Monday, June 24, 2013

Sermon for 6/24/13 Luke 8

 not a pleasant thought
 locked up and the key thrown away

What can happen? Given enough time and discouragement we start acting like prisoners.

Now add a spiritual dynamic. The Bible says people are attacked by evil in this world. Sin in the world oppresses us. What will we do about it? What can we do about it? We start going our own way, the way that our circumstances direct us.

How did God view that in Isaiah 65? It’s a foul smell. It’s something that will come back to haunt us.

Doing what is right in our own eyes is rarely the right choice. It’s only the right choice when it is in harmony with God’s Word.

We find ourselves imprisoned.
 not with a cage
 not with chains
 not with shackles
We can break all those, like the man in Luke 8.
We are in a far worse prison.
 sinful nature
What will deliver us? How can we escape? Not even through death and destruction.

Only through Jesus.
Only through Jesus coming onto the scene.
Only through Jesus arresting our sin.
Only through Jesus bringing us forgiveness.

Wait a minute. You want to take away THAT???
What do we cling to?
What do we depend upon?
Where do we look for help and hope?
Any place other than throwing ourselves on God’s mercy in Christ will leave us in the same state we were in before, or maybe even worse.

Jesus sent the demons away from the tortured man. They were destroying him. Now they found another target and destroyed a herd of pigs.

When Jesus destroys our sin, it finds another target. It kills him. Jesus dies for sin so that we might have life. What is the result? He rises from the dead. We are found sitting, clothed and in our right minds, talking with him, trusting him.

What do we do? Jesus sent the formerly demon possessed man back to his home. He goes everywhere telling what God has done for him. We likewise are sent home. And we show God’s great mercy and love. Our lives are changed. They are not the same. The prison doors have not only been burst open, the prison has been torn down and the rubble removed. We are unshackled. We are truly free.

Lord, grant us your forgiveness.

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