“CHRISTIANITY CHRISTIANS AND CONFLICT”
1. Jas. 4:4: For the faithful Christian, conflict with the world (“system of evil in opposition to God”) is inevitable:
a. Opposing ideas: Pilgrims, Heb. 11:13-16.
b. Opposing desires and values: Heavenly treasure, Matt. 6:19-21.
c. Opposing goals and aspirations: Things above, Col. 3:1-3.
d. Christ is Lord of his heart; we will obey no other, 1 Pet. 3:15.
2. We must be equipped to face this conflict with faith (1 Jno. 5:4).
-Otherwise, we will compromise with the enemy to avoid the conflict and lose our souls!!
I. HISTORY OF GOD’S PEOPLE SHOULD PREPARE US FOR CONFLICT AGAINST OUR ENEMIES.
A. Israel against the Nations, Exo. 23:31-33; Deut. 7:1-2, 16 (Jgs. 1:21-36); Psa. 106:34-39.
1. Jesus against Satan, Matt. 10:34 (12:29; 16:21; Jno. 12:31).
2. The apostles, 2 Cor. 4:7-15.
3. Christians, Matt. 10:34-39; 1 Tim. 6:12.
II. THE NATURE OF OUR CONFLICT WITH THE WORLD.
A. Necessary, though Painful and Constant, Heb. 11:32-38.
1. Faith demands it – Love compels it!
2. Great reward in heaven, Matt. 5:11-12.
B. Conflict with the World Comes in the Form of:
1. Personal temptations, Jas. 4:2-3; Eph. 6:10-18.
-Friends, media, internet, job, recreation, etc.
2. Doctrinal errors, Jude 3-4 (form of worldliness, Col. 2:20-23).
3. Moral compromises, Jas. 4:4; 1 Pet. 4:1-5 (2 Cor. 6:17).
4. The battle is now; the enemy is before us. We cannot put off the conflict until another time, another generation, another world (2 Cor. 6:2).
III. WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE, 2 Cor. 10:3-5; 2 Tim. 4:7-8 (Fought – Finished – Kept).
A. Diligence: Watchful for the Enemy.
1. Matt. 26:41: We need constant vigilance with prayer to be sustained in our struggle.
2. 1 Pet. 5:8: Soberness (sound thinking) to be aware of Satan’s work.
3. Eph. 5:15-21: Walk carefully – Redeem – Understand – Be filled – Thankful – Fear of Christ.
B. Courage: The Will to Survive.
1. 1 Cor. 16:13: Bravery and valor, determination to stand your ground against Satan and sin.
2. Phil. 1:27-28: Strive for the faith of the gospel, confident of your salvation.
3. Heb. 13:5-6: Courage is “faith-based” – A trusting confidence that God is on His throne; He knows and understands your plight; He cares what happens to you.
C. Perseverance: Endure no Matter what, Matt. 24:9-13; 2 Ths. 1:4; Gal. 6:9.
1. Calls for constancy of purpose, dedication to Christ and obedience to the truth.
2. It means you will not be deterred from your course of righteousness (1 Tim. 6:11):
a. By the ease and convenience of sin.
b. By the constant conflict with sin.
c. By those who are quitting the fight.
3. Perseverance does the right thing when the wrong thing would be easier!
1. Conflict with world is inevitable; else, we are enemies of God (Jas. 4:4) Jno. 15:18-19.
2. Like David who selected five smooth stones and in faith fought and defeated the enemy, we must use the “stones” of diligence, courage and perseverance in our conflict against the world.
3. Remember: Fight the fight, finish the course and keep the faith!
4. Victory is assured in Christ, 1 Cor. 15:57; 1 Jno. 5:4.