The Power of God through the Blood of the Cross
In last week's lesson and our discussion time we established that sin originated in the heart of Satan. This sin revealed itself as “pride,” which we established as rebellion against God. Many people have asked the question, “Did God "create sin" because He created Satan? I firmly believe that God DID NOT create sin. But He did give His creation the freedom of choice. Free will means, “the power to choose for or against something." Satan had every opportunity and the choice to remain loyal to God, or to rebel against Him. His rebellion was not the fault of God, but the result of his own free choice. He chose freely to take off the covering of God’s glory and replace it with his own. He broke fellowship with God.
As with Satan, before Adam and Eve sinned, they were covered by the glory of God and enjoyed fellowship with Him. The Lord Almighty was their covering and He took full responsibility for them. I believe that in this time of covering, Adam and Eve enjoyed a pure and holy relationship with a pure and holy God. A relationship without sin. They walked with God in perfection and were in close communication with Him daily. I am convinced that this made Satan furious. I have always felt that this is the reason for Satan’s obvious hatred of us. Since we are created in the image of God, it is natural that his hatred would be extended to all of mankind. After our creation, Satan was going to do his best to try and get us, un-covered and in broken fellowship with God.
Eve first encountered Satan in the form of a serpent (Genesis 3) and he would be relentless in his tempting of her free will. Satan used a subtle but deadly temptation! The same temptation he still uses today. Satan implied that God's commands were harsh and unreasonable. He in effect, condemned the absolute and un-challengeable authority of God. He went on to suggest that God, is in fact jealous, prohibiting Adam and Eve from eating of the tree because they would “”be like God." Would Adam and Eve choose to live solely under the authority of God's Word to them? The outcome of the story is all too well known. Satan deceived Eve and she in turn questioned what God had told her. They were tempted into believing they would gain the wisdom and knowledge of God. They both exercised their freedom of choice and when they chose to believe Satan’s word over that of their Creator, they chose to establish a relationship with the enemy and they broke fellowship with God.
We studied last week about the origin of sin and found it in the heart of Satan. Now we have the original sin and it’s found in the heart of man. This original sin nature can cause a sense in which the aim of every man's life is to be like God. All men are striving to imitate God in one way or another. But, there is a radical difference between submitting to the Satanic temptation to be like God (Genesis. 3:5) and responding to Christ's petition that we should be like God. (Matt. 5:48). The first, is an attempt to replace God's authority with one's own, while the second is an attempt to demonstrate godliness as a desire for an intimate relationship with our Creator.
When Adam and Eve sinned, Satan had accomplished exactly what he set out to do. Just as Adam and Eve, we have become the object of Satan’s attacks. Since Satan cannot attack God himself, he attack’s His creation. We will take a look at some of the methods he employs in achieving his goal.
Enemy of God
Enemy of Man
Satan’s goal is to separate for eternity human beings from the God who created them and his strategy for the world involves massive deception. “He has blinded the minds of unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ." (2 Cor. 4:4) His most severe attacks are directed at the minds of people, and in this effort he “masquerades as an angel of light." (2 Cor. 11:14) But his number one passion is to defeat the family of God! He wants to render the Bride of Christ ineffective! This is why we should not be surprised when we become the target of the enemy’s anger and hatred. The forces of evil and darkness are constantly challenging the people of God and the boundary of the Blood of Jesus on our lives is a place of continual conflict. There is no letup in our battle with Satan, ever!
Sometimes his attacks are subtle and sometimes he will assault openly. Often, spiritual opposition comes in the form of human opposition and Satan will empower and embolden anyone who has the slightest tendency to want to attack God’s people. Satan lives by the rule: I Will Divide And Conquer God’s family! He is the “Master of Division." In Matthew 12:25, Jesus revealed a critical spiritual law, " Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." Satan is acutely aware of this spiritual law and uses it as a weapon to destroy marriages, families, ministries and friendships. He looks for ways constantly to inspire disagreement and create division. His scheme is simple, pit ministry against ministry, husband against wife and children against parents, friends against friends, anywhere he can sow disunity.
From birth we are bombarded by the attacks of Satan, abortion is a good example. Satan will relentlessly come against us with accusations and lies trying to keep us from the Cross. If he his not successful and we choose to recognize that Jesus is, “the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world," (John 1:29) his attacks against us only intensify. The Blood of Jesus upon our lives is a constant reminder to Satan that his plan to destroy Jesus on the Cross at Calvary didn’t work. Satan failed utterly at Calvary and is now at war with the family of God because he has lost claim to our souls. His methods of attacking us are limited, but can be very effective. He works through enticement, temptation, busyness, addiction, complacency and discouragement.
In keeping with his character as the father of lies, another one of Satan’s most effective weapons is, blinding Christians to the way he operates, by getting us to buy into an unbiblical and materialistic world. These are just a few of his methods, and unfortunately, they have been sufficient enough to entrap and enslave millions of Christians. This can lead to a life of bondage even as a believer. In many ways, his job is not difficult because our nature’s gravitate toward sin and it is a real battle. Satan cannot force sin upon us but he will work subtly to get us to yield to it. (James 1:14-15) If Satan can keep the body of Christ defeated, he can keep us from being an effective witness for Christ. It is important that we understand why we must battle the enemy of God and I am thankful that God’s Word gives us all the information we need to understand and defeat our enemy. This week, let’s examine just what the Bible says we are up against.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts
of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to withstand in the evil day,and having done all, to stand.
