How Did Jericho Fall?

Text: Joshua 6:6-20


I.         The record of the fall of Jericho is familiar to many people.

            A.        It was an impressive victory for the people of Israel who had recently entered the land.

            B.        Despite the fact that the city was heavily fortified - Joshua 6:1

            C.        It was completely destroyed - Joshua 6:21

II.        How did the walls fall?

            A.        Jericho fell by the grace of God

                        1.         God gave Jericho to the Israelites - Joshua 6:2

                        2.         Though the people of Israel numbered to be a mighty nation, they were not a power that could have overcome a walled city. Especially not without large numbers of casualties. Yet with God’s help, it seemed to be a trivial task.

            B.        Jericho fell by faith

                        1.         God required the Israelites to march around the city for six days. On the seventh day they marched around the city seven times. Until they did all that the Lord asked of them, there was no evidence that the walls would fall.

                        2.         It was by their trust in God that the walls fell - Hebrews 11:30

            C.        Consider this, did the fact that Israel had to trust God nullify the grace of God in giving them the city?

                        1.         Did the fact that they had to obey the commands of God imply that the Israelites earned the right to take Jericho?

                        2.         No, when man met the conditions God placed on taking the city, there was no glory in the ability of man, but the glory of God’s strength - Joshua 6:16

                        3.         The Israelites understood that their victory was a gift of God.

            D.        Eliminate the grace of God and the walls would have remained standing. Eliminate the faith in God and the walls would not have come down. Eliminate their obedience to God and they would not have had the victory.

III.       If we can grasp this simple concept, then our understanding of salvation becomes much easier.

            A.        We are saved by the grace of God

                        1.         In thousands of years of history, mankind has proven that he was unable to save himself from himself. - Psalm 14:1-3

                        2.         We became by our nature children destined for wrath - Ephesians 2:1-3

                        3.         None can claim righteousness - Romans 3:23

                        4.         We do not possess the ability to be saved.

                        5.         Yet God chose to save us - Romans 5:6-11

                        6.         It was God’s gift to us - Ephesians 2:4-7

            B.        Yet, like the Israelites, God expects us to have faith in his work before we see the result.

                        1.         It is impossible to be saved without faith - Hebrews 11:6

                        2.         Our faith is demonstrated by our obeying God’s will - James 2:14-17

            C.        The requirement of faith does not nullify the gift God has offered - Ephesians 2:8-10

                        1.         Our trust and obedience demonstrates the power and wonder of God’s loving kindness.

                        2.         That grace was made known to the Ephesians through the gospel - Ephesians 3:1-10

                        3.         In response to this message, the Ephesians believed - Ephesians 1:13-16

                        4.         Because of their belief, they obeyed the commands of God - Acts 19:1-5

            D.        Would they have been saved without the grace of God? Would salvation come to them if they did not believe the message? Could they have truly believed if they did not obey the commands of God?

            E.        You see then that we are not saved by grace alone. We are not saved by faith alone (James 2:24). We are not saved by deeds alone.

IV.      In the same way, Satan holds this world captive - II Timothy 2:24-26

            A.        Yet Satan’s defenses cannot stop God’s army - you and I - Matthew 16:18

                        1.         Notice that gates are on the side of the defender.

                        2.         Satan cannot stop the church from raiding his stronghold.

            B.        It is the message of God that must be delivered to a lost and dying world - Romans 10:12-15

            C.        Yet not all will listen - Romans 10:16-17

            D.        What about you?