This January, Georges River will look at the topic of Spiritual Warfare. Here is my sermon today on who our ultimate enemy is, Satan, and what is his modus operandi (based on Job 1:1-12, Matthew 27:39-44, James 4:7-8, 1 Peter 5:7-8). It’s helpful to do this, because we need to know who our enemy is and, eventually, how to thwart and overcome him. If we know not who our enemy is and avoid thinking about what he’s doing, how can we overcome and assail him? In the coming weeks, we will also examine his methods (14/01), how he has been defeated (21/01), and how Christians are enabled by Christ to defeat him (28/01).
For reference, here are some other selected passages about who Satan is and how he works:
- Genesis 3:1-5 – Satan is a liar who takes on various forms and voices to suit his purposes. He never unmasks his true intentions and is a murderer (John 8:44);
- Job 1-2 – he accuses but is limited in that he must roam the earth, and cannot see and know all things;
- Isaiah 14:3-23 – Babel is a parallel of Satan. The whole earth is in awe of him and under his influence, but he will one day be defeated;
- Job 41 – like Leviathan the great serpent, he thinks all under heaven is his (compare v. 11 with Matthew 4:9), no craft of man can destroy him (v. 26), and he is king of all the proud (v. 34);
- 1 Chronicles 21:1 – Satan incites David to commission a census;
- Zechariah 3:1 – Satan unsuccessfully accuses Joshua, the High Priest;
- 2 Corinthians 11:14 – he appears as an angel of light;
- John 8:44 – Satan has children, those who oppose Jesus;
- Matthew 4:9 – he is proud, self-deceived, beyond healing and redemption;
- Matthew 16:23 – he works through others, even Jesus’ disciples;
- Luke 13:16 – Satan binds people physically;
- Luke 22:3, Acts 5:3 – enters into people who are open to him, even people who claim to be Christian (Judas, Ananias, and Sapphira);
- John 14:30 – he is ruler of the world (and has no authority over Jesus);
- 1 Corinthians 7:5 – he works through a lack of self-control;
- Acts 13:10 – he uses people as human agents to distort the straight and easy ways of God;
- Acts 17:1-15, 1 Thessalonians 2:18 – he physically attacks the church and frustrates its mission;
- Ephesians 6:12 – Satan uses the world’s powers and principalities to do his work;
- Ephesians 2:2 – he is at work in the disobedient, the ‘prince of the air’;
- 1 John 3:8 – is helped and followed by Christians who habitually sin;
- Revelation 2:9 – Satan has churches that do his work;
- Revelation 2:13 – he has strongholds here on earth;
- Revelation 12:12 – he knows his time is short!
- Revelation 16:13 – he works through deceptions and false believers;
- Luke 10:18 – he is defeated, a tiger without teeth.
God bless, Pastor Haydn.