Marty Smith – The Battle Within presentation PowerPoint

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THE BATTLE WITHIN
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THE BATTLE WITHIN
Four important events for God’s children as a people are:
A. The Creation
B. The Fall of Man
C. The Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ
D. The General Resurrection of the Dead
Four important events for an individual child of God are:
A. Conception
B. Birth
C. Regeneration
D. Physical Death
For those who are between events C and D, a great battle has begun
– a battle between light and darkness, between truth and falsehood,
between our service to the Prince of life (Acts 3:15) and our service
to the prince of this world (John 14:30).
• What does this battle look like?
• What is at stake, and what is not at stake?
• How does one win?
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An Imperfect Attempt to Depict The Human Condition
Creation
Fall of Man
The Cross
On earth, before On earth, after
Regeneration
Regeneration
E1
soul E2
body
Elect
(Adam)
Innocent,
but able to
fall
Non-elect
E4
spirit
spirit
soul
body
soul
battle spirit
N1
Holy
Spirit
N2
body
Legend:
Resurrection
After Final
Judgment
spirit
& soul
spirit
soul
After Death,
but before Final
Judgment
E3
body
N3
body
N4
spirit
& soul
spirit
spirit
spirit
soul
body
soul
body
soul
Dead, spiritually,
but breathing
- sinful, separate
from God
Physically
Dead, “Asleep”
body
Totally
condemned
- separate from
God and His
blessings
body
Alive and
righteous
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MAN BY NATURE
On earth, before
Regeneration
Elect
spirit
soul
body
Non-elect
spirit
soul
body
Dead, spiritually,
but breathing
- sinful, separate
from God
• Before regeneration (or being born again) the elect
children of God are by nature the same as the non-elect :
[Ephesians 2:1-3] “And you hath he quickened, who were
dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked
according to the course of this world, according to the
prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in
the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had
our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh,
fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were
by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
• Unregenerate man has a human spirit, but it is separate
from God: [I Corinthians 2:11] “For what man knoweth
the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?
even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of
God.”
• Unregenerate man is too dead to choose God, or seek God,
or please God – and God is so sovereign and mighty that
He does not need man’s permission, nor would He heed
man’s denial, to give His people life.
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MAN BY GRACE
The Cross
On earth, after
Regeneration
E2
body
soul
battle spirit
Holy
Spirit
• But Jesus Christ redeemed all of God’s elect on the cross,
and – sometime between conception and physical death,
the Holy Spirit comes into each of those people to dwell,
and they are born again, or regenerated. [John 3:8] “The
wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound
thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it
goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
• Being born of God’s Spirit is a big, fundamental change!
• And yet, you may not recognize it has happened, just as
you do not remember being born physically.
• The gospel tells the good news about what has happened.
• The enemy (Satan) wants to hide, or contradict, that good
news, and persuade you to continue serving him.
• The law of sin still dwells in you, so you are susceptible to
listen to the enemy, and yet you are able to hear God.
• And so, if you are born again, and yet still on earth - a
battle rages within you.
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A Biblical Description of the Battle
[Romans 7:14-25] “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold
under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but
what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law
that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For
I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present
with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I
would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would
not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that,
when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after
the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of
my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I
thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the
law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
[Romans 8:1-2] “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in
Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the
Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
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So, Are You Good,
or Are You Bad?
• Before regeneration, man is bad –
but may appear outwardly good:
[Matthew 23:27] “Woe unto you,
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for
ye are like unto whited sepulchres,
which indeed appear beautiful
outward, but are within full of dead
men's bones, and of all uncleanness.”
• After regeneration, man is good, but
struggles with sin: [Romans 7:2223] “For I delight in the law of God
after the inward man: But I see
another law in my members, warring
against the law of my mind, and
bringing me into captivity to the law
of sin which is in my members.”
Poem and Drawing by
Shel Silverstein
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WHAT DOES THIS BATTLE LOOK LIKE?
A Born Again
Child of God,
Losing the Battle
A Born Again
Child of God,
Winning the Battle
body
soul
body
battle
spirit
battle
Holy
Spirit
soul
spirit
Holy
Spirit
• [Galatians 5:19-21] “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;
Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred,
variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders,
drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have
also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the
kingdom of God.
