Summary: Jesus’s strength compared to Evil Spirits
“The Strong man competition”
Gladstone Baptist Church – 6/8/06 pm
S1 - When we look around the world, we sometimes doubt that good is winning the war against Evil (OOPS)
Earlier in the service, I asked you to share with each other who was the strongest man you knew or could think of. What were some of the answers you came across?
As a child, I used to love watching the wide world of sports and seeing the strong man competitions. Does anyone remember those competitions. It used to amaze me what these guys did. They are the ones who compete to find out who is the strongest. They pull trucks and planes in time trial races, they lift giant logs – a weight of 190kg above their heads; they race around a course with 2 fridges weighing 415kg on their back. They lift boulders weighing upto 160kg onto stands. They lift and hold cars. These guys are strong!!!
Strength is a good thing isn’t it – we are amazed by strength, but strength can be used for good or for bad. What do you think of when I say the word “bully?” Often you’ll picture a kid that is big, looks tough and mean. He is strong and able to push everyone else around.
Even as adults, the stronger a person is often the more power they can wield. As we grow up, though, power takes on different forms than simply muscle bulk. There is still muscle power, but there is power in organisational structures, in information, in money, in politics. Unfortunately though, no matter what clothes the power is dressed it, it can still be used for good or evil.
When we look around at our world, we see so many examples of people or systems or structures that are powerful and are using their power for evil, for self profit. I think it is absolutely wrong that CEO’s in leading companies are getting paid in the millions when some people in our country are barely able to survive from week to week. But the powerful ensure that they are looked after.
When we look around the world at all that is wrong in it and all the power hungry people exploiting and abusing those around them, we sometimes doubt that good is winning in the war against evil. Who is gaining the most ground in the battle of good verses evil? Do we see the crime rate increasing or decreasing? Do we see families on the whole becoming healthier or sicker? Do we see more exploitation happening or less? Do we see more terrorism or less? I could go on and on. But to me it seems like evil is winning this war.
S2 - What this implies is that Satan is stronger that God and that God is powerless to bring about Good. (UGH)
And that has some fairly serious consequences. It implies that the forces of evil are stronger than the forces of good. And more worrying, it implies that Satan – the commander of all that is evil – is stronger than God. How can that be?
Eph 6:12 says that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Is God powerless to bring about good in this world? Is Satan really stronger than God? This is concerning isn’t it.
S3 - But that is not the case. Jesus has got power over Satan and he proved it on many occasions. The unfortunate thing is that many people won’t acknowledge it as God’s power. (AHA) v14-16
But as I read my bible, I see quite clearly that Jesus is stronger than Satan. He has more power than Satan and he proved it on many occasions.
If you have your Bibles there, open them up to
14 Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. 15 But some of them said, “By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” 16 Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.
17 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. 18 If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub. 19 Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.