Summary: “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you” Luke 8:39
Theme: Christ shall set you free
Text: 1 Kings 19:1-7; Gal. 3:23-29; Lk. 8:26-39
Jesus taught with such authority that it displeased the regular teachers in the Synagogues. Whereas they quoted from well-known rabbis to support their teachings, Jesus as God had no need to do so. He spoke with authority and demonstrated His authority over evil spirits, sickness and disease. The demon in today’s Gospel reading knew Jesus. He knew His identity as the Son of God at a time when very few men recognised Him as the Messiah. The evil spirits did not only know the identity of Jesus and that they were destined for destruction; they also knew His authority over them and their inability to hide their presence. Although evil spirits knew Jesus they have nothing in common with Him and want nothing to do with Him. They know they have been defeated and try to avoid any open confrontation with Him and with His disciples. Christ is always demonstrating His authority over evil and no matter your condition, when you believe, Christ shall set you free.
God gave man authority and dominion on earth so only a man could undo the damage caused by sin. Christ was born by a virgin without a sin nature. “He appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin”. (1 John 3:5) God requires a perfect sacrifice, a lamb without blemish. The Lamb of God was blameless and without sin. He was born without a sin nature and lived a life without sin. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin”. (Hebrews 4:15) Jesus Christ paid more than was required for sin. His ascension to heaven and being seated at God’s right hand confirmed that the sacrifice of His eternal blood had been accepted and there was no further need for any other blood sacrifice.
Christ is blameless and perfect and exposes all false teachings and all forms of evil and His presence is a threat to all evil spirits. In today’s world, many people deny the existence of evil spirits. Psychologists dismiss accounts of demon possession as a primitive way to describe mental illness. However, this is neither the view of Scripture nor the reality of those who have experienced torment at the hands of demonic spirits. By describing them by other names does not really change the situation and today evil spirits are tormenting more and more people. Christ assures believers, however, that the devil cannot possess a believer because he or she has been redeemed by the blood of Christ. Although demons cannot possess us, they can still affect the way we think and behave with their lies. Elijah, a prophet of God, singlehandedly killed 300 prophets of Baal. He experienced the power of God in an amazing way when fire descended from heaven and consumed his sacrifice but at the threat of Jezebel he was filled with fear and ready to die. He yielded to the lie of the enemy. The devil does not want us to know that evil spirits have no legal right over us because we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus has not only redeemed us from captivity to sin and Satan but has also restored our authority over him.
Christ has redeemed man from captivity by the shedding of His blood for “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin”. (Hebrews 9:22) Justice demands the punishment of the guilty. This means that to be pardoned someone must be held responsible for our sin and punished. Jesus Christ, our Creator took our place and endured all the evil consequences due by divine justice to our sin. Christ’s sacrifice is the basis for our forgiveness, not only for past sins but also for present and future sins. Jesus Christ was made sin with our sin and bore the righteous judgement of God on our behalf. Not only did Christ take our place on the cross, He also gave us all that He had. He made us righteous with His righteousness for us to access all His provisions. Christ has cleansed us with His blood and recreated our spirit. Our new spirit is blameless so that the Holy Spirit can live in us. We become one with the Holy Spirit and as the Scriptures declare “He will not leave or forsake us”.
The good news is the gospel of grace. Jesus Christ has dealt with sin forever and our faith in the good news is the source of our victorious life. This is more than enough to inspire us to successful service as it leads to a manifestation of all God’s promises in our lives. We can only be defeated when we give up and forget that the enemy has already been defeated. Just imagine the situation whereby another person trespasses on your property. You can simply evict that person off your property because he has no legal right to it. An evil spirit has no rights of ownership over a Christian and therefore the owner or his delegated authority can command them to leave. Let us rely on the authority of Christ and His Word and not allow evil spirits to control or influence us. They have no place in the life of the believer and in the ministry of Christ.