Shared: 17 October 20
These notes below can be useful for you to follow along while you listen to the audio message.
Detailed Notes: COV013 16.10.20
Kingdom building and spiritual warfare
I have been considering with you how we can learn, grow and fare well under all circumstances
In the past few messages, I considered with you the meaning and implications of
9 “Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come…
We need to pay close attention to what the Lord Jesus desires to teach us and transmit to us in these two verses on prayer.
The Lord Jesus is teaching us what ought to be the primary longing of our hearts and what we ought to be committed to - and what ought to be at the core centre of what motivates us in prayer – from which our prayer flows.
If what I have considered with you of what the Lord Jesus desires to transmit to us through the meaning and implications in these two verses are properly understood and true in our lives, it is feasible for us to go through all situations meaningfully, learning and growing in the process, honouring the Lord and participating meaningfully in the advancement of God's kingdom.
Hallowed be Your name
Our primary concern - the desire and longing of our hearts
Your kingdom come
Can be meaningfully appreciated in two ways:
In the concluding remarks of the last message, I mentioned:
Over the years - since we came together to work out church life - we have sought to work out the meaning and implications of what the Lord Jesus teaches us on prayer in Matt. 6:9-10
i.e. how to honour the Lord, and build His kingdom
according to His will and ways
Today I want to consider with you the theme:
Kingdom building and spiritual warfare
(the Lord willing, I will continue with this theme in my next sharing)
Over the years, as we seek to work out God’s purposes through church life as we understand God has revealed in the Scriptures, we have been experiencing spiritual opposition and spiritual attacks from the forces of darkness
The goal is to destroy us
At the same time, we have experienced God's unceasing sovereign undertaking for us and countless opportunities for us to learn much in the process.
Why do we face unceasing spiritual opposition?
Should we be fearful of spiritual attacks?
Should we try to avoid spiritual opposition and spiritual attacks?
It is important to understand the situation we are in - and the proper perspective, response – so that we can be properly equipped, respond well and learn much.
What is the biblical, theological perspective of spiritual warfare?
What is the relationship between the advancement of God's kingdom and spiritual warfare?
We have seen ‘Your kingdom come’ is part of the core centre of prayer and aspiration of all who love God and are committed to Him.
We've seen God’s kingdom is in the spiritual realm
Its coming, establishment, and advancement directly involves spiritual warfare.
In true service, it is vital to know how to fight the good fight of faith.
We need to understand the biblical revelation on this subject.
Why spiritual warfare is an integral part of kingdom building and effective Christian living
Let us look at the ministry of the Lord Jesus
17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed,
19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
v.18: the Lord Jesus was anointed to preach the gospel…sent to proclaim release to the captives…set free those who are oppressed
‘Release the captives’ from what?
What is the relationship between preaching the gospel and proclaiming release to the captives?
Together with what the apostle Paul testified before king Agrippa on what the Lord Jesus had committed to him
and what Paul wrote in Col 1:13, the picture becomes clearer.
18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’
13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
When the gospel is preached and people respond in true repentance and faith in Christ, there is a turning from darkness to light, receiving forgiveness of sins, being rescued from the domain of darkness and transference to the kingdom of Christ or the kingdom of God, from the dominion of Satan to God
Paul refers to the evil one as the god of this age: 2 Cor 4:4
And the apostle John tells us : the whole world lies in the power of evil one: 1 Jn 5:19
However, we must remember God is the creator of the whole universe - and He is sovereign, on the throne.
God is the only true God
1 Timothy 1:17
17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
There is much wickedness and disorder in this fallen world, but not like runaway horse or total anarchy.
God is sovereign, on the throne.
Nothing can take place without God's permission
This comes through clearly in the book of Job
Satan could only attack Job to the degree God permitted him
Not even a sparrow can fall to the ground unless God allows it
29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
30 “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 “So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
Satan and the forces of darkness are usurpers, in rebellion and building the kingdom of darkness
Man has a vital part in God's plan for the advancement of His kingdom – which involves spiritual warfare and the defeat and obliteration of the kingdom of darkness and resolution of the rebellion of the forces of darkness
‘Your kingdom come’ is the dynamic coming of God’s kingdom
The decisive victory over the evil one is indicated as early as Gen 3:15 - bruising/crushing the serpent’s head through the seed of the woman - the coming Saviour of the world – the Lord Jesus Christ
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise (margin: or crush) you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
O.T. prophecies of the promised Messiah, Deliverer, Saviour
a) Suffering servant: Isa 53
4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
b) Victorious King and kingdom
2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”
3 Therefore He will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren Will return to the sons of Israel.
4 And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the Lord, In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God. And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth.
5 This One will be our peace. When the Assyrian invades our land, When he tramples on our citadels, Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight leaders of men.
9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; And the bow of war will be cut off. And He will speak peace to the nations; And His dominion will be from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.
6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.
The O.T. prophecies of the coming Messiah have been fulfilled by the Lord Jesus – the King of kings (Rev. 19:16) who suffered for our sins – whose greatness extends to the end of the earth, whose kingdom of justice, peace and righteousness endures forever.
What was accomplished at the Cross
includes redemption, provision for forgiveness of sins and reconciliation to God
as well as decisive victory over the forces of darkness.
13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,
14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same (incarnation), that through death (the Cross) He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
1 John 3:8
8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.
Col 2:13-15: tells us Christ triumphed over all the forces of darkness at the Cross
Heb 2:14,15: tells us the Lord Jesus came to render powerless the devil through the incarnation and His death on the Cross - to set free those who are subject to slavery.
1 Jn 3:8: tells us Christ came that He might destroy the works of the devil.
The way is now open for all to enter God’s kingdom through repentance and faith in Christ - and be set free from bondage to the forces of darkness and sin and the wrath of God – and there will be ultimate triumph of Christ and His kingdom – which will last forever – the eternal kingdom of God.
The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus can set us free from the law of sin and death:
1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
We can enjoy righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit:
17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Nothing and no one can separate us from the love of Christ and God.
We can overwhelmingly conquer through Christ who loves us.
35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Lord willing, in my next sharing I will elaborate on how we can live an overcoming life.
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