Summary: This sermon shows us how Jesus won the Victory over the Devil. In this passage Jesus shows us that: 1. The Devil is real. 2. The Holy Spirit is our Helper and 3. God's Word holds the key to victory.
Scripture: Luke 4:1-13; Dt. 26:1-11 and Ps. 91:1-2
Theme: Jesus' Victory in the Wilderness
Proposition: Luke shares with us 1. The Devil is Real 2. The Holy Spirit is our Helper 3. Scripture holds the key to victory
Grace and peace from God our Father and form Jesus Christ the Son who came to take away the sin of the world.
After Jesus' amazing baptism in the River of Jordan, the Bible tells us that he was led by the Holy Spirit in into the wilderness for an intense spiritual retreat. Like Moses (Exodus 34:28) and Elijah ( 1 Kings 19:4-8) Jesus spent 40 days in solitude, fasting, prayer and meditation with His Heavenly Father. He spent forty days allowing the Holy Spirit to cleanse His mind, His heart and His soul. For forty days, Jesus was able to be with His Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit without any interruptions or distractions. This time enabled Jesus to be prepared for His public ministry.
After Moses' forty day spiritual retreat with the LORD, he came down from the mountain with the 10 Commandments ready to build a new society for the LORD. Through the Spirit of the LORD, Moses was empowered to lead a group of former slaves to become the people of God's Kingdom here on earth.
After Elijah's forty day spiritual retreat with the LORD, Elijah anoints Hazael, Jehu and Elisha. Hazael will lead Syria while Jehu will become the king of Israel. Elijah along with Elisha go in the power of the Spirit to confront the evil monarchy of Ahab and Jezebel and to see an end of their wickedness.
After, Jesus' forty day spiritual retreat with the Father and the Spirit, Luke shares that Jesus was attacked by Satan, the most evil force of all creation. The Devil (or Satan) believed that this was his prime opportunity to defeat God the Son. The Devil believed that by Jesus taking on humanity, Jesus had left himself open to be defeated by the Devil's temptations. The Devil believed that he could defeat Jesus much like he had defeated Adam and Eve.
Luke shares in this passage that while it was an intense battle, it was also a short lived battle. The Devil's temptations, appeals and bait were simply no match for the Son of God. Jesus had spent the last 40 days with the Father and the Spirit being anointing and empowered. No matter how hard the Devil tried, he could not come between the love relationship that Jesus shares with His Father and the Holy Spirit. He couldn't tempt Jesus to mistrust the plans of His Heavenly Father. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus is more than a match for the Devil. He has to leave a defeated foe.
There are some vital spiritual lessons we are to learn from our passage this morning. I would like to share with you three of those lessons this morning:
1. This passage teaches us that the Devil is real
A recent survey reported that only 57% of Americans today believe in the Devil.1 A further study done by the Barna group states that it may even be lower than 57%. When Barna did their research survey they discovered that the number was closer to 47%.2 Based on those surveys, increasingly more and more Americans doubt the existence of the Devil.
It is good to get people's opinions. It is good to see how people are thinking. But in this case, not so much. The Bible is God's Word and The Bible clearly tells us that there is a Devil. And so, while it is interesting to see how many Americans believe or don't believe in the Devil, the fact is - the Devil exists. Luke 4:1-13 tells us that after Jesus' 40 day retreat with His Heavenly Father he faced the Devil. Matthew and Mark also share this story along with the writer of Hebrews.
The Scriptures beginning with Genesis all the way to end with the book of Revelation are very clear. There is evil in this world and there is a leader of evil and his name is Satan. At times he is given other names like Lucifer, Beelzebub, the Deceiver, the Accuser and the Prince of this World. But whatever people choose to call him, the Devil is real. He exists.
Not only does the Devil exists, I believe that he has an organized force that is arrayed against the will of God on our world. I believe that there exists a demonic opposition force on our planet that is determined to destroy love, compassion, health, wholeness and peace.
I believe that the Devil is a profoundly evil, fallen angel who is totally dedicated to the destruction of everyone's lives. I believe that he is a supernatural being who "walks about, seeking whom he may devour". I believe He and his legion of demons can dwell within people, and can control their bodies, minds and souls. I believe this because this is what the Bible tells us and this is what Jesus believed.