Summary: Who - or what - is the “god of this world?” (1 Cor 4:3-4) Is he a living character, or an evil force within ourselves? In what way is the “god of this world” a fitting description? Is God in control, or is Satan the ruler of the realm we live in? •Are we
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The god of this World
2 Cor 4:3-4 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Questions begin to pop:
•Who - or what - is the “god of this world?”
•Is he a living character, or an evil force within ourselves?
•In what way is the “god of this world” a fitting description?
•Are we who live in this world under his power?
•Is God in control, or is Satan the ruler of the realm we live in?
An overarching question: Since God is the only God, how can another be the god of this world?
?Dan 4:35 “the Lord is God and there is no other.” -Moses
?2 Chron 6:14 “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven or on earth” - Solomon
Satan is not God, nor a corrupted deity. Neither is he the opposite, or counterpart of God. He is a created being in rebellion against God.
1. What does Paul mean by “the god of this world?”
“god” is from theos , (I) in the religion of the Greeks, which included multiple gods denoted "deity," although not referring to the God in heaven we know.
There have always been false gods – entities and non-entities who pretended to be God (Roman emperors for example), but there is one true God. Today we are examining one such usurper.
By comparing various passages and characteristics, we see the same entity also called:
?Prince of the power of the air. Eph 2:2 As the prince of the power of the air he is “the spirit that works in the children of disobedience.” (Cf Eph 5:6, Col 3:6)
?Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons – Matt 12:24-30 (Jesus refers to him as Satan)
?Beliel, who has no accord with Christ (2 Cor 6:15)
?The dragon, called Satan, the devil, the serpent, Rev 12:9
In the interest of time, we will not discuss each “handle,” but you can note the references and see that the same designs are common to all names.
2. Definitions of words used to describe the god of this world.
? “Satan” is from satanas (G4567), a Greek form derived from the Aramaic (Heb., Satan), "an adversary." In the New Testament, the word is used to designate (a) the adversary of God and Christ, (b) God’s people, and (c) mankind.
?“Devil” is from diabolos (G1228), "an accuser, a slanderer" (from diaballo, "to accuse, to malign"). It is one of the names of Satan.
?“Belial” is a Greek word of Hebrew origin, meaning “worthlessness,” or “extreme wickedness and destruction.”
?Human nature or intellect – nous, which, speaking generally, is the seat of reflective consciousness, comprising the faculties of perception and understanding, and those of feeling, judging and determining. Rom 7:23,25; 12:2; Col 2:18; 1 Tim 6:5; Tit 1:15
3. A living character, or force within?
This last definition raises a question. Is the god of this world a living character with consciousness and a will--or do the descriptions refer figuratively to a compartment within ourselves--the human nature that battles against the divine nature? That question is not the main thrust of our inquiry today, and the effect on us is the same either way, but for reasons we will discuss in a few minutes, we will take notice that this world’s god is represented Biblically in both ways.
As a living character:
?Those descriptive terms we have already mentioned: Prince, or ruler, of this world, Prince of the power of the air
?Job’s tormentor - Job chaps 1 & 2
?Jesus’ tempter - Matt 4:1
?The enemy who sowed tares - Matt 13:28 (an enemy has done this)
?The one who obtained permission to sift Peter “like wheat” while Jesus prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail. Luke 22:31-32
A liar and the father of lies and thus “father” of the Pharisees - John 8:44
?Beelzebul, king of demons – Matt 12:24,27
?A roaring lion - 1 Peter 5:8
?The dragon who makes war in heaven – Rev 12:9
As the enemy within:
?That which defiles a man come out of him – Matt 15:11,18-20