Sermon – Christ’s Victory and Satan’s Counterattack (Colossians 2:6 – 2:23) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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Colossians 2023

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Sermon 9 of 16

Christ's Victory and Satan's Counterattack

Pete Woodcock, Colossians 2:6 - 2:23, 26 November 2023

As we continue our series, in the book of Colossians, Pete takes us through Colossians 2:6–23. In these verses, Paul shows his readers that Christ has won a final victory over the devil. But how is it that the devil still condemned us in our consciences and how are we to fight?

Colossians 2:6 - 2:23

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

Before we before we sing our next song, we're going to we're gonna have our Bible reading now. So if you, have bought a Bible with you, then please do turn it to colossians chapter 2. If you can't see a Bible for whatever reason, the verses will appear up on the screen behind me. And we're going to read verses 6 through to 23.

This is a series that we've been doing. Paul's letter to the colossians. We've been learning all of wonderful things about Jesus in this letter, and 6 to 23 is going to be our reading this morning. So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as lord, continue to live your lives in him. Rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no 1 takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ, all the fullness of the deity lives in bodily form. And in Christ, you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. In him, you are also circum sized with a circumcision not performed by human hands.

Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ having been buried with him in baptism in which you are also raised with him through your faith in the working of god who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness which stood against us and condemned us. He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross, and having disarmed the powers and authorities He made a public spectacle of them triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore, do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink or with regard to a religious festival, a new moon celebration or a Sabbath Day, These are a shadow of the things that were to come.

The reality, however, is found in Christ. Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person goes into great detail about what they have seen. They are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the head from whom the whole body supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews grows as god causes it to grow.

Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, Why as though you still belong to them do you submit to its rules? Do not handle. Do not taste. Do not touch. These rules which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use are based on merely human commands and teachings.

Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom with their self imposed worship, their false humility, and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining, sensual indulgence. Let's pray. Father God help us now as we look into this amazing book, bless people, all the way through the ages. People have come to know you through it. People have been challenged by their errors through it.

People have revelled in Christ through it. There are people all arrayed around the world now probably reading these words, the same words as us, and we pray that you by your spirit would open our ears and our eyes to these wonderful truths in Jesus' name we pray, our So if you wanna turn back to that colossians 2 passage, in in that reading, there was the word triumph. It used the word triumph. An additional definition of the word triumph is this, a procession in honor of a victorious general. It's a it's a Roman word.

A procession in honor of a victorious general or a captive led in triumph, exultation for success, to celebrate a victory with prop pump to rejoice for victory. Now in order to get that into our heads, the Greek historian and philosopher plutarch. He writes about a 3 day triumph given to the Roman general, Armilius paullus back in the uh-uh ad 168, about this, when he had a victory over the king of of Macedonia. So this is this is the triumph of Amelia paullis and it goes like this. Great scaffolds were erected in the forum and along the boulevards of Rome for spectator seating.

And all of Rome turned out dressed in festive white. On the first day, 259 chariots displayed in procession the statues and pictures and colossal images taken from the enemy. On the second day, hundreds of wagons carried the armor of the Macedonians. Following the wagons came 3000 people carrying the enemy's silver in 750 vessels followed by more treasure on the third day came the captives preceded by a hundred and 20 sacrificial oxen then the Macedonian gold then the captured king's chariot crown and armor then came the king's servants weeping with hands outstretched begging the crowds for mercy. Next came the Macedonian king's children then the king himself clad entirely in black followed by endless prisoners.

Finally, The victorious general seated on a magnificently adorned chariot dressed in a robe of purple interwoven with gold and holding a lauren a a a Laurel branch in his right hand and so it goes on. It goes on and on. That's a Roman triumph. Now hold that image in your in your mind. Just hold that.

You can see it, can't you? Now hold that in your mind and let's go to another scene. Slightly different. This seems a large crowd. They're not, cheering for this person they're cheering against him.

And the 1 walking through the crowd has been seriously beaten up, and the crowd, as I say, cheering for his death, a very, very painful death at that. He's not carrying any gold or silver, only a heavy beam of wood, that is rubbing against his whipped back and his flesh is coming off. And eventually the beam of wood is too much for him. And he bends down and falls down and the beam of wood is transferred to another who follows behind, and there's a group of wailing women, and they're all wanting to see him nailed on the cross. And you know that story.

