1 John 3:4 - The Reality of Sin
“The Reality of Sin”
“1 John 3:4”
As a result of sin, the world has warfare between nations, conflict between individuals and groups, fear and anxiety, illness and death, and all kinds of natural and man-made disasters.
- Spurgeon "Sin is worse that the Devil, for sin is what made the devil the devil. He would have been a angel if it had not been for sin."
- The fall disrupted 3 basic relationships:
(1) Men & women were separated from God & died spiritually (Gen.3:6-13 cf. 2:17 cf. Gen.5:1-5 age.)
(2) They became at odds with nature; from then on they had to cultivate & control the land (Gen.3:17-19)
(3) People were separated from each other as sin brought envy and conflict into the world (Gen.4:3-15)
What is Sin?
A. A Simple Definition
1. 1John 3:4 “sin is lawlessness”
a) The Greek construction of this phrase makes “sin” & “lawlessness” identical.
1) Literally: “everyone doing sin is doing lawlessness.
(a) Practicing sin & living as if there were no God and no law; where the thought is not simply that of doing what is unlawful, but of flagrant defiance of the known will of God.
2. Scripture also contains other definitions.
a) There are a number of Hebrew words & Greek words for sin in the Bible.
1) Sin is:
(a) Ungodliness and unrighteousness (1John 5:17; Romans 1:18; Romans 11:26; 2 Tim. 2:16; Jude 15, 18; Application Titus 2:12).
(b) The failure to do good (James 4:17)
(c) Paul defines sin as a lack of faith (Rom.14:23)
(d) Unbelief, the failure to believe God (Matthew 13:58; Matthew 17:20; Romans 3:3; Romans 4:20; Romans 11:20, 23; 1 Tim. 1:13; Application Hebrews 3:12, 19).
(e) Missing the mark, coming short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
(f) Error, making a mistake; a wandering off of the right path (Romans 1:27; James 5:20; 2 Peter 2:18; 2 Peter 3:17; Jude 11).
(g) Transgression, a stepping outside the law (Romans 3:23; Romans 4:15; Romans 5:13, 20; Hebrews 2:2; Hebrews 9:15).
(h) Trespassing, intruding where one should not go ( Eph.2:1).
(i) Disobedience, a refusal to listen and hear and do (Eph.2:2; Eph.5:6; App & Exhort Col. 3:6).
(j) Lawlessness, rebellion, a rejection of God’s will and law (1 John 3:4).
(k) Iniquity, an inward contempt that leads to the continual practice of sin (Matthew 7:23; Application Romans 6:19; 2 Thes. 2:3. Cp. Romans 1:21-23.)
(l) Sin is Filthiness, (2 Corinthians 7:1; Application Zech. 3:3 cf. Isa.30:22)
Conclusion of First Study.
b) We May Define Sin As Follows:
1) Sin is any failure to conform to the moral law of God in act, attitude, or nature.
(a) Sin is here defined in relation to God and his moral law.
1. Sin includes not only individual acts such as stealing or lying or committing murder, but also attitudes that are contrary to the attitudes God requires of us.
a. We see this already in the Ten Commandments, which not only prohibit sinful actions but also wrong attitudes (Exodus 20:17). Here God specifies that a desire to steal or to commit adultery is also sin in his sight.
b. The Sermon on the Mount also prohibits sinful attitudes such as anger (Matt. 5:22) or lust (Matt. 5:28). Paul lists attitudes such as jealousy, anger, and selfishness (Gal. 5:20) as things that are works of the flesh opposed to the desires of the Spirit (Gal. 5:20).
2. Therefore a life that is pleasing to God is one that has moral purity not only in its actions, but also in its desires of heart.
a. In fact, the greatest commandment of all requires that our heart be filled with an attitude of love for God: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength" (Mark 12:30).
II. Growing In Likeness To Christ.
A. Sin & Sanctification.
1. Is there such thing as “sinless perfection”, “perfectionism”?
Perfectionism. The state of totally being free from sin. The view that sinless perfection, or freedom from conscious sin, is possible in this life for the Christian..
a) Sanctification—Growth in Likeness To Christ.
1) Explanation and Scriptural Basis
(a) There are several acts of God that occur at the beginning of our Christian lives:
1. the gospel call (which God addresses to us),
2. regeneration (by which God imparts new life to us),
3. justification (by which God gives us right legal standing before him), and,
4. adoption (in which God makes us members of his family).
5. conversion (in which we repent of sins and trust in Christ for salvation). These events all occur at the beginning of our Christian lives.
(b) But now we come to a part of the application of redemption that is a progressive work that continues throughout our earthly lives.
(c) It is also a work in which God and man cooperate each playing distinct roles. This part of the application of redemption is called sanctification: Sanctification is a progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives.
2) The Differences Between Justification – Sanctification
1. Legal standing -- Internal condition
2. Once for all time -- Continuous throughout life
3. Entirely God's work -- We cooperate
4. Perfect in this life -- Not perfect in this life
5. The same in all Christians -- Greater in some than in others
B. Three Stages of Sanctification.
1. Positional Sanctification.
a) A definite moral change occurs in our lives at the point of regeneration.
1) Paul talks about the "washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:5). Once we have been born again we cannot continue to sin as a habit or a pattern of life (1 John 3:9), because the power of new spiritual life within us keeps us from yielding to a life of sin.
b) Positional Sanctification - - What Is It?
1) This is the believer’s position or standing before God, which is based on and achieved by the once-for-all death of Christ (Heb.10:10, 14, 29)
(a) In positional sanctification the believer is accounted holy before God; he is declared a saint (Rom.1:7; 1 Cor.1:2; Eph.1:1).
1. Paul writing to the Corinthians says “those who are sanctified” (1 Cor.1:2)
2. Paul looks back on a completed act when writing to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 6:11)
3. Paul can refer Christians as “all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).
a. The Greek expression is tois hegiasmenois a substantival perfect passive participle that expresses both a completed past activity (they were sanctified) and a continuing result (they continue to experience the sanctifying influence of that past action).
(b) The Word Salvation is used in Scripture 3 different ways:
1. The once-for-all experience of salvation (Luke 7:50 cf. Eph.2:8; 2Tim1:9).
Saved from the condemnation of sin, death, & hell.
2. The continuous experience of salvation (1Cor.1:18).
Being saved from the dominion of sin and is being sanctified (Heb.7:25)
3. The redemptive experience in the future (Rom.13:11)
Will be saved from the very presence of sin in heaven forever (Rom.5:9-10)
c) The Initial Step In Sanctification Broke the Ruling Power of Sin In Our Lives.
