Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: 7 things the Devil wants every Christian to believe, The church is a building, The church is weak and dying, The Gospel is a philosophy for weak-minded people, Children are a burden on the church, Church leaders are weak and lack vision, As long as I’m

7 Things the Devil Wants You to Believe

Matthew 16:13-23

13Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

21From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

I find this to be one of the oddest sequences of events in scripture. First, we have the anointing of Peter and his proclamation that Jesus is the Christ, then immediately following that we find Jesus rebuking Peter and his words. What was the big difference? The difference is found in Jesus’ own words: For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven and For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.

Here is a list of 7 things Satan uses to confuse us:

#1. The church is a building, a pastor and an organization.

There is even danger in thinking church is not a building, but a congregation. I think we understand the social implications of this thinking, but we must resist the urge to be drawn into this vein of thought. The church is not a building or a pastor, or a congregation, the church is a proclamation. The proclamation of Peter’s words, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

#2. The church is weak and dying.

This is not true because the potential for the church to create positive change in the world is greater now than ever.

By using political influence, by being able to advance the gospel to closed countries through teaching the English language, By holding a greater wealth than ever before, the proclamation that Jesus is the Christ reaches farther than ever before in history. With the internet, we can have a greater impact to a more diverse audience than ever before.

The Devil points out all the things we haven’t done. But we have a choice; we can choose to focus on our failures or our possibilities. I read a quip, If we are trying to fail and succeed, were we successful? I believe that is some people’s rally cry. A suggestion is made about a new ministry and wham you are hit with 40 reasons it won’t work. This is what we have run up against with the Community Soup. We contact the Health Department and say this is what we want to do and we are slammed with paper work and regulations. Not one single person has said, “Let’s see what we can do to make this happen.” Optimism may not be a strong enough to bridge every obstacle, but pessimism won’t budge out of its own tracks.

#3. The Gospel is a philosophy for weak-minded people.

When a man has a heart mummer, is it only the weak-minded that can take medicine to control the rhythm of his heart? If a woman has cancer is it only the weak-minded ones that can seek the council of a qualified physician and follow the prescribed path to recovery? If a person is spiritually dying, is it the weak-minded who seek healing? No, when we are faced with illness, the sane thing to do is to fight for health and healing with everything we find moral and comforting. It is the weak-minded who sit back and say, “I have a better way.”

The gospel is not a philosophy to give poor, weak-minded people hope in this life; it is the power of God to give repentant people salvation & hope for the next life. The gospel is not a philosophy for weak-minded people it is the only medicine prescribed by the Creator to restore people who are separated from Him.

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