Monday, April 6, 2020

The Defeat of Fear - Roman 8


The Defeat of Fear

Text: Roman 8:17-39



Introduction: Do we, as Christians really know what God as done for us in Jesus Christ?  We should walk, talk and sleep victory but too many times we do not. 

We are living in fearful times. There is a great deal of uncertainty, of conflicting opinions and opposing conclusions of what is happening and how to deal with it as a nation and as individuals. Fear is something this world has in abundance and loves to create even more.

Consider what some fearful scientists have predicted in the past.

If everyone keeps stacking National Geographic’s in garages and attics instead of throwing them away, the magazines' weight will sink the continent 100 feet sometime soon and we will all be inundated by the oceans. Now you may think this is foolish and it is, but just remember a few years ago a certain Congressman publicly questioned if too many people on the island of Guam would cause the island to flip over and capsize.

Another study found that, if the number of microscope specimen slides submitted to one St. Louis hospital lab continues to increase at its current rate, that city will be buried under three feet of glass by the year 2224.

How about this one, If beachgoers keep returning home with as much sand clinging to them as they do now, 80% of the country's coastline will disappear in 10 years....

It has also been reported that pickles cause cancer, communism, airline tragedies, auto accidents and crime waves. About 99.9% of cancer victims had eaten pickles sometime in their lives.... 96.8% of communist sympathizers and 99.7% of those involved in car and airplane accidents. Moreover, those born in 1839 who ate pickles have suffered a 100% mortality rate. And rats force-fed 20 pounds of pickles a day for a month ended up with bulging abdomens and loss of appetite. And you thought COVID-19 was scary, we better wake up and fear the pickle.  - Barry Siegel, "World May End With a Splash,"  Los Angeles Times, October 9, 1982.

Do we need to talk about scientists, politicians and the media when it comes to fear and Global Warming? No, I didn’t thinks so.

There are many real fears in this world and many foolish ones but do you know the best way to overcome all fear, real or unreal? Its right here in this book, this is, among so many other wonderful things, the way to defeat fear. I want to give you a quick and very non-exhaustive example this morning from the book of Romans chapter 8.


Christian Roadmap

Romans, for the Christian is a Roadmap of our beliefs, our hopes and our way to live.

Romans 1-3 Sin: Guilty before God
     Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Romans 4-5 Salvation by God
     Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
     Romans 5:6-9 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Romans 6 -8 Living With God (Sanctification)

Fear Defeated By Emancipation - Romans 8:1-9

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

No Fear Because We are Free


Paul says there is no condemnation. This means I am not condemned of God because I am now his child, I have put me faith in the death of Jesus Christ and I need never fear the judgment of God for my sin, because that price has been paid by the death of Christ in my place.
Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in vs. 2 says, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”  

Paul says you no longer fear condemnation.  If you are a child of God, then you have the Spirit of God within you to overcome your fear, your faults, even your sins.  You no longer need to fear, you have been set free, emancipated, from fear by the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,

Illustration: No Fear of Gravity pg. 130 in The Normal Christian Life.

“… the Lord says in Matthew 6: “Behold the birds… Consider the lilies.”  If we could ask the birds whether they were not afraid of the law of gravity, how would they reply?  They would say: “We never heard the name of Newton.  We know nothing about his law.  We fly because it is the law of our life to fly.”  Not only is there in them a life with the power of flight, but that life has a law which enables these living creatures, quite spontaneously and consistently, to overcome the law of gravity.


Fear Defeated By Regeneration - Romans 8:10-11



 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

No Fear Because We are Quickened


Quickened is an old word, taken from the Greek word for life, “zoon.” Here it means to made alive, to give life.
Christians cannot fear when they realize that before they came to Christ, they were already dead. What could be worse for a human being than to know you were never really alive, but were just dead people walking? But that death has been defeated because we have been quickened, made alive for the first time. How can I be afraid now? I’ve already passed through death and if Jesus Christ defeated death  then I know He will also defeat fear.

No Fear Even At the Grave


1 Corinthans 15:51-57 — Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Fear Defeated by Adoption - Romans 8:12-16


Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

No Fear Because We are Children of God


Paul boldly proclaims, “We have not received the spirit of bondage, by the Spirit of Adoption and now as the children of God we cry out “Abba, Father!” The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God!

