Online Worship for Midweek Advent Three, Wednesday December 16, 2020
Sermon for Midweek Advent 3, December 16, 2020
Calvary/Marquette ● Soli Deo Gloria
Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Romans 8:33 (NKJV)
33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
In the Name of Jesus Christ,
Our advocate in God’s Court,
The reason for our acquittal,
Dear Fellow Redeemed in His Blood –
I’m sure that we’ve all heard it said that: Silence is Golden. We don’t know for sure who first said that silence is golden, but we can certainly think of examples when silence might be welcome…
Silence is golden…when a child has been crying for hours and finally drifts off to sleep.
Silence is golden...if you spend the day around large machines in a manufacturing warehouse.
Silence is golden…when a husband or spouse remains silent, refusing to respond with hurtful words.
However, silence isn’t always golden, is it? There are times when silence is most unwelcome….
Silence is far from golden…after a spouse has died and the other must return to an empty home.
Silence is far from golden…when sin is committed, but none seeks repentance or forgiveness, condoning sin by silence.
Silence is far from golden…when someone needing to hear the Good News of God’s forgiveness…doesn’t.
During our Midweek Advent Services, we have considered different kinds of silence.
The Silence of Zacharias – was a silence born of his refusal to believe God’s Promise. May we never doubt His promises to us!
The Silence of Mary – was the silence of meditation. May we also take time to meditate on God’s Promises, taking them with us in heart and mind through beyond the Christmas Season.
This evening, we come to the final example of silence…the Silence of Satan. He who would be our accuser before God, who would like to point out our sin and guilt before the Judge of All...has been forever silenced by the all-sufficient sacrifice of Jesus.
May God the Holy Spirit grant us grace that we not only hear these words, and receive them as true…but also take them as salve for our own wounded souls. Amen.
How can we consider the ‘silence’ of Satan? What words of Satan do we even have? How can Satan be said to be silent? There really are very few words of the Devil recorded in the Bible. There are three familiar occasions: In Eden, In Job, and in the Temptation of Christ.
Satan is said to have spoken in the Garden of Eden. He first questioned God’s goodness, asking (Genesis 3:1):
“Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’”
Satan then contradicted God and lied to the first human beings, saying (Genesis 3:4-5):
“You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Satan spoke to the Almighty about Job, and the conversation is recorded in the book of Job (Job 1:6-12).
Satan also spoke to Jesus, tempting him to sin at the beginning of His Ministry. The Spirit has recorded those words, which show us that the Devil will even misquote God’s Word (Matthew 4:1-11).
We learn about our enemy from the names given to him. He is called the Devil, which means slanderer. This title reminds us that one of his goals is to slander, to hurt the good name and reputation of God and of His people. The Scripture plainly says that He is a liar (John 8:44). He is also called Satan, which means adversary. This title reminds us that he opposes God and His people.
God’s Word shows us that the Devil…opposes God, lies and tempts to sin. He doesn’t only want to see us sin, but also to accuse us before God. In the Book of Revelation, the Devil is called (cf. Revelation 12:10-13), “The accuser of our brethren.”
Think of the Devil (and this shouldn’t be too difficult) as a lawyer, as the prosecuting attorney in God’s courtroom. He not only tempts to sin, making use of allies in the world and our own sinful nature…he also takes note of those sins and is in the perfect position to accuse.
In God’s Court, the basis for accusation is God’s Law, not human opinion. In the court of human opinion, what is sin seems to change from year to year and person to person. People today act like morality is a matter of opinion that changes with the wind.
In God’s sight, sin is sin. God isn’t evasive; He tells us plainly what is evil and what is good. God demands, above all, that He be first in our lives, and that we show perfect love to him by always using His name for good. He demands that we joyfully worship Him and Him alone from a heart of love. Any and every misstep, purposeful or accidental, is sin, and is punishable by eternal death. Eternal Death is not eternal sleep, but separation from all that is good forever. It’s a bad day times 1000 that never ends.
God doesn’t only demand that we have perfect love for Him and show it by our actions. He also demands that we have perfect love for other human beings. We are to honor and respect parents and superiors. We are not to hurt or harm our neighbor’s body. We are not to think about or engage in sex with anyone save our spouse. We are not to steal…in any fashion. We are not to use our tongues to hurt another’s reputation. We are not to sinfully desire something that belongs to another. These are simple commandments, and their application to us is also simple to understand.
If we are honest about ourselves, if we compare our thoughts, words and actions with God’s Law…we should be uneasy. We shouldn’t just be uneasy, we should be terrified.
Why? We have relegated the LORD to second place. We have used our tongues for evil. We have looked with lust. We have sinned. It would seem that the prosecutor has plenty of evidence to enter with the Judge.
Can we avoid the Judge? We might flee and avoid prosecution in an earthly court, but we must all take the stand in God’s Court. The Scripture says that (2 Corinthians 5:10):
…we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
What is going to happen when the Day of Judgment arrives and you and I must take the stand? Will Satan bring to light all of our secret sins? Will he reveal what we have thought, said and done? Will he bring evidence proving our guilt, resulting in eternal condemnation?
What is to stop him? We have sinned. God has a record of our sins. We are guilty. It’s an open and shut case. Who could possibly silence Satan? The Good News is that Christ has silenced Satan, and the Apostle Paul hints at that fact when he asks:
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?
Who can accuse those whose sins are forgiven? Who can bring a charge against those who are cleansed of sin and chosen, elected by God? In God’s Court those who are acquitted may not be charged with sin.
The answer to the question posed by the Apostle Paul is: NO ONE. No one will ever be successful in lodging an accusation against God’s People. When God forgives, when He covers in the blood of Christ, it is forgiven, forever forgiven.
This doesn’t imply that God plays favorites. The Scripture is clear, God is impartial. He does not ignore our sins, but pardons them for the sake of Christ, to whom we are united by faith. It is as Luther said: “He daily and richly forgives all sins to me and all believers.”
God favors his only-begotten Son. He is perfect and pure, and his perfect life is credited to our accounts by faith.
God forgives because… it is finished. Christ lived the perfect life and then laid down his life in our place. He took the punishment we deserved. Our slates were wiped clean. The verdict has already been handed down. God has already declared us “Not Guilty!” Yes, and that’s why the Apostle Paul said (Romans 5:1, 8:1):
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
It is God who justifies.
God is the Judge…not Satan. He is the one who has pronounced us righteous and in Christ we know where we stand with him.
Satan, our accuser, has been forever silenced. On Calvary, when all sins were atoned for, wiped away, Satan’s accusing ammunition was taken away. There is no evidence to be uncovered, no smoking gun to be found. When God forgives, the matter is concluded.
Yet, I don’t want you to go home today confident merely that Jesus died for sins. It is my earnest prayer, and God’s own desire for you that you go home confident that Jesus died for YOUR SINS.
YOUR GUILT has been erased.
Christ bore YOUR SIN.
God has in Christ declared YOU NOT GUILTY.
May this fact fill your heart with joy and hope, no matter how dark the days become, no matter how quiet life becomes.
Silence is Golden…
Especially in God’s court, for there is no charge to be made, no evidence of guilt to be found and no accusation to be filed against those who stand declared righteous before the Judge in Christ.
We stake our hopes on Christ, and rejoice that Satan has been forever silenced! Amen.