Sermons

Summary: Being sealed by God's Holy Spirit does not make us exempt from temptation. We can only win over and against temptation by putting our faith in Jesus Christ who can help us to resist temptation.

BAPTISM AND THE BATTLEGROUND

Text: Mark 1:9-15

Mark 1:9-15  "In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  (10)  And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.  (11)  And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."  (12)  And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.  (13)  He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.  (14)  Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God,  (15)  and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news" (NRSV).

“It is said that Ignatius of Loyola once had a hole dug for the novices [rookies] of his order a grave, having them buried except for their heads, asking, “Are you dead?” To those who answered yes, he would reply, “Rise then, and begin to serve me.” (Thomas Oden. [quoting A. H. Strong]. Life In The Spirit. Peabody: Prince Press, 2001, p. 160). What Ignatius was doing is symbolic of what baptism is all about. For it is in our baptism that we are baptized into the likeness of Jesus. Consider Romans 6:3-4: "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life" (RSV). We have to realize that just because we have been baptized of water and the Spirit does not mean that we will never face temptation again.

Before we were baptized, we were not sealed by the Holy Spirit (John 6:27). After Jesus was baptized, He was sealed by the Holy Spirit (John 6:27) as are all who are baptized into His likeness (Romans 6:3-4). Through baptism we become dead to sin and arise to the newness of life in Jesus Christ and sealed by God's Holy Spirit. Being sealed by God's Holy Spirit does not make us exempt from temptation. We can only win over and against temptation by putting our faith in Jesus Christ who can help us to resist temptation.

BREAKING POINT

Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo which proved to be his breaking point.

1) Pride before a fall: "Napoleon is said to have lost the battle of Waterloo because he counted on one of his Generals bringing forward reserves. But the General was behind time, and Napoleon's fall was the result. "Too late" (Matt. 25:10). (John Ritchie. 500 Gospel Sermon Illustrations. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1978, p. 138).

2) Not self –sufficient: If we try to win against temptation without depending on the help of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we are setting ourselves up for a "Waterloo type of defeat". In words of Martin Luther’s hymn, "When we in our own strength confide, our striving will be losing" (We simply cannot stand by ourselves against the power of temptation an expect to win.

Satan tried to conquer Jesus and bring Him to His "Waterloo".

1) Regaining lost paradise: Jesus is often described as the second Adam. Who came to fix what the first Adam had broken. The first Adam was in a perfect relationship with God until he was broken by temptation.

2) God in human flesh: As Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said “If Jesus Christ is not true God, how could he help us? If he is not true man, how could he help us? (Compelling Quotes). Jesus came from heaven to earth so that He could help us get from earth to heaven.

3) Satan’s battle plan---operation Waterloo: Satan seeks to turn every wilderness that we encounter into a “Waterloo” defeat.

Satan tries to conquer us through sin.

1) Sin’s sabotage: "Sin breaks fellowship with God. A little girl committed a certain offense, and when her mother discovered it she began to question her daughter. Immediately the child lost her smile and a cloud darkened her face as she said, "Mother, I do not feel like talking." So it is when our fellowship with God I s broken by sin in our lives. We do not feel like talking to Him. If you do not feel like praying, it is probably a good indication that you should start praying immediately". (Billy Graham as quoted by Roy B. Zuck. The Speaker's Quote Book. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1997, p. 356).

2) Prayer as a spiritual weapon: As someone once said, "Sin will keep us from prayer or Prayer will keep us from sin". Satan has always used guilt to try to drive a wedge between us and our relationship with God. Satan broke the first Adam but failed to defeat Jesus who fully relied on the strength through of God, our heavenly Father through prayer and fasting. Satan wants us to sin so that like that little girl, we, too will not feel worthy of talking with God. That is how Satan seeks to use our own guilt as a weapon against us.

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