You're very familiar with that story of the crucifixion of Christ. Now, what are those 2 scenes got in common? Amilius paulus riding behind all of the things that he's he's 1 showing off his power to Rome and the cross of the lord Jesus Christ. What do they got in common? What do they got in common?

It looks like on the surface, Amilius Poras is the victor, and Christ is the victim. That's what it looks like. But that isn't what they have in common. It's not what the Bible says. The Bible says that that cross is a triumph from entry.

That what Christ was doing on the cross is exactly what Amelia Paulis was doing with the King of Macedonia. Paul represents the cross here in these verses as Christ's chariot of victory and not the defeat that it looks like. Look at verse 15 just to make sure we got it right. And having disarmed the powers and authorities. This is Jesus.

Having disarmed the powers and authorities he, Jesus, made a public spectacle of them, triumphing. There's the word. That's the word. Triumphing over them by the cross. The cross is the triumph.

Everybody looks at it and thinks it's weakness and sadness and what a what a what a sad picture but Paul is saying. No. No. No. When Jesus was on the cross, he was making a public spectacle of these powers and authorities.

He was leading captives out from powers and authorities in triumph. John Stott says this. We're not to regard the cross as defeat and the resurrection as victory rather the cross was the victory won and the resurrection the victory endorsed proclaimed and demonstrated. What we've got here at the cross is nothing other than the power of god to lead captives away from these powers and authorities. Now, who are these powers and authorities that have been disarmed and made a public public spectacle of?

Well, they're the same powers and authorities that Paul talks about in his other letter, to the ephesians. He says this for our struggle, he's writing to Christians Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers and against powers and against authorities of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Who's been made a public spectacle of by the cross? The powers and authorities of the dark world, the devil and all his power and all of the evil that we see in the world. All of the evil, every piece of evil is made a public spectacle of.

Because on the cross, Christ has triumphed over evil. That's what's being said here. So here's my first point then. Don't be afraid, fight. Don't be afraid, afraid, fight if you're a Christian.

What Paul is saying is that you don't need to to be afraid of the hosts of evil. You don't actually need to be afraid of any evil. For in principle, the battle's already been won, and it's been won for you. If you're a Christian, Christ has disarmed. Not just that word.

The principalities and the powers. He's rescued you from the dominion of darkness, just go back to chapter 1 and verse 13. We we'd had a whole sermon on this. For he, that's Christ, that's Jesus, has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the son he loves in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. God's rescued us through Christ.

You've been rescued from the dominion of darkness. You've been redeemed from the dominion of darkness. Your sins are forgiven. That's the triumph. You're the triumph.

Christ on the cross is processing his people out. From darkness into light. That's the triumph. You're the triumph. Do you get that?

Christ to strip these principalities and powers of their power on the cross Satan has lost Satan has been defeated. Evil have lost. Let's get that into our head. Evil has lost. And we, if we're Christians have been rescued from the wicked powers of evil around this world.

Jesus has defeated them. But, and this is so important. He's not destroyed them yet. They are destroyed in 1 sense because their future is no hope, but they're still lurking around. Notice to use the word disarmed.

Do you see that word? Disarmed because Satan and all his powers and all evil that goes with it is disarmed evil and satan cannot harm you. It's been disarmed. And because Satan has been disarmed, we now can resist him. We can fight.

Don't be afraid, but do fight. We can rest in the victory of the cross. He's made a public spectacle of him. He's triumphed over them. But it means we fight because Jesus has won the victory of the cross, doesn't mean we're set free from the fight.

It means we're set free for the fight, and that's really important. It's not enough for us to sit back and say, well, Christ did this. We trust in the victory on the cross, boo to Satan, and he'll run away. He won't run away at that. James talks about resisting satan resisting the evil 1.

That's a fighting word. That's an effort word. That's, you know, we've got to get in there and we're we're in the resistance. We're in the resistance against Satan and that's fighting. We gotta do that wisely and and with the with the power of the lord, but we're not set free from the fight we are set free for the fight.

Let me give you an illustration. Let's say, as we're hit sitting here, this is now how to disengage your mind from what I'm saying, but as you're sitting here, there's a burglar just walk walking into your house. Yep. You left the window open, didn't you? Do you remember that?

And he's got through the window with his mates, and he's in your house or flat right now. And you think, oh, Pete said that. I'm not gonna stand around for fellowship or a cup of coffee and talk afterwards. I'm gonna drive quickly back to my flat. And you drive and you see the, oh, no.