• [Galatians 5:22-23] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
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WHAT IS NOT AT STAKE
A Born Again
Child of God,
Losing the Battle
body
soul
battle
spirit
Holy
Spirit
A Born Again
Child of God,
Winning the Battle
soul
spirit
soul
Holy
Spirit
spirit
soul
body
body
battle
• God’s love is everlasting, and Jesus
Christ is Faithful and True.
• So, Eternal life is not at stake that is, God will
not lose His child
After Death,
After Final
but before Final
just because His
Judgment
Judgment
child loses the
battle – for
Christ has won
spirit
the war.
body
So, why fight the
battle - why not
even try to lose
it? Well,
something
important is at
stake…
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WHAT IS AT STAKE - LOT
A Born Again
Child of God,
Losing the Battle
body
soul
battle
spirit
Holy
Spirit
Consider Lot, Abraham’s nephew, and read his story
in Genesis 13, 14, 19 and II Peter 2:7-8:
• Lot was just and righteous – and that means he
was redeemed by Christ, and born of God’s Spirit
(II Peter 2:7-8, Genesis 19:1-3)
• God prospered Lot, and he lived the outdoor
working life along with Abraham. (Genesis 13:1-7)
• Then Lot chose an easy life, surrounded by the
idle, sinful people of Sodom. (Genesis 13:11-13)
• Living among the Sodomites, Lot had to be
rescued by his uncle Abraham. (Genesis 14:8-16)
• Lot became despised by his neighbors and family,
and he became indecisive. (Genesis 19:8-16)
• Lot became timid and fearful. (Genesis 19:17-22)
• Lot lost his wife to disobedience. (Genesis 19:26)
• Lot became drunken and incestuous. (Genesis
19:30-38)
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WHAT IS AT STAKE - SAUL
A Born Again
Child of God,
Losing the Battle
body
soul
battle
spirit
Holy
Spirit
Consider King Saul, and read his story from I Samuel 9 to
I Samuel 31:
• God gave him another heart I Samuel 10:9 and made
him king over all Israel.
• He began his reign in humility and courage. (I Sam 11)
• He then began to disobey God. (I Sam 13, 15)
• The Spirit of God which enabled him to reign well
departed. He lost his peace of mind, and was afflicted
by an evil Spirit. (I Sam 16:14)
• He became unreasonably jealous. (I Samuel 18:6-12)
• He became conniving and murderous. (I Sam 19 & 20)
• He became superstitious and fearful. (I Samuel 28)
• Three of his sons were slain in battle before he slew
himself. (I Samuel 31:1-4)
• His was beheaded and his body tacked to the wall of a
Philistine city. (I Samuel 31:9-10)
• If we give up in this battle, we can sustain similar
losses.
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WHAT IS AT STAKE - DAVID
A Born Again
Child of God,
Winning the Battle
Consider David, and read his story from I Samuel 16 to I
Chronicles 29:
• God’s Spirit came upon David (I Samuel 16:13), and
battle
God kept David and made him king over Israel.
• David sinned greatly by committing adultery with
Bathsheba, having Uriah killed, and numbering Israel in
an unscriptural manner. (II Sam 11:1-27, 24:1-10)
• In both sins, David sincerely repented. (II Sam 12:13-25,
24:13-25)
• God nevertheless chastised David severely, but David
took the chastisement humbly, and continued to try to
serve God. (II Sam 15:23-26)
• After years of trials and afflictions, David was blessed to
see his son Solomon on his throne. (I Chron 28:5)
• Before he died, God gave David great riches and the
plans for the temple to be built (I Chron 28:11-19)
• David died in peace and great honor. (I Chron 29:9-30)
body
soul
spirit
Holy
Spirit
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WHAT IS AT STAKE - PAUL
Consider Paul, and read his story from Acts 7 to II
Timothy 4 (his name originally was Saul of Tarsus):
• Paul was zealous, but very cruel – persecuting the
early church terribly. (Acts 7:58-8:3, 26:9-11)
• God changed him. (Acts 9:1-20)
• After his change, he obeyed God. (Acts 26:13-20)
• In his efforts to serve God, he suffered greatly (II
Corinthians 11:23-32), but found great joy (Acts
20:24).
