Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Sermon notes: Deliverance
July 3, 2005, PM
Ancaster, Ontario

Text: LD 52
Scripture Reading: John 15: 1 – 16:16

This prayer consists of:
1. An admission of our weakness
2. An acknowledgement of our enemies
3. An appeal for the Spirit's help

1. Admit we are weak. What do you think about yourself? Weak? Strong? So many temptations. See Sermon on Mount (context of Lord's Prayer).

We are creatures of dust: Gen. 2:7; Ps. 103:14-16; Job 42:6.

Apart from Christ we can do nothing: John 15:5b. Cannot stand. Temptations appeal to our weaknesses.

2.a. Acknowledge the strength of our enemies: Devil, world, own flesh. Sworn enemies.

(i) Devil; ie., the evil one. Should it be translated: "evil" or "evil one"? "Evil one" is better. For who is it that stands behind all evil in the world? Behind every temptation? The devil. He shows himself to be the tempter. He tempted Adam and Eve. He tempted our Lord Jesus Christ.

Who is he? Why is he so dangerous? He is part of God's good creation: a heavenly, spiritual being. When did he fall? After Gen. 1:31 (cf. ch. 3).

The devil in the Bible: Gen. 3 (serpent). Job (Satan=accuser/ adversary).
NT: Gospels. Paul warns us about his tricks. Peter calls him a roaring lion. It all comes together in Revelation 12. We see he is quite an enemy.

(ii) World: Can mean: Whole created order; earth and its inhabitants; the people on earth hostile to God. Who hate Christ and his Church (John 15:18ff).

We're not to conform to the world (Rom. 12:2).

The tug of the world, very strong. Don't underestimate.

(iii) Flesh. The enemy within. See list of "works of the flesh" in Gal. 5:19ff. We may be surprised by some of them.

A spiritual war. Powerful enemies. Need to acknowledge it. Foolish not to.

3. Appeal to Holy Spirit for help:

That the Holy Spirit may uphold us in the redemption Christ obtained for us.

That the Holy Spirit may strengthen us: that we not go down in defeat; firmly resist our enemies (devil, world, flesh).

Until we obtain complete victory. NB, until. Victory is sure: because of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross; because of the love and power of the Father; because of he indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Conclusion: End prayer with doxology (= words of praise).

Kingdom: cf. kingdom of world and of devil—but the kingdom belongs to God!
Power: cf. power of three-sworn enemies—but the power belongs to God!
Glory: much false-glory in the world—but the glory is God's.

And so end with "Amen." True! Certain! Our prayers (six petitions) on bedrock. Today we look forward to next week's celebration of the Lord's Supper: celebrate the victory of Christ; be strengthened by the body and blood of Christ; strengthened in battle against our enemies. We will win the victory because Christ has already won.