OPPOSITION

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1 Timothy 6:3-4 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.

Paul anticipated there would be those who would oppose his teaching (those who do “not consent to wholesome words”), preferring to admonish a rebellion against the empire. Many times I’ve seen leaders of churches derail their purpose by getting deeply embroiled in trying to change the government, change legislation, change society, when the high priority of the church is to save lost people and to make them disciples of Christ. There may be people in our churches engaged in these things, but the pulpit should not be hijacked by any purpose that focuses the people and the resources and time of the church on anything but reaching lost people for Christ.

When we become so result-orientated that we live out the principles of God for the benefit promised, rather than obedience to Jesus in the fear of God, we have wandered precariously close to this Scripture. In the context, “useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth” would mean that those who have come to Christ believe that will free them from their obligations as slaves, and that the more godly they become, the more they have a right to the “gain” of freedom and what would be considered normal living. This thinking will corrupt us and we will live crookedly in the end, trying to increase gain in our life.

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STAND YOUR GROUND

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2 Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

The Word of God is ‘seed’ (Luke 8v11). This means that you can grow whatever you want in your life simply by planting the seed of that ‘whatever’ in your heart. If you want to grow apples in your garden, you don’t plant pear seeds. If you are in need of the assurance of forgiveness, don’t just meditate on anything in Scripture. Read what the Word of God declares about forgiveness. When you meditate in your mind on a specific ‘seed’ it digests in your soul. The light of its truth dawns in you like the morning sun. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:13). Take a verse from the Bible that you are particularly attracted to, or need, on the subject and speak it. Faith will fill your heart. Use this faith to believe the scripture in an even more complete way. This is one of the most powerful spiritual cycles to be engaged in.

Isaiah 43v22-26 reveals that God is more interested in forgiving us than in remembering our sins. He tells us to FORGET the former things. ‘Put Me in remembrance’, He says. ‘State your cause, that you may be acquitted’.

The Lord wants you to win your case. Even though you are feeling conscience stricken, state your case, stand your ground that you have been forgiven through the blood of Jesus. Your sin may be serious, but Jesus’ blood is far more serious. His power sets you completely free from all your sin. In the Old Testament, when the sinner brought a lamb as atonement for their sin, the priest did not look at the sins of the offerer. He looked at the lamb. God is looking at the sacrifice for your sin, Jesus. He is enough! He has completely covered us for the forgiveness of all our shortcomings.

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AUTHORITY

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John 1:12  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

The word ‘right’ (Greek – ‘exousia’), literally means –

  • power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases, permission
  • physical and mental power, the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises
  • the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege)
  • the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)
  • universally, authority over mankind
  • the power of judicial decision
  • Of authority to manage domestic affairs
  • a thing subject to authority or rule, jurisdiction, one who possesses authority, a ruler, a human magistrate
  • the leading and more powerful among created beings superior to man, spiritual potentates
  • the sign of regal authority, a crown

Our dominion is based in these two facts;

– God has all authority.

– He has given that authority to us.

A police officer wears a uniform to identify his authority. Other people in positions of power use their signature. For some, a simple nod indicates their authority. For us, we exercise our authority through the name of Jesus.

When we obey God, we are acting in His Name. When we act in His character, we are acting in His Name. He has given us His Name so we have the authority to achieve those things that align with the will and character of God. He has always revealed Himself through His Name. He is known through His Name. His character is understood through His Name. If we do something ‘in the Name of’ God, then we reveal a characteristic of that name. His purposes are revealed in His Name. To act in His Name is to fulfill a purpose of God. All the Names of God throughout the Old Testament are now fulfilled in just one Name, that is, the Name of Jesus. God has invested the entire authority of Heaven into this Name. He has given that Name to every believer to use. When we act in that name, we let loose the power of Christ to do His will in the Earth.

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OVERCOME

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1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.

We’ll never discover we are overcomers until we have something to overcome. Our Christian life moves in the opposite direction to the culture of this age. We find ourselves with far more challenges than we want. Yet, faith to overcome is available whenever we face difficult circumstances, when we fail, when things don’t go the way they should. When life is at its worst, we move into faith, the attitude of the overcomer. We declare we’re going to make it, that we will win. This won’t bury us. We’ll only go higher. We accept the fact there will be difficulties, setbacks, but that’s okay because we know we’ll cross the finish line in victory. We’ll beat the odds. Darkness doesn’t overpower us. We overcome darkness. That’s just how we are. That’s how it is. Defeats don’t have to defeat us. Failure doesn’t make us a failure. These things happen. Everybody in life makes a mistake or fails at various times. It’s part of living. What we do with those failures, and how we react to those times, is the reason we will either ultimately make it to the other side or not. We overcome.

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