Summary: When Christians have a rebellious heart, we open our lives up to oppression and bondage.
1. Illus. of young woman
Experiencing profound spiritual bondage.
Saved, but absolutely miserable.
Now, so often things like depression and anger are emotional issues. But in this young ladies case, the problem was spiritual. She was being oppressed!
2. Lest you think this is an isolated incident, let me assure you that this young woman’s name should have been Legion, for her brothers and sisters are many! Hardly a week goes by that I don’t see Christians- just like me and you- either being spiritually oppressed or in profound bondage to some sin. You might say, “Tim, how can that happen? Could it happen to me or my loved ones? What can I do to prevent it?” That is what we are going to talk about today!
3. When we become Christians, we are taken out of Satan’s kingdom and translated into the wonderful Kingdom of the Son of God. We are set free from the power of the evil one by the shed blood and empty tomb of Jesus. Think of it this way: it is like we were living in the house with a villain who systematically hurt us, and would have eventually have killed us. Then Jesus rescued us, and took us to live in a house that belonged to Him, a place where the villain had no access to us.
4. However, Satan can regain a measure of control if he can deceive us into bringing certain practices into our life. See Ephesians 4:27. The word "topos"= place, ground, opportunity, or foothold. There are certain practices that, if we bring them into our lives, give Satan an opening into our lives. Think of it this way: its the spiritual equivalent to giving the old villain we talked about the key to the locked front door of your new house, and telling him, “come in anytime and do whatever you want to me!”
5. We’ve looked at two of these front door keys: occult practices, and bitterness.
6. Today I want to look at one more: rebellion. When you develop a rebel heart you open yourself up to spiritual oppression and bondage.
7. There are three principles about rebellion that we need to understand. What are these principles?
I. At its core, all sin is rebellion against God’s authority.
1. Now, sin comes in many varieties: it can be drunkenness, it can be gossip, it can be lying. At its core, all sin is saying, “God I don’t want your will. I want my will. I’m rebelling against your authority to tell me what to do!”
2. See Luke 14:15-24. A variety of excuses for not obeying the king- one bottom line: rebellion. It’s the same with us. We might rebel in the area of our finances, or in the area of our speech, or in the area of our morals. The bottom line is still the same. All of these are expressions of rebellion against God’s authority in our lives!
3. Illus. of Abby and Sid
• Abby was about 3-4 or so. Sid told her no about something.
• She want to her mother crying, “Daddy tell me no. I not like daddy to tell me no!”
• A little while later, Sid was taking a nap on the couch. Abby snuck into the room, shook her finger at her dad, and in a very quiet whisper said, “No daddy, no!”
• She then went and very proudly told her mom, “I told daddy no!”
4. That a perfect picture of the rebel heart! “God, I know you created me, you’re bigger than me, and you’re smarter than me, but you are not going to tell me how to live!”
5. So, whether we are stealing a cookie or slandering a neighbor, at its heart it is all the same. It is an expression of rebellion against God’s authority.
6. The core of sin is rebellion against God’s authority.
II. God’s authority is both direct and delegated
1. God has direct authority over our lives. As our creator and redeemer, He has the right to say to us, “This is the way it’s going to be.” That direct authority comes from His mouth into our lives through His Word and Spirit.
2. God also has a delegated authority. As creator and redeemer, He has chosen to place certain people in positions of spiritual authority. The scripture explicitly says He has done this in four areas:
Government over citizens: Romans 13:1-2.
Parents over children: Ephesians 6:1-4.
Husbands over wives: Ephesians 5:22-24.
3. Illus. of Joan and I
• Let me use the husband-wife relationship to show you how this is supposed to work.
• Not too long ago, a decision needed to be made in our home. Usually there is initial agreement- this is what we need to do. Sometimes we don’t agree initially, but after some thought and prayer we both come to the same conclusion.