Pastor Todd's sermon will center on when Jesus encounters a legion of demons within a single person and compassionately frees the man from spiritual torment, demonstrating the transformative power of God's mercy. Through this encounter, Jesus not only reveals the profound impact of his kingdom, characterized by freedom and wholeness, but also encourages the healed man to share his testimony, emphasizing the contagious nature of God's work in the lives of both Jews and Gentiles.

Pr. Todd Mathison

Deliverance

Kingdom, Power, & Glory
Mark 5:1-20
January 28, 2024
Pastor Todd's sermon will center on when Jesus encounters a legion of demons within a single person and compassionately frees the man from spiritual torment, demonstrating the transformative power of God's mercy. Through this encounter, Jesus not only reveals the profound impact of his kingdom, characterized by freedom and wholeness, but also encourages the healed man to share his testimony, emphasizing the contagious nature of God's work in the lives of both Jews and Gentiles.

Kingdom, power, and glory. We pray it every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer. What does that look like? Today we’re going to look at God’s power seen in Jesus Christ as He confronts the powers of darkness. People have an interest. We’ve had it as a people since creation. An interest in the supernatural. And even with all of the scientific and technological advances up to our time, this interest in the supernatural is still quite evident in our culture. You can see this in our media. Have you seen the advertisements, or perhaps you’ve even watched the shows, A Haunting, or Paranormal Caught on Tape, or whatever it might be, right? Or, there’s, like, There’s the movie called Legion, which actually, the name comes out of our text today in Mark chapter 5, or the TV show, Legion.

And then there’s, I think, maybe the, for me, the freakiest movie of all time, The Exorcist. Right? I mean, that’s a cultural icon in our memories as a people. In times past, perhaps people saw demons under every rock. Where any kind of abnormality or disorder would be attributed to demon possession. And we, today, like to think we’re far more educated and sophisticated. And we are much more likely, I think, to diagnose demon possession as a disorder of some type. Well, I’m here to tell you today, demon possession is a real thing. Back in Jesus day. Fact. Oppression, back in the garden, temptation. And it’s just as real today, though we may not always see it, certainly not as clearly as Jesus did, because Jesus confronted the powers of darkness during His ministry.

So if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn to Mark chapter 5. We’re going to read an amazing account of Jesus power in delivering a man from a legion of demons. Mark chapter five, beginning at verse one. They went across the lake to the region of the Garces. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain for, he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day, among the tombs and in the hills, he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, What do you want with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God? In God’s name, don’t torture me. For Jesus had said to him, Come out of this man, you impure spirit. Then Jesus asked him, What is your name? My name is Legion, he replied, for we are many. And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, Send us among the pigs, allow us to go into them. He gave them permission. And the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs.

The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. Those tending the pigs ran off, and reported this in the town and countryside. And the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed, and in his right mind. And they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon possessed man. And told about the pigs as well. Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him but said, Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you. So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed. The Gospel of our Lord.

We need to pray as we go into this sermon. Lord God, send now the Holy Spirit among us to enliven our hearts to see the reality of of what goes on in the unseen world. Unseen to us, sometimes bursting forth into the physical. But not only not unseen, you see it all, but you rule over all, Lord Jesus. So may your power and dominion over all things be seen by us, and may we look to you as our Redeemer and Deliverer, I ask in your precious name. Dear friends, grace to you and peace from God our Father. Amen. You know, there’s actually quite a bit that the Bible speaks to in the supernatural world. And each aspect, you could have a sermon on each one itself. So hang in there with me as I want to look in our text and then into other scriptures to see the dynamics of Jesus power.

For me, one of the most striking parts of our text today, it’s found in verse 7. Listen to what the demons say to Jesus directly. What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name, don’t torture me. Did you notice that, I mean, the demons had no question who Jesus is. He is the Son of the Most High God. And they know that He has authority over them. You see this happening whenever Jesus casts out demons. I remind you of a sermon from just three weeks ago. The beginning of this new year, when Jesus casts out a demon from a man of all places in a worship service. Here’s what the text said. Just then, a man in their synagogue, who was possessed by an impure spirit, cried out.

And get this. What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are. The Holy One of God. So notice that common refrain and fear that demons have whenever they encounter Jesus Christ. They know full well who Jesus is. And his power over them. And what his ultimate judgment upon them will be. And Jesus power and authority is fully seen. Be quiet, said Jesus sternly, come out of him. The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. In the supernatural world, both good and evil, the identity of Jesus is clearly known. There are other dynamics of Jesus and demons in a couple chapters downstream in Mark chapter 4.

