CBN TEACHING SHEETS
Are You Free?
Jesus Christ died and rose from death to set
us free from sin, free from ourselves, and free from every oppression. He came
"to set free those who are downtrodden" (Luke 4:18). But many of us don't experience
that freedom. Instead, we are oppressed. We are crippled by fear, depression,
unbelief, or some uncontrollable sin. When this happens we blame ourselves and
think, "If I just try a little bit harder, I can overcome this problem." Or sometimes
we become discouraged and think "I just need to learn to endure this. It won't
ever go away." Too often we fail to see the real problem: we are under spiritual
attack. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers,
against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual
forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12).
The Bible identifies
Satan as the source of all evil. The Bible also clearly describes our means of
spiritual warfare and victory.
What is spiritual warfare?
warfare is taking a stand. The Apostle Paul writes, "Therefore, take up the full
armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done
everything, to stand firm" (Ephesians 6:13).
We usually picture warfare as
troops advancing against each other, a heated battle, and the emergence of a defeated
foe and a victorious conqueror. So why, then, in spiritual warfare do we just
stand? We stand because the war is over! The enemy has been defeated! Jesus won
the battle over sin and death two thousand years ago. When we surrender our lives
to Jesus, we stand in His complete victory over sin, death, and Satan. That's
why the apostle Paul says that Christians "overwhelmingly conquer" (Romans 8:37).
What is wrong when my life seems less than victorious?
describes three sources of trouble for the Christian: the world, the flesh, and
the devil. Jesus won the victory for us over these three areas of conflict, and
one day they will each be destroyed. Meanwhile, the Christian must learn to hold
his ground against these forces. Let's take a moment to examine all three. Then
you may discern which one is your source of trouble, and begin to find your victory.
The world. The apostle John warns us about the world, which represents
mankind's rebellion against God, when he writes: "Do not love the world, nor the
things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not
in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the
eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will
of God abides forever" (1 John 2:15-17).
Jesus warned us not to love the world
when he said: "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and
rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves
treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do
not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also"
If we are enticed by the world or the world's riches, and
we begin to think more about power, possessions, or position than about Jesus
and His goodness to us, then we need to repent and turn back to Jesus. Jesus has
overcome the world. When we yield to Him, He will forgive us for our sin, and
empower us to live in His victory.
The flesh. The second source
of conflict for the Christian is the flesh, which is also called our "earthly
nature" or our "old self." In his letter to the Colossian Christians, Paul writes:
"Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity,
passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is on account
of these things that the wrath of God will come, and in them you also once walked,
when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath,
malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another,
since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the
new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the
One who created him" (Colossians 3:5-10).
We are under almost constant attack
from the world around us and the flesh within. Although evil desires and temptations
bombard us, we must hold our ground and refuse to give in. Jesus was tempted and
never sinned. So it follows that temptation itself is not sin. But yielding to
the temptation in our minds or actions is sin. Therefore, if we refuse to yield
to every temptation and deliberately yield to Jesus instead, we can live a life
of victory over our old natures!
The Devil. There are several
references in the Bible to holding our ground against the devil. Let's take a
close look at three of them:
"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary,
the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist
him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being
accomplished by your brethren who are in the world" (1 Peter 5:8,9).
therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God
and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your
hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter
be turned into mourning, and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence
of the Lord, and He will exalt you" (James 4:7-10).
"Finally, be strong in
the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that
you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle
is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against
the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness
in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may
be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
With this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all
the saints" (Ephesians 6:10-13, 18b).
Principles of spiritual warfare:
These Scriptures teach us several principles about spiritual warfare: When
we are attacked by the devil, we should:
Submit to God. We can
place ourselves under God's protection by coming to Him, casting our cares on
Him, and recognizing that he cares for us. Both Peter and James tell us to humble
ourselves before God, because "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to
the humble" (1 Peter 5:5).