• Paul’s life was fruitful:
• Of the 22 books of the New Testament, Paul wrote
13 or 14 of them.
• God blessed him to establish churches throughout
Turkey and Greece.
• When imprisoned in Rome, he converted
members of Caesar’s household to Christianity!
• At the end of his life he had fought a good fight,
finished his course, and kept the faith, and his Lord
Jesus was with him. (II Timothy 4:7,17)
A Born Again
Child of God,
Winning the Battle
body
battle
soul
spirit
Holy
Spirit
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HOW DO WE WIN THIS BATTLE?
A Born Again
Child of God,
Losing the Battle
A Born Again
Child of God,
Winning the Battle
body
soul
body
battle
soul
How do we go from
darkness to light?
battle
spirit
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Holy
Spirit
spirit
Holy
Spirit
Take this battle seriously.
Start fighting early.
Prepare for a life-long, patient effort.
Put on your defensive armor.
Practice on offense with your weapons.
Avoid peer dependency.
Seek out fellow soldiers.
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HOW DO WE WIN THIS BATTLE?
1. Take this battle seriously.
•
•
•
[Ephesians 6:12] “For we wrestle not against flesh and
blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the
rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual
wickedness in high places.”
[I Peter 5:8-10] “Be sober, be vigilant; because your
adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about,
seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the
faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in
your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all
grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ
Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect,
stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
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The stakes are high
HOW DO WE WIN THIS BATTLE?
2. Start fighting early.
•
•
•
Early in your day.
Early in times of need.
Early in your life – when you are
young (that is, now).
•
•
•
[Ecclesiastes 12:1] “Remember now thy
Creator in the days of thy youth, while
the evil days come not, nor the years
draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have
no pleasure in them;”
[Lamentations 3:27] “It is good for a
man that he bear the yoke in his youth.”
[I Timothy 4:12] “Let no man despise
thy youth; but be thou an example of the
believers, in word, in conversation, in
charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
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HOW DO WE WIN THIS BATTLE?
3. Prepare for a life-long, patient effort.
•
•
•
Stick with it – there’s a good promise
waiting. [Hebrews 10:36] “For ye have
need of patience, that, after ye have done
the will of God, ye might receive the
promise.”
Stick with it – fruitfulness takes time.
[Galatians 6:9] “And let us not be weary
in well doing: for in due season we shall
reap, if we faint not.”
When you stumble and sin, repent, and
start following the Lord again. [I John
1:9] “If we confess our sins, he is faithful
and just to forgive us our sins, and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
a) Faint – lapse into
worldliness and sin
b) Faint – sink into
substance abuse
• Alcohol
• Food
• Drugs
c) Faint – harden into
bitterness and selfrighteousness
d) Faint – suicide
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HOW DO WE WIN THIS BATTLE?
4. Put on your defensive armor.
(Ephesians 6:13-17)
•
•
•
•
•
Girdle (belt) – truth
Breastplate - righteousness
Shoes – gospel preparation
Shield – faith
Helmet – salvation
5. Practice on offense with your
weapons.
•
•
Sword – word of God (God
talking to you)
Prayer (You talking to God)
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HOW DO WE WIN THIS BATTLE?
6. Avoid peer dependency.
• “Peer pressure” can be good or bad, depending on the peers, and the direction of
the pressure – but peer dependency is always bad. Trust in God alone.
• Help the down and out; be compassionate – but do not choose companions who
will hurt you in this battle. Remember Lot in Sodom.
• [Proverbs 22:24-25] “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious
man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.”
• [Proverbs 14:7] “Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in
him the lips of knowledge.”
7. Seek out fellow soldiers – real disciples of Jesus Christ.
• [II Corinthians 1:9-11] “But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we
should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us
from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the
means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.”
• [Hebrews 10:23-25] “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;
(for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto
love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the
manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the
day approaching.”
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THE BATTLE WITHIN
Conclusion
1.
2.
3.
4.
If you have a battle within you
between a desire for righteousness
and a desire for sin, it’s because Jesus
Christ has purchased you with His
own blood, and heaven will be your
home.
This battle is very serious, and your
enemy is exceedingly cruel and clever.
But the God within you is greater
than that enemy – and you can win
this battle.
Get ready for a long fight, and may
you overcome!
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