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d.e. buffaloe

Weapons Of Our Warfare

2 Corinthians 10:3-6  "For though we walk {PERIPATEO = to tread all around in} in the flesh, we do not war {STRATEUOMAI = go to battle} after the flesh:   [4] (For the weapons {HOPLON = tools of warfare} of our warfare are not carnal, {SARKIKOS = after the flesh or body} but mighty {DUNATOS = explosively powerful} through God to the pulling down of strong holds {OCHUROMA = fortified castles, strongholds} ;)   [5] Casting down imaginations, {LOGISMOS = humanistic reasoning} and every high thing {HUPSOMA = elevated place} that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity {AICHMALOTIZO = to lead away as a captive, as a hostage} every thought to the obedience of Christ; [6] And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience {HUPAKOE = submission or attention to God} is fulfilled."

Super Beings Revolt

 

Years ago, long before man was created in the Garden of Eden, God created a super-race of beings. These beings were not formed in the image of God, and did not possess a body as we have, but their bodies were composed of light - not dust from the ground. God created one being to rule over all the rest, and made him perfect in his being. He was the anointed Cherub that guarded the throne of God, Lucifer the son of the morning, Lucifer a beautiful being of light. (Ezekiel 28.12-17; Isaiah 14.12) Lucifer who, after his creation, stood up before the very God who created him and said "I will ascend to Your throne, I will be like you". Lucifer who fell from Heaven, and drew a third of the angels with him in that fall (Revelation 12.4).

When Jesus the Creator of all things (John 1.3) created man in the Garden, Lucifer stood in the background and waited. When the Lord gave charge to Adam to protect the Garden and to avoid the forbidden fruit, Lucifer listened. When the Lord walked away to give man the opportunity to obey, Lucifer acted. He tempted Eve, drew man into the Fall, and brought sin on all of humanity. This was not done because Lucifer particularly wanted to hurt man. No, Lucifer's reasoning was more direct. Man was only a pawn, a thing to be used in his attack against our Lord. Man allowed himself to be used, and Lucifer rubbed his hands in glee that we were so stupid. His thoughts were: "Surely if I can defeat God's plan among mankind, I can defeat God and ascend to His throne". Man was just a plaything to be used. Lucifer led Cain to murder Abel. Jesus tells us in John 8.44 that Lucifer was the first murderer, the cause of the first death in humanity, and the father of lies. Cain allowed himself to be used by Lucifer, now called Satan (the deceiver), used just like a pawn.

Whether you realize it or not, we are in the midst of a great Angelic Conflict. On one side of the battle stands the Godhead: The Father, Planner of all things; The Son, Creator and Savior, and the Spirit, God who dwells with us. On the other side stands Satan and his deceived fallen angels, demons, who battle against He who is pure and righteous and holy. And smack dab in the middle of this battle, well, here WE are! The sad thing is that most people are born, trip through this life, wandering blindly around, then meet death without realizing the magnitude of this battle. This battle is fierce, ongoing, and all around you every day. It is a battle for the souls and minds of men, a battle that will ultimately see God as the victor but many who allowed themselves to be used of Satan as eternally lost. Look at our text:

2 Corinthians 10:3  "For though we walk {PERIPATEO = to tread all around in} in the flesh, we do not war {STRATEUOMAI = go to battle} after the flesh:

It is obvious to every person in this room that we are "in the flesh". If you don't believe me, stub your toe sometime! We tread all around in the flesh, we live out our lives on earth in this fleshly body. Some of you aren't happy with the body you have. You think you're too tall, too short, too weak, not pretty enough, too fat or too thin. The other day I heard several of you talking about exercising to lose weight. Good for you! If this makes you happy, healthy, then do it. We look at ourselves in the mirror some mornings and wish that we were some other way that we are. God wants you to know this: that which you see outwardly is just a shell. Some of you may think you have better looking shells that others, but people, no matter how you're packaged that outside is just a shell. You walk around in that shell, but you cannot fight the fight of God in the power of that shell. The war that the enemy Satan has brought to you cannot be fought with your own feeble resources - the real you is that which is inside the shell, your soul. Your body may be processing the words I'm speaking now, but I pray that these words are filtering down into the real you, into your soul.

We Are At War With Satan

 

It is a fact that we, all of humanity, are at war with Satan. We are either actively at war as believers serving God, or pawns of that war as unbelievers or believers who are living their life in the flesh. There is no "neutral territory" in this war, no Switzerland. Some of you may be thinking "I won't bother Satan, Satan won't bother me". Actually, if you ignore Satan and live your life without regard to him or to God, then you leave this life cursed and destined for hell. You MUST accept Jesus Christ as Savior, or you are eternally fallen, eternally damned. If you accept Christ as Savior then ignore the wishes of your Lord, refuse to act in His service, refuse to build a fuller relationship with God, you let others fall in this great battle to damnation.