If we could just grasp a small portion of this truth, every fear we could ever face would be instantly vaporized, gone in a flash of boldness in the knowledge of who we are.

We are the children of God. We belong to the family of the creator and sustainer of the universe. We walk upon a world that will one day be claimed by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and ruled by us as God’s people. How can I be afraid of anything in this world? This world may be occupied territory now by the power of sin, but I know the truth, this world and all that is in it, will one day be conquered by its rightful ruler and King. When that happens you and I as children of God, as those who cry out Abba, Father, will ride behind Him and rule with Him.

Fear Defeated by Redemption - Romans 8:17-25


And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

No Fear Because We are Redeemed


As Children we are also heirs and joint heir with Christ. Paul points out that we will suffer with Jesus Christ but he looks past the suffering and says we will glorifed. The suffering, the sorrows, the persecution and the tribulations can’t compare to that glory that will be reveal in us.

This Paul says is and earnest expectation that is not just ours but all of creation.  Vs 19. Creation itself waits in hope for the glorifying of the sons of God, for when they are glorified then all of creation will become what God originally created it to be. Creation shall be delivered from bondage in the liberty of the children of God.

This great hope is the redemption of our bodies, our final sanctification, the final proof of God’s love and power, the final defeat of fear.

These bodies so weakened by sin, so easily infected by disease, so quickly run down and so easily conquered by death; these same bodies God will redeem, sin can’t even claim them after I’m dead and buried. Now that is something that should give us courage and put fear to flight.

In Luke 21, Jesus was describing the events that would precede His return for the nation of Israel in vs.28 when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

That’s also what we should be doing with dealing with the fear all around us. We have this assurance, we have this hope, we have this earnest expectation given to us in God’s word. So lift up your head redemption draweth nigh.


Fear Defeated by Intercession - Romans 8:26-28


Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

No Fear Because The Spirit Pleads For Us


Still our victories over sin, death and fear continue in vs 26. Fear is defeated and we have victory through the intercession of the Holy Spirit vs. 26

The Holy Spirit has been given to us, to help us in our infirmities, our weaknesses, or fear. He does this by making intercession for us. He prays and pleads for us even in words that are beyond any language or vocabulary I have. When words fail me, when fear begins to control my thoughts and my prayers, the Holy Spirit, paracletos, take control.

In Him, even in the midst of fear I possess this great and abiding assurance, That all things work together for good to them that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. vs 28

Fear Defeated by Predestination – Romans 8:29-30

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.


No Fear Because We are Predestined


The Bible says, God foreknew us. He knew us as his children, as those who would accept His Son as savior. Because of that fore-knowledge, He then predestined us. He determined before it happened that we would be conformed to the image of His Son, not that we would be saved, but that we would be glorified and conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.  All this He know in eternity past, but for us it began in our lifetime when He called us, to salvation, called to the cross of Calvary, called us to be the children of God. When we answered that call, He Justified us and he He glorified us.

All this done in God’s mind before the world began. You cannot understand it but you can know victory and freedom from fear, by believing it right now.

Ephesians 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Why should I be afraid? God has seen everything from the beginning to the end of time. He has seen what is happening to us today and He has already determined that His children will not be defeated, His children will be glorified.

Quit being afraid, all of this we are going through has already been dealt with by the fore-knowledge and predestination of God. Its already be taken care of.

Illustration:  Harry Houdini can’t open the lock.


Harry Houdini’s only failure to escape from a jail cell almost came in a little English town with an old fashioned lock.  After regurgitating the lock pick he worked for hours on the old lock but could not make it budge.  At the point where he was ready to quit he leaned against the cell door and it swung open.  The sheriff had forgotten to lock the door.  Houdini had been working on an open lock.  Christian you are experiencing defeat because you are trying to do the work which Christ has already done.  We are already victorious.  It’s time we swung open the door and began to act like it. 




