Title: Enemies Exposed
Theme: Assessing the Problem
Series: Grasping Our Authority in Christ
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves His child as well.
This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands.
This is love for God: to obey His commands.
And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.
This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
Who is it that overcomes the world?
Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1 John 5:1-5)
God’s desire is for the children of God to live in the abundant life promised in Christ Jesus.
Jesus said, “The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
(John 10:10 NAS)
I recently read of a reporter who was interviewing an old man on his 100th birthday.
The reporter asked, “What are you most proud of?”
The old man replied with, “Well, I do not have an enemy in the world.”
The reporter said, “What a beautiful thought!
How inspirational!” “Yep,” added the centenarian, “I outlived every last one of them.”
(10,000 Sermon Illustrations)
I would propose to you Christians are not born again to be surrendered back over to the sins and lifestyle that kept them from having a healthy relationship with God, Christ and walking in step with the Holy Spirit.
Christians do not have to wait until they get to heaven to enjoy the authority they have in Christ.
They can choose to live victoriously in this sin torn world now.
In Christ you can literally outlive your enemies for eternity.
Who is our enemy?
How does he take people captive?
To whom should Christians be in bondage?
Recognize the evidence of the struggle
A key step to living and enjoying the life of victory promised in Christ is to recognize the evidence of the struggle.
Jesus said, “If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." (Matthew 15:13)
When Jesus said this, He had just offended the Pharisees (Matthew 15:12) by saying “…Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: `These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.
They worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' " (Matthew 15:7-9)
After His disciples informed Him of the offense that was taken by the Pharisees the Lord said, "…Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.”
(Matthew 15:13) “Plant” (phuteia) figuratively means to establish, authorize teachers or their teachings.
(The Complete Word Study Dictionary; Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament) Every religious system which has not been planted by God will be rooted up.
(Thru the Bible) Any religious system not set up by the Lord will be used to keep mankind in spiritual darkness, thus keeping them bound in sin no matter how religious they may appear to be.
Thus the blind will lead the blind.
Pastor Adrian Rogers pointed out that if you never saw a train in your entire life and came upon a train wreck with twisted railroad cars all piled upon one another, you would never know how the train is supposed to look by observing the wreck.
Mankind cannot get a clear picture of what God’s universe was meant to be like by looking at the distorted wreck that Satan has made of our world system today.
Before the person who has never seen a train before can put a wrecked train back in working order, that person must get some directions from the person who knows how the train should look.
In order for sinners to put their lives back in order, they must get directions from the God who created them and sustains their every breath of life.
The person who has never seen a train can just sense that train cars that are smoldering, piled up on one another and twisted every direction are not in proper order.
They must grasp the truth that there is someone who can give them proper instructions on how to put a wrecked train back on the track.
Natural revelation is sufficient for making mankind responsible and enabling him to understand that something is not right in this world and in his life.
Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--His eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
Even before I was saved I knew in my heart that this world was not in proper working order and that the train of life wasn’t on the tracks.
God’s plan was that mankind would live eternally, but Satan’s deviation brought physical death and spiritual separation from God.
God’s plan was that animals were to be peaceful and coexist, but Satan’s deviation has brought animosity between creatures.
If you do not believe that, just throw a cat in a bird cage.
God’s plan was that mankind would have fellowship with Him, but Satan’s deviation keeps unrepentant sinners from truly trusting in God, knowing the Savior Jesus Christ and the joy of being led and empowered of the Holy Spirit of Christ.
When mankind looks at life as being only flesh and blood he sees the government, at times even his spouse, his children and his boss as the enemy.
Mankind who has not grasped the fact that they must look to God for instructions on how to put this world back on the tracks convinces himself that his enemy is the pornographer, liquor baron, or drug dealer.
Satan knows he loses in the end and his goal is only to hinder and blind people.
He keeps people battling in the wrong places in order to keep them from understanding the real struggle and getting real victory.
Ephesians says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Stand firm then…” (Ephesians 6:12-13)
Expose the enemies, the first being Satan
Once you fully grasp the truth that there is a real struggle for the souls of mankind upon this earth you must then expose the enemies, the first being Satan.
Christ clearly speaks of this enemy (Luke 10:18) and the Apostle Peter warns of this raging lion who has only one purpose.
Peter writes, “Be self-controlled and alert.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
(1 Peter 5:8)
The “devil” (diabolos) or “Satan” (Satanas) is present in the world and tempts both believers and unbelievers.
(Matthew 16:23; Mark 8:33; Luke 22:3; Acts 5:3; 1 Kings 11:14, 23, 25) He is also called “the dragon,” “the old serpent” (Revelation 12:9; 20:2) “the prince of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30) “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) “the god of this world.”
(2 Corinthians 4:4)
The distinct personality of Satan and his activity among men are thus obviously recognized.
He is “the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2).
He tempted our Lord in the wilderness.
(Matthew 4:1–11) He is “Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.”
(Matthew 12:24) He is “the constant enemy of God, of Christ, of the divine kingdom, of the followers of Christ, and of all truth; full of falsehood and all malice, and exciting and seducing to evil in every possible way.”
(Easton’s Bible Dictionary; Harper’s Bible Dictionary; New Bible Dictionary) His power is very great in the world.
He is a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
(1 Peter 5:8) Men are said to be “taken captive by him.”
(2 Timothy 2:26) Christians are warned against his “devices,” (2 Corinthians 2:11) and called on to “resist” him.
I have a great concern that people do not take Satan and his abilities serious enough. 2 Timothy 2:26 tells us that Satan takes unrepentant mankind and takes them captive to do his will.
Satan’s strategy is not to convince mankind that he does not exist, for he knows that everyone understands that there is good and evil in this world.
His chief work after accusing the brethren is to cause people to have a wrong concept of his true nature.
The Apostle Paul says that “…Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”
Paul even teaches that the servants of Satan masquerade as servants of righteousness, pretending to be workers for the Lord, introducing false teaching associated with teachings about Christ.
(2 Corinthians 11:13,14)
Satan is not a comic character who is dressed in red with horns on his head and a tail dangling behind him.
This is the symbol of a character we all know to run from.
Barnes Notes give us these thoughts, “The phrase ‘Angel of light’ means a pure and holy angel, an emblem of purity and holiness.
We learn here, Satan can assume such an aspect as he pleases, he is a prince of duplicity as well as of wickedness.
He is long in the practice of deceitful arts and well practiced in the art of delusion.”
I would like to add, Satan is a master of presenting false teachers as being sincere as well as making evil be desirable.
This is why the Apostle Peter warns us to be on our guard.
We should not listen to any suggestion that appears religious or good, but only that which is birthed from the whole council of God’s Word, taught by those who are mature in the faith of Jesus Christ.
Twice in the Book of Revelation, Satan is referred to as the “ancient serpent.”
(Revelation 12:9, 20:2) Many believe that the comparison to snakes is an appropriate prototype of Satan.
A rattlesnake only two-minutes-old can strike effectively.
Snakes can engulf prey on the ground, through water, or hidden in perfect camouflage so that their presence is not detected.
Night-foraging snakes have eye pupils that are vertical like a cat’s, enabling them to see in the dark.
(Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustration) Snakes that are hungry to devour their victims give no warning and neither will Satan.
There was a story told of a lady who made it a practice in life to say something good about everyone she had come to know.
She was challenged to say something good about the devil.
She thought and then said, “He is at least persistent.”
The devil - the Bible tells us his resources, one being the world