What a what a profit that broke was? And you see the door is ajar, the front door. And you you you walk in and you hear the sounds of feet and you see dirty, muddy footprints everywhere, and you see 1 of your 1 of your, you know, tables is pushed over and things are opened up that you would never left like that and you know there are robbers in the house. And so you're just about to go out and ring the police or or do something, but the robbers see you, they grab you, They tie you up. They gag you so you can't cry out.

They tie you to the back of the chair like they always do. So they've, you know, tie you hands behind your back and on the chair and there you are sitting there and you can do nothing and your house is gonna be robbed, ransacked, and you can do nothing. You have no power, but you have a faithful dog. And you're fat or whatever it is, whatever whatever animal you have, your faithful guinea pig or whatever it is, but you have a faith that that probably won't work. But the faithful dog and you have the faithful dog and the faithful dog just creeps up slowly behind you and then bites through the ropes.

And now you're this is imagination, you know. Come on. Give me a break. And now, and now your hands are free. And now you can ungag yourself.

Now you're free to ring the police, but that won't do anything. Now you're free to to actually attack the robbers or you're free to get some friends now you're free to fight. You're set free to do something about the robbers. You now have the power and the ability to do it whereas you didn't before. That is what Paul is telling us.

They're disarmed these powers. Evil is disarmed. Wicked is disarmed. And now you have the power not to sit back and let it do its work, but to fight it, to resist it. So that's the first point.

Don't be afraid. Fight. Fight this defeated foe and you fight the defeated foe by reminding you constantly that Christ has triumphed over these things. That's how you do it. Secondly, what has Satan been disarmed of them?

What has he been disarmed of? What weapons have been taken away from him? We'll go back to verse 13, and then right at the end of verse 13 and then into verse 14 of chapter 2. He forgave us our sinned sins having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness which stood against us and condemned us. He has taken it away nailing it to the cross.

He forgave us our sins having canceled the charge of the legal indebtedness which stood against us and condemned us. What's that talking about? Well, it's talking about the law of god. The actual law of god is against us really. We've got to remember this that the the law of god was never there to save us.

It's never there to the law can't save us. All the law can do is to show us we need to be saved. That's all the law can do. It just shows us our sin and that and that's what happens and that law is against us because When we hear the law of god, we realize we've broken the law of god that god is so perfect and I'm not and we realize it reveals our sin. The law reveals our sin.

Yeah? When I go fast, too fast for a road and there's a camera there, the flash reveals my sin and I'll get a letter through the next day and it will reveal my sin. I can't save myself from that. It reveals that I was going too fast. That's the law of God and it's against us because it reveals that god is a holy god and expects this of our lives.

And we've all failed. God. He's a holy righteous god. I really like, JB, JB Phillips, paraphrase. Paul Whitfield would like this.

Of of of, of this of this passage. Just just have, of, verses 13 and 14. He was an old from the last century and he paraphrases the Bible this way. Listen carefully. He says he's forgiven you all your sins Christ has utterly wiped out the damning evidence of broken laws and commands which always hung over our heads and has completely annulled it by nailing it over the head of christ on the cross.

That's wonderful, isn't it? The law of god against us The written code that shows our guilt, Jesus has taken that guilt and dealt with that written code. The legal record that reveals our hearts were not with god that legal document has now been done away with. Jesus has wiped the record books. He's cancelled it says the word here.

And not only canceled it, he's destroyed the document it was written on. Now some of you older ones will remember this or perhaps from other countries will remember this. You used to when you paid your debt in in in in a in a in a in a shop they'd have a great big nail and you would have this piece of paper that was your debt and when you paid it, they shoved the paper over the nail. That's what they did. Yeah.

Nailed it. It's done. I've paid for it. Anna and myself were in India once, and we were in this really old fashioned shop. It was fantastic.

It it it must have gone right back to, you know, when England sort of ruled, India because it was just a delight to be in this really old fashioned sort of department store. And I I thought I said to Anne I gotta buy something. Now we weren't very rich in those days and, I bought a pencil. But I wanted to see what happened. And what you did is you chose your pencil and then a bloke came along and took the pencil off you and then wrote out a piece of paper saying you owe, you know, you know, 20 rupees for the pencil and it and He took the pencil and he gave you the piece of paper.

The pencil then went off to another person and it was wrapped up in brown paper with it. This is a pencil. It was wrapped up in brown paper. And then it went to another bloke who was at the door in a in a glass box and you couldn't go out of the door without seeing the man in the glass box. And you took your piece of paper to the man in the glass box, and he said there'll be 20 rupees or whatever it was.

