Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Nine ways that Jesus destroys the work of Satan, based out of 1 John 3:8

Text: 1 John 3:8, Title: An Army of One, Date/Place: NRBC, 12/16/07, AM

A. Opening illustration: Historian Philip Schaff described the overwhelming influence which Jesus had on subsequent history and culture of the world: “This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science…he shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of schools, he spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, he set more pens in motion and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times.”

B. Background to passage: The book of 1 John is written to a congregation that is in the middle of a split. Part of the split is a power struggle, but the more serious reason is heresy. The ones that left John’s Ephesian congregation were teaching falsehood about the person of Jesus, that was leading people to sin and damnation. Therefore John wrote the book, not only to help the true church survive, but to help all the congregation know the truth and discern if they are really “in the truth.” And our passage today deals with the differences between genuine children of God (believers) and children of Satan (non-believers). And it makes a passing reference to another reason that Christ came to earth, and that’s what we are going to talk about today. Even though our text doesn’t thoroughly elaborate on it,

C. Main thought: we are going to look at nine ways that Jesus destroys the work of the devil.

A. 1. Opens blinded eyes

1. In 2 Cor 4:3-4, it tells us that unbelievers minds are blinded by the god of this age, lest the light of the gospel would shine through. It is Jesus Christ that brings us from darkness to light. This is the indication of our text in v. 7-9.

2. Acts 26:18,

3. Illustration: tell about Craig Foster’s hitchhiking ride that led him to Jesus,

4. Jesus destroys the work of Satan when He bursts through our darkness and blindness and lets us see a great Light. If you are saved today, this is what happened. If this has never happened, you are not saved. This is probably the most glorious work that Christ destroys, and the one from which all others flow.

B. 2. Breaks bondage of sin

1. One of the things that Satan does to unbelievers is that he keeps them bound to sin. Unbelievers have natural minds that cannot understand the things of the Spirit because they are bound in sin. But when Christ comes in he breaks the hold that sin has over us completely in reality. He gives us a new nature, new desires, new heart, and a right spirit.

2. John 8:34,

3. Illustration: third verse of And Can It Be,

4. Therefore, only a genuine believer has the choice of whether or not to sin. Lost people only sin. And Christ is the only thing that will break it. Addictions, compulsions, temptations, habits, etc. are only a symptom of the problem which lies at the heart. This is why you must be saved to change, not change to be saved.

C. 3. Empowers us to defeat sin

1. Another of Satan’s work is to tempt you and cause you to fall even after you are saved. But Christ deals with that too. He gave us the Holy Spirit. He gave us the Word. He gave us the church. And he promised to always be with us wherever we go.

2. 1 Cor 10:13,

3. Illustration: Terrified, the four jumped out, each grabbed a corner of the jeep, physically lifted it up, turned the vehicle 180o and raced to safety. When they got back to their base they bragged about what they had done to their buddies but nobody believed them. So they said, "Well, come outside and we’ll show you we can do it." But when they tried to do it a second time they could not lift the jeep one inch off the ground.

4. Satan tempts, but Jesus empowers. We can use the sword of the Spirit empowered by the Spirit himself to beat down sin in our life. You can overcome addictions, compulsions, weaknesses, pride, self-centeredness, homosexuality, anger, hatred, etc, by Jesus Christ. You must kill a defeated foe.

D. 4. Intercedes and defends believers

1. One of the other translations of the name of Satan in Hebrew is “the accuser.” But we have an advocate who will always be on our side. Christ always defends believers with His blood that is a sufficient payment for anything that they have done.

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