Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Series 6. Experiencing the power of the cross . No 06:- Dead to Satan (Part 2)

. No 06:- Dead to Satan (Part 2)

 

EXPERIENCING THE POWER OF THE CROSS


DEAD TO SATAN (PART 2)

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (ESV) 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

Introduction.

We are still busy with our series in which we seek to understand the power of the cross for us as believers on a daily basis as we face our great enemies which are sin, Satan, death, self, the flesh and the world. Now remember, our desire with Paul is to exhibit lifestyles that are controlled by the love of Christ based on our understanding of what Christ has accomplished at the cross.  Over two sermons we looked at the whole issue of sin and came to this wonderful realisation that in Christ we are dead to sin, and that sin therefore has no power over the life of the believer.

But even though we are saved from the power of sin, we are not saved from the presence of sin, and therefore we have a responsibility to make dead the sin that so quickly surrounds us. One of the greatest joys in the battle against sin is that we are not alone in the battle, but the Holy Spirit helps us in our struggle. We saw the clear message of Romans 8:13 (ESV) “13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Victory for a believer over sin, is to start with Paul and to reckon ourselves dead to sin, because when one died for all, we all died and we died to sin. So our starting point is to always remind ourselves of our position, and then to put that position into practice, by making dead sin. So after all is said and done we can say with Paul that when one died for all, all died to sin.

Now, it works exactly the same with Satan. Just as we saw with sin, we first of all had to discover who Satan is. This we did in my previous sermon. Then just as with sin we now need to discover our position with regards to Satan before we can arrive at our last point, and that is the experiential outworking of our position. So next week I will tell you what to do with the devil. But for today, I want to look at the victory of Christ over Satan on the cross of Calvary.

At the end of the day we want to be able to say with Paul, that when one died for all we all died to Satan, and because we are dead to Satan we live for Christ and it is the love of Christ that constrains us.

 

The best way to approach this message is to start right at the beginning of time, and to see the relationship of Christ to Satan. I will break this into seven parts to give you a memory handle to hold on to.

 

1. The conquest over Satan started in heaven.

Now, we all know that Satan was a created being, even though we are not sure when he and the rest of the angels were created. We are also not sure what sin he committed, but we know it was bad enough for him and angels to be cast out of heaven, as in Genesis 3 we meet our enemy in the Garden of Eden. Now remember that Jesus is God, He is the great I am, He is the one by whom all things were made and without whom nothing was made that had been made. He was part of the ‘us’ when God said in Genesis 1:26 (ESV): 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” So Satan was created by God, Jesus is part of the Trinity, so He knows Satan, as He made Satan.  Jesus saw him fall there and then. Look at the words of Jesus himself to 72 disciples returning from their evangelism trip in Luke 10:18-20 (ESV) 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” So there is an initial stage of Satan’s destruction, when he was cast from heaven.

Now let’s take our focus off heaven and look at Christ’s dealings with Satan on earth. Let me just say this before we even look at that.

 

Something of what we see here highlights the accuracy of what we are trying to establish in this sermon series, as it points us to the fact that nothing is final till we appear in glory, until Christ has subjected everything at His feet until we see the final victory over Satan.  Even though Satan was a defeated foe, cast out of heaven, there is still an on-going battle between Christ and Satan, for that matter between God and Satan. And even after Satan is defeated by Christ on the cross, He still remains a foe, until his final defeat that we read about in Revelation. But from the beginning his power is limited. So if this is true about Christ, it is reasonable to understand that even though Satan is a conquered foe for us and that we are dead to him, we are however still in combat with him.

2. The earthly conquest is predicted

Right there in the garden of Eden Satan was held accountable alongside Adam and Eve for their sinfulness. Satan’s temptation of Eve was directly in confrontation against God and what God has commanded. God pronounces a curse upon Adam and Eve and then over Satan as well in Genesis 3:15 (ESV) 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” This statement is commonly accepted as the struggle between Christ and Satan it is commonly accepted that the verse is with reference to the crucifixion of Christ and the final destruction of Satan.

3. The next phase of the conquest began with the ministry of Jesus

Now remember the Words of Jesus in Luke 10:18 (ESV) “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Now we will see the enmity between Christ and Satan unfolding as we just read about in Genesis 3:15 under our previous point.

Remember the three-fold purpose of Christ. He came to conquer sin, Satan and death. Remember that Christ came to this world for a threefold purpose.  Firstly He came according to seek and to save the lost. This we read in Luke 19:10 (ESV) 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Then He also came to destroy the works of the Devil. 1 John 3:8 (ESV) 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” Then He came to destroy death.

The word “destroy” doesn’t mean to annihilate, it means to “render powerless.”  Like a mighty machine that has lost its power, when Jesus died on the cross, he “pulled the plug” on Satan.  In this present age Satan seems to be very powerful, but he can do nothing without God’s express permission.  He is like Samson whose locks have been cut off by Delilah, unable to do anything on his own.  The day is coming when his utter impotence will be revealed to the universe and those who followed him will discover that they were following a toothless lion.

Christ explains it in a different way at another place. Sadly His statement is often misinterpreted. We see this in Mark 3:27 (ESV) 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.” I have often heard this verse preached with reference to Satan binding the man of the house so that he can destroy the family, and then men are challenged to stand firm in their households. This is one of the favourite verses used by Promise Keepers when tens of thousands of men would gather and be told that they need to stand up against the devil who wants to bind them as the strong men of the house so that they can steal from him. However the purpose of this text is so much deeper. It actually describes the purpose of Christ over Satan. Let’s read this verse in context.  Mark 3:22-30 (ESV) 22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” 23 And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house."

