Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

A Congregation of Lutheran Church-Canada

Scripture & Sermons



Genesis 3:1-21 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

Romans 5:12-19 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord

Matthew 4:1-11 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. ’”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone. ’”
Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test. ’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve. ’”
Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. 
It all began with an invasion and a terrible defeat with mass casualties. The enemy came into the peaceful world that God had created and launched a deadly assault on its innocent occupants. It was a stealth attack launched without warning and simply meant to cause as much destruction and death as possible.

Nothing in the history of the world can compare to it. Not the attack on Pear Harbour or the bombing of Hiroshima or the present war in Ukraine. It truly was a date that will live in infamy forever, when God was suddenly and deliberately attacked by Satan. That day in Eden was the start of a long and bloody war whose casualties continue to mount to this very day.

With one brutal and fatal stroke the Devil annihilated the population of God’s entire world as he deceived Adam an Eve into eating the deadly fruit and brought death to them and all their children. The horror of that day has been playing out ever since in battle after bloody battle as Satan speaks his lethal lies into the ears of the children of man and deceives them into destruction and death.

Yes, beloved, we need to understand that we live in a war zone as surely as the poor people of Ukraine are living in one right now. Day by day we are in the midst of a conflict with a brutal and merciless foe who is hellbent on our destruction and total annihilation. Like the eating of a piece of fruit, much of the time it doesn’t seem like there is that much at stake in these daily battles, but what seem to be only small skirmishes are in fact life and death struggles as we see in Eden today.

Much of the time Satan uses what seems like small and insignificant things, small sins and trivial trespasses to overcome us. “Did God really say?” He asks us again and again. “No, no, that’s not really such a bad thing to do. It’s so small, it’s really nothing, just take a little bite. What harm can there be in it? Just give it a try. It’s not like you do it all the time. Does it really matter what you desire in your own head? What you dream and fantasize about? Does it matter what you do in private on your own?”

"Does it really matter what you think about others or say about them to others? It’s not like you’re really doing anything to them,” he says “It’s not like you’re actually hurting them. Go ahead hold back on the truth just a bit, put your own spin on it, colour it just a little in your favour, everyone does it, it’s not like you’re actually lying,” he says. Why should you do that for others? They don’t do it for you. If it feels right to you? If it makes you happy? Why hold back? Can it really be wrong? God wants you to be happy doesn’t He?” he asks. So He must think that this is ok,” he says.

“Go ahead if you need it take it. God wouldn’t expect you to go without what you feel you need, would He? Go ahead try it. God will take care of you, won’t He? Go ahead do it. God will forgive you, won’t He?” he asks. “Go ahead put that before God and His Word. It’s not like you’re really worshipping it, are you? Don’t worry about it. It’s not that big a deal. It’s only a little bad. It’s not like doing it means that you’re a bad person. It’s not like you murdered someone or cheated on your husband or wife or robbed a bank,” he tempts.

As we begin this Lenten season, beloved, the Church sounds out her warning to us loud and clear. Never, forget that you live in a war zone with an enemy who is prowling around in the darkness, looking for someone to devour. Satan’s attacks are sudden and deliberate, be ready to resist him firm in your faith. Keep the word of God ever on hand, hold it in your heart keep it in your mind and put it on your lips because when you least expect it you’re going to need it.

Your enemy is tireless, beloved, he is fully committed to your destruction. He will bombard and assault you every day, sometimes with a full frontal attack but more often than not in sneaky underhanded ways. Yes, he will wage battle after battle against you, battles that you can win with God’s help, but will lose when you try to stand on your own, something that you, like every child of Adam and Eve, are very good at doing. And so, as they do with all sinners, the losses will pile up and the victories will be so few and far between that it will be hard not to doubt the outcome of the war.

But that outcome is put beyond all question for poor sinners like you and me today, beloved, by our Lord and God in Eden. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Yes, there will be battles and they will hurt and be hard but the woman’s offspring would win the war when He bruised Satan’s head when Satan bruised His heal. As poor miserable sinners we will lose many battles, beloved, but as children of God we need to know that in the end in Christ we cannot and will not lose the war.

Because as we see today the Lord Jesus after He was baptized in our place was propelled by the Spirit into the conflict with Satan in the wilderness that we have made out of Eden with our sin, to fight our battles and win the war for us. The devil relentlessly attacks Jesus in all the ways that he attacks us, but Jesus clothed in our weakened human flesh resists Him over and over again with the Word of God and overcomes him. Jesus obeys where we disobey. He stands firm where we fall. He succeeds where we fail. He wins every battle for every one that we lose to win the final victory for us.

Which is what He does fully and completely for us when he exposes His heal to Satan on the cross and allows him to sink his fangs deeply into His flesh so that He can bring His heel crashing down on Satan’s head and so win the war for us with His bitter suffering and death for us. And so, although the battles continue for us, as Satan continues to try to deceive us and lead us astray, the outcome of the war is never in doubt for us in Christ Jesus and His death for us, beloved.

The truth of that certain final victory is what is set before us in Christ’s body and blood on the altar today. “In the face of all the defeats that you have suffered in your battles with Satan this week,” the Lord Jesus says to each of you, as He gives you His body to eat and His blood to drink, “Take heart, do not let these loses overcome you, they are only battles, I have won the war. Receive my forgiveness for your loses today and take hold of my victory and enter the fray this week with good courage in the truth that I have baptized you on to the winning side and your final victory is as sure and certain as my empty tomb.” Amen.