Sermon: Standing Against Spiritual Forces

 

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:10–12)

 

INTRODUCTION

 

It has been said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” 

 

It’s a fitting reminder to us that there is a devil working day and night to bring his plans about, and if Christians forget this, the damage he will inflict will be incalculable. 

 

It is as Martin Luther put in his great old hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God:” 

 

    For still our ancient foe

     Doth seek to work us woe;

    His craft and power are great,

     And, armed with cruel hate,

    On earth is not his equal.

 

Because many Christians are content to do nothing, the final verses of Ephesians burst into a call to arms against this ancient spiritual enemy who prowls about like a roaring lion. 

 

We’ll begin our study with a look at who this enemy is.


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Sermon: Three Reasons To Believe In The Resurrection

 

INTRODUCTION

 

People have the idea that belief in God is non-intellectual—that to be a Christian you have to check your brain at the door and have blind faith.

 

But to be a Christian is not to be unreasoning. Yes, we believe in unseen things, like God and Heaven and angels, but so does everyone. No one can see electricity, or sub-atomic particles, but we have good reasons for believing in them.

 

I want to share with you three solid reasons why you can believe that the resurrection of Jesus Christ really happened. First, there’s no better way to explain the empty tomb. Second, there are a number of resurrection appearances, where people saw a living, physical Jesus. Third, there’s the existence of the Christian Faith.


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Sermon: The Demonstration Of Jesus’ Glory

 

29 And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 30 Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. 31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. 32 And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. 33 And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? 34 And they said, The Lord hath need of him. 

 

35 And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. 36 And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. 37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. 

 

39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. (Luke 19:29–40)

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Before we begin to look at Luke’s account of the triumphal entry of Jesus, let’s ask the question: “Why did this even take place?” Jesus knew that he had come to this world to die on the cross. What was he doing here, entering Jerusalem like a king? Why not just go straight to the cross?

 

J.C. Ryle, an old preacher from the 1800’s, said that Jesus wanted to fix attention on himself so that when the time for the crucifixion came, all of Israel would be focused on him. Ryle wrote:

 

The Lamb of God was about to be slain; the great sin-offering was about to be killed. It was right that all eyes in Israel should be fixed on him. This great thing was not done in a corner (J. C. Ryle, Luke, Crossway Classic Commentaries [Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1997], Lk 19:28–40)

 

I think old Ryle came pretty close in his answer. Jesus wanted to have all eyes on him as he approached the cross, so he gave people a demonstration of his glory.

 

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Sermon: The Seventh Plague: Hail

 

13 And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. 14 For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. 15 For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. 16 And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. 17 As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go? 18 Beholden, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now. 19 Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die. 20 He that feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: 21 And he that regarded not the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the field. 22 And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. 23 And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. 24 So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 25 And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. (Exodus 9:13–25)

 

INTRODUCTION

 

God often works to get people’s attention. And once they turn to look at him, and what he has to say, they immediately have a choice: belief or rejection.

 

The plague of hail is unique in that God gives people a choice to save themselves from the hail. We will see people make that choice, but before we see them do that, let’s review…

 

I. THE REASONS FOR THE PLAGUES

 

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Sermon: Working For Your Heavenly Master

 

5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. 9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him. (Ephesians 6:5–9)

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A. Heaven Is Work

 

“I owe, I owe, so it’s off to work I go.” Ever since Adam and Eve sinned, work has been a curse. Even those in the jobs that they most desire to do find themselves from time to time simply not wanting to be at work.

 

Yet human beings were designed to work. It’s how God made us and, if you think we’ll spend eternity sitting on a cloud playing a harp, you’ve got another thing coming. 

 

Heaven will be full of rewarding work for us to do.

 

3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: (Revelation 22:3)

 

What will we do? It could be anything. Heaven won’t be a boring place. You might build cabinets with Joseph of Nazareth. You might be a seller of purple linen with Lydia. The possibilities will be more limitless than they are now.

 

Heaven is what the Garden of Eden was before Adam and Eve sinned. They were put in Eden to work it, so in the New Heavens and the New Earth, we can expect work to do, but work without the curse. Work that will always be fulfilling and rewarding to do!

 

As Christians, we are new creations living in the old creation. We still have to struggle with sin and the curse, but we can look at our work in a new light. 

 

We can look at our work now in the way that we will look at our work in Heaven—as Revelation 22:3 described it, as serving the Lord.


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Sermon: The Sixth Plague: Boils

 

8 And the Lord said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. 9 And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. 10 And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast. 11 And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians. 12 And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had spoken unto Moses. (Exodus 9:8–12)

 

INTRODUCTION

 

One of the unbeliever’s big concerns about God is that they hold him to be unjust and unfair. The plagues on Egypt are one event in the Bible that they might turn to as evidence that God is unfair. But is God being unfair to the Egyptians here? Let’s look and see.


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