And then there are those who join a Church, or a religious organization without first accepting Jesus Christ as Savior. A cult, "Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments",  believed that the Ten Commandments from God were to be worshipped, and because they were not being followed in the world that the end of time had come.  On March 17 of this year, just a few days ago, several hundred members of this group barricaded themselves inside a chapel, locked the doors from the inside, boarded and nailed windows shut, sang and chanted, then set gasoline on fire. It is believed to be the world's second-biggest cult suicide after the 914 deaths at Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978. The cult not only killed themselves, but killed a number of infants and children. Who do you think won this battle? Do you think God was pleased that people took His commandments, one of which is "Thou shalt not kill", and murdered innocent children while taking their own lives? Satan won that battle, for I doubt these people ever heard of the saving power of Jesus Christ, much less accepted it.

A True Christian Walk Starts In The Mind

 

2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons {HOPLON = tools of warfare} of our warfare are not carnal, {SARKIKOS = after the flesh or body} but mighty {DUNATOS = explosively powerful} through God to the pulling down of strong holds {OCHUROMA = fortified castles, strongholds})

What weapons do we possess in our battle against Satan? First, let's define what are NOT our weapons. Our weapons are not earthly. A strong body cannot overcome a being, beings composed of light and full of evil. Our weapons cannot be powered by ourselves, but must be powered by God. Our weapons cannot be compromised with the world's view of things. The world's definition of truth is RELATIVE, whereas the Bible's definition of truth is ABSOLUTE. Jesus said He was the only way to God (John 14.6). This is Biblical truth. I cannot remain a Christian in my walk and not affirm this as truth. I cannot waffle on this point in order to be "politically correct", which is another way of saying "worldly". I cannot compromise this viewpoint no matter how many Jews, Muslims, or Hindus it offends - for Biblical truth is absolute, straight from the mouth of the Creator God.

Our weapons are spiritual, of saving Faith, of The Word of God, of the Spirit of God, of Jesus Christ. Our weapons are internal: God's Word studied and meditated on, applied to the heart. Our obedience to God the Holy Spirit to do as He leads us, refusing to quench Him by actively sinning in our minds. Our rock solid belief in Jesus Christ that He has saved us - we cling to Him as a drowning man clings to a life preserver. Our willingness to frequently seek out God's Will in our lives by prayer and, once that Will is exposed, moving to follow His Will.

Romans 12:16  "Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits."

Philippians 2:5  "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus"

Proverbs 23:7  "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee."

The true Christian walk starts in the mind, then is expressed outward in action. The mind that has focused itself on God's Word and prayer has a body that is willing to work for Christ - not to be seen of men, but in honest love for the Father. The mind that has focused itself on Jesus is meek, loving, Christian in outward character towards others - never hateful nor selfish. The mind focused on the Word of God and prayer seeks to bless others rather than fosters the "here I am, feed me" mentality of so many Christians today. The mind focused on Christ's Word does not seek promotion at the suffering of others, but is content to serve God where he or she is.

2 Thessalonians 2:2  "That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand."

2 Timothy 1:7  "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

The mind focused on God's Word does not let the affairs of Satan's world disturb him. We know who the Creator is, we know that He is abundantly able to protect us, we know where our eternal inheritance lies. Knowing these things, not just intellectually but in your inner heart, why should you fear what is to come. Too many Christians were frightened over the Y2K scare, which turned out to be nothing. Why worry about something stupid when you serve an awesome God, unless you have so filled your minds with worthless worldliness that you have no peace? Did not our Father say that He would protect us - that we are so precious that He has numbered the very hairs of our head (Matthew 10.30; Luke 12.7)? If this is true, doesn't this mean that He'll see us through the times of trial as well as the good times, if we only rely on Him? So many say "Yes, I believe that that's true", but then live their lives as if God were a liar or non-existent. He is neither liar nor non-existent, He is real. But when we fail to focus our mind on Him through prayer and ingestion of His Word we often create our own hell on earth, and lock ourselves away from our precious Redeemer, our Help, our God.

Look, the weapons God has given us are EXPLOSIVELY POWERFUL (DUNATOS), able to pull down Satan's strongholds or fortresses. Has Satan set a fortress, an impassable barrier before you today and convinced you that you are trapped in it? He lies, he is the father of lies! There is no fortress, no barrier in your life that God cannot overcome if you'll release it to Him. God's weapons (His Word, prayer, saving Grace in Christ, the Holy Spirit who indwells you) are gifts from Him who created Lucifer. The Creator has power over the created, and you have power over the world if you dwell in His power.