Jesus actually performs an exorcism from a distance. Listen to this encounter. As soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at Jesus feet. The woman was Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. First, let the children eat all they want, he told her, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs. Lord, she replied, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs. Then Jesus told her, For such a reply you may go. The demon has left your daughter. She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon, the power, authority, and dominion of Jesus to even exercise a demon from a distance.

Jesus has full and ultimate authority and power over demons and the devil. Here’s another biblical truth about the supernatural world. Even demons believe, but are not saved. The Apostle James writes about this in his epistle. You believe there’s one God? Good. Even the demons believe that, and shudder. Have you read that verse before in the Bible? Now notice James here is referring to the core Jewish belief that there is one God, monotheism. Quoting from the text where the Ten Commandments are given, the Shema, this is like the Key foundational statement of the Jewish faith. Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Akkad. Translated, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. But the Bible says that even demons believe there is one God. And shudder. They don’t look to Jesus for salvation. In other words, believing that there is one God does not save a person from the death payment. For their sin. Salvation is far more than a belief in one God.

In fact, this is saving faith as the Bible says in Romans 10. If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. You will be saved for it is with your heart that you believe and are justified and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. This is saving faith that demons do not and will not confess but you and I are invited to live in this confession. Day by day. You know, demons are actually fallen angels. A third of heaven fell with Lucifer, which means two thirds did not. And so remember that there are angels. Angels attended to Jesus after his temptation in the wilderness.

Matthew writes, Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. And the Bible encourages us in Hebrews chapter 12, Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers. For by doing so, some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Oh, we could have a lot of fun talking about angel stories. Too much to handle in this sermon. But just know that there are angels who attended to Jesus.

There’s much more that could be said, but I must move on. Here’s a key point I want to make. Because of Jesus, we need not fear the devil. I think that movie, The Exorcist, kind of freaked me out because it gave me fear. Fear of like, ooh, the devil’s power, or demon’s power, and what if I was to become demon possessed myself? And I’m here to tell you that is not a legitimate fear for a child of God. Jesus is your defender. In fact, Jesus is your victor. He has conquered demons and the devil and has full authority over them. And one day their judgment will be realized fully. And chain forever in the abyss for those of us who are in Christ Jesus.

Through faith, though the Bible says this, ye are of God little children and have overcome them because greater is he that is in you than he that’s in the world. As a child of God, through faith in Christ Jesus, demons cannot possess God’s children, and that is indeed a great comfort. Is it not? I wanna make another important biblical connection between. The devil and temptation. And here’s my point. Resist the devil, but flee temptation. I may be showing my age a bit, but I think I’m actually in good company. Do you guys remember the comedian, Flip Wilson? Okay? You remember what one of his big lines was? The devil made me do it! Remember that? It’s kind of a way to, like, you know, shift blame for falling for temptation because, well, hey, the devil made me do it.

So, I think we have a common approach to the devil and temptation. And that is, I think, we think that we are actually supposed to fear the devil, but resist temptation. But the Bible says to do the exact opposite. In James we read, resist the devil and he will flee from you. And it’s a resistance not from who you are, but it’s a resistance because of the powerful name of Jesus Christ and who he is. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. But then Paul exhorts his pastor mentee, Timothy, by saying, run from temptations. I think we have this default value, we’ve got to fear the devil, but resist temptation. No, biblically, you need not live in fear of the devil. Satan, whose name means the accuser, has no claim on you who are in Christ Jesus.

And so you need not fear him, but when temptation comes, don’t try to work up the courage to resist. Rather, run. Flee temptation. Jesus Christ has absolute power and dominion over all things. You know when one steps back from our text in Mark chapter 5, last weekend we looked at the parable of the seeds and how the power of God is in the word, the seed, the written word of God and the living word of God, Jesus Christ. Yeah, this weekend we see the power of God over the supernatural world and tucked in between those two texts is the account of Jesus combing the stormy lake, showing that Jesus has absolute in, in Jesus’ God’s full power, and Jesus has absolute power over the natural and the supernatural worlds.

But I wanna land this message today by declaring. That the ultimate power of God is, I think, found this side of Christ’s second return, second coming. The ultimate power of God is actually seen most clearly in the power to forgive. Hang in there with me. Because I’m moving away from the realm of spiritual warfare and encounter to spiritual warfare and deliverance. What is the basis for forgiveness? Why or how can you forgive someone? I think often we think it’s like, well, I’m just finally willing to either let it go, or say it wasn’t a big deal, or somehow minimize the offense. Just say the hurt doesn’t really matter that much. Is that a true foundation for forgiveness?

