Sunday, January 24, 2021

Sunday Sermon Outline: The Nature of Spiritual Warfare

“The Nature of Spiritual Warfare”
2 Chronicles 14

Introduction:

    1 Kings 15:3, “He walked in all the sins of his father which he had committed before him; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, like the heart of his father David.”    
 
    2 Chronicles 14, “So Abijah lay down with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David, and his son Asa became king in his place. The land was undisturbed for ten years during his days. 2 And Asa did what was good and right in the sight of the Lord his God, 3 for he removed the foreign altars and high places, tore down the memorial stones, cut down the Asherim, 4 and commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers and to comply with the Law and the commandment. 5 He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah. And the kingdom was undisturbed under him. 6 He built fortified cities in Judah, since the land was undisturbed, and there was no one at war with him during those years, because the Lord had given him rest. 7 For he said to Judah, “Let’s build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered.
    8 Now Asa had an army of three hundred thousand from Judah, carrying large shields and spears, and 280,000 from Benjamin, carrying shields and wielding bows; all of them were valiant warriors. 9 Now Zerah the Ethiopian went out against them with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots, and he came to Mareshah. 10 So Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up in battle formation in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; help us, Lord our God, for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude. Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You.” 12 So the Lord routed the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar; and so many Ethiopians fell that they could not recover, for they were shattered before the Lord and before His army. And they carried away a very large amount of plunder. 14 They destroyed all the cities around Gerar, for the dread of the Lord had fallen on them; and they pillaged all the cities, for there was much plunder in them. 15 They also fatally struck those who owned livestock, and they led away large numbers of sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.”
 
    “As for you, if you walk before Me as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, 18 I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, 'You shall never fail to have a man to rule over Israel.' 19 But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from My land, which I have given them …” (2 Chronicles 7:17-20).
    Rehoboam “did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the LORD” (2 Chronicles 12:14). Abijah “committed all the sins his father had done before him” (1 Kings 15:3).

I. The Elimination of Evil vs. 2-5
    “Asa did what was good and right in the sight of the Lord his God, 3 for he removed the foreign altars and high places, tore down the memorial stones, cut down the Asherim, 4 and commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers and to comply with the Law and the commandment. 5 He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah. And the kingdom was undisturbed under him.”

    Psalm 119:1-2, “Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. 2 Blessed are they who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their heart.” 
    “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9).
    “put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 … be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 … put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
    “Get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you” (James 1:21).

II. The Fortification of Faith vs. 6-8

    “He built fortified cities in Judah, since the land was undisturbed, and there was no one at war with him during those years, because the Lord had given him rest. 7 For he said to Judah, “Let’s build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered. 8 Now Asa had an army of three hundred thousand from Judah, carrying large shields and spears, and 280,000 from Benjamin, carrying shields and wielding bows; all of them were valiant warriors.”

    “Do not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:27). “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. … 13 … put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground …” (Ephesians 6:11-13).

    Acts 14:22, Paul and Barnabas were “strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. "We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God," they said.” 
 
III. The Contention of Challengers vs. 9-10
    “Now Zerah the Ethiopian went out against them with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots, and he came to Mareshah. 10 So Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up in battle formation in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.”

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith …” (1 Peter 5:8-9). “… contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 1:3).

IV. The Prayer of Petition vs. 11-15
    “Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; help us, Lord our God, for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude. Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You.” 12 So the Lord routed the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar; and so many Ethiopians fell that they could not recover, for they were shattered before the Lord and before His army. And they carried away a very large amount of plunder. 14 They destroyed all the cities around Gerar, for the dread of the Lord had fallen on them; and they pillaged all the cities, for there was much plunder in them. 15 They also fatally struck those who owned livestock, and they led away large numbers of sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.”

    Luke 21:34-36, “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

    “pray … that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored … 2 … pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:1-3).
 
Conclusion:

    Luke 19:41-44, Jesus “approached Jerusalem and saw the city, [and] He wept over it 42 [saying], "If you … had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."”

    "When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. … 16 wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of My sight! Stop doing wrong, 17 learn to do right!” (Isaiah 1:15-17).

    "But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life" (Jude 1:20-21).

    “though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 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” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). 
    “'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD almighty” (Zechariah 4:6).