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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
December 14, 2008
Spiritual Warfare, Part. 4: Girded With Truth
Some of you may recall hearing the story of the Thracian slave named Spartacus who led a very successful uprising of slaves against ancient Rome. The story was made into a movie quite some years ago with Kirk Douglas playing the lead role. Spartacus defeated the Roman army seven times before he was himself defeated by the great Roman General Marcus Licinius Crassus in 71 B.C. Spartacus started with a small band of slaves that were being trained as gladiators. At first, little attention was given to him, for it was thought that even a small force of Roman soldiers would easily defeat him. Yet with a smaller force, Spartacus was consistently able to defeat larger forces. Why? Spartacus learned to attack late at night or early in the morning when the enemy was not prepared to do battle. He attacked when the opposing force did not have their armor on!
The same is true with us in Spiritual Warfare. Certainly there is more power available to us than what exists with our enemy because Jesus Christ in us is greater than Satan who is in the world (1 John 4:4). It is also clearly stated in James 4:7 that if we submit to God and resist the devil, he will flee from us. Yet, our adversary and his forces are able to be victorious over us time and again and we fall back into sin. Why? Because Satan, like Spartacus, will seek to attack when we are most vulnerable. He will attack when we do not have our armor on!
This morning we come in our study of Spiritual Warfare to the armor God has provided to us. We will carefully examine each piece and see what it is for and how God wants us to use it so that we may stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
Turn again to Ephesians 6:10. Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly [places.] 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil [one.] 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
We have already examined the nature of this spiritual war (See: Spiritual Warfare, Pt. 1 – The Nature of the Battle) and the nature of our adversary (See: Spiritual Warfare, Pt. 2 – Our Adversary). We are in involved in spiritual battle against a well organized and powerful adversary who is a schemer that seeks to exploit our every weakness. We are called to be strong in the Lord in order to stand firm against the devil’s attacks against us. One of the ways to stand firm is to understand some of the ways we will be attacked. That is why I spoke about Satan’s basic strategies as well as his subtle devices last week (See: Satan’s Subtle Devices). However, understanding our enemies’ method of attack will do us little good if we are not prepared to defend our self against it when it comes. That is why we must also have on the armor that God provides us so that we can stand firm against him.
Overview of the Armor
Paul is painting a picture here for us using military symbolism to help us understand what we need and what we must do. This is appropriate symbolism for describing warfare. The various pieces of armor that Paul mentions are those that were actually worn by the Greek hoplite, or the Roman foot soldier. In all likelihood, there was a soldier either chained to Paul or at least standing guard over him while he was writing. Paul could simply look at each piece of equipment the soldier had and use that to illustrate what is needed to be prepared for spiritual warfare.
An illustration of such a soldier will show us each piece of equipment, where it was located and what it was used for. First, there is the belt which ties and holds everything together. Then there is the breastplate that protects the vital organs. The feet have on shoes that are specially designed to give good firm footing so that the soldier would not slip and fall. There is the shield which is used to defend against the blows of the enemy. Since the head is critical for the rest of body to be able to function, it is protected by a helmet. Finally, there is the sword which was used as both a defensive weapon to parry the strikes of the enemy as well as an offensive weapon to make strikes of your own.
Now note again that verse 13 states, “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” This is the second time he as said to put on our armor so that we can stand firm. The stress here again is that we have to be prepared. The word translated here as “put on” or “take up” is the general military word for taking up your arms. The battle is about to begin, get ready, put all your armor on! Don’t be caught off guard as the Romans were when Spartacus attacked. They were only able to grab what was handy. We have to make sure we have every piece of our armor on.
The purpose of all the armor is so that we may be able to stand against the enemy in the evil day. What evil day? Today! Back in Ephesians 5:16 Paul said to, “redeem the time because the days are evil.” Until Jesus Christ returns to set up His millennial kingdom we will live in an evil time. This is why Satan is also refereed to as the “god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4). That is also why the idea of man being able to bring about any type of utopia is ludicrous. Man cannot achieve that by any political or religious means because as long as Satan is active among men there will be conflict, corruption and chaos. That is the story of history. Yet, sinful man continues to think that somehow he is going to bring about world peace and prosperity. Such is the foolishness of men.
However, though we may suffer because of the evil in the world, we do not have to be partakers of it. We do not have to succumb to the attacks of our enemies. We do not have to fall into Satan’s traps and stumble into sin. We can “take up the full armor of God” and “resist in the evil day,” and “having done everything” we can “stand firm” (Ephesians 6:13). We can hold our ground.
