I Samuel 7:1-17

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Text: I Samuel 7

VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIVING

INTRODUCTION:

As one looks around at the believers he knows, some of them may well be living victorious Christian lives; whereas, others, seem to be living defeated lives. Spiritually-defeated people have problem after problem and sometimes even try to blame God or the preacher when their problems are actually due to their own disobedience.

Believers can live victorious Christian lives, but they do not always do so.

How are you doing in your own spiritual life? Are you living a victorious Christian life? You can, you know. This does not mean living a sinless life although this would be nice. A sinless life will never be achieved this side of eternity because we all still have old sin natures. However, every believer also has a new sinless nature. When I speak of a victorious Christian life, I mean one in which the new sinless nature predominates over the old sin nature. Is this possible? Yes, it is. But how? It is basically by feeding the new sinless nature and at the same time starving the old sin nature and as a result, having the fruit of the Spirit produced in our lives.

How do we go about living a victorious Christian life for the Lord?

To live a victorious Christian life, one must first be genuinely saved.

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Isaiah 53:6 - All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Romans 10:9 - That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Acts 16:31 - And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

To live a victorious Christian life, one must surrender his life to the Lord.

Romans 12:1-2 - 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 6:10-14 - 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Romans 13:14 - But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

To live a victorious Christian life, one must engage in serious Bible Study.

Joshua 1:8 - This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Psalms 1:1-3 - 1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

II Timothy 2:15 - Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

II Corinthians 3:18 - But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

II Timothy 3:15-17 - 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

It must be remembered that knowing the Bible is not enough. One must not only know it, but he must also obey it. Do what it says. He must submit his heart and mind to its teachings.

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

To live a victorious Christian life, one must engage in serious prayer.

I Thessalonians 5:17-18 - 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Philippians 4:6-7 - 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

To live a victorious Christian life, one must confess and forsake sin.

Proverbs 28:13 - He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

I John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I Corinthians 11:31-32 - (31) For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. (32) But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

To live a victorious Christian life, one must be faithful in his attendance in a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching local church.

It's your responsibility to study the Bible on your own, but it's my responsibility to teach you the Bible in our church services.

I Peter 5:1-4 - 1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

It's my responsibility to feed the flock, but it's the flock's responsibility to show up for the feeding! The meal is prepared whether the flock is here to enjoy it or not.

We feed the flock every Sunday morning at 9:30 in Sunday School. We are currently studying the life of Christ in a harmony of the gospels.

We feed the flock every Sunday morning in our morning service. We are currently studying I Samuel.

We feed the flock every Sunday evening in our evening service. We are currently studying Daniel with a view toward studying Revelation.

We feed the flock every Wednesday in prayer meeting. We are currently studying Proverbs.

We feed the flock every Wednesday evening in a second Bible Study after prayer meeting. We are currently studying Exodus.

I like to eat, don't you. I try not to miss a meal. Some believers, however, seem to be on a spiritual diet. They miss two, maybe three, maybe even four out of five feedings each week. Take advantage of your opportunities while you have them. They will help you live a victorious Christian life.

When it comes to Bible study, don't be skipping meals. Your spiritual health will improve the more meals you get per week. Why not make it a point to be in every service or whenever the doors are open. You are missing a real opportunity for growth when you don't show up for the feeding.

In I Samuel 7 , we see what happened when the people turned to the Lord.

I. THE CONDITIONS IN ISRAEL - 7:1-3

I Samuel 7:1-2 - (1) And the men of Kirjathjearim came, and fetched up the ark of the Lord, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the Lord. (2) And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjathjearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.

God had allowed a spiritual drought.

God had allowed them to come to the place where they were ready and willing to listen. They lamented after [i.e. wailed after, went mourning after] the Lord.

II. THE CONDITIONS FOR VICTORY - 7:3

I Samuel 7:3 - And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange [i.e. foreign] gods and Ashtaroth from among you [Ashtaroth was the Canaanite fertility goddess and the female counterpart of Baal. Ashtaroth is the plural form of Ashtareth. They were the female consorts of Baal. . . . The worship of these false gods (i.e. of Baalim) and goddesses included animal sacrifices, male and female prostitution, and sometimes human sacrifices.], and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.

1) Return unto the Lord with all your hearts.

Deuteronomy 6:5 - And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

2) Put away the foreign gods and Ashtoroth from among you.

Exodus 20:1-6 - 1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Might we have some idols we need to put away?

Work, education, family, sports, material possessions, self, etc.

3) Prepare your hearts unto the Lord.

Confession and forsaking of sin

4) Serve the Lord only

Canaanite cultic religion had filtered into Israelite worship. Samuel was promising deliverance for repentance.

We only have a certain amount of time, energy, talent, and money. All that we use for other things detracts and subtracts from their use for the Lord.

Matthew 4:10 - Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

III. THE CONDITIONS FOR VICTORY WERE MET - 7:4-8

I Samuel 7:4-8 - (4) Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the Lord only. (5) And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh [Mizpeh was located seven miles north of Jerusalem.], and I will pray for you unto the Lord. (6) And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the Lord [Their pouring out water before the Lord was a sign of repentance.], and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the Lord. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh. (7) And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines.

Remember the truth of Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

The Lord knew all along that the Philistines would come to war against the Israelites at this time. God allowed this situation for the Israelites' benefit. He would give them victory because they had straightened their lives out with Him.

(8) And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.

IV. VICTORY WAS EXPERIENCED - 7:9-17

I Samuel 7:9-17 - (9) And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the Lord: and Samuel cried unto the Lord for Israel; and the Lord heard him. (10) And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited [i.e. confused] them; and they were smitten before Israel. (11) And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote [i.e. struck them, drove them back, slaughtering them] them, until they came under Bethcar. (12) Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer [literally, stone of help], saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. (13) So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the coast of Israel: and the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. (14) And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even unto Gath; and the coasts [i.e. territory] thereof did Israel deliver out of the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites. (15) And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. (16) And he went from year to year in circuit [i.e. on a circuit] to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places. (17) And his return was to Ramah; for there was his house; and there he judged Israel; and there he built an altar unto the Lord.

CONCLUSION:

If you meet these God-given conditions for being right with the Lord, you will experience victory in your Christian life. If, however, you are experiencing defeat, meet these conditions, and victory will be yours.

Mark 12:30-31 - 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.