The Battle for Truth
A lot of changes going on in the world and we're always going to see changes but something's going to always remain and that is the consistency of God's word but I'm going to start off by asking you kind of a funny question and I don't want you to take this too seriously but imagine you had an enemy All right what would you do or how would you go about defeating your enemy now let me put this in context OK because we could have enemies in a variety of different contexts in life on the you could have a personal enemy and I hope that all of you here don't have a personal enemy right if you do seek counseling you know there's there's there's a way to get around that but maybe you can have an enemy maybe from like a business standpoint like you are in a business and there's a competitor or maybe from a competition standpoint I mean every time the two teams take a field in any kind of athletic competition their their their enemy is there and they're trying to defeat their enemy an enemy but I let me kind of give you kind of a context for this illustration because this does actually go into the sermon but let's say that from the standpoint of you have an enemy from a business standpoint OK let's say that you were here today you have the best hamburger recipes in the world and you want to open up your own hamburger restaurant and so you open up a hamburger restaurant and across the street from you another person opens up their hamburger restaurant So how are you going to defeat your enemy All right so there's a number of ways that you can go about defeating your enemy right the first way is the best way the way you could defeat your enemy is by being better than them. Do things better have better food you guys know the Papa John's slogan I think everyone should know this bettering radiance better people pizza Papa John's you know that's a great way for them to kind of destroy their enemies whenever I think about pizza I don't really know if Papa Johns has better ingredients but they said that they do and so you know they must be true right because they said. So you one way you can be better or just trying to be just be better than them the second way is you you eliminate them. And from the standpoint of like a hamburger restaurant I don't know what that means maybe you have some friends and they go and they burn the place down in the middle of the night that's one way you can eliminate them it's not a very good way another way that you can defeat your enemy is that you cheat. And again I don't know how you could possibly do that with that with a with a hammer or restaurant but like in the sporting world we see lots of cheating taking place someone will take maybe steroids to have an edge over their competitors or they will steal signs or try to find out what the other player's going to do or they will deflate the footballs before the football game so they have an advantage I don't like New England football anyway or the last thing you can do and this is a very slow but effective way to defeat your enemy is you can create a distraction or you can cause some confusion or spread lies about your enemy now growing up I did work at a hamburger restaurant Zip's in Spokane and it was a really good restaurant and I guess that a lie had been spread about zips and I didn't do a very good job it wasn't a very strong rumor because I didn't know about it until someone I worked with told me about it but the rumor about zips was that they were using horsemeat in their hamburger patties and again I'd had no idea that there was this rumor so it was a very popular but I remember soon as someone said yeah there's a rumor going around about us that we use horsemeat in our hamburger patties my first thought was who really oh that's disgusting in so like just that and for just a half a second I thought a look at the hamburger patties is are really not all there is not here's a thing that you ordered from a food distributor that probably were distributed to almost all the other restaurants in the valley and so and so if we were everyone else was but I remember the first the next time that I was on the grill I'm thinking is there really hair horsemeat in here and and next time I took a. Does it taste a little funny you know I don't know what horsemeat taste like but it was enough to kind of cause a little bit of doubt in my mind and I knew the truth and so if you're out there and you hear that zips has horse meat in their hamburger patties in McDonald's doesn't it might not be true you might say I'm ninety five percent sure that they don't but that five percent isn't worth it and so I'm just going to go to McDonald's right and so you can defeat your enemy by allowing some kind of a distraction some confusion or some misinformation and why.
You know the Bible tells us that we are living in a world where there is a battle going on once you open your Bible strophe.
