Luke 11:14-16 ESV
“Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. But some of them said, ‘He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,’ while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven.”
When we, by faith in Jesus Christ, proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, which has the power to set people free from their demons (sins), we will be falsely accused, too, by some people. We will be called bigoted, judgmental, intolerant, unloving, unkind and/or teachers of works-based salvation. We will be charged with hate speech, with abuse, and of being unforgiving.
And, we may even be kicked out of local church congregations because of our strong convictions, and because we are an offense to those who are perishing. For so much of the church has gone the way of the world, and they are living not much differently than the world, and so the truth of the gospel is an offense even to many who profess faith in Jesus Christ.
Luke 11:17-20 ESV
“But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.’”
And, we may be accused of being of Satan, too, and of hearing from Satan. But if we are teaching a message of deliverance from slavery to sin, which has the power to set people free of their strongholds (their addictions), then if what they accused us of was true, it would be like Satan driving out Satan, and we would be self-defeated. It would be like killing yourself.
But this led me to another thought. If we say we are of God, and that we believe in Jesus Christ, but by our sinful lifestyles we deny him, and we cast him aside because we want to sin, then it would be like God casting out God. And, God does not cast himself out. But, if this was true, if we really are of God, but we deny him by our sinful lifestyles, then we are self-defeated.
And, this is where many professing Christians are living, in self-defeat, because they are living for the flesh, and not for the Spirit of God. And, yet they will tell you that they are trying not to sin, or that they can’t understand why they have not been able to conquer their sin addictions.
But they haven’t truly died to the flesh, and so they can’t defeat the flesh. They fall because the flesh is trying to put the flesh to death, and it doesn’t work that way, and this is because they are not willing to submit to God.
And, this leads me to the issue with the cheap grace gospel. For, it teaches that we can believe in Jesus Christ and have the hope of heaven when we die, but yet it also teaches (or it implies) that we can continue living in our sin, only now without guilt. But the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches deliverance from our slavery to sin. So, if we continue living in sin, then we are self-defeated, because we profess faith in Jesus while we deny him.
And, Jesus’ point here is that, if he is casting out demons, then he can’t be of Satan. And, the same applies on the flip side. If we continue living in sin, then we can’t be of God, because we are casting out God. We can’t be in possession of Jesus Christ in our lives if how we live is denying him and casting him out on a consistent and habitual basis.
But because this is where many people are who profess faith in Jesus Christ, they live self-defeated lives, always making excuses for why they can’t conquer the flesh and live for the Lord, or for why they can’t get victory over darkness. And, it is because they are not truly of God, because they never surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ, and because they never truly made him Lord of their lives. They are just playing the role of a Christian.
And, too, it is because they never died to self and sin, but they retained control over their own lives, so the flesh still has full reign in their hearts. And, so they continue to live in ways which are the opposite of the faith which they profess. So, they can’t be of God. They are not in relationship with Jesus Christ, because they never gave up control of their lives to the Lord, and they weren’t willing to die to the flesh (Rom. 8:1-17).
Luke 11:21-23 ESV
“When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
This reminds me a lot of what Jesus said in Luke 9:23-25:
“And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?’”
So, there is a false sense of security for those who think a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ is enough to save them from hell and to promise them heaven when they die. They don’t take God and his word to heart, because they have believed the lie which says they don’t have to but that heaven is still guaranteed them. So, they have no fear of God. And, they don’t believe God will punish (judge) them, because he hasn’t yet.
Yet, if we hold on to our old lives of sin and self, and if we continue in the darkness, still engaged in yielding to the lusts of the flesh, as a matter of life course, and if we remain as king or queen over our own hearts, we are going to lose our lives for eternity. For, God is judge, and he will refuse entry into his heaven those who have refused to bow the knee to him on this earth.
For, if we aren’t living in submission to the Lord Jesus, and if we have chosen not to put sin to death in our lives, and if we are not walking in obedience to his commands, by faith, in his power, then we are against God, not for him. For, it means that we have maintained lordship over our own lives, and that we have refused to listen to the Lord, and so we have not followed our Lord Jesus to walk in his ways and in his truth.
Nonetheless, if we want Jesus to be Lord and Savior of our lives, and we want to have eternal life with him, then we must deny self, and daily take up our cross (die to sin daily) and follow (obey) him. For, this is the essence of the gospel of our salvation, that we must die with him to sin that we might live to him and to his righteousness. By his grace we are saved (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Jn. 2:3-6).
Enough for My God
By G. M. Eldridge
In God is the light, the brightest day.
He taught me to walk the narrow way,
Yet still I chose the path that was broad:
O, how could I be enough for my God?
With mercy so sweet, He led me along.
He held my hand, and gave me a song,
Yet still I sinned, a shameful fraud:
O, how could I be enough for my God?
I never had dreamed the day I’d see
the Son of God, who died for me,
Yet here by His side, I stand in awe:
Washed by His blood, enough for my God.
And who could forgive all the sins and the flaws?
O, how could I be enough for my God?
But gently He’ll lead by staff and by rod,
And help me to be enough for my God.
I just want to be Enough for You, God!
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