Summary: Lent 1(C) - Believers are encouraged to resist Satan by standing firm in the faith. After all Satan is the father of all lies and God’s word is the whole truth.
RESIST SATAN STANDING FIRM IN THE FAITH
March 5, 2006 - LENT 1 - Luke 4:1-13
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Dear Fellow-Redeemed and Precious Saints in the Lord:
We live in a very dangerous world. It is more dangerous than we might even imagine. Of course, one can think of the danger we hear on the news or read in the news. But there is more danger than just what people see in the world around us. At times it seems as if the biological warfare threat could be dangerous as if terrorists’ attacks and bombings could be dangerous. Economic failure could be dangerous. Yet, these dangers pale in comparison to the spiritual foes that oppose the Christian.
Paul wrote in Ephesians (6:12) and said our struggle is not just against the things of this world, but our struggle is against the principalities and against the authorities of evil in the heavenly realms. In other words you and I face danger every day whether we visibly see it or not. It is that old evil foe Satan himself. Scripture points out this evident danger. In 1 Peter: "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Satan wishes to devour the soul of everyone that he meets. There is a defense against the evil foe. In the next verse Peter writes: "Resist him, standing firm in the faith" (1 Peter 5:8,9a). This will be our theme this morning:
RESIST SATAN STANDING FIRM IN THE FAITH.
In today’s text we are once again reminded:
I. Satan is the father of all lies; and,
II. God’s word is the whole truth
I. SATAN IS THE FATHER OF ALL LIES
In the setting of our text we find that this temptation of Jesus takes place immediately after he was baptized. Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert. The Jordan River was where Jesus was baptized. You may remember that the heavenly Father spoke and said: "This is my Son whom I love. With him I am well pleased. Listen to him." We also recall how the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove. Now with that Spirit and with the voice of his Father ringing in his ears, Jesus goes into the desert to face Satan. (Here again Scripture shows us the teaching of the Trinity--Father, Son and Holy Spirit.) We are told: "Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil." There is a continual temptation in these forty days. We do not have them all listed here for us. Satan is not going to tempt Jesus only once or twice or three times as our text points out. But day after day the devil is going to try to get the very Son of God to give up his mission and purpose in life. Satan is going to try to get God himself to sin. But of course, since Satan is not as powerful as God, he makes plenty of mistakes.
We are told that: "Jesus ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry." So Satan comes and he is going to tempt Jesus in an earthly way first of all. The devil said to Jesus, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." Satan thought Jesus would be hungry enough that he would forget about his mission to save mankind. Satan wanted Jesus to use his divine power. That is not going to work. Jesus recognizes Satan as the father of all lies.
Satan is not going to stop there. The temptations get increasingly difficult if it were for us to resist. Satan is trying to tempt the very Son of God. Luke continues: "The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world." It is amazing that Satan thinks he has to take Jesus and show him everything in the world. It was Jesus who was at the creation of the heavens and the earth. Listen to the lies and the deceit of Satan as he makes it all sound so good. Luke writes: "And he said to him, ’I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.’" Here is Satan who takes Jesus to a high mountain. Both see all the kingdoms, the powerful forces that are there, all the people in the world, the kingdoms and their kings and their glory and splendor. Satan has the boldness to say, "It is all mine, and if you want it I will give you some."