Sermons

Saved from Satan, Pt. 1

Sep 05, 2021

Saved from Satan, Pt. 1

Passage: Matthew 8:28-34

Preacher: Jeff Crotts

Series: Matthew: We Need a King

Category: Sunday Morning

Detail

Matthew 8:28-34 – “Saved from Satan”

Intro:  Every Christian, new or old should memorize this promise. 

ESV  1 John 4:4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for ahe who is in you is greater than bhe who is in the world.

“…greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 Jn. 4:4).

I want to pump the brakes and dig down a level, as we close Matthew 8. 

  • An account of Jesus brings demons to the forefront.
    • You may be aware of this realm but not convinced of its
      • Jesus’ delivering demoniacs appear far afield to your day to day.
        • Matthew’s account says it should not be!
        • War strategists, say, “Know your Enemy.”
          • The text goes deeper.
          • “Know where you stand with your Enemy.”    

 

  • Superstition plagues every culture as God’s image bearers sense an unseen realm.
    • Something behind our physical curtain.
      • Ancient cultures saw demons of the desert.
      • Hearing howling demons for the wind.
      • Voyagers, traveling on the dark seas.

 

  • Origins from the Nephilim (cf. Gen. 6).
    • Cohabitating with fallen angels, offspring, a race of demons.
      • Male demons, Shedin and Female demons, Lilith.
      • Known for long hair, targeting children.

 

  • Guardian angels made popular.

 

  • Egyptians believed thirty-six different parts of the body could be occupied by demons.
    • Epilepsy and mental illness, attributed to demons.
    • Ancient middle east surmised 5 million demons exist.
    • 10,000 on someone’s right and/or 10,000 on someone’s left.

Superstitious thinking continues in modern day. 

  • Inundating modern movies, not just at Halloween.
    • Demonic themes sell, tapping into this fear of the unknown.
      • What brings people dread.
        • People intuitively know another realm.
        • Enemy is lurking between realms.

 

  • True in Alaska, with folklore about demons inhabiting villages.  

 

  • Fear from what they cannot control, namely the demonic.
    • Like facing uncontrollable, death, facing the reality of demons.
    • Jesus’ same challenge to the would-be disciple:

ESV  Matthew 8:22 And Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave athe dead to bury their own dead."

Superstition aside, demons are extremely powerful. 

  • Not what goes “Bump in the Night.”
    • The 185,000 the LORD struck down in camp of the Assyrians (cf. 2 Kings 19:35).
    • Fallen Angels, still Angels that are called “mighty ones” (Ps. 103:20).

 

  • Daniel was delayed twenty-one days by “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” so the Lord sent Michael the archangel to help him (cf. Dan. 10:13).

 

  • Why need the full armor of God to absorb attacks.

ESV  Ephesians 6:16 In all circumstances take up athe shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all bthe flaming darts of cthe evil one

 

Demons represent what first went wrong in heaven. 

  • Picture of pride and unholiness.

 

  • Brought Rebellion to Heaven.

 

  • First cursed by God.
    • Condemned with nothing to gain and everything to lose.
      • Most dangerous are those with nothing to lose.
      • Want to take you down and with them.

 

  • Ironically, though condemned, Demons both know and tremble at truth.
    • Thought their end is hopeless.
      • They fight Christ, twist truths, promote and teach false doctrines, assault faith with fiery darts.
      • Terrorize to destroy.

 

  • Demons are enemies in disguise, using “light” as cover.
    • Looking like truth to falsify truth.

 

  • Fakes in the local church are demonic territory.
    • Subtle lies lead people away from grace. 
      • Binding religious demands lulling into self-reliance.
      • Promising false freedom; permission to sin with no consequences, no accountability under God’s gaze.

Subtle and overt versions have a Common denominator.

  • Error, falsehood, lies, distortions of truth.
    • Lies on the primary issues of the Gospel.
      • The Person of Christ.
      • Authority of God’s Word.
      • The exclusivity of the Gospel.

 

  • Smiling behind a camera or claiming to be God.
    • Either, equally dangerous to someone’s faith.
    • Ecumenical movements inspiring new loyalties can be anti-Christ.

“How dangerous are demons to a believer?”  “Where do you stand?”

  • Christians are safe from separation from Christ.
    • Nothing can separate, not angels or principalities.
    • All while coming under demonic assault.

 

  • Demons might not penetrate your soul, but can penetrate your mind, you may be thinking.
    • To strip confidence in Christ, in the gospel.
    • To stir up “speculations” (cf. 2 Cor. 10:5).

Morally, Satan tempts our flesh, as a third party within our own battle between being righteous or sinful. 

