Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Part 3 focuses on how Satan uses our words against us.

The Schemes of the Devil Part 3: Miranda Rights

Scripture: Eph. 6:11-12; Prov. 21:23; 18:21; Matt. 12:33-37; James 3:8-10


I have shared with you previously that our adversary the devil cannot read our minds or know what is in our hearts until we show him. Once we show him, then he can go to work on us. The primary way that we show Satan what we are thinking and what is in our hearts is through our mouths. When we open our mouths to speak, he is listening, gathering info to use against us. Keep this in mind as we go through this message.

Today you cannot turn on your TV set without some cop show being shown. One of the more popular shows is “Law and Order”. I am not sure how many of you have seen this show, however, if you have not, I am sure that you have seen some police show where someone was arrested. When that person on TV was arrested, they always read them their “rights”. Do you remember that? When this is done, it is done so that the person understands that they have certain rights afforded them by the Constitution. One of these rights is the right not to self-incriminate yourself should you be guilty of a crime. The rights that the officer reviews before a suspect is interrogated are called the Miranda Rights.

Let me share with you the history of what is known as the “Miranda Rights.” In 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested for kidnapping and rape. He made a confession without having been told of his constitutional right to remain silent and his right to have an attorney present during police questioning. At trial, prosecutors offered only his confession as evidence and he was convicted. The Supreme Court ruled (Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)) that Miranda was intimidated by the interrogation and that he did not understand his right not to incriminate himself or his right to counsel. On this basis, they overturned his conviction. Miranda was later convicted in a new trial, with witnesses testifying against him and other evidence presented. He served eleven years. When Miranda was later killed in a knife fight, his killer received the Miranda warnings; he invoked his rights and declined to give a statement. In 2000, the issue of Miranda rights came up before the Supreme Court once again (Dickerson v. United States, 530 U.S. 428 (2000). The justices re-affirmed the role of the earlier precedent. The purpose of the Miranda right is to ensure that any individual arrested and questioned about a crime understand that they do not have to say anything that will incriminate them. The first section of the Miranda Right says: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you at interrogation time and at court.” This morning I want to use our Miranda Right as the basis for my message in this Part 3 of this series titled “The Schemes of the Devil.”

I. The Right To Remain Silent

The first right listed in the Miranda Rights is the right to remain silent. We do not have to speak or answer any question until we have been advised to do so by our counsel. In the case of the natural, it means that we have the right to keep our mouths shut until we have talked with our lawyer. In the spiritual, we are advised to keep your mouth shut (PERIOD) until lead and/or advised by the Spirit of God. Listen to what Solomon says in Proverbs 21:23: “He who guards his mouth and his tongue guards his soul from trouble.” In other words, the man who is able to control his mouth is able to keep himself from trouble. When we speak, things begin to happen because our words carry power. Solomon said in Proverbs 18:21 that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. In the natural, the reason we have the right to remain silent when we are arrested about a crime is because depending on what comes out of our mouths, it could bring death, not life. That is why we are not required to testify against ourselves. In the spiritual, the things that come forth from our mouths can either spring forth life or it will bring forth death. How many of you have ever heard a parent speak something negative over their child year after year after year only to see that child grow up into what the parents said they’d be? Our words can set in motions things that we cannot begin to understand. How many of you are familiar with the term “hypochondriac”? A hypochondriac is someone who obsesses about getting a serious illness, they could be referred to as a having a health phobia. Many people who suffer from this condition focuses on one symptom as the reason for their worrying. This individual worries constantly about getting sick and oftentimes actually get sick “because they talked themselves into it.” This is the power that our words carry. People suffering from this condition can be found speaking constantly about being sick. Their minds process the thought as the ears hear them and the body takes over. It has been proven medically that how you think and speak can have a direct impact on your body. Death and life are in the power of the tongue therefore since we have the right to remain silent, we really should consider taking up that right as a model for living.

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