In Ephesians 6:14 Paul says once again, “Stand firm therefore . . . ” This is the fourth time in five verses that he has called us to resist the devil and hold our ground. The picture here is not so much that we are attacking as that we are being attacked. Our objective is to hold our position and not fall back to where we were before. And where is that? In sin. Do not give up ground in your pursuit of righteousness. Jesus died to break the bondage of sin in your life, to cleanse you and make you holy that you might have a relationship with God. Your salvation from hell is simply a side benefit of being saved from sin (See Romans 6).
For the rest of this morning we are going to look at the first piece of equipment mentioned here in verse 14. Paul says we are to “Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth.” We might call this piece of equipment a girdle or a belt, though a special kind of belt.
The Belt of Truth
What was this belt for? Going back to our illustration of a typical Roman foot soldier, the clothing he would have worn was a sort of long gown or robe often called a tunic. It was usually made of a square piece of cloth with holes cut out for the head and arms and it would hang down from the shoulders. This was great for most activities, but it would hinder you if you had to move fast or agilely. The girdle or belt would be used to hold the clothing up off the legs so that the person could move quickly. That is what the phrase, “gird up your loins,” means. Arrange your clothing so that you can move quickly without being hindered. The Roman Soldier would also typically wear what would in essence be a skirt. It often also had leather pleats for additional protection. The girdle or belt would secure the tunic in place as well as hold this outer “skirt” on and also provide a place to hold the sheath for the sword. It was an essential piece of equipment that tied everything together.
Notice that Paul refers to this belt as truth. It is truth that ties everything together securing us and giving us the ability to move quickly and decisively. It is truth that holds the sheath for the sword of the Spirit, the Bible. Truth is foundational to the Christian, and I find that when we are attacked by the devil or one of his cohorts, that attack is almost always against the truth.
Jesus said in John 8:31,32 “to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’.” What would the truth make us free from? It certainly is not to do whatever you would like or feel like doing without consequence though a lot of people seem to think that is what freedom means. Truth, like gravity, has a way of making you crash just when you thought you could fly by your own abilities. What does truth set us free from? The bandage to sin; from Satan as our master; from a self-centered life; from a life lived in and for the present that would end in the tragedy of an eternity separated from God.
I am always encouraged when I meet someone seeking the truth no matter how far away from it they may be at the present time or how skeptical they may be. Why? Because the truth inevitably leads to Jesus Christ. Jesus said that He is “the way, the truth, the life.” Everyone who is an actual truth seeker will find Jesus Christ at the end of their quest. They will invariably come to agree with the Scriptures, for Jesus declared the word of God to be truth (John 17:17).
Contrast this with what Jesus said in John 8:44 about the devil. “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own [nature;] for he is a liar, and the father of lies.” Some of Satan’s lies are in direct opposition to what God has declared and so are easy to spot by those who know God’s word. Other lies are subtle with some mimicking the truth so closely that they are difficult to discern. Satan can twist the Scriptures themselves to put people on a path almost parallel to the truth, but since it is not the truth it is a road that eventually leads to hell.
Jesus said “the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it” (Matthew 7:14). Satan’s goal, as I have previously pointed out, is to usurp God’s position. The ramifications of this to people is that he will try to keep the unsaved from coming to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and he will try to keep Christians from living for Christ. He will use any means available to him to accomplish these goals, and lies are a major means.
Lies to the Unbelieving
Satan’s uses lies to keep mankind from salvation. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except by Me.” Satan has many different falsehood and distortions to use against this truth, and he will use which ever one might be effective on the particular individual. Some people will fall to a direct contradiction, so he will use atheism or its more tactful cousin of agnosticism to claim that God is a myth and Jesus was just a man. He will use the philosophy of evolution to deny that creation proclaims God’s glory and handiwork. It instead just becomes the happenstance of natural processes and chance.
The devil had many other tactics. The most common one is to pervert the truth through false religions and cults. False religions deny that Jesus is the way and proclaim themselves to be the way to be reconciled with God or whatever supernatural force or forces they believe in. Or they may claim that Jesus is only a way instead of the way, for they claim that all roads, including their own, lead to heaven. This lie is increasingly popular in our society which now espouses tolerance & acceptance as greater virtues than truth which is not tolerated or accepted. If these are not effective, Satan he can agree Jesus is the only way, but then reinterpret who Jesus is. This is a characteristic of all cults and why 1 John 4:1-3 warns, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out in to the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that is coming, and now it is already in the world.”
