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Worship Series: The Son of God Goes Forth to War
Worship Theme: The Warrior Faces Satan’s Ally - the World
Message: The Warrior Faces Satan’s Ally - the World
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The devil, or Satan, is the “father of lies.” That’s what the gospel of John says. From the very beginning Satan did not hold “to the truth” (John 8:44). From the very beginning he caused the first woman of the world to doubt the truth. He told Eve that she would “not certainly die”, if she ate from the tree in the middle of the garden. But the truth was that God said they would certainly die. You know how that story turned out. Adam and Eve forsook God’s truth by eating from the fruit they were not to eat from.
The gospel of John says that when Satan lies, he speaks his native language (Jn 8:44). He speaks his native language today. But he doesn’t lie through a serpent like he did in the Garden of Eden. He lies through the world, his ally. Sometimes we listen to Satan’s ally. We find that we sin. Especially in these Wednesdays of Lent we see our need of being saved because we have listened to lies and have sinned.
When you begin to listen to Satan’s ally, the world, listen to Jesus instead. He is the Warrior who faced Satan’s ally, the world. As you hear tonight about the Warrior who faced Satan’s ally, the world, hear that the world searches for the truth. Also hear that the warrior is the truth. Finally, hear that the warrior shares the truth through us.
The Warrior Faces Satan’s Ally, the World: The world searches the truth
There is a problem in the world today. It’s that the world is searching for truth and is not always finding it. There are many sources in the world for all kinds of information. Just consider the news. You could get your news from Fox, NBC, MSNBC , ABC, CBS, CNN or you could get it from your local neighbor or Facebook friend. Can you always trust any one source of information, when there are so many different sources? Some would say you can never trust sources since there are so many of them. The world is searching for truth in the news and in others ways of life, but isn’t always finding truth.
Searching for reliable news can be serious business, but there is a much more significant and much more serious search for truth happening today. This serious search for truth regards what side to take in life. Jesus said just before our text, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (Jn 8:37). Often times in the search for truth, people listen to the lusts and pride of their sinful flesh. They take the side of lusts and pride in life. Where do those lusts and pride come from? God’s Word says in 1 John 2:16, “For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world.”
Did Pilate, the Roman governor during the life of Jesus take the side of truth? He told the crowd that was demanding that Jesus be crucified, “I find no basis for a charge against [Jesus]” (Jn. 18:38). And the gospel of Matthew says about this account that Pilate told the crowd that he himself was innocent of Jesus’ blood. But what did Pilate do? He handed Jesus into death, even though Jesus was truly innocent. Pilate did what would be best for himself at the expense of Jesus.
But you know what? When I look at my own life, I don’t find I’ve always taken the side of truth. I find that I have not listened to Jesus, who is right there in front of me each week in God’s Word. I have asked the question of Pilate, “What is truth?” I have then done what benefits me most, which often means doing what is not right. I have stepped onto Satan’s team by listening to his lies time after time. Haven’t you listened to Satan’s lies, too? Getting caught up in the matters of this life that benefit you, but that disobey God? What is it in your life that you do for your own good, but it is directly against God’s commands?
If you have, that’s what Satan wants you to do. He wants you to focus only on this life, but you were designed for something much better and bigger than this world. We are designed to be in an eternal relationship with our Creator, our Savior, our faith-giving God! How do we get in that eternal relationship with God? It is through Jesus, the warrior. He stood up like a warrior against a host of people, religious leaders, and politicians, who said he was speaking blasphemy, claiming to be the Son of God. But Jesus spoke the truth. Not only did he speak it, but Jesus, our warrior, is the truth.
The Warrior Faces Satan’s Ally, the World: The Warrior is the truth
We can trust Jesus when he speaks. Jesus said about himself, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn 14:6). We ask ourselves many questions, looking for truth: “How can I ever understand suffering and evil? Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going?” Left on our own, we would not find answers to those questions.
When we listen to Jesus though, we hear the words that promise us the truth. Jesus once spoke these words to Jews, who believed him. Jesus said to them, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (Jn 8:31,32). These words are true for us too, who believe in Jesus. Therefore, if we believe the teaching of Jesus, in other words the Bible, we will be free – free from sin, guilt, shame. And we will also be free from our doubt that is apparent in our questions. The truth of Jesus causes our doubt in our questions to fade away. Finally, through the truth about Jesus we are free to live in eternity with our Creator, our Savior, our faith-giving God.
Freedom doesn’t come for free though. Someone in jail pays the time for their crime. So what did Jesus do to give us all this freedom? First, Jesus gave his perfect life. He remained holy throughout his entire life, when we could not be holy. The devil tempted him, and the world was not on his side, but Jesus our warrior remained right with God. Then Jesus gave is life into death. He was sentenced to death by Pilate, though Pilate found no basis for a charge against him because there was no basis for a charge against him. Jesus went to his death like a sheep to the slaughter and he did not open his mouth.
He did it all so that he could truly give us the righteousness of God. Through faith in Jesus that’s what become – the righteousness of God so that we can be with God forever. This is the truth we believe and confess. This truth is Jesus Christ. He is the solution to the world’s and our big problem of sin. This is the truth Jesus came to share and now shares through us.
The Warrior Faces Satan’s Ally, the World: He shares the truth through us
Sometimes our temptations can keep us from sharing the truth of Jesus. Sometimes we are tempted to think this world is so bad that we need to just withdraw. We think we need to get rid of the TV, computers, smartphones and even friends that aren’t so Christian. But remember what Jesus prayed for concerning his disciples. He said, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” Jesus wants us in the world, which contains liars, cheaters, and back stabbers. He doesn’t want us of the world though. He doesn’t want us to join in with those sinful parts of the world, but to be set apart, or sanctified, but the truth of God’s word. He wants us to be in the world for the same reason he was in the world. Jesus told Pilate the reason he was in the world. Jesus said to Pilate, “the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth” (Jn 18:37). Jesus has sent us into the world to testify to the truth too.
So let’s put this in practical terms. If the truth is Jesus, think “Jesus” in every situation. Think “Jesus” when you watch TV, surf the web, or check your smartphone. Think “Jesus” when you are out with friends. Think “Jesus” no matter what you do in this world. If you think “Jesus” you will be in this world, but not of it. You will be a powerful witness to the truth about Jesus. Use every opportunity you have to equip yourself, your children, your siblings, your whole family and all your friends to be confident of the real truth, which is Jesus.
And who is this Jesus? Jesus is our warrior who faced Satan’s ally, the world. “But take heart,” Jesus says, “I have overcome the world.” That’s the truth and you are no longer searching for it. You know that Jesus is the truth. So go out there and live, play, and work in God’s marvelous truth and be ready to share it in the world. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.