Summary: Christians have the choice as to their approach for the battles they will face. They can either be victorious or defeated.

May 24, 2009

Morning Worship

Text: Galatians 5:1

Subject: Spiritual Warfare

Title: Standing Strong in the Battle

As we celebrate this Memorial Day, a United Statesfederal holiday, observed on the last Monday of May (May 25 in 2009). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War(it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the civil war), it was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action.

A special thanks to those who have given their lives! Let’s take the time to give them applause. Were it not for them we may not be here in this church today. It seems that America has always been a target in the world because until recent years we have been the world’s standard of what is right in humanity.

We fight a battle against an unseen enemy. This enemy has moved the world to hate the US. He has now brought the battle to our own shores in the form of terrorists. He has now infiltrated the government with his people and we are being destroyed from within. The problem is that it has been accomplished so subtly that we haven’t even noticed. It has taken place over such a long period of time that America has become something other than what was intended. The battle cry of the enemy is “COMPROMISE” or “COMMON GROUND” as our president so easily portrays it. And we wonder how long we can survive as a nation under these conditions.

Now, I want to take this a step further. This same enemy has invaded the church as well. Oddly enough this attack began before America was even discovered. He predates recorded history. It was the enemy in the Garden of Eden. It is the enemy who was waiting for Israel when she came up out of Egypt – to prevent her from receiving the Promised Land. It was the same enemy who moved the “religious” leaders to put Jesus to death. And it was the same enemy who lost all that he had gained in the world when Jesus was raised from the dead in power. His name is satan and he is still active today. But he is no longer just at work in the world. He has infiltrated the church as well. He has spoken lies so subtly for such a long time that the church has submitted to his authority instead of rising up in the authority that has been given to it.

But we want to take you to a place today where you, the temple of the Holy Spirit, will be willing to stand up and fight and take back what this enemy has so discreetly stolen from you.

Galatians 5:1, 1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

I want to break this verse down to help you see what you the church can expect for your lives.

Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.

I. THE PURPOSE. Four words - 1It is for freedom… The context of what Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia is this, “Don’t turn back to the Law as your way of salvation, because the Law cannot save you. You have been set free from the law. Your enemy is an enemy of extremes. When God gave the Law to Moses satan turned the law into a “god”. It didn’t happen immediately. It took a long - term commitment from the enemy to make the people believe that somehow they could follow the Law precisely enough to save themselves. Romans 8:1-3, 1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. Do you here that? You are set free from trying to please God with your own efforts. Jesus has set you free. John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Luke 4:18 says, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners’… Satan has been telling the church for nearly 2000 years that Jesus doesn’t do that anymore. That was only for the apostolic age. You are going to be sick so you might as well live with it. You are going to have financial struggles so don’t try to get out of it. Jesus isn’t interested in your family, your finances or your health. And the church believes it!!!!! But when Jesus read from Isaiah, “He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners’ (he said later, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”) He understood it to mean that the church is to operate in that kind of authority. Why did Jesus come? 1It is for freedom… Why did He die on a cross? 1It is for freedom… Why was He raised from the dead? 1It is for freedom… And why did He go to the Father 1It is for freedom… Why did He send the Holy Spirit? 1It is for freedom… Why does He expect the church to be the same today? 1It is for freedom…

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