Fusions chapter six and you notice on your sermon notes. I have a lot of passages for us to look at today I'm introducing a new series here and so we're going to be kind of jumping around as we can to set the context for this this new book that we're going to be going through but any fees in chapter six Paul warns us about this battle. And if he's in chapter six beginning in verse ten. Paul says to all of us finally be strong in the Lord in the strength of his might put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against the rulers against the authorities against the cosmic powers over this present darkness against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly place. That is a very descriptive phrase to describe the age that we live in this present darkness that's what we're living in this present darkness there is a book written by an author a Christian offered named Frank Peretti he wrote the book this present darkness anyone who read that book a couple of you did I read that book in fact I think it was on this weekend on Thanksgiving weekend about twenty five years ago when I was in college and I think I was supposed to be right. A term paper and then someone hand me that book and I end up reading the book all weekend long it was a really good book I think I read that in the also the follow up but this verse is very enlightening because it means that there are things going on all around us that we cannot see but it's the reason why there are so many problems in this world listen do you know why there are so many shootings it's not because we need more gun control it's because there's a spiritual war going on all around us and you know why there is so much disunity here in America it's not a political issue is because there's actually warfare going on all around us and you know why there are so many different views and positions and preferences by everybody that has the voice to assure that it's because we are in a spiritual battle and so if you read the Bible you can see that God is actually tried Satan has tried to defeat God in all of these ways that I mentioned that we can try to defeat our enemy Satan tried to defeat God and He will in the future we know that there will be some battles because Satan tried he thinks that he's better than God and his pride led him to be cast out of heaven we also know that Satan tried to eliminate God by crucifying Christ and also tempting Christ to sin could you imagine what would happen if Christ would have you know that's a whole other subject but yeah good Christ could not have sin because he's God and today Satan's most successful strategy is to attack the minds of human beings and create confusion in our hearts and in our minds by introducing a lie that's what Satan does he is the father of lives. For for it says in case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seen the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God And so that's what is going on in the world around us what today what I'm going to do is I'm going to start a new series. He's on the book of Galatians and the main reason why I'm going to be doing the book of Galatians is because I have never preached through Galatians before and so I've never done that so I definitely want to get the done and the main reason why Paul wrote the book of Galatians was because after he established these churches I think it was a first missionary journey to establish these churches in the province of the later and when he left people some Jews some actually referred to them as Judaizing went into the churches that policy and said oh that's fine about Jesus you can place your faith in Jesus but there's still something more that you have to do in order to be saved and so they introduced a mistruth that ultimately will prevent people from being saved and so Paul goes after them sort of like a parent trying to save their child from danger and maybe the very most important verse in all of Galatians the kind of summarizes why Paul wrote the book of Galatians is in Chapter five it's verse one I'll go ahead read that for you Paul's writing to the glaciers in this kind of the summer here the pinnacle of this passage he says for freedom Christ has set us free stand firm therefore and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery and so the book of Galatians is about it's about freedom it's our freedom in Christ and you know what the one thing is that can lead us to freedom.
Truth Have you ever heard the saying you will know the truth and the truth will set you free kind of a common saying Jew who says that.
Jesus did. You ask a question like that in church and ninety nine times out of a hundred feet or God or Jesus and this is actually something that Jesus said Jesus said this in John eight thirty one and thirty two says So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him if you abide in my word you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free and so day to day what we're going to do is we're going to look at the. The first few verses of the introduction to the lation Zz and hopefully will come to get a sense for what's really taking place in the province of Galatians and which is actually taking place all over the world today and what's taking place is there is a battle for truth that's always been the case and Paul wrote this so that they could have truth that will set them free so let's go ahead and read the first few verses of Galatians. As we begin our series here so glacial chapter one beginning in verse one
Paul writes and he says Paul an apostle not from men nor through man but through Jesus Christ and God the father who raised him from the dead and all the brothers who are with me to the churches of glacier. Grace to you in peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age according to the will of our God and father to whom be the glory forever and ever Amen so for this morning what I want to do is I want to focus on just one verse in particular verse four and I think that kind of sets the stage for everything else that we're going to read in the book so let's read verse four again but just for flow let's read verses three and four. Verse three says Grace to you in peace from God our Father in the Lord Jesus Christ forces who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age you know Paul gives us three things in this single verse that I think are worth taking a closer look at and the three things that he gives us in this one verse is that there is a distinction between the ages of history there's all so a description of this age that we're living in and there's also the good news about our deliverance from the are of this age so we begin with the distinction between the ages Oh you're Today you're here in church and so I don't think that any of you are going to be surprised when I tell you that there is something more to this life all right there is something after this that we can look forward to this