Be sober-minded. Spiritual warfare
must be approached with a sober awareness of its importance. James said, "Let
your laughter be turned into mourning." Peter said, "Be of sober spirit."
alert. We must be extra careful when we are physically run down, when
we have been out of touch with other Christians, or when we have neglected study
of the Word of God. Satan will try to trick us, looking for the moment when our
defenses are down. Peter says the devil is always looking for someone to devour.
Sin will also dull our senses and open the door for attack. Paul warns us not
to "give the devil an opportunity" by slipping back into sin (Ephesians 4:27).
James admonishes us to flee from sin when he writes, "Cleanse your hands, you
sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded" (James 4:8).
the devil. The Apostles tell us to resist and stand firm. This may often
take the form of a verbal rebuke as we use the Name and authority of Jesus to
command Satan to back off from some situation. He has no right to trespass on
property belonging to Jesus Christ. Satan does not respond to the wishes of people,
but he must respond to the Name and authority of Jesus. In addition, God has given
us the Word of God as a powerful weapon to drive the enemy back. Study how Jesus
used the Scriptures to resist the devil in the fourth chapter of Matthew.
over the devil
When Christians who are suffering attack from Satan apply
these principles, two things will happen:
The devil will flee! Satan
is a defeated enemy and he will turn and run when challenged by a Christian who
is submitted to God, purified in heart, and armed with the spiritual armor that
God provides for our protection.
God will lift you up! There
is always exhilaration when we taste the victory Christ won for us on the cross.
As the Holy Spirit lifts our spirits in joy, that is our opportunity to return
praise and thanks to God for His victory. He is our Defender and our Deliverer!
When you are free
Pray for others! After describing our spiritual
armor, Paul writes, "With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit,
and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for
all the saints, and pray on my behalf, thatI may speak boldly, as I ought to speak"
Prayer keeps the channels of communication open so that
when an attack comes, we are in touch with our Defender. Prayer helps strengthen
other believers against attack. Prayer is a vital part of our spiritual warfare.
Finding true freedom
Have you identified your problem as the world,
the flesh, or the devil? Don't blame the devil for sins that you have committed.
Contrary to the popular quip, the devil did not make you do it. The devil may
have tempted you, but each of us is responsible before God for our own sin. Have
you asked for and received forgiveness for your sin? If so, stand firm in your
faith! God is love! He has forgiven you, cleansed you, and given you a fresh start.
When Satan attacks
Perhaps you feel you have given the devil a foothold,
and that you (or your loved ones) are being harassed by Satan's lies. If you can't
seem to win the struggle against sin, depression, evil thoughts, immoral behavior,
and other forms of demonic bondage, then do what Scripture teaches! Submit to
God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you! If this is your need, you may
want to pray a prayer like this from your heart:
"Father God, Thank You for
sending Jesus to die for me. Thank You for forgiving me from all my sins. I humbly
ask that You will set me totally free. I want to serve You. I want to be free
to love You more. So in the Name, and by the authority of Jesus Christ, I resist
"Satan, you are a defeated enemy. Jesus Christ has won the battle
for me. I am covered by the blood of His forgiveness. I belong to Jesus. And in
the Name of Jesus, I command you to go, to leave me alone, and never come back!
May the Lord Jesus rebuke you!
"Father, I Thank You for Your victory. Thank
You for cleansing me and setting me free! Fill me now with Your Holy Spirit. Thank
You, Lord! In Jesus' Name I AM FREE! Amen!"
Don't give up!
have carefully studied these Scriptures and prayed this prayer from your heart,
but you still find yourself in bondage to evil, or harassed by Satan, don't give
up! Call your pastor, or call someone you know who loves the Lord Jesus, studies
the Bible, and prays with authority. Don't be embarrassed to seek help. God loves
you and He will set you free!
Are you searching for peace with God? Find it here!
If you have an immediate prayer request, or if you need to talk to a caring Christian friend, please call
our 24-hour Prayer line at 1-800-759-0700.
you have a prayer Request?
your prayer request using our online prayer request form. We pray over each
need that is presented to us.
Have you invited Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior?
us an e-mail using our online form so that we can pray with you.
Scripture references are taken form the New American
Standard translation of the Bible.
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.