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Kingdom Conflict Series - 1

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KINGDOM CONFLICT SERIES

TAKE IT PERSONALLY - NO ONE IS EXEMPT__

      INTRO :   Jimmy Swaggerts fall really rocked my

      spirit & caused great alarm - How could it have

      happened?  Moral failure, as many since have

      fallen - _no one is exempt!

        "In a world of loopholes, success often belongs to the clever, the ones who avoid trouble & defeat by exploiting the exemptions.  There is, _

      _however, a reality from which no one is emxempt - _

      _the reality of sin.  The clever, the spiritual, _

      _the young & the old, the affluent & the poor...we _

      _are all vulnerable to sins deverstating effects _

      _in our lives!"_

     

        Casualties are everywhere:  the angry, the

      bitter, the depressed, the apathetic, the

      fearful, the guilt-ridden, the lonely, the

      victimes of broken relationships.  These include

      those who willingly sin, thinking they can beat

      the system.  The victims are those who are

      enjoying their sin for a season, refusing to

      believe that _'whatsoever a man sows that he shall

      _also reap.'(Gal 6:7)_

      We are all vulnerable, all of us.  NO ONE IS

      EXEMPT._

      __The conflict within and without___

     

      - We have all thought at sometime, 'Satan is

      attacking my life'.  Actually, Satan is not

      omnipresent & therefore can be only in one place

      at a time.  God's word indicates much of his time

      is taken up accusing the brethren before God's

      throne, day & night (Rev.12:10).  Though there

      are legions of demon spirits, they don't normally

      have to interact with us personally to create

      conflict.  Our _'inner tendancy'_ to sin & the

      network of sin around us are sufficient to ignite

      the conflict.  Satan is the master of this

      network, God's word calls it the _cosmos_(world).

      - Cosmos, the world around us, appeals to the

      flesh, the world within us.  The N.T. labels this

      sin problem as the 'flesh'.  _1 John 2:15-16  Note _

      _that the world is defined by the stuff within us.

      - _Galatians 5_ talks of this inner struggle common

      to all of us, & also lists the results when we

      choose to allow the flesh dominion._

      _- To gain the victory, first we must know

      _ourselves.  Our own weakness often lies in our

      _quickness to excuse our sin._

      Take a look.  Are there some kinks in your

      personal armour._

      __Excuses in the conflict___

      * I can't help myself_

      * I've always been this way_

      * I've tried to change, but I can't_

      * I'm better than a lot of other people I know

      * It doesn't hurt anyone, does it?_

      * It's my environment, it overwhelms me!_

      * It's the only pleasure I allow myself._

      

      The habit of sin or 'slips' of life are excused. 

      It's really no 'big thing'._

     

      _"We weaken ourselves by lacking the integrity to _

      _admit personal responsibility for our choices."_

     

      _"Excuses are the anesthetic of Satan that numbs _

      _us to the operation of sin in our lives."_

      _Illustr - Excusing our sin.__

     

      A plumber left a note on his illegally parked car

      which said, "plumber at work inside."  Next to

      the note was a ticket & another note which read,

      "Cop at work outside."  Like the plumber we may

      excuse ourselves & feel quite safe.  Yet, in

      reality we are guilty before God & in jeopardy

      with Him, & the consequences of sin._

     

      _Illustr - Passing the blame__

      A Satisfying way of excusing sin is to pass the

      blame.  It starts early in life.  Junior comes

      running in from outside, crying & showing teeth

      marks on his arm, saying, "Dad, Sally bit me!"

      You wisely respond, "Johnny, why did she bite

      you? What did you do to her?" "But Dad, she bit

      me", he pleads with great urgency. "I know, but

      what did you do?"  After several tries, seeing

      that Dad will not yield to the dodge of

      responsibility, Junior sheepishly confesses, "I

      punched her in the nose."_

     

      __Passing the blame - Adams & Eves sin___

     

      _Gen.3:1-13__

     

      v1  Seed of sin was sown into situation when

      Satan brought God's command into question before

      Eve.  Strategy was to lead away from the truth:

      v1   Caused Eve to doubt what God had said._

      v4,5 He contradicted God & lied to Eve._

      v5   He appealed to her pride._

      What was the behaviour change in A & E?

      They covered up their nakedness; hid from God;

      avoided God's question; blamed someone else.

      We too : run away, try to escape, hide, ignore

      our wrongdoing, rebel, strike out at others. 

      Adam blamed Eve ; Eve blamed the serpent.

