Summary: Choosing to be tranformed by the words and authority of Christ can enable us to live as a victor or as a victim.

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Victor or Victim / Mark 1: 21 - 28

Intro: “A New York columnist set out to prove that no one really listened to what anyone said at a party. When he was invited to a party, he always arrived late. When the hostess greeted him, he explained his tardy arrival by saying, “I had to stop for a moment to murder my mistress which took longer than I thought.” Without blinking an eye, the hostess replied that she understood perfectly. As he mingled around the party, someone asked him what he did for a living. “Oh, I am the executioner for the state penitentiary.” To which the person responded, “Well, that must be an interesting line of work. How does business look this year?” Out of necessity, I live in a world of words. Every week, I am expected to produce a string a words from other words that I read in the Bible. I wonder sometimes, do you really hear the words or not.

I. The word for the day is “authority.” One of the main themes in the gospel of Mark. VS. 22 – the cause of the amazement of those in Jesus’ audience is AUTHORITY!

A. Being amazed by the word of God is not necessarily the same thing as accepting the word of God. Like listening to a great song on the radio; you enjoy it for a few minutes. But, it has no lasting effect on the way you live.

B. They were amazed by the words of Jesus; but they were not transformed by the word. / being amazed at Christ is not enough.

C. Are we amazed or transformed? Being amazed is a good thing; but it isn’t enough.

II. Not everyone present was amazed. VS. 23 “What do you want? Hold on here! I don’t think so!

A. Here is a man who takes issue with Jesus. He’s not happy with what Jesus says or does. He has a demon and so do we.

B. What is your demon? LUST / BITTERNESS / ALCOHOL / DRUGS / WORK / ATTITUDES / HISTORY / There are times in your life when you feel like you’re in way over your head and you’ll never gain victory over the enemy in your life.

C. The simple fact is that YOU may not; but the authority of Christ will prevail over our demons.

III. The sad part of this story is the demons have a better understanding of who Jesus is than the people do. COMPARE VS. 24 & 27.

A. The people are amazed because Jesus not only preaches about the power of God, he makes it happen in a man’s life!

B. Because Jesus has authority, and power. Because his words do affect our lives, we are people who can and do live with hope.

C. Maxie Dunnam says in her book, Dancing At My Funeral, “I’m dancing in the face of tragedy over which I have no control except to trust God and life and circumstance. I am able to live in the presence of death because I trust myself as a victor rather than a victim.”

Conclu: VICTOR or VICTIM. The choice is ours. We can choose to move closer to Christ Jesus and allow him to bring hope, power, authority, release, forgiveness, renewal, and cleansing into our lives OR we can be amazed at his teachings and refuse to be transformed by them.

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