Summary: A sermon I wrote for my Expository Preaching class. The outline has powerpoint notes. The presentation is available via e-mail if you are interested.
SLIDE ONE (WHEN CHRISTIANS WAGE WAR)
I want you to imagine the following scene as I describe it…if you can, imagine yourself in such a situation at work or at school.
SLIDE TWO (MAN ON STEPS)
1-Opening illustration: Description of the board member/minister standing outside of the church building following an unproductive board meeting.
2-Background information on the issues in Corinth.
3-Relate this to contemporary situations in which we face opposition or ridicule.
4-Opposition is war…but it comes from Satan. He is our true enemy.
5-Thesis: When people oppose us because we take a stand for the truth, we have the methods we need to fight the battle.
6-2 Corinthians 10:1-6 shows us the correct manner in which to deal with this type of opposition.
7-Read the text from the NIV.
SLIDES THREE through FIVE (SCRIPTURE)
Transition: Notice that Paul develops this idea by using the progressive steps of an actual war. He walks the readers through each phase of the battle in an effort to show them that there is a certain way in which they are to fight. Like any battle, this one must begin by bombarding the enemy’s defenses.
SLIDE SIX (POINT #1)
I. We Destroy Strongholds (verse 4)
A.Exposition: Explain the strongholds that Paul had to face. False teachers and those who vocally opposed him in his absence. Paul recognized that the true enemy, however, was not of this world. The true enemy was fighting on a spiritual plane.
B.Ephesians 6:10-12 “We’re fighting against flesh and blood”
SLIDE SEVEN (EPHESIANS 6:10-12)
SLIDE EIGHT (D-DAY)
C.Illustration: First Wave of an organized attack. D-Day invasion of Normandy, initial strikes in Gulf War. The enemy’s defenses have to be taken out in order to advance.
D.Explanation: We have enemies if we are advancing the gospel. We have to recognize where they have encamped and set up defenses.
E.Application: What are our strongholds? Pride? Sin?
Transition: Once the initial attack has been launched, the battle progresses to the next level. The beaches have been stormed, the air strikes have been concluded; now we must fight the troops that are waiting. We must take out every argument and lofty idea that confronts us.
SLIDE NINE (POINT #2)
II. We Destroy Arguments and Lofty Ideas (verse 5a)
A.Exposition: Paul had to deal with those who falsely accused him. They said that he lived by worldly standards. They said he was two-faced and inconsistent. Some even set themselves up as replacement apostles. Paul would further deal with these “super apostles” in the following chapters.
B.Ephesians 6:13-18 “Put on the full armor”
SLIDES TEN through ELEVEN (EPHESIANS 6:13-18)
C.Illustration: The Second Wave requires that the foot soldiers be prepared. They have to have the appropriate supplies and weapons. They have to have appropriate reinforcements.
SLIDE TWELVE (SOLDIERS)
D.Explanation: We have to combat opposition to the gospel using the appropriate weapons.
E.Application: There are false doctrines and heresies running amuck, even within some of our churches. We have to know how to answer them. We have to have the “full armor” and use it.
Transition: The Enemy’s troops have been confronted and defeated, where does the battle go from here? As in any battle, the enemy’s territory needs to be occupied. As soldiers for Christ, we need to move in and take these areas captive. We must now build OUR fortifications.
SLIDE THIRTEEN (POINT #3)
III. We Take Thoughts Captive (verse 5b)
A.Exposition: Paul had a battle on his hands. It wasn’t enough to refute the false teachers, he had to go back in and do “damage control” with the believers there. No doubt, some had been persuaded to listen to the opposition. Here we see Paul urging his readers to turn their thoughts back to the truth.
B.Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with God.”
SLIDE FOURTEEN (LUKE 11:24-26)
C.Luke 11:24-26 “House swept clean and in order”
SLIDE FIFTEEN (IWO JIMA)
D.Illustration: Soldiers must go in and take the land for themselves. They have to secure it and capture any remnant of the enemy that may be there. They have to replace the enemy’s defenses with their own.
E.Explanation: It’s not just enough to refute the opposition and turn them away. We have to reclaim the battlefield for Christ.
F.Application: We have to damage control. We have to be assured that every remnant of falsehood is removed once the battle has ended. If we don’t, we are allowing Satan a foothold to come back in. My childhood church.
Transition: At this point it may seem like the battle is over. The war has been won, but we know that there is often dissension among the troops. Perhaps we weren’t thorough enough when we cleaned up the mess. Perhaps we overlooked a pocket of resistance. Even when it appears that the fighting has ended, we sometimes face mutiny from our own side and must deal with it.