Satan's Schemes - Knowing the Enemy - 2 Cor. 2.11; Eph. 6.11
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Satan's Schemes - Knowing the Enemy - 2 Cor. 2.11; Eph. 6.11

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Satan's Schemes - Knowing the Enemy - 2 Cor. 2.11; Eph. 6.11 Satan's Schemes - Knowing the Enemy - 2 Cor. 2.11; Eph. 6.11 Document Transcript

  • Satan’s Schemes<br />John R. Gentry<br />Thesis: To discuss some of the schemes Satan uses to take advantage of God’s people and to discuss ways to defeat Satan’s scheming.<br />Introduction:<br />
    • When Paul wrote to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians, he discussed the fact that Satan might take advantage of them: "so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes," 2 Cor. 2.11.
    • Informed Christians, however, need not be in a position to be caught off guard …
    • Satan's advantage is based on a person being ignorant of his schemes.
    • But if we are aware of the methods Satan uses to lead people astray, we can resist him successfully!
    • What are some of the schemes of Satan? How can we defend ourselves against them?
    • In study we shall attempt to answer these questions. We begin by noticing a scheme of Satan that Paul described later in this same epistle …
    Discussion:<br />
    • Blind the Minds of People.
    • Regarding this scheme of Satan …
    • There are some whom "the god of this world" has blinded, 2 Cor. 4.3, 4.
    • The Spirit warned this would be done through "doctrines of demons," 1 Tim 4.1–3.
    • Today, many minds are blinded to the truth …
    • By the doctrine of atheism – there is no God.
    • By the doctrine of evolution – we are simply animals.
    • By the doctrine of humanism – man is the measure of all things, and in him alone is the solution to our problems.
    • Those who are so blinded are hindered from receiving the truth.
    • Our best defense against it …
    • Is actually a strong offense, involving a war for the "thoughts" of men, 2 Cor. 10.3–5.
    • Our greatest weapon is truth, which can defeat the false arguments and free those who have been blinded into captivity (cf. John 8.31, 32).
    • Thus the need for discussion and debate, in order to “[cast] down arguments" (NKJV), “[destroy] speculations” (NASU), 2 Cor. 10.5.
    • Consider the example of Paul, who "reasoned" with others, Acts 17.2, 3; 19.8, 9.
    • Other weapons involve Christ-like attitudes that are "mighty in God" include…
    • E.g., the meekness and gentleness of Christ, 2 Cor. 10.1.
    • E.g., patience and humility in correcting others, 2 Tim 2.24–26.
    • "Speaking the truth in love" (cf. Eph. 4.15), we can be defeat this scheme of Satan!
    • Get the People Hooked on Things of the World.
    • Regarding this scheme of Satan …
    • I am referring to those things described in 1 John 2.15–17 as:
    • The lust of the flesh.
    • The lust of the eyes.
    • The pride of life.
    • Satan used these tactics against Eve, Gen 3.6. She saw that the tree was…
    • "Good for food" (the lust of the flesh).
    • "A delight to the eyes" (lust of the eyes).
    • "Desirable to make one wise" (pride of life).
    • Satan also tried these tactics in tempting Jesus, Matt. 4.1–11.
    • "Command that these stones become bread…" (lust of the flesh).
    • "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down…" (pride of life).
    • "All these things I will give you, if…" (lust of the eyes).
    • Today, Satan uses these tactics with a vengeance, tempting people through…
    • Immorality (lust of the flesh).
    • Materialism (lust of the eyes).
    • Arrogance (pride of life).
    • Our best defense against it …
    • Saturate ourselves with the Word of God!
    • This is how Jesus overcame His temptations by the devil.
    • Note how He answered each temptation by saying, "It is written …," Matt. 4.4, 7, 10.
    • Develop a strong love for the Father!
    • For that love is incompatible with a love for the world, 1 John 2.15.
    • One cannot be a friend of the world and maintain friendship with God, Jas. 4.4.
    • By saturating ourselves with God's Word and being strong in our love for Him, we will effectively submit to Him and be able to resist the devil, causing him to flee, Jas. 4.7, 8!
