Sermon #24 Luke Sermons
Title: LESSONS FROM CAPERNAUM
Text: Luke 4:31-44
Subject: Christ in Capernaum
Date: Sunday Evening -- February 13, 2000
Tape # V-70a
Readings: Office: Don Martin Auditorium: Merle Hart
When the Jews at Nazareth threw him out of their synagogue and tried to murder him for preaching the gospel, our Lord came down to Capernaum, another Galilean city. Let's follow him through Capernaum, as the story is told by Luke in Luke 4:31-44.
The title of my message tonight is Lessons From Capernaum. I want to simply show you five very obvious and very practical lessons from these verses of Scripture.
I. The first thing that stands out in this passage is the fact that preaching is god's ordained means of grace (vv. 31, 32, 43, 44).
Our text begins and ends with statements about our Lord preaching the gospel.
Our Savior placed great importance upon the preaching of the gospel. In fact, he said, "I must preach the kingdom of God…for therefore am I sent." Preaching was his business.
I stress this fact because we live in a day in which preaching is belittled, set aside, and considered out of date by the religious world. While I readily acknowledge that most preaching is irrelevant, gospel preaching is not. Rather, the preaching of the gospel is the most important aspect of the church's life and ministry in every age.
Ever beware of those who make little of preaching, and of any tendency to set aside to ministry of the Word. The church is never stronger than her pulpit. The church is strong when the pulpit is strong. The church is irrelevant when the pulpit is irrelevant. The preaching of the gospel is God's ordained means of grace to his people, the means by which God saves, edifies, comforts and directs his people in this world (Eph. 4:8, 11-16).
Look at what Luke tells us about our Lord's preaching, back in Luke 4:31-32, 43-44.
A. Our Savior was a preacher of doctrine.
B. His doctrine was astonishing. -- He preached "the kingdom of God."
C. His word fell upon the hearts of men with power. -- His every word was intentional, weighty, powerful. His gospel came "in demonstration of the Spirit and power."
II. Another thing which stands out in this passage and needs to be understood is the fact that Satan, and hell, and demons are real (vv. 33-37).
I will not have much to say about this, but I want to be understood. Demonology is not something play with or ignore. Hell is not a nightmare. It is real. Satan is not the boogie man, but the prince of darkness. Demons are not mythical monsters, but fallen angels. Satan, and hell, and the demons of hell are bent upon the destruction of your soul and the dishonor of God.
I do not mean to suggest that these things are now, or ever can be, out of control. Not at all. "For this purpose," the Book tells us, "Christ was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." And he demonstrates his power over hell in this fourth chapter of Luke's gospel. What does this passage tell us about the devil?
A. The devil is an unclean spirit.
B. This unclean spirit works evil in the souls of men, just as he did in their bodies during the days of our Lord's earthly ministry.
C. Those who are under Satan's strongest influence are often found in the house of God.
D. The devils, the demons of hell have nothing to do with Christ (v. 34). -- "For, verily, he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham."
E. The Lord Jesus Christ always has the devil under his control (vv. 35-36). When he says to hell, "Hold thy peace," all hell holds its peace! With authority and power, he commands the unclean spirits.
III. Be sure you do not miss this third lesson. -- Knowledge is not salvation (v. 34).
Even the demons of hell have faith, doctrinally accurate faith, better faith than most Baptists (They believe and tremble!); but not saving faith. Beware of unsanctified knowledge. It is a dangerous snare by which many are destroyed. Head knowledge, without heart experience is a positive curse.
Spiritual knowledge, gospel knowledge, a saving knowledge of Christ is knowledge accompanied by faith, inspiring hope, producing love.
We must never be content with knowing Bible facts, Bible history, Bible "trivia," or even Bible doctrine. Salvation is knowing God (John 17:3).
Here are some questions worth considering…
A. Does my knowledge of sin make me hate it?
B. Does my knowledge of Christ cause me to trust him, love him, and honor him?
C. Does my knowledge of God's will cause me to seek, in all things, to obey it.
D. Does my knowledge of doctrine make me useful to others?
E. Does my knowledge of grace make me gracious?
IV. Learn this and rejoice -- The Lord Jesus Christ is a mighty Savior (vv. 38-42).
Demons and disease alike flee before the word of his power. By the touch of his hand the fever is removed and the fainting body is made strong.
The events here recorded are intended to fix our minds upon the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ is the gracious, omnipotent Healer of all the evil sin has brought into the world. Christ is the Antidote for the old serpent's poison. Christ is the remedy for our ruin. Christ is the Physician for our sin-sick souls. He is our Life, our Health, and our Liberty. As it is written, "Christ is all and in all!" This is the doctrine which every recorded miracle in the gospels is intended to teach.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is an able, almighty, omnipotent Savior (Heb. 7:25).
A. Our blessed Savior still enters the strong man's house, binds him, casts him out, and takes possession of the house. -- Regeneration and Conversion.
B. It is still true that all upon whom he lays his hands, all to whom he speaks in saving power are healed by him, immediately.
C. All who are healed by Christ gladly serve him and his people (v. 39).
D. When the day of grace dawns upon redeemed sinners, all who have known his saving power, tasted his grace, and experienced his mercy, still lay hold of him, stay him, and plead with him ever to abide with them (v. 42).
V. Look at verse 42 again. Let us learn and remember this great lesson from our Master's example, -- The believer's great source of strength and comfort is communion with our God.
As our Savior frequently sought solitude in some desert place, so that he could pray, worship, and commune with his Father, should we. Let us follow his example. This is essential if we would…
· Grow in grace.
· Know our Father's will.
· Be useful to others.
· Honor God in our lives and in our labor.