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Summary: FAITH TO STAND (part 1) A 6 week series based on the temptation of Christ. Through Christ’s example we can overcome the attack of the enemy. The first key to any victory is to know your enemy. This message examines who Satan really is.

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Faith to Stand (part 1)

Put simply, the Christians life is a war. An unseen battle rages not just around us, but within us. Deep within our heart a life-and-death struggle rages for our soul. No on can run from the battle line; it’s impossible to hide from the attack.

The reality of this war is that there is no neutral ground–no demilitarized zone. No cease-fire will be called; no white flags will signal the surrender of the enemy. This is a war to the death; winner take all.

Every member of the human race is involved in this conflict. You cannot observe this war as a conscientious objector. Everyone who has accepted Christ as their personal Savior is on the front lines. Those outside the body of Christ are the prisoners of war awaiting their rescue before it’s too late.

My intention was to complete John 15 today in preparation for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season that is before us. But I believe God has a better plan for us. We’ll return later to the gospel of John, but today we are going to begin a series called “FAITH TO STAND” that I believe is critical to our individual spiritual growth as well as our growth and development as a church for two reasons:

1. Individually and as a church we have experienced victory. God has provided for us; He has given us a new start–a fresh beginning.

2. Our purpose is to fulfill God’s purpose for this church and our lives. We want to walk and talk like Jesus, to be His hands extended to our world.

Beware, when we experience victory and purpose to be like Jesus we will face the attack of the enemy. As Susie told me last night, “the rear flank does not see as much action as the front line.”

“Faith to Stand” is taken from 1 Corinthians 10:13. If you don’t know this verse of scripture you will.

+ “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (NIV)

This is our promise–a promise we can hold onto during difficult times. Through every battle; with every temptation God will be faithful to strengthen us to stand.

Throughout the series “Faith to Stand” we will make a careful study of the temptation of Christ in Luke 4:1-13.

+ Luke 4:1-13 1Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 2where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." 4Jesus answered, "It is written: ’Man does not live on bread alone.’" 5The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7So if you worship me, it will all be yours." 8Jesus answered, "It is written: ’Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’" 9The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here. 10For it is written: "’He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’" 12Jesus answered, "It says: ’Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’" 13When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. (NIV)

WHAT CAN WE HOPE TO LEARN?

1. We will better understand the tactics of the enemy. We’ll discover Satan’s strategy and plan of attack.

2. We will learn how to overcome the enemy and walk in victory through the example of Jesus. We will discover that spiritual warfare is a winnable war.

3. We will see when we are most vulnerable and open to the attack of the enemy. We will learn to recognize the ambushes that Satan sets to destroy our lives.

4. We will come to see Jesus in all of His holiness. He is the Lamb of God without spot or blemish. No sin can be found in Jesus; He is holy!

As we begin our study today let me also mention that some of this series will be drawn from the pages of the book "FAITH UNDER FIRE" by Steven J. Lawson. I recommend this book if you want to make a serious study on how to overcome the attacks of the enemy. I promise this series won’t just be a “book report.” If I did that, then there would be times I would have to tell you Lawson says such and such, but I think he’s wrong; we’ll let God sort that all out later!

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