Message Recap - 7/23/10 - Fight! Part 2

Monday, July 26, 2010

Message Recap – 7/23/10 – Fight!: Part 2

This series is all about fighting the right war with the right weapons.

If you missed part 1 you can take a look at the recap here.

And now on to part 2!

The theme verse(s) is found in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5: For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Here's a video depicting a good metaphor for the spiritual weaponry we could be using:

The world is trying to fight with “swords” while we have the better weapon – “guns”. Tonight and for the next several weeks we are going to talk about what exactly our spiritual weapons are (not just metaphorically).

Whether you know it or not, there is a battle and you are in it. It's your job to fight! You've been conscripted into the army of God.

Tonight we will get started with a couple of rhetorical questions. What is the message of Christianity? Can you explain Christianity to someone else, or even just to yourself? A lot of non-Christians and Christians alike see the Christian message as one of law; a list of dos and don'ts. Christians are seen as “anti-” various things – homosexuality, abortion, divorce, Obama, dating. That's all fine, but we can't get sidetracked on those issues. Those are the hot-button issues that people get upset and argue over, so that's what we end up talking about.

In Pastor Dan's seven years as youth pastor, he has dealt with one or two teens, and seen one or two make some really dumb decisions. Just a couple. Sometimes really serious bad decisions and sometimes not as critical bad decisions, but bad decisions nonetheless.

In light of this, it can be easy to make the message of Christianity, “Just don't do something stupid!”

But Jesus didn't come and die just to eradicate stupidity!

What are you living for? What about your life proves that you are a Christian? What justifies you? “I don't swear. I only wear floor length skirts. I don't date. I'm nice to people (some times). I even go to church once a month! Obviously, I'm a Christian.”

Do you live by the law, by rules? The rules, the law, the dos and don'ts are impotent weapons. They have no power and no effect! Yet they are the weapons we so often find ourselves fighting with.

Take a look at what Paul says in Galatians 3:1-14.

God gave us laws and rules. Those things are not evil or wrong – we do need to follow them. But simply following rules is not the point! The law was given to reveal our need for Christ; to show us that we can never attain it by ourselves! No one was saved by following the law – you can read through the Old Testament, all the rules and regulations. It's impossible to keep them all, and that's the point! You need Jesus, you need the Cross!

We cannot be righteous on our own; it's impossible. The law is the measuring stick that reveals just how far short we've really fallen. Yet we so often use it to compare our height to each other. We're all still way too short! It's pointless.

It's easy to preach a message of law in a lawless world – a world where everyone has thrown off restraint and lives however they want. We can use our “sword” – our inadequate weapon – to fight against their sword. But that won't change the world or bring anyone to Jesus. Using law as a weapon to reach a lawless world won't work. But we have a much better weapon to use – the cross of Jesus Christ! That is our best weapon of all!

The message of the Cross is that He gave us a boost so that we could finally measure up!

Check out Colossians 2:13-15: When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

We could never make it on our own, but Jesus helped us.

To fight using the cross we have to live it. We have to lay down our own ideas, opinions, coolness, time. The cross demands surrender.

That's why some prefer the law – it's easier to kind of follow the law than to surrender your life. But the law is powerless! Our greatest weapon is the Gospel – the message of the Cross. The Cross demolishes strongholds! Live the cross; take your fears, pride, temptations to the Cross. We can't just say, “I'm a Christian because I do this...” It has to be because you are surrendered to Christ. It's hard, but it works!

When your life is lived by the Cross you overcome the true enemy – the strongholds of darkness. Lives lived by the cross can change lives, this nation and even the world. But it means not living to be cool or by your own sense of self worth for following the law. It means giving all that you are and all that you have, in exchange for so much more!

Will you choose the better weapon?

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