THE WEEK OF OCULI – FRIDAY
LESSON: ROMANS 16:17-20
“When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace; but when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil.” Luke 11:21,22
In this illustration taken from everyday life, Jesus demonstrates that no one but God alone can really overcome the devil. No one is ever in a position to boast that he can of himself drive out sin and the devil.
Note well how He describes the devil. He calls him “a strong man” who is fully armed and guards his own palace. That is, the devil not only has possession of the world as his own kingdom, but he also has it guarded and supported so that no one can take it from him. It is also a kingdom with inner peace that carries out his will.
Just as little as a house or court may successfully oppose or guard itself against a tyrant who really has possession of it, so little can free will or human might avail against sin and the devil. It can avail nothing at all—it must be subject to sin and the devil.
Just as the house must be conquered by a “stronger” man and be taken away from the tyrant, so also must man be saved and rescued from the devil through Christ.
We see here once again that, in the matter of our salvation, our doing and righteousness avail nothing at all, but that it is God’s grace alone that bestows salvation upon us.
PRAYER: Keep us ever mindful, heavenly Father, that in our battle against sin and the devil, success awaits us only if we contend against our old evil foe with all the resources which you in your grace provide for us, in and through the “stronger” man, Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.