1 Peter 5:1-11 (7/15/13)
In the overall battle between Good and Evil, it may seem that each one of us has such a small part to play that it is of no significance. That is not true. The Bible gives us specific instructions on the topic of what we
should do about the Devil. My favorite verse about the Devil is one we read today: “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” What a great image! The Devil, as we learned weeks ago, is our adversary
. The Devil is dangerous
, like a roaring lion. And above all, the Devil seeks to do us harm
. Peter gives us instructions: Watch out for the Devil! Resist him!
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the diabolos devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (English Standard Version)
Ephesians 4:26-32, 6:10-20 (7/16/13)
Paul says that we should give the Devil no opportunity. He makes some specific suggestions. Work for a living, so that you don’t have to steal, and presumably so that you are too busy to get into trouble. Watch your tongue, not only so that you don’t sin by speaking evil, but also that you build up the community of the saints. Give up slander, which we know is a special tool of the Devil. Surround yourself with truth, righteousness, and above all faith, the word of God, and prayer. All these things deprive the Devil of the opportunity to tempt you.
By the way, most translations have “the evil one” in vs. 16. This is one of those places where it is impossible to tell from the Greek whether it means “the Evil One,” or merely “the wicked.” A few translations that I looked at have the latter. I think the majority probably favor “the Evil One” because of the context. Translation is a tricky business, and context can be really important in deciding what a word means in a particular sentence. Not everyone decides the same thing, so I encourage you not to argue about it, but rather to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving.
4:26-27 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the diabolos devil.
James 4:1-10 (7/17/13)
6:10-11 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the diabolos devil. (English Standard Version)
“Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.” I find that very encouraging and plausible. After all, so many people (including me, unfortunately) are so prone to believe his lies and fall in with his plans that he probably doesn’t have the time
to spend on people who resist him! In contrast, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” What a promise! The Rev. Dr. Bob Templeton said, “God will come a blazing mile toward anyone who takes one step toward him in honest doubt.” (I think he was quoting someone; do you know who?) Not surprisingly, James immediately follows the promise that the Devil will flee from you with the injunction not to slander one another, which we have learned is one of the Devil’s primary tools.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the diabolos devil, and he will flee from you. (English Standard Version)
1 John 3:1-11 (7/18/13)
The best way of resisting the Devil is to stop sinning. The number one job, of course, is to follow God’s Law. Very often non-believers think that means “thou shalt not”; however, the more important aspects of the Law have to do with what John calls “practicing righteousness.” Practicing righteousness is more than not doing what’s forbidden: we also have to do what is required. That still sounds like a lot of rules, but the good news is that the Law and the Prophets can be summarized in only two easy-to-remember rules. Love God. Love your neighbor. Anyone who practices righteousness in this way will have no trouble with the Devil.
8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the diabolos devil, for the diabolos devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the diabolos devil.
Hebrews 2:5-18 (7/19/13)
10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the diabolos devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (English Standard Version)
The Devil is a liar, a slanderer, and above all, a tempter. We’re going to give the last word on the Devil to the writer of Hebrews. This writer presents a long and detailed argument showing new Christians that their faith in Jesus is well-founded because of his superiority to the angels, the temple, the Levitical priesthood, and the sacrifices of animals. The writer says that Jesus is able to make perfect propitiation for our sins because he understands them
. By becoming just like us and dying in our place, Jesus is able to destroy the one who has the power of death, the Devil, and thus deliver us from the fear of death and the power of sin. Let Jesus help you when you are tempted, as he once was, by the Devil!
14-15 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the diabolos devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (English Standard Version)
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!
Copyright 2013, 2017 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved. This page has been prepared for the web site by RPB.
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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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