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March 16, 2012
By John Barnett
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As we open to I Thessalonians 5, we open to Paul preparing new believers for spiritual warfare.
As believers and followers of Christ, they were going to be attacked in their minds, by the Devil.
That is where he starts.
Your body only goes where you mind directs.
Your mind is the key to following God.
Only a mind stayed on the Lord can have perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).
A mind devoted to Christ is the road to God's plan for your life (Proverbs 3:5-6).
When Paul spoke of living in a world that loves darkness, ruled by a prince of darkness he exhorted those new believers to remember who they were.
The way to get through dark days in this world was simple as long as you wore your helmet:
1 Thessalonians 5:5-8 /"You are all sons of light and sons of the day.
We are not of the night nor of darkness.6
Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.7
For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.8
But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, *and as a helmet the hope of salvation.*"/
We need to wear our helmet!
Paul explained that helmet as part of a complete way of life in Ephesians 6.
If you could have seen Paul as God saw him in his battle gear you would have seen an old, gray headed man with a badly dented war helmet.
Many dents, slices, and marks show how often the enemy had struck at him.
*Renewing a God-Controlled Mind*
The best way to get your mind back under God’s control is to think the truth.
The helmet that we are to wear as believers is the helmet of what?
Pull on the straps and fasten tight your helmet of salvation.
Surrender again your mind to God’s control.
Energized by grace, allow God’s truth to saturate your mind and see what He can do with you.
The “helmet of salvation,” was Paul’s confidence of knowing that he is saved and will be saved.
That mind of his, guarded-by-God was assured of the past, present, and future aspects of his salvation allowed him to stand against all of Satan’s vicious assaults.
Ephesians 6:17 /"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;"/ NKJV
Paul told Timothy to stir up the gift given to him.
We aren’t sure what exactly it was, it might have been faith, or the teaching gifts of a pastor.
But it was miraculous and came by the laying on of Paul’s hands, from God.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 /"Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."/
But this evening we will learn about a miraculous gift we must stir.
That gift also came the instant that God laid His Hands upon us.
And that gift is our salvation.
As you begin each day, each month, and as we come to the end of this month, one of our greatest privileges is to open and enjoy the gift of salvation God has given to us.
By faith we please God when we believe what He's said about us.
We need to not live by what others say or have said about us all your life.
*Start a New Spiritual Exercise*
Satan is the Accuser and wants us to only remember all the many times we have fallen; Satan delights in the days, weeks, or months he can keep us condemning ourselves for what we've done.
That is his plan, so don’t fall for it.
Resist Satan as you believe the truth; speak the truth; and preach the Gospel to yourself.
And when ever we fall down, God says to just turn back to Him and repent right then.
Don’t wallow in your pain and guilt and punish yourself, confessing our sin immediately--and believe that what God has promised in His salvation.
We are forgiven, justified, regenerated, reconciled, adopted, redeemed, and sanctified.
That makes us precious in His sight, special in His plan.
One of the most powerful habits you could grow is to take this list of the ramifications of having received the gift of salvation!
Keep this list in your Bible, at home, on your computer, put one on your mirror where you start your day, and in your car.
Where ever you need to keep reminding yourself of what great things God has promised and done through Christ's death for us!
Slowly as you understand and lay hold on these truths a life-changing transformation take place in our minds, and then in our emotions, and finally throughout our entire life as we live each day based on God’s eternal truth.
It starts as we:
*Focus on your Forgiveness*
Because of our sin—we are all debtors to God’s Righteousness; so we need forgiveness.
Nothing matters more to any who have sinned—and God says all have sinned.
One moment before your last breath, one thing will matter more than anything else—whether you are dying forgiven or unforgiven.
The peace you can have one moment before you die is available on a daily basis if you understand what God has done in Christ and if you choose to respond by faith to Him.
*In Forgiveness we go from hopelessly offending God stained by sin to the peace of complete forgiveness.
We need to experience what the Scriptures often declare—God is a God who offers His children complete forgiveness.
Trace with me again those life giving words in your hearts as I read them to you.
Then repeat the truth of what God has done!
• “… as far as the east is from the west, *so far has he removed* our transgressions from us”. (Psalm 103:12).
*God said all my sins are gone.
Say that aloud with me.*
• “ Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “ Though your sins are like scarlet, *They shall be as white as snow;* Though they are red like crimson, *They shall be* as wool..” (Is.
I am white as snow in God’s sight.
Say that aloud with me.*
• “For I will forgive their wickedness and *will remember their sins no more.*”
(Jeremiah 31:34b).
*God has forgotten all my sins*.
Say that aloud with me.
• “She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her,* “Neither do I condemn you*; go and sin no more.”
(John 8:11).
“There is therefore now *no condemnation* to those who are in Christ Jesus...” (Romans 8:1).
*Jesus will never condemn me for my sins.*
Say that aloud with me.
Celebrate your forgiveness that is only in Christ.
*Focus On your Justification *
Because of our sin—we are all guilty convicts in God’s sight; so we need justification.
Jesus died to take guilty convicts and destroy any record that that ever committed a crime and takes their place in the punishment—*that’s justification!*
A Sinner stands before God as accused and is declared righteous by His imputed righteousness.
*In Justification we go from being accused and guilty before God to being righteous and with no record of wrongs!*
We need to experience what the Scriptures often declare—God has once and for all through Christ's sacrifice justified us.
That means that He has accused us, declared us guilty of sin and then made us righteous and forever deleted the record of all our wrongs .
• Romans 8:33-34 “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?
It is God who justifies.34
Who is he who condemns?
It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”
I have been justified and by Christ justifying me and because the record has been erased —*I am free now & forever from condemnation.*
• 1 Corinthians 6:17 “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.”
By Christ justifying me—*I am forever united with the Lord.*
• Ephesians 1:4 “… just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love”.
By Christ justifying me—*I was chosen by Jesus to be holy and blameless in his sight.*
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