This is a synopsis form notes I took in June 2004:
- Why are we fighting a battle already lost when we could enjoy a victory already won?
- The Trinity of Evil: the world, the flesh, and the devil
- The flesh is like software programming the hardware of our brain and body. And it has a virus called sin.
- If Satan didn’t exist, you would go on sinning without his help. He comes to obsess, depress, and defeat you. He is called the deceiver, a liar, a murderer, the accuser of the brothers, the tempter, the prince of the power of the air, the destroyer, and the evil one.
- Two Greek words for “power” – dunamis (ability and strength) and exousia (the right to use power). When Jesus gave them the power to tread on snakes (Luke 17.10-19), it was dunamis. The “power over the enemy” is exousia.
- Charles Spurgeon: “If we let passion take the place of judgment, and self-will reign instead of scriptural authority, we shall fight the Lord’s battles with the devil’s weapons, and if we cut our own fingers we must not be surprised.
- Have you ever thought that you may be asking God for what you already have?
- The cleverest lies of Satan sound almost like the truth. Remember, a broken clock is still right twice during the day! Jesus used God’s Word to defeat Satan’s temptations. Know the truth!
- Difference between commitment and surrender. We love to ask people to make a commitment. They will respond. But surrender Americans love commitment because they are still in control. They made the commitment. But the key word in Christ is surrender.
- You cannot be over those things that God wants you to be over until you learn to be under those things that God has set over you. The principle of authority in our lives. Americans hate authority. When you are willing to be to Jesus what Jesus was in His humanity to the Father, then Jesus will be to your humanity what the Father was to Him. (67)
- Learning to be a slave to God actually sets you free. “The slave to the compass has freedom of the seas. The rest must sail close to the shore.”
- We will not have what He gives until we accept who He is. Charles Spurgeon: “If the convert declares that he knows the Lord’s will but doesn’t’ mean to attend to it, it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved. Don’t imagine that the Gospel is magnified, or God glorified, by going to worldlings and telling them that they may be saved at this moment simply by accepting Christ as their Savior, while they are wedded to their idols with their hearts, and their hearts are still in love with sin. If I do so, I tell them a lie, I pervert the Gospel, I insult Christ, I turn the grace of God into lasciviousness.”
- My great need is not more authority for myself but more intimacy with Jesus so I can coordinate my will to His.
The popular idea of the church being a democracy (the rule of the people) is not found in the Bible. The spirit of rugged individualism and autonomous selfhood is not to be the motivating power of a New Testament church.
- Everyone’s opinion is not equally correct.
The opinion of the majority is not necessarily right.
- All in the church are not basically the same. (We all have equal value before God, but we have different gifts and functions)
- The priesthood of the believer does not refer to authority, but to the fact that each believer has direct access to God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The pastor’s task is to help the members discover, develop, and deploy their spiritual gifts, and to let them serve at Jesus’ command.
About the pastor’s leadership, Oswald Sanders said: “It should be authoritative, because people love to be led by one who knows where he is going and who inspires confidence. Spiritual, because a leadership that is unspiritual, that can be fully explained in terms of the natural, although eligible, attractive, and competent, will only result in sterility and moral and spiritual bankruptcy. Sacrificial, because modeled on the life of the One who gave Himself as a sacrifice for the whole world, who left us an example that we should follow in His footsteps.”
- The pastor who is always available is not worth very much when he is available. (Even Jesus modeled a life of drawing away to spend time with the Father.)
- Sin in the heart is like an enemy behind the lines.
- Satan cannot keep God from answering, so he tries to keep us from asking.
- Joseph T’son, pastor in Romania, told the communists, “I know what you can do. Your chief weapon is killing, but let me tell you what my chief weapon is. My chief weapon is dying. And I want to warn you that if you use yours, I will be forced to use mine.”
- Authority is not a means to get earth’s will done in heaven. It is a means to pursue heaven’s will performed on earth.
On this day...
Jeff is the pastor of Northstar Church in Blacksburg, Virginia. He grew up in Arkansas, loves fantasy football and is an Apple fan boy. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram @journeyguy.
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