Newsletter

April 2006

 

 FAMILY HOME STUDY

 In our study of Christ’s power over demons a few weeks ago, I gave several questions to assist parents in taking their children through this amazing passage in Matthew to expand their understanding of these verses. I am now supplying a set of answers which I have prepared to assist with these devotions. (Eph 6:4; Deut 6:6-7)
 

WHAT DOES THIS PASSAGE TEACH US?
 

1.  WHY DID THE “CITY” IN MATTHEW 8:28-34 ASK JESUS TO LEAVE? [See parallel passages: Mark 5:15,18-20; Luke 8:35-36, 38-39] There could be no remaining doubt in the minds of those who witnessed Jesus’ power over the demons that Christ possessed divine strength over the demonic realm. The only conclusion that could be drawn from this was that the individual who instantaneously, powerfully and authoritatively ended the demonic oppression in this area was God Himself. Only divine power could accomplish what Jesus achieved in this incident. One then must conclude that they asked Him to leave because they wanted nothing to do with the Lordship that Christ had demonstrated over the world and over their individual hearts in particular.
 

2.  ABOUT THE POWER OF DEMONS OVER THE UNBELIEVING? [Find 3 supportive passages] On the other hand, the suffering which these two men endured under the oppression of this legion of demons shows the power of darkness over natural humanity.  This is supported throughout God’s Word. (Acts 26:18; Eph 2:1-3; Col 1:13-14; Jn 5:18-19)
 

3.  ABOUT WHY WE SHOULD NOT BE SURPRISED WHEN PEOPLE REACT APATHETICALLY TO OUR WITNESS? Man does not naturally seek God, His Word or the things of the Spirit. (Matt 10:22-25; Jn 1:11; Jn 3:19-21; Jn 6:44; Rom 1:18; 3:11; 8:5-8)
 

4.  ABOUT THE NEED TO PRAY FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS & OUR COMMUNITY WHO ARE NOT PRESENTLY INTERESTED IN JESUS? John 6:44 states that no man can come to the Father unless God draws Him. Christ, looking at the communities of unbelievers as spiritual harvest fields, commands that we pray for God to raise up believers who are willing to go out into the harvest to share liberally the seed of the gospel. (Matt 9:36-38; Eph 6:19; Col 4:2-4; 2 Tim 4:2)

5. ABOUT THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL AND WHY WE AND OTHERS ARE [OR CAN BE] DELIVERED FROM SATAN'S POWER TO DAMN THE SOUL? Even though we are helpless enemies of God and do not want to receive the truth of the Gospel knowing that Christ will then become the ruler of our hearts. God is stronger than our hearts and able to overcome the natural resistance with which apart from God's grace we would respond to the preaching of the gospel. (Jn 1:12-13;Jn 6:37,39; Acts 13:48; 16:14; Rom 1:16-17; 2 Cor 6:1-6; Col 1:13-14)


6. ABOUT WHY WE SHOULD BE CONFIDENT
EVEN THOUGH DEMONS ARE PERSONALLY SEEKING TO PREVENT US FROM SPREADING THE LIGHT OF THE GOSPEL? Matt 8:28-34 reveals that legions of demons who previously were possessing, controlling and harassing fallen men, tremble before the majestic presence and omnipotent power of Christ when they are in His presence. The Great Commission supports this principle on our behalf indicating that when we advance the gospel we have been given all the authority that Christ has on heaven and earth and that wherever and whenever we share, Christ is present with us to enable us to produce results which the evil realm is unable to thwart. (Matt 28:18-20)
 

7. ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYING FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH? Notwithstanding the power of the Gospel, the Word, the Spirit and Christ also indwells the sacred, believers are promised great trouble in the world when they share their faith. Thus the need to pray for

those who are suffering for Christ is paramount. (Lk 22:31-32; Jn 16:33; Eph 6:18-20)
 

8. ABOUT WHAT A LOVE FOR THE WORLD WILL DO TO OUR DESIRE FOR CHRIST AND SPIRITUAL THINGS? It will remove our  love for God and cause us to pursue that which dissipates and is passing away: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and boastful pride of life. (1 Jn 2:15-17)
 

9. ABOUT HOW GRATEFUL WE SHOULD BE THAT WE HAVE  BEEN DELIVERED FROM THE FUTURE "TORMENT" MENTIONED  IN THIS PASSAGE? When we consider the following passages where Christ  describes this "torment" that will be experienced not only by demons but by all  who die without saving faith in Christ, one can only bow in homage for the  boundless and merciful gift of salvation. (Matt 5:22; 13:40,42,50; 18:34; 25:30, 41-46; Mk 9:42-49; Lk 16:19-31; Ps 32:1; Rom 4:7-8)
 

10. HOW ARE WE TO RESPOND SPECIFICALLY WHEN WE ARE ATTACKED BY DEMONS ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE? [Find three supportive verses] We are to resist the devil firm in our faith and armed in the  strength of the Lord. (Eph 6:10-18; James 4:7; 1 Pet 5:8-11)
 

11. HOW HAS THE DEMONIC REALM EFFECTIVELY HINDERED YOUR WALK THIS YEAR AND WHY? ____________________________________________________________________________
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Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427