1) We are dead to sin & sin will no longer have dominion over you (Romans 6:11, 14).
(a) To be dead to sin or to be set free from sin involves the power to overcome acts or patterns of sinful behavior in one's life (Romans 6:12-13).
(b) To be dead to the ruling power of sin means that we as Christians, by virtue of the power of the Holy Spirit and the resurrection life of Christ working within us, have power to overcome the temptations and enticements of sin. Sin will no longer be our master, as once it was before we became Christians.
d) In Practical Terms, Two Things Are True.
1) On the one hand, we will never be able to say, "I am completely free from sin," because our sanctification will never be completed.
2) But on the other hand, a Christian should never say (for example), "This sin has defeated me. I give up”. To say this is to admit defeat. It is to deny the truth of Scripture, which tells us, "You also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 6:11). It is to deny the truth of Scripture that tells us that "sin will have no dominion over you" (Rom. 6:14).
2. Progressive Sanctification
a) Sanctification Increases Throughout Life.
1) The Process That Continues Throughout Our Christians Lives.
Even though the New Testament speaks about a definite beginning to sanctification, it also sees it as a process that continues throughout our Christian lives.
(a) Being Changed From Glory to Glory.
Although we have been:
1. Set free from sin (Rom. 6:18) and are “dead to sin and alive to God" (Rom. 6:11),
a. We must recognizes that sin remains in our lives (Rom.7:20) empty vodka bottle
b. We are not to let it reign in our lives and not to yield to it (Rom. 6:12-13).
c. As Christians we are to grow more and more in sanctification.
2. Paul says that throughout the Christian life "we all ... are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another" (2 Cor. 3:18).
a. We are progressively becoming more and more like Christ as we go on in the Christian life and must recognize we have not arrived (Phil.3:12-14).
Although the believer’s positional sanctification is secure, his experiential sanctification may fluctuate because it relates to his daily life and experience.
A believer who has bad teaching, lacks good Christian fellowship, and pays little attention to God's Word and prayer, may actually go for many years with very little progress in sanctification at all--but this is certainly not the normal or expected pattern of the Christian life. It is in fact highly abnormal.
Paul’s prayer is that believers should be sanctified entirely in their experience (1 Thess. 5:23)
Peter commands believers to be sanctified or holy (1 Peter 1:16).
This experiential sanctification grows:
As the believer dedicates his life to God (Rom. 6:13; 12:1-2) and is,
Nourished by the Word of God (Ps. 119:9-16).
Depending on the Spirit of God for all things.
3. Ultimate or Final Sanctification.
a) The Future Transformation Into the Likeness of Christ.
This aspect of sanctification is future and anticipates the final transformation of the believer into the likeness of Christ.
1) Sanctification will not be entirely completed until the Lord returns.
(a) At that time all believers will be presented to the Lord without any blemish (Eph. 5:26-27).
(b) He will change our lowly body into the likeness of His glorious body (Phil.3:21).
(c) It is "at his coming" (1 Cor.15:23) that we will be made alive with a resurrection body and then we shall fully "bear the image of the Man of heaven" (1Cor.15:49).
C. The Two Roles In Sanctification - - God & Man Cooperate.
1. God’s Role In Sanctification.
a) Sanctification is primarily a work of God.
1) 1 Thessalonians 5:23 – "May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly" (1 Thess. 5:23).
2) Hebrews 12:5-11 – One specific role of God the Father in this sanctification is his process of disciplining us as his children.
3) Philippians 2:13 – Paul tells the Philippians, "God is at work in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure"
(a) God causes us to want his will and by giving us His power to do it.
(b) Hebrews speaks in similar term (Hebrews 13:20-21).
4) Sanctification Is Specifically By God the Holy Spirit.
(a) Peter speaks of the "sanctifying work of the Spirit" (1Peter 1:2)
(b) Paul speaks of "sanctification by the Spirit" (2 Thess. 2:13).
(c) It is the Holy Spirit who produces in us the "fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22-23), those character traits that are part of greater and greater sanctification.
(d) If we grow in sanctification we "walk by the Spirit" and are "led by the Spirit" (Gal. 5:16-18; cf. Rom. 8:14).
1. When we do this we are more and more responsive to the desires and promptings of the Holy Spirit in our life and character. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of holiness, and he produces holiness within us.
2. Our Role In Sanctification.
a) The Passive & Active Roles In Salvation.
The passive role is one in which we depend on God to sanctify us,
The active role is one in which we strive to obey God and take steps that will increase our sanctification.
1) The Passive Role (Phil.2:13)
(a) This Role is Sometimes so Strongly Emphasized it Results in Laziness.
1. "Let go and let God" is given as a summary of how to live the Christian life.
a. This is tragic, for it only speaks of one half of the part we must play, and, by itself, will lead Christians to become lazy and to neglect the active role that Scripture commands them to play in their own sanctification.
2) The Active Role (Phil.2:12)
(a) Remember it is by the Spirit that we are able to do this, but we must do it!
1. We are to put to death the deed of the body (Romans 8:13)
2. It is by obedience & cooperation with God (Phil.2:12-13)
3. We are to strive for the Holiness (Heb.12:14); & abstain from immorality (1Thess.4:3)
4. We are to purify ourselves (1John 3:3); & put forth “great effort” on our part (2Pet.1:5)
a. Bible reading and meditation (Ps. 1:2; Matt. 4:4; John 17:17)
b. Prayer (Eph. 6:18; Phil. 4:6) & worship (Eph. 5:18-20)
c. Witnessing (Matt. 28:19-20) & Christian fellowship (Heb. 10:24-25)
d. Self-discipline or self-control (Gal. 5:23; Titus 1:8).
D. Sanctification Is Never Completed In This Life.
There have always been some in the history of the church who have taken commands such as:
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48 NKJV)
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1 NKJV)
They reasoned that since God gives us these commands, he must also give us the ability to obey them perfectly. Therefore, they have concluded, it is possible for us to attain a state of sinless perfection in this life.
They also point to Paul’s Prayer for the Thessalonians and say that his prayer may well have been fulfilled.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23 NKJV)
Jesus Himself said some astounding words:
Afterward Jesus found him (the paralytic) in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." (John 5:14 NKJV)
When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." (John 8:10-11 NKJV)
In fact the apostle John wrote:
Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him… He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning… Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God… We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him (1 John 3:6, 8, 9; 5:18 NKJV)
Do these verses not point to the possibility of sinless perfection in the life of some Christians?
Is it possible to attain sinless perfection in this life?
1. Jesus Is Not Communicating Sinless Perfection in this Life (Matt.5:48).
The sum of all that Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount-in fact, the sum of all He teaches in Scripture-The great purpose of salvation, the goal of the gospel, and the great yearning of the heart of God is for all men to become like Him.
