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Our Certain Victory

Notes & Transcripts

Our Certain Victory

Acts 14:1-28        October 1, 2000

 

Scripture Reading: Romans 8:28-39

Introduction:

          Are you a victorious Christian?

          Or have you already wished I hadn't asked that question?

          Now I realize that there are degrees of victory.

          And it would be presumptuous of any of us to say that we have already accomplished all manner of victory in our lives.

          The final victory does not come until glory.

          And we are mindful that pride comes before a fall.

          But there are different stages in the battle.

          So are you pressing "on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of you --- toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called (you) heavenward in Christ Jesus?"

          Are you "confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus?"

          These are statements by the apostle Paul found in Philippians.

          He wrote them - having risen victorious through the heat of battle.

          And he fought a number of these battles for the faith in his life and ministry without giving up.

          You know, a lot of people might take on the faith to tackle one or two battles in their life or ministry and then sit on it while their victory is slowly washed away like sand under their feet.

          This could be any of us?

          You saw the hard work and became weary in well-doing.

          Surely God is satisfied with this, you say?

          But what is going on in your mind?

          Are you misunderstanding truth?

          Are you tempted with pride about what you have accomplished?

          Are you fearful of going on?

          So back to my question again: are you a victorious Christian - not yet in the absolute sense, but are you rising victorious in the present battles you are facing – realizing that glory is at the end of it all?

          What kind of battles are you facing?

          There is nothing new under the sun, you know.

          I'm sure that "no temptation has seized you except what is common to man."

          So are you "finding God faithful not to let you be tempted beyond what you can bear?"

          Chris and Ralph are experiencing victory right now in their struggles with the sin of alcoholism and want prayer for even more victory.

          (Bring this home with other kinds of sin problems less spoken of.)

          Many of our battles are indeed personal.

          And our spiritual enemy is personal.

          Satan will twist our understanding of truth, tempt us with pride, and threaten us with fear.

(Put this into context with Chris and Ralph: it won't harm me, I can handle it, I can't live without it - alcohol.)

          To put it bluntly, we need victory over sin and Satan in our lives.

          I'm sure you have at least some idea of what your sins are.

          Or you can ask God to search your heart and show you ---

          You see, we not only have a personal enemy, we have a personal Savior that overpowers him.

          Faith in Christ Jesus is indeed our certain and sure victory on the level of personal sin.

          You can have all of God that you really want – and it comes through Christ.

          Just ask and believe and submit.

          And this also works wonders on the level of our corporate calling to take the victory of Christ to the world.

          The battles are just on a broader scale, but victory is none the less sure by that same faith.

         

          In our last two messages, we discovered three things about the mission of the church (to send, to evangelize, to confront); and three things about the message that the church must proclaim (God is sovereign over our ministry, our lives, and our church).

          Now in this morning's passage in Acts 14, we will discover several aspects about the victory of that message we proclaim.

          These truths apply on both the personal and corporate level.

          In other words, they work to advance the kingdom cause, as well as in our own personal experience as we participate in that kingdom cause.

          If you want victory, then listen and worship in your heart about how God worked in the life and ministry of Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, and how he will also work in you and in our church.

          Paul and Barnabas have just left Pisidian Antioch after establishing a body of believers there.

          Those who believed were those whom God had appointed to eternal life.

          But this is in contrast to the Jews who, in their jealousy toward the Gentiles and the message that saved them, stir up persecution toward the missionary team.

Paul and Barnabas leave town by visibly shaking off the dust of their feet against them and head toward Iconium.

The itinerary of this message covers their journey from Iconium to Lystra to Derbe and back again through these same towns to Pisidian Antioch.

Then they return back to the home church in Antioch proper to report the victorious results of their mission which turned out to be against seemingly insurmountable odds.

What can we learn from their experience and their report?

Big Question:

          In what ways might we experience the victory of the message we proclaim?

I.       Cycle One [Our words may be twisted.]

          A.      Narrative (vv. 1-7)

          There was great opportunity and also great opposition.

          B.      Implication

          In what ways might we experience the victory of the message we proclaim?

When our message is twisted, we become more bold for the truth.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

II.      Cycle Two [Our pride may be tempted.]

          A.      Narrative (vv. 8-18)

          B.      Implication

          In what ways might we experience the victory of the message we proclaim?

When our message is misunderstood, we turn more toward God.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

III.    Cycle Three [Our lives may be threatened.]

          A.      Narrative (vv. 19-20)

          B.      Implication

         

In what ways might we experience the victory of the message we proclaim?

          When our message is silenced, we keep coming back.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

          See 2Tim. 3:10-14 & 2Cor. 11:25

IV.    Cycle Four [But our work will be completed.]

          A.      Narrative (vv. 21-28)

          B.      Implication

          C.      Illustration

          In what ways might we experience the victory of the message we proclaim?

When our message is successful, we give God the glory.

          D.      Application

Conclusion:

          We, like Paul and Barnabas, are called to proclaim the message of Christ to an often hostile and dangerous world.

          They will twist your message.

They will tempt your pride.

          They will threaten your life.

          But they can't take away your joy of victory.

          So what is our response?

Big Answer:

          In what ways might we experience the victory of the message we proclaim?

         

When our message is twisted, we become more bold for the truth.

When our message is misunderstood, we turn more toward God.

When our message is silenced, we keep coming back.

When our message is successful, we give God the glory.

Timeless Truth:

          Victory happens when we trust God for it.

 Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"

  Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

 (John 6:28-29 NIVUS)

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