Series: Once a month, I get to teach the Elementary kids during our main Worship Gatherings. My incredible Children’s Pastor, Kim, does the amazing work of feeding me that weekend’s lesson, much like a lectionary. There will be a power verse, the lesson (or the reading) and then the accompanied Bible passage. Quite often, God will linked everything together to His Son and to His gospel which I am to believe the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 2:12) is through the power of the Holy Spirit. Here is a series with my sermon notes for the kiddos.
This week’s lesson: Banners and the Victory of God.
Our power verse was one of Christus Victor found in Psalm 20:5
“May we shout for you over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners!”
In this weekend’s reading, we spoke about the colors of the tabernacle and how that compares to what we know colors to be now. Things like white for purity or gold for holiness. Also, green for life but green for jealousy.
But red. That was the most important. You see, the red came from the blood being spilled on the altar. But it was also the blood of our Saviour on the cross being spilled for the sins of His people.
Here is that distinction: Christ removed your sins and mistakes by his blood on the cross. Do you believe and trust in Jesus? It is here on the cross and Jesus’ blood that God has truly championed over all evil, once and for all.
Let’s look at Exodus 17:8-17
Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The LORD Is My Banner, saying, “A hand upon the throne of the LORD! The LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
It is in this Old Testament passage about Moses, Joshua, and war that the Holy Spirit quietly reminded me how Christ did defeat sin, Satan, demons, hell, and death when He went to the cross and died.
Now, let me go off-topic just a tad and explain, “quietly reminded”? It is when His voice is so quiet that He is not even audible in your soul. If I didn’t know better, I would have confused it with my own mind, thoughts, feelings, judgments, or conscience. No. 1 Corinthians 3 declares that all truth is from God. If all of sciences belong to God and his revelations within the scientific realm, how much more when it pertains to His Word and theology and doctrine. Further more, 1 Corinthians 2 says this:
But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
1 Corinthians 2:9-13 ESV
Never do I ever want to think of myself to be so brilliant, wise, and smart to where I think I can come up with this stuff on my own, even it is even worth mentioning. First, I am not that smart. Second, that’s not how it works.
As a teacher of the gospel, I am reminded of a quote: “We know our skills are insufficient for an activity with such vast consequences. We recognize that our hearts are too lacking in purity to lead others to holiness. Honest evaluation inevitably causes us to conclude that we do not have sufficient eloquence, wisdom, or character to be capable of turning others from spiritual death to eternal life. Such a realization can cause young preachers to run from their first preaching assignment and experienced pastors to despair in their pulpits.”
I am insufficient for this sort of activity. If not just intellectually, emotionally, or spiritually, but also morally and ethically. What I mean by that is that I would even sometimes sin against God and others like my wife and kids mere moments before teaching kids the gospel. I am woefully unqualified to teach. And so many times, I want to run away because of my failings. But much like Jonah, God brings me back, gives me His Spirit in order to be obedient and faithful to what He has asked me to do. Not only that, to return to those who I have hurt, and repent, and return to Him and ask forgiveness, repent of my sins and His grace and love and mercy is more than enough for me.
You see, all of that is the power of the cross of Christ from the sovereign grace of our Father by the Almighty power of the Holy Spirit.
I ask the kids to stand and stretch out our hands like Moses.
You do the same.
What does that remind you of?
Just like Moses, when Jesus held up his hands on the cross, He was winning over our true enemies of Satan and demons, sin, hell, and death. But unlike Moses, Jesus never let his hands down because they were nailed to the cross.
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (Colossians 2:13-15 ESV)
While Moses nor Joshua didn’t die in those battles, Exodus 17:17 states they had to fight their enemies “generation after generation”. However, Jesus died once and in his death he put Satan and demons to open shame. In his burial and resurrection, he championed over sin (Romans 6:10), hell, and death (Revelation 11:8) ad he did it once for all (Hebrews 9:23-28).