My goal in this series is our greater joy in Jesus, even in complex struggles intellectually, emotionally, relationally, etc. So, each time I will offer a buffet on 8 ‘P’s of good news. Chew and savor whatever helps your joy in Jesus. “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” (Isaiah 55:1)
Joy comes by Life from God, through God, and for God as revealed in the Bible. (Romans 11:33-36) And the Protection & Provision of Christ prepare us for His good Purpose. As we noted last time, these two “P”s of the gospel are His complimentary “ground work” to walk with God. And because of our great spiritual threats, He first acts to protect what He soon provides. In the video below we discuss some applications.
The protection of Christ blesses His people with many specific and sure hopes. Again, our greatest threats are spiritual: temptations to distrust God and to follow the desires of our own flesh, the world, and the devil. (1 John 2:16-18) So, His protection, which Ephesians 6:10-18 pictures as pieces of armor, enables us to stand against temptations threatening His purpose: walking with Christ and His people. Note the context around Ephesians 6 – it’s all about both realms of relationship. In this next video I encourage your hope in Him by describing 15 ways Christ protects His people for His purpose.
The content, rationale, and means of His protection also help us talk to others about security in Him. The content of Jesus’ protection is His Word that teaches us His character, plan, ways, commands, promises, warnings, etc. (Joshua 1:7-9, Psalm 119:9, John 15:3, 2 Tim 3:14-17, etc.) The rationale for His protection is our daily spiritual warfare in light of eternity. (Mark 8:36, 2 Cor 4:13-18, Galatians 6:1-10, etc.) And His means of protection are His Spirit who convicts, transforms, equips, guides, and comforts (John 16:13, Acts 9:31, 2 Cor 3:18, 1 Thess 1:5, Phil 2:1, etc.) and His interdependent people through whom He works these ministries of His Word and Spirit. (Matt 18:15-20, 1 Cor 5:12-13, Galatians 6:1-5, 2 Thess 3:14-15, Titus 3:1-11, etc.) Contrary to the world’s definition, spiritual maturity is an increasing pursuit of His protection. (Psalm 46, Mark 10:14, Ephesians 4:14-16, etc.)
Every ‘P’ of good news in Christ is true, good, and part of real Life in Him. Yet, we could feel anxious when talking with others about calling on Christ for protection from temptations. Modern cultures tell us that Man is basically good; evil is only a subjective social construct; there is no such thing as the devil; and we should save any differing opinions for like-minded fanatics. But shouldn’t all Soldiers in combat be extreme for protection? Most people, however, don’t see their primary problem as temptations to false worship. In fact, the world tends to reward them for centering their lives on their career, their possessions, their body, etc. That’s why part of our love for them must include talking to them about their need for the protection of Christ. In the video below I outline several applications of help. As you listen, ask God to bring someone to your mind who is at risk for specific temptations.