You paid your 20 rupees. He gave you the pencil. He took the piece of paper and poof the nail right through the debt. Nailed it right through the debt. And so when you saw the nail hole, the debt was paid.

That's what Jesus is doing. Every sin nailed every vile thought, cancelled, paid for. Even the sins that you're gonna do in the future, nailed it. It's a big enough nail to go through all our sins. So now there's no condemnation.

You cannot be condemned. Why? Nails? It's nailed. It's paid for.

No one's gonna be able to resurrect that legal document. Why? Because there's a hole through it. Satan has been disarmed of this weapon against you. He's the accuser of the brethren.

He loves to accuse you. He loves you to feel guilt. So many people walking around with the sense of guilt that causes all kinds of issues in their life. Satan loves that. He loves you to feel a guilt weighed down.

And he if he ever goes to god now to the Christian and says you're the just god, aren't you, aren't you? And and he'll use people at work to do that. Aren't you a Christian? Christians don't do that? Why did you do that?

Oh god. Look at this person. Look at Pete. The Pete Woodcock. Look, look what he does.

You're the just judge condemning. And god says, well, hold it. Let me have there's a hole through it. There's a hole through his sin. My son paid for that.

But does that mean Satan gives up? And here's the twist. No. What's your business now, Satan? You can't condemn these Christians anymore.

So what's your business? You can't snatch these Christians away Jesus has paid the price for all their sin. The spirit of God has come into Kingston and applied the blood of Christ from thousands of years ago and canceled their sin. What are you up to now, Satan? I'm up to condemnation, but you can't condemn them, but that's my business.

Satan, you can't take a Christian to hell. But I can still be in the business of condemnation. How? The word condemnation can mean 2 things. To sentence a person to punishment, That is taken away from Satan.

He can't do that because of what Jesus has done, but it means something else. To declare a person unfit for use. Satan knows that he's lost the final battle of the condemnation that's dealt with, but he can declare your life unfit for use. He wants to spoil our lives. He wants us to come under a sense of condemnation so that we're not free and joyful and thankful people.

He can't spoil your eternity, but he can spoil your service here. He can try to get you declared unfit. For use. How? How?

Des satan satan's disarmed. We've seen that word. But he comes up behind us and puts a finger in our back, and it and it and it feels like a gun. And up our hands go, and he robs us and hijacks us. There are lots and lots of robberies, aren't there?

Particularly if you look at the old films, that go because of fingers in the back, or it used to be a pipe, you know, the old fashioned pipes that Brooks used to smoke, and then you you you go like this. Yep. Hands up and people think it's a gun. Yeah. Yep.

So he says, I think you've got a gun or I think you it's but it's your finger. He says, oh, yes. And that's what Satan does. He's about condemnation, even though he's been disarmed. Let me deal now in my third point.

With 3, and you have to bear with me here because these are really important, I think. 3 tactics the devil uses To make you think he's still got arms. He's still got a gun. Pipes in the back, fingers in the back. Here's the first 1.

The tactic of sin. He'll bring you into condemnation by the tactic of sin. Now if Satan never cease to attack the lord Jesus Christ, then he'll never cease to attack you. And he'll do anything and use any 1 to make you sin, to make you fall. Of course he will.

Of course he will. If you know the story that Satan used Peter a disciple of Jesus best friend of Jesus to try to make Jesus not go to the cross. Do you remember that story? And Jesus had to turn around to Peter and say, get behind me, satan, so he can use good people I mean, it sounded good. Peter was saying, no, no, no, we we won't let you go to the cross.

We'll fight for you and it sounded all very good, didn't it? I love you Jesus. I won't let this happen to you. But that was satanic because he wasn't going to the cross. He was trying to stop him going to the cross.

So so Satan will use even sort of nice friends around us. To stop us following god's way if we're not careful. That's why we've got to be alert. We must be on our guard. Remember David, King David in the old testament.

You know that story? King David. He wasn't on his god. He should have been out fighting with with the the men that were fighting for the kingdom of god, but he decided to have a rest and he stayed at home in Jerusalem and because he wasn't fighting and doing his work, then he had time on his hands, and then he sees a beautiful woman bathsheba bathing, and then sin comes into his life in a gross ways because he wasn't ready. He wasn't guarded.

