6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: Do you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle? Maybe you feel that way as a Christian especially when you look at the world around you which seems to b growing more and more defiant of what we believe and what the Bible teaches. Are we fighting a losing battle?

Do you ever feel like your fighting a losing battle? Maybe it’s the battle with a diet that as hard as you try it just don’t seem be helping you to loose any weight. Maybe it’s the battle with a teenager, trying to get them to put their dishes INTO the dishwasher not just BY the dishwasher. Or maybe it’s a battle with someone at work or at school or in your neighborhood. You try to go out of your way to be nice and friendly to them, but that person just seems to make your life more and more difficult. You feel like you’re fighting a losing battle.

Do you ever feel that way when it comes to being a Christian, that you’re fighting a losing battle? You look at the world around you and the way that people portray Christians as intolerant, unloving, judgmental and dangerous. You look at the way that people seem to be more than willing to listen to anyone and anything as long as it doesn’t come from the Bible. You consider the number of Christians around the world that daily live in fear, threatened for no other reason than that they are Christians. Every once in awhile a Christian might look at the world around them, a world that seems to be relishing in its sinful rebellion against God, and feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. This morning, Psalm 2 gives us a unique perspective as it allows us to look at the world as the Lord sees it. The Lord shows us who are actually the ones that are fighting a losing battle and who it is that is actually winning.

Psalm 2 is made up of four verses or sections. The first section of this psalm is verses 1-3. These verses describe all those who “conspire… plot…rise up… band together against the Lord and against his anointed” (Psalm 1:2). Now you might remember from previous Bible study that the word “anointed” can be a reference to Jesus. That word anointed is the Old Testament Hebrew word “Messiah” and the New Testament Greek word “Christ.” Jesus is THE Anointed, God’s chosen one to carry out God’s plan to rescue people from the punishment of sin. Therefore, these verses describe people who stand in opposition to Christ and his followers.

Nearly one thousand years after this psalm was first written, these verses were quoted by a group of Christians in a prayer which is recorded for us in Acts 4. Jesus had ascended into heaven and Jesus’ disciples were being arrested for preaching that Jesus was the Messiah, the Savior. As these Christians gathered in prayer, they recalled the words of Psalm 2 and applied them to what they had seen happen to Jesus. They prayed, “Sovereign Lord… indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed” (Acts 4:27). A common enemy can make unlikely friends. In this case the common enemy was Jesus. The Roman officials Herod and Pontius Pilate had been bitter rivals before the crucifixion of Jesus. But their common desire to quickly and quietly make Jesus go away led them to work together to have Jesus executed. The Jewish religious leaders and these Roman officials would have naturally hated each other, but on that day of Jesus’ trial, they got along quite well. Why? They had a common enemy, Jesus Christ, God’s Anointed.

Sadly, we see the same thing taking place today, people who come together to stand in opposition to Christ, his Word and his followers. There are many who claim to have found freedom by “break the chains and throw off their shackles” (Psalm 2:3) of God’s Word. They claim that God’s Word is too restrictive and robs them of the freedom for them to do what they want to do. Humanism unites those who claim that religion is for the weak, the stupid and the unscientific. We continue to hold out the truth of God’s Word, the message of Christ the Savior, but we are mocked for what we believe in and ridiculed for the lives we live. You can’t help but maybe feel like you’re the one fighting the losing battle.

But then verses 4-6 come along and the Lord gives us a glimpse of his view of this world. The Lord looks at those who stand opposed to him and “the Lord scoffs at them” (Psalm 1:4). It’s like the parent looking on at the toddler who’s barking out orders as if they’re the one charge. And then the parent comes and says, “Nap time and puts them in the crib.” Who’s in charge now? The Lord knows exactly what is going on and it has not prevented him from doing what he knows is best for all people. The Lord says, “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain” (Psalm 2:1). You might wonder, “Who is this king?” Well, verses 7-9 are the Lord speaking to this king. Listen to what he says. “He [the Lord] said to me, ‘You are my son; today have I have become your father’” (Psalm 2:7). Sound familiar? This is what God the Father declared from the sky at both Jesus’ baptism and his transfiguration. Jesus is the king. Jesus is the one who is more powerful than any of those who stand in opposition to the Lord. Why? Because Jesus is the eternal Son of God. Jesus did not become God when he was born or at any other time during his life. Jesus has always, fully been God from all of eternity. We regularly confess that amazingly powerful truth in the Nicene Creed when we say, “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father…” Why is that statement so important? Because it then means that Jesus can do something that no one else can do. As true God, Jesus is a game changer. Instead of losing, we win.

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