We now have talked in this podcast about Devil. No longer so much — we don’t fixate on him. However we do speak about him and his designs, in most cases to have a look at what Devil can not do to us. There’s so much he can not do to us as Christians as a result of Christ has disarmed him in two crucial techniques. We checked out this again in February, in APJ 1750. Pastor John, nowadays we turn the query and ask, What can Devil do to Christians?
Peter warns believers that Devil seeks to consume us (1 Peter 5:8–9), which raises two questions. One is from Russ in Virginia Seashore, Virginia. He writes, “Hi, Pastor John! My query for you is ready 1 Peter 5:8–9. Is Peter announcing that the satan seeks to consume us in and thru our struggling? Or is he announcing the consistent assaults of Devil are our struggling?” And Steve in Rochester, New York, is looking about this identical textual content. “Pastor John, hi! First Peter 5:8 says Devil is our enemy, and I imagine it! However enemies are hostile to us in very explicit techniques, and I’m no longer transparent about this with Devil. My query is how — how is Devil our enemy? Thanks.”
First, right here’s what 1 Peter 5:8–9 says:
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the satan prowls round like a roaring lion, in quest of somebody to consume. Face up to him, company to your religion, understanding that the similar varieties of struggling are being skilled via your brotherhood right through the arena.
So Russ asks, “Does the phrase sufferings seek advice from no matter Devil does to us, or does it seek advice from precise Christian ache or struggling, which Devil is in the back of?” Now, I believe just about all interpreters agree that the second one is the precise solution. Peter is relating to actual sufferings of more than a few sorts that Christians are experiencing right through the arena, and Devil is in the back of them, making each effort to make use of the ones sufferings to smash the religion of Christians. That’s what “in quest of to consume” manner. He would reach devouring a Christian if he may just use the ones sufferings to purpose us to throw away our religion within the goodness and the knowledge and the care of God, and switch us in opposition to God.
Attempted via Hearth
Now, I believe that’s the precise interpretation about what sufferings refers to, first, for the reason that different varieties of temptations that Devil throws at us — like temptations to lust, or covetousness, or pleasure — can certainly consume other folks, and he’s about them, however they’re no longer referred to as sufferings. So no longer all of Devil’s assaults on us are referred to as sufferings. If truth be told, Devil is superb at attacking us with pleasures as incessantly as with sufferings. Extra other folks’s religion, I might project, is wolfed via being lured into sinful excitement as is wolfed via sufferings.
One more reason that I believe that interpretation is true — particularly, that Devil’s explicit technique referred to right here in verse 9 is Christian struggling — is that Peter has already referred to this in 1 Peter 1:6–7. He says,
Now for a short time, if important, you might have been grieved via more than a few trials, in order that the examined genuineness of your religion — extra valuable than gold that perishes although it’s examined via fireplace — could also be discovered to lead to reward and glory and honor on the revelation of Jesus Christ.
So he has already ready us on the very starting of his letter that our religion might be examined as with fireplace via those more than a few trials — this is, sufferings. So in answering Russ’s query, I believe we’re already in the midst of answering Steve’s query, as a result of Steve is looking, “Smartly, what are the precise ways in which this satanic lion opposes us? How is he our enemy on this textual content?”
“Devil’s goal in inflicting struggling is to mislead us into believing that God is in opposition to us and no longer for us.”
Now, the principle solution we’ve noticed is that he’s our enemy via inflicting Christian struggling. His goal in inflicting that struggling is to mislead us into believing that God is in opposition to us and no longer for us — that God is helpless, possibly, and will’t prevent the struggling (deficient God). In different phrases, via this struggling, Devil targets to undermine our religion in God’s goodness, or God’s energy, or God’s knowledge, or God’s kindness. And if Devil can do this, we will be able to be wolfed, destroyed as Christians. We will be able to make shipwreck of our religion, and he’s going to have gained a tactical victory.