Fear Defeated by Justification - Roman 8:31-39


What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 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

No Fear Because We are Justified


What shall we say to these things?
If God be for us who can be against us?
He did not spare His own son will he not give us all we need?
Who shall lay anything to the change of God’s elect?
God has justified us.
Who is he that condemns?
Christ died, rose and now intercedes on our behalf.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Tribulation, distress, persecution, famine nakedness peril or sword.
For thy sake we are killed all the day long, we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors

The phrase “more than conquerors” is just one word in the Greek and it means super-victorious.  It means we are beyond mere victory. We are super-victors, experiencing victory above and beyond the normal understanding and experience of the word because of the power of God working in and through me.

I am persuaded.
The word literally means, I stand utterly convinced, we as Christians, as believers, as overcomers, as children of God and warriors riding in the host of heaven, We cannot be separated from the love of God.

Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor thing present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, no any other created being, shall be able to separate us from the love of God,

Paul, like a fighter on the battle field, stands before the enemy and says, “Bring it on! I stand in the power of God and nothing you do can separate me from His love.”

Do you understand that you also are super-victorious today in Christ?


Paul had nothing in his relationship with God that you do not have. The same victory he claimed and proclaimed is just as much ours as it was his.

Conclusion


The great Baptist Missionary, William Carey is called the father of modern missions because he believed that the Great Commission meant going to the ends of the earth.

He began life as a cobbler of shoe, a shoe repair man, and he married Dorothy who could not read and signed her marriage certificate with nothing but an x. Yet God called this humble and simple man into the ministry.  As he set at his workbench he would read the Bible and study. In a few years he had learned Hebrew, Italian, Dutch and French.

In 1783 he was baptized into the local Baptist Church and later served as a schoolteacher and pastor. At a ministers' meeting in 1787, Carey raised the question of whether it was the duty of all Christians to spread the Gospel throughout the world. An older preacher is said to have retorted: "Young man, sit down; when God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid and mine."

Carey went to India with his family but the East India Company did not want missionaries reaching out to their tea plantation workers and refused to let him enter. He finally landed in Dutch territory and started his work. While there his oldest son fell sick and died and this caused his wife to have a nervous collapse and never again recover her mind and after years of caring for her and the work, she died of a fever.

Carey remarried and after a few years his second wife Charlotte died, followed by his second son.
During this time Carey learned Bengalese and Hindi and then translated the Bible into those languages for the Indian people. He also found a Bible college and began to train men for the ministry. Throughout his time in India he endured sickness, opposition and terrible stress.
Carey years before he left for England preached a sermon that became famous for launching the modern missions movement. Throughout the sermon he returned again and again to this phrase. “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.”

William Carey was a man who never let fear dominate or defeat him. His faith in God overcame every fearful situation, every insurmountable obstacle, every seeming impossible task. He was a man who knew that as a Child of God he need not fear anything this world could do. 

May we know that same reality, fear has been defeated and we live as super victorious through Jesus Christ.

Friday, April 3, 2020

23rd Psalms Christians: Going Places with God - Lesson 7 In the Lord's House


23rd Psalms Christians: Going Places with God

Lesson 7 In the Lord's House
Psalms 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.


The Good Life Now

Boasting on the Shepherd

Keller writes, "The sheep with such a shepherd knows of a surety that his is a privileged position.  No matter what comes, at least and always he can be perfectly sure that goodness and mercy will be in the picture.  He reassures himself that he is ever under sound, sympathetic, intelligent ownership.  What more need he care about?  Goodness and mercy will be the treatment he receives from his mater's expert, loving hands. 

Not only is this a bold statement, but it is somewhat of a boast, an exclamation of implicit confidence in the One who controls his career and destiny."

The sheep has traveled with the shepherd from the winter fold to the summer mountain pastures.  He has been through the thunderstorms and the attacks by wild animals.  Through it all the shepherd has protected and dealt with every trial.  Always when the sheep needed help or confidence the shepherd was there.  Looking out over the flocks, his presence a constant source of comfort.

First Priority

How often do we are New Testament sheep stop and boast of our shepherd?  Do we fully grasp the concept that all I really need in this life is to have Him near me? 

Many Christians seem to be more interested in what the shepherd can do for them than having the shepherd with them.  They cannot see past the food and water to see the one who provides and leads.  Jesus once said, Matthew 6:25, "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?"

