Faithlife Sermons

Demolishing Strongholds

Acts & the Pauline Epistles  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Here we are it’s almost Christmas again! No doubt over the next couple of weeks you will here the Christmas story out of several times.
In fact, if you are like me, you can probably quote part of (although I get all mixed up going back and forth between the King James and the New International Version).
What I find amazing about the story of Jesus is the encounters that individual people had with Him. Stop for a minute and think of some of those people. Now think about their encounter with Jesus.
Peter, James, John, and Andrew all left the comfort of a lucrative fishing business to follow Jesus. Matthew left his tax collecting business to follow Jesus.
The rich young rule went away sad, because he had great wealth, and was not willing to leave it to follow Jesus.
The woman caught in adultery was told by Jesus to go and stop sinning! The blind could see, lame could walk, deaf could hear, and the dumb could speak; all because they had an encounter with Jesus.
In his book Radical, David Platt (the former executive director of the IMB) says, “God hates sinners.” Carrying this thought farther in his book Follow Me, he writes,
“Does God hate sinners? Listen to , ‘The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell lies, bloodthirsty and deceitful men the Lord abhors.’”
Did you catch that? Compared with the word “abhors” the word “hate” is pretty soft! God abhors sinners!
Now some of you will want to point me to the New Testament. Right? Okay, we all know what says. Say it with me:
John 3:16 NIV84
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
So you might say to me, “See, God loves the world and the world is made up of sinners, so God loves sinners!”
Okay, let me ask you a question. Do you know what was said just a few verses later? Do you know what says?
but do you know what says?
John 3:36 NIV84
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
Don’t move too fast over this. Anyone who rejects Jesus, God’s wrath remains on him! That means anyone who does not accept Jesus as their Savior is subject to God’s wrath! That means they are enemies of God!
talks about this as well.
Romans 1:8 NIV84
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.
Romans 1:18 NIV84
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
Then we need to look at .
Ephesians 5:6 NIV84
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
So God calls His followers—you and me—to be obedient! To live according to the charges in His Word. Now, as we come to our passage today—keep these ideas in mind!
Throughout 2 Corinthians Paul has been pleading with the church at Corinth to demonstrate or show the changes that came into their lives because of the encounter they had with Jesus.
As we begin this morning, I want you to begin thinking about the changes that have come into your lives because you had an encounter with Jesus—The living Savior!
2 Corinthians 10:1–6 NIV84
By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” when away! I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

Encountering Jesus

1. We live in the world, but not by the standards of the world!

Paul writes that we all are called to live in the world. But we do not have the same standard as the world.

2. Our weapons!

A. Are not worldly!

The weapons of this world are things like: intimidation, manipulation, trickery, double-talk, rumors, hypocritical behavior, impressive credentials, and silver tongued speeches.
The weapons of this word seek to draw attention to ME!

3. God’s Weapons!

B. Have divine power

Because the come from God, they come equipped with His power.

C. They can demolish strongholds

The weapons God gives us can tear down anything and everything in your life that stands between you and God!

D. They can demolish arguments

The enemy uses all kinds of arguments—lies—to lead us astray. God’s weapons can demolish these arguments and lies of the enemy!

E. These weapons protect our knowledge of God!

The weapons God naturally protects the knowledge about God, that He gives us. Thus the more we know God, the greater use of these weapons we have.

F. With these weapons we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ!

So many times our thoughts run wild. Think about it! You and I must grab hold of every thought and see if it is consistent with God’s values. If it isn’t, then we must make that thought obey Jesus!

G. Be ready to punish disobedience!

PROBLEM: One of the issues today is that Christians are inconsistent with the way we see disobedience. God is black and white. You are either for Him or against Him! He doesn’t accept lukewarm. Likewise if something is sin, there’s no little bit sin. SIN IS SIN!
As followers of Jesus we are called upon to take a stand against sin—ALL Sin, not just those that make a political point!
Notice that Paul says he is ready to punish every act of disobedience! As a church we should not, must not, and cannot tolerate disobedience to the Lord and His Word.

3. What do we do with the weapons?

Tearing Down Strongholds


1. Stop tolerating disobedience (sin)!

2. Stop using the world’s weapons!

3. Use God’s weapons to free us from bondage.

4. Tear down strongholds!

—those things in my life that separate me from God!

5. Stop believing the enemy’s lies!

—Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”()

6. Take our thoughts captive!

—we need to take back our minds. Stop letting our thoughts be in control. Instead, let Jesus’ thoughts be in control!

7. Stand ready to punish disobedience.

What changed in your life when you encountered Jesus? I pray EVERYTHING changed!
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