The Victorious Christian Life

 

2 Corinthians 10.5 "Casting down imaginations, {LOGISMOS = humanistic reasoning} and every high thing {HUPSOMA = elevated place} that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity {AICHMALOTIZO = to lead away as a captive, as a hostage} every thought to the obedience of Christ;"

Do you want to live the victorious Christian life? Then God commands you to do three things today. Commit these things to memory, and make them your automatic response to the world.

1. Casting down imaginations, {LOGISMOS = humanistic reasoning}: When Satan came to Eve and started "reasoning" with her, Eve's biggest mistake was not walking away immediately. Satan uses humanism and humanistic thoughts to defeat us, to lead us astray as pawns. Christians, if you let Satan get in your mind , if you start to "reason" with him, the battle is lost. When Satan came to Jesus to tempt Him (Matthew 4), he threw every slick argument he could think of toward our Lord. How did Jesus answer each time? "It is written". Jesus didn't hem and haw and try to think of neat arguments to defeat Satan, He just quoted the Word of God.

Just like the forbidden fruit Satan has some wonderful imaginations, some wonderful reasoning that he wants you to take a bite of. Once you taste that sweet fruit, it changes your walk with God. Here's some forbidden fruit: "I've got a good friend who's not a Christian. Maybe if I go out and 'party' with her, I can lead her to Christ". or "She's such a nice looking person. I know she's not a Christian, but perhaps I can lead her to Jesus if I date her". or "Those terrible people are discriminating against that homosexual couple. Maybe it is an alternate lifestyle". or "I can't explain this evolution thing. Perhaps God really did use evolution to create the earth". We rationalize our way through this world, we eat of that forbidden fruit once more. You are what you think!

2. and every high thing {HUPSOMA = elevated place} that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God: In the Old Testament when people departed from God, they built altars to these false gods in "high places". Do you have an altar to an idol in your life? Do you set your work, your family, your prestige, your pride, yourself above your relationship with God. If so, you'll never find peace with God while these idols stand. Our God is a jealous God, and wants you to worship and obey Him exclusively. While Israel set idols up in high places they were under God's curse, and suffered tremendously because of it. If you have an idol, a pet project, a love that has overshadowed your relationship with God, then Satan has his hooks into your life. Remove the idol, repent, and God will bless.

3. bringing into captivity {AICHMALOTIZO = to lead away as a captive, as a hostage} every thought to the obedience of Christ: Not too long ago Jimmy Carter, past President of the United States and a wonderful Christian brother, made the statement that "he had committed adultery in his heart with other women". This shocked people, but Jesus said:

Matthew 5:28  "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

Look what our Lord said. Just LOOKING with adultery in your heart, you have ALREADY COMMITTED the act. Jimmy was right - every man in the world, and every woman, too, has been guilty of mentally sinning at one time or the other. You see, to the world adultery is the act of a man and woman who are not lawfully married coming together. But to God, just the THOUGHT of doing it is adultery. This goes to show that, if you expect to grow as a believer, if you expect to grow away from sins in your life, then the battlefield is not in your actions but in your mind. You must attack the problem where it originates - in your thought pattern - through the power of God.

When Satan offers us opportunities to sin we usually look at it, walk around it, examine it from every angle, contemplate it. God say, "Just take that thought hostage", rebuke it in the name of Jesus. No one just "falls into" sin, or "accidentally becomes" a pawn of Satan. We toy with temptation when we should be rebuking it in the name of Jesus. We dwell on evil thoughts when we should be releasing them to the compassionate embrace of the Holy Spirit. We flood our minds with television and radio, and spend scant time prayerfully meditating on God's Word. We spend hours on recreation, minutes in prayer. My brethren, this must not be.

Victory is Yours

 

1 John 5:4  "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."

If you are in Christ, you are designed by God to be an overcomer, not a dabbler in the world. Use the resources the Father has placed before you: a Spirit yielded life, the Word of God, prayer, the Christian disciplines. Become active in the great battle going on around you. You are either a warrior for God, or a pawn for Satan. You can choose to be victorious through Christ, or remain a pawn. The choice is yours.

If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, then call on Him today. You are in this battle whether you like it or not. You might as well fight on the winning side! To be saved you must accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, repenting of your past life, and you will be saved. Our Lord tells us:

John 3:16-18  "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.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

Once you believe, truly believe, God will enter your life and start to make a difference in it. You will become His workmanship, you will be given eternal life and peace for the future. You will become an adopted child of His, and a mansion will be reserved for you in Heaven. Come, in the name of Jesus I bid you come!

CLOSURE



This sermon was preached to the Saints at Okapilco Baptist Church on the morning of March 26, 2000

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