This broadcaster has 855 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
January 2, 2022 12:01 am
One day, as Jesus was preaching in the synagogue, He was interrupted by the cries of a demon. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his exposition in the gospel of Luke to consider how this confrontation reveals the divine power and supreme authority of Christ.
Get R.C. Sproul's Expositional Commentary on the Gospel of Luke for Your Gift of Any Amount: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/1808/luke-commentary
Don't forget to make RenewingYourMind.org your home for daily in-depth Bible study and Christian resources.
Today on the Lord's prohibition of Renewing Your Mind Jesus power over the demonic world is significant.
It is a sign of his own supernatural origin and of his own supreme authority that even the devils of this world tremble at his presence is several instances in the Gospels were Jesus dealt with demons, it is difficult for us to wrap her minds around what's going on there but today, as we continued on to Rosie's groceries from the gospel of Luke. We will learn the demons do exist and are very much aware that Jesus is in fact the son of God. There's Dr. strong in our last glance of the gospel of Luke.
We saw Jesus speaking at the synagogue in his own town of Nazareth and how when he declared his identity, there is fulfilling the messianic prophecy of Isaiah and other comments that he made the hometown crowd turned vicious against Atman. Our Lord barely escaped with his life from that furious mob Luke tells us that then he went to Capernaum and there he abided for some time during his ministry in Galilee fact we saw in our study of the gospel of Mark there for a while. Jesus took up residence in Capernaum, probably at the house of Peter and this past fall.
Some of you were with million Vesta as we visited the town of Capernaum, and we saw the excavations of the synagogue were Jesus taught, as recorded in the text this morning. We also saw the excavation of several homes in that town and I was amazed at the size of these dwelling places.
I'll just make a guess at this time that the average size of the home and Capernaum was about 200 ft.² or less for an entire family the dwelling as I thought about how the world can families live in dwelling so small I thought of Indian tribes remanded to do it in small square footage and their teepees and so ancient people were not used to the spacious accommodations that we experience in our day. But in any case, Jesus went into the synagogue as was his custom and we read here that on more than one occasion, he served as the visiting Rabbi and interpreted the scroll of the week and gave his sermons there and there we are told that the people were utterly amazed and astonished at his teaching because he spoke with such authority. We've seen this before. We will see it again that Jesus had a manner about which he spoke that the Scriptures describe as speaking with the term action.
See, which means either power or authority than we can call it a mixture of the true and authoritative power or a powerful authority so that when Jesus spoke the people marbles at his word and his troops at the solemnity the sobriety that adopts them seriousness of his word. They didn't realize that at the time, but they were listening to sermons presented by the one who was the very incarnation of truth and who had within himself the power of life that attended the proclamation of his word, and so when Jesus spoke, there was a moment of crisis for everyone in the room as they would feel the thunderous weight of the message that he would give in on this occasion as Jesus was preaching in the midst of his message. He was rudely interrupted by the cry of a demon. The text tells us that this translation omits the first word that the demon spoke was a word that went something like this. As Jesus was speaking. The demon cries outside that was the first watch this. It was a brief word of mockery and sneering at the teaching of Jesus Melanie pause for just a second before we continue with the narrative here, as I said before hand that this text presents matters that seem somewhat bizarre and strange to our ears in this day and age, the German theologian New Testament scholar Rudolph Bultmann said no one can avail themselves of electricity, radios, televisions and modern antibiotics and still believe in a world inhabited by angels and demons where there is a realm beneath the earth and above the earth in the supernatural realm that those days have gone and if we are to gain anything of meaning from the New Testament, we must first subject the Scriptures to a rigorous process of demythologizing, in order to try to find some kernel of religious or existential truth that is left after we do our task of reconstruction. I can remember as a graduate student in University in Holland that are Prof. Dr. GC Burke hour once made the comment in a lecture that there cannot be any theology without demonology the New Testament so clearly propounds the idea of the reality of the demonic world and of the angelic world supernatural beings who are usually invisible to our days, but nevertheless our real and powerful. I've mentioned to you before that the New Testament speaks more often about angels than it does about love or even of sin. That is the word Angulo's Greek word for angel appears more frequently by a large measure than the word for love than the word for sin so like it or not this faith that we embrace has within it a commitment to the supernatural realm the angelic realm where all the angels are not good and righteous but also includes those that are fallen and that are of the minions of Satan. I also recall in the decade of the 60s the most remarkable phenomenon in the life of the American church was the rapid and surprising spread of the charismatic movement coming out of Pentecostal churches and making its way through every major denomination. The Lutherans the Presbyterians the Methodist Episcopalians even the Roman Catholic communion had an experience of this Pentecostal revival that had begun at the Azusa Street mission in Los Angeles early in the 20th century, but for the first half of the century was pretty much restricted to us. I say Pentecostal and Church of God denominations. But then it burst out and went through all the different denominations, and with it not only came a revival of great interest in spiritual gifts the speaking in tongues and so on, but also it gave rise to the phenomenon of deliverance ministries in which exorcisms became the matter of the day even reached the inner courts of Hollywood, which took advantage of this interest now in exorcism with a blockbuster movie by that title.