Definition of Perfect Teleios (perfect) basically means to reach an intended end or a completion and is often translated “mature” (1 Cor. 2:6; 14:20; Eph. 4:13; etc.).
But the meaning here is obviously that of perfection, because the heavenly Father is the standard. The “sons of [the] Father” (v. 45) are to be perfect, as [their] heavenly Father is perfect. That perfection is absolute perfection.
a) God’s Standard is the Aim.
1) God's own absolute moral purity is the standard toward which we are to aim and the standard for which God holds us accountable.
1. The fact that we are unable to attain that standard does not mean that the standard will be lowered; rather, it means that we need God's grace and forgiveness to overcome our remaining sin.
2. God who is perfect could not set an imperfect standard of righteousness.
3. The truth of the gospel is that Christ has met this standard on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21).
2. True Christians Are Not Perfect or Sinless.
a) Having A Wholehearted Commitment to Christ Does not Mean that We Never Disobey.
1) Often we do what we do not want to do (Rom. 7:15-20).
1. We all fall far short of perfection in this life (Phil. 3:12–14). “We all stumble in many ways” (James 3:2). Even the most mature and godly Christians “see in a mirror dimly” (1 Cor. 13:12).
2. Our minds need constant renewing (Rom. 12:2).
a. Remember the illustration of the empty vinegar bottle? The more I rinse out the empty bottle with water, the more the smell will go away (Eph.5:26; Col.3:16)
2) But commitment to Christ does mean that obedience rather than disobedience will be our distinguishing trait.
1. God will deal with the sin in our lives and we will respond to His loving chastisement by becoming more holy (Heb. 12:5–11).
2. Those with true faith will fail—and in some cases, frequently—but a genuine believer will, as a pattern of life, confess his sin and come to the Father for forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
3. Romans describes the Christian’s hatred of and battle with sin (Rom. 7:8–24),
but first says that believers are free from sin and slaves of righteousness (6:18).
“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves” (1 John 1:8)
“No one who abides in Him sins” (3:6).
“If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1:10),
“No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in Him” (3:9).
3) Direction not Perfection.
1. All Christians sin (1 John 1:8), but all Christians also obey: “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3).
2. Sin and carnality are still present with all believers (Rom. 7:21), but they cannot be the trademark of one’s character (Rom. 6:22).
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord (Heb.12:14)
“Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God” (3 John 11).
That speaks of direction, not perfection. But it clearly makes behavior a test of faith’s reality.
3. The Danger of Perfectionism.
a) Perfectionist Will Redefine Their Sin.
1) In order to hang onto the perfectionist doctrine, they must:
1. Redefine sin or diminish the standard of holiness.
2. Robert Schuller Teaches Self-esteem theology. This says, “We must tell people everywhere that God wants them to feel good about themselves!”
1. Does God really want all people to feel good about themselves?
2. Self-esteem theology is forced to redefine sin in a way that minimizes the offense to God: “The core of sin is a negative self-image.” In other words, sin—according to the self-esteem gospel—is not necessarily an offense against God or His law.
b. Robert Schuller goes so far as to deny that fallen human nature is truly evil:
“By nature we are fearful, not bad.… Label it a ‘negative self-image,’ but do not say that the central core of the human soul is wickedness. If this were so, then truly, the human being is totally depraved.
c. Rober Shuller redefined total depravity, because total depravity means sinners have no ability to do spiritual good or work for their own salvation from sin. They are so completely disinclined to love righteousness, so thoroughly dead in sin, that they are not able to save themselves or even to fit themselves for God’s salvation.
3. Too often they do this at the expense of their own consciences.
b) The Great saints of the Bible seemed to recognize their own sinfulness
1) Peter, seeing Jesus for who he was, said, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" (Luke 5:8).
2) Paul wrote, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15 cf. Eph.3:8).
3) Job whom God identified Himself as a righteous man (Job 1:1, 8) said after seeing, Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:6 NKJV)
4) Isaiah, seeing God, grasped, "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts." (Isaiah 6:5 NKJV)
5) Daniel 9:14-19 Daniel realized his own sin & exercised (2 Chronicles 7:14).
c) Jesus Himself taught that human beings are:
1) evil (Matt.12:34)
2) capable of great wickedness (Mark 7:20-23)
3) utterly lost (Luke 19:10)
4) are sinners (Luke 15:10)
5) are in need of repentance before a holy God (Mark 1:15)
6) need to be born again (John 3:3, 5, 7)
d) Jesus often spoke of sin in metaphors that illustrate the havoc sin can wreak in one’s life
1) blindness (Matt.23:16-26)
2) sickness (Matt.9:21)
3) being enslaved to bondage (John 8:34)
4) living in darkness (John 8:12; 12:35-46)
5) Jesus also taught that sin is universal & that all people are guilty before God (Lk.7:37-48)
e) Jesus also taught that both inner thoughts and external acts render a person guilt.
1) He taught that from within the heart come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and foolishness (Mk.7:21-22)
2) He affirmed that God is fully aware of ever persons sins (Matt.22:18; Lk.6:8; Jn.4:17-19)
E. Matching Your Practice To Your Position (Eph.1:4)
The challenge of Christian living is to increasingly match your practice to your position.
1. God chose you in Christ to make you “holy and blameless” in His sight.
To be “holy” is to be separated from sin and devoted to righteousness.
To be “blameless” is to be pure, without spot or blemish—like Jesus, the Lamb of God (1 Peter 1:19).
a) Ephesians 1:4 Is A Positional Statement.
1) That is, Paul describes how God views us “in Him [Christ].”
1. God sees us as “holy and blameless” because Christ our Savior is holy and blameless.
2. His purity is credited to our spiritual bank account. That’s because God made Christ “who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
2. The Challenge of Our Walk.
a) Our Practice Often Falls Short.
Despite our exalted position in God’s sight, our practice often falls far short of His holy standard. Therefore, the challenge of Christian living is to increasingly match our practice to our position, realizing that sinless perfection won’t come until we are fully glorified in Heaven (Rom. 8:23).
b) Meeting That Challenge.
1) How Do You Meet That Challenge?
1. By prayer, Bible study, and yielding your life to the Spirit’s control.
2. Commit yourself to those priorities today as you seek to fulfill the great purpose to which you’ve been called—the “good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).
Conclusion for today “The Romans Road” (3:23; 6:23 5:8; 10:9-10)
III. The Origin of Sin
A. Where Did Sin Originate? Don’t Blame God.
1. God Himself Did Not Sin, and God is Not To Be Blamed for Sin.
It was man who sinned, and it was angels who sinned, and in both cases they did so by willful, voluntary choice.
a) To Blame God For Sin Would Be Blasphemy Against the Character of God.
