Sermon: Faith and Spiritual Focus

#1617B

Given 16-Sep-21; 37 minutes

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When God's people afflict themselves with fasting, they immediately become aware of the fragility and the temporariness of the flesh. Our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ experienced the same temptations as all of us are subject to, but He had equipped Himself to counter the master counterfeiter as well as scripture perverter by superior knowledge of Scripture, passing all the tests and hurdles demonstrating His Messiahship and qualifications to topple Satan from his realm. God's people should welcome tests and trials because they prove the genuineness of faith. Through Scripture (Matthew 4) Jesus countered Satan's deceptive tests or temptations of: 1.) self-preservation, 2.) self-importance leading to misuse of divine power, and 3.) alignment with evil, and 4.) self-glorification, attained through alliances with evil demonic powers. God's chosen people face the same kinds of temptation as their Savior and Redeemer and must learn that spiritual battles (waged by principalities or demonic forces) cannot be fought with physical weapons (Ephesians 6: 10-18). Fasting must not be done as a strategy to pressure God or attempt to put Him in debt, but instead to reveal what we really are, clothing us with the humility to yield to and serve Him, enabling us to loosen the bonds of sin and break every yoke enslaving us to sin (Isaiah 58:1-14). If Jesus deemed it necessary to know the Scriptures to combat sin, His followers must follow the same proven practice (James 4:7-10).

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