However we will be extra explicit now in how Devil does this, as a result of that’s what Steve is looking. I’ll give 4 examples of the way Devil opposes Christians via struggling.
First, Devil is in the back of a lot, although no longer all, illness. For instance, after Jesus heals the lady bent over for eighteen years, he defends his motion to the rulers via announcing, “Ought no longer this lady, a daughter of Abraham whom Devil certain for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond at the Sabbath day?” (Luke 13:16). In different phrases, Devil is in the back of this illness, this bent situation that this lady is in for eighteen years.
We see an instance of this within the lives of Christians in 2 Corinthians 12:7, the place Paul were given the ones wonderful visions. Paul explains how God designed, deliberate to stay him from getting smug via those visions. Right here’s 2 Corinthians 12:7: “As a way to stay me from turning into smug as a result of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was once given me within the flesh, a messenger of Devil to annoy me, to stay me from turning into smug.” That is particularly vital, as a result of right here we’ve got each the task of God and the task of Devil.
We all know that Devil didn’t goal at fighting Paul’s pleasure. He needs Paul to be smug. He needs to smash his religion with pleasure. Saving Paul from conceit was once God’s function. God aimed to stay Paul humble and holy, and but the tool of God’s sanctifying paintings is known as a “messenger of Devil.” That’s wonderful. So what we be informed is that even if Devil is bringing about some more or less thorn or struggling within the lifetime of a Christian, he’s no longer sovereign; he’s no longer final. He’s underneath God’s supervision. And whilst Devil’s design is the destruction of Paul’s religion, God’s design is the strengthening of Paul’s religion and the preservation of his holiness and his humility.
Thrown into Jail
However there’s otherwise that Devil brings in regards to the struggling of Christians. He infrequently throws them into jail. Revelation 2:10 says,
Don’t concern what you might be about to undergo. Behold, the satan is ready to throw a few of you into jail, that you can be examined, and for ten days you’re going to have tribulation. Be devoted unto loss of life, and I can provide the crown of existence.
And we ask, “Smartly, how may Devil do this? How does Devil do this? How does he throw Christians into jail?” And one solution is identical means he threw Jesus underneath arrest within the lawn, the similar means he threw Jesus at the go. How did that occur? Right here’s John 13:2: “All over supper . . . the satan had already put it into the guts of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him.” Then in John 13:27 it says, “After [Judas] had taken the morsel, Devil entered into him. Jesus stated to him, ‘What you will do, do temporarily.’” And he went out and betrayed Jesus — because it have been, threw him in jail, best worse.
“Devil isn’t sovereign. God is. Anywhere Devil is performing, he’s performing via permission.”
We will be able to suppose that kind of factor occurs steadily to purpose Christians a lot struggling. Devil places it within the center of other folks to betray Christians or to lie about Christians, and so convey them into struggling, whether or not jail or another outcome.
Take Up the Sword
So I conclude that during 1 Peter 5:8–9, the lion’s roar — this roaring lion going about looking to consume other folks — is the roar of Devil’s effort to strike concern into Christians via the struggling he brings into their lives. He targets for that concern to smash their religion. We all know from 2 Corinthians 12, and from the tale of Task 1, and from the truth that Jesus instructions demons they usually obey him, that Devil isn’t sovereign. God is. Anywhere Devil is performing, he’s performing via permission, no longer as a result of he has final regulate.
However, he’s actual. Oh, he’s actual. He’s robust. He’s evil. He’s on a protracted leash. Underneath God’s windfall, he does horrible injury. Due to this fact, Peter does no longer say, “Ho-hum, God is sovereign.” He says, “Be sober. Be watchful. Face up to, company to your religion. Battle.” This is, take in the sword of the Spirit, the phrase of God, and stick Devil within the face with it. Consider God’s promise, and stand your floor, and don’t be sucked into Devil’s temptation that God is evil or that God is susceptible. Let the fires of struggling purify and improve your religion, no longer smash it.