Religious tolerance is the politically & socially correct position, but I have never been politically correct and care little about being socially correct if that means being quiet about the truth. We named this church Grace Bible Church in part because we are saved by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8), we are to grow in God’s grace (2 Peter 2:18), stand firm in God’s grace (1 Peter 5:12), and be gracious to others (Colossians 4:6). Out intent is to do those very things. However, it is not gracious to withhold the truth and substitute a lie. This church teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ as presented in the Bible is not a way, but the way; not a truth, but the truth; not a life, but the life and no man, woman or child will ever see God the Father except through Him. We tolerate other religions in the sense that we are not seeking to do away with the people in them, but we do seek to annihilate those religions by converting the people in them to the truth. We do not accept non-Biblical faiths or perversions of Biblical faith as valid. They are based on the lies of the devil and are roads to hell to which they are leading billions of deceived people. Certainly we need to be civil for we are to be gracious and grace speaks the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), but lets also make sure we are not deceived about the reality of the situation and the destination of those following false religions and cults.
Satan’s lies to mankind started in the garden of Eden when he deceived Eve into sin. How did he do it? Through lies. His first statement questioned what God had commanded, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the Garden’?” Eve corrected the serpent that God had only restricted them from the fruit of one tree. Satan then directly contradicted what God had said about what the consequences would be. “You will not surely die.” Satan then slandered God’s character by accusing Him of holding out on Eve. “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
All of Satan’s lies are ultimately against the character and nature of God. It is God that the devil is seeking to usurp and his lies to us seek to turn us away from the Lord in the same way he deceived Eve. The rest of this morning and for several weeks to come I want to expose some of his major lies and show you some of their ramifications. In doing so I think you will see the importance of the belt of truth.
Lies Against God’s Existence (See: Why We Believe in God)
Satan’s most bold lie is that God does not exist. Atheism states this directly while agnosticism denies all evidence so that they can claim they do not know. The truth is that both the atheist and the agnostic know, but they deny it. Romans 1:18-20 is one of the most direct passages on this subject. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools.”
The agnostic is just a more tactful atheist and both are willingly ignorant. It is hard to believe that anyone would fall for such a lie with all of creation shouting the truth, yet several philosophies, communism and scientism (as seen in ardent evolutionists) have ensnared many people. This lie has many ramifications because once the idea of a creator God who will hold you accountable for your actions is removed, then the door opens to any evil man can dream up. Man becomes just the highest form of animal life, and men can be very inhumane to one another.
The atrocities committed under atheistic communism since 1917 can scarcely be recounted with millions upon millions slaughtered under it and countless more have suffered and many continue to suffer under it. The blood of Christian martyrs still flow in China, North Korea and other communist lands mixed with the cries of anguish from our persecuted brethren there.
Scientific atheism paved the way for the worse forms of racism imaginable including the holocaust. I realize that most evolutionists deny this by claiming that Darwin did not and would not have condoned such a thing much less advocated it. However, ideas have consequences and Darwin’s book and ideas did promote racism. The original title of his book is “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.” That title was not changed until its 6th edition in 1872. Racial genocide is the natural conclusion to those ideas, not an aberration of them, and many have followed the logic of those ideas to horrendous conclusions.
Atheistic philosophies have destroyed the moral foundations of the western societies and laid the foundation for the pervasive materialism now found in them. Western Europe had been thoroughly secularized with America following close on its heels. As we head into the middle of December we once again have to put up with foolish ignorant people that claim that it is unconstitutional to make religious references in public to the non-denominational winter holiday that used to be commonly called “Christmas.”
Psalm 14:1 & 53:1 both state it clearly, “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God’.” When you meet people who are caught in this lie remember that they have willingly rejected the truth God placed in their hearts at birth. Do not expect them to believe you or even give you a fair hearing. But pray, and as you have opportunity confront them head on with the truth. If you are prepared and they are willing to actually listen, challenge them on the premise and assumptions of their beliefs. What is their source of authority and why? Are they honest enough to have put their sources of information to the same rigorous skeptical challenge as they have the Bible?
Ask them if they or anyone they know or if there is any record of someone being present when the world was formed? If not, then there are no first hand witness and any thoughts about origins are based on assumptions and inferences, not actual knowledge. (There is one first hand account, and it comes from God and is written down in Genesis 1 – “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” That is God’s own claim – Isaiah 45).