He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. (Deuteronomy 32:4 NKJV)
"Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25 NKJV)
"Therefore listen to me, you men of understanding: Far be it from God to do wickedness, And from the Almighty to commit iniquity. (Job 34:10 NKJV)
In fact, it is impossible for God to even desire to do wrong:
Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. (James 1:13 NKJV)
We Must Guard Against An Opposite Error:
It would be wrong for us to say there is an eternally existing evil power in the universe similar to or equal to God himself in power. To say this would be to affirm what is called an ultimate "dualism" in the universe, the existence of two equally ultimate powers, one good and the other evil.
2. Ultimate Dualism – The existence of two equally ultimate powers, one good and the other evil. Dualism indicates an eternal conflict between God and the evil aspects of the material universe.
1) Star Wars - - May the Force Be With You.
One recent example of dualism in modern culture is the series of Star Wars movies, which suggest the existence of a universal "Force" that has both a good and an evil side. Non-Christians today merely acknowledge that there are good and evil aspects to the supernatural or spiritual world. Most "New Age" religion is dualistic. Of course, Satan is delighted to have people think that there is an evil force in the universe that is perhaps equal to God himself.
Revelation 2:13 – A must note: Do not think that Satan is today reigning in Hell sitting on a throne and that all of his agents are sent forth from the pit. This is not so.
Satan’s seat or throne may be a reference to the religious paganism centered in Pergamos.
1. The city had a throne-like altar to the god Zeus, a temple to Asklepios (symbolized by a serpent), and various temples dedicated to the worship of the Roman emperor.
2. His snake-like form is still the medical symbol today. The famous medical school connected to his temple mingled medicine with superstition.
3. One prescription called for the worshiper to sleep on the temple floor, allowing snakes to crawl over his body and infuse him with their healing power.
4. Christ here commends the church at Pergamos for remaining faithful in the midst of such satanic influence.
B. Satan As The Head of Demons.
The primary witness to the reality and existence of Satan is not experience or sensational stories but the testimony of Scripture. Both the Old Testament and New Testament affirm the reality and existence of Satan.
1. Satan is the Personal Name of the Head of the Demons.
a) His Name is Mentioned in Many Places
This name is mentioned in Job 1:6, where "the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them" (see also Job 1:7-2:7). Here he appears as the enemy of the Lord who brings severe temptations against Job.
1. Similarly, near the end of David's life, "Satan stood up against Israel, and incited David to number Israel" (1 Chron. 21:1).
2. Moreover, Zechariah saw a vision of "Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him" (Zech. 3:1).
The name "Satan" is a Hebrew word (satan) that means "adversary."
The New Testament also uses the name "Satan," simply taking it over from the Old Testament. So Jesus, in his temptation in the wilderness, speaks to Satan directly saying, "Begone, Satan!" (Matt. 4:10), or "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven" (Luke 10:18).
The Bible Uses Other Names For Satan As Well
|Names of Satan|
|Evil one||Intrinsically evil||John 17:15|
|Great red dragon||Destructive creature||Revelation 12:3, 7, 9|
|Serpent of old||Deceiver in Eden||Revelation 12:9|
|Adversary||Opponent||1 Peter 5:8|
|Beelzebul||Lord of the fly (Baalzebub)||Matthew 12:24|
|Belial||Worthless (Beliar)||2 Corinthians 6:15|
|God of this world||Controls philosophy of world||2 Corinthians 4:4|
|Ruler of this world||Rules in world system||John 12:31|
|Prince of the power of the air||Control of unbelievers||Ephesians 2:2|
|Tempter||Solicits people to sin||Matthew 4:3|
|Murderer||Leads people to eternal death||John 8:44|
|Liar||Perverts the truth||John 8:44|
|Accuser||Opposes believers before God||Revelation 12:10|
2. Satan & His background
a) He is not like a Halloween Costume!
Although Satan is not so-named in the following passages, they are understood with good reason to refer to his original state and subsequent fall.
1. Isaiah 14:12-17 & Ezekiel 28:11-19 tell us that the devil was originally called Lucifer.
2. He was the greatest angel and highest being God ever created. Lucifer wanted to be like God. As a result of his sin of pride:
a. He was throne out of heaven, Revelation 12:3-4 says he took a third of the angels with him.
b. Pride is the reason why we do not raise up people in the ministry to fast (1 Tim.3:6)
c. There are six things that the Lord hates (Proverbs 6:16).
3. Who really believe’s in the devil?
a. Jesus (Matt.4:1-11; Jn.12:31; 14:30; 16:11)
b. Paul talked about him (1Cor.7:5)
c. Peter (1Pet.5:8)
d. James 4:7
3. The Personality & Tactics of Satan.
a) Satan Exhibits Attributes of Personality.
Scripture mentions three major features of personality when discussing Satan. These personality traits are something we must take a close look at.
1. Satan reflects intellect in that he schemes and is crafty in his work (Eph. 6:11).
a. His work of deception indicates his ability to think and plan a course of action that will be successful in deceiving people (Rev. 12:9).
b. His knowledge and facility with Scripture (in deception) further illustrates his intellect (Matt. 4:5-6).
2. Satan’s emotion is seen in his desire to exalt himself above God (Isa. 14:12-17)
a. Satan desires to trap new converts through their conceit (1 Tim. 3:6). Recognizing he has only a short time on earth, Satan vents great wrath (Gk. thumon), “burning anger” (Rev. 12:12).
3. Satan demonstrated his will in attempting to entice Christ to sin (Matt. 4:3).
a. Satan’s will is most clearly reflected in his wish to be like God (Isa. 14:13-14).
4. Satan exhibits actions of personality.
a. Satan speaks (Job 1:9-10), tempts Christ (Matt. 4:3), plans (Eph. 6:11), and accuses believers (Rev. 12:10).
b) Satan’s Tactics & Schemes
Above all, Satan is deceptive, scheming to defeat Christians. His intent and opposition to believers is graphically portrayed in 1 Peter 5:8 “he roams around like a roaring lion:
1. In his opposition he is as ferocious as a lion, continually walking about with the intent of devouring someone.
2. He continually brings legal accusations against Christians (Rev. 12:9-10). He schemes (Gk. methodeia) against Christians to make them fall (Eph. 6:11).