  • Believers, tempted, perpetually fighting between being sanctified in Christ,
    • Falling back into old habits of our former selves.
      • We are responsible for our own sins, and the proverbial devil never “made you do it” but the devil is an active third party.

Jesus models counteracting Satan’s three provocations. 

Feed your flesh by the flesh, No!  Scripture is my food.  Test the Lord’s power, act presumptuously, not in faith.  No!  You do not put the Lord to the test.  You can have it all, your way, without suffering.  No!  I will not bow to Satan’s worldly path! 

Our text brings us to an engagement with demons. 

  • Not a single demon or Satan but multiple demons, called Legion!
    • Jesus approaching, thousands of demons tell us how demon-soaked our world really is.
      • Demons everywhere.
      • Whether we see them or not.

 

  • They are real and here we can learn about them in an up-close way.

The text is a window into what a demon is truly like.

  • How we should feel about them.
    • What we should do considering their presence.
      • Demons here on the defensive.
      • Jesus is fearless.

 

  • Shouldn’t we be the same?

 

Secondarily, this is a window into Satan’s realm, and it is important to touch on the Ringleader. 

  • Satan is a demon, a cursed and condemned angel.

 

  • “Have ever noticed how much our Bible gives attention to Satan?”
    • Devil is a creature, not God, still formidable.
    • The storyline of the Bible centers on his rise and fall and ultimate defeat!

Sin entered God’s creation through Satan’s pride. 

  • One third of God’s holy angels rebelled with Satan declaring mutiny against God.
    • Satan originates and embodies evil.
    • Satan tempted Adam and Eve initiating the fall of mankind and our fallen world.
    • He exists to seek and destroy, to steal and to kill.

 

  • The Father of Lies and the author of falsehood.

His mission is to derail the coming of Christ, the righteousness of Christ, and the meaning of the Cross of Christ. 

  • Always attempting to destroy godly saints like Job and like Peter and Paul.
    • Promoting division through egoism and Gospel distortion.
    • He is the author of doctrines of demons.
      • Legalism.
      • License.

 

  • Ultimate false teacher and why there is church division.

The god of this world, prince of the power of the air, governor of worldliness. 

  • The god over every other religion, everything pagan and everything sensual.

 

  • Called: Serpent, Wolf, Lion, Demon, the Beast, Anti-Christ, and Dragon.

 

  • Cast out of heaven, Head Crushed at the Cross, Fell like Lightening, Bound for 1,000 years.
  • Permitted to lead one final revolt, to be ultimately eradicated by God’s Fire on Earth.
  • Finally, with his angels, cast into the Lake of Fire for eternal torture and torment.

Scripture warns we are wrestling with his demons, while Satan schemes and takes aim against us. 

He is to be resisted at all costs.

ESV  Ephesians 6:12 For awe do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against bthe rulers, against the authorities, against cthe cosmic powers over dthis present darkness, against ethe spiritual forces of evil fin the heavenly places.

It is easy to forget he is out there, especially when our encounters with Satan are vastly different than Jesus’ encounter with these demoniacs. 

“If Satan is that vicious, where is he?” 

“Ever noticed how many outspoken atheists there are and how few outspoken a-satanists there are? 

  • Why? Satan is easily dismissed as a myth.    

 

  • Satan wants to operate in stealth mode.

 

This brings us to Matthew 8:28-34 which is a very raw passage about two, demonized. 

  • This passage is a window into how Satan destroys a person’s life.

 

  • A clarifying passage, revealing on the outside what he does on the inside.

 

  • Also, in Mark, and Luke.
  • Mark and Luke are more detailed.
  • Matthew is a summary statement.

 

  • I will tie in Mark and Luke’s details to fill this out.   

 

Important to recognize this foreign experience, as not foreign at all! 

  • The demoniac’s story is our story.
    • The unbeliever’s fate is the same as a demon’s fate.
      • Unbelievers are no better off than the demoniacs
        • Before coming to Christ this was you.
        • After coming to Christ, this is you.

Every Christian was born under this Satanic curse and every Christian has been likewise delivered from this same curse.  Saved from Satan!

  • Scripture, nowhere else, better describes the dynamics between man and demons.

 

  • Matthew pulls the curtain back to reveal what is happening behind the scenes.

 

  • Answering what is really going on in our world!

 

  • “Where you stand as a believer in terms of Satan and demons.

Watch and learn from Jesus, by how Jesus deals with demons.

 

Prop: What it means to be saved from Satan?
1. Saved from Satan’s realm (v. 28)

Chapter 8 picks up with Jesus and his disciples had just crossed the Sea of Galilee. 