He was chilling out. But when you've fallen, and this is what I want to get to, then Satan will kick your head in. When you've sinned and you know it, he'll send you deeper and deeper in despair I thought you were supposed to be lead captive by Jesus. Sounds like you're still with me. By those things that you do and think.

I thought you were part of the triumph from the cross, but doing the same stuff again. Now if you're in despair at this moment, You need to know this. You need to know how to battle with Satan. You never lose your standing with god. Never.

You're not thrown out of the family. You don't lose your standing, your family relationship with God, but you will lose your sense of friendship. You won't lose your salvation, but you'll lose the joy of your salvation. Let me try to illustrate it. I'm told this that when, those sort of massive ships, battleships, or whatever, in the high seas.

When they break down, their engine goes wrong. Another big ship is needed to come along and to tow that ship back to safety. And they tow that ship anchor to anchor. Those massive anchor chains, they're tied together. And they never break.

They never break. So you can be in the swell, of of of of the ocean. You know, the 1 ship is right on the top of the wave, and the other ships right down in the swell, and the, and there's tension, and there's pulling, and there's noise, and there's It's you can feel the pain, but those anger chains, they don't break. They never break. But what ships used to do, and I think they still do it even though we've got the internet, They also pass communication labels, uh-uh-uh-uh wires, telephone wires from ship to ship so that you can communicate And when there's a big strong wave and 1 ship is up here and the other ship is down here and the check-in those in those those chains of the anchors that pulling each other, they don't snap, but sometimes the communication wires just snap.

And that is what it can be like. The anchor chain, if you're in Christ, never, ever, ever breaks. It never breaks. But our communications snap. But even that, you can reestablish Listen to the Bible.

Just listen because Satan doesn't want us to hear these things. 1 John chapter 1 verse 9, if we confess our sins. What? Even the ones I've done loads of times, if we confess our sins, but surely not that 1, I I keep doing it. If we confess our sins.

But yeah, that's for other people, isn't it? If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. Praise God for that. Yeah? Hold it?

1 John chapter 2 verse 1. My dear children, I write this so that you will not sin, but If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the father Jesus Christ the righteous 1 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Remember the cross. Remember the cross. Satan's been disarmed of these things, but he wants to bring you under a sense of condemnation Martin Luther, the great reformer of Europe, German reformer, had this very famous dream where he dreamt that he was visited at night by Satan Satan brought him a record of all of his life written in Martin Luther's own handwriting and the tempter said is this true?

Are these sins that you've written in your own handwriting true? And Luther says they are. And there was scroll lost a scroll in the dream, unrolled. And the same confession was drawn out of him, Is this true? Are these your is this your own handwriting?

Did you do these things? Did you think these things? Were you a coward in this? When the devil had knocked Ruth down on the floor in his dream, suddenly Luther turned to the tempter and said every single word is true. Everything is true, but will you take a pen and right across all of the scrolls.

The blood of the lord Jesus Christ God's son cleanses us from all sin, all of those scrolls. Satan had to go, defeated as he was. Go to the place of victory. Go to the cross. See the nail holes.

Through every single sin. Satan is busy bringing Christians under a sense of condemnation, but don't let him claim forgiveness reestablish the communication line, confess your sins. The anchor line will not break so you can re throw over a communication line and ask god to be your father and to love you and to cleanse you and to have you back and he will. The blood of Jesus Christ God's son cleanses us from all sin. There's an amazing song really, really amazing.

Some of you won't like it. I get it. You don't like proper music and so forth. Some of you will think it's trite, perhaps that's up to you. I don't.

It's a recording from a bloke from an old down and out. Pretty sure I met this down and out. Back in the seventies, I used to live on the streets in London, but was a Christian. And a bloke called Gavin Briers recorded him singing about Jesus He's got an old frail voice of an very old man that's lived on the streets. I mean, it's it's an amazing voice.

It goes like this. Jesus blood, and literally goes like this. And you may laugh at it at first, but Jesus blood. Never failed me yet. Never failed me yet.

Never failed me yet. This 1 thing I know He he loves me so. He sings that for 20 minutes, the same phrase. Over and over again. I've played that some people, they don't get it.

I did play at Cornerstone many years ago. They didn't get it. And, it goes on for 20 minutes. Just that verse, jesus blood never fails me. Blood.

Never fails me. It goes on like that. This 1 thing I know When you first hear it, you think, oh, this is just a a tramp, a down and out. And then you think, oh, this is just repeating itself. But if you allow the words, there's a time where it hits you and tears will come down your face and you suddenly get it.

