Cast Down, But Not Destroyed

Sermon Written By: Dick Webster

From Sermon Notes: Link

The devil is the ruler of this world, but don't give him too much credit. "The devil made me do it," is an old saying. No he does not, he only provides a way and we decide weither or not to do it. He has provided much for us to look at and lust after. He will make you feel good about it. He will give you many reasons why what you're doing is just fine. The craftiest of those reasons being alive today. Your guard must always be up. But, there is another way, a way to victory, a way to life.

Jesus Christ is the only way to victory and life. God wants us to live a different life than that others lead. The Bible says the devil is under our feet.

Rom. 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Phil. 4:13 I can do everything God asks me to do with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.

AMP Phil 4:13 I have strength for all things in Christ who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].

I John 5:4,5 NKJV For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.

2Cor. 6:9-10 NASU as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live as punished yet not put to death, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.

We do not have to be overcome with evil and wrongdoing. We can do anything through Christ. God gives us overwhelming power to be victorious. The world may have temporal faith in themselves. We have eternal faith in a God who provides peace.

1.The Devil brings Defeat and Unbelief (V3-4)

"Blinded the minds of the unbelieving." Those who live in the world have been blinded to the truth. The world teaches "truth" that is against the Word. The world accepts the truth that seems logical to them. Worldly truth only leads to death. They cannot see the light of the gospel. The longer they stay away, the thicker the scales get on their eyes. The more they accept the lies of the devil, the harder it is to accept the Gospel. They walk in darkness and convince themselves it is "fun". The devil convinces them that the Christian is the strange person. The Bible says we are the few-not the majority.

Never downplay the power of the devil and his angels. The devil has also scaled the eyes of some who call themselves Christians. The only Christianity they know is church. Sunday, "Go to church Christians". The only way out is to let go and listen to the Holy Spirit. Jesus is often at the doors of the church knocking. Will we listen and let Him in? We as Christians must pray for all those in sin and darkness. Pray that they will see the light and listen to the Holy Spirit.

The Bible says they have been blinded - Share the Light with them.

2.God Brings Light to all the Darkness (V5-6)

Jesus is the Image of God. Jesus is the light of the world. He can bring light into any life, no matter how dark it is. We are to let the light shine and show the ways of Jesus. Others must see Jesus through us. We must preach Jesus and not ourselves. The world will talk of themselves. We are to be bond-servants to a dieing world. It is easy to serve other Christians. BUT the world needs to see the servantry of Christians. This is how they will begin to see Jesus. Some Christians expect others to act as servants and take advantage of it. They would rather "be served" than to serve. BUT we as Christians must act as bond-servants to all.

There are many ways for us to serve as Jesus did. Church Ground Work, Sunday School Caring for the needy and shut-ins, VBS Caring for the elderly, and many others. The light of the Gospel and Jesus Christ will shine through our service. Paul said "and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake". God brings light to others lives through us. Our testimony must be upstanding. Don't let others find fault in your testimony. Let your light shine so bright that others want to follow you and listen to your light. If you are in a dark cave, you will follow the person with a lght. That person can lead you out of darkness. In this way, Jesus uses us to lead others to life eternal. We cannot save others, but God uses us to lead them to Him. Paul says, "the light shall shine out of darkness." Examine yourselves today-how bright is your light? Can the world see Jesus through your life?

Jesus said he is "the way the truth and the light." Jesus can bring light to any situation. We must be willing to let Him in and work in us. We must be willing to let Him work through us. Our testimony is the light others must see.

We see one more thing here - In Jesus is Victory.

3.God Brings Victory To Those Who Do His Will (v8-10)

Verse 8-10. Afflicted but not chrushed. Perplexed but not despairing. Persecuted but not forsaken. Struck down but not destroyed. Paul says, "That the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body." We are to manifest Jesus in our entire body. The devil cannot hurt you in the spiritual. He may bring physical hurt, he may try to bring darkness to your life. But the devil has been placed under your feet. But you must have faith in God to keep him there.

As Christians we have the Holy Spirit to enable us with power. Through the Holy Spirit the devil has no authority over us. This is not to say it will be a bed of roses. We will face trials and tribulations. Some may even be going through some today. But Jesus will not put you through more than you can withstand. Jesus has given you the victory, it may not be today or tomarrow, but victory is yours.

Let your strength grow as you face adversity. We serve the greatest God in the universe. He knows His children and will see them through. Our greatest hope is if we don't see what we call victory on earth, our reward awaits. We must remain faithful to Christ. NEVER turn your back on your Father. Many of us will not see total victory until that day when he says, "Job well done my good and faithful servant, enter in."

The Victory is yours - claim it today!