1 Pet 5:7-9
INTRO: Who is behind the troubles Christians are going to face? Who is behind the persecutions, slanders and woes which would threaten to engulf the church? Only one answer will really do ... the devil. Peter has warned of the problems. Now he plainly identifies the cause as your adversary, the devil. And who better than Peter could advise us about how to deal with the devil? In fact, one may read these verses and almost feel the twinges of pain as Peter remembers how poorly he had fared in a confrontation with the old serpent. Peter, then, speaks with the wisdom of one who has been there.
I. WHO IS THIS ADVERSARY HE CALLS THE DEVIL?
A. His history?
1. fact is we truly do not know his origin
2. we do know that he - like all but the godhead - was a created being of great power (but not equal to Gods)
3. he has been busy in human affairs since almost the dawn of time first introduced to him in Gen 3
4. devil is real some believe in Christ; not the devil
B. His purpose?
1. from Adam, Job and Jesus we should have an idea!
2. 1 Thes 3:5 to tempt, to ruin Gods new creation
3. is the devil concerned about you and me? indeed, he is so, Eph 6:11,12
4. we are in a life and death struggle with a wily, strong, persistent enemy see 2 Cor 11:14,15
C. His end?
1. Mt 25:41 a horrible fate, indescribably bad
2. Rev 20:10 the devil is a no hoper
3. and to ally yourself with him in any way means that you may share in his fate!
4. no wonder Peter tells us how to deal with him!
II. HOW SHALL WE DEAL WITH SUCH A POWERFUL ENEMY?
A. Be careful about your anxieties 5:7
1. anxiety from a root meaning to divide
2. anxieties do create distractions which will divide us from God through divided interests
3. so, we must first learn to cast our cares on the Lord in order that He may be totally involved in our struggle
4. note Isa 26:3 and Ps 55:22 confidence in God
B. Be sober 5:8a
1. we must be opposite of excitable, flighty, incautious
2. only calm, self-controlled people can wrestle the devil ... and win
3. no intemperance 1 Cor 9:25
C. Be vigilant (watchful) 5:8b
1. give strict attention; cautious; mentally alert, active
2. would Peter remember Mt 26:40,41?
3. any moral, ethical, spiritual sleepiness is fertile soil for a Satanic attack (1 Thes 5:6-8)
D. Be resistant 5:9a
1. how big is the fight in us
2. remember Jas 4:7!
3. but notice especially steadfast in the faith our only real hope of dealing successfully with the devil is if we are steadfast in the faith
4. Christians who are only nominal or who are fallen can only expect to be drawn deeper into Satans grasp
E. Be positive, optimistic 5:9b
1. recall 1 Cor 10:13a ... we are not alone in our problems and our struggles
2. brethren worldwide are trying - as we - to deal with the devil
3. the Lords is a mighty army of people whom He will not cast aside or desert so, 1Cor 10:13b
CLOSE: We do not have to submit to the devil. We can (with Gods help) overcome him time and again. Perhaps, though, it really all boils down to do we want to overcome him.
Cecil A. Hutson
24 February 2002
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)