3. Satan tries to create doubt in the minds of the believer (Gen.3:1-5)
4. He persecutes them (Rev.2:10) & hinders Gods servants & their service (1Thess.2:18)
5. He infiltrates the church with his tares (Matt.13:24-20, 36-43)
6. He tempts believers to be self-reliant, to doubt, lie, and be immoral, worldly, prideful, and discouraged.
7. He presents a life-style the damns men (Matt.7:13-14)
8. He perverts God’s Word (Matt.4:6) & opposes God’s work (Zech.3:1-2)
9. He hinders God’s the gospel (2Cor.4:3-4)
10. He snares the wicked (1Tim.3:6-7) & desires to control the nations of the earth (Rev.16:13-14)
11. He is described as an angel of light (2Cor.11:14) & fought with Michael (Jude 9)
12. He brought sin into the world (Gen.3:13) & now has the whole world lying in his lap (1Jn.5:18-19)
Do not think the longer you’re a Christian and the more mature you become, the easier life will be.
That is not true because the more you know, the more subtle the temptations become.
The tactics of Satan and his demons are to use lies (John 8:44), deception (Rev. 12:9), murder (Ps. 106:37; John 8:44), and every other kind of destructive activity to attempt to cause people to turn away from God and destroy themselves.
· John 10:10: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy."
· Demons will try every tactic to blind people to the gospel (2 Cor. 4:4) and keep them in bondage to things that hinder them from coming to God (Gal. 4:8).
· They will also try to use temptation, doubt, guilt, fear, confusion, sickness, envy, pride, slander, or any other means possible to hinder a Christian's witness and usefulness (James 3:13-18). All of these elements demonstrate that Satan is a person.
4. The Judgment of Satan.
a) The Ultimate Destiny of Satan.
Satan Fell From His Original Exalted Position. As the anointed cherub Satan led a host of angels, possibly one-third of all the angels, from heaven in his fall (Ezek. 28:16-17; Rev. 12:4).
Satan’s Ultimate Defeat Was Pronounced in Eden. God informed Satan that he would have a minor victory (“you shall bruise him on the heel”), but Christ would have a major victory through the cross (“He shall bruise you on the head” Gen. 3:15).
Satan Was Rendered Powerless Through the Cross. Christ partook of humanity, and through His substitutionary death He defeated Satan, rendering him impotent in the believer’s life. Satan had the power of death over people but that power was broken through Christ (Heb. 2:14).
Satan Will Be Cast Out of Heaven During the Tribulation. The casting out of heaven (Rev. 12:13) is an act of judgment and probably refers to the stellar heavens, also known as the second heaven (not the presence of God).
Satan Will Be Bound In the Pit For 1,000 Years. At the triumphant return of Christ, Satan is bound for 1,000 years and shut up in the abyss, no longer able to deceive anyone on earth for the duration of the Millennium (Rev. 20:2-3).
Satan Will Finally Be Cast Into the Lake of Fire. At the end of the Millennium Satan is released whereupon he deceives many people, leads a rebellion against God, is defeated and finally cast into the lake of fire for eternity (Rev. 20:7-10), which was created for him and his anglels
You do not have to go there, God has made the way of escape for you through His Son Jesus!
IV. The Origin of Demons
A. The Enemies of Our Soul.
How should Christians think of Satan and demons today? Spiritual warfare.
1. The Origin of Demons.
a) There Are A Number of Theories About the Origin of Demons.
When God created the world, he "saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good" (Gen. 1:31). This means that even the angelic world that God had created did not have evil angels or demons in it at that time. But by the time of Genesis 3, we find that Satan, in the form of a serpent, was tempting Eve to sin (Gen. 3:1-5). Therefore, sometime between the events of Genesis 1:31 and Genesis 3:1, there must have been a rebellion in the angelic world with many angels turning against God and becoming evil.
b) Spirits of deceased evil people. This was the view of Philo, Josephus, some early Christian writers, and ancient Greeks. This theory is proved false by Scripture because evil people are in Hades after death (Luke 16:23).
c) Spirits of a pre-Adamic race. This theory is based on the “gap theory” of an original creation of Genesis 1:1, rebellion and a fall of that originally created race between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, and the resultant chaos. Genesis 1:3 describes the recreation. The original creation of humanity that fell is now the spirits of demons. The problem with this view is that it depends on a creation of humanity prior to Genesis 1 and 2, and there is no biblical warrant for such a view. Furthermore, Romans 5:12 makes it clear that it was through Adam, not some pre-Adamic creature, that the conditions of sin and death began in the cosmos.
d) Offspring of angels and women. This theory is based on the suggestion that the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2 were angels who came to earth, had intercourse with the “daughters of men,” and produced a resultant offspring, the Nephilim (Gen. 6:4), who were demons. This theory has several problems. The suggestion that sons of God refers to angels can be challenged; this was not an unnatural sexual union for the phrase “took wives for themselves” refers to a marriage relationship, never to an act of illicit sexual relationship. In addition, there is no indication that Nephilim were demons; rather, they were probably “heroes” or “fierce warriors.”
e) Fallen but unconfined angels. This view, which is preferable, is held by Hodge, Strong, Morgan, Gaebelein, Unger, and others.
1. It teaches that when Lucifer rebelled against God he fell from his place of prominence and led with him a host of lower-ranking angels.
2. Lucifer, now called Satan, is the “ruler of demons” (Matt. 12:24). Matthew 25:41 also refers to “the devil and his angels,” which would refer to demons; similarly, Revelation 12:7 mentions “the dragon and his angels.”
3. Scripture indicates there are two groups of fallen angels.
a. One group is the demons who are free and active in the world.
b. Other fallen angels are bound in confinement.
c. Some are mentioned as being confined to tartarus, (translated “hell” in 2 Pet. 2:4); they are confined because of some enormous sin.
d. Jude 6 may refer to the same confinement.
1. Another group of fallen angels are kept confined in the pit (Luke 8:31; Rev. 9:2). They were “apparently too depraved and harmful to be allowed to roam upon the earth.” Revelation 9 indicates these demons will be released from confinement during the Tribulation to afflict people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads (Rev. 9:3-11).
2. The Characteristics of Demons.
a) Demons are spirit beings.
They are beings called spirits, that is, ones without fleshly bodies (Matt. 8:16; Luke 10:17, 20).
b) Demons are localized but not omnipresent.
They can be in only one place at one time. The demons indwelt the two men of the Gadarenes, and when they were expelled they indwelt the swine. In each case they were localized (Matt. 8:28-34; cf. Acts 16:16).
c) Demons are intelligent but not omniscient.
Demons were aware of the identity of Jesus (Mark 1:24); they were also aware of their ultimate destiny (Matt. 8:29).
1. Paul refers to “doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1), indicating that they propagate their false teaching through their emissaries. They are not, however, omniscient or they would be like God; only God is omniscient.
d) Demons are powerful but not omnipotent.