  • Jesus and company left the populated west side of Capernaum traveling six miles for needed rest.
    • A life-threatening storm arose, and Jesus calmed it.
    • Now dawn and they arrive on the other side.

 

Arrived “to the country of the Gadarines” (Matt. 8:28). 

  • Mark and Luke record “to the country of the Gerasenes.”
    • Matthew is referring to the same place.
      • Gersa (also Kersa), is a small town, six miles inland, from where they docked.
      • Connects to the larger area, Gadara, umbrella jurisdiction of all the Gaderines.

Gersa fits description also from Mark and Luke. 

  • Gersa butts up against steep hills with cave-tombs.
  • Tombs distanced opposite the town.

Verse 28 no mention of disciples, though Mark and Luke say they were at least at the boat. 

  • “…the country of the Gadarenes” was Gentile country.
    • Jesus came to his own and to the Gentiles.
    • Jesus came to witness to two men, both demon-possessed.

 

  • Mark and Luke mention only one demoniac but here there are two.
    • Not confusing when understanding Gospel narrative perspective.
      • Making points by emphasis.
      • Two there, one is demonstrative.

 

  • Matthew is saying, “Two” not “One” and both were “fierce!” (v. 28).  

W.M. Thomson, a Protestant missionary who worked in Ottomon Syria for 25 years beginning in 1833 wrote a book, Land and the Book, where he himself in the 19th century saw men exactly like these two Demon-possessed men:

“There are some very similar cases at the present day-furious and dangerous maniacs, who wander about the mounts and sleep in caves and tombs.  In their worst paroxysm they are quite unmanageable, and prodigiously strong…And it is one of the most common traits of this madness that the victims refuse to wear clothes.  I have often seen them absolutely naked in the crowded streets of Beirut and Sidon.  There are also cases in which they run wildly about the country and frighten the who neighborhood.” 

Verse 28 conveys how bold these two were saying, “…two demon-possessed men met him” (v. 28). 

  • Mark 5:2 they approached Jesus, “immediately” (cf. Mk 5:2).
  • “Jesus stepped out of the boat, [walked 6 miles inland] immediately” a man “met him out of the tombs.”
    • As soon as they approached the cave-tombs, these two ran to Jesus.
    • Men with “an unclean spirit” (cf. Mk. 5:2).

 

  • Pure Light meets Complete Darkness.

 

How “fierce?”

  • Both territorial and hostile, “…no one could pass that way” (v. 28).
    • Superhuman making them an unstoppable force.
    • Mark and Luke say chains proved ineffective.
      • Self-mutilations using rocks?
      • No deterrent to their strength.
      • Monsters to self and others.

Compared to Charles Manson.  Worse!

  • Isolated, though attempts to restrain with “chains” and “shackles”.
    • Satan’s power used to “[break]…the shackles in pieces” (cf. Mk 5:4).
      • Greek pictures “violently rubbing” the “shackles” until they melted off wrists.
      • Greek words together emphasize incredible power.

 

  • Mark 5:5 shows this man’s problem was “Night and day…” and that he “…was always crying out and cutting himself with stones” (cf. Mk:5:5).
    • A crazed man using flint stones to lacerate himself.
    • While “shriek[ing]” (cf. Mk. 5:5).

 

“the tombs” (v. 28) picture a place of death. 

  • Tombs assumed as the realm of demons!
    • Ceremonially “unclean” for a Jew.
    • Realm of the dead, of lifeless, and hopeless.

Where we lived, before Christ; “the domain of darkness” (Colossians 1:13). 

ESV  Ephesians 2:1-2 aAnd you were bdead in the trespasses and sins 2 ain which you once walked, following the course of this world, following bthe prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in cthe sons of disobedience--

 

ESV  1 Corinthians 5:5 you are ato deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so bthat his spirit may be saved cin the day of the Lord.1

 

ESV  2 Corinthians 4:4 In their case athe god of this world xhas blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing ethe light of bthe gospel of the glory of Christ, cwho is the image of God.

 2. Saved from enslavement (v. 29)

By what these demon’s say, an contrast is drawn between who they were to who they are: 

Scary demons who are now Scared demons!

  • “What have you to do with us, O Son of God?
    • Literally: “What do we have between you and us!”
    • Have you come here to torment us before the time?

With Jesus, there is no competition! 

  • Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.
    • Your relationship to Christ ensures no fiery dart can overthrow your mind utterly.
    • Resist the Devil and Satan will flee. Every time! 

 

  • Jesus did not do or say anything to affect these demons.
    • He came fearlessly.
    • Demons reacting to him, men reduced to being harmless.

