In The Lord’s Strength
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the Wiles of the devil.12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. NKJV
I remember when I could run like the wind all day long. I could climb trees and dig unneeded holes in the ground. I could go from sun up to sun set with hardly a rest. But you know a 7 year old really doesn’t know what to do with all that energy.
But the spiritual, the emotional, the mental struggle we face is more than any of us can handle. None of us are sufficient to face all that life can throw at us. We all will collapse under the burden. Now there are some who make a valiant effort. They show such great determination. They put forth the greatest effort. But eventually they fall.
That is why it is imperative for us to be strong in the power of God’s might and not our own.
I. First Our Salvation
A. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Captain and Author of our salvation.
1. Heb 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. NKJV
2. Heb 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, NKJV
3. “The danger, so often, is that we think of the Christian life as something that we have to do. I am about to emphasize that we have a great deal to do; but before we come to that we must never lose sight of the fact that salvation is primarily of God. It is God's great plan, it is God's scheme. It is something that God is doing. It is something that God has planned and originated. He has initiated the movement and He is carrying it on. This is a fundamental principle of our faith. God is involved in this question of our salvation much more than we are ourselves.” Lloyd-Jones; The Christian Soldier p27
4. This is the first point we must grasp is we will be strong in the power of His might.
a. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Captain, the Author of our salvation.
b. And the battle is the Lord’s not ours.
c. Heb 2:10 . . . in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. NKJV
d. Our salvation is the work of the Lord, Jesus did it when He suffered and died in our place, providing a sacrifice sufficient to remove the penalty of our sinful lives.
B. We are individual soldiers in a great army. We are not fighting our own personal war. Lloyd-Jones; The Christian Soldier p27
C. The ultimate issue is not so much my fight with the devil, as God’s fight with the devil. Lloyd-Jones; The Christian Soldier p27
1. In other words we have got to realize as we fight this fight of faith and wrestle with these principalities and powers and face the assaults of the world and the flesh and the devil, that God is involved in it with us. Lloyd-Jones; The Christian Soldier p28
2. The ultimate battle is the battle between God and the devil, between heaven and hell, between light and darkness. Lloyd-Jones; The Christian Soldier p28
D. The battle is not ours but the Lord’s.
1. 2 Chron 20:15-17 15 And he said, "Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you:'Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's.16 Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel.17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!' Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you." NKJV
2. If you take the time to read that grand passage you will find that the army of Judah won the battle and defeated their enemies before they ever came to the battle.
3. All they had to do was to go, to obey, to follow, God brought to bear His mighty power and defeated the enemies of the Lord.
4. This campaign cannot fail, because God’s honor is involved in it. Lloyd-Jones; The Christian Soldier p28
E. This is God’s battle and that cannot be emphasized too much. It is the theme from Genesis to Revelation.
1. God made a perfect world but the devil persuades the woman and man to follow him and so becomes the god of this world.
2. But God will not allow that to continue forever.
3. The devil may seem to win many battles and have many followers yet when it is all said and done God will prevail and accomplish all His pleasure.
4. We cannot help but be involved, for we are affected by that first sin of our parents and thus we have to fight for the rest of our lives against this evil power who has such a strong hold on us.
F. “‘Be strong in the Lord’. Let us realize this! Get rid of the notion that it is just a little private battle that you are waging on your own: ‘Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’”
II. Not we ourselves but God.
A. Ps 100:3 Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; NKJV
1. As we move on in this we must remember that we do not hold the answer but only the question.
2. The modern psychological movement out of man’s abandonment of God and His word as the source of stable living.
a. We feel sorry for ourselves and want to blame everyone else when we fail.
b. That is why most religion today begins with man and ends with man with little reference to God as God but only as He relates to man’s needs.
c. We can never be strong in the Lord and the power of His might if we cannot focus on God.
3. If we are to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might then we must quit looking always inward for strength and understand that our strength comes only from God.
B. The Scriptures tell us over and over again that the Lord is our strength.
1. Ps 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them. NKJV
2. Ps 91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. NKJV
a. Just as a hen spreads her wings to protect her chicks so the Lord protects all those who trust in Him.
b. You are strong in the Lord when you are under the shadow of the Almighty.
3. John 10:29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. NKJV
4. Rom 8:38 I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. NKJV
5. You see if God should ever loose one of His own then God would fail and God never fails.
6. To believe in the possibility of 'falling from grace' is to believe in the possible defeat of God by the devil. That is unthinkable and utterly impossible. The final perseverance of the saints is of necessity true in view of the glory and the character and the honour of God Himself. 'Ah but', you say, 'this leads to danger; for a person will say, "l can do what I like".' No! the more you realize this great truth the more careful you will be. This is the truth that makes people keep to the narrow path - the realization that the honour of God is involved, and that I am not fighting my own battle, that if I fail the Name of God Himself is involved in it. Lloyd-Jones; The Christian Soldier p31
7. If God cares for sparrows and clothes the lilies and knows even the hairs of our heads, then can we not be assured that He will accomplish His will for us.
8. Phil 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; NKJV
9. 1 Peter 1:5 are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation NKJV
III. Angels Watchin’ Over Me
A. Angels have had somewhat of a comeback in recent years.
1. But not all that people believe about angels is in the Bible nor is it all true.
2. But there are angels and Hebrews says, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” Heb 1:14 NKJV
3. Do you realize the power that there for us, the ministering spirits sent from the very throne of God to minister Gods’ will in our lives.
4. “Our position is this: we are comparable to the children of some great squire, some lord who has a great estate. He has a son and heir who one day is going to inherit all. But the son is now a babe or but a boy. What does this great man do? He appoints servants who look after this child; he pays them to do so and tells them what to do to protect the child from harm, to prevent his doing things that would injure him, to instruct him and to guide him. That is what the angels do.” Lloyd-Jones; The Christian Soldier p32
We cannot finish all this message today. But what we have seen is most important.
First, your salvation is not your own work but the work of God. Jesus died on the cross to give you an eternal place in heaven with Him. By repenting of your sin you admit that you are a failure when it comes to obeying God. You put your trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ. And then you give your life to Him to do with as He wants.
It is like going to the movies. I took Victoria to see Rug Rats Go Wild the other night. Once we enter the building in Kewanee there are only two choices to make. Only two ways you can go. It is the same in following Jesus. If you are not following Him then you have never put your trust in Him and you are just faking it.
Your salvation does not depend upon you, for only Jesus could satisfy the requirements of a holy God. But you can tell which way you are going by looking at who you are following.
Jesus put it this way, “You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather figs of a thistle?” If you don’t produce the proper fruit in your life then you are not the right kind of tree. The only way to change all that is to let Jesus change you. Ask Him to change you, beg Him to change you.
You can never be strong in the Lord and the power of His might until Jesus has changed you from the inside out. But that is where our message will be coming from next week.
If you want to know for sure that you are His, then take one of those little blue cards and indicate that and put it in the offering plate.