In order to assert that there is no God, you would have to have all knowledge, and since no atheist, or all of them combined, have all knowledge, their claim is fallacious. Their pride brings them to an invalid absolute statement that they can never prove. If they were honest, they would have to say that they have not recognized God in their own experience, and they do not know if He exists outside of their experience. The honest atheist would have to abandon his position and become an agnostic, which is someone who says they do not know if God exists.
There are two kinds of agnostics. Those that do not know because they are still searching and have not found God yet, and those that claim that they cannot know and do not search. The former are humble and honest while the latter are in reality just as arrogant as the atheist, though they believe themselves to be intellectually honest and humble.
Those that are truly looking for God will find Him. Romans 1:19,20 tells us that God has made Himself evident to all men and God says in Jeremiah 29:13, “And you will seek Me and find [Me,] when you search for Me with all your heart.” Hebrews 11:6 adds that “he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. The honest agnostic acknowledges that they do not know God, but they also acknowledge that He could exist, and in that acknowledgment there is not only the basis for searching for God, but also the intellectual necessity to do so. Only the fool would agree that God could exist, but then fail to search for Him. Such a fool would fall into the next category.
The dishonest agnostic does not know God and will not search for Him. That may be due to arrogance, laziness or fear, but any of those are innately selfish. The arrogant agnostic is open to the possibility that God exists, but they do not believe such a search is worth their time and effort. The lazy agnostic just does not want to put any energy into such a search. Both would rather gamble on the possibility that there is no God than to give up anything they are currently doing in order to search for God. The fearful agnostic does not search for God for the same reason that a thief does not search for a policeman. They do not want to face the demands that God would make on their life if they found Him. By claiming ignorance they think they can avoid God and continue living as they desire in their own private world, but God’s wrath is not avoided by denying or ignoring Him. God’s wrath is already revealed against their unrighteousness (Romans 1:18) and one day they will have to face the reality of the God that created them.
Other questions you could ask the atheist and the agnostic include: Why man is innately religious? Why do people become atheists only when they are taught to be so. Why are so many atheists are angry at a being they do not believe exists? Do you really believe that all the intricacies and complexities of nature including their hands and eyes are just the product of chance chemical interactions? How has their belief system made them a better person – kinder, more compassionate, more helpful to other people? What do they think happens after they die? What if they are wrong?
Satan tried a variation on this in the late 20th century when some liberal theologians proclaimed that God was dead. That lie never made much of an impact because of the innate foolishness of the statement. This is a lie against God’s eternality which He is by definition and self revelation. He is the same yesterday, today and forever; from everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 90:2; Hebrews 13:8). Those that will not acknowledge God do not need this lie and those that do acknowledge God reject the idea He could die.
The Case for Theism
What then is the evidence for God?
The first and foremost evidence of God’s existence, His attributes and His plan for mankind for God are the Scriptures themselves. We have the testimony of people throughout the ages that God exists and their accounts of what He has done. The Bible is still true regardless of whether people believe it or not. Truth is not determined by either belief or popular vote. Truth is true because it is the actual reality, not just a perception of it.
God knew that man would not readily accept the witness of His prophets, so from the beginning He has also left other evidence and reasons to believe that He exists and some limited idea of what He is like. Creation itself declares that God exists. As already pointed out, Paul said in Romans 1:18-20 that God has made Himself evident, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”
The expanse of the universe demonstrates God’s vastness and power. David said in Psalm 19:1,2 that, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.” The provision of all the basic needs of life demonstrate God’s goodness and kindness, which Paul says in Romans 2:4 should lead people to repentance. And disasters, both past and present, demonstrate that God’s wrath is against all ungodliness. 2 Peter 3 warns that the destruction of the earth by the flood is a warning that God will also judge in the future, though it will be by fire. Those that do not recognize these things fail because they willingly suppress the truth in unrighteousness. They are mockers that ignore the evidence.
What are some of the extra Biblical reasons to believe in God?
The cosmological argument is the rule of cause and effect. Whenever there is an effect, there must be something that caused it. None of us have ever had any experience that did not have some cause. When Newton observed the apple fall from the tree, it was this rule of cause and effect that led him to the scientific description of gravity. (He did not actually “discover” it since Humans have been aware of gravity since the first time a person fell and skinned their knee).
The universe is an observable effect which requires either an infinite regress of causes, or else a sufficient uncaused Cause. Since an infinite regress of causes in inconceivable, then there must be an uncaused sufficient Cause, namely, God. In other words, since the universe exists, something created it, and the magnitude of the universe shows the immense power of its creator.
