Christian Fellowship Church's Sermons

Faith as Warfare

Spiritual Warfare

February 03, 2019
Phil Schaefer
1 Timothy 6:11-12

Description

When you become a Christian everything goes well. All your problems are solved. All your questions are answered. All your troubles are over. Nothing disturbs you anymore. And, if anything goes wrong, it is a sign that something is wrong with your relationship with God. Is that what you believe? If it is, I have some incredibly good news for you. You are wrong.

Salvation is not a diploma that qualifies us for eternity – a diploma we hang on our wall. It is a battle that has been won. Jesus tells us we will have life abundant AND trials and testings. Jesus does not take us out of the fight he pulls us into it. Life is a battle on all levels.

Paul says to Timothy: ‘But you O man of God’ – Paul is reminding Timothy who he is, what is his identity – But you O woman of God. But you O man of God…fight the good fight of faith.

  1. Jesus is always on the offensive – always.
  2. Jesus launched his ministry on the offensive – Luke 4:17-19. Jesus is on the attack. He comes at the forces of evil. Jesus plunders (Luke 11:21-22)

    There is nothing for us to fear in the fight of faith. Danger is in not fighting. The safest place to be is on the battlefield, for it is there that Christ is acting.

    The Apostle Paul knew this: He understood that Jesus on the cross – disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public spectacle of them triumphing over them thru his death on the cross. – Colossians 2:15

    Paul makes these assertions throughout his writings:
    • If God is for us who can be against us.
    • For He must reign till he puts all enemies under his feet.
    • Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
    • We are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
    • You, therefore, my son be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus…endure hardship as a good soldier
  3. Warfare is a choice between faith and flesh.
  4. Many believers have a crisis of faith every few days. Do I believe any of this? Is this worth it? I’m so disappointed. I’m too discouraged. I’m too offended. In all of these, you have a decision to make – act on your hurt or act out of faith.

    • I’m going to get my way or I’m going to serve.
    • I’m going to vent my anger or answer kindly.
    • I’m going to withhold my money to show my disapproval or I’m going to give.
    • I’m going to show I don’t know what to believe by just standing there in indifference or I’m going to worship exuberantly believing God will meet me in my praise and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

    It is not hypocrisy when in the place of doubt and confusion to say ‘I believe. Help my unbelief.’

  5. Warfare is the art of bouncing back.
  6. Warfare is not to daily rehearse what’s wrong with me, or how I’m feeling. It is to recognize where I am and then to turn my heart to God - Psalm 42:11.

  7. Faith as warfare gets us to bring God into the scene.
    • God is in this. He is doing something.
    • Faith as warfare gets us to speak faith into our souls.
    • Anyone can see what’s wrong with things. It takes no faith to see what’s wrong.
  8. Standing still is the fight of faith.
  9. Exodus 14:13

    You have only to be still – the Lord will fight for you. Be still and know that I am God. That’s the fight of faith.

    We don’t fight by having a better argument, or by dominating and getting our way, or by having to be right. Ours is a cross-bearing fight. We bear the burdens of others. We bear their sin. We bear other’s weakness. We fight differently.

  10. It’s not our job to fight the devil.
  11. Theresa of Avilla said: ‘I don’t understand this focus on the devil – the devil this and the devil that. A fig for all the devils. I pay no attention to them than to flies. Why pay attention to the devil when we can say, God! God! and the devil trembles.’

    And when you stumble - and you will stumble - bounce back and call upon God. The enemy of your soul hates when we do that.

Perhaps you are here, and you don’t know Jesus in a real way. You say, "What does this have to do with me and my life?"

The devil – whether you believe in him or not – already has the upper hand on you – the Bible says he is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. You are a prisoner to your sin and Jesus has come to fight for you. Jesus has come to deliver you from your bondage to your sin. We are all sinners. None of us can free ourselves on our own. But God has come to stand for us. He has delivered us. He has taken up the fight for us.

God is not opposed to you. The devil is opposed to you. God is for you, after you, defending you, he died for you. Jesus came to deliver you from death into life eternal.

Jesus is calling you to come to him and receive a new life.

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