1Corinthians 13:13 The Room of Defeat To let you know, I am planning on taking this verse out of its context this evening. I understand that in the context; however, I want to focus on what Paul said as he concluded his thoughts. His statement was not intended as a major point in his argument, but rather it is part of Paulís closing statements. However, in that statement, Paul links three attributes of the Christian through the Holy Spirit, FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE. In connecting these three attributes, Paul is suggesting that they somehow go together. One does not normally group dissimilar things together. So in Paulís mind, there is a connection to these three attributes. Question - What is that connection? How can we benefit from understanding it? Answer - These the three will help to keep us out of the Room of Defeat. They can help us to finish our race with power and joy. a. We all have a race to run. b. We all should want to finish it with power and joy. c. This is Sunday night and I figure most of you at least started out with that desire, but some may have gotten discouraged, defeated. 1. Have you quit praying? 2. Have you quit sharing Christ? 3. Have you lost the joy of worship? d. Then you are sitting in the Room of Defeat. e. Good news. These three attributes can help you. I. Letís consider some things about the whole group. A. Each one of these attributes is powerful on its own, but what I see here is that to Paul, they were a GROUP. 1. They can be used individually. 2. The Bible mentions them separately on many occasions. 3. However, it is as they are used in harmony with each other that they have the power to keep us from defeat and discouragement. B. I believe Paul mentions them in a specific order. 1. I do not believe the order is the order of importance or power. 2. In fact, Paul tells us in the verse that CHARITY is the greatest or the most important and powerful of the attributes. Yet, Paul mentions CHARITY last. 3. The order is important, I believe, because it is the order in which the gifts need to be applied. a. First, we must use our FAITH. b. Second, we must use HOPE. c. Third, last and most importantly, you must use LOVE. C. Consider these things as I discuss how to use each gift. II. The first attribute to use is that of FAITH. A. The Bible makes much out of faith. John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 1. Adrian Rogers once said that faith is the currency of heaven. 2. What he meant was we give God our faith and God gives us His blessings. a. So the more faith we have, the more we can receive from God. b. Little faith, few blessings. Much faith, many blessings. c. How is your faith? B. What is faith? 1. In a single word, faith is BELIEVING. 2. Faith is either hearing the Holy Spirit give a promise or reading a promise in the Bible and BELIEVING that promise. 3. The question that I would first ask you to ask yourself is, "Do you believe the promises of God? 4. The second question that I would ask is, "Do you REALLY believe the promise of God?" a. Do you believe the promises for your life? b. Do you believe the promises for your situation? c. If not, it is no wonder that you are discouraged! C. The Bible makes some pretty big promises. 1. The Bible promises that souls will be saved. Psalms 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. a. Every Christian knows of someone who is lost. b. One of the most basic and elementary acts of faith on the part of a believer is to believe that lost souls will be saved, both those they know and those they minister to. 2. The Bible promises that sin will be defeated and Satan will be repelled. a. This world is getting more and more evil. Few Christians would deny that. b. Yet, we have the promise that the church will be victorious. Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (1) That verse says that the church is to be victorious over Satan and hell not the other way around. (2) Do you believe that is to be the case? Or, as you watch the news, listen to the politicians, and watch what appears to be coming down the pike, are you starting to lose faith in the victorious church? c. We also have the promise that Satan will flee. James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (1) Do you still believe the devil is afraid of you? (2) Do you still believe that through the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit that you can make Satan run? d. Do you still have faith? 3. The Bible promises that the Savior will be exalted. Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. Phil 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; E. These are just a few of the promises of Scripture. 1. There are many more. 2. The question is, "Do you believe? Do you have faith?" 3. If you do not believe the promises of God, you will surely wind up in the Room of Defeat and Discouragement. III. The second attribute is HOPE. A. Faith is essential and important, but it is not the cure all for defeat and discouragement. 1. As I have tried to illustrate, if we do not believe the promises of God, all is lost. 2. But believing alone is not the sole answer to discouragement. a. Might I testify, that, to my knowledge, there have been very few times that I have doubted the Word of God. b. Yet, I have been discouraged many times. c. Why? Because believing alone will not get you out of the Room of Defeat. B. You must also have HOPE. 1. What is hope? 2. In a word, hope is longing. 3. In a few other words, hope is anticipating, desiring. C. Bear with me. 1. You can believe in something without longing for it. a. I believe I am going to have to pay taxes this year. b. I believe that if I live long enough, I am going to get old. c. I believe that, one day, either Kathy will have to go on without me or I will have to go on without her. 2. I believe these things, but I do not long for them. D. My point is, you can believe something and not long for it. 1. We not only need to believe the promises of God, we need to long for them. 2. One is the head knowledge. The other is the heart knowledge. 3. Have you ever asked yourself, why does God wait so long to fulfill some of His promises? a. Of course I cannot give you all the answers. Iím just a puny person. b. But I believe one of the answer is that God does not want us to merely believe a promise. He wants us to long for that fulfillment of that promise. 4. Then, when the promise if fulfilled, we have great joy. 5. The joy in a fulfilled promise does not come from the mental belief of it, but in the longing (the hope) of it. Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. E. The reason some are discouraged and defeated is because they wonít let themselves crave, desire, anticipate, long, hope for the things of God. 1. Friend, as long as your desires are built on Bible promises, God will do them. 2. Long for it. V. The third attribute is CHARITY (LOVE). A. What is love? 1. In a word, love is ACTION. a. Many times we have looked over 1Cor 12 and noticed that Paul defined love not by our emotions but by our actions. b. Love doesnít just talk or feel good. Love does. 2. The demonstration of your love for God by your actions will complete your eviction out of the Room of Despair. B. You can demonstrate your love for God by many actions, but the action that I find the most important for me to stay out of the cursed Room of Defeat is KEEPING ON. 1. I must keep on going as God has empowered me. 2. I must keep on praying as God commanded me. 3. I must keep on serving as God has commissioned me. 4. I must keep on striving as God has taught me. 5. By keeping on keeping on, I demonstrate my love for my God and I keep myself out of the Room of Defeat. C. You may find some other act of love for your God will work better for you. D. That is fine, but find an action that tells you and God that you love Him and do it. 1. I know a man who gives and he gives because he loves God and to show he loves God. 2. I know many preachers who preach because they love God and to show God they love Him. 3. Some are servants. They serve because the love God and to show God they love Him. Now, Paul has connected these three attributes of the Holy Spirit, attributes that are to be in our lives. Why? I believe because they are the essential to completing our race with JOY and POWER. Do you believe? Are you longing for God to fulfill His promises with you? Do you demonstrate your faith and hope by actions of love?
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