"VICTORY THROUGH JESUS"
I. WE ARE IN A WAR. PAUL SPOKE OF THE WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE, THAT SIGNIFIES THAT THERE IS A WAR THAT IS GOING ON.
A. This war actually started before man was ever created and placed on planet earth.
1. It began in prehistoric times when Satan decided to rebel against the will of God.
2. Ezekiel tells us that Satan was at one time a beautiful cherubim.
Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; You were the sum total, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of your tabrets and of your pipes was prepared in thee in the day that you were created.
You were the anointed cherub that covereth; and I set you [so]: you were upon the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you.
3. Isaiah speaks of his rebellion.
How have you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! You have been cut down to the ground, because you weaken the nations!
For you said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
B. It is a battle of good versus evil; light versus darkness; God versus Satan.
C. When man was created and placed on planet earth, the main battlefield was transferred to the earth.
1. Man became the prize of the battle.
2. The question was, given the freedom of choice will man choose to live in obedience to God and thus live in the kingdom of God, or will he join in Satan's rebellion against God, and live in the kingdom of Satan.
3. Tragically for mankind, Adam and Eve choose to obey the suggestion of Satan and ate of the tree that God had commanded them not to eat of, they left the kingdom of God and became slaves in the kingdom of darkness.
4. Subsequently all of the descendants of Adam have been born in sin and shapen in iniquity without a spirit, they naturally desired to, and did live after the flesh.
5. When Adam sinned, his spirit died, and he lost his place in the Kingdom of God, for God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. But with his spirit dead man could not know God or worship God.
6. With his spirit dead, man became as an animal, who possess a body and consciousness, but no spirit.
a. Paul calls him the natural man, and declared that he did not understand the things of the Spirit neither could he know them for they were spiritually discerned.
b. He also declared that the carnal mind was enmity against God and was not subject to the law of God, neither could it be.
II. THE PURPOSE OF THE COMING OF JESUS CHRIST WAS TO MAKE A WAY BY WHICH MAN MIGHT ESCAPE FROM THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS AND COME INTO THE KINGDOM OF JESUS CHRIST.
A. Jesus fought the battle against Satan and won, and He now shares His victory with all who will trust in Him.
1. Interestingly enough the battle centered around the cross.
2. The strange twist was that Satan was trying to keep Jesus from the cross.
a. He tried to destroy him while He was still an infant, when the infamous Herod that great ordered the death of all of the infants in Bethlehem.
b. He tried to keep Jesus from the cross by offering to give to Him the kingdoms of the earth if Jesus would just bow down and worship him.
c. He tried to destroy Jesus when Jesus began His public ministry at Nazareth, and the people took Him to the precipice and sought to throw him over.
d. He tried again on the Sea of Galilee, when Jesus was asleep in the little boat and Satan stirred up a storm and tried to sink the boat. Note that Jesus rebuked the wind and the seas.
e. When Jesus was telling His disciples that He was going to be betrayed and turned over to the Gentiles who would crucify Him, Peter began to rebuke Him and say, "Lord be that far from Thee." Jesus recognized that as the the voice of hell, and rebuked Peter saying, "Get thee behind me Satan."
f. It was in the Garden of Gethsemene that the battle came to a climax, as Jesus was in great agony, and His sweat turned to blood, He was praying "Father if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me, nevertheless, not what I will, but Thy will be done."
g. He prayed again, the second time, saying, "O my Father if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
h. When Peter tried to protect Jesus from being arrested and began to swing his sword, Jesus told him to put the sword away and declared, "The cup that the Father has given Me to drink, shall I not drink it?"
1. What was the cup?
2. Jesus had told His disciples, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for the remission of sin."
i. The battle was over, the victory was won when He submitted His will to the Father and determined to go through with the cross. The rest now is just mopping up operations.
j. Why was Satan so determined to keep Him from the cross? He knew that the death of Jesus on the cross would spell his ultimate defeat.
3. Paul wrote to the Colossians: And having disarmed the powers and authorities,(which are high ranking demonic spirits) He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
4. Jesus hanging on the cross signifies victory over the temptations of Satan and the yielding to the will of the Father.
5. Through His blood being shed on the cross, He has redeemed the world from the powers of Satan.
III. HOW THEN DOES THE VICTORY OF JESUS EFFECT US IN OUR BATTLE WITH SATAN?
A. "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb."
1. His victory becomes my victory.
2. Jesus said, "In that day you will know that you are in Me, and I am in you."
3. I am in Christ Jesus, and Satan has to go through Him to get to me.
4. John wrote in his first letter:
We know that whosoever is born of God does not live in sin; for He that was begotten of God keeps him, and that wicked one cannot touch him. We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, that we may know Him who is true, that we are in Him who is true, [even] in his Son Jesus Christ who is the true God, and eternal life.
B. "And the word of their testimony."
1. We do witness and testify that Jesus is our Lord, that we have committed our lives to serve Him.
2. When Satan tempts us to yield to our flesh, we testify that our old nature was crucified with Christ, in order that we should no longer be ruled by our fleshly lusts.
3. Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
C. "They loved not their lives unto death."
1. As Paul was on his way to Jerusalem, everywhere he went the Holy Spirit was warning him that bonds and imprisonment awaited him there. His friends were trying to dissuade him from going, but Paul responded, "Are you trying to break my heart with your tears? I am ready not only to be bound, but to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
2. On another occasion he said concerning the warnings: "None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself.
IV. YOU CAN KNOW VICTORY OVER SATAN, HE IS A DEFEATED FOE. THROUGH CHRIST WE SHALL DO VALIANTLY, IT IS HE WHO HAS TRIUMPHED OVER OUR ENEMY.