Christ states His purpose which is to bind the strong man which is Satan so that He can take back from Satan that which he took from God, namely us. That is why Paul’s commission is what we saw last week in Acts 26:18 (ESV) 18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ So Jesus started it, Paul and the rest of the apostles continued it and we continue even in this day. Now the fact that Christ said that he came to bind the strong man is one other reason why some Christians think that they can bind Satan, besides the verses I mentioned last week. But I will say more about it next week, when we discover what we should do with the devil.

So what is Satan’s property? Well Satan is a spirit, right? He doesn't wear a red suit and a pitchfork and a pointed tail and horns and all of that. Satan is a spirit. So he doesn't possess anything material. His whole world is immaterial. All his demons are called spirits, they're called unclean spirits. So you have a spirit world with nothing material. So when He goes into Satan's domain and plunders his property, what's his property? Satan’s property would be the demons and the people that they have commandeered. So Jesus came to take power over the demons and scatter the demons and deliver the people that they have possessed.

So Jesus is not Satan casting out Satan as the Pharisees presumed, He is greater than Satan and the only one greater than Satan is God. He's able to crush the kingdom of darkness.

Not only did Jesus encounter the demonic world and cast them out, He was in direct confrontation with Satan which we read about in Matthew 4 when Jesus was led into the desert to be tempted by Satan. And how did Jesus engage Satan. He did it with the Word of God. But, more about that next week.

4. The conquest is decisively achieved at the cross

Satan delivered a terrible blow to Jesus on the cross.  God said to Satan, regarding Christ; “You” shall bruise His heel”. Satan was behind the crucifixion.  No doubt he thought he had thrown a knockout punch.  But he was wrong.  All he did was strike Jesus on the heel.  As painful as it was, that suffering was nothing compared to what Jesus did to Satan.  Jesus would win this battle over evil and crush the head of the ugly Serpent.

Now what did Jesus achieve at the cross over Satan? Colossians 2:13-15 (ESV) 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”

This is our text for our victory over Satan because of Christ’s work on the cross. On the cross He destroyed the debt that was standing against our account, and on the cross He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to shame.  The cross that was meant to be Satan’s victory was Satan’s defeat in the end. The place where He did that is at the cross of Calvary. And it is at this very cross that our victory over Satan lays. Revelation 12:11 (ESV)11 And they have conquered him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”

I love the way John Phillips says it.  “Satan could not harm him (Jesus), for He came.  Satan could not halt Him, for He conquered (demons, disease, death and disaster).  Satan could not hinder Him, for He controls.  Satan will do his worst, but his plans will be foiled,”

And so we know that his plans were foiled at the cross of Calvary. A key verse to serve as a reminder of this is: Hebrews 2:14-15 (ESV)14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”

5. The conquest is confirmed and announced in the resurrection.

Acts 2:24 (ESV) 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it”.

Of all the fears that grip the hearts of modern men and women, none is greater than the fear of death.  We don’t like to talk about death, and in fact we will do anything to change the subject.  That’s one reason we turn to alcohol, drugs, sex, pleasure, and the pursuit of power. It’s also one reason why we become fanatics about our health.  Deep down in the human heart there is a fear of death that Satan uses to keep us enslaved.

Don’t mistake the point.  Satan has no power to kill you or anyone else.  He can do nothing without God’s permission.  But he plays upon our fear of death to keep us in the chains of sin.  That’s why the Bible says the sting of death is sin, 1 Corinthians 15:56. When the unsaved die, they die with their sins still upon them, like a heavy burden, a vast weight bearing them down to hell.  They die miserable, angry, frustrated, and fearful because they don’t know what to do with their sins.

So the resurrection of Jesus validated the infinite value of the blood of Jesus. This means that by his death as our substitute He paid the penalty for our sins, He purchased our acquittal, our justification, our forgiveness. And since the achievement of the cross was so complete and the work of our justification so decisive, God raised Jesus from the dead to validate our forgiveness and to vindicate his Son's righteousness and to celebrate the work of justification. In a real sense the resurrection was the completion of the marvellous work on the cross. Ro put it short and sweet. You would have no position in the cross if Christ did not rise from the dead.

6. The conquest is extended as the church goes out on its mission

Acts 26:18 (ESV) “18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’” Our mission remains the mission of Paul. Just as Christ came to seek and to save those that are lost, He also said in John 20:21 (ESV) 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

7. The conquest is consummated at the return of Jesus

1 Corinthians 15:24-28 (ESV) 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.”

What a day that will be, when all the enemies are dealt with, a day when Sin, Satan, the flesh, Self, the world, the law and death have no power over us any longer.

Conclusion.

What happened at the cross was indeed the total defeat of Satan.  In legal terms he was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to ultimate, eternal destruction.  However, that sentence has not yet been executed.  There is no way for Satan to escape it.  Perhaps we should say that Satan is currently out on bail, wreaking havoc left, right and centre, waiting for the day when he will be cast into the Lake of Fire once and for all.  Until then he is destroying lives, breaking up homes and disrupting God’s work as much as he can.

If you would prefer a military analogy, the cross was what D-Day was to World War II. Once the Allies came ashore in Normandy, the German defeat was certain. Although much fighting would ensue, and many soldiers would die, the Allies won the war on June 6, 1944.  Satan’s D-Day happened when Christ died on the cross.  Since then his defeat has been certain, his ultimate surrender guaranteed.  Meanwhile, he fights on in his desperate battle, a defeated but still a dangerous foe.

“The three great achievements of the cross... saving sinners, revealing God, and conquering evil,”

However, he still remains the greatest enemy we battle with daily, but all about that next week.

 

Amen.

Logos Community Church: - 21 April 2013