Resist the Devil

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: James 4:1-10

 

I.         When we are faced with temptation, it is a struggle to resist

            A.        The urge to give in seems overwhelming. Even when we know we should not, too often we do it anyway - Romans 7:14-15

                        1.         Since the action goes against what we know and want to do, Paul describes it as losing control to sin - Romans 7:17

                        2.         The result is an overwhelming despair that I can never be good, even though I want to be - Romans 7:18

                        3.         It is a war between my desire to do right and my flesh’s desire that doesn’t care that I sin - Romans 7:23

                        4.         If that were it, we would be in a miserable state - Romans 7:24

                        5.         But we can be forgiven of our sins. We don’t have to remain locked in sin - Romans 7:25

            B.        In other words, we can put up a fight - Proverbs 24:16

II.        Satan is not a deity

            A.        He was created, along with everything else we know - Colossians 1:16

                        1.         Though Eliphaz is not a trusted source, he mentions the belief that angels can sin - Job 4:18

                        2.         Peter declares that angels had sinned - II Peter 2:4

                                    a.         Since he mentions also the flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, it appears that the rebellion occurred prior to the flood.

                        3.         Jude tells us that the angels did not keep their proper domain - Jude 6

                        4.         John, in Revelation, tells us that after Jesus returned to heaven that a war broke out - Revelation 12:7-9

            B.        The Pharisees spoke of Satan a the prince of demons - Matthew 12:24

                        1.         Jesus also mentioned the devil and his angels - Matthew 25:41

                        2.         Thus, Satan is a leader of this angelic rebellion

                        3.         Which means Satan is an angel and not a god

            C.        Satan is “god” of this world - II Corinthians 4:3-4

                        1.         There is no other God - Isaiah 45:5

                        2.         Yet, the Israelites were charged with abandoning God - Judges 10:13

                                    a.         If there are no other gods, then how could Israel serve them?

                                    b.         The truth is that they really are not gods in the true sense of the word - Jeremiah 16:20

                                    c.         All people are doing is treating their imaginations as if it was a god.

                                    d.         Even though their idols did nothing, they use the imagined god to guide their lives and make their rules

                        3.         Just as wood and stone are not real gods, though people worship such things, Satan isn’t a deity, though people treat him as a god

                                    a.          When people sin, they are allowing Satan to guide their lives and make their rules - Ephesians 2:1-2

                                    b.         Thus, those lost in sin have Satan as their god, even though Satan is not and can never be a god.

III.       Satan is powerful, but he is not all powerful

            A.        God is greater - I John 4:4

            B.        Satan did not take this world, it was given to him - Luke 4:6

            C.        The story of Job reveals that Satan has to ask permission to try people - Job 1:9-12

            D.        Jesus mentions that Satan had asked permission to sift Peter - Luke 22:31

            E.        Satan is described as being on a leash - Revelation 20:2-3

            F.        Thus, God tells us that Satan is limited in his temptations - I Corinthians 10:13

                        1.         He only has a set number of ways to tempt us

                        2.         He is not allowed to tempt us beyond what we could resist

                        3.         He cannot allow us no choice

IV.      Thus, Satan can be opposed

            A.        God is able to keep us from being snatched - John 10:27-29

                        1.         This doesn’t mean we can’t leave God of our own free will

                        2.         It only means that Satan can’t force us to leave God

            B.        We are told to resist him - James 4:7

                        1.         How? By submitting to God and drawing near to Him - James 4:8

                        2.         By being sober, vigilant, and steadfast in faith - I Peter 5:8-9

                        3.         By using the whole armor of God - Ephesians 6:11-13

                        4.         By not giving the Devil a foot hold - Ephesians 4:26-27

V.        Jesus brought us the way of escape

            A.        Remember Paul’s question? - Romans 7:24-25

            B.        Jesus destroyed the work of Satan - I John 3:8

            C.        Satan might have put Jesus to death, but Jesus turned it into a defeat of Satan - Colossians 2:15

            D.        But you have to join Jesus in death in order to join him in his triumph - Romans 6:1-7

            E.        Obey Christ’s teachings - Romans 6:16-19

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