On Guard – Part 2

The Need for Spiritual Discernment Today

1 Corinthians 16:13,14


Pastor Craig Ledbetter                                           

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland

11 Oct, 2009  AM



I.       Introduction (1 Corinthians 16:13,14; 2:14)


A.      This month, we are learning about being Alert, Aware, On Guard, prepared for Attack – I hate it when something comes “out of the blue” and knocks me into a tail-spin, spiritually!

B.      We have a sneaky, deadly enemy! He’s the best at sneak attacks, and he lures people right into some of the most deadly and destructive traps – even Christians

C.      We need to learn to “see” him coming, and “sense” him at work around us, so that we can better defend ourselves

D.     Blind Boxers - A lot of Christians are like a blind boxer trying to defend themselves from their opponent, and they wonder why they are so beat up and defeated most of the time!

E.      This morning, We need to continue a three week training course on how to sharpen the 6th sense of the Believer. We all have 5 senses: touch, taste, hear, smell, and see. Mom’s have a sixth sense already built in, but there is a spiritual one we all need – Spiritual Discernment (1Cor 2:14)


II.    Background


A.      There is more to this world than meets the eye. See Ephesians 6:12 – we need to begin to sense and to wrestle the right enemies!

B.      God gave us FIVE commands here in 1Cor 16:13,14


1.       Watch – become aware of the spiritual and not just the physical

2.       Stand – dig our heels in and not back away from the victory Christ has promised His children

3.       Quit – oh what a great word; it means to Finish what we start!

4.       Resist – put up a good fight, in Christ’s strength

5.       Do it all with Charity


C.      All five help us in a fight, help us understand what is going on in our lives: whether it be health problems, depression, someone turning on us – they all are probably related to something in the spiritual realm

D.     This morning we are just going to look at the first three commands

III. Message


A.     Watch Ye – a Review


1.       We are told dozens of time to be “watchful” - aware

2.       This is a military term, describing the Christian as a soldier on duty, guarding his family, guarding his thought life, guarding his eyes, guarding his church family

3.       Simply put, the Christian is to be SPIRITUALLY aware


a.       99% of all modern Christians are lethargic, careless, unwise about spiritual things, they have their 6th sense shut off

b.      They are only worried about what they can see, or feel.

c.       They are over-sensitive about what people say, and what is happening around them physically, economically, politically

d.      Most modern Christians have NO understanding about the spiritual dimension around them that is JUST AS REAL, and often much more damaging than anything in this world!


4.       Jesus made it very clear just how much more important spiritual awareness is by commanding His followers, to not just be on the look-out, but to be watchful, AND PRAY (Mk 13:32,33)

5.       Jesus tells us to pray for a spiritual awareness – to pray that our spiritual eyes would be opened to eternal things


a.       Like the souls of people – more than a body

b.      Like the value of the word of God – more than a Book

c.       Like the value of prayer – more than a ritual

d.      Like the value of praising God – more than a song

e.       Like the value of heaven – more than a hope!


B.     Stand Fast in the Faith


1.       Firm footing – ought to be standing on the Rock

2.       This is Paul pleading with Christians to not give up and back down from the fight that we find ourselves in

3.       HEY! You don’t have to live in defeat! You WILL have disappointments, and lost battles, but you ought NEVER to live in defeat!

4.       Modern Christians are so easily tossed around (Eph 4:14) – they don’t know what to believe, and definitely don’t know how to defend what they believe, so the devil flings them from doubt to doubt, and keeps them discouraged!

5.       Most people are motivated by their fears, by their friends, by fun

6.       It is time we all were motivated by our faith! What we know to be more true than what we see and feel!


a.       To give when we think we have nothing to give

b.      To witness when we are weak and discouraged

c.       To praise when we only want to give up and die

d.      To obey God and by faith do whatever He is asking you to do


7.       A watchful guard is never surprised when they come under attack – never caught OFF GUARD, so they are better at defending themselves while under pressure


a.       When you fall and are down, that is when you are very vulnerable and can be devoured and ruined by your attacker

b.      But, when you are standing firm, and strong in the Lord, you LIVE (1Thes 3:8; Rom 8:6)


8.      How to get a good spiritual footing, no matter your circumstances. Four things you HAVE to do all the time to be stable in your spiritual footing so the devil can’t “trip you up” so easily!


a.       Relationship – with God first (Ps 94:18; 121:3) – make Him your Refuge – your automatic hiding place

b.      Rejection – of anything that would move you away from God‘s peace and presence (Prov 5:8)

c.       Repetition – Meditation on what God promises (Prov 3:19-23)

d.      Rejoicing – by faith believe God and shout for joy in victory – start looking at things as God sees them (Romans 5:2)


9.       All of the above will help you so that you don’t move away from what saved you, and is transforming you!


C.      Quit Ye Like Men


1.       All of these commands are for Christians who are in a fight

2.       Quit has many meanings: Most people find it easy to quit, to be quitters, to give up under pressure

3.       It simply means (1Sam 4:9; 2Sam 10:12):


a.       To finish up like men, not like babies, or wimps

b.      To set out to WIN and not lose!

c.       Act like men, be grown-up, be mature, and responsible

d.      Be faithful to the end

e.       This goes for men and women!


4.       We need all of us to be finishers, who know when it is time to quit and how to quit when it is time!

5.       God does not want any Christian quitting until quitting time! Either when you die, or when the Rapture Trumpet sounds!

6.       The command is… “Watch, and Stand Guard until Quitting time” – we are in the fight for the duration (2Tim 4:7,8)

7.       However, there are some things to QUIT like a man should:


a.       Quit fellowshipping with the works of darkness

b.      Quit being a lazy soldier

c.       Quit your late-night TV watching, and go to bed at a regular time, EVERY NIGHT

d.      Quit drinking

e.       Quit being a rebel at home, be submissive to your authorities

f.        Quit your whinging and complaining

g.       Quit quitting!


IV.  Conclusion