Character Studies

YOUR ADVERSARY, THE DEVIL

Intro.
1. 1 Pet. 5:8 - Warned of our most deadly enemy.
2. We need a working knowledge of Satan to be on guard against him.
3. Man has long ago mythologized Satan ("personification of evil in men's minds") -- Caricatured, fictionalized, etc.
4. Bible tells us he is real & active in the world. ["God of this world"]
5. Who is Satan? Where did he come from? What kind of power does he possess? What can we do about him? (Be careful!  Don't speculate about Satan where the scriptures have not spoken - 1 Tim. 1:3-4)

I. DEFINING TERMS.
  A. Satan: Adversary (one who opposes another in purpose or act).
    -The adversary of men - 1 Chron. 21:1; Zech. 3:1-2; 1 Pet. 5:8.
  B. Devil: Accuser, slanderer - Job 1:6, 9-11; Jno. 8:44. Deceives the world - Rev. 12:9-10.
  C. Not: Lucifer - Isa. 14:12 - "(Latin for "light-bearer"), name for the planet Venus when it appears as the morning star; Vulgate translation of the Hebrew expression for "bright one." (Encarta 97, LUCIFER).
    1. Context: King of Babylon - Isa. 14:3-4, 10-11, 13-15, 16-17.
    2. Jerome (Latin Vulgate, 384 AD) - "The identification of Isaiah's Lucifer with the Devil began with Saint Jerome and other Fathers of the Church, who held that Jesus implied the identification when he said, 'I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven' (Luke 10:18). Consequently, in Patristic literature, Lucifer is used as a synonym for Satan." (Ibid.)

II. WHERE DID SATAN COME FROM?
  A. A Created Being - Col. 1:15-17 (v. 16).
  * 1. Does not mean God created him evil (which would make God the source of all evil - Psa. 5:4; Jas. 1:13).
    2. Conclude: Satan chose his evil course of direct contradiction to God:
      a. He made sin his career - 1 Jno. 3:8.
      b. Instigator and perpetrator of murder (physical, spiritual & eternal death) - Jno. 8:44; Heb. 2:14.
  B. The Condemnation Of Satan:
    1. Pride - 1 Tim. 3:6.
    * a. "...lest he become conceited & fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil." (NASV)
      b. "...lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil." (NKJV)
    2. Presumption - cf. Jude 6, 8-9; (2 Pet. 2:4).
    3. Prevarication (lying) - Jno. 8:44.

III. THE LIMITATIONS OF SATAN.
  A. Satan Is Not All-Powerful. -cf. Job 1:12; 2:6. Acts within the boundaries established by God.
  * 1. God's controlling hand is present to protect His people.
     2. What about demonic possession?
      a. Zech. 13:1-2 - Its end anticipated & predicted.
      b. Matt. 12:22, 29; 1 Jno. 3:8 - Jesus has broken Satan's power.
  * 3. Satan acts within the constraints of man's personal choice - not involuntary dominance - cf. Eph. 6:11-13. (cf. Judas - Jno. 13:2, 27)
    4. Rev. 20:2 - He has been bound by the superior power of Christ. (cf. Dog on a chain - can still bite you if you get too close!)
  B. Satan Is Not All-Present. - cf. Lk. 4:13; Jas. 4:7.
    -You can resist Satan & he will flee.

IV. SATAN, TEMPTATION & YOU (2 Cor. 2:11).
  A. He Entices Us To Sin Using Our Strong Desires (lusts) - Jas. 1:13-14.
    1. He presents sin as pleasurable (Heb. 11:25).
    2. He presents sin as beneficial (Gen. 3:4-5)
    3. He presents sin as a personal right (Gen. 3:5)
    4. He presents sin as the right way (2 Cor. 4:3-4).
  B. His Temptations Can Be Resisted - 1 Cor. 10:13; Eph. 4:27 (6:11-13).
    1. By knowing & avoiding his schemes (2 Cor. 2:11; 11:3).
    2. Look to Jesus (Matt. 4:10; 16:23). (1 Pet. 5:9: The faith...truth!)

IV. WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT SATAN.
  A. Know & Trust That Jesus Has Already Landed A Death-Blow Against Satan - Gen. 3:15; Heb. 2:14-15 (1 Jno. 3:8).
    1. The cross & resurrection defeats Satan's use of sin & death to destroy man!
    2. 1 Jno. 4:4 - Put our faith in Jesus!
  B. Your Obedient Faith Crushes Satan - Rom. 16:19-20.
    -Ways to resist Satan:
    1. Be alert (1 Cor. 16:13; 1 Pet. 5:8).
    2. Be armed (Eph. 6:10-13).
    3. Self-control (Jas. 1:14-15).
    4. Know escape routes (1 Cor. 10:13).
    5. Steadfast faith (1 Pet. 5:9).
    6. Prayer (Matt. 26:41).
  C. Be Assured That Satan Is Under A Death Sentence! - Rev. 20:10

Overcame Satan - Rev. 12:11

Blood of the Lamb
Word of their testimony
Self-denial

Conclusion
1. Satan is our adversary & accuser.....Jesus is our Savior & Defender!
2. So, "Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." (Jas. 4:7)