The Defeat of Evil – Gospel in Life

The Defeat of Evil

Tim Keller |  April 2, 2006

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  • Spiritual Warfare
Mark 5:1-20
RS 190-13


This passage in the book of Mark is the longest and most vivid account in the Bible of an exorcism of demons, and it shows us three things about evil: 1) The complexity of evil; 2) The pattern of how evil works in a life; and 3) How evil can be defeated.

Mark 5:1–20

This section in Mark’s gospel tells the story of a man, taken over by an evil spirit, who is freed by Jesus. The story shows Jesus’ power over evil and how it can be overcome through God’s kindness and love. The man, once possessed by evil, becomes a living testimony of Jesus’ power to change lives.

1. Understanding evil

If we believe in a good, supernatural being, which we call God, then it also makes sense to believe in evil supernatural beings, or demons. The Bible gives us a deep understanding of demons, explaining that there’s a difference between physical problems and demonic influences, but also showing how our physical, mental, moral, and spiritual aspects are all interconnected. It’s important to acknowledge that evil, spiritual forces exist to fully grasp the depth and complexity of our world.

2. How evil influences us

Evil can subtly influence our lives, especially if we entertain pride, bitterness, or selfishness. This can slowly distort what God intended for us. The term “demonized” means that the difference between us and those who seem more influenced by evil is not a matter of type, but of extent. To overcome evil, we need to focus our hearts fully on God and trust in Him completely. Placing anything above Him can lead to both empowerment and bondage.

3. Overcoming evil

The key to overcoming evil is to understand its source and connect to it. Jesus showed this by casting out demons without calling on a higher power, which set Him apart. The story of Jesus sending the demons into a herd of pigs stresses the importance of trusting in His plan, even if we don’t fully understand it, and reminds us not to label people or groups as “evil”. The ultimate victory over evil doesn’t come through revenge or violence, but through kindness and grace. Jesus showed this when He took on all evil, died on the cross, and showed His love and the incredible value He places on each person.



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