Standing Firm Against Satan – PT3

Biblical Sermon Outline

By Pastor Ron Jones,

We have been studying what the Bible says about how we as Christians can stand firm against the attacks of Satan which is given in Eph.6:10-17.

This passage is divided into five points.
I. The preparation
II. The enemy
III. The battle
IV. The victory
V. The way to victory

We have previously looked at the first two points in depth and started the third point. This morning we will finish up the third point. We have seen that our enemy is the devil and his demons who continually slander God by spreading lies about him. They do this through the world, that is, fallen human beings whom they dominate and direct.

III. The Battle – how Satan attacks us.
A. The Strategy of Satan in the Battle – strategic deception v. 12
B. The Power of Satan in the Battle - Invisible evil spirits dominating and directing the unbelieving world

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

How do Satan and his demons attack believers?

The Bible shows four ways:

Last time, we saw the first two ways.

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.

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. He attacks our beliefs and values through worldly wisdom. James writes about the “wisdom of the world” which is demonic. The lies of Satan are spread as wisdom in the minds of unbelievers.

3. He attempts to deceive us with a false Jesus and a false gospel through false Christians.

2 Cor.11:2-4

The Corinthians had allowed people to rise up in their church who were preaching false doctrine about Jesus Christ. These individuals claimed to be apostles of Jesus Christ and claimed that Paul was in fact, not a true apostle and therefore had no authority to preach the doctrine he had preached to them.

Of course, they said this because they were preaching doctrine different than what Paul preached. Paul preached true Biblical doctrine, the same doctrine of the other 12 apostles.

The Corinthians should have immediately examined what these false teachers were saying and once they realized they were teaching something different than Paul and the other apostles, put them out of the church. But they didn’t. Instead, they endured their teaching, listening to it and wondering about it. Paul thus writes to them a warning about the danger of what they were doing.

v. 2 Paul tells them that he is righteously jealous for them like a husband whose wife is being persuaded to leave him and turn to another.

v.3 He fears that as satan deceived Eve, they to would be deceived and led astray from the simplicity and pure devotion to Jesus Christ, which the true gospel has brought to them by teaching faith in Christ.

Satan has two goals attacking believers with these kinds of lies.

1. He desires for us to add ritual and works to our walk with Christ. This can cause us to become legalistic and burdened in our daily lives as we attempt to please Christ through works. Rather we should live by faith that Christ is already pleased with us and desires to work through us for our blessing and his glory.

2. He desires to confuse us about Christ and get us to doubt our beliefs in the true Jesus and gospel we have committed our lives to.

He can’t get us to turn away from the true Christ and go into a cult, but he can get us to be confused and doubt our beliefs.

Then Paul gives three deceptions of Satan about Jesus and the gospel.

v. 4
“For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.”

You “put up with it” or “bear this beautifully” expresses a rebuke. What is the matter with you? – you are easily putting up with this false doctrine. Instead of getting rid of it, you endure it and listen to it.

Paul gives three elements of false doctrine about Christ.

1) They preach a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached…”

They preach a false Jesus. The Jesus of the Bible perverted into someone other than he is. They preach a Jesus who was Son of God, but not Son of man, or Son of man and not Son of God, one who was crucified, but not risen from the dead.

Today there are many groups that would have us believe that they are Christian, but they do not preach the true Christ. Any group that does not preach that Jesus was both fully God and fully man, the second person of the Triune God is false.

2) They have “a different spirit from the one you received…”

Faith in Jesus Christ brings the Holy Spirit into our lives and it is the Holy Spirit that helps us to grow and mature in Christ on a daily basis. Those who preach a different gospel come with a different spirit, not the Holy Spirit.

This other spirit is a demonic spirit which refers to the Satanic lies behind the false doctrine they bring.

3) They have “a different gospel from the one you accepted…”

A different gospel is a different way of salvation from the true gospel. This tells us that Satan sets up counterfeit “Christian” religions with Christ involved that have a false way of salvation

How can we tell who is right?

2 Cor.11:4
Paul says “other than the Jesus we preached.”

The only true Jesus and the only true spirit and the only true gospel is the one preached by the apostles in the NT. How can this be? How can false teachers go around looking like Christians and talking about a counterfeit Jesus and a counterfeit way of salvation that is not Biblical?

Paul answers this question in 2 Cor.11: 13-15.

v. 13 “false apostles…masquerading as apostles of Christ”

They look and act like they come from God and yet they come from the devil himself.

v. 13 “deceitful workers…”

They were workers, laborers, doers.

They work and labor and put out great effort in the name of their counterfeit Jesus and their counterfeit way of salvation. In our age of tolerance, we think that anyone who puts out great effort and labor and work in the name of Jesus somehow cannot be wrong, even though they do not teach the truth.
How can they do this?

v. 14 “for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”

Paul says do not be surprised for this is the way of their leader – Satan. There is no wonder about it at all. Satan himself masquerades or disguises himself as an angel of light. He makes people think that they are dealing with an angel of light, rather than who he is the prince of darkness.

v. 15 “servants of righteousness”

His servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.

4. Satan can physically afflict us or ones that we love with illness, crimes, disasters, persecution and the like.

This creates great trials in our lives which in turn pushes us to question what we believe and how we are living. There are several very important passages in the Scriptures dealing with topic we will begin with Job.

a. Satan tempts us by inflicting upon us crime or war, natural disasters, or physical illness

Job 1:1-2:8
Physical and psychological trials - “Squeeze him and he will break”

1: 13-15 crime and war
1:16 “the fire of God” – lightning MHC
1:17 crime and war
1:18 natural disaster – a mighty wind
2: 6-8 physical illness

So Satan has the ability to move unbelievers to action and to cause natural disasters and physical illness.

Notice, several things:

1. God had a hedge around Job – which simply means God’s protective care which in terms of Job God had by his divine sovereignty chosen to protect him from all these things.

2. Satan had to ask permission to afflict Job was limited by God’s sovereign will. Nothing is out of God’s control, not even Satan’s activities.

3. This was allowed by God to show the solid character of Job’s faith and obedience, it was done by Satan to tempt Job to turn away from God. Job, in fact, did honor God. At first, he was unwavering 1: 10, then he struggled later in the book, but in the end he held on to his faith and was taught much truth about suffering.
Job.1: 20-22

4. Satan’s goal was not for Job to struggle with his faith. It was for Job to completely and utterly turn away from God by cursing God. This is Satan’s goal for us.
Job.1: 9-10
Job.2: 4-5

5. Notice Job does not focus on the attack of Satan he focuses on wearing the armor of God – faith and obedience.
Job.1: 20-22
Job.2: 10

Job does not spend time identifying the attacker, “Was this just a natural occurrence or from Satan or what?”

He understands that all things are under God’s sovereign control, and focuses on God. There is no binding of Satan anywhere in Job. There is only faith and obedience. In fact, after these two events, for the rest of the 40 chapters there is not mention or focus on Satan. The theme presented is that the focus is God and us; God allowed Satan to tempt, we are to trust and obey and that is it.

b. Satan tempts us through persecution.

1 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 your faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

The context of the devil’s temptation as a roaring lion is the suffering of persecution as indicated in this verse.

v.9 “the same kinds of sufferings” refers to the sufferings of persecution.

And this persecution can be subtle as well as strong.

Persecution can come in the form of pressure to compromise the Biblical principles we follow.

Standing firm is holding onto your faith.