    • Persecute Those Trying to Do Right.
    • Regarding this scheme of Satan …
    • Peter warned that the devil sought to devour Christians, 1 Pet. 5.8, 9.
    • Paul worried that afflictions brought about by Satan might tempt the Thessalonians to give up, 1 Thess. 3.1–5.
    • Even today, Satan persecutes Christians!
    • Some, literally, through great physical suffering as Christians.
    • Others through social pressures that are often equally effective such as peer pressure, ridicule, and ostracism.
    • Our best defense against it …
    • Encourage one another!
    • On a daily basis, Heb. 3.13.
    • Paul sent Timothy to encourage, 1 Thess. 3.2, 3.
    • Adopt the proper attitude of rejoicing!
    • Knowing that trials can make us stronger, Jas. 1.2–4; Rom. 5.3, 4.
    • Knowing that those who endure are blessed by God, 1 Pet. 4.12–14; Matt. 5.10–12.
    • Commit (NKJV), or entrust (NASU), yourself to God in doing good, 1 Pet. 4.19.
    • God is a faithful Creator.
    • He takes note of our suffering, and will one day repay those who trouble us (including Satan himself!), and give us rest, 2 Thess. 1.4–8; Rev. 20.10.
    • Get People to Enjoy Evil Company.
    • Regarding this scheme of Satan …
    • The wrong acquaintances or friends can defeat one's effort to do good, 1 Cor. 15.33.
    • Amnon was led astray by the counsel of his "friend," Jonadab, 2 Sam 13.1ff.
    • Today, many Christians are hindered in their spiritual growth …
    • By the acquaintances and friends they keep.
    • By the activities in which such company engages.
    • Our best defense against it …
    • Realize the danger of the wrong companions, Prov. 13.20.
    • Heed the advice Paul made to the Corinthians:
    • "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers" (NKJV), 2 Cor. 6.14–16.
    • "Come out from their midst and be separate," 2 Cor. 6.17, 18.
    • "[Perfect] holiness in the fear of God," 2 Cor. 7.1.
    • Discourage People Through Un-Christ-Like Christians.
    • Regarding this scheme of Satan …
    • This relates to Paul's concern in our text, 2 Cor. 2.6–11.
    • A sinning brother was disciplined and had repented.
    • The need now was for the church to reaffirm their love and forgiveness.
    • Otherwise, Satan might take advantage of this situation:
    • Defeating the church by their unwillingness to forgive.
    • Overcoming the weak brother by his being swallowed up in sorrow if the congregation did not forgive.
    • Today, Satan sometimes wins many souls by this scheme, 2 Tim 3.1–5.
    • Christians who are unloving, unmerciful, and unforgiving become stumbling blocks to others.
    • Christians who are apathetic and sluggish in their service and devotion to God have a negative influence on new Christians.
    • Our best defense against it …
    • Place our faith in the Lord, not in brethren, 2 Tim. 4.16–18.
    • This is not to suggest that brethren can't be trusted.
    • But, brethren are fallible while the Lord is not!
    • Remember that not all brethren set the proper example, 3 John 9–12.
    • Imitate the good examples.
    • Don't let the bad ones discourage us.
    Conclusion:<br />
    • This is not an exhaustive list, rather only a few of the schemes of Satan. The Scriptures certainly reveal much more about how the Great Deceiver works.
    • However, I pray this study has been sufficient to show…
    • That our adversary is indeed strong.
    • That ignorance of his schemes makes us susceptible.
    • That if we are not diligent, he can indeed take advantage of us!
    • Therefore, remember these important words of the apostle Paul:
    • " Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm" (Eph. 6.10–13).
    • Are you a captive of Satan, 2 Tim. 2.26? Do you want to be set free? Only obedience to the truth can set you free, John 8.31, 32; 1 Pet. 1.22–25.
    • Have you, Christian, given in to any one of Satan’s schemes? Then you are once again bound by Satan in the “bonds of iniquity.” Repent and pray God for forgiveness, and confess your sins, Acts 8.22; 1 John 1.9.