Because of the indwelling demons the man of the Gerasenes could break shackles and chains; no one was able to bind him because of his unusual strength (Mark 5:3-4).
1. The demon in the boy sought to have the boy commit suicide by throwing him into fire and water (Mark 9:22).
2. Demon possession impaired a man’s speech (Matt. 9:32) and kept a girl in cruel slavery (Matt. 15:22), yet demons are limited in their power; they cannot do the work of God (John 10:21).
3. The Activity of Demons.
a) Demons Inflict Disease.
Luke 13:11 testifies a woman had a crippling sickness “caused by a spirit”; Luke 13:16 further declares that “Satan has bound for eighteen long years” this woman in her suffering.
1. Sometimes there is a correlation between mental illness, sickness, and demonic activity; however, it is not always possible to identify the distinction and anyone attempting such a diagnosis should be cautious.
2. Affliction by Satan or demons can come only as God permits (Job 1:12; 2:6; cf. 2 Cor. 12:7-10).
b) Demons Influence the Mind.
Satan initially deceived Eve into sinning by perverting the truth and changing Eve’s thinking about God (Gen. 3:1-5).
Satan and his demons continue to influence the thinking of people through blinding their minds (2 Cor. 4:4). This passage indicates Satan inhibits the ability to think or reason. Even though this passage refers to unbelievers, Satan can also influence the thinking of believers (2 Cor. 11:3); he can lead believers away from “the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”
1. Satan can thus lead the believer away from a singleminded devotion to Christ. James 3:15 indicates earthly wisdom is demonic and leads to jealousy and strife.
2. The solution to demonic influence of the mind is to bring the thought process into subjection to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
c) Demons Deceive People.
Paul was fearful of the Thessalonian church, that Satan may have enticed them to sin amid their suffering and persecution (1 Thess. 3:5). Although the Thessalonians had received the gospel with joy, their hope could be sidetracked through the onslaught of Satan.
1. Through his emissaries (demons), Satan also works in unbelievers; Paul refers to the prince of the power of the air “working in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). The context indicates
2. Satan deceives the unbelievers into living according to the lusts of the flesh and desires of the flesh and mind.
3. Matthew 13:19 further indicates Satan’s deception in that he snatches the Word away when unbelievers hear it, thwarting their understanding.
d) Demons Deceive Nations.
Demons will eventually gather the nations of the world together in rebellion against Christ. Demons deceive the nations through performing signs in order to incite them in warfare against the returning Messiah (Rev. 16:14).
B. Demon Possession
Definition. Charles Ryrie defines demon possession as
A demon residing in a person, exerting direct control and influence over that person, with certain derangement of mind and/or body. Demon possession is to be distinguished from demon influence or demon activity in relation to a person. The work of the demon in the latter is from the outside; in demon possession it is from within. By this definition a Christian cannot be possessed by a demon since he is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. However, a believer can be the target of demonic activity to such an extent that he may give the appearance of demon possession.
1. The Fact & Nature of Demon Possession.
a) The Fact of Demon Possession:
There was a great outbreak of demon activity and demon possession during Christ’s sojourn on earth, no doubt in opposition to His Messiahship.
1. The gospels abound with accounts of demon possessed people (Matt. 4:24; 8:16, 28, 33; 12:22; 15:22; Mark 1:32; 5:15, 16, 18; Luke 8:36; John 10:21).
b) The Nature of Demon Possession.
Demon possession evidences itself by a change in moral character and spiritual disposition. Frequently a different voice, a different educational level, or even a foreign language will reflect a difference in the affected person’s personality. The demons speaking through the man immediately recognized who Christ was (Mark 1:23-24), which meant he had supernatural knowledge and intellectual power.
1. Another symptom of demon possession was exhibited by the man in the country of the Gerasenes with his supernatural physical strength and ability to break shackles and chains (Mark 5:3-4).
2. The Judgment of Demons.
a) Through the Cross the Power of Demons has Been Conquered.
Christ conquered Satan and his demons at the cross and made a public display of them— (Col. 2:15).
b) At the Return of Christ the Demons Will Be Cast Into the Lake of Fire.
Demons are associated with judgment against Satan (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 12:9), and therefore will be cast into the lake of fire with Satan (Rev. 19:19-21).
V. The Results & Consequences of Sin
A. What Does Sin Do?
1. Sin begins in the heart (Jeremiah 17:9-10; Matthew 5:27-28)
a) The Good Tree & the Bad Tree (Matthew 12:31-37)
Treasure is from theµsauros, which means storehouse or treasury and is the term from which we get the English thesaurus, a treasury of words.
(a) A person’s heart is the treasury of his thoughts, ambitions, desires, loves, attitudes, and loyalties. It is the reservoir from which the mouth draws its expressions.
1. It is self-evident that a good treasure brings forth what is good and an evil treasure brings forth what is evil.
2. James 3:1-12 – “What is in the well of the heart will come out through the bucket of the mouth”
Set on fire by hell indicates that the tongue can be Satan’s tool, fulfilling hell’s purposes to pollute, corrupt, and destroy. It is unbelievably dangerous and destructive.
His speech was smoother than butter, but his heart was war; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords” (Ps. 55:21)
“Behold, they belch forth with their mouth; swords are in their lips” (59:7); and as those “who have sharpened their tongue like a sword. They aimed bitter speech as their arrow” (64:3).
A common expression in the computer world is GIGO, which stands for “Garbage in, garbage out.” In other words, the quality of data entered determines the quality of the results produced from that data. In exactly the same way, the quality of what is in a person’s heart determines the quality of speech his mouth produces.
2. Sin Goes From Bad To Worse (Rom.6:19)
a) Sin leads to more sin, it can lead to bondage in someone’s life. Sin says, ‘Well I can manage this, just one more time.’ It is like a match that can start a big forest fire.
(a) Genesis 4:7 – Sin wants to come in and bring control over your life.
(b) Matthew 24:12 – Because of lawlessness the love of many will grow cold.
(c) 2 Timothy 3:13 – But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
3. Sin Lead’s to bondage (John 8:34)
a) The Idea of "commits sin" means to “practice sin habitually”
Paul Made a Similar Statement (Galatians 5:19; 1Cor.6:9-10). The key word in Paul’s warning is practice (indicating durative, ongoing action).
1. It is the continual, habitual practice of such things that marks a person as unregenerate and therefore barred from entrance into the kingdom of God.
2. Scripture always evaluates a person’s character on the basis of his common, habitual actions, not his occasional ones.
3. People who habitually indulge in sin show themselves to be enemies of God, whereas those who habitually do good show themselves to be His children.
Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, To practice wicked works With men who work iniquity; And do not let me eat of their delicacies. (Psalms 141:4 NKJV)
Four Reasons Why A True Christian Cannot Habitually Sin.
1) Sin is incompatible with the Law of God which they love (Psalm 119:33-40, 77, 97)
2) It is incompatible with the work of Christ (1Jn.3:5). Jesus died to make us holy, He broke the dominion of sin in a believers life (Romans 6:1-15).
3) Jesus destroyed the works of the devil (1Jn.3:8; Col.2:15)
4) We have a new nature & the Holy Spirit living within us (Jn.3:9; 2Cor.5:17; 1Cor.6:19).
(a) Examples of Bondage of Sin.
1. Sodom and Gomorra Genesis 19:4-11 the men are struck with blindness and grew weary trying to commit this sin.
2. Like a rat who gets caught in a trap and while it is dying is still nibbling on the cheese.
… Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. (1 Timothy 1:15 NKJV)
… to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.' (Acts 26:17-18 NKJV)
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. (1 John 5:19 NKJV)
3. Men love sin and do not want to let go of it (John 3:19).
2. Sin causes you to hate yourself (Ezek.20:43)
When we understand we have realized we have sinned against a Holy God, our reaction should be as the sinner in (Luke 18:13).
3. Sin controls the mind, the will, the affections, and ultimately the person’s entire being
The minds of unbelievers are dominated by evil (Jer.17:9; Eph.4:17-19); and because of sin, they cannot understand spiritual truth (1Cor.2:14).
4. Sin also has the domineering effect on the affections of men and woman.
a) Even believers can love the wrong things or love things the wrong way (1Jn.2:15-16).
John records for us here how sin can have the complete domination of the unsaved heart (John 3:19). People who are dominated by sin are under the control of Satan until they come to Christ (Eph.2:1-2) & under Satan’s dominion there is no freedom but only slavery (John 8:44, Rom.6:16; 1John 5:19).
5. Sin is Deceiving (Hebrews 3:13)
a) Deceitfulness Means “trickery” or “strategem.”
From Genesis to Revelation the Bible is full of warning signs from God, meant to deter men from sin and thereby keep them from His wrath.
(a) The Old Testament tells us that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezek. 33:11),
(b) The New Testament tells us that He does not wish for anyone to perish but wants everyone to repent (2 Pet. 3:9).
(c) God did not create man to be doomed to hell, and throughout His Word He continually warns him of the dangers and penalty of sin.
Many people intellectually accept the gospel.
1. They believe its message, but never commit themselves to the One whom that gospel proclaims.
2. They do not repent of their sins and turn wholeheartedly to Him as Savior and Lord.
3. It is no favor to God—and no benefit to us—to like, to admire, to praise His gospel, without accepting and obeying it.
4. To know the truth and not accept it brings worse judgment than never to have known it at all.
The warning here is to those who know the gospel, who affirm its truth, but who, because of love of sin or fear of persecution or whatever it may be, have not committed themselves to the truth they know is real.
Sin is tricky; it seldom appears as it really is. It always masks itself. It lies and deceives (cf. Rom. 7:11 cf. Gen.3:13).
It gives a promise of excitement, a promise of joy, a promise of anything your flesh might long for! It’s deceitful because it makes promises of these things, but it doesn’t produce. And the end result, it does produce misery and pain and suffering. There may be the moments of excitement, the moments of thrill, but ultimately they will end in misery and woe.
Example of White Water Rafting (the end is destructive).
I don’t deny that it wouldn’t be extremely thrilling, and the promise for the thrill would surely be there! But you know what the consequences would be! And so with sin – The only thing is, that sin hides the consequences.
1. It doesn’t show you what it will lead to.
There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
And Jesus said, for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.
There are many that go in that way because the gate doesn’t say, “Path to Destruction”! It says, “Path to Happiness”! This is living! This is life! And there are bright lights to attract and to draw people to it!
But in reality, once you enter in to that broad way, you are on the path to destruction because sin has as its very character and nature, that destructive element. Sin destroys!
2. God has not forbidden you, one decent thing!
The only things that God has forbidden you to do, are things that in the end result, have a destructive characteristic to them, things that in the end will destroy you! And God has forbidden you to do those things that are destructive. Sin is destructive. God is constructive!
God wants to build you up and make you a better person. Sin will tear you down and destroy you. And so God has laid for us the things that are destructive and has told us, don’t do that!
6. Sin Has Consequences (Galatians 6:7)
a) The Story of King David (2 Samuel 11-12:1-23)
King David Was Deceived By His Own Sin.
It is interesting how easily you can see the sin in somebody else, but you cannot see it in your own life. That was David’s problem.
1. You reap what you sow (Gal.6:7) & it brings shame (Rom.6:21) & death (Rom.6:23).
a. Sin Has Consequences.
i. God hates sin (Hababkuk 1:13 & The Cross of Jesus)
1. Sowing & Reaping
a. Galatians 6:7
b. Proverbs 14:14 the backslider
c. Proverbs 13:15 the way of the transgressor is hard
2. Sin Brings Shame
a. Romans 6:21 are country has lost the ability of being shamed
b. The things that people use to do in the dark they are now doing the public
c. Sin is like the devil, ‘Out to kill, steal, and destroy’
3. Sin Makes Man Unthankful
a. 2 Timothy 3:2
b. Romans 1:20-21 Men become unthankful in their heart
i. God causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. The unjust don’t even care or are thankful to God for this.
ii. Unthankfulness is a sign of sin creeping into mans heart producing pride, ‘I have accomplished these things myself.’
4. Sin Effects Every Person
a. Ps. 51:5
b. Romans 5:12; 3:9-12; 3:23
c. Ephesians 2:1-3
5. The result of sin is it can damn a soul to eternal punishment & separation from God in hell.
a. Ephesians 2:1-3 children of wrath; under the control of Satan until they come to Christ
i. The wages of sin ‘this is the payment people get for their sin’
ii. Hebrews 10:26,27,29,30
1. Hell is a place of extreme bodily suffering
2. Hell is a place of memories (Luke 16:25 remember)
3. Hell is a place of insatiable and tormenting desire (Luke 16:24)
4. Hell is a place of vile companionships (Rev.21:8) there is not parties in hell!
5. Hell is a world without hope (Matt.25:46)
ii. Sin Affects Not Only Us But also Those Around Us.
