Summary: A sermon about christian warfare with Satan.
NEARLY KNOCKED DOWN
BUT NEVER KNOCKED OUT
INTRO: Recently I watched the movie “Rocky.” The movie depicted the struggles of an up-and-coming boxer. During a championship fight, defeat appeared certain for Rocky. Yet even though he was nearly knocked down, he was never knocked out. Rocky knew the secret of victorious survival.
Like Rocky, Christians, too, are in a fight — a veritable knockdown, drag out with Satan. Although we, at times, are nearly knocked down, God’s Word assures us we are never knocked out.
Because of persecution, first-century Christians often fought diligently for physical and spiritual survival. Such hardships caused them to wonder if their newfound faith would be defeated. In Romans 8, Paul assured them that even though they may have been nearly knocked down, they would never be knocked out. By careful examination of this passage, we, too, can gain the assurance of knowing that victory is ours even in the most threatining situation.
I. WE ARE NEVER KNOCKED OUT BECAUSE WE HAVE ULTIMATE POWER (v. 31).
Defeat comes when the enemy demonstrates superior power. Paul offered ultimate assurance to the Roman Christians by reminding them that no enemy musters a greater power than the Almighty Power which they possessed. He stimulated their thinking with the question in v. 31. The logical answer is that no one can defeat us because God is the ultimate power.
ILLUS: An old country preacher was challenged by a highly educated agnostic. The skeptic asked, “Why do you Christians constantly claim assurance of victory in the battle of eternity?”
The old preacher replied: “Well, Son, it says in the beginning of my Bible that God was in charge when time started up. Then I flips over to the end of my Bible and reads that God will be in charge when time runs down.
So I figure that twixt the beginning and twixt the end weren’t nobody else big enough to whoop ‘em.”
At times, we all feel like we’re fighting against powers which are too great to defeat. How can we defeat a satanic power strong enough to wreck marriages, cripple moralities, or foster child abuse?
There is a power which can emerge victorious over any battle Satan may wage. It is the Almighty, omnipotent, wonder-working power of our eternal God. If God be for us, who indeed can be against us?
II. WE ARE NEVER KNOCKED OUT BECAUSE WE HAVE UNLIMITED SUPPLY (v. 32).
Defeat is certain for the army whose supply line is cut off by the enemy. Many armies have surrendered because of siege. Paul reminded the Romans that they will never lose due to a lack of supply because God’s supply is unlimited. V. 32 details God’s unlimited supply. The supply is unlimited because God gives “all things.” Indeed, Paul can confidently assure his readers that they will never be defeated because of a lack of supply.
ILLUS: During the first-century destruction of Jerusalem, a group of Jewish zealots resisted the Roman armies by fortifying themselves on top of a mountain plateau called Massada.
Since the plateau walls were too steep to wage a conventional attack, the army laid siege to the mountain instead. The siege continued for years without success. The Jewish rebels were able to withstand the siege for seven years because they had established reservoirs and gardens which supplied food and water.
Often Satan attempts to defeat us by severing our spiritual supply. Yet Paul reminds us that “My God shall supply....” (Phil. 4:19).
So when we need strength, we have the Almighty God. When healing is needed, we have the Great Physician. When authority is required, we have the King of Kings. When peace is lacking, we have the Prince of peace. The supply line from heaven is never blocked and the storehouse of heaven is never depleted.
Satan may try to knock us down but his attempts to seize us will never knock us out because we have an unlimited supply from an inexhaustible Lord.
III. WE ARE NEVER KNOCKED OUT BECAUSE WE HAVE UNENDING FORGIVENESS (vv. 33-34).
Too many Christians have suffered defeat because guilt has paralyzed their efforts. Guilt convinces the Christian soldier that he is a loser even before he attempts to fight.
Paul assured the Romans that guilt need not affect them. They have been justified by the death, resurrection, and intercession of Jesus Christ. V. 33 asks a bold question. The response is no one because of the forgiveness of Christ.
Our country’s judicial system uniquely protects its citizens against double jeopardy. When a defendant is pronounced not guilty or given a pardon, he can never be held accountable for that same crime again.
At times Satan attempts to place us in spiritual double jeopardy. He tries to paralyze us with guilt for sins previously pardoned by Christ. He attempts to bring defeat by convincing us that we are unfit for spiritual battle. Satan will try to knock us down with his burden of accusation, but never will he knock us out because of the forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ.