Summary: Every believer can overcome the enemy, because of what Jesus has done for us. I. We Win Because of the Passion of the Christ (11). II. We Win By Having Passion for the Christ (11). III. We Win By Being More Attached to Jesus Than to Our Own Life (11).
Overcoming the Enemy
Revelation 12:7-12 7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down-- that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."
Intro: How might a person go about defeating a powerful enemy? Normally, we would turn to our physical resources (weapons, strength, etc.). However, the problem with this enemy is that he is invisible and you cannot touch him physically. In fact, his main tactic against us might be called psychological warfare. He wants to confuse us and take away our will to live a victorious life. He tries to remind of us our past failures and our weaknesses, so we will lose all confidence and live under a load of guilt. He tries to undermine what our Commander-in-Chief has told us, questioning his credibility and authority. He used that tactic on Eve in the Garden: “Did God really say not to eat from any tree in the garden?” What was the enemy trying to do? Of course God didn’t say they couldn’t eat from all of the trees! God only restricted them from one tree. The enemy was trying to cast doubt on God’s character. In his next words, he flat out contradicted God’s word. God told them they would die if they ate from the forbidden tree. However, the serpent said, “You will not surely die. God is holding out on you and wants to keep you from enjoying life.” You know the rest of the story. If not, see Gen. 3.
-So, how can we defeat such an evil, sneaky, clever, deceptive foe? It requires something more than we can find in ourselves. We will talk about how to overcome the enemy as we look a little deeper into this passage.
-Before we do, there are several views about when this war in heaven takes place. Some would say that Satan rebelled and was cast out of heaven, even before the creation of man, because he was present in the Garden to tempt Eve. Others say that since Satan appeared before God to accuse Job, and later in Zechariah 3 he accused Joshua the high priest, then he must not have been expelled from heaven yet. Therefore, it must have happened either when Christ did His work on the cross, or it will happen in the future to signal the beginning of the Great Tribulation.
-I can tell you my understanding of this chapter if you are interested (Jn 12:31;16:11); but, for now, I do not want to miss one of the most important thoughts of the passage.
Prop: Every believer can overcome the enemy, because of Jesus and what He has done for us.
Interrogative: How can we be sure of this?
TS: John reveals 3 warfare principles that will help every believer overcome the enemy.
I. We Win Because of the Passion of the Christ (11)
“They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb….”
-What is the significance of the blood of the Lamb? What did John have in mind when he used this phrase?
-Blood is not the most pleasant topic to discuss and generally does not make good dinner conversation. However, the Bible has a lot to say about blood. God said that He did not want anyone to eat blood. “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life” (Leviticus 17:11). This was God’s plan for Israel at that time. However, we find earlier references to blood. After Adam & Eve sinned, God made garments of skin for Adam & Eve to cover them. Most Bible teachers believe this is the first physical death. Animals were killed to provide a covering for Adam & Eve- first blood. A lamb was later killed by Abraham as a substitute for Isaac.