Standing Firm Against Satan – PT2

Biblical Sermon Outline

By Pastor Ron Jones, www.


Last time we began a study on what the Bible says about Spiritual Warfare and how to deal with Satan’s temptations in our lives. There is a spiritual war going on that Satan is waging against God and all those who are God’s children

If we are to stand firm against Satan, we need to know how he works and how we can stand firm against him.

Eph 6:10-17 is divided into five points.
I. The preparation
II. The enemy
III. The battle
IV. The victory
V. The way to victory

Last time, we looked at

I. The preparation
II. The enemy

III. The Battle – how Satan attacks us.
A. The Strategy of Satan in the Battle - deception v. 12

We saw that Satan is a liar and he focuses his work on his “schemes,” spreading strategic lies about God. He lies about who God is, what God is like, what we are like, what God desires for us to do, how to be saved, and the like. This is how he attacks us – through lies.

B. The Power of Satan in the Battle - Satan and his demons are invisible evil spirits dominating and directing the unbelieving world

Paul describes all the demons with their leader, Satan, as a whole group in four ways.

1. They are rulers – they have subjects they rule – fallen man
2. They are authorities – They have limited spiritual authority by God to dominate and direct fallen man.
3. They are powerful rulers and authorities in the whole world of darkness, of sin and error in the hearts and minds of fallen man.
4. They are evil spirits operating in the invisible spirit realm.

C. The Attack of Satan in the Battle - external attacks through the unbelieving world

In Eph.6 Paul writes generally of the principle strategy of Satan which is deception through lies and the principle instrument of Satan which is the unbelieving world.

However, Paul does not mention the specific ways that Satan attacks believers. This can be understood by studying other passages from the Bible.

How do Satan and his demons attack believers?

I want to focus on what the Bible clearly reveals about how Satan attacks, what we can be sure about.

The Bible shows four ways Satan and his demons attack Christians:

1. He incites our fleshly desires within us through the unbelieving world around us
2. He attempts to deceive us with lies through the beliefs and values of the unbelieving world around us
3. He attempts to deceive us with a false Jesus and a false gospel through false Christians.
4. Satan can physically afflict us or ones that we love with illness, crimes, disasters, and persecution.

1. He incites our fleshly desires within us through the unbelieving world around us

Key: The external source of temptation is Satan and his demons through the world and the internal source of temptation are our fleshly desires within us.

Because of the fall of Adam every human being has a fleshly nature in him or her. That sinful fleshly nature has desires.

“For the sinful man desires what is contrary to the Spirit…”

Those desires (v.16-17) result in fleshly sinful actions (v.19-20) which Paul calls the “acts of the sinful nature.”

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious…”

Paul describes those actions in four categories, which shows us the kinds of desires that our sinful nature has:

a. Sexual immorality involves all sexual activities outside of marriage.
“sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery”

b. Idolatry involves false religious doctrines and practices including the occult.
“idolatry, witchcraft”

c. Selfishness involves selfish attitudes and actions that create strife.
“hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy”

d. Destructive addictions involve all forms of substance abuse that cause people to lose control of their faculties and all the sinful behavior that results
“drunkenness, orgies”

These kinds of sinful actions reveal to us the kinds of sinful desires we will have rising up within our fleshly nature, in our fallen hearts.

When we become Christians, we break the domination of those desires in our lives. They no longer enslave us. We have the power of Christ through the Holy Spirit in us to help us turn away from them. However, we still have the sinful nature and those desires still remain in us.

These desires are from our flesh, our sinful nature; they are not from Satan. Satan cannot implant desires in us. These desires are from our sinful nature.

There is no such thing as the spirit of anger, or the spirit of lust as if Satan has implanted in us a fleshly desire that has become an obsession we are in bondage to. That is not Biblical.

There is an internal source of temptation in us – our desires. But there is an external source of temptation in regards to our fleshly desires and that is Satan and his demons.

Their strategy (schemes in v. 11) in regards to our fleshly desires is to incite them, to stir them up in us through the world.

Satan’s lies form the basis of the beliefs and values of fallen man and express themselves in the sinful attitudes, words, and actions of fallen man.

