The Unsanctified Heart is the Devil’s Palace

Luke 11 is a chapter that informs us of what Jesus taught during His ministry on earth.  But of course there were non-believers who tried to  twist his good work and make the false claims that his miracles were of the devil.  This chapter also demonstrates what the world is like today.  There are several parts that can be discussed, so here is a brief comment about what is contained within the chapter:

In this chapter,

  • I. Christ teaches his disciples to pray, and quickens and encourages them to be frequent, instant, and urgent in prayer (v. 1-13).
  • II. He fully answers the blasphemous imputation of the Pharisees, who charged him with casting out devils by virtue of a compact and confederacy with Beelzebub, the prince of the devils, and shows the absurdity and wickedness of it (v. 14-26).
  • III. He shows the honor of obedient disciples to be greater than that of his own mother (v. 27, 28).
  • IV. He upbraids the men of that generation for their infidelity and obstinacy, notwithstanding all the means of conviction offered to them (v. 29-36).
  • V. He severely reproves the Pharisees and consciences of those that submitted to them, and their hating and persecuting those that witnessed against their wickedness (v. 37-54).

That last one where Jesus ‘severely reproves the Pharisees and the consciences of those that followed the ways of that group, leads them to hate and persecute those that witnessed against their wickedness’ is a portrait of what had happened then, and what is also happening even today in the current culture wars.

Let’s see how we can apply this towards today’s culture.

1. The wickedness of death to babies in the womb is turned (by the far leftists) into a hatred and persecution against Christians who value life and speak up in protest that murdering an unborn child in the womb is an egregious sin and breaks the commandment, “Thou shalt not murder.” Yet, the proponents of abortion spout twisted lies about “a woman’s right to choose” and “the right for a woman to rule her own body” as excuses to condone such evil practice. My choice in this? Choose life – your mother did!

2. The wickedness of sexual sin, in all of its lustful forms and manifestations, including adultery, porn, pedophilia, pederasty, rape, homosexuality and trans-genderism. God made us male and female. He created marriage as the union of one man and one woman. All of the re-defining that evil people want to embrace does not change God’s mind on this issue! Therefore, the Christians who stand by their convictions on moral matters are attacked with hatred and persecution. Why? Because we witness against their wickedness.

3. The wickedness of lies, greed, political totalitarianism and persecutions (in all its forms and “isms”)  – I could go on and on – all fall under the same category of hatred and persecution being spewed against Christians because of their steadfast faith. Why? Because we witness against their wickedness.

Jesus encourages his listeners when he says:

Luk 11:9

“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Luk 11:10

“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

But in Luke 11:13 he tells us that we are all evil!

Luk 11:13

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

That is true!

Before conversion through Christ’s saving grace at the cross, we then, being evil still know how to give good gifts to our children. But the more important point to realize is “how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

There we have it!

Conversion through Christ is the ONLY WAY to escape the coming judgment that we all would deserve!  If it were not for Jesus’ death on the cross for our sakes in order to gain the forgiveness of our sins and be reconciled back unto God, we would be unable to enter into the kingdom of heaven!

 

I really enjoy reading the commentaries of the masters via the Blue Letter Bible website. Matthew Henry has a long commentary on Luke 11, but the following encapsulation is the pertinent portion that I would like to include and apply within this post.

We are looking at Luke 11:14-28.

Matthew Henry writes:

But, when Christ cast out devils, he needed not do it by any compact with them, for he was stronger than they, and could do it by force, and did it so as to ruin Satan’s power and blast his great design by that doctrine and that grace which break the power of sin, and so rout Satan’s main body, take from him all his armour, and divide his spoils, which no one devil ever did to another or ever will. Now this is applicable to Christ’s victories over Satan both in the world and in the hearts of particular persons, by that power which went along with the preaching of his gospel, and does still. And so we may observe here,

(1.) The miserable condition of an unconverted sinner. In his heart, which was fitted to be a habitation of God, the devil has his palace; and all the powers and the faculties of the soul, being employed by him in the service of sin, are his goods.

