Summary: A sermon that describes the battles facing the Church today and the things Christians must fight if they wish to obtain the Incorruptible Crown.
In the times of Saul and the fledgling Israelites, there was another older nation that had crossed the Aegean Sea and settled in city states around Israel. The Philistines were every bit as civilized as the Israelites. They were actually a whole era ahead in technological terms; the Israelites were technically in the Bronze Age while the Philistines had mastered Iron. They developed Iron material and weapons, and they protected it so others could not use it. Since the Philistines lived on the coastal plain by the international trade route, they also could influence the world (a mission God had intended for the Israelites). As a result, the Philistine culture with its pagan values dominated the Near East during the early Iron Age? much as Western nations shape the culture of developing countries today. The Bible confirms this fact: "Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, ’Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!’...So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand" (1 Sam. 13:19?22). Today, archaeologists find iron artifacts at most Philistine-Israelite sites from this period? But weapons are found only at Philistine sites.
Against this backdrop we find an entire Philistine Army encompassing a small hurriedly put together army of Israelites. I know it was hurriedly put together because Saul had to call in farmers and shepherds to fill his military rolls. (David’s brothers weren’t warriors) In this great Philistine army was giant of a man named Goliath of Gath who had ALL of Israel buffaloed including Saul. To Israel he was an impregnable, unmovable obstacle that would bring all of Israel into servitude to the Philistines; But to a little, young shepherd boy, Goliath was a giant that had to fall.
1 Samuel 17:36 - Goliath had to fall because he Defied a LIVING God!!!
Proposition/Transition: The Church Today had Giants that threaten to enslave her. These Giants are not flesh and blood but are spiritual Giants that will cause Christ’s Bride to fall into the Pit of Despondency.
Today I want to look at Three of these Christian Enslaving Giants.
1. Giant Hypocrity; This is a two – headed Giant.
This Giant stands in way of True Conversion.
a. One Head in the Word
b. The Second Head in Church
Friendship with the world - James 4:4-7 vs. 7: Resist the devil and he will FLEE.
Where are the Christians who are resisting the world???
Where are the Christians who have given up making excuses for what they know may not be right???
If Christians are resisting the Devil then why has he crept into the Church in the form of modernism, humanism, phariseeism, and conformism??
We can’t be on first named basis with sin and be on first name basis with God.
We can’t be in a relationship with sin and have one with God.
- We cannot serve two masters
Carnal Mindset vs Spiritual Mindset - Romans 8:6-8 vs. 8: We cant please God if our hearts, desires, and mind are on fleshly things.
The world draws us, it pulls us.., even Paul felt the pull of the world when he stated, “ that which I know to do, I do not; and that which I know not to do, that I do.”
Luke warmness: God’s Gag Reflex – Revelation 3:14-19
vs. 19: “Be zealous therefore, and repent.” Maybe the title of this message should be; Be Zealous and Repent O’ Christian, lift up your faces, lift up your eyes, harden not your hearts as Isreal in the Days of Moses. And as Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Be Reconciled to God.” It is time, brothers and sister, to repent of the Luke warmness that has infiltrated the Church and to overcome the Giant that enslaves us. It is time, brothers and sisters, that we bring our hearts into TRUE CONVERSION.
Definition: “Conversion”: Something converted/changed from one use to another.
As Christians, when we made the dicision to be saved; we made a discision to go from being used by satan and to be Used By Christ.
- Romans 6:3-6 - True Conversion involves a changed Lifestyle.
- Ephesians 4:21-32 - They are still living in the old “conversation”
2. Giant Complacency: This giant has no sense of Urgency
Definition: “Complacency” Self satisfaction accompanied by an unawareness of actual danger.
Like Many Christians today this Giant takes away our Sense of Urgency
Read the Story of Satan and his three Lieutenants.
A race is Run to be Won – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
3- 4 years before the Olympics races, those that were chosen to Run DO NOT ingest into their bodies, things that would impede their ability.
Why is it that many Christians of the Church, that were chosen by GOD (john 15:16), ingest into their minds, and yes bodies, things that impede our spiritual development?