is not all there is and so all throughout the Bible it started there are some else that people have to look forward to and so let's look at a few different passages that specifically teach about the different ages of human history OK are the first one is going to be in Mark. You can turn to these if you like I wrote most of them down in the sermon notes but here in. Mark Jesus' teaching the disciples and he teaches them that if you live by faith for him if you live your life by face for Christ there will be benefit in this life or in this age but then also there are going to be rewards that you'll experience in the age to come so Jesus teaches about the different ages Mark Chapter ten beginning verse twenty nine Jesus said Truly I say to you there is no one who has love house or brothers or sister or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the Gospel who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time or this age houses and brothers and sister mothers and children and lands with persecutions and in age to come eternal life but many who are first will be last and the last shall be first and so Jesus says living your life for me in this life with me persecutions but you will be benefited now and especially with eternal life in the age to come. Another passage is in Luke Chapter twenty and this is kind of a funny one some people thought they were going to dump Jesus and so they asked him a very difficult question they said here's a hypothetical situation Christ or Jesus of a woman as a man and he dies and so she gets married again and he dies and they get sick married again and he and he gives this woman has seven husbands and so who's husband will she be in the age to come and so this is Jesus respects a Luke Chapter twenty beginning in verse thirty three. This is his response Luke twenty thirty three.
He says in the resurrection therefore whose wife will the woman be for the seven had her as wife and Jesus do them the sons of this age Mary in are given in marriage but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age into the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage and so we're told that in this age or this stage a few. In history there is marriage taking place and this is maybe some of you never even thought of this or realize this but the age to come there will not be spins and wives and the reason for that is in this age one of the things that God designed humanity to function the way it is to work is for us to fill and subdue the earth that's what we're supposed to do right now and so in this age there is marriage because marriage is the way to bring in new people but in the age to come that purpose no longer exists and so no one will be married you know what that kind of sit in for a while right Paul talked a lot about this age compared to the future age one of those places in First Corinthians Chapter two he compares the wisdom in the way that people think First Corinthians Chapter Two beginning of verse five Paul says so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God yet among the mature we do impart wisdom although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age who are doomed to pass away but we impart a secret hidden wisdom of God which God created before the ages for our glory and so in this passage here in First Corinthians to Paul mentions that there is a wisdom of this age a way that the world works or it seems to work and there are rulers of this age and they're going to not they're not going to survive and then he also decrees that God had a secret hidden wisdom that he decreed it before this age began.
To see that in the age he come. Paul also talks about any fusions chapter to how we will experience the riches of God's grace in the age to come like this one the you and your likeness want to fusions chapter two.
Beginning in verse six.
To verse six
it says and raise us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus so that in the coming ages he might showed the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus and so in the age to come you and I are going to experience the immeasurable riches of God's grace Now one last one.
There is more but when you look at one more today and this is found in First Timothy Chapter six and this kind of a warning about people who are living in a sage not to put their hope in the things of this age and so on for some of the chapter six he says as for the rich in this present age charge them not to be haughty nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches but on God who richly provides us with everything to enjoy and so here the Bible clearly teaches Jesus teaches Paul teaches that there are different ages in the word and one age right now but then there are some ages to come and so what exactly are these different as well the present age is pretty easy to identify it's right now we're living in this this present age but by reading the Bible we can see that there are at least two more identifiable ages in human history and either it's two different ages or it's one age with a couple different stages all right and what whichever one it is I guess we don't have to about it too much we're going to find out soon enough but the ages to come the two that are identifiable is when Christ will come back in they'll set up the kingdom here on Earth there will actually be resurrected people living on Earth and reigning with Him were running with Christ at that time and that will be the pinnacle of human history where every other civilization every other government every other empire will be able to be judged in evaluated according to Christ and His kingdom here on Earth and so that's at least one part of the future age to come and then after that the Bible reveals that will. All of that every human being will be in eternity future and you will after the Great White Throne of judgment you'll either be in one of two places you will be in… if you did not have faith in God or you be you will be in the presence of Christ for eternity and so whether those are two separate distinct ages or just an age with like two different phases we will find out soon enough and you know I think it's great for us to study the about the future and I think God wants us to do that however we also shouldn't get too carried away because it's the future and we don't know exactly how our thing is going to pan out and I think God also wants us to be very concerned about this age where we're living because this is when the battle is that you and I are facing and so Paul wants to warn the people in Galatians and he wants us to know that this is temporary and this is not what the future will be like and we need to be wise about how this age works and its dangers and so that's why Paul tells us about these this distinction between the ages the next thing the poll gives us in verse four is a description of this age he tells us what this age is like let's look at verse four again.