Note, [1.] The heart of every unconverted sinner is the devil’s palace, where he resides and where he rules; he works in the children of disobedience. The heart is a palace, a noble dwelling; but the unsanctified heart is the devil’s palace. His will is obeyed, his interests are served, and the militia is in his hands; he usurps the throne in the soul.
[2.] The devil, as a strong man armed, keeps this palace, does all he can to secure it to himself, and to fortify it against Christ. All the prejudices with which he hardens men’s hearts against truth and holiness are the strong-holds which he erects for the keeping of his palace; this palace is his garrison.
[3.] There is a kind of peace in the palace of an unconverted soul, while the devil, as a strong man armed, keeps it. The sinner has a good opinion of himself, is very secure and merry, has no doubt concerning the goodness of his state nor any dread of the judgment to come; he flatters himself in his own eyes, and cries peace to himself. Before Christ appeared, all was quiet, because all went one way; but the preaching of the gospel disturbed the peace of the devil’s palace.

(2.) The wonderful change that is made in conversion, which is Christ’s victory over this usurper. Satan is a strong man armed; but our Lord Jesus is stronger than he, as God, as Mediator. If we speak of strength, he is strong: more are with us than against us. Observe,

[1.] The manner of this victory: He comes upon him by surprise, when his goods are in peace and the devil thinks it is all his own for ever, and overcomes him. Note, The conversion of a soul to God is Christ’s victory over the devil and his power in that soul, restoring the soul to its liberty, and recovering his own interest in it and dominion over it.
[2.] The evidences of this victory. First, He takes from him all his armour wherein he trusted. The devil is a confident adversary; he trusts to his armour, as Pharaoh to his rivers (Eze. 29:3): but Christ disarms him. When the power of sin and corruption in the soul is broken, when the mistakes are rectified, the eyes opened, the heart humbled and changed, and made serious and spiritual, then Satan’s armour is taken away.
Secondly, He divides the spoils; he takes possession of them for himself. All the endowments of mind and body, the estate, power, interest, which before were made use of in the service of sin and Satan, are now converted to Christ’s service and employed for him; yet this is not all; he makes a distribution of them among his followers, and, and having conquered Satan, gives to all believers the benefit of that victory. Hence Christ infers that, since the whole drift of his doctrine and miracles was to break the power of the devil, that great enemy of mankind, it was the duty of all to join with him and to follow his guidance, to receive his gospel and come heartily into the interests of it; for otherwise they would justly be reckoned as siding with the enemy (v. 23): He that is not with me is against me. Those therefore who rejected the doctrine of Christ, and slighted his miracles, were looked upon as adversaries to him, and in the devil’s interest.

One of the most important paragraphs to remember in the above quoted commentary, is this piece of Godly wisdom:

Note, The conversion of a soul to God is Christ’s victory over the devil and his power in that soul, restoring the soul to its liberty, and recovering his own interest in it and dominion over it.

Christ’s victory over the devil and his power in that soul is the entire purpose of salvation!

It’s about restoring the soul of individuals to its liberty!

It’s about each individual agreeing to have God recover His own interest in it (our souls) and dominion over it (each of our individual souls)!

We have learned how great the battle is between the forces of good and evil in this world. One only needs to listen to the news for just one day to see how those under Satan’s control are raging!

Only Christ provides the means by which we can gain forgiveness of our sins, and thus reconciliation of each sinful man back unto our Holy and Righteous God!

Satan will continue to rage against the plan of salvation. As Matthew Henry chillingly stated in his commentary:

[1.] The heart of every unconverted sinner is the devil’s palace, where he resides and where he rules; he works in the children of disobedience. The heart is a palace, a noble dwelling; but the unsanctified heart is the devil’s palace. His will is obeyed, his interests are served, and the militia is in his hands; he usurps the throne in the soul.

All the endowments of mind and body, the estate, power, interest, which before were made use of in the service of sin and Satan, are now converted to Christ’s service and employed for him; yet this is not all; he makes a distribution of them among his followers, and, and having conquered Satan, gives to all believers the benefit of that victory. Hence Christ infers that, since the whole drift of his doctrine and miracles was to break the power of the devil, that great enemy of mankind, it was the duty of all to join with him and to follow his guidance, to receive his gospel and come heartily into the interests of it; for otherwise they would justly be reckoned as siding with the enemy (v. 23): He that is not with me is against me. Those therefore who rejected the doctrine of Christ, and slighted his miracles, were looked upon as adversaries to him, and in the devil’s interest.

Fellow believers – be encouraged by the words of Jesus:

Luk 11:33

“No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.

Luk 11:34

“The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.

Luk 11:35

“Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.

Luk 11:36

“If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”

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