WORSHIP VIDEO LINK (linked after 10:45 AM Service)






“What Is the Opposite of God?”
Vicar Matthew Kinne
Texts: Mark 3:20-35; Genesis 3:8-15; 1 Corinthians 4:13-5:1 

Hear Jesus’ words from our Gospel reading today:

“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

What is the opposite of God? If you were to ask this question to a room full of people hearing about God for the first time, what do you think the responses would be? I can tell you from experience some may say “Well, if God is good, that means His opposite is evil.” Okay… this would be a logical response as we are creatures that appreciate the scales of counterparts to be balanced. We like the idea of Ying & Yang. Think of any story, myth, movie, or book that encounters good versus evil other than the Bible. It seems like there is always an equal opposite to the protagonist. There is always a chance that good will prevail and classically we call that comedy; the good guy wins in the end. It gives us a good feeling inside. But there is also a chance that evil will win. The good guy either dies or becomes corrupt himself. We call this tragedy, and some believe that this is just as acceptable to let evil win. In some ways, we are programmed to believe that if there is a righteous character then there must be an equally evil character. One cannot exist without the other. 

Of course, God is good and there is evil, so there must be some form of truth to the answer. But if it is the case that God has some equally corrupted counterpart, what would that mean for your salvation? It would mean that there is no promise and no guarantee for your eternal life. It would be a 50/50 chance: a flip of a coin. Good versus evil would never be resolved, and you would be in a prison of limbo forever. Does that sound like a good time to you? Is that really how the story of our great and mighty God goes? I hope not. And in fact, by faith through the Holy Spirit and the confirmation of witnesses in the Scriptures, I know it is not.

Sometimes we forget that the evil in this world came from the weak and rebellious will of creatures. When God created man, He gave him the ability to choose God’s way or his own way. And to our mystery today, as the story is told in Genesis, man was weak and listened to the tempter that came in the form a serpent. We do not know much about the origin of the tempter, but we do know that just like man, he chose to oppose his Creator. We know that he is a fallen angel as Jesus says in Luke’s account, “I saw Satan fall like lighting from heaven”. But just because he opposes God does not make him God’s equal opponent. Satan is still a creature, one that is defeated just when he thinks he is on the cusp of victory by getting Jesus on a cross.  He did put up what he thought was a good fight but God, who is the author of this life, binds up Satan and crushes His head at the foot of the cross where Jesus Christ is glorified. Satan’s own battle strategy kills his own kingdom in the end. Satan’s pride is his own demise!

Without the knowledge that the Holy Spirit gives through God’s Word, it is easy to be influenced by and even sympathize with the citizens of the tempter’s kingdom. It is certainly more comfortable to accept the evil that surrounds us every day than to swim against the tide and be at odds with friends and family members who follow the ways of the world. But do you realize Satan has us right where he wants us? In the land of the free and the home of brave, we are given the right to worship our God by the said freedom of our county’s constitution. But where man has the freedom to follow God in our country, man also has the equal freedom to fall away and uplift evil in this land. It is a nation divided. 

The flag that once stood for freedom, hope, and prosperity, is now often replaced or redesigned by a perverted rainbow flag movement which teaches people to believe that the church is built on hate. The claim “all are welcome” sounds beautiful and righteous. But that welcome sign is a work of the devil when it is not a welcome to repent because the reign of God is at hand. It is a work of the devil when it rejects the Word of God and follows the way of man. That is because, just like the serpent, the will of man opposes the standard of life made by his Creator. 

Let’s focus the magnifying glass a little closer to home. Just like Adam and Eve, and even the Pharisees, it is easy for us in the church to point the finger at others. It is not hard to find a quote of scripture and tell someone else “you are wrong”. God does tell us to use His word for reproof, and to understand the standard of what is right and what is wrong. But can you go one day without breaking a commandment? Can you live up to the righteous standard of God on your own? 

If you say you can live without sinning and you can save yourself by being better than everyone else, you are living a life of deception. The truth is not in you. The sin against the Holy Spirit, the sin of unbelief, is at large in you if you believe this. And if you think the church gathers because we are better than those who parade in city centers opposing God’s gift of marriage and life, you again would be wrong. The purpose of the church is not to be a political platform of this earthly kingdom. It is to be a place where the sick are tended to by their physician. It is where forgiveness is given to sinners who naturally oppose our Creator. God’s Word is where we find the standard of holy living, but it is more importantly the place where we read about God’s redemption of mankind for living in sin.

The answer to the question, “What is God’s equal opposite?” is… nothing. And maybe that is more than the truth. Maybe a better way to say it is that without God, there is no existence. The opposite of creating man, however, is man decomposing. Without God we are hopeless, dying beings desperate for meaning. We are creatures sustained by the graces of our God. Our God is not a tyrant God, not one who demands our praises, not one who demands good works. But rather a loving God, who sustains and comforts us. Because of that we sing praise about our God to others, and lead lives of active service to our neighbor.

The only place to find life is in God’s presence. He is the one who gives life and maintains life. When man chooses his own pride and sin over God, he walks in the direction of death. He steps away from God. That is not God’s fault. It is man’s fault. Man’s most grievous fault. And for that, man is humbled before a righteous God who wants all people to repent of their sin and be reminded that we are part of His kingdom in the baptism He bestows on us. 

Satan’s kingdom is divided. He cannot win. Do not follow him or even listen to him. Drive him out of your life! If you feel like he is knocking at your door, yell “Be gone Satan! My God has defeated you. Go back to dark and foul hole you came from!” 

Satan wants you to also believe that God’s kingdom is a mess and is divided into a thousand pieces. God’s kingdom, however, is forever because it is not divided.  Now, it is easy to think the church is not unified. When you drive downtown Hamilton count how many steeples there are. There are so many buildings, confessions, hymnals, translations, and political views pulling apart the church on earth. But these things are not what the church stands upon. These are things built and produced by the hands of sinful man. The church is instead built on the foundation of Christ’s constitution, which is not written in ink on paper, but by His blood writing into the wood of the cross from the nails piecing His hands and feet. 

A bridge to God once existed in the garden, but it was burned up by man’s sin. God had to rebuild this bridge using Jesus’ perfect body. Jesus’ incarnation bridged heaven and earth together. God’s Word lives among us. His Kingdom was brought back into this world by His birth in Bethlehem where His perfect little body lie in a manger. This same body and blood that we take in, is the foundation of Christ’s church. His body, though put to death, was never broken. It was never divided. He was put into a grave, but He conquered death three days later. He never let evil prevail. The good guy not only won, but never had a chance to lose. God the Father called all the shots of His Son’s death and resurrection. And since Jesus wins, you win. Because He died, your sinful Adam dies. Because He lives, you also will continue to live into eternity with Him. 

We just sang about this glorious victory in our hymn today. If you turn in your service bulletin to page 8, look at stanza one. See how the confession of the Church is not divided! The works of Satan is conquered through the work of our Emmanuel. If you’d like to sing it with me one more time, feel free to join.

668 Rise! To Arms! With Prayer Employ You

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Text and tune: Public domain


Even though it may feel like Satan has the upper hand in this world because he influences the hearts of divided and sinful man. God is victorious! The church stands outside of any government in this world, it does not proudly parade sinful ideals, it does not give into catchy slogans or earthly philosophies. It stands on the Word of God, and this is what gives us strength to live together as the church until our Lord’s comes back to take us to Himself in heaven. It is then we will celebrate with all the saints that God’s kingdom was never divided and that His mighty hand saved us. Amen.