The Point of Attack by Jim Cymbala

Chapter 10 : The Point of Attack

Our Spiritual immune system

  • The enemy knows that the best way to breach your spiritual immune system is by attacking your faith.
  • The apostle Paul was concerned about the spiritual condition of the young church in Thesssalonica
  • Paul wanted to know about their level of trust in the Lord.
  • Paul knew that faith ois paramount in the daily life o the Christian.
  • Paul knew that personal faithis a living , fluid thing
  • Faith means the moral persuasion or conviction that leads the heart to rely on Christ.
  • What Paul teach is different in modern day time.
  • Faith is absolutely essential , not only for spiritual health, but also for breakthrough prayer.
  • James 5:15 “and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. ”
  • Prayer must be combined with Faith.
  • Matthew 21:22 “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.””


The Remedy

  1. All of us at times need other believers to strengthen and encourage our faith.
  2. Each of us can at times help other believers by strengthening and encouraging their faith.
  • The word “ strengthen” means to set fast , to turn resolutely in a certain direction, to fix or confirm.
  • Timothy was not only to strengthen their faith, but also encourage the saints.
  • Spiritual encouragement is about building up our confidence in God.
  • Vibrant faith is the critical need of every Christian.
  • A living , growing faith acts as a spiritiual immune system, protecting us from spiritual viruses designed by Satan to weaken our life in Christ.
  • Hebrew3: 12 “Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.”
  • 2Tim4:10 “for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has goneto Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. ”
  • Act 14:21-22 “ 21After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying,“Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” ”
  • Acts 16:5 “So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily.”
  • The Lord used a young man named Timothy who later in his life had to be encouraged himself by The Apostle Paul ( 2 Timothy 1 : 3-10 )
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “ Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”

The Gift of Encouraging

  • Of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit , the ministry of encouraging is the least appreciated ( Romans 12: 6-8 “ Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly:if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”)
  • Romans 1 :12 “that is, that I may be encouraged together with you whileamong you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.”
  • Our own robust faith spills over to lift up those who are struggling .
  • Faith-filled words and actions act as antidotes to the hopelessness people feel when they have lost their grip on God.

Encouraging Words

  • Most often encouragement is conveyed through the words we speak.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
  • We can encourage others by sharing the teaching of Scripture and speaking about salvation in Jesus.
  • “Faith comes from hearing the message” Romans10:17
  • Titus 1:9 “ holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.”
  • Our words should strengthen and not diminish faith.
  • 1 Corinthians 14:3 “ But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. ”
  • Prophecy will not condemns people.**(add on )
  • Acts 15: 32 “Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brethren with a lengthy message.”
  • When sermons, teaching, and exhortations don’t build up people’s faith , they are not from God.
  • The Lord,better than anyone, knows our need for strong faith and always works toward that end .
  • The Holy Spirit points us to Christ , encouraging us to trust in his grace.

Encouraging Prayer

  • Ephesian3:16-17 “6that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; andthat you, being rooted and grounded in love,”
  • Paul prayed that the Holy Spirit would carry on the same work within the believers.
  • He knew Satan’s assault would invariably aim at the faith of the Christian.
  • This knowledge caused him to do more than teach.
  • He interceded for the believers so that they would be empowered by the Spirit for greater faith.
  • Can we honestly describe our own churches as “ house of prayer”?
  • When was the last time you joined hands with another person right there I church and interceded for each other?
  • Paul prayed for believers because he knew God answers prayer.
  • Encouraging others through prayer is both a privilege and a responsibility.
  • 1 Samuel 12:23 “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lordby ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way.”


Encouraging worship

  • Hebrews 10:25 “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another;and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
  • We need to help people realize that corporate prayer is a privilege and that worship can be tremendously edifying.
  • Worshipping God with other believers is what we’re going to be doing for all eternity.
  • To be a healthy part of the body always implies two things :
    • A desire to stay connected
    • The humility to admit our need for other believers
  • If the apostle Paul asked for prayer and longed for fellowship with believers, we should, too.
  • Attending church regularly is not a matter of legalism but spiritual logic, especially as we see “ the Day” approaching.
  • What matters today is our faith in Christ, our growth in grace, the fruit we produce for His glory, and the fulfillment of His will for our lives.


photo credit: prayer in faith

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