Summary: The message of the cross is this: Satan has been defeated and sin’s penalty has been paid, you have been redeemed.
Intro: On July 3l, 1838 on the Island of Jamaica, a man named William Knibbs, gathered 10,000 slaves for a great praise gathering. They were celebrating the New Emancipation Proclamation Act that would abolish slavery on the island. They had built an immense coffin and into it were placed whips, branding irons, chains, fetters of all kinds, slave garments and all the things that represented the terrible slavery system that was now coming to a welcome end.
At the first stroke of the midnight bell, Knibbs shouted out, "The monster is dying." At each stroke of the bell that followed this cry was repeated and the great crowd began to join in the cry. At the twelfth stoke 10,000 voices cried out, "The monster is dead, the monster is dead, let us bury him." They then screwed the coffin lid down and lowered it into a huge grave and covered it up. That night, every heart rejoiced and 10,000 voices grew hoarse, shouting and crying with joy. Once they were in bondage to slavery, but now they were free.
There is a tragic side to this story. While many rejoiced in their new liberty and freedom, there were some slaves, that lived in remote areas of the island, that did not know they had legally been set free. Because they didn’t know, for many years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been made a law, they still continued to serve their slave masters. Their former masters successfully kept the news from them as long as they could. By law they had been declared free men and did not have to live as slaves any longer. However, ignorance of the truth kept them in bondage.
Now let me tell you an even sadder story. Today, if we’d hear a story of something like that happening, we’d be shocked, sympathetic and even angry. But the truth is, the same type of thing is happening in our day. Jesus Christ, because of his victory against sin on the cross, has issued an Emancipation Proclamation of liberty and freedom from sin to everyone on this earth. But like some of the Jamaicans were, there are those today that just don’t understand that they no longer have to live as slaves to sin any longer, and the devil is trying to keep them in that mind set.
The message of the cross is this: Satan has been defeated and sin’s penalty has been paid, you have been redeemed. We no longer have to surrender to sin or be controlled by Satan. We can belong to Jesus and live to please God.
This is the theme of this morning’s message and I want to begin with a reading of [vs. 11b-12].
This reminds us of our assurance that believers will receive an inheritance. It is the same inheritance as that of God’s chosen people, Israel. That is the reason why we joyously give thanks to God the Father. As we move into [read vs. 13] we learn what Christ has done for us.
I. You Can Live Victoriously Because Christ Rescued You (vs. 13). You have been delivered! So often we forget from what it was that Christ has delivered us. I say that because if you were raised in a Baptist church, it is likely that you made a confession of faith at a young age. You may find yourself doubting that you have a real witness story to tell because you do not see or remember much change in your life.
On the other hand, the drunk, druggie, and the prostitute who have been saved have a dramatic story. Stories of darkness and debauchery fill their witness account. If you never lived through that side of this dark world you must never think your witness is less effective. You have a story of God’s providential hand protecting you. Satan knows you are not his and he wants you to keep quiet and he will whisper in your ear that your story of coming to Christ is boring and useless. You must never doubt the effectiveness of the Holy Spirit working thru your testimony.
A. Delivered from the Authority of Darkness. Regardless of your walk before you believed, you were under the Authority of Darkness; this is what vs. 13 is telling us. The literal reading of “rescued” is “to draw to oneself” and that is what God does. The Father draws us to Himself, out of darkness, out of Satan’s kingdom and into His light.
Darkness is the realm of Satan. The Non-believer is controlled by Satan. Satan in essence takes them by the hand and leads them to do what he pleases. The lost person thinks they are living the free life. In reality they are not free. Satan wants them to think they are free so he whispers into their conscience that they are not under any authority and that is the way all people should be – I’m free to do as I please.