Summary: Let’s contrast the power & authority of Jesus & of Satan in our lives.
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX
A. One of the great conflicts of life is the conflict over authority. "Who is in charge? Who controls what is going on?" This conflict occurs in the home between parents & children. It occurs between students & teachers at school, & between children on the playground. And usually it is the biggest who wins.
The same kind of struggle oftentimes takes place in marriage, too. Two people get married & when conflicts occur, the question arises, "Who, if anybody, is really in control?"
ILL. Years ago, "The Honeymooners" was one of my favorite TV programs. I enjoyed watching Jackie Gleason & Audrey Meadows as Ralph & Alice Kramden. One of my favorite scenes was when Ralph stood before Alice & shouted at the top of his voice, "I am the king, Alice. Got that? I am the king. You’re the servant. I’m the king." And while Alice seems to stand there meekly, nodding her head, she’s smiling, & we know that even though it’s Ralph who’s making all the noise, it’s really Alice who is in control.
ILL. Now I can smile at that because we have never had an authority problem in my home. My wife is absolutely submissive to me. My every wish is her command, & she is quick to obey. And if you believe that, I have the Brooklyn Bridge that I would like to sell you.
Seriously, folks, we all face this question of authority. Who pulls the strings in your life? Is it Satan or is it God?
B. Now along that line, I’m really concerned about how often our movies & TV programs tend to exalt the power of Satan & portray the world as helpless in the hands of overwhelming Satanic forces.
Despite all the hype of Hollywood & its depiction of Satanic powers, I’m convinced that Christians need not be fearful that Satan can take us by surprise & possess our houses or our souls without our permission. Because of Jesus there is no need for us to be afraid. But we do need to be on guard against his wiles.
PROP. Now this morning I’m going to refer to a number of scriptures as we contrast the power & authority of Jesus & of Satan in our lives. You may want to write some of these references down to look at them again later.
I. THE AUTHORITY & POWER OF JESUS OVER SATAN
A. The first scripture is Colossians 1:16-17, & the Apostle Paul is talking about Jesus. Listen as I read, "For by Him all things were created: things in heaven & on earth, visible & invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him & for Him. He is before all things, & in Him all things hold together."
Now isn’t that exactly the same thing that the Apostle John said in John 1:2-3? "He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made."
Both of these scriptures say that everything that has been created has been created through Jesus.
Remember Genesis 1:1 where it says, "In the beginning God created the heavens & the earth"? And the word that has been translated "God" there is a plural word. Then a little later on in creation, God said, "Let us make man in our image." Suddenly we begin to understand, when it says that the Father & the Son (that’s Jesus) & the Holy Spirit were all involved in creation.
Just as Paul said, everything visible, invisible, thrones, powers, rulers, authorities, heaven & earth - Jesus was involved in their creation. "All things were created by Him & for Him." And that includes the angels.
B. Now here is the connection. God created the angelic kingdom. And Satan, or Lucifer, is an angel who rebelled against God & sought to place himself upon the throne. But because God is all-powerful, he failed.
So we read in Isaiah, chapter 14, & Ezekiel, chapter 28, where Lucifer was cast out of heaven along with many other "fallen angels." Now we may call them "fallen angels" but the Bible much more often calls them "demons" or "evil spirits." And with them Satan established his kingdom, the kingdom of darkness.
Now I believe exactly what the Bible says about demons. It is too much a part of the N.T. to be ignored, too much a part of the ministry of Jesus just to be shoved aside. So when demons are referred to in scripture, we need to realize that it’s talking about actual spiritual forces of evil in our world.
But we need also to understand the authority & power that Christ has over them. That passage in Colossians is saying that Jesus created all things, & therefore has absolute authority over all things, even over the angels & demons of the kingdom of Satan.