by Justin Chan
3 February 2008
The question is who should we resist? The answer to that question is obvious, the devil. Why should we resist the devil? If not we will surely sin and we all know that “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6.23). How can we resist the Devil? Now that is the more challenging question.
First, we must know our enemy.
Let’s consider 2 Cor 2:5-11: “But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent–not to be too severe. This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
- Are we ignorant to the Devil’s devices?
- Bro. Tze Wei taught a lesson in the Youth Class on the powers of Satan. Some may ask, “What for!? They are not applicable in our daily lives.” Quite to the contrary, it is relevant and applicable to us in our daily life.
- We study about Satan to know his devices and not to be IGNORANT (lacking knowledge/not knowledgeable). To know his weapons. To know his tactics. That we might be able to counter him and win the victory. From Tze Wei’s lesson we know that the Devil:-
- perverts the word of God
- He instigates false doctrine
- He blinds men from the truth
- He sows tares among God’s wheat
- He Steals the Word of God from human hearts
- He lays snares for men
- He tempts. ( He even tried to tempt Jesus in Matt 4)
- He afflicts. (As he afflicted Job, Job2:7)
- He deceives. (He deceived Eve; Genesis 3)
- He undermines the sanctity of the home
- He prompts both saints and sinners to transgress the laws of God
- He hinders the work of God’s servants
- He makes accusations against God’s children before Heaven’s throne.
Now that we have learnt what Satan is capable of, what should we do?
Put on the armor of God (Eph 6:10-13): “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
- May be ABLE to stand against, to resist, the WILES of the devil. (We may be ABLE. No doubt, absolutely)
- Wiles; a trick, artifice, or stratagem meant to fool, trap, or entice; deceitful cunning; trickery.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”
- Against the devil and his angels.
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
- We can still stand after having done ALL. Not crawl!
- Example, a war scene in movies. Last hero standing. He wins by a close shave. He is able to STAND.
Resist Satan (James 4:1-10) : “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
- We are to RESIST the devil.
- Resist means to withstand, strive against, or oppose; to resist temptation.
- And he will flee from you.
- Flee means to run away from (a place, person, etc.) Normally used in warfare term to mean retreat to give up the battle.
1 Peter 5:7-10: “Be sober; be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world”
- Resist him. Notice again the Bible asks us to resist him.
- Be sober. (Showing self-control. Being sane or rational) Self-control to face temptations.
- Be vigilant. (keenly watchful to detect danger; wary: ever awake and alert) Watchful for the Devil’s deceptions.
- Know that all the other Christians around the world experience the same sufferings. We are not alone.
“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you”
- After you have suffered for A WHILE, God will perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you.
- Take comfort that God will not abandon you. He will yet deliver you.
Rom 12:9-21: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”
- Abhor means to regard with extreme repugnance or aversion; detest utterly; loathe; abominate. We are to ABHOR EVIL.
Cling to what is good. Cling means to clasp, endure, fasten, freeze to, grasp, grip, hang onto, hold fast, stay put, stick. Stick to what is good.
“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.”
We should be:-
- Fervent in Spirit
- Not lagging in diligence (constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything). To lag. (to fail to maintain a desired pace or to keep up; fall behind) To lag in diligence is to fail to maintain a constant effort in accomplishing something.
- Patient in tribulation
- Steadfast in prayer (Pray unceasingly 1Thess. 5:17)
Don’t love the world (1 John 2:15-17): “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
- Not to love the world.
- The world is passing away, temporary.
- But God abides forever.
Be faithful (1 John 5:3-4): “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.”
- We have to keep God’s commandments and, in that, remain faithful.
- If we are faithful, we will be able to overcome the world, and the Devil.
2 Tim 2:21-26: “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”
- Flee youthful lusts
- Pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace
- Avoid foolish and ignorant disputes
- Be gentle to all
- Able to teach
- Be humble when correcting those who are in the opposition. For example: Sometimes we are given the idea that we should go around telling people that they are lost and that they are going to hell because they are not Christians. God asks us to correct in humility. (Phil 2:5-8) Consider the example of Jesus when he first came to Earth: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
- Bondservant- is a slave. Bound to services without wage.
- Jesus was humble.
1 Cor 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape , that you may be able to bear it.”
- We will be tempted. No doubt.
- But He also makes a way to escape that we may be able to bear it.
- There is always a way out of the predicament.
- Where do we find the answer to our problems? The Bible: 2 Tim 3:16-17: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
We need the instructions to face the Devil. And it can be found in the scriptures. That we might be thoroughly equipped! Be ready to face the Devil and his temptations.
Adopt a new outlook in life. Rom 12:9-21: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore;
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
- Repay no one evil for evil, but evil with good. For in doing so you will heap coals of fire on our enemies’ head.
Matt 5:38-48: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
- If we do all these, we shall be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect.