1. Christianity is the medium by which God promotes His viewpoint and policy
in a world of darkness.
A. Darkness entered the universe when Lucifer, through his pride, expressed
independence from God and His policies. (sin)
B. Lucifer thus became the "adversary" of God (Satan) and he,
as well as those angels who followed him in his rebellion, were judged
and indicted to spend eternity in the lake of fire totally separated from
C. The fact that Satan is still "prowling about like a roaring lion"
indicates that God has some reason for delaying the final placement of
these spiritual rebels into the lake of fire.
D. God is using the events of "time" to demonstrate to Satan
the integrity of His own righteousness and justice in judging Satan and
the genuiness of divine love in doing so.
E. In fact, this is the very reason that God brought the human race onto
the scene of history so that mankind might be instrumental in showcasing
both divine justice and love.
F. Darkness then entered the human race when Satan got Adam and the woman
to act independently from God in the garden.
G. Now God's plan concerning darkness (which can be defined as any expression
of independence from Divine viewpoint and policy) is to allow it to run
its natural course by which it will progressively (in time) and ultimately
(at the end of time) be exposed as totally non-beneficial and inadequate
in providing any true fulfillment in life.
2. The origin of Christianity is recorded in Gen. 3:15-21 as the promise
of a savior who will provide a solution to the sin problem and defeat
the forces and influence of darkness.
A. That promise is found in "seed-pod" form at v. 15, where
we find the "Seed of the woman" who will defeat Satan.
B. It is then amplified and narrowed down through history until "in
the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son," as the "Lamb of
God who takes away the sin of the world." (Gal. 4:4; John 1:29)
3. Thus, throughout history, man is the focal point for promoting light
in the world through the Messianic promise.
A. Influence of Seth: Gen. 4:26, "then, calling upon the Name
of the LORD was caused to begin."
B. Noah as a herald of righteousness: 2 Peter 2:5
C. Abraham as the official "pattern" (father) of those who believe.
Romans 4:11, 16
D. Nation of Israel to promote the glory of God:
Gen. 19:3-5; Jer. 13:11
E. Jesus, the God-man, as the one to offset Satan's victory over the human
race, by providing redemption. Hebrews 2:14-15
F. The church as spiritual witness of God's wisdom to the angels.
G. The Messiah's 1000 year "physical" kingdom on the earth
to demonstrate that, even though Jesus is reigning on the earth, man still
rebels against God and chooses darkness over light.
H. Ultimately, the eternal state, during which all fallen angels and
all of unbelieving humanity will be in the lake of fire, and redeemed humanity
will live with God forever and ever as an eternal "showcase"
of God's love and grace.
4. But we need to recognize that not only is Christianity designed to promote
light over darkness in general, but it is also designed to provide for
mankind a solution to the effects of darkness which have corrupted and
distorted every factor in man's life.
5. First then, True Christianity provides the solution to the spiritual
depravity of the human race which is described by the four words found
in Rom. 5:6-10. (H.U.S.E.) Helpless, ungodly, sinners and enemies.
A. the only solution is through Christ: John 14:6; Acts 4:12
B. The 4-fold problem mentioned here is offset by the 4-fold provision
described at 1 Cor.1:30, "By His work, we are IN Christ Jesus who
became to us" - -
wisdom, righteousness, sonctification and redemption.
C. Utilization of the provision is through personal trust in the person
and work of Christ as savior independent from human merit, works or knowledge.
Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:12-13
6. Secondly, it provides the solution to all the frustration and misery
produced by man's sin nature which is the channel for independence from
God in each and every person.
A. Genesis 8:21
B. Ecclesiastes 9:3
C. Jeremiah 17:9
D. Galatians 5:19-21
7. Thus, the abundant life of peace, joy and inner stability is provided
by Jesus. John 10:9-10
8. The proper approach to God and life is found in Proverbs 3:5-6,
His viewpoint, not ours.
9. The issue of spiritual growth: 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 3:18
A. We have seen the basic purpose of Christianity
1. To promote light over darkness
2. Broken down into 2 areas
a. Deliverance from the kingdom of darkness
b. Deliverance from the influence of darkness.
B. Since the beginning of Christianity at Gen. 3:15-21, God has provided
the solution to the distorted influence of the nature of sin.
1. That solution is knowledge and application of Divine viewpoint in
every area of life.
2. The sin nature tires to relate to self, others and God on its own terms.
a. Gen. 3.7 - operation fig leaves: man trying to solve the problem
of his distorted soul by making self improvements on the outside.
b. Prov. 14.12; 16.2; 12.15 - man's own way and thinking is distorted by
his own pride.
c. Ec. 7.29 - man has undermined the "uprightness" of God's
moral design in the soul by seeking out many devices. Many devices refers
to the human viewpoint that rejects the absolutes of divine morality and
establishes his own subjective and relative morality.
3. But God's solution provides what darkness viewpoint cannot.
a. Coats of skin, Gen. 3.21: The divine solution on the "outside"
is prefaced by a "spiritual reality" that only God can authenticate.
The coats of skin come from animal sacrifices which from the beginning
were used to illustrate and teach about the severity of man's sin problem
and the intensity of the solution - death. But the answer is in spiritual
death, not physical death. The animal sacrifice simply typified the "spiritual"
death of the savior whom God would send to mankind "in the fullness
of time" to die for the sins of the world.
b. Proverbs 3:5-6
God is only able to "stabilize" our ways if we reject human viewpoint
and logic and let the word of God dwell in our hearts.
c. Proverbs 8:32-36
True happiness (blessed) in life only comes through knowledge and application
of God's word. To reject wisdom (sin against wisdom, v.36) simply causes
injury to one's own soul.
d. Proverbs 1:24-33
Only knowledge and application of God's truth prepares the believer for
the everyday pressures of living in this sphere of darkness.
If the believer rejects the divine solution as found in God's written revelation,
he has only his own devices for "handling" life, and these always
prove to be inadequate and unfulfilling.
C. So the issue is for us to get God's viewpoint in the soul where
it can benefit us and promote light in the world. Proverbs 2:1-15
1. Wisdom's invitation: Prov. 9:1-6
2. The house in the soul: Prov. 24:3-4
The content of bible truth becoming a structure of influence power and
blessing in the believer's soul.
3. Edification in the New Testament: oikodomeō - to build a house,
a. In general: Acts 20:32; 1 Peter 2:5;
Col. 2:7; Jude v.20
b. Ministering to one another: Romans 14:15
c. The local church: 1 Cor. 14:12, 26
D. Recognition of maturity and immaturity: Heb. 5:10-14
1. The issue in the Christian way of life is NOT maintenance of one's
salvation, (for that salvation relationship IN CHRIST is maintained by
God, not by the believer) but its to grow up in the grace and knowledge
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2. Those who learn God's word will grow up in the faith and become mature
so as to discern between good and evil. Heb. 5:14
3. Those who do not grow up in the faith are viewed as "weak"
in the faith and will be tossed here and there and agitated by the winds
and waves of false doctrine and human viewpoint. (Rom. 14:1; Eph. 4:14)
4. The Bible teaches 3 levels of growth: 1 Jn. 2:12-14
a. Babes are new believers OR believers who have got out of fellowship
and "lost" their previous orientation to truth and grace.
b. Mt. 13:18-23 also teaches the existence of 3 levels of growth.
There, Jesus teaches it through showing us 3 levels of production from
the growing believer (100%, 60% and 30%).
c. That parable also teaches about the believer who never grows up because
the pressures of life distract and neutralize him, v. 20-22.
E. The progress of growth: 2 Peter 1:5-8 to build and reflect Christ's
character in your life.
1. Two factors that promote peace in the soul:
John 14:27; 16:33; Philippians 4.6-7
a. Self control: patience, control of details of life (material things
and pleasures) which cultivates moral stability.
Self-control reflects humility which recognizes God as the absolute authority
in every area of life.
b. Endurance: spiritual stability that adheres to light standards in the
pressures of the conflict between darkness and light. (Rom. 5:3; James
2. Then godliness: dedication and consistency in following the policies
of God for worship and service. (eusebeia = good worship) 1 Tim. 4:6-7
3. Two factors that promote joy in the soul:
(Psalm 1:1-2; John 13:17; 15:10-11)
a. brotherly love: faithfulness and dedication directed toward the
family of God. Total objectivity and optimism toward other believers. 1
b. The Love: agapā - the ultimate in reflecting the character of Christ.
Everything in your life is directed toward seeking the "divine viewpoint"
benefit of others.
4. V. 8 -This is a progressive, on-going process which builds little
by little the character qualities demonstrated by Jesus while He was here
on earth, and results in consistent productivity which is evidenced by
the 3 factors of the abundant life (Rom. 15:13).
F. Romans 15:13 - peace and joy through believing (knowing and using God's
word, V. 4) will result in inner stability (hope, confidence)
G. By the power of the Holy Spirit refers to the principle of spirituality.
This is when the Spirit, who indwells the believer permanently from the
very moment of salvation, is filling or controlling him.
This is realized when there is no sin in the life. The believer begins
the Christian life with the Spirit in control because ALL sins have been
forgiven from both an eternal perspective (providing eternal life) and
a temporal perspective (providing fellowship with God). Because of the
presence of the sin nature, personal sin will be committed in the life
of the new believer. When this happens, it grieves and quenches the Spirit
and breaks our fellowship with God so that we cannot enjoy the blessings
He has designed for us here on earth. However, it does not remove that
believer from the family of God or take away his eternal salvation (deliverance)
from the lake of fire. Whenever the believer commits an act of sin, it
is to be confessed to the Father, agreeing with Him concerning the reality
of the sin and the reality of Christ's previous payment for that sin on
the cross (1 John 1:9). Genuine acknowledgement of that sin to the Father
immediately establishes forgiveness and restoration to the fellowship that
was lost when the sin was committed.
Dependence on the filling/control of the Spirit is essential in order for
us to live the Christian life because the Spirit is basically the administrator
of all the blessings of that life here on earth.
1. He is our teacher: 1 Cor. 2:9-15; Jn. 16:12-15
We need Him to understand the "deep things of God" pertaining
to the church age.
2. He produces the "fruit of the Spirit" which is the character
of Christ. Gal. 5:16-25
3. If the Spirit is quenched, ie, sin in the life, our prayers will not
be heard. Psalm 66:18; Eph. 6:18
Finally, when we line up with God's policies for fellowship and growth,
then HE gets the glory; His viewpoint and character are promoted within
the world as we fulfill our responsibility as "professional"
ambassadors for Christ. And that is the reason we are left here on earth
after we get saved.
1. To change our character by getting God's word in the soul.
2. To enjoy God's quality of life while here in a place of oppression and
3. To promote the truth of God to others through evangelism and edification.