Summary: Last week we looked at the difference between worshiping false gods and the one, true God as well as looking at the differences between the false gospel and the real gospel. Today, I will focus on how Jesus is the real thing and Satan is not.
THE REAL THING (part two)
Recap: Last week we looked at the difference between worshiping false gods and the one, true God. We saw God warning his people to not have images of God or to worship idols of wood and stone. And God told them what would happen if they did. He told them they would find no rest, they would be anxious, unfulfilled, in despair. They would live in constant suspense, filled with dread and never sure of their lives. This is what worshiping their inadequate gods will get them. It's no different for us. Anything we idolize will always leave us unfulfilled. Nothing can do for us what only the real God can.
Then we looked at the differences between the false gospel and the real gospel. Paul was astonished with the Galatian church that they had turned away from the real gospel to follow a false gospel. The Jews were trying to tell them they needed to follow Jesus and the law in order to be right with God. Paul called that a perversion of the gospel.
We have that same thing going on today. You have beliefs that claim to go by the teachings of Jesus yet they add things to it; therefore perverting the gospel. The real gospel is faith in Jesus; only Jesus. I can't be saved by good works and I can't be saved by following any other religious figure. Jesus is not a way; he is the way. Jesus came from heaven, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life and died on the cross for my sins. He bodily rose again from the dead on the third day and ascended back into heaven 40 days later.
In order to respond to the gospel I need to have faith in him, repent of my sins, be baptized in his name and confess him as Lord. Then I will be born again. Today, I'll be talking about how Jesus is the real thing and Satan is not.
1) Satan is like a lion.
1st Pet. 5:8-9, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings."
So, the analogy is given. Satan goes around like a roaring, angry lion. A lion roars when it's hungry, when it's on the prowl. That's what Satan is-he's on the prowl; he's on the hunt. He's hungry and seeking to devour. To devour means to consume, to engulf, to demolish; to dispose of. Satan wants to do all these things to us.
Have you ever felt the presence of evil surround you; even engulf you? It's a very uneasy and constricting feeling. And he wants to dispose the joy in us; dispose any amount of hope in us. Another meaning of devour is to overwhelm; to overcome. He wants to smother us; he wants to control us. He wants us to be overwhelmed and overcome with anxiety and fear.
He wants to take over and get us to come out of character and cause us to make poor decisions. He wants to contain us and make sure we have no element of active faith. But Peter said we can resist him. We don't have to be devoured; we don't have to be overwhelmed by him. We can stand firm in the faith; we can be self-controlled and alert. Although Satan is like a roaring lion, he's no match for Jesus-the real Lion of Judah.
2) But Jesus is the lion.
Rev. 5:1-5, "Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
These titles are messianic titles, taken from Gen. 49:8-10 and Isaiah 11:1. Jesus is the Lion of Judah who has triumphed over death and Satan. The true lion is able to overpower the one who just acts like a lion. When David said he would fight Goliath, King Saul told David that he would be going up against someone who had been a warrior from his youth; not to mention he was a giant. This was David's response.