Also single ations one verse four.
Who gave himself up who gave Himself for us for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age according to the will of God and fall so a description of this age is that this age is evil Now the Greek word for evil is Panerai and it means to bring toil and urge ship and annoyances in the perils on to something something that causes pain and trouble so that's what it means by this is an evil age and does that sound like that's an accurate description of the world that we live in that there is pain that there's problems that there's peril that there's annoyances is there anything in this world that annoys you you know I think so that's a perfect description of what this aid. Age that we live in is like it's also a pretty good description of what it means to be an Arizona Cardinals football fan this season right so kind of an evil season it's a painful season to watch and the reason why this age is described as evil or full of toil and pain and trouble is because of the ruler of this age turn over to fusion chapter two and look at Ephesians Chapter two also over that fusion Chapter six in a few minutes but he fusions Chapter two talks about this age and why it is the way it is. If you just Chapter Two beginning in verse one
visions two beginning in verse one it says. And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked and here it is following the course of this world following the prince of the power of the air the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.
So listen Satan is alive and well he is the prince of the power of the air and that spirit is now at work in the sons of Sabean's when you turn on the T.V. and learn of people acting horribly we should think of this verse evasions chapter two verse two.
The power of error the prince of the power of the spirit that is now right now at work in the sons of disobedience and so that's why there are so many problems in the world today because there is a spiritual battle and people are following the influence of Satan and his lies and Satan is such a good job at deceiving people that he has deceived people put thoughts into their mind. To the point where they are convinced that they are their own thoughts and that they are the correct thoughts to have and so this is how Satan works he fills people's minds with thoughts they lead them away from doing what is right and best. You know a few weeks ago we were talking about the four chairs and you know were done with the series on the four chairs and there was the one member what the great need of a person and chair one was hopefully kind of remember that the greatest need of a person a chair one is for them to understand the truth about their condition apart from Christ. They need to know what it means to be apart from Christ and the greatest need that people have is to know the truth and that's what Christ came to do and so that's what Paul gave to the people in Galatians gave them the truth and some of the people came and tried to distort it and so here that what we see the final thing that Paul gives us in this verse is finally he gives us the good news about our deliverance from the. Power of this is a look at verse four again.
Says who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age according to the will of our God and Father this is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ delivers us from the power and the penalty of this evil age once you turn over your miles to kolache and Chapter one.
This passage here in cautions as a great job describing this transition from us being.
As part of this evil age being transferred out of it into the kingdom of Christ so cautions chapter one beginning in verse twelve.
