Protect Your Identity Back to all sermons

Date: October 21, 2011

Speaker: Pastor Chris Bruce

Category: Friday

Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:12–17:51

Samuel 17:12-51; Colossians 3:1-17

I came to know God when I was 19 years old, I had just finished my National Service in the Air Force, and I became a Christian at a youth camp, where I had gone to help out, in my first six months of my new life, I went through many changes, one of those changes was my closest friends, all my non Christian friends wanted to meet me at clubs and go drinking, while my Christian friends wanted to go to the same clubs, but hang outside and evangelise the not so sober,  I went with the Christian friends and most Saturday nights we would meet in another church in the middle of down town Durban, then go out and talk with strangers about God, and after 2-3 hours we would come back and pray, have coffee together, chat for awhile then go home at about 2am.  At one of those late night meetings, one of the people I was talking to had said he had just recommitted after back sliding, and was again passionate for Christ again, and he asked me when was the last time I had backslidden, I said, “Never, I had committed myself 100% and would never fall away.”  He looked at me and said, “You will, everyone does at some point, it’s part of Christianity.”  I refused to accept that, and while they have been times when I was not as close to God as other times, I know God keeps me and never lets go of my hand.

In the reading this morning from Samuel, we read a very well known passage used for many different sermons, in Children’s Church it’s about the bully being taken out by the little guy, in youth we talk about young David fighting when the older soldiers wouldn’t, in Men’s ministry, it’s about being a shepherd with a heart for God is better than a King without God, in missions, it’s about David’s decree going to all nations that God gave him the victory, in women’s ministry hmmmmm maybe Princesses have to marry whoever kills the giant. Today however I want to combine it with a text in Colossians 3:1-17:

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1.Being raised with God:
David is an old testament example of a man who lived knowing God, he may have been a shepherd, part time bard for the King, and food carrier for his brothers, but his heart was that of a man that God had chosen to be King.  Do you ever wonder about David’s life after Samuel anointed him and told him he would be King let’s read 1 Samuel 16:13

13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.

That sounds to me like a New Testament experience, we accept Christ, and the Spirit of the LORD comes powerfully on us.  After that time Saul has bad dreams David goes to play harp for the King and some time later there is a battle and the older brothers go to war.

In Colossians it tells us that once we are raised with God, as in received the Holy Spirit into our lives, we are to seek the things that are above, I’ve been wondering about that this week, how much focus do we place on things of the earth? A few weeks ago, the apple conference was going to release a new iPhone and I read news article after rumour about what the iPhone 5 would look like, knowing that I’m happy with my current phone but wanting to be up to date with knowledge of the newest technology, I must have spent a few hours over the course the weeks prior to the launch researching something that never actually came out, granted it may only have been five minutes here and five minutes there, but it added up, how much time in those same weeks we committed to finding something new from God’s Word, from God’s Spirit, from seeking things above not on the earth. David had a Shepherds life, maybe that gave him more time to relax under God’s creation pondering higher things, but can’t we have that same time if we choose to not set our minds on things of the earth.

2. What to wear?

The Bible doesn’t tell us how much later this was, but David was too young for war, but he is there and he hears Goliath speak, and he gets angry and his anger builds his faith to say in verse 32-37, just reading 32 and 36, 37.

32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”

36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Based on those words, before beating down Goliath David says in verse 45-47

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

David had God’s Spirit on him, he knew that nobody could do anything to him outside of God’s will and so became fearless, He knew that God had called him to be King and so therefore God could not lie he could not die, and he would get the hand of the King’s daughter (verse 25)  He believed the promises of God and the promises of the King.

He was wearing the promises of God, the same promises that had protected him against the lion and the bear. 

What are we too wear? From Colossians 3:12-17 we are told to put on:

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

These are not easy clothes to wear, It’s not easy to be patient and forgiving while driving down 30th street, or looking for parking where there is no Mawaqif, or seeing a fine when parking in Mawaqif areas.  It’s not easy to have humility and gentleness in some work places where you expect certain results and your expectations of work done or communication is not experienced, it’s not easy to have peace when your family is plane flight away and not in the same time zone as you, but when you allow verse 16 to become a reality in your life, maybe join a small group where you can speak into others lives, read God’s word, it becomes easier. In our small group, the men have an accountability to each other which includes reading the Bible daily, it includes asking and answering the hard questions about addictive behaviours, anger, forgiveness, and honesty.  It is easier when we have an expectation of facing others with our failures, than when no-one else knows, I believe the men’s ministry, “Iron Man” programme has the same accountability, as do Wildfire’s “Life Transformation Groups” and the Women’s Bible Studies have accountability to each other.  When we find ourselves in groups where can together do things, whether in word or deed as unto the Lord, we will grow closer to God, and we will love each other better giving Thanks to God in all things.

  1. What not to wear

In David’s story we see he tries on Saul’s armour but realises it would not do and so goes out in unprotected in man’s eyes, we are also told what won’t fit as us once we have been raised to Christ v 5-11

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Two lists are shown here: the first Paul takes as obviously you’ve gotten rid of this: sexual immorality, impurity, lust evil desires and greed, but then he also now also remove these other vices from verse 8-10, he adds the reason for doing this as you’ve removed your old self and put on a new self being renewed back to the image of God, as we choose to take these “clothes” off we become more and more like Christ.  I thought it was interesting that all the sins on the second list bear fruit out of your mouth, culminating in lying to each other, we really need to watch the tongue and learn to control our words.

To put this all in perspective:

I have been a father for less than two years, and so consider myself with a huge learning curve, but when I walk to church holding Justeen’s hand, she trusts me, and even though I hold her hand loosely, I’ve noticed that when she trips on something, before her knees hit the ground, my hand has tightened and I catch her and stop her from falling, I didn’t take a class in how to hold her safely, it just happened, and most of the time I don’t even notice it.

I’ve realised that is what God does, he catches me before I fall.  David knew that God had anointed him, clothed him with the promises of victory, and so could reject Saul’s armour.  We too have to know we are covered with God’s Spirit, we need to wear compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We are to bear with each other and forgive one, we are to put on love and unity. We are to take off sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, rid ourselves of anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language and we must not lie to each other. If I had to meet that same guy from all those years ago, who said all Christians have to backslide again, I’d now know what to say,”Jesus has called me His own, He will protect me from falling, I need to wear his promises and take off the things that drag me to this earth.

He is faithful.