Atheists look to the idea of a Big Bang to explain the origin of the universe, but the more research that is done makes it an even more unbelievable idea because of the increasing number of “fudge factors” used to try to keep the idea viable.
The teleological argument is a more precise corollary of the cosmological argument. Design requires a designer. The universe displays purposeful design, therefore there must be a designer, namely, God. The high complexity in the universe demands and extremely intelligent designer.
It is this argument that has been fueling the Intelligent Design movement. Even non-Christian, non-Creationist scientists recognize by their observations and use of the scientific method in the real world that there is must be an intelligent designer. Though their arguments are simply variations on the old “a watch requires a watchmaker” argument, they are doing this using Biological systems, molecular biology, chemistry and physics. There is too much complexity to be explained by chance, even if it were given millions or billions of years, and there are irreducibly complex organisms that could not exist and function except through an intelligent design. The failure in the ID movement is the recognition that the intelligent designer must be God. Saying it came from another solar system or galaxy only pushes it back another step, for that intelligence must have also come from another source of intelligence.
Another evidence is what is referred to as the anthropological argument. This arises from the fact that man has a unique intellectual, social, moral and religious nature when compared to other animals. This evidence infers that man’s maker is at least corresponding to if not greater in those same characteristics. This argument concludes that God has personality and morality. In other words, God would have to have the same or superior attributes as compared to the beings He created.
The final evidence is the moral argument. This is the idea that there must be a universal source for the fact that all men have a sense of moral obligation. While there is variation to some degree from man to man, all men have a sense of right and wrong with an obligation to do right and refrain from wrong. Failure to do this results in man feeling guilty and liable to punishment. This evidence implies the existence of a law giver and judge, namely, God.
Some people want to use the existence of evil as proof that there is not a good God. The truth is that they could not know what is evil if there was not a corresponding and contrasting understanding of good. In addition, where could good come from if there is not a God who defines it? The existence of evil does not negate the existence of a good God, but rather it demands that a good God will punish those that do evil.
While no argument from Creation or the nature of man will prove God exists to someone who refuses believe, they do show that it is reasonable for us to believe that there is a God who is a spirit and is infinite and eternal in His being, perfect and unchangeable in His attributes, and in Whom all things have their source, support and end.” We proclaim the truth to atheists, agnostics, and everyone else, but you cannot argue someone into believing, for ultimately, as Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 2, belief in the true God is spiritual in nature.
Have you fallen for Satan’s lies against God’s existence? That includes the practical atheism I spoke about last week among those that claim to believe in God, yet live as if there is no God. There is an infinite and eternal God. He created you. Our source, support and end is in Him. He knows everything about you, and one day you will stand before Him and He will be your judge. What will you say? What will be your end? There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). All others will be condemned for their failure to obey the gospel of the Lord Jesus (1 Thessalonians 1:8) and will be judged and cast into the lake of fire which is the second death (Revelation 20:11-15). Are you seeking Him as you should? Are you serving Him as you should? If not, you need to do so. It is the only reasonable thing to do (Romans 12:1-2).
The next sermon in this series is: Spiritual Warfare, Part 5; The Belt of Truth – God’s Infinity)
Sermon Notes – 12/14/2008
Spiritual Warfare, Part 4: The Belt of Truth: God’s Existence – Selected Scriptures
Satan seeks to attack us when we are most _____________- when we do not have our armor on
We are called to be strong in the _________in order to stand firm against the devil’s attacks against us
Overview of the Armor
The pieces of armor described are those worn by the Roman foot ____________.
The armor is part of our _____________to be able to stand firm against our adversary
The “evil day” is the __________age in which Satan is active among men.
Our objective is to hold our position and not fall back into _________
The Belt of Truth
The belt would _________the tunic so that the soldier could move easily and quickly.
The belt would _________ the outer “skirt” and provide a place to hold the sheath for the sword
_________ties everything and holds the sheath for the sword of the Spirit, the Bible
John 8:31-32 – The truth frees us from bondage to _______, Satan as our master & a self-centered life
The __________inevitably leads to Jesus Christ and the Scriptures (John 14:6; 17:17)
John 8:44 – Satan is a ________and his lies may be direct or subtle
Satan’s goal is to _________ God’s position and ______are a major means of his effort to do so.