Cautions chapter one beginning in first twelve
so as Paul Paul is writing to those in colossi in the rights to them giving thanks to the father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light I just right there in this passage you can even see the Pauls talking about the future age he says that God qualified you to share in the inheritance and so there is some kind of inheritance that God has for those who love him and he qualifies us even in this age to be able to share in that the word for qualified means to make sufficient to render fit and how is God made us qualified to share in the Sahara and so that it's come to be coming in the future the way that he did that is through the work of Jesus Christ not ourselves and that's going to be the most important part of this Gospel that Paul is sharing to those in Galatians and everywhere else this is our qualification to share in this inheritance the Paul speaks of is nothing to do with what we have done and everything to do with gee what Jesus Christ has done and that's why it's great so not works so as we go through the book of Galatians we're going to see how the Judaizing came in and what they tried to do is they tried to insert just a little tiny thing into this gospel that Paul was trying to preach about how you have to do something in order to earn God's favor in assoon as you do that you take away from the power of the gospel and you can lead people into lies and desperation. So in verse thirteen of kolache NS One it says he has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son in whom we have redemption the forgiveness of sins. We have been transferred from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of this beloved Son in whom we have redemption the forgiveness of sins another way the pocket of so that is this God moved you from chair one to chair two obviously you didn't say that I'm going to do that illustration for a while hopefully that will make sense for a while. Until we all forget about the four chairs but that's also really what happened you did not have a relationship with God But the truth penetrated your heart and your mind and you realize the truth about Christ's death and resurrection and it's true you accepted that truth God transferred you from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of the Son that He loves that has taken place God did this god qualify you to share in this future inheritance and part of us being delivered means that our eyes are being open to this truth and now that our eyes are open we must be very aware of what's going on all around us and that is that there is a battle going on for our minds not only for the last letter in the world who do not have a relationship with God but for believers as well Satan still trying to prevent us from growing and maturing once you turn to fusions we have just a couple more passages I want to look at
and any fees in this chapter six there's a great passage that talks about this back and all that we are in with Satan whether we'd like to acknowledge it or not or whether we'd like to think about it and this tells us how we can take our stand and how we can fight the good fight of the Faith and so Paul gives this analogy of the spiritual armor that we're supposed to put on and I want you to notice something as we go through each of these pieces of armor how they all are dealing with truth. Not facts but true things that will not change over the course of human history and so if he's in chapter six beginning in verse thirteen this is all Paul tells a spirit to be prepared for this battle so therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to switch stand in the evil day and having done all this stand stand therefore having fastened on the belt of truth. Now being put on the blessed great breast plate of righteousness and issues for your feet having put on the readiness given by the Gospel of Peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of face with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one and take the helmet of salvation in the sort of the Spirit which is the Word of God So the entire armor of God that we're supposed to put on is all about truth I like the helmet of salvation to kind of prevent Satan from from pretty lies into us in the shield a face which prevents the those darts of deception doubt that Satan wants to fill our minds with but the way that we fight is with the truth and Jesus said The truth will set us free Well we know that we're in a battle it's kind of scary to even read these things and realize you know there's things that are going on all around me and we can't see them but but they're very true so so how should we live when we know that there is an enemy out there trying to trip us up and trying to keep the rest of the world blinded to the truth of the Gospel we can be in fear of our enemy is that what God wants us to do is be afraid of our enemy Absolutely not and the reason why we don't have to. The afraid of our enemy is because Christ is victorious and we are Christ's And so we can find great confidence and assurance in that what I want to do is I want to close by reading a very comforting and empowering passage on the second Thessalonians we're going to close with this passage of Scripture second Thessalonians chapter three. And as you read this I hope that you will feel encouraging is powered and also comforted that even though you are in a battle God is on your side and truth is on your side if you build your lives on truth second Thessalonians chapter three just the first five verses are second look Thessalonians chapter three verses one through five.
To find the brothers pray for us that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be on or has happened among you and that we may be delivered from the wicked and evil men for not all have faith but the Lord is they still he will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you that you are doing and will do the things that we command may the Lord direct your heart to the love of God into the steadfastness of Christ I love in verse three where it says God is faithful he will establish you and he will guard you against the evil one and one of the best ways that God guards us from the enemy is by filling our minds with the truth and so I pray that as we go through the book of Galatians this a very important book that God's truth will allow us to experience the freedom that Christ died to give us because in prayer.
The Lord I thank you so much for giving us your entire word in Lord's we we open up a new series here in the book of Galatians we see how passionate Paul is to to spare those goal Aisha. From the lies and the corruption that we know Satan is trying to spread among them and Father I pray that as we go through this that we will be further founded on truth in that our our conviction about the truth of the gospel will I'm just really empower us as a church and as individuals to live our lives free the freedom that you've given to us in Christ so Father I pray your blessing upon me as I preach of these passages and I bought us as a church as we diligently try to fill our minds with the truth that you've given us in your Holy Word and Help us Lord as always to spread this truth to the world around us so that people might also be delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of your beloved son and it's in his precious name we pray. Amen.