14 November 2006

A little bit more about me.

I was born by my mother in 1967, and by the Holy Spirit in 2001. He has changed me from a man wrapped up in drinking, smoking, pornography, and other ills to a man who now preaches His word to His people in the projects here in Knoxville. I thought I might share with you some of my sermons. Here is the first sermon I ever preached, on 2nd Corinthians 10:4-6:

I remember going to the theater to see "Rocky IV". In the climactic fight scene with Victor Drago (played by Dolph Lundgren), Rocky was getting beaten to a pulp for the first 11-12 rounds. Then--a la Hollywood--he gets up, and starts fighting back, and in the end, of course, he wins. Well, when we decide to walk with Christ, we step into the ring against a seemingly invincible opponent, and we step into the fight of our lives. But praise GOD!! Because although it may not happen until these bodies fall asleep--we will be victorious in the end. Amen? It's not because of any "inner strength" we have, and it's not because of any strength we might possess. Because I'll tell you something: we can't possibly beat our new enemy. He's smarter than us, he's stronger than us, and he can come up with an almost endless variety of weapons he can use against us.

So how do we defeat him? That's actually a trick question. WE don't. We let Jesus Christ do that for us. Listen to what the Apostle Paul writes in 2nd Corinthians 10:3-6--"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled." In this passage, Paul chronicles his struggles against those in the church at Corinth who sought to undermine his ministry. And in fact, we could write the same words about our fight against Satan. Because we too are ministers and Satan is ultimately the one who seeks to undermine us and our ministry.

Verse 3-"we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh" We may have many enemies, but they themselves are not our enemies. Ephesians 6:12 tells us that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against...rulers of the darkness of this age". The crack dealer, the pimp, Osama bin Laden. They are not the rulers of the darkness of this age, they are products of it. The ruler of the darkness of this age--our ultimate enemy--is Satan. If we're Rocky Balboa, Satan is that big Russian guy. And don't think for a minute that he's not going to knock us down a time or two. But when he does, and we fall it's what we do next that shows the world that we belong to GOD. Do we fight back? Of course we do. But how?

Verse 4-"the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but are mighty in GOD". In other words, we have access to GOD's ammunition dump. Forget nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons. These are weapons that GOD Himself created. And you talk about some weapons of mass destruction! Let's look at what these weapons of our warfare are capable of doing.

"The weapons of our warfare are mighty through GOD for pulling down strongholds"
A stronghold is defined as a castle, or a fortress. Every morning, Satan stands there at the top of his fortress thinking "how am I going to attack him today?" And we have no weapons in our flesh--intelligence, willpower, whatever--to fight against him, to pull his fortress down. We can't fight Satan with our weapons, but we can use the ones GOD lets us have. Like prayer and His Word. Those are two weapons that will prevail every time, Amen? Think about this: GOD has beaten Satan twice, and He's going to do it a third time. GOD threw Satan and 1/3 of the angels out of heaven, defeated him on the cross, and will one day throw him into the lake of fire. Now, do you still think He can't beat him in your situation?

"The weapons of our warfare are mighty through GOD for casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of GOD."
Satan, and whoever he tries to use against you is going to try to say GOD isn't real. Don't listen to them. John 8:44 says that Satan is a liar and the father of all lies. And of course he doesn't want you to call on Jesus because he knows once you do, it's over.

"The weapons of our warfare are mighty through GOD for taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."
What is the obedience of Christ? Philippians 2:8--
"...being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."
And we have to consider ourselves dead to our old life. When we are tempted to go back to that from which we repented, the power of the Holy Spirit, if we allow it to guide us, will take that thought captive, that we may indeed be considered dead to that sin.

"The weapons of our warfare are mighty through GOD for punishing disobedience that your obedience may be fulfilled"
If we are in Christ, anytime Satan may bruise our heel, we need to remember that we have already crushed Satan's head. And our obedience has already been fulfilled because of Christ's obedience. There is a word that will undo all of Satan's plans to destroy us. And if we remember this word, and use it against him, he will lose every time. That word is NO. We often say it when we're talking to GOD. Let's use it when Satan tries talking to us.

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