Because the reality is that the offense is real. And the hurt can still hurt. The memory of the offense, of the offense still brings pain and the brokenness that sin creates needs remedy. If forgiveness is based on saying, Well, the offense doesn’t really matter, it’s no big deal. I want to know this, where’s the justice? This is where we see God’s ultimate power to be shown and how God has forgiven us in Jesus Christ. How is this done? Or maybe perhaps better put, where is this done? It’s at the cross of Christ. The cross is the point where wrath and mercy intersect. On the cross of Christ, Jesus reveals both God’s justice and mercy, and His justice and holiness, as well as God’s love and mercy.

The cross of Christ serves as the intersection where judgment and mercy meet. I love how the psalmist writes this in beautiful poetry. Mercy and truth are met together. Righteousness and peace kiss each other. This is how John puts it in his first epistle. Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. And not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world. In other words, true forgiveness involves someone paying for the wrong and making things right. As well as the guilty party being relieved of guilt by the person making In other words, friends, spiritual deliverance for you and for me happens only and solely in the cross of Christ. Here’s how the Apostle Paul describes this.

But now apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been made known to which the law and the prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There’s no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And all are justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement through the shedding of his blood to be received by faith. He did this so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. In Jesus Christ. Your sins are paid, and you are forgiven, and God’s power is most clearly seen in your redeemed life.

Today we’ve witnessed the power of Jesus over demons and dark forces, and we’ve learned that when we are in Christ, we need not fear evil, but let us also realize the full power of God, shown in Jesus willing sacrifice. On the cross, that we might be delivered from the penalty for our sin and find the kingdom, power, and glory of God at work in our lives, giving us forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Join me in prayer. We bless your name, Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. You willingly lay down your life for us, that we might be born anew. And you burst forth from the tomb to give us the promise of resurrection life. Help us to rest in the assurance of your absolute power, Lord Jesus. And even though we don’t always understand what goes on, especially hard things, grant us the faith to look to you in all things and see your power at work in our own lives. To the glory of your name in which I pray. Amen.

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Don’t hesitate to reach us out at (480) 830-5024, or message us filling the form below.

GriefShare

The GriefShare Program is a 13-week series of videos that we watch each week of the meeting. Each weekly GriefShare group begins with a 30-minute video featuring respected experts on grief-related topics and helpful stories from people who have experienced loss. Their insights will help you manage your emotions, gain clarity, and find answers to your questions as you walk through the grief process. We welcome everyone who has a loss; whether it be a child or a parent or spouse.

The videos are followed by discussion. Talking with other people who understand what you’re experiencing brings great comfort, normalizes the grief experience, and offers a supportive environment to work through your grief.

Each session stands alone, so you can join anytime. Consider a single session to learn about the program.

We meet every Monday from 12:30-2:30pm here at Victory.
Check out the schedule.

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Don’t hesitate to reach us out at (480) 830-5024, or message us filling the form below.
Learn more about GriefShare at their webpage: www.griefshare.org.

WOMEN’S MINISTRY

We meet throughout the year on the 2nd Tuesday of the month for Bible Study.

Summer Schedule (May-Sept): 2nd Tuesday of the month all groups meet together on campus at 9:30am

Winter Schedule (Oct-April): 2nd Tuesday of the month

Esperanza Bible Study – 9:30am

Mary Bible Study – 1:30pm (in home)


Women’s Ministry

PURPOSE STATEMENT

As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to grow in faith, affirm our gifts,  support one another in our callings, engage in ministry and action, and promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world.

We meet throughout the year on the 2nd Tuesday of the month for Bible Study:

Summer Schedule (May-Sept)

2nd Tuesday of the month all groups meet together on campus at 9:30 am.

Winter Schedule (Oct-April)

  • 2nd Tuesday of the month
  • Esperanza Bible Study - 9:30am
  • Naomi Bible Study - 2:00 pm
  • Mary Bible Study - 1:30 pm (in-home)
  • Women’s Ministry

    PURPOSE STATEMENT

    As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to grow in faith, affirm our gifts,  support one another in our callings, engage in ministry and action, and promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world.

    We meet throughout the year on the 2nd Tuesday of the month for Bible Study:

    Summer Schedule (May-Sept)

    2nd Tuesday of the month all groups meet together on campus at 9:30 am.

    Winter Schedule (Oct-April)

  • 2nd Tuesday of the month
  • Esperanza Bible Study - 9:30am
  • Naomi Bible Study - 2:00 pm
  • Mary Bible Study - 1:30 pm (in-home)
  • Stephen Ministry

    Stephen Ministry equips lay people to provide confidential one-to-one Christian care to individuals in our congregation and community who are experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or relocation.

    Stephen Ministers are trained by their congregation’s Stephen Leaders using resources from Stephen Ministries St. Louis. The training they receive in the congregation equips them to provide high-quality care to people who are hurting.

