Pastor Weise’s Sermon – Deliver Us From Evil

Pastor Weise’s Sermon – Deliver Us From Evil

St. Luke 8.26-39

Pentecost II/June 23

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Royalton, Minnesota

Rev. Keith R. Weise, guest pastor

LISTEN TO SERMON

Invocation     In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

I           If there’s one thing we should take from the Gospel today, it’s this:

demons are real!

 

We live in an age that discounts the reality of demons

and sees in them nothing more than opportunities for cheap entertainment.

Tons of

movies/books/TV shows

glorify/romanticize/generally celebrate

pop culture ideas about demons.

 

But there aren’t many people

who will admit

to believing in the reality of demons.

Not publicly, at least.

 

And the way we live—

generally safe/kept from harm/and mostly out of any real danger—

makes it easy for US to dismiss the reality of demons, too.

 

How many of you are thinking right now—

Demon possession?  Really?  Is he really preaching about THAT?

Sure we have our struggles—ok—

                                    but does he really expect us to get all worked up about—“DEMONS”?

 

I get it.  I do.

In my lifetime I know of ONE—

count ‘em—ONE—

person I think might be possessed by a demon.

And I’m not even sure that’s the case.

 

Our culture/prosperity/sense of progress and enlightenment

            all make it easy for us to be skeptical

and

make it hard for us to believe that demons are real.

 

II         But demons are real.  They are very real indeed.

 

The man in the gospel today knew just how real the demons are.

He was possessed by them—taken over by demons.

They drove him out of his house to live out in the graveyard.

They gave him seizures—bouts of great violence

against himself and others.

The demons even drove him out into the wilderness sometimes.

They took complete control of

his life/his body/and his soul.   //////////

III        Demons are real.

They are very real indeed.

 

They are the fallen angels who joined with the devil in his rebellion

against God—

and now they prowl around with Satan, our enemy, seeking whom they may devour.                                                                                                                    (I Peter 5.8)

 

                        They have some power and authority in this fallen world—

St. Paul tells us that as Christians

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.                                                                        (Ephesians 6.12)

 

These

are the demons who seek to possess

you/me/all the people of God.

 

They seek

to lead you into temptation

to tear you away from God

to control your life/your body/and your soul

and

to steal your salvation.

These demons have real power.

And they are definitely real.

_____________________________________________________________________

 

IV        But you know what?

Jesus is real, too.

And Jesus has real power over the demons.

 

When Jesus first commands the unclean spirit to leave the possessed man

the demons recognize him at once:

What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?  I beg You, do not torment me, one of them says.                                                                                                                       (St. Luke 8.28)

 

And that exchange starts a series of events

that shows just how power-less demons are in the presence of Jesus.

 

Jesus asks, What is your name?

Legion, they answer, because there were lots of them.

 

And again they beg.

They beg Jesus not to send them into the deep.

 

Finally they beg one more time.

They beg Jesus to send them into a herd of pigs—

and Jesus does just that.

 

V         In the presence of Jesus

the demons can only

submit to Jesus as the Son of the Most High God.

 

They can only

answer his questions

beg him for what they want to do.

and

DO what Jesus gives them permission to do.

 

In the presence of Jesus

the demons have no more power over the man whom they’ve possessed.

In the presence of Jesus

the demons face their demise—Jesus sends them into the pigs—

and then drives them into the deep.

And that’s the end of those demons.

 

VI        Because Jesus’ power is greater than the demons’ power.

 

By his power

Jesus delivered the possessed man from the legion of demons that controlled his body and soul.

 

And by his power

Jesus protects you from the demons that seek to possess you.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

VII      Do not be deceived.

The devil and his demons would love nothing more

than to make you their next possession.

 

Do not be deceived.

 

But don’t be afraid either.

Jesus has power over the demons

and he uses that power to protect you

against all their evil deeds.

 

Every day we pray

deliver us from evil.

 

And every day

Jesus does just that.

 

By his power as the exalted Son of God

Jesus delivers you from the demons who would possess you.

By his grace as the Savior of humanity

Jesus

possesses you for himself

secures your identity as God’s own child

and

makes sure the devil will never possess your soul.

By his blood, shed on the cross

Jesus

destroyed the power of the demons

defeated the devil

and

crushed his evil head.

and

By his holy word among us today

Jesus

drives the demons away

and

welcomes us into his kingdom

where the devil has no place!—no place at all.

 

VIII     Yes—here and now—we live among demons.

And yes, they seek

to possess us

to devour us

and

to take us away from God.

 

But Jesus will not let that happen.

Jesus saves you from the demons.

When he comes to you—

he saves you from the demons’ power of possession

and

from their evil intentions.

 

With Jesus in your heart

the demons can do only one thing in your presence—

beg for release just as they did amongst the

Garasenes in the gospel for today.

________________________________________________________________

 

IX        So what should you do if you the demons come near?

 

What should you do

as a faithful Christian

even if you’re still not sure about all this demon stuff?

 

St. Peter tells us what to do.

He speaks by the Holy Spirit of God and says—

. . . humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, [Humble yourselves] that [God] may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.  [And] the God of all grace who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, [will] perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.  To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.  Amen.                                          

(I Peter 5.6-11)

 

X         St. Peter is saying:

When the demons come

Cling to Jesus and fight against them by your faith in Christ.

Don’t give the demons an opening to exploit.

 

Confess your sins.

Quit indulging in sinfulness.

Return to your baptism in contrition and repentance

and there receive the grace and forgiveness of Christ

as he drowns your rebellion against him in the water and his word

and drives away the devil and his demons from your midst.

 

St. Peter is saying:

Make good use of the Word of Christ.

Read it.

Listen to it.

Study it.

Meditate on it day and night.

 

Eat Christ’s body and drink his blood with faith in his deliverance—

and welcome Jesus into your heart as he comes

as your protector against all evil.

 

And

Never, never cease to pray—Good Lord, deliver us from evil.

 

By the power of his Word

Christ will deliver you from all the demons.

They will flee from you for good—

and

Jesus will send them to their eternal demise.

 

God grant it for Jesus’ sake.

Amen.

 

Invocation     In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

We sing the offertory.  Please stand.

 

Leave a Reply