OceanSide church of Christ
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NEEDED: MORE BATTLES WON (3)
Victor M. Eskew
A. Words like “wrestle,” “fight,” “war,” and “contend” are found numerous times in the New Testament.
1. I Corinthians 10:3
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh.
2. Ephesians 6:12
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
3. I Timothy 6:12
Fight the good fight of faith…
4. Jude 3
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
B. My friends, we are engaged in the fight of our life.
1. It is a fight with eternal consequences.
2. It is a fight that is fought on many fronts.
3. It is a fight that is won one battle at a time.
C. In two previous lessons, we have examined some of the fronts upon which we are engaged in battle.
1. Temptation and sin.
3. The daily grind of life.
D. We want to examine two more fronts in this lesson.
1. Loneliness is not necessarily aloneness.
2. Loneliness involves a feeling of sadness and bleakness.
3. When one is lonely, he is isolated from others.
4. When one is lonely, there is want for companionship that only a certain person or group of persons can satisfy.
5. Loneliness can fester into depression that can hinder relationships and one’s daily activities.
6. Psalm 142:4
I looked on my right hand, and behold, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me, no man cared for my soul.
B. Many times loneliness is caused by unexpected change: death, divorce, moving, abuse, life adjustments, the loss of a friendship, or sickness.
C. How to overcome loneliness.
1. If loneliness develops into a major form of depression, it could take counseling and medication to overcome it.
2. Trust in the Lord’s promise that He is always with us (Heb. 13:5-6).
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
3. Use the avenue of prayer to seek the Lord. Heaven is just a prayer away (Phil. 3:6-7).
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by pray and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
4. Let God speak to you through His Word.
a. Key passages to which you can turn (Ps. 23:4).
b. Biblical examples of others in our situation (Paul, II Tim. 4:16-17).
5. See out new friendships.
a. True friends are valuable (Prov. 17:17).
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
b. To have dear friends, we must be friendly (Prov. 18:24).
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly…
II. SPIRITUAL GROWTH
A. We enter into the family of God as babes. God expects us to grow and mature into adulthood in Christ (II Peter 3:18).
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
B. Some have great difficulty with this. They have been members of the church for years, but have never grown up. They are much like the Corinthians Christians and Hebrew Christians (I Cor. 3:1-2; Heb. 5:12-14).
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
C. The picture of a babe (in Christ).
1. Special diet consisting of soft, baby food.
2. In constant need of support and attention from others.
3. Whines and cries when needs are not met.
4. Wears his feelings on his sleeve.
5. Prone to sickness.
6. Little in way of contributing to the family.
D. What can we do to win this battle over the lack of spiritual growth?
1. Remember your commitment made to the Lord Jesus Christ at your conversion.
a. You died to yourself (Gal. 2:20).
b. You enthroned Jesus as Lord within you heart (I Cor. 6:19-20; II Cor. 5:15).
2. Learn what God expects of you as His child and servant (Matt. 13:23).
But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and under-standeth it; which also beareth fruit, some an hundred fold, some sixty, some thirty.
3. Desire the things that God wants us to be.
a. Here, we are dealing with the heart of man.
b. Those who have been babes a long time have a heart problem.
1) Sinful heart (Acts 8:21).
2) Heart of unbelief (Heb. 3:12).
3) Deceptive heart (Jer. 17:9).
c. The heart has to be changed (Ps. 119:2).
Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
5. Seek spiritual growth.
a. I Peter 2:2
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.
b. This congregation provides many opportunities for growth.
1) Daily Bible reading.
2) Weekly memory verse.
3) Weekly bulletin article.
4) Tract of the week/tract rack.
5) Two Bible classes each week.
6) Two sermons each week.
7) A class each week for women, and a study group once a month for the men.
8) Extra classes such as: “How to Study the Bible.”
9) Website with daily devotionals.
10) Subscription to the Gospel Advocate for each family.
11) House-to-House is available every other month.
12) Gospel meetings, both here and at sister congregations.
13) Books within our library.
14) Youth devotionals, youth days, and youth camp.
A. We have looked at two things at different ends of the spectrum: loneliness and the lack of spiritual growth.
B. Both of them can adversely affect one’s relationship and walk with the Master.
C. We must overcome both in order to lead a victorious life.
D. Let’s repent before the Lord returns to judge this world (Acts 17:30-31).
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteous-ness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath give assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.