    Care receivers are individuals in the congregation or community who are going through a crisis or life difficulty. Potential care receivers first meet with a pastor or Stephen Leader, who assesses their needs for care and matches them with a Stephen Minister.

    After being matched with a person experiencing a life crisis, the Stephen Minister meets with that person on a weekly basis for about an hour to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support. The caring relationship lasts as long as the need for care exists.

    “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2, NRSV)

    FAMILY PROMISE

    Four times a year we host families experiencing homelessness at Victory for a week at a time. Volunteers needed to set up rooms, preparing a meal, serve/clean-up dinner or stay as an overnight host.

    Upcoming Host Weeks: April 16-23, 2023 & November 112-19, 2023

    STEPHEN MINISTRY

    Stephen Ministers are lay congregation members trained to provide one-to-one care to those experiencing a difficult time in life. 

    GRIEFSHARE

    A grief recovery support group where you can find help and healing for the hurt of losing a loved one.

    13-week Program: Mondays, 12:30-2:30pm, February 13-May 8, 2023
    (No meeting April 10th)
    GriefShare.org

    LSS-SW

    Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest (LSS-SW)

    I-HELP PROGRAM: We provide a safe and secure place for women who are currently experiencing homelessness the 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month.

    FOOD PANTRY: Food boxes distributed Mondays & Wednesdays, 9:00-11:30am.
    Utility & rental assistance by appointment only 480-654-4539.

    Victory Quilters

    We meet the 3rd Tuesday and Wednesday of the month at 8:30am. Come when you can, stay as long as you can; everyone can cut, sew, pin and tie knots. You do not need to be a church or circle member to attend. Bring a friend! The quilts are donated to Navajo Lutheran Mission, Orchard: Africa and Lutheran Social Ministries. We typically break for the summer. Please check schedule.

    MUSIC MINISTRY

    Ensembles at Victory practice weekly during the high season to prepare for weekly worship and special events. In addition, many people share their talents individually. Click here for our concert line-up!

    NAVAJO LUTHERAN MISSION

    Serving the Navajo community of Rock Point, AZ, a remote, isolated village near the Four Corners. The Mission campus includes a K-2 private Christian school, clinic, cultural center, water project and food bank.  (nelm.org)

    FAIR TRADE

    Victory Women support Lutheran World Relief (lwr.org) by selling Fair Trade hand-made crafts, jewelry, coffee and tea that generates income for small-scale businesses in third world countries. 

    OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD

    A “shoebox ministry” of Samaritan’s Purse, delivering gift-filled shoeboxes to boys and girls around the world.

    ORCHARD: AFRICA

    To equip the church to respond to poverty & injustice, thereby caring for the vulnerable using four programs: Food & Agriculture, Care, Education and Ministry.  (orchardafrica.org)

    Stephen Ministry

    Stephen Ministry equips lay people to provide confidential one-to-one Christian care to individuals in our congregation and community who are experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or relocation.

    Stephen Ministers are trained by their congregation’s Stephen Leaders using resources from Stephen Ministries St. Louis. The training they receive in the congregation equips them to provide high-quality care to people who are hurting.

    Care receivers are individuals in the congregation or community who are going through a crisis or life difficulty. Potential care receivers first meet with a pastor or Stephen Leader, who assesses their needs for care and matches them with a Stephen Minister.

    After being matched with a person experiencing a life crisis, the Stephen Minister meets with that person on a weekly basis for about an hour to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support. The caring relationship lasts as long as the need for care exists.

    “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2, NRSV)

    WOMEN’S MINISTRY

    Welcome to the vibrant women’s ministry at Victory Lutheran Church! As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are committed to growing in faith, affirming our gifts, and supporting one another in our callings. Our purpose is to engage in ministry and action, promoting healing and wholeness in the church, society, and the world. At Victory Lutheran Church, our women’s ministry provides a nurturing and empowering space for women of all ages to connect, grow, and serve together. Through uplifting worship, inspiring Bible studies, enriching events, and impactful service opportunities, we equip women to live out their God-given purpose and embrace their unique gifts. Join us as we journey together, fostering fellowship, spiritual growth, and making a lasting impact within our church, our families, and our wider community.

    PURPOSE STATEMENT

    As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ,  and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to grow in faith, affirm our gifts,  support one another in our callings, engage in ministry and action, and promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world.

    We meet throughout the year on the 2nd Tuesday of the month for Bible Study:

    Summer Schedule (May-Sept)

    2nd Tuesday of the month all groups meet together on campus at 9:30am.

    Winter Schedule (Oct-April)

    • 2nd Tuesday of the month
    • Esperanza Bible Study – 9:30am
    • Naomi Bible Study – 2:00pm
    • Mary Bible Study – 1:30pm (in home)