Lies to the Unbelieving
Some people will fall to a direct contradiction, so he will use __________, agnosticism & philosophy
Satan’s most common tactic is to _________the truth through false religions and cults
False religions may _______that Jesus is the way and proclaim a different way to their version of heaven
False religions may _______Jesus to a way instead of the way with many roads leading to heaven
Cults may agree Jesus is the only way, but then ___________Jesus – 1 John 4:1-3
Religious _____________ is politically correct, but it is Biblically incorrect and leads to hell
It is not ____________to withhold the truth and substitute or tolerate a lie.
Grace seeks to ____________ people by speaking the truth in love.
The devil deceived Eve through ____________- questioning, contradictions and _________
All of Satan’s lies are ultimately against the character and nature of _________.
Lies Against God’s Existence
Atheism & agnosticism ________ the evidence of God’s existence.
Romans 1:18-20 – they deny what they know. They are __________ ignorant
Atheistic communism has resulted in the ___________ of millions and suffering of millions more
Scientific atheism paved the way for the worse forms of _________imaginable including the holocaust
Racial ______________is the natural conclusion to the idea of evolution, not an aberration of them
____________ philosophies have destroyed the moral foundations of the western societies
Psalm 14:1 & 53:1 – they have willingly rejected the ________ God placed in their hearts at birth
Challenge the atheist and the agnostic on the premise and ____________ of their beliefs.
An honest atheist would recognize the __________of their knowledge and therefore become an agnostic
A humble and honest agnostic will eventually find _____if they truly seek for Him – Jer. 29:13; Heb. 11:6
The dishonest agnostic will not search for God due to arrogance, laziness or ________
The Case for Theism
The _______is the first and foremost evidence of God’s existence, His attributes and His plan for mankind
Truth is true because it is the actual _________, not just a perception of it.
___________itself declares that God exists – Romans 1:18-20; Psalm 19:; Romans 2:4; 2 Peter 3
Cosmological Argument: Whenever there is an effect, there must be something that ________it.
The universe’s existence requires either an infinite regress of causes, or else a sufficient uncaused _____
Teleological Argument: Design requires a ___________
The universe displays purposeful design, therefore there must be a ____________, namely, God
________cannot explain the complexity we observe. Irreducibly ________organisms demand a designer
Anthropological Argument: Man’s unique abilities demand a creator with at least corresponding ______
Because man has personality and morality, there must a ________ with at least those same attributes
Moral Argument: There must be a universal _______for the common morality that exist among mankind
Common morality implies the existence of a ___________ and judge
Evil can only be defined be contrasting it with a standard of what is _________.
The existence of evil does not negate the __________ of a good God, but rather it demands that a good God will punish those that do evil
It is reasonable to __________ that there is a God who is a spirit and is infinite and eternal in His being, perfect and unchangeable in His attributes, and in Whom all things have their source, support and end.”
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – 1) Count how many times God is mentioned. 2) Talk with your parents about how to know that God exists and how you would explain that to someone else.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Why was Sparticus able to defeat a superior foe? How does Satan use the same tactic to defeat Christians? What is Satan’s ultimate purpose? How does mankind fit in with him trying to achieve that purpose? What was the purpose of a soldier’s armor? What is the overall purpose of the spiritual armor described in Ephesians 6? What is the “evil day” in which we must resist? What was the purpose of the belt worn by the Roman foot soldier? How is truth like that belt for the Christian in spiritual warfare? What does truth free us from? (John 8:31-32). What will truth inevitably lead to? What is the devil’s relationship to truth? How did the devil deceive Eve? Explain. What are the two major philosophical positions though which Satan directly contradicts God. How does evolution tie in with those philosophies? How do false religions lie about God? How do cults slander God? Should Christians have religious tolerance – why or why not? Explain. What does grace demand we do for those who have been told lies? Who are all of Satan’s lies ultimately directed against? What are the similarities and differences between atheism and agnosticism? What benefits have these belief systems brought to mankind? What tragedies? What are some questions you could ask an atheist or agnostic to challenge the premise and assumptions of their beliefs? What is necessary to honestly assert that there is no God? What does this conclude about those who claim to be atheists? What is the difference between an honest and a dishonest agnostic? Where will the search of an honest agnostic lead? What are some reasons that some agnostics will not search for God? What is the first and foremost evidence of God’s existence? How should you respond to those that reject that evidence? What determines what is true? What does Creation reveal to us about God? What is the cosmological argument? What is the teleological argument? What is the anthropological argument? What is the moral argument? Is it reasonable or unreasonable to believe that there is an infinite and eternal spirit being who created the world and us?
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