Jesus is telling us to quit worrying about the peripherals and to start concentrating on the things that mattered. 

Look at Luke 10:38-42 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.  But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:  But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.


Who are the characters of the passage?
Jesus, Martha and Mary.

What has upset Martha?
Martha was probably the oldest daughter.  This meant she was responsible for caring for any guests.  In this culture not greater shame could there be than not taken good care of your guests.  Martha was upset by Mary's seeming disregard for this important duty.

Was Mary wrong in not helping?
Not unless you want to argue with Jesus.

Was Martha wrong in wanting to serve the Lord?
No, not at all.  She was only worried and concerned to the point of distraction from spending time with the most important guest she had ever had.  Bering with Jesus was more important than being busy for Jesus.

What did Jesus mean when He said, "One thing is needful?"
He was needful and knowing him personally would mean much more than serving food to Him.

Read John 11:17-27 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.  Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:  And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.  Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.  Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.  Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.  Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?  She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. 

What is revealing about Martha leaving the home during her own brothers time of mourning? 
At a time when even greater pressure to do what is right was on her she left all those who had come to mourn and went to the one who was needful at this time, Jesus.

We all need to ask ourselves, "Am I aware of the presence of Jesus in my life right now?"  It is not a matter of doing things that Christ would want us to do, but of doing things with and through Christ.  This is the real understanding of goodness and mercy, it is in the person and presence of the shepherd.

The Good Life Forever

Basking at home

Now we come to the final thought, the last phrase, "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."  The sheep are returning back to the safety of the shepherd's fold and as they reflect upon the year that has preceded they realize how good it is to dwell with in the shepherd's house. 

The word house used here means a dwelling place, a place of habitation.  It can refer to houses for people, a shelter for animals or even our bodies as a dwelling place for our souls.  To David it meant dwelling in the household of the shepherd, a place of protection, security and eternal love.  Nothing that he could ever encounter would take away his confidence in dwelling with his shepherd forever.

Knowing Jesus as My Shepherd


What of us?  Do we first of all belong to this household?  If I have never entered in by the door of the sheep then I do not belong.  There is only one way into the fold that is to "pass under the rod" of the shepherd.  To open up my heart to Him and allow to deal with the flaws found there.  In a human life those flaws are sin and no matter how minute they may seem to other sheep to the shepherd they must be dealt with.  Only a complete trust in the Shepherd who gave his life for me can bring his shed blood upon the sin of my life and make me white before God.  Only a sheep who has experienced the forgiveness and cleansing of God can be a member of God's house.

How can I know Jesus as my Shepherd, my Savior.

Hear His CallJohn 10: 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Enter Through Him - John 10:7, 9  Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 9  I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Believe In Him - John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Once I am His and experience Jesus as my shepherd, I will also know the same confidence that David did, in boasting of the protection of His Shepherd. 

If we don’t believe that Jesus can keep us eternally then we don’t trust our Shepherd.  We don’t believe He will do what He has promised.

If we can’t believe He will save us eternally then did we really believe He saved us at all?


Read the following verses and write out the promises we are given.

Passage
Promise
John 3:16
Should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 10:28-29
None able to take out of Jesus hand or the Father's hand.
Romans 8:38-29
Nothing shall separate us from God's love.
Ecclesiastes 3:16
If God has saved us it is forever.
Psalms 37:23-24
Even a fall shall not be forever, for God upholds me.
Hebrews 7:25
He is able to save us to the uttermost, because he lives and intersedes for us always.
Philippians 1:6
The salvation which God has begun in us, He will continue until Jesus comes back.

Are there other verses which you could share that also describe God's promise of eternal security to those that belong to Him?

How confident are you right now?  Are you sure that you belong to God's flock?  If you are then can you confidently boast as David did, "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever?"  If David could say this as sheep in God's fold then you should be able to say it as well.  If you can not then you have not really learned to trust the shepherd.  Walk with him, journey out to the pleasant pasture and into the dark valleys.   Look for him there among the still waters and in the midst of the attacking wolves and when you return from a lifetime with Him you will know as David did the power and care of the Good Shepherd.