      _WHY DO WE TRY TO EXCUSE OURSELVES BY PLACING THE _

      _BLAME ON SOMEONE ELSE?_  (IT SEEMS TO CLEAR OUR

      CONSCIENCES AT LEAST TEMPORARILY)._

     

      __Take it personally___

     

      - Often start conv. by saying, "Don't take this

      personally." When it comes to the treachery of

      sin, we must take it personally because sin

      begins within!_

      - Just as we may reflect our physical parentage,

      so we reflect our spiritual parentage from Adam &

      Eve in the reality of sin (Rom 5).  The struggle

      of the flesh is always with us._

      Sin cannot be blamed on externals.  Bible says

      _James 1:13-15_  Sin masters us in a four step

      process:_

      1.  Our own evil desires_

      2.  Enticement from the world system_

      3.  The sin is acted out._

      4.  Death sets in._

     

      _Choices___

     

      _"Life is not made by the dreams we dream but the _

      _choices we make."_  How true.  Choices are the

      ingredients of triumph or failure._

     

      _Backsliders in the christian faith__

      People once gloriously going on for God, now

      wallowing in the pit of a sinful existence.  WHY?

      Choices made, have led to their current

      situation._

      - Satan does not captivate us.  He simply

      capitalises on our choices._

      - It's a choice to lie to gain personal

      advantage_

      - the choice to look a 2nd & 3rd time, to plan

      that coveted affair;_

      - it's the choice to make dishonest business deal_

      - ............... to let anger & hatred remain._

      - ............... to cheat on that test_

      - ............... to feed on pornography_

      - ............... to escape drugs_

      - ............... to ignore my family_

      - ............... to put priority of Christ

      somewhere down the list._

      _Choices that usher us into the hands of the _

      _adversary and reaping the consequences of sin.

      __Consequences in the Conflict___

     

      When A & E sinned, they immediately experienced

      death in several dimensions.  These are the

      inevitable consequences of sin:_

      __Death of Self-esteem__ _Gen.3:7_  Perception of

      themselves changed.  Their nakedness, before

      wonderful, now a source of shame.  They perceived

      their nakedness as a -ve. _"What am I becoming. I _

      _never thought I would be this kind of person.  If _

      _anyone knew this, they would reject me."_  Sin

      destroys positive perceptions of who we are &

      what we are becoming._

      __Death of Integrity__ _(Gen.3:7)_ Instead of dealing

      with the sin problem, they sought to cover it up. 

      The fig leaves were a way of making themselves

      feel better & hiding their true condition.  They

      no longer wanted to see themselves as they really

      were.  _WHAT FIG LEAVES ARE WE HIDING BEHIND _

      _TODAY?_  Refusing to admit & deal with our true

      condition is a lack of reality, a loss of

      integrity._

      __Deatgh of fellowship with God__ _Gen. 3:8_  When God

      came, Adam hid!  Instead of coming in repentance,

      they did from shame.  Sin keeps us from prayer,

      study of scripture, and fellowshiop of believers.

      _Illustr - In a Bible given to their son, parents _

      _wrote "This book will keep you from sin or sin _

      _will keep you from this book."  True._

      __Death of personal relationships___Gen 3:11-12_ How

      hard it is to admit we are wrong.  It we refuse

      to accept respons., we will sin & sin again. 

      After all, it really isn't our fault.  Adam

      blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent._

      While _1 John 1:9_ remains true.  God will forgive

      us, however, _it doesn't necessarily erase

      _consequences._

      _Illustr - sin's consequences__

     

      Hard week - Friday on the way home stop at local

      watering hole.  Smash the car & land in hospital

      on way home from the pub.  Leg is amputated. 

      Next day a brother confronts me with my sin.  I

      am broken!  I beg God to forgive me and He does.

      When I am out of hospital I seek the

      congregations forgiveness & they too forgive. 

      Though I am fully forgiven, my leg will not grow

      back.  I will live with the consequences of my

      sin for the rest of my life.  As God's word

      states _"he that sows to his flesh shall of the _

      _flesh reap corruption (Gal 6:8)._

      __Conclusion___

     

      _1 John 4:4  "You are of God little children, & _

      _have overcome them, _because_ He who is in you is _

      __greater_ than he who is in the world."_

      We have in us also, ÿthe capacity to overcome the

      flesh & the devil by the Holy Spirit's power.

     

      _The conflict is real.  It is fierce & the stakes _

      _are high.  At stake are major issues like God's _

      _glory, our happiness, peace of mind, clear _

      _consciences, potential, the strength of the next _

      _generation, & the testimony of Christ in a dark _

      _and crooked world._

      __Questions__

     

      - Are you struggling with a sin problem that

      comes from yielding to the "flesh" within?_

      - Are you willing to admit personal respons. for

      your sin, or are you excusing your wrongdoing,

      perhaps blaming someone else?_

      - Are you consciously aware of the supernatural

      conflict you're involved in because of Satan's

      influence in the world system?_

      - Did you know _Eph 6_ tells us we have the armour

      of God to help us in our conflict for Triumph?

     

      _Next : Unmasking the strategy Satan uses to _

      _alienate us from God.__

      

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