BIBLE STUDY LESSON # 30...June, 13 , 2010
"Knowing Your Enemy"
I am an avid sports fan and have been since I was young. I have always admired how college and professional athletes are able to do with ease what I could never do, no matter how much I worked at it. As a spectator I see in a couple of hours the results of countless hours of preparation that have been undertaken by the players and coaches. Having God given talent is not enough to succeed in sports. It takes dedication, preparation, and most importantly, a thorough understanding of your opponent. Coaches and players alike spend hours learning all the intricacies of the team they are going up against so that when the time comes, they will not be taken by surprise.
George Allen, former coach of the Washington Redskins, once said “Winning can be defined as the science of being totally prepared”. His understanding of the importance of preparation helped him achieve the third best winning percentage in NFL history (.681). He also never coached a team to a losing season.
Over the next few weeks, I want us all to gain an understanding of what we are up against as Christians, so that we can be prepared for whatever our enemy throws at us. Now, more than ever, we must be spiritually strong if we want to have success in our Christian walk. Many of us are living defeated lives. I believe a big part of it is because people do not prepare themselves for the battle. I am not going to go very deep into spiritual warfare as you might expect. Before you can go to battle you have to know who the opposition is, and that is going to be my focus. I pray that everyone is blessed by this teaching.
Part I – Evil Personified
It is not surprising to me that many Christians have no idea how to deal with evil. Things such as fear, depression, addiction, are treated as diseases instead of what they truly are. Part of the problem is that people view evil as an adjective, when it should be treated as a noun. I recently heard Derek Prince state that “evil is not something, it is someone”. After hearing that I did a little research and discovered that most Christians do not believe that Satan is real. They consider him just a symbol of. Here is an excerpt from an article written in April 2009 on the Christian Today website.
"Most Americans, even those who say they are Christian, have doubts about the intrusion of the supernatural into the natural world," commented George Barna, founder of The Barna Group and author of books analyzing research concerning America's faith.
"Hollywood has made evil accessible and tame, making Satan and demons less worrisome than the Bible suggests they really are," he said. "It's hard for achievement-driven, self-reliant, independent people to believe that their lives can be impacted by unseen forces."
"The entire article can be found at the following link."
The Bible clearly describes Satan and his angels (demons) as persons, not just ideas. Until we realize that we are dealing with a real entity, we will never have victory over evil.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21 (NKJV)
In Romans 12:21 Paul is not referring to ideas, but actual persons. The person of evil is Satan and his demons while the person of good is God. This verse makes it clear that we have two choices, to be overcome by evil or to overcome evil. The only way to overcome the person of evil is with God, and the only way to God is through Jesus Christ.
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 NKJV
Let’s look at some of the attributes of the person of Satan.
He is a liar – Satan cannot be trusted in any way shape or form. He is the father of lies and uses people to spread his lies. You can be sure that anything that does not align with the Word of God is a lie and is of Satan.
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. John 8:44
He is the accuser of Christians – Satan is constantly trying to tear down Christians and one of the ways he does this is through false accusations. Whenever someone falsely accuses a Christian, you can be sure that it was of Satan. One of the ways he accuses us is through our own thoughts. He reminds us of all the wrongs that we have done in order to keep us living under a spirit of condemnation.
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. Rev. 12:10
He is our enemy and seeks to destroy us – Just bothering us or hindering us is not enough for Satan. It is his goal to totally destroy us if at all possible.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. I Peter 5:8
He is the ruler of this world – Satan has been given authority over this world and uses everything in it to do his work. Next week I am going to talk about how Satan uses his kingdom (the earth) to attack us.
Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. John 12:31
I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. John 14:30
His purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy – Make no mistake about it, John 10:10 is literal. Satan wants to take everything you have, to kill as many as he possibly can, and to destroy everything in his path.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10
None of the descriptions of Satan in the Bible would lead one to believe that he is anything but a real being. A humanistic point of view is what allows us to minimize his existence to that of a mere idea. That same humanism would have us minimize God as well.
If you are having problems in your life and seem to live a defeated life, maybe it’s time to get to know your enemy so that you can be prepared for the daily battles that you face.
I would encourage everyone to take out their Bibles and study all that God has shown us about our great enemy. Next week I will be sharing Part II “Satan’s Kingdom”.
Have a blessed week. - Marty Ward
Our Heavenly Father, Thank you for your goodness and mercy towards us. I pray that we as Christians we always be mindful of Satan and his desire to attack us. I am thankful that You have provided a way out and a means for victory. May each one of us be strengthened by Your Spirit. If there are any that are suffering under the hand of Satan, I pray that they will find the Truth of freedom through Jesus Christ. It’s in His name I pray.
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