The exorcist and I had a friend who was deeply involved in the charismatic movement and it was also very much interested in deliverance ministries with including exorcism and he persuaded me by twisting my arm to listen to this tape from this learned scholar Derek Prince who gave what he said was the definitive teaching on the matter of demons and mnemonic exorcism.
So I agreed to listen to the tape and at the beginning of the tape. I was struck by the careful work that Prince had given to New Testament exegesis. He talked about the Greek word.remaining on the worm which we get the English word demon and talked about all the ways in which Scripture speaks of demonic reality. Then suddenly in the midst of the message that he gave.
He moved from sober exegesis to how to call what was politely but he started giving his experiences of how to discern what kind of demon a person is delivered from when he came up with his theory that demons leave people in a similar manner in which they first enter them and he said, for example, if your person is delivered from the demon of smoking, you know, the demon has gone one a person utters a sigh.
This is like exhaling and so that's how the demon leaves. If you have the demon of alcohol.
You drank it in the first place and you want to get rid of it. The demon leaves by virtue of vomiting and so he came up with this bizarre set of signs and Holland know when a demon was exercise and I said that's enough of that that I need to listen to this stuff is baloney. However, the reality of the demonic world is not baloney and I want us to understand to that. When Luke talks about this demonic occurrence where this man is possessed here that Luke as a physician throughout his gospel and through the other Gospels as well. A distinction is made between demonic possession and lunacy. So, contemporary people who want to say that the first century observers just confuse demonic possession with insanity know the Bible distinguishes between those two and distinguishes between demonic possession and what we would call forms of convulsions or epilepsy.
So there was a separate category distinguished from other maladies in New Testament literature that has specific reference to demonic possession now. I don't think there's ever been a period in human history when the demonic world was more actively at work and more furiously engaged against the kingdom of God than in the first century because the son of God was walking on the earth and all the power of hell was unleashed against him. Virtually every miracle that you see Jesus performing in the New Testament was also performed in the Old Testament by prophets like Elijah or Elisha or Moses. What is radically new about the supernatural ministry of Jesus is his ministry of demon exercise and he said if you see me casting out Satan by the finger of God, which is a metaphor for the Holy Spirit then you know that the kingdom of God has come upon you, and so the New Testament writers are very keen to let us know that Jesus power over the demonic world is significant. It is a sign of his own supernatural origin and of his own supreme authority that even the devils of this world tremble at his presence and so the accounts that we find in Scripture of encounters between Jesus and the demonic realm follow a similar pattern. There is always a protest where the demon complains Jesus what are you telling let us alone don't torment us. What are we to do with you that you come to destroy us elsewhere.
The question is have you come to destroy us before the time the demons know that there days were numbered, and in the providence of God that God had established a day when the demons would be wiped out in their power completely removed, but that they had not yet come, and they know what one thing I could save the demon says they had a sound theology. They knew who Jesus was. They knew what the truth was they knew who God is, as James tells us that you say you believe in God, that's a big deal, even the demons believe, and tremble and so that if you say that you believe in God.
All that doesn't qualify you to be a demon because they know that much theology and their understanding of the identity of Jesus was also strangely enough impeccable. Their problem was not that they didn't know the truth.
Their problem was they hated it with every fiber of their being so no one hated Jesus more than these demonic beings when he appeared they trembled. They feared they protest, they resisted, but nothing would quench their fierce hatred of him at the demon said I know who you are. Can you say that you all know who he is theirs and I know who you are.
