Luke 2:10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
Luke 2:11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
As the Christmas Season is upon us I started last week sharing some of the main reasons Jesus came to earth. We have already covered the first two and this week we will cover two more. Next week we will conclude this series with the final two key points as we rejoice in what Christ has done for us. The first two we already covered are:
1. JESUS CAME TO SAVE SINNERS
2. JESUS CAME TO DELIVER HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS
3. JESUS CAME TO DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL
1 John 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
Here we have the third reason Jesus came to earth, to expressly deal with the destruction of the works of our adversary the devil. He did not come to appease satan, He came to destroy, dissolve, and do away with the works of the devil in our lives. The first key to walking in victory over what Jesus has done for us is to understand what the works of the devil are. This is something that unfortunately many today are still not understanding, either as the result of wrong teaching, or a lack of study in finding out just exactly what is a work of satan and what are the works of God.
A key verse, which we will study further in just a moment, is John 10:10. I call it the dividing line of the Bible. Jesus tells us in this verse that the thief comes to steal, kill, and to destroy. In it’s context it is interesting to note that what Jesus was talking about had to do with the difference between those who have been called by Him to preach the Word of God, and those who have not. Those who have not Jesus describes as the thieves, who will rob people by teaching things that are not true, and therefore not in line with the scriptures. We know the principle of applying the ultimate blame as the thief would be attributed to the devil, and God is certainly not a thief. Yet He gets blamed for a lot of things He has never done.
For example there are those who have been taught all their lives that God uses sickness, hardship, storms, etc, in our lives to teach us things. What is interesting is when you talk to such people; ask them if they would do this to their own children. What parent is going to intentionally make their child sick to teach them something? Not a parent who loves their child. Jesus even said if you being evil, or in other words having a fallen nature, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will our heavenly Father not give good things to those who ask? God does not use anything that has to do with stealing, killing, or destroying to teach us things. He is not a thief and anything that would have to do with those three things Jesus said is the work of a thief.
Then there are those who may believe or even teach that God allows these things in our life, or that the promises we see fulfilled in the New Testament were only for them in their day, but have since passed away. First off when you say God allows these things to happen there is a partial truth to that. God has given man a free will, and God will not violate the choices we make because of that free will. If we choose to do things that are destructive to our life then God has no choice but to allow that unless we turn to Him and put our faith in the blood Jesus shed for us.
Secondly none of what happened in the New Testament has passed away, for if it had there would be a New, New Testament. The Word “testament” means covenant. God did establish a New Covenant through what Christ has done for us that did away with much of the Old Covenant, but we are told in the New Testament that we have a better covenant than they had, and even they were promised health, blessing, and God’s help in their lives. So the promises of the New Testament have not passed away. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The key is we are in a fallen world but Christ has provided us victory over it, if we learn to walk by faith and not by sight.
So we must clearly recognize based on the Word of God, not based on some man-made tradition or teaching, what does scripture reveal is a work of satan. Again Jesus tells us anything that has to do with stealing, killing, and destroying. We have been given authority in Christ to overcome all such works. In Revelation 12:11 we are told that we overcome satan’s works by the blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony, and we love not our lives to the death. Simply put, we must understand fully what the blood of Jesus has purchased for us, we must continually confess in faith what we have a right to, and use our faith against the devil; and we must recognize we are a new creation in Christ Jesus. The old man has passed away; don’t hold on to the old way of living and thinking.
4. JESUS CAME TO GIVE US LIFE
John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
So here we have the flip side of what the thief does, and that is what Jesus came to provide for all mankind. Jesus came to provide us with abundant life. That word life is “Zoë” in the Greek, and it means absolute fullness of life. This fullness of life is everything that we find spoken of throughout the New Testament. It includes healing, deliverance, love, joy, peace, a sound mind, faith, blessing, favor, and on and on. God is a giver of life, not a taker. In the Old Testament there were those whose physical lives were lost through some form of judgment, such as the earth swallowing up people, but these were people in rebellion against God who were being judged for their rebellious ways, not being killed by God.
Now we see Jesus in the New Testament anointed of God going about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil (Acts 10:38). It is interesting to note here that scripture reveals that sickness is a work of the devil, not of God. We can still receive God’s goodness today through our faith in what He has done for us. Many are still trying to get God to do something about their situation, but on the cross Jesus stated that it is finished! There is nothing more that He needs to do for us to have abundant life. Now it is up to us to simply put our faith in what Christ has done and receive it as a little child.
Psa. 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; …
I referred to this last week and mentioned that we would cover it this week. If you are going to a Christmas dinner where all the food is prepared and laid out for you to enjoy, you simply go and sit down at that table and become a partaker of what has been prepared for you. So it is with God. Many don’t know that Psalm 23 is a prophetic Psalm of the day in which we live. It begins by saying the Lord is our shepherd, which is a reference to Jesus Christ, who is the shepherd of us all. Through what Christ has done God has prepared a table for us right in the midst of our enemies, satan and all of his cohorts.
Another word for table used in Psalm 23:5 is a feast. Many other translations use the word feast instead of table. You don’t prepare this feast, nor do you pay for it. God through Christ His Son has already paid for this feast, and has spread the table. You need to come sit down in faith, taking your eyes off of all the things that your enemy does to distract you from that feast. He works to get us focused on the problems and challenges so that he can get us in fear and defeat us, but we are to resist him steadfast in the faith. Scripture clearly states that if we will resist him he will flee from us. Christians need to do more resisting and start sitting down at the table getting focused on what God has set at the table for them. Remember we obtain through the blood of the Lamb, the Word of our testimony (what we are saying consistently), and not loving our lives to the death.
So rejoice in the fact that Jesus has destroyed the works of the devil when it comes to our life and what God has for us. We need to know what his works are and recognize the authority we have been given as believers over all the powers of darkness, and then exercise that authority. We can also rejoice in the abundant life Christ provided for us. The table is set, the feast paid for, you must come in faith to sit and dine!
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker