ. If we fill our hearts with Christ, full to the brim with His Holy Word (which He is), then will our hearts be safe from the invader who will place us into slavery.
Christ will free us. His is the perfect law of liberty whereby our goods will remain in peace. (James 1:25)

“ Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

If we would be free from the demons in our lives, let us take Jesus into our hearts, giving Him the fullness of every chamber, and then no enemy can take possession, and we will be free indeed

By | 2018-03-05T15:08:25+00:00 March 5th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

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