Summary: A Sermon from the book of Joshua about the victorious Christian life. The conquest of Canaan is a picture of the Spiritual warfare of the believer.
SUCCESS IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
Introduction – Read Heb. 6:4-6
Here is a portion of Scripture that you don’t hear preached about in Baptist churches very often. The key to understanding this passage is to realize that it’s subject is not salvation. The Lord is speaking to Hebrew Christians who would not follow through and go on with Him in the Christian life.
In Numbers 14 and 15 we have the story of the 12 spies who were sent to spy out the land of Canaan. Ten of the spies came back in fear and unbelief. They saw the high walls of the cities and the giants that were in the land. They had a little God and unbelief.
The two other spies – Joshua and Caleb – also saw the walled cities and the giant men but the also saw a giant God.
The Israelites who had seen God’s Glory and His miracles, tempted God and refused to listen to Him. They were not allowed to enter the promised land. They had been enlightened and had tasted of good things to come but they refused to go on with God. They turned away. Their only place was the desert and defeat. No matter how they tried, they were not allowed to enter the promised land. There was no repentance.
Joshua Chapter 1
There were Four stages in Israel’s life that apply to the Christian life.
1st – Israel in Egypt – They were slaves, not free. Pharaoh was their master. (The Christian was lost, in the world, under Satans control.)
2nd – Israel’s Deliverance from Egypt and their deliverance thru the Red Sea. (This pictures our Salvation)
3rd – Israel’s Desert Experience – They wandered in the desert for 40 years. Defeated (This pictures the defeated Christian life.)
4th – Israel’s Conquest of Canaan – Here they were spiritual warriors and went on by faith from victory unto victory. (This is the Victorious Christian Life. The NT counterpart of the book of Joshua is Ephesians and Hebrews.)
The Victorious Christian Life. This brings us to our main text for today. – Joshua 1
In the first chapter of the book of Joshua we are provided with several steps concerning progress in the Christian life.
1. Vs. 1,2 – First of all
* The old way is gone – Moses – (law)
* The new way is following a new leader – Joshua – (grace)
2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2. Vs. 3,4 – In the second place we must realize that everything we do for the lord must be done on the principle of FAITH.
We must take God at His word. We cannot sit and twiddle our thumbs and expect God to do everything. We must walk with God one step at a time and claim our inheritance.
3. Vs. 5 – The third fact that is basic to the whole Christian life is that nothing can stop or withstand faith when it is in action.
Phil 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Christ has already won the victory. – Satan is a defeated foe.
Ill of Rahab in Chapter 2. – The people in Jericho knew they were defeated.
4. Vs. 6,7 – God promised to never leave us or forsake us. Therefore be STRONG and COURAGEOUS.
We must not quit and give up after seeming failures.
Ill. of two of the finest coaches in the NFL. Dick Vermeil and John Belecheck. Both were fired from their first head coaching jobs after failing. Both went on with other teams to Super Bowl victories.
Don’t Quit – Don’t Give Up – Don’t Turn Tail and Run
5. Vs. 8 – Here is the secret of continuous victory.
The secret is the Daily Devotional. – Meeting with God. The Word of God must be the daily diet of any Christian who wants to grow in their Christian life
Ill. Reading the bible through in a year – a good aim. – But two often it becomes the goal. It’s like going on a vacation and focusing on the destination and miss out on all the scenery along the way. Better way is to pick out 12 books of the Bible and concentrate on them for the year.
6. Vs. 10,11 and 16 - Finally - We need a Will and a Determination to forth in the things of God.
The Christian life is a progressive life. God leads us step by step.
“Who wants to live in a Desert” – Who wants to live a defeated life.
An individual Christian can live a defeated – faithless life – and so can a Church.