His blood never fails me. Not yet it hasn't. Never fails me. His blood never fails me and this 1 thing I know, he loves me so. And after 20 minutes, you're absolutely taken up.

I recommend you do that. If you're feeling condemned, Don't do it with other people. They will laugh at it. In a time on your own, let the music rise up in your soul, Jesus blood never fails me. Yeah.

Never fails me. Yeah. This 1 thing I know, he loves me so It's 1 of the troubles with some hymns that have so much theology in, which I like. It just doesn't rub it in. After 20 minutes of hearing that phrase.

Wow. It's never failed me. That's the first tactic then. It's sin. The second tactic, how long have we got, brother?

Oh gosh. The second tactic is suffering. His suffering. When suffering comes, we feel deserted by god. Is he father, why are we suffering?

Aren't we as children? Why would I suffer? And many people do feel rejected when they suffer. By god, and, Satan loves that. And Satan uses false teachers, and Paul is warning us about false teachers.

He uses false teachers to make the fingers in the back or of the pipe in the back feel real because they're saying things like your faith should heal you. And that is not even slightly Christian. And so they start saying if you had faith in Christ, you'd be healed. And as I say, that's not Christian. It's so wrong.

And let me just show you that and show you what you're to do in these situations. If you have a Bible then turn to Romans 8 verse 1. If you don't, you're gonna have to listen carefully. Romans 8 verse 1, the book of Romans chapter 8. Now, this is a great chapter on assurance.

That's what the chapter is about. So the whole chapter is about assurance, but it starts off with the words no condemnation. The theme is that you're not to be condemned in suffering. You can be assured that you won't be condemned in suffering. So verse 1, just have a look at it.

We whiz through this quickly. Therefore, there is now now at this moment, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. So when people feel rejected when they're suffering and so was it was it my fault? What have I done? Does God love me?

Then you need to know there's no condemnation in Christ, Jesus. Right now, then verse 18, you see what the what it's about suffering. Look at verse 18. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. So he's talking about the whole area of suffering.

No condemnation when you suffer. Then look at verse 22 to 24. We know that the whole of creation has been groaning because the whole of creation is suffering as in pains of childbirth right up to the present time, listen carefully, not only so but we ourselves who have the first fruits of the spirit. So even though we have the holy spirit, grown inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption of to sonship. The redemption of our bodies.

For this is the hope we were for in this hope we were saved. But hope that his seed is no hope at all who hopes what they already have. Do you notice that? Now you might want to slow down a bit if you listen to this again but you notice we're waiting for the redemption of our bodies. We're groaning in suffering.

I am redeemed in regard to the forgiveness of my sins but I'm not redeemed yet in regard to the health of my body. That is to come. That's my hope. That's what I'm looking forward to. That's my faith.

As regard my body, I'm just like everybody else. I'm open to disease and cancers and suffering and death and pain and, you know, backaches and legaches and all of those things Christ has never proposed to give me perfect health in this world as well as perfect forgiveness. That's for the next world perfect health. And the whole of creation including all Christians are groaning, are waiting for that, and faith is shown by our waiting, not by our saying I'll be completely healed, and then we need to know the last verses of the chapter. For I am convinced that neither death nor life neither angel nor demon neither present or future or any powers neither height nor depth or anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of god in Christ Jesus.

If we're not clear about that, When suffering comes, it'll be a pipe in the back, hands up. I'm under a sense of condemnation. Have I done something wrong? Do I lack faith? Is is is am I really a Christian?

Do you see what Satan's doing? Does god love you? He's bringing you under a sense of condemnation. That's the second 1. Here's the third 1.

The tactic of superior Christians. Now if you're a superior Christian here, stop it and repent. You're a pain in the neck. You do us great harm. The tech if you think you're superior to others, then you really are a pain in the neck and you genuinely need to repent.

But the tactic of superior Christians, it's like a pipe in the back. Don't let anyone tell you you need more than Christ. Look at chapter 2 9 and 10. We've dealt with these words for in Christ all the fullness is his colossians chapter 2 for in Christ, all the fullness of deity lives in bodily form and in Christ, you have been brought to fullness. Well, can you get more than fullness?

He is the head over every power and authority. Go back to verses 6 and 7. So then just as you received Christ Jesus as lord, continue to live your lives in him. You don't need to go anywhere else rooted and built up in him. If you've got him, that's where you stand, that's where you stay, that's where you put your roots down, strengthened in the faith.

