Heritage Spring Retreat 2010. CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH. Contending Personally. Contending Personally.
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The strange opposition that I met with from Satan, in the study of the following discourse, hath put an edge upon my spirit, knowing that Satan strives mightily to keep these things from seeing the light that tend eminently to shake and break up the kingdom and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the souls and lives of the children of men. -Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies
Introduction: Every believer is engaged in a personal spiritual conflict. We are not merely fighting with our own flesh, selfishness, unbelief, addictions and passions, important as these battles are; we are fighting with an evil force greater than ourselves - the very powers of darkness. Therefore, we ought to "put on the whole armour of God" and look to Christ, who has gained the victory for us, as we realize that we will be engaging in a continual battle until our last breath.
Where do feelings of hopelessness come from?
How does sin still exercise such a powerful influence in my life when I know that God has forgiven my sins?
Why do temptations keep coming back in a particular area of life?
Why does it seem that truth is being undermined at every turn?
Why does the world seem to self-destruct?
Why do I have so little profit from my spiritual exercises?
1. The Christian’s five word biography
2. The Christian’s new allegiance
In what or whom do you find your identity?
Do you recognize your enemy?
Do you utilize the armor at your disposal?
Are you looking to your Captain?Contending Personally: Know Your Identity!
In themselves, believers have no life, or strength, or spiritual power. All that they have of vital religion comes from Christ. They are what they are, and feel what they feel, and do what they do, because they draw out of Jesus a continual supply of grace, help and ability. - J.C. RyleContending Personally: Know your identity
Living our Identity!
“It is impossible to be a soldier of Jesus Christ and not to fight.” - J. Gresham Machen
“You will not get leave to steal quietly to heaven in Christ’s company without a conflict and a cross.”
- Samuel Rutherford
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren (Heb. 2:9-11).
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect (Heb. 12:22-23).
We are not lone rangers in the battle against sin, but we have one another to strengthen us and keep each other accountable.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:11).
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 (Eph. 6:12).
Satan’s Four Main Strategies
Satan entices us to sin
Satan hinders spiritual disciplines
Satan misrepresents God and his truth
Satan opposes sanctification
“He [Satan] casts down none suddenly from the pinnacle of a high profession into the lowest abyss of wickedness, but leads them rather by oblique descents and turnings, lower and lower, until at last they take hold of hell.”
Revelation 12:9-10; 20:10
Than Jesus blood and righteousness.
“Before the Throne of God Above”
When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see him there
Who made an end to all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God the just is satisfied
To look on him and pardon me,
To look on him and pardon me.
-Charitie Lees Bancroft
Going back to our Identity
Putting off the old man and putting on the new (Eph. 4:24-28)
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:37-39).
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son (Rev. 21:7).