Our Journey through
What did Satan lay claim to as a result of mankind's fall? Luke 4:5-6 (See Note #1) Where is Satan after the fall? Job 1:6-7;
Job 2: 1-2; Rev.12: 12
What did Christ call Satan in John 12:31;14:30; 16:11?
In Matthew 4:3, 1Thess. 3:5, James 1:14 what does Satan do?
Is Satan a spirit-being? 1 Corinthians 2:12; Ephesians 2:2; 1 John 4:6
Is Satan also a personal being? What biblical evidence is there that identifies him as such? (First and last are answered as an example)
1. Luke 4:3 ; Luke 22:31 = he speaks and he requests
2. John 8:44
3. 2 Cor. 2:11
4. 1 Tim. 3:6-7; 2 Tim. 2:26
5. Jude 9
6. Rev. 12: 9-10,12; Rev. 20:2 = he’s an accuser, he knows and he deceives
What does Satan do to the minds of unbelievers? 2 Corinthians 4:4
What can Satan do to the minds of believers? 2 Corinthians 11:3 - 4
Can some illness be attributed to Satan? Luke 13:16; Acts 10:38; 2 Cor. 12:7
In the following scriptures what are some of the things Satan does? (answered as an example)
1. Matthew 13:30 = he will grow among believers
2. Mark 4:15; Luke 8:11-12
3. John 3:8
4. Acts 5:3; Acts 13:10
5. 2 Cor. 11:14-15
6. 1 John 2:18, 22;
7. 1 John 3:12; 4:3
What does a world that serves Satan look like? Romans 1: 18- 32; 2 Timothy 3: 1-7
Note #1. God originally created mankind as overseers of planet earth. He gave them "dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." Genesis 1:28. The apostle Paul said, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" Romans 6:16. Adam and Eve gave their obedience to Satan, and he was quick to proclaim his dominion over planet earth. From this geographical location he would continue his war against God. The apostle Paul later described him as the 'god of this world." 2 Corinthians 4:4.
Dr. Robert D. Luginbill says,
As believers in Jesus Christ, we need to remember that for all his terrible power, Satan is still only a creature, operating entirely within the universe of time and space which God has created, and is therefore entirely subject to God's sovereign will and omnipotence. By way of contrast, however, our infinite Lord is in no way whatsoever limited by or dependent upon this finite environment of time and space so essential to our existence and to that of all His creatures, Satan and the fallen angels included.
God, who created the universe and everything in it, even He who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples our hands have made, nor is He ministered to by the hands of men (as if He needed anything from us) – [on
the contrary], He is the One who gives life and breath and everything else to us all. Acts 17:24-25
In terms of relative power, therefore, any conflict between our infinite, omnipotent Lord and Satan along with his coterie of angelic subordinates cannot even be termed a “contest” in any reasonable sense of that word. Should it please God to annihilate the devil and his minions, He possesses the power to do so in an instant without the slightest effort. That God has not done so says much about the awesome character of the God with whom we have to do. Satan is allowed to exist, allowed to rebel against the generous Lord who made him, and his rebellion is allowed to run its course, precisely because God loves us so much. For the supreme love that God the Father has for us as demonstrated in the sacrifice on our behalf of His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, can also be seen in His determination to let us, to let all His creatures, choose whether or not we wish to follow Him of our own free will. Although God loves all His creatures with a perfect love, He does not force any of them to love Him back. When history finally comes to an end, the only creatures, men and angels, who will be with Him forever are those who have chosen it.
In its simplest expression, creature history (angelic and human) is a chance for each of us to demonstrate conclusively whether we are with God or against Him, whether we want to accept and respond to His amazing love (and spend eternity with Him), or instead to reject His love (and spend eternity apart from Him). For us in the world today, that choice is made very simply in the decision to become a follower of Jesus Christ through faith, or instead to reject the indescribable gift of His Son who died on our behalf. The angels, however, have already made their choices, and it is a measure of the genius of our Lord that it is by means of that very rebellion of His arch-creature Satan, that . . .
1) He validates our choice of Him (despite satanic opposition, we still chose Him, so that choice must be genuine),
2) He demonstrates His love for us (Satan's seduction of Adam brought us all under sin and thus necessitated the sacrifice of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, an act that is the very embodiment of His love),
3) He furthers His own glory in the process (allowing Satan's rebellion to run its course only serves to validate God's condemnation of the devil).
Had we not come through the fiery testing supplied by the devil and his corrupt world-system, we would never be able to appreciate God's marvelous provision for us and His deliverance of us from all our earthly trials (2Tim.4:18). Only by allowing us to experience His grace in the midst of the devil's world, can God bring us to the fullest understanding and appreciation of His love for us, while at the same time leading us to a full and genuine love for Him. Thanks be to God for His ineffable and unsearchable wisdom!