Sermons

Summary: Final message in the sermon series of "Spiritual Warfare." Our faith in Jesus gives us the victory. Our call is clear, we are to overcome the world. All Bible references are from the NASB.

Over the last 4+ months, we have been examining this thing we call spiritual warfare. Whether we realize it or not, our everyday lives in engulfed in spiritual warfare. We have temptations we fight, struggles against evil, culture around us assault our Christian values. We look at this past election and many say we prayed hard and long and the election did not turn out the way we wanted. What happened? I must remind you that our fight is not against flesh and blood:

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

So what does it look like to overcome the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places? Our message today deal with just that. We are going to address our victory that we have in Jesus.

1 John 5:3–5

Derek, 5, came home from kindergarten with a tooth in an envelope. His mother hugged him and told him they would put the tooth under his pillow that night for the tooth fairy. "You really expect me to believe that some funny looking person dressed in a pink tutu comes into my room at night and takes my old tooth and leaves me a dollar?" Derek asked. "I'm in kindergarten now, Mom! I don't believe in baby stories anymore." "Oh no!" his mother said. "If you don't believe in the tooth fairy I guess we'll just throw it away and you won't get anything but a new tooth in its place. I'm so sorry, I thought you were a believer."

Derek’s mother walked out of the room and took the envelope with her. A few minutes later she heard Derek talking to Lisa, his sister, age 9. "Derek, you dummy" Lisa said. "Do you know how many dollars I got from the Tooth Fairy? I got enough to buy a Barbie. Think of all the money you won't get. Think of that new 'Star Wars' toy you want." A minute later Derek came back to his mom and said, "Hey Mom, about that Tooth Fairy thing. I forgot, I thought you meant that other fairy, you know like on 'Oz.' I believe in the Tooth Fairy. I hope you still have my old tooth!"

With Christmas coming, the word is out, if you don’t believe in Santa, all you’ll get is underwear.

Some people are willing to believe in anything as long as it benefits them in the here and now. Real faith isn’t always convenient, sometimes it costs the believer. [1]

We talk about faith in Christ. We talk about belief. In the Greek, both words, faith and belief, are from the same root word. Both words are closely related. But what does it mean to believe? To have faith? Let’s look at our focal passage.

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

In context with verses 1 and 2, John is addressing the issue of Jesus being the eternal Son of God. To believe in that fact, and to place our trust and faith in Jesus, Scripture tells us that we are born of God, we are His children. If we are His children, then we keep His commandments. In fact, earlier in this letter, John gives us the test for truly knowing God.

1 John 2:3–5 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him

To know God is to obey God. Can you see how trust and belief is wrapped up in obedience? We have to have faith in His word to obey Him. the more we are obedient to the word, the more we believe and have faith.

John tells us, “His commandments are not burdensome.” This is not to say his commandments are easy, but they are not a burden. Why? Because a true believer loves the commands of the Lord and longs to keep them. Read Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, all 176 verses but 2, are about knowing, following, keeping and loving the commandments of God. It is like a mother caring for the baby she loves. It is not always easy but she loves to do it, because she loves her baby. Jesus says:

Matthew 11:28–30 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

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