Summary: Christians are not born again to be surrendered back over to the sins and lifestyle that kept them from having a healthy relationship with God, Christ and walking in step with the Holy Spirit.
Turn your Bibles to 1 John 5:4-5
Title: Enemies Exposed
Theme: Assessing the Problem
Series: Grasping Our Authority in Christ
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves His child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands. This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1 John 5:1-5) Let us pray!
Introduction: God’s desire is for the children of God to live in the abundant life promised in Christ Jesus. Jesus said, “The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 NAS)
I recently read of a reporter who was interviewing an old man on his 100th birthday. The reporter asked, “What are you most proud of?” The old man replied with, “Well, I do not have an enemy in the world.” The reporter said, “What a beautiful thought! How inspirational!” “Yep,” added the centenarian, “I outlived every last one of them.” (10,000 Sermon Illustrations)
Proposition: I would propose to you Christians are not born again to be surrendered back over to the sins and lifestyle that kept them from having a healthy relationship with God, Christ and walking in step with the Holy Spirit. Christians do not have to wait until they get to heaven to enjoy the authority they have in Christ. They can choose to live victoriously in this sin torn world now. In Christ you can literally outlive your enemies for eternity.
Interrogative Sentence: Who is our enemy? How does he take people captive? To whom should Christians be in bondage?
Transitional Sentence: A key step to living and enjoying the life of victory promised in Christ is to recognize the evidence of the struggle. Jesus said, “If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." (Matthew 15:13)
When Jesus said this, He had just offended the Pharisees (Matthew 15:12) by saying “…Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: `These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ " (Matthew 15:7-9)
After His disciples informed Him of the offense that was taken by the Pharisees the Lord said, "…Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.” (Matthew 15:13) “Plant” (phuteia) figuratively means to establish, authorize teachers or their teachings. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary; Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament) Every religious system which has not been planted by God will be rooted up. (Thru the Bible) Any religious system not set up by the Lord will be used to keep mankind in spiritual darkness, thus keeping them bound in sin no matter how religious they may appear to be. Thus the blind will lead the blind.
Pastor Adrian Rogers pointed out that if you never saw a train in your entire life and came upon a train wreck with twisted railroad cars all piled upon one another, you would never know how the train is supposed to look by observing the wreck. Mankind cannot get a clear picture of what God’s universe was meant to be like by looking at the distorted wreck that Satan has made of our world system today. Before the person who has never seen a train before can put a wrecked train back in working order, that person must get some directions from the person who knows how the train should look. In order for sinners to put their lives back in order, they must get directions from the God who created them and sustains their every breath of life. (Job 12:10)
The person who has never seen a train can just sense that train cars that are smoldering, piled up on one another and twisted every direction are not in proper order. They must grasp the truth that there is someone who can give them proper instructions on how to put a wrecked train back on the track.
Natural revelation is sufficient for making mankind responsible and enabling him to understand that something is not right in this world and in his life. Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities--His eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
Even before I was saved I knew in my heart that this world was not in proper working order and that the train of life wasn’t on the tracks. God’s plan was that mankind would live eternally, but Satan’s deviation brought physical death and spiritual separation from God.