Sermons

Summary: The devil is our ever present adversary. He not God's adversary because God is control of all, but the devil is our adversary and we must be on our guard.

We are in a battle. Everyday, every hour, every minute. The nature of our battle is as we had already studied:

Ephesians 6:12 (NASB95) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Our chief adversary is the devil. You remember the comedian Flip Wilson? He was famous for saying, “The devil made me do it.” And we see cartoons of a little devil on one shoulder and a little angel on the other trying to lead you. In many ways, those things are not far from the truth. The devil influences us in ways we cannot imagine. If fact the Bible calls the Devil the ruler of this world:

1 John 5:19 (NASB95) We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

Even Jesus when He was tempted by the devil, when presented with entire world:

Luke 4:6–7 (NASB95) 6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 “Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.”

Jesus never disputed the Devil’s right to the world, but rather Jesus quoting from Deuteronomy 6:13 said:

Luke 4:8 (NASB95) Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’ ”

Herein is the problem, the world has failed that test. Many in the world worship the devil for gain. How often do Christians fail this test? Over the next few weeks will consider as enemies of the devil, the flesh, the world, and death” which we fight against in this spiritual war. Today we will start with the Devil.

1 Peter 5:8–9

Revelation 12:7–12 (NASB95)

The Battle of Antietam in 1862 lasted for 12 hours and ranks as the bloodiest day of the Civil War, with 10,000 Confederate casualties and even more on the Union side. “At last the sun went down and the battle ended,” wrote one historian, “smoke heavy in the air, the twilight quivering with the anguished cries of thousands of wounded men.”

Though militarily a draw, the mediocre Union General George McClellan was able to end the brilliant Robert E. Lee’s thrust into Maryland, forcing him to retire across the Potomac. How was this possible? Two Union soldiers had found a copy of Lee’s battle plans and had delivered them to McClellan before the engagement.

In some respects, we are no match for our adversary, Satan, whose wiles we are told to be wary of. But as with General McClellan, our enemy’s plans have fallen into our hands. We know his usual strategies—to entice us with lies, lust, greed, and the like. With such knowledge, given us by God’s Word and God’s Spirit within, we too can resist the enemy’s advances. [1]

CS Lewis suggest two mistakes we, as Christians, make concerning the Devil – we either make jokes about the Devil, or we ignore the Devil. Peter rebukes both mistakes. Peter just finished writing:

1 Peter 5:6–7 (NASB95) 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

He tells the persecuted Christians to humble themselves to cast their cares on Jesus, but often we will stop there and go to sleep. We must read further.

1 Peter 5:8a (NASB95) Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. …

These two verbs are different but they go hand in hand. Don’t be caught sleeping, pay attention – this is important, don’t let down your guard, Because ...

1 Peter 5:8b (NASB95) Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Your adversary – your accuser – "accuser" in the Hebrew the word is “SATAN.” "The devil" – in the Greek means slanderer, false accuser.

“Your adversary” An important note here. He is not God’s adversary. He is our adversary. God’s in control. It is not God versus the devil, it is us verses the devil.

Why then does God permit the Devil to exist? Good question for another time, but for now, sufficient to say that God clearly gives us a choice. Free will would not be free will if there were no choices. The devil gives us choices right from the beginning in the garden. But here is the deal today, the Devil is real – he is not to be underestimated. We encounter him often and we do not even realize it. Peter is giving warning. No vacation for the believer. Because the devil is seeking whom he can consume. The devil wants to rob the believer of his joy, of his witness, and of any reward in heaven. Remember this battle we are fighting is not of things we can place our hands on, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood ..." (Ephesians 6:12)

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