Summary: God does not want the enemy to advance on us but rather for us to advance on the enemy with Christ leading the way.
Strength to Move Forward
Griffith Baptist Church – 8/17/08
Text: Romans 8:31-34
Key verse: Romans 8:31 - What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
The Confederate General, Longstreet, during the battle of Gettysburg had one of his generals come up to him and report that he was unable to bring up his men again so as to charge the enemy. "Very well," said the general, just let them remain where they are. The enemy’s going to advance and will spare you the trouble. --W. Baxendale
In this life we are confronted by obstacles:
o Enemies that try to destroy us
o Faith killers
o Joy killers
o Walls of doubt and despair
o Mountains of worry and insecurity
But Christ gives us a hopeful outlook in this passage and a preliminary glimpse into our eternal security.
He does not want the enemy to advance on us but rather for us to advance on the enemy with Christ leading the way.
He wants us to move forward to strengthen and mature and accomplish His will.
So in this passage, He gives us a boost, an encouraging lift by telling us four wonderful truths that we can believe and embrace whenever those little dark clouds arise.
Transition Statement: He first tells us that we can be encouraged because we have victory with our God beside us.
1. We Have Victory Because of Our God – 31
A. Lyle Arakaki of Honolulu, Hawaii tells the following story about himself. "In Hawaii, because of the time difference with the continental U.S., the National Football League Monday night football game is played in mid-afternoon; so the local TV station delays its telecast till 6:30 in the evening. When my favorite team plays, I’m too excited to wait for television, so I’ll listen to the game on the radio, which broadcasts it live. Then, because they are my favorite team, I’ll watch the game on television too. If I know my team has won the game, it influences how I watch it on television. If my team fumbles the ball or throws an interception, it’s not a problem. I just think, “That’s bad, but it’s okay. In the end, we’ll win." (That is the way we should view our life in Christ, the victory is already won. You will lose a few battles but the war is already over and we are on the winning side)
B. Key Question One: If God be for us, who can be against us?
C. When we truly stand for God, there will be people against us ( John 15:20 - . . .If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; . . . and 2 Timothy 3:12 - Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.)
D. We will be attacked by Satan – 1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (see also Eph. 6:11-13)
E. There is no reason to live so defeated all the time
i. Defeated by our worries
ii. Defeated by our circumstances
iii. Defeated by our enemies
F. God gives ultimate victory because:
i. He is constantly there for us – Psalms 56:11 – In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. (Ps. 56:9; 118:6)
ii. His omnipotence means all attacks ultimately fail to achieve the supreme goal – Isaiah 54:17 - No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; . . .
iii. He is our source of strength and help – Psalms 46:1-3 – 1God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;3Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. (Ps. 27:1-3)
iv. He lives in us – 1 John 4:4 - Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
G. We can move forward in our lives because we have the God of the universe on our side
Transition Statement: Second, we have provision for our necessities because of Christ.
2. We Have Provision Because of Christ – 32
A. The story is told about a poor widow lady with 5 Kids who everyday came out on to her front porch, raised her hands to heaven & prayed out loud, “Lord, you know I have no food in my cabinets to feed my children today! Please provide our daily needs!” Her next door neighbor was an “Atheist” who was sick & tired of hearing her “Spiritual” talk everyday! So one day, he thought he would teach her a lesson. He bought several bags of groceries, sat them on the front porch, rang the doorbell, and hid in the bushes! The widow came out, saw the groceries, and burst into a joyful praise! “Thank you God, you have supplied my need! Thank you for answering my prayer! Bless the Lord, O my soul!” The "Atheist" stepped out from behind a bush and arrogantly said, “Ma’am, God hasn’t supplied your needs today-I did! See how foolish it is to trust in a nonexistent God and give him Credit for what He didn’t do?” Without taking a breath the woman burst into another prayer: “Dear God, you are so wonderful! You not only provided food for me today, BUT you got the Devil to Pay for it!”