The Great Substitute: Sermon By Rev. Sarah Muendo
The Bible is a book full of substitutions. Adam’s fall bound all of humanity in sin. Jesus became a ransom for us.
Every time you are faced with a temptation, there is always something that is at stake.
Heaven works on the principle of substitute e.g. Jesus was given for our sins.
God works on the principle of exchange e.g. beauty for ashes, strength for weakness, the river of God for the lake of fire.
For everything in life there is a substitute and a choice.
The devil has no place in your life unless you give him a foothold.
So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.James 4:7 (AMPC)
Where there is a foothold, there’s an entrance and where there is entrance there can be ensnaring.
Then Jesus, full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led in [by] the [Holy] Spirit. For (during) forty days in the wilderness (desert), where He was tempted (tried, tested exceedingly) by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they were completed, He was hungry.
Then the devil said to Him, If You are the Son of God, order this stone to turn into a loaf [of bread]. And Jesus replied to him, It is written, Man shall not live and be sustained by (on) bread alone but by every word and expression of God.Luke 4:1-4 (AMPC)
Why did Satan tempt Jesus with food?
So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom.
But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day. And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me? Then Jacob said,“Swear to me as of this day.”
So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.Genesis 25:27-34 NKJV
Esau sold his birthright. In Hebrew, birthright means bekorah, which means special privileges for the first born male. It constituted a double portion of the estate. It was about position and inheritance.
Jesus was faced with the same temptation of having to prove His worth as the firstborn in order to satisfy a carnal appetite.
Every time are faced with a temptation and you yield to it, you are giving up your divine rights and inheritance as a child of God.
The easiest place for the devil to tempt you is when you do not know what’s at stake spiritually.
Every time you refuse to walk in your identity, the people tied to your destiny will suffer.
By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones), and [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places].Ephesians 1:18-20 (AMPC)
When you don’t know what’s at stake, you will live recklessly.
Pray to God to show you what’s at stake.
Then the devil took Him up to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the habitable world in a moment of time [in the twinkling of an eye]. And he said to Him, To You I will give all this power and authority and their glory (all their magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, and grace), for it has been turned over to me, and I give it to whomever I will. Therefore if You will do homage to and worship me [just once], it shall all be Yours. And Jesus replied to him, Get behind Me, Satan! It is written, You shall do homage to and worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.Luke 4:5-8 (AMPC)
The second temptation was for Jesus to give up dominion.
The devil will try to sell you what you already own. Jesus was already entitled to everything. He already had all the kingdoms and dominion given to Him by God.
We are co-heirs with Christ and have delegated authority on earth to rule on behalf of God.
Then he took Him to Jerusalem and set Him on a gable of the temple, and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, cast Yourself down from here; For it is written, He will give His angels charge over you to guard and watch over you closely and carefully; And on their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. And Jesus replied to him, [The Scripture] says, You shall not tempt (try, test exceedingly) the Lord your God. And when the devil had ended every [the complete cycle of] temptation, he [temporarily] left Him [that is, stood off from Him] until another more opportune and favorable time.Luke 4:9-13 (AMPC)
For the third temptation, the devil tried to get Jesus to kill Himself. Jesus knew He was to die for our sins but He was not supposed to kill Himself.
The spirit of our age is of depression and suicide. Jesus refused to end it all so as to fulfill that which He was supposed to God’s way.
The how matters to God. Not just the what.
Doubt, fear and bitterness can hinder us as much as (if not more than) theft, sexual sin, etc.
The antithesis of the spirit of the age is the spirit of truth. The spirit of the age is as multifaceted as the spirit of truth.
The scheme of the devil is subtle and full of deception.
For every depression spirit, there is the spirt of joy.
For every spirit of corruption, there is the spirit of favour. In corruption, you have to earn it yourself. When you are in favour, things are bestowed on you.
For every form of sexual immorality, there is the spirit of holiness. The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, it’s holiness.
The spirit of holiness works hand in hand with identity. God gives us identity not so that we can be male or female but so that we can please Him.
For every spirit of colonialism (man ruling over man and slavery), there is the spirt of dominion to rule over creation not man.
For every spirit of poverty, there is the spirit of glorious inheritance and wealth without end in God.
For every Tower of Babel (unified for the wrong reason), there is the Body of Christ.
For every racist spirit, there is the spirit of reconciliation.
We live in an information overload generation but we lack discernment. You need discernment to be able to move.
For every fear of man, there is the spirit of the fear of the Lord that gives us boldness.
For every selfish ambition, there is God who gives authority – lifting one and disposing of another.
If you must carry a burden, carry the burden that is easy.
There is so much that God is willing to give you, but if you are unable to give up what you have, you can never receive from God.
The place of substitute is a place of your will. If you don’t actively will to trade with God, nothing will happen for you.
God has given us all things in Christ. May our eyes be opened to see what these things are.
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