SERIES: FROM DEATH TO LIFE
Part 1: "Seeing Our Way Clearly"
There are few things more crucial than our own lives. And there are few things we are less clear about. The journey we are on is hardly "The Yellow Brick Road". We may set out in the light, with hope and joy, but our path always seems to lead us into the woods. Where is that abundant life that Christ promised? Where is God when we need Him most? What is to become of us?
We sometimes come to the place that life is subtle erosion. We can come to doubt our place, we come to a place where we question God's intentions toward us, and we lose track of the most important things in life. We had no idea that we were born into a world at war.
I. Arm Yourselves
"We and the world, my children, will always be at war. Retreat is impossible. Arm yourselves" - Leif Enger
A. A little bit of clarity can go a long way.
1. We talk of freedom and abundant life; peace like a river, joy unspeakable, but so often we see so little of it.
2. The description of the Christian life taught in the New Testament is not the actual life of most Christians.
B. But we have to have "eyes to see".
1. We don't know who we are or why we are here, what happened to us or why.
2. After a while after accumulating event after event that we don't like or we don't understand, our confidence is eroded and no longer do we think we are part of something grand but instead we are reduced to the life of a survivalist.
3. The big question is what is actually happening here?
4. The answer is that He offers recovery of sight to the blind.
II. His Offer Is Life
"The glory of God is man fully alive." - Saint Irenaeus
A. God has staked His reputation on our becoming fully alive.
1. So a fair question is "what about me and what about you?"
2. John 10:10
3. That is different than Him saying I have come to forgive you.
4. Forgiveness is awesome but Jesus came to give life.
a. John 6:48: "I am the bread of life."
b. John 7:38: "If you believe in me, streams of living water will flow from within you."
B. The more you look at Scripture, the more this whole theme of life jumps off the pages.
1. Proverbs 4:23
2. Psalm 16:11
3. John 1:4
4. John 5:40
5. Acts 5:20
C. It is easy to feel based on some Scripture that we have been robbed.
1. But this offer has been misinterpreted by some well-meaning people; "of course God intends life for you, but what He means is eternal life; you get to go to Heaven"
2. But that is like giving your wife a ring and promising you will take care of her in retirement....there is more to the relationship in the meantime!
a. Psalm 27:13
b. Luke 18:29-30
c. 1 Timothy 4:8
d. Romans 6:4
3. The glory of God is man fully alive
III. We Are At War
A. John 10:10
1. God intends life for you but right now that life is opposed.
2. So the offer is life but you will have to fight for it.
3. We are at war; we live in a combat zone.
B. Genesis 1:27
1. We have heard a lot about original sin but not enough about the original glory that came because of sin.
2. Lurking in the Garden was the enemy.
3. Psalm 4:3
4. But God did not abandon us.
C. In the Old Testament, war was the central theme
1. Exodus 15:3
2. Exodus 17:16
3. But the theme of war does not end with the Old Testament.
a. Matthew 10:34
b. Revelation 12:1-5, 7-8; 17
D. The birth of Christ was an act of war----an invasion.
1. The enemy knew and tried to kill Him.
2. Matthew 2:13
3. War was the backdrop of the whole story in the Bible.
a. God is fighting for our freedom and restoration.
b. Ephesians 6:10-18
c. We begin by getting a good strong grip on our situation and we get some clarity on the battle over our lives.
IV. You Must Fight For Your Life
A. Until we understand that war is the context of our days, we will not understand life.
1. Isaiah 11:6-9
B. Before He promised us life, He warned us that a thief would try to steal, kill and destroy us.
C. You won't understand your life or what has happened to you and how you can go forward unless you see it as a battle.