You are the holy one, of God see nothing recognizes the holy more clearly than the unholy. No one recognizes the intrusion of heaven more than those who inhabit how and so here we find the testimony of the devil to the identity of Jesus and this demon interrupted Jesus and now Jesus silences him by saying be quiet. That's polite Jesus that shot up and come out of him. And when the demon had thrown him in their midst that came out of him and did not hurt. And again, they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, what a word this is for with authority and power. He commands the unclean spirits and they come out in the report about him when out in every place in the surrounding region last Saturday morning in the context of our annual mission conference. Dr. Pratt gave a message to the man that the men's breakfast entitled our God is a warrior and he went to the first chapter of Joshua were were God spoke to Joshua commanding him to have courage and to be brave and warned him of the battle that was coming and he went on to say that he promised Joshua that he would be with them in this battle, but Dr. Pratt went on to say that we are called to be engaged in a battle, a fight but we have to be engaged in the right fight and in the right way and in that storing message.
He pointed us to Paul's words in Ephesians chapter 6, which I will read for you now briefly in chapter 6 of Ephesians verse 10, Paul says, finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand with the apostle Paul ends this epistle with is the same thing. He begins it with the cosmic struggle in the heavens between the vector of the son of God leads captivity captive over these invisible but powerful forces from hell.
Paul said, you need the whole armor of God, because were in a battle and it's not with people. The battle that the Christian must endure as a spiritual battle not just a struggle with their own sinful tendencies, but a war that is cosmic in scope. Paul said, you realize as a Christian you are engaged in a battle against powers, principalities, cosmic powers, spiritual wickedness in high places. The Bible tells us with respect the world empires that God raises them up a God pairs them down and there is this idea that human empires and states whole nations can be demonized so that their political structure, and their political actions are really actions that they are carrying on under the influence of the devil in the late Swiss scholar New Testament scholar and churches during obstacle one that there's an element in biblical truth that is often overlooked and that is the idea of the influence of these supernatural angelic beings have cosmically the word in the Greek is cosmic power and that's our battle were fighting against supernatural forces and were fighting that battle with supernatural power, with the Holy Spirit and the armor of God question I get all the time about demons is can a Christian be demon possessed.
I don't think so. For a minute. You can be harassed you can be oppressed, you can be frustrated by the enemy where the Spirit of God lives there is liberty. Satan cannot inhabit the same space as the Holy Spirit. If you are indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. Satan can't get in. You can come up against you. Identity can harass you, but he cannot possess you. For greater is the power that is in you than is the power that is in the world how that's important. It's good news. But it's also bad news there for those who want to find excuses for their sinful behavior by simply saying the devil made me do it. The devil maybe made you do it, but if he did, you're not a believer. If you are a believer.
Satan goes around like a roaring lion, seeking to the bar whom he will need an adversary to be warned up at the same time.
The other image Scripture gives us is this roaring lion fleeing with his tail between his legs, for God says, resist him, and he will flee from you mission that we have in this church is a mission that is despised by Satan and by the forces of hell, and they will do everything they can to push us out of the battle and on the sidelines to paralyze us to hold us captive put us in the retreat that we are called to pursue this battle to every inch of real estate on this planet confesses Christ is yes demons exist and yes Satan using actual being who desires to do us harm. But he is a Concord flow and for those of us who have placed our trust in Christ there is nothing to fear. We heard a message from Dr. RC Sproul today here on Renewing Your Mind. As he continues his first fiber sermon series from the Gospel of Luke. We returned to the study. Each floor stand that were making our way through the entire book. The same insight we hear from RC each week can also be found in his commentary on the Gospel of Luke. I hope you'll contact us today with a donation of any amount so that we can provide you with a digital download of this nearly 600 page commentary or offices are closed on this Lord's day, but you can give your gift and make your request online and Renewing Your Mind.org doctor strolled along with her leg in her teaching fellows and many other faithful pastors and teachers are also featured on roughneck that's her 24 hour Internet radio station if you're not familiar with ref that I hope you'll check it out. You can listen for free at any time when you go to ref net.FM or when you download the free roughneck and is Jesus earthly ministry group traveled from place to place healing and preaching everywhere he went.
Crowns met him and his reputation grew, I hope you'll join us again next Sunday as we continue our study of the gospel of Luke here on Renewing Your Mind