1. Sin first entered the world through Adam (Romans 5:12 cf. 3:23).
a. Because of Adams sin, all men are spiritually dead, forever, and are destined to die physically (Romans 6:23; cp. Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:19; Ezekiel 18:4, 20).
i. Look at the consequences of Achins Sin (Joshua 7:24)
ii. David committed adultery with Bathsheba, murdered Uriah, and lost his infant son (2 Sam. 11:1–12:23).
b. But there is a deliverance from sin and from its penalty—the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12; Hebrews 9:26).
3) The Power Over Sin
a. The Principles for Victory
i. You need to know what Scripture says.
a. Romans 6:17
b. Romans 6:1-7
ii. Recognize that Christ has defeated Satan
a. Power In Victory: Because we are in Christ, we have;
i. Victory over the world (1 John 5:4)
ii. Victory over the flesh (Romans 6)
iii. Victory over the devil (Colossians 2:15)
1. 1Jn.3:8 says that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil
2. Heb.2:14-15 says the plan was “that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
3. The Lord has already dealt a defeating blow!
iii. Recognize the power of Christ in your life.
a. The power that defeated Satan dwells in you (1Jn.4:4)
b. When a believer is saved he receives the Spirit of God, in whom is the power that defeated Satan
iv. Resist Satan (1 Peter 5:8-9)
a. How do you resist him?
i. Don’t give Satan a place in your life (Eph.4:26-27) How do I keep from doing that?
1. Don’t be ignorant of Satan’s devices; Unforgiveness (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)
2. If he has a place in your life then you gave it to him, the key is your will.
a. These are his devices (1Jn.2:16)
b. Flee temptation (2Tim.2:22)
c. Lay aside our sin (Hebrews 12:1-2)
d. Separate yourself from sin (Eph.5:11-14 cf. )
e. Let Christ control your thought life (2Cor.10:3-5).
v. Live an Uncompromising Life.
1. People Who Hold To An Uncompromising Standard are Lacking in the Church Today.
a. Scripture is full of people who compromised, including some very choice servants of God.
i. Adam compromised God’s law, followed his wife’s sin, and lost paradise (Gen. 3:6, 22–24).
ii. Abraham compromised the truth, lied about Sarah’s relationship to him, and nearly lost his wife (Gen. 12:10–12).
iii. Sarah compromised God’s Word and sent Abraham to Hagar, who bore Ishmael and destroyed peace in the Middle East (Gen. 16:1–4, 11–12).
iv. Moses compromised God’s command and lost the privilege of entering the Promised Land (Num. 20:7–12).
v. Samson compromised his devotion as a Nazirite and lost his strength, his eyesight, and his life (Judg. 16:4–6, 16–31).
vi. Israel compromised the commands of the Lord, lived in sin, and, when fighting the Philistines, lost the Ark of God (1 Sam. 4:11). She also compromised the law of God with sin and idolatry and lost her homeland (2 Chron. 36:14–17).
vii. Saul compromised God’s divine word by not slaying the animals of his enemy and lost his kingdom (1 Sam. 15:3, 20–28).
viii. David compromised God’s standard, committed adultery with Bathsheba, murdered Uriah, and lost his infant son (2 Sam. 11:1–12:23).
ix. Solomon compromised his convictions, married foreign wives, and lost the united kingdom (1 Kings 11:1–8).
x. Judas compromised his supposed devotion for Christ for thirty pieces of silver and was separated from Christ eternally (Matt. 26:20–25, 47–49; 27:1–5; cf. John 17:12).
xi. Peter compromised his conviction about Christ, denied Him, and lost his joy (Mark 14:66–72). Later he compromised the truth in order to gain acceptance by the Judaizers and lost his liberty (Gal. 2:11–14).
xii. Ananias and Sapphira compromised their word about their giving, lied to the Holy Spirit, and lost their lives (Acts 5:1–11).
b. Two observations come to mind from those examples.
i. First, in every case the effect of the compromise was to lose something valuable in exchange for something temporary and unfulfilling, some sinful desire. At salvation we gain something valuable (our salvation and relationship with Christ) in exchange for something worthless (our sin and self-righteousness).
ii. Second, note what was compromised in each of those examples:
1. Either God’s Word, a command from God, or a conviction about God.
2. Thus the true price of compromise is a rejection of God’s Word, which amounts to rebellion against Him and promotion of self as the final authority.
“With Fear and Trembling”: Understand the Consequences of Sin. Although God is patient and forgiving when His children sin, sin inevitably has consequences. That’s why we must pursue sanctification “with fear and trembling.”
The Greek term rendered “fear” is phobos, from which the English word phobia comes. “Trembling” is from tromos, which is the origin of the word trauma. Together those words speak of a healthy fear of offending God and a proper anxiety to do what is right in His eyes. It is not a fear of eternal doom but a reverential awe that motivates a person to righteousness.
This kind of fear is fear of sinning, distrust of one’s own strength in the face of temptation, horror at the thought of dishonoring God. It is a sense of foreboding that comes with understanding the deceitfulness of sin and the unreliability of one’s own heart. It is terror at the thought of a moral breakdown; a loathing of the disqualification such sin might cause; and the kind of circumspection Paul enjoined when he reminded the early church of the failures of the Israelites. It is a moral revulsion at anything that would grieve or cause affront to a thrice-holy God.
Isaiah 66:2 speaks of righteous fear: “To this one I will look, / To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.” Verse 5 says, “Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at His word.” When the Lord speaks in this context of a trembler at His Word, He is, in effect, using that expression as a title for the true believer. Every believer should live in such awe of God’s majesty and holiness that he shuns sin lest it grieve his Lord, violate his testimony to an unbelieving world, or negate his usefulness for ministry in the body of Christ and bring divine chastening.
The repentant life will be a changed life. The primary message of John’s first epistle is that the truly redeemed life will manifest itself in a transformed life, in which confession of sin (1:8-10), obedience to God’s will (2:4-6), love of God’s other children (2:9-11; 3:16-17), and practice of righteousness (3:4-10) are normal and habitual. “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples” (John 15:8). Anything less is damning demon-faith (James 2:19) that is orthodox but fruitless.
The punishment for sin (Macarthur p46-48
Separation from sin p.327-329
Macarthur’s book the believer’s armor p.99
Faith works Macarthur for Free from sin
1. Sin controls what people think, what they decide to do & what they come to love.
2. Jeremiah 44:16-17—the Jews in Egypt wanted nothing to do with the prophet’s message.
a. Ephesians 2:3 are those who are controlled by the sin nature
i. Jesus identified all unbelievers as objects of God’s wrath: (John 3:36; 1Cor.16:22; Gal.3:10).
ii. This should prompt us to proclaim, in the spirit of John the Baptist, the only salvation from divine wrath—the gospel (Matt.3:7-12; Luke 3:7-9 cf. 1Thess.1:10).