Luke 22:21-34, The Devil’s job description is to test us and tempt us to rebellion against God (7/8/13)
This morning in Sunday School, one of our fellow-readers pointed out that Satan looks a lot like a “district attorney” in the Old Testament. That makes Jesus’ comment in vs. 31 especially worthy of examination. Strong’s Dictionary gives the background of the word telling what Satan did as “to demand (for trial).” Here are some other ways of putting it:
- International Standard: “Satan has asked permission”
- Bible in Basic English: “Satan has made a request”
- Revised Version, American Standard Version: “Satan asked”
- God’s Word: “Satan has demanded”
- Contemporary English: “Satan has demanded the right”
- English Standard Version: “Satan demanded”
- Good News: “Satan has received permission”
All these translations imply that Satan asked somebody
– presumably either God or Jesus – for permission act as a prosecutor and tempter of the disciples. The jury was still out, but fortunately, they had Jesus Christ as their defense attorney!
1 Corinthians 7:1-9 (7/9/13)
We all know that Paul was a bachelor. He was so devoted to Christ that serving Christ took up all his time, and I suspect it’s for this reason that his own inclination was that people should stay unmarried, as he was. He knew that wasn’t going to happen, however, and he also knew that “sexual immorality is rampant,” especially in Corinth! So as an alternative to bachelorhood and spinsterhood, he supported marriage. The centerpiece of his argument is this: “so that Satan does not tempt you through your lack of self-control.”
Satan is always looking for an opening to tempt us. By avoiding a situation that tests our self-control, we can deny him at least one opening.
Revelation 3:7-13, Satan is full of lies and deceit, and he leads us into sin (7/10/13)
The first thing that’s really important to remember is this: just because someone subscribes to a different doctrine than you do, it doesn’t mean they belong to the “synagogue of Satan”! Perfectly orthodox Christians have different beliefs about, say, sprinkling vs. dunking at baptism, and it’s okay
! Someone might differ with you about whether to allow new-fangled instruments in the worship service – or any instruments at all, and it’s okay
! They may read a different translation of the Bible, and it’s okay
! That stuff isn’t worth breaking communion over.
On the other hand, people who claim to be Christians and, say, burn each other at the stake, may have such bad theology that they aren’t Christians at all. That’s not for me to judge. But I can judge that they are giving Satan way too much influence over their lives, and I need to use my own little strength and Christ’s great strength to get away from them and the deadly influence of Satan.
Reader Comment: I thank you for the study tip. Having come from a country that has only 2.5% Christains, I never ever paid any attention to different church denominations. My parents were Methodists, my grandparents were Baptists, my father was the principal of an Anglican church school and that was the school that all of us kids attended. Needless to say, every Sunday we attended the Methodist Sunday school and Church in the morning and the Anglican Church in the evening. Life was very uncomplicated and wonderful!
2 Corinthians 2:1-11; 2 Corinthians 11:1-15 (7/11/13)
The Devil is full of lies and bad intentions. In this study, we’ve been trying to understand Satan a little better, so that, as Paul says, “we may not be outsmarted by Satan. After all, we are not unaware of his intentions.” The difficult part, apparently, is to distinguish between fellow-Christians who happen to disagree with us on some minor issue, and the real servants of Satan, who “masquerade as servants of righteousness.” I say that it’s apparently difficult because so many Christians who should know better seem to think that their denominational doctrine is the only way to Heaven.
Does the person who disagrees with you love God and his neighbor? Does he disagree with you lovingly? Servant of Christ. Does the person who agrees with you pour poison into your ear all the while? Servant of Satan. Love God, love your neighbor, and stay out of Satan’s yard.
Acts 5:1-5; Acts 13:1-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-13 (7/12/13)
The Devil, Satan, is the liar and the father of lies, and we see that aspect of his influence in all three of today’s passages. Ananias and Sapphira, under the influence of Satan, lied about the amount of money they had received for their land. Elymas, under the influence of Satan, lied about the gospel message brought by Barbabas and Paul. In the end times, the lawless one, under the influence of Satan, will work lying wonders.
Be a child of the light, not of the lie: unless you plan to speak the truth, be silent.
More of The Big Lie
The Son of God and the Father of Lies
The OT satan is always an adversary, but not always the Devil.
The Hebrew satan is translated various ways.
In the New Testament, both satanas and diabolos normally refer to the Devil.
Sometimes satanas and diabolos are used figuratively to refer to someone acting like the Devil.
Poneros – Evil in the New Testament
Demons cause sickness, not sin.
Sometimes Satan and demons cooperate with each other.
Neither Baalzebub nor Lucifer is a Biblical name for the Devil.
Belial means "worthless," and once it's used as a nickname for the Devil.
Satan's job description: Temptation and Lies
Our job description: Resist him!
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St. John’s United Methodist Church,
2626 Arizona NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
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Traditional worship services are held Sundays at 8:15 and
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are held monthly on the second Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. St. John’s feels especially called to the worship of God and to the service of our neighbors through our music program
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