2 Corinthians 10:3-5 Sermon Illustrations

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2 Corinthians 10:3-5


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Spiritual Warfare

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

 

Introduction: Wars come in many shapes and sizes, many varieties.

There is the American Civil War, WW1 and WW2, the Korean War, the Viet Nam War, the Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and most recently the War in Iraq.

These wars all have a different character, different reasons, and different ways of battle. 

In every war there has been an evil that has been faced and fought.

In the Iraqi War again we faced an evil. 

It is very important that our leaders understand what evil they are up against.

 

As Christians we are in a war with Satan. In these verses, Paul tells us some important information about this war.

 

I.                    Our Walk

2 Corinthians 10:3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

a.      What does it take to start a war?

                                                              i.      Wars are fought between good and evil. 

                                                            ii.      Before there is a war,

1.      Not only must there be a threat,

2.      But there must be good people,

a.      People who hate injustice and tyranny,

b.      People willing to stand together and fight.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." 

Edmond Burke.

b.      The reason why Satan wins so many times in America is because we are not willing to fight.

                                                              i.      If we are to be a part of the warfare against Satan.

1.      We must separate ourselves from the world.

2.      We must stand and fight the evil that threatens the souls of men.

a.      Who else will war for God against Satan? 

b.      Remember - "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." 

 

 

II.                  Our Weapons.

Verse 4: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;

a.      The Word of God.

                                                              i.      It is a weapon in our hands as we read it, believe it, and obey it
Psalms 119:9 ¶ BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed [thereto] according to thy word.   11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

                                                            ii.      It is a weapon in our hands as we teach and preach it in our churches, in our families, and in our cities.

                                                          iii.      It is a weapon in our hands as we take it to the ends of the earth. Matthew 28:18-20

                                                           iv.      In Ephesians 6:17, Paul calls the Bible the "Sword of the Spirit."

                                                             v.      Are YOU devoting yourself to the study of God's Word?

                                                           vi.      Are you seeking to understand the impact the Word of God makes on every area of life and culture?

 

b.      In our spiritual warfare, we have two all-purpose weapons, and five pieces of armor (Ephesians 6:11-18).

                                                              i.      Our all-purpose weapons are the Word of God and prayer.

1.      They are useful for either offense or defense.

2.      We use them to advance Jesus' Kingdom.

                                                            ii.      Our armor is:

1.      Truth - Define it, defend it, teach it.

2.      Righteousness - rely on Jesus' righteousness; and live a holy life

3.      Faith - You are lost without faith.

4.      Salvation - You need assurance of salvation.

 

 

III.                Our Warfare

 

a.      How shall we conduct this warfare?

                                                              i.      This is not a war that we can fight physically with our bodies.

1.      We cannot use our fists, or pistols, or guided missiles or bombs.

2.      Karate will be useless.

                                                            ii.      This war must be fought with heart, soul, spirit and mind.

 

b.      Our weapons are MIGHTY.

                                                              i.      Because God has annointed our weapons.

                                                            ii.      Because He has designed our weapons to tear down strongholds.

 

c.      What is our goal?

                                                              i.      To pull down the strongholds of Satan in this world.

 

d.      What are the fronts in this war?

                                                              i.      The World

1.      Chiefly, to publish God’s Word throughout the World.

2.      “Go ye into all the World and Preach the Gospel.” Mark 16:15

                                                            ii.      The Flesh

1.      To conquer our own sinful desires and actions.

2.      To resist Satan's temptations,

3.      To lead a holy life.

                                                          iii.      The Devil

1.      To win the battles for the souls of men.

2.      To bring as many others to heaven with us as we can.

a.      Every opportunity must be gained.

b.      Every person must be told.

c.      Every means must be used.

 

e.      The term "Spiritual warfare" has been hijacked by the Charismatics,

 

                                                              i.      In the ears of many Christians it usually refers to exorcisms, casting demons out of people, or houses, or marching around a city chanting "we are claiming this city for Christ."

1.      Demons are real, but we need to realize that they are very limited in what they can do.

2.      Christians cannot be demon possessed, because the Holy Spirit indwells us, and we have been baptized into Christ Himself.

3.      We don’t win Spiritual Warfare when we focus on the demons.

                                                            ii.      But when we live holy lives, win people to Christ, and preach truth and righteousness in our communities,

1.      THEN we are truly engaged in spiritual warfare.

 

f.        Our warfare is for the hearts and minds of people

                                                              i.      It centers on preaching the Gospel,

                                                            ii.      Defending the Faith, and

                                                          iii.      Promoting Bible living

 

Verse 5: Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

 

g.      Imaginations, verse 5

                                                              i.      The word “imaginations” means the activity of one's reasoning powers

1.      Our thoughts, Our calculations, Our reflections

2.      Basically, Our IDEAS.

 

                                                            ii.      The root of the Greek word is  "logos" or "word" in English.

1.      In other words, we battle against Satan chiefly with information and spiritual understanding.

2.      We use that information and understanding to advance the Kingdom.

3.      For example, when Paul enteblack a Pagan city on his missionary journeys,

a.      he did not march around the city casting out demons and binding Satan.

b.      He went to the Synagogue, or the public debating place, and preached and argued the truth of Christianity.

 

Conclusion:

Most Christians are barely engaged in this great spiritual battle going on all around us all the time.

If you want to be successful in being a warrior for Christ, you need to understand what that means:

Using your mind, your intelligence, your knowledge of the Word of God -- to use the Word of God and prayer to win souls.

 

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