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Mission Friends

March 10, 2024
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Pastor David digs deep into the Old Testament account of God’s people to share lessons about waging spiritual warfare together against sin, displaying Christ-like character in our relationships, and finding ultimate satisfaction only in Jesus. We are called to “Mission Friends” – banding with our church family to fight compromising influences, hold each other accountable to holiness, and work as one united body accomplishing God’s purposes.

Outline

Review

  • God is the priority.
  • Everyone serves obediently in humility and discipline.
  • Growth and worship are personal and corporate.
  • God gives courage in opportunities that test unity and maturity.
  • God gives grace to the repentant and hope to the faithful.
  • God gives restoration and refreshment to body and soul.
  • God warns the wandering and punishes the sinful.
  • His people walk in submission—body and soul, worship and word.

God calls His people to be faithful until the end. (31:1-2)

God uses His people to battle against sin. (31:3-54)

  • Fight sinful influences (31:3-16)
  • Seek justice. (31:17)
  • Show mercy. (31:18)
  • Walk humbly. (31:19-54)

God moves His people to accomplish hard tasks. (32:1-42)

  • The proof of history (32:1-15)
  • The power of accountability (32:16-32)
  • The promises of destiny (32:33-42)

Next week: Numbers 33-36

Key Takeaways

  • We must continually battle sin both individually and as the church
  • True freedom from defeat comes through loyal obedience to God
  • Accountability to each other helps us walk faithfully
  • Wage war in the spiritual. Show Christ-likeness in the relational. The satisfaction of victory and bounty come only in Jesus.

Further Study

  • What lessons can we glean from Moses’ faithfulness in leading God’s people until the end, despite knowing he would not enter the Promised Land (Numbers 31:1-2)? How does Christ’s perfect obedience give us hope of entering God’s eternal kingdom despite our own failures? (Hebrews 12:2)
  • In what ways did the Israelites’ defeat of Midian picture our victory over sin and temptation through Christ (Numbers 31)? How do we “wage war” against sin both individually through the Spirit (Romans 8:13) and together as a church through prayer and accountability? (Galatians 6:1-2)
  • Why was Moses concerned about the tribes of Reuben and Gad not fully participating in conquering the land (Numbers 32:1-15)? What does their willingness to commit to the task afterwards teach us about cooperating with God’s will through obedience to His Word? (John 14:23-24)
  • How do the themes of justice, mercy and humility played out in Numbers 31 point to Christ’s perfect righteousness and grace freely offered to sinners? How do they practically play out in the lives of believers? (Micah 6:8, Ephesians 4:32)
  • In what ways does finding true and lasting victory, purpose and satisfaction only in Jesus speak to our deepest needs? How has He uniquely provided these things through His life, death and resurrection? (John 10:10, 1 Corinthians 15:57)
  • What is God calling me to do to serve Him and others through my church?

The Gospel

Ultimate victory and fulfillment are only found in Jesus. While the Israelites faced external enemies in Midian and internal disunity, only through faithful obedience to God could they overcome.

Like them, we are all engaged in a spiritual battle against the “high places” of sin that try to lure us away from God. Whether it’s through compromising influences in our schools, relationships, or media consumption, our battle is against anything that would take the place of Christ in our lives.

But try as we might to fight on our own, we cannot overcome the power of sin and death by our own strength or wisdom. We desperately need reinforcement and a Victor who has conquered for us once for all.

That Victor is Jesus Christ. On the cross, He defeated the power of sin and death. By His perfect life of obedience, He fulfilled all righteousness for all who would ever believe. And through His resurrection, He gives eternal life to all those who place their faith in Him.

It is only through placing our faith in Jesus – in His life, death and resurrection for us – that we can have true freedom, purpose and spiritual abundance. When we belong to Him by grace through faith, He fights on our behalf by His Spirit within us. United to Him as members of His body, the church, we can band with fellow believers to stand against sin together through prayer, encouragement and action.

So for anyone struggling in their spiritual battles or wondering how to find real and lasting hope, the message is clear: don’t look yourself or anyone else, but to Jesus Christ alone. Don’t trust in your own good works but in His. This is the way to both victory and peace.

Quote

Wage war in the spiritual. Show Christ-likeness in the relational. The satisfaction of victory and bounty come only in Jesus.

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