[Carson] The disciples in the boat had doubted Jesus and ironically the demons have no doubt who the Son of God really is. 

Still, you would rather be the disciples. 

 

“Do you realize, before we came to Christ, our bondage to sin was just like this?” 

Our sin is called an enslavement! 

ESV  Titus 3:3 For awe ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

This comes out in forms of Addictions like Sexual Immorality, Drug use. 

  • Luke 8:27 said, “for a long time he had worn no clothes” implying perversion.

 

Admitting bondage to sin was too much for the Pharisees to face. 

ESV  John 8:32 and you will aknow the truth, and the truth bwill set you free."

 

 

  • Recoiled at the need to be “set free.”

ESV  John 8:44 aYou are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. bHe was a murderer from the beginning, and chas nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. dWhen he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

 

Paul summarized our former state in Romans 6.

ESV  Romans 6:20 aFor when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

 

The demoniacs diffuse believing anyone is beyond God’s grace and rescue. 

  • Satan makes for this kind of digression and self-destruction.
    • Peter came under Satan’s influence denying Christ but repented.
    • Judas came under Satan’s influence and destroyed himself.

Sometimes grace comes by hitting rock bottom. 

  • Church discipline can be the “grace” needed to find Jesus!

 

ESV  1 Corinthians 5:5 you are ato deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so bthat his spirit may be saved cin the day of the Lord.1

 Mark 5:6, “And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him.”

  • This man saw Jesus and “ran” to him!
    • Why he “ran” is complicated.
      • Not running Jesus off.
      • The demoniac sees Jesus as his only way out!

 

  • “…he saw Jesus from afar” (cf. Mk. 5:6) and “ran”.

He ran to Jesus for two reasons. 

  • The devils inside him were under Christ’s Lordship.
    • Compelled to pay homage.
    • Were in the presence of God’s Son.

ESV  James 2:19 aYou believe that God is one; you do well. Even bthe demons believe--and shudder!

  • Demon faith is not saving but still a clear recognition of who Jesus truly was.

 

  • All demons and most humans will bow by demon faith!

ESV  Philippians 2:10 so that at the name of Jesus aevery knee should bow, bin heaven and on earth and under the earth

  • Mark 5:6-7 show the man yielding to Jesus, while the demons were contesting Jesus.
    • Demons did not want to take Jesus on!
      • Not now and not ever.
      • They did not want Jesus to shut down their mission.

 

  • Mark 5:8 and Luke 8:29 both account for Jesus commanding the unclean spirits to come out!
    • Prompting for their begging and stating his intention to deliver these men.
      • He knew he was there to heal them.
        • Matthew, Mark, and Luke prove Jesus’ absolute Lordship over the demons.
        • Not failed attempts for Jesus casting the demons out.

Jesus is “showing his hand” to provoke the demon submission. 

  • He is in complete control of the situation, making a point.

 

  • Why Jesus asks, “What is your name?”

 

ESV  Mark 5:9 And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "My name is aLegion, for we are many."

  • The demon’s name not necessary, to cast the demons out.
  • Exposing the magnitude of the situation and what he was about to do!

 

“Legion” Latin to define a Roman military battalion of 6,000 men. 

  • Easy to forget how many demons there are.
    • One third of all of the angels ever created, rebelled.
      • In Revelation, angels are uncountable.
      • “Myriads and myriads” of angels present before Christ, so Demons are 1/3rd of that?

6,000 demons magnify the level found in these men. 

  • Mary Magdalene delivered of seven demons by comparison.
  • Easily forgotten, Jesus is Sovereign over all of them.

Jesus’ interaction with “Legion” is no different than when God spoke to Satan about what to do with Job. 

  • God was sovereign, prompting Job’s afflictions!

 

  • Jesus sets up a Legion of demons to beg to be cast into a herd of pigs!
  • 2,000 demons (cf. Mk 5:10-13).

Matthew 8:29 quotes demons asking, “Have you come to torment us before the time?” 

ESV  Luke 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he acried out and fell down before him and said awith a loud voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, bSon of cthe Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me."

 

ESV  Mark 5:10 And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country.

Verse 29 explains that the demons are working according to a timetable, they did not want Jesus to interrupt. 

  • “…before the time?”
    • They were clear, regarding their judged status!
    • They knew, God is superior to them.

Admitting what is inevitable.   

Christ is sovereign over it all. 

  • Martin Luther said, “The Devil is God’s Devil.”

 

  • The Devil is on God’s leash.

ESV  Romans 5:10 For if awhile we were enemies bwe were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by chis life.

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