Summary: God POURS OUT out His Spirit into our hearts. As ambassadors we STEP OUT out into ministry and witness. Then we see the sovereignty of God BREAK OUT among us.
Let me take you back to when George Bush, Sr, was president. When he and his military advisors decided to engage Saddam Hussein and his military forces, what was the first thing they did? They poured all the military strength of the United States onto the Saudi Arabian peninsula. The coalition forces numbered 500,000 men and women. They used the most technologically advanced equipment available. They had the best missiles, the best planes, the best tanks, and the best weapons. They held back nothing because they understood their purpose; to win a war.
Viet Nam was a different story. I went last week to see the movie, “We Were Soldiers.” It tells of the very first contact of US forces with Viet Cong gooks. It was very realistic and jerked some of my personal memories of gorilla warfare when I was 18 years old. The US strategy in Viet Nam was “limited warfare.” The problem with limited warfare is that your enemy is always engaged in all out war. So you start off at a disadvantage. The movie made that crystal clear. The US lost sight of the purpose of the military, to fight and win wars. We suffered an embarrasing defeated in Viet Nam.
Not so in Desert Storm. With a clear purpose to win, the coalition forces devastated Iraq.
It is critical to always keep purpose in mind. When purpose is lost, everything is lost. “Limited warfare” can never be the purpose of the military. The sole purpose of the military is to fight and win wars, nothing less.
This brings me to a question we must answer today. What is the purpose of the church? Why was it established? What is the purpose against which we should measure everything we do? It is the same purpose the Jesus came for! It is the same purpose why He died and why we live. John puts it this way in 1 John 3:8b:
“The reason the Son of God appeared was to
destroy the works of the devil.”
The word “destroy” literally means “to unloose, to untie a knot.” The devil’s work or business it to tie us up, to bind up, to literally place chains around us. He wants to hold you captive and in prison.
Physically, the devil binds up and imprisons through disease and death. The existence of bacteria and the reality of germs are ultimately the activities of the devil attacking the human body. He also uses natural disasters, war and crime to destroy human society. He delights to ravage, to twist and hate and break and smash and mangle.
Intellectually, the devil binds people up by lying. He deceives and tells lies. He teaches us to believe certain widespread proverbs that everybody accepts as true. "Watch out for yourself." "You’ll never get ahead unless you think of yourself.”
Jesus came to loose you and I from the devils works, to set us free. And we want you to experience that freedom today. This freedom takes a hold of your problems and makes them literally dissolve into thin air. Jesus can make your situation simply disappear, like chains falling off of a prisoner. That is now God set us free.
Do want to see the devils works destroyed? Do you wish to see people set free? Freedom comes when three things happen. Each is based on faith and trust in God Himself. I see each of these three as miracles.
Miracle 1: The Spirit of God Pours Out
Our God is love. And love gives and gives and gives. We serve a giving and gracious Father in heaven. That is His heart. This week the Lord inspired me to see His three givings or “sendings.” He pointed the first two “sendings” out in Galatians 4:4,
"But when the time had fully come, God sent his
Son, born of a woman, born under law, (5) to
redeem those under law, that we might receive the
full rights of sons."
First, He “sent” His Son to live in the world. Most know the Scripture in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave (His love in action) His only Son.” That is a completed fact,a historical fact. Jesus was born of a virgin Mary over 2000 years ago. He was brought up into a Jewish faith in ancient Israel and was crucified outside Jerusalem at age 33.
That was the price of redemption. A broken body and spilled blood was the price for our sins. Through His life and death and resurrection we were brought back into right relationship with God. Through Him, we become sons and daughters, children of God through the new birth experience. As confessed Him with our mouth and believed in our hearts we were saved.
As His children, we now have the right to confess our sins and experience total forgiveness. We have the right to claim ourselves to be God’s own children. We have the right to celebrate heaven as our eternal home.