Satan uses unbelievers to stir up our fleshly desires. Wherever we live because unbelievers dominate, we will be surrounded by fleshly attitudes and actions, things and activities that stir up our fleshly desires.

In Eph.2:2-3 Paul shows the connection between, the world, Satan, unbelievers and the sinful nature.


V.2 says unbelievers follow the ways of the world and the ways of Satan (the ruler of the kingdom of the air) who works within them as sons of disobedience.

V.3 says that unbelievers live by indulging the desires of the flesh.

Unbelievers follow the ways of the world, which are ruled by Satan, which leads them to satisfy the cravings of the flesh. Unbelievers basically live by gratifying the cravings of their sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.

Unbelievers build culture and society around their cravings and fleshly desires and spread those by the media, which create powerful temptations, which stir our fleshly desires within us.

We need to stand firm against Satan and his demons inciting us through the world.

2. He attempts to deceive us with lies through the beliefs and values of the unbelieving world around us

Satan attacks our beliefs and values.

When fleshly desires rise up in us, it is our values and our beliefs that cause us to decide whether we will follow those desires.

We as human beings make decisions about what we are going to do based on what we believe and what we value.

God gives to us at salvation when the Holy Spirit comes to live within us new desires based on new values and beliefs. So Satan knows he must strike at our beliefs and values if he is to tempt us and he does this by lies.

He has blinded the world with his lies and he attempts to tempt us through his lies. These lies are accepted by unbelievers and are to spread to us externally through the world. When we accept those lies in our minds and hearts, we are falling into the temptations of Satan.

Remember from the time we are children we receive hundreds and thousands of lies from the world around us into our minds and memories, many of them we do not even notice. They do not just come from the culture or media, they can come from unbelieving parents and relatives and even from believing parents and relatives because we can still be deceived.

In the epistle of James, James confronts the lies of Satan, which had infiltrated the church.

James refers to the “wisdom of the world” which is another term for the lies of Satan spread as wisdom in the minds of unbelievers. James talks about the “wisdom of the world” and how it had infected the believers he was writing to.

Jas. 4:7
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

This is a well-known verse in the Bible, but its context is not as well-known. What is the context that speaks to the devil’s work that needs to be resisted?

Jas. 2:1-4

The believers were showing favoritism to rich Christians. This is a worldly belief and value which holds that having more money than others makes a person more important than others and gives them priority over others.

This ties into man’s fleshly desire of envy and greed, the desire to have more and more and more. This favoritism was part of a larger problem of envy, jealousy, and selfish ambition, which was rampant in the church.

Jas. 3:13-14
James now moves to the underlying beliefs and values which creates favoritism and which stirs up envy, jealousy, and selfish ambition to rule in people’s lives.

He contrasts godly wisdom and worldly wisdom.

Wisdom is a way of thinking and acting based on one’s beliefs and values. Godly wisdom reflects godly beliefs and values. Worldly wisdom reflects ungodly beliefs and values which are based on Satan’s lies.

In v.13, James says that good behavior comes from godly wisdom.

“Such wisdom” refers to the worldly wisdom that underlies the bitter envy and selfish ambition in their hearts. Notice, that he calls worldly wisdom “demonic.” It comes from Satan and his demons.

So, what James is saying is that the fleshly sins, the deeds of the flesh they were allowing in the congregation were based on worldly demonic wisdom.

Jas. 4:1-4
James says that when Christians follow their fleshly desires they are being friends with the world. In these verses, you can see the strong connection between the deeds of the flesh and the beliefs and values of the world and the lies of Satan.

Satan attacks us through the worldly wisdom, which caters to our fleshly desires. They were following their fleshly desires because of their worldly beliefs and values.

We need to resist these lies.

Jas. 4:7
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

This means “submit to God not to the world’s wisdom and ways. Satan was tempting them through the world. Resist the devil’s temptation toward the world by turning away in faith and obedience and he will flee from you.”

How do we resist? We submit to God’s wisdom. Who are we listening to, God’s wisdom James 3:17 or the devil’s wisdom 3:14?

Satan’s desire is to get us Christians to accept worldly wisdom and thus move our lives toward our fleshly desires.

We must submit to God and resist the devil.