As you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness. Superior Christians are very usually unthankful grumpy people. They're unthankful because they're thinking about themselves all the time. They're never thankful for other Christians. It's always about them.

It's always about how superior they are. They're always overflowing with how good they are and how bad you are and how you don't come up to their standards. But if you have Christ, what else do you need? So beware of adding to Christ. There are 3 different forms here.

We'll try and go through them next week, but let me just show you quickly. We'll we'll open them up a bit more next week. There's legalism. Look at chapter 2 verses 16 to 17. Watch out for the legalist.

Watch out. There's a legalist about and they do great harm. Look, therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink or with regards to a religious festival, a new moon celebration, a Sabbath day. These are shadows of things that were to come. The reality, however, is found in Christ You'll find these legalists are always in the old testament and they don't understand how the old testament and the new testament apply to each other.

They're always going on about a law in the old testament. They don't understand that Christ has come. They were shadows, Christ's the reality. They'll always go to the old testament. They're legalists.

They add to Christ. You gotta have Christ, but you gotta have this. Now we'll open that up hopefully, next week. Watch out for the legalists. Always adding laws.

It's they're never thankful, they're never thankful to you. They're always another law, another thing. Don't quite make the grade. He got Christ. This is a pipe in the back, turn around and knock it out and say stop that.

That is so silly, you know, of Christ. Or mysticism, the mystics. Look at verses 18 to 19. These are pipes in the back. They do us great harm.

18 and 19 do not let anyone who delight in false humility. They're always false humility. It's all I'm a humble servant. No, you're not. Do not let anyone delight in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you.

Such a person goes into great detail about what they have seen. Someone sent me a YouTube clip of a woman that goes to heaven every week. Yeah? I mean, you have to come to Cornerstone. She's a heaven.

Every week she goes to heaven. She's been a thousand times to heaven. Goes up there, comes back, marvellous. Have you is that ever happened to you? That's because you come here, you need to go to her church.

She might take you there 1 day, although she doesn't seem to. She was a mean looking woman. And she went on and on about how she walks around heaven. Didn't talk once about Jesus, which was very odd, but nevertheless, I don't know what heaven she goes to, probably on drugs. Such a person goes into great detail about what they have seen.

They are puffed up with idle notions. By their own spiritual minds. They have lost connection with the head from whom the whole body supported and held together and so forth. There's always someone that's had some experience that's better than you, isn't there? There's always someone.

I remember going to hear a preacher once when I was a young Christian and he stood up and he said, I've just come back from walking in the footprints of Jesus in the clouds. And I sat there and thought I didn't even know there were footprints in the clouds of Jesus. Yet and I walked in them and then he said, come forward and give me your money. Anyway, so strange, isn't it? If he's walked in the anyway, forget that.

So watch out legalism, watch out miss, mysticism, and then asceticism. Watch this. Watch be careful. Look at verse 20. Since you died with Christ to the elementary force spiritual forces of this world, Why as though do you still belong to the work, still belong to the world as as you submit to its rules, do not handle, do not taste, do not touch, do not do this, They're usually unthankful.

They have no humor. They're grumpy. They're looking out for what you do and don't don't do. And the ad took Christ. There's a pipe in the back and you think perhaps perhaps I'm guilty perhaps I'm I'm not so, so Christians I thought I was.

All these things deny what god has not denied and command what god has not commanded and promise what god has not promised. We need to go to the cross. We need to regularly go to the cross and see that Jesus blood has never failed me yet. And rejoice in what god has done for us and not the little rubles that make me look better than you. Let's bow our heads and pray.

Father, we do thank you for that, that work of the cross where the lord Jesus Christ has triumphed over our enemies and he has put satan and all of his forces to open shame and disarmed him and has paid for our sin. And we thank you that as those who trust in the lord Jesus, we share in his victory, and yet we pray that you would help us to be aware of his tactics, that you would help us not to listen to him when he parades our sin in front of us, not to listen to us when he, not to listen to him when he tries to persuade us that our suffering means we're not loved by you. And when he tries to show us that we need any more than Christ, please keep us alert, keep us on guard help us to stick with the Savior in whom we have everything that we need in Jesus' name. Our

Preached by Pete Woodcock
Pete Woodcock photo

Pete is Senior Pastor of Cornerstone and lives in Chessington with his wife Anne who helps oversee the women’s ministry in the church.

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