Saturday, September 1, 2007

Jesus, The Stronger One

“When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” — Luke 11:21-26.

THE Lord Jesus is ever in direct and open antagonism to Satan. “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed,” has been most emphatically fulfilled. Christ has never tolerated any truce or parley with the evil one, and never will. Whenever Christ strikes a blow at Satan, it is a real blow, and not a feint, and is meant to destroy, not to amend. He never asks Satan’s help to subdue Satan, never fights evil by evil; he uses the weapons which are not carnal, but mighty to the pulling down of strongholds; and he uses them ever with this intention, not to dally with Satan, but to cut up his empire, root and branch. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”

There is a deadly, implacable, infinite, eternal hatred between Christ and that sin of which Satan is the representative. No compromise can ever be thought of, no quarter will ever be allowed. The Lord will never turn from him purpose to bruise Satan under his feet and to cast him into the lake of fire. Hence there was nothing more libelous than the assertion of certain Pharisees in Christ’s day, that he cast out devils through Beelzebub, the Prince of devils. O base suggestion, that the Lord of glory was in league with the dunghill Deity, the Prince of devils. He never fights the Lord’s battles with the devil’s weapons, he has not the most distant affiance with evil. It is not possible that he should be the friend and patron of that spirit of unhallowed charity which for the sake of peace would give tolerance to error. No, he never allies himself with Satan, to advance the kingdom of God, but he comes against him as a strong man armed, determined to fight until he wins a decisive victory.

From a sermon entitled "“The Strong One Driven Out By A Stronger One," delivered February 5, 1865.

Photo by Christian Guthier; some rights reserved.

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