The Enemy, Satan

Who is responsible? That is a very prevalent question. We often want to assign blame as one of the first efforts in correcting problems. Although many times this is a futile attempt to excuse ourselves or shift attention away from our culpability, this is a legitimate question when it comes to sin.

As we studied this morning, Hell is real, and it is the destiny of those who refuse to come to Christ for forgiveness. It is God’s final solution to sin.

Satan is responsible for sin.  When we view the pervasiveness and horror of sin, it may be difficult to perceive that one person is behind it all. But the Bible declares that sin began with his serpent. He slips on the scene and proceeds to change everything. Who is he?

How does the Bible describe Satan?

I. Satan is the Liar.   2 Cor 11:13-14 “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14  And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.”  – Angels are messengers who in times past had delivered the message of God to men. If an angel spoke to you would you believe him?  The angel would appear to be credible, but

A.  Jesus says that Satan is a murderer and a liar and the father of all lies – John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

B.  Jesus knows who Satan is. He sees him accurately and fully. Jesus was there in the beginning when Satan lied to Eve and thrust the God’s creation into sin.

1. He is a murderer: 2 thoughts here –

  • The murder of  Abel by his brother Cain, was brought on by the deception and lies of Satan. 1 Jn 3:12  not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous
  • Or Satan is the murder of the entire human race because death is the result of sin, and sin was the result of his lies.

2. Satan does not stand in the truth – does not abide or continue in the truth. Jesus is very black & white here. Isn’t there some truth in all religions? – attempt to give some credibility to other religious teaching.  Outside of Christianity, every religion is the product of Satan, and there is no truth is Satan.

II. Satan is the Deceiver:  Gen 3:4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. The serpent lied and became a deceiver… vs.13 And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

A.  Jesus describes Satan’s activity in the parable of the soils…Matthew 13:19 “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. – The wicked one comes and snatches away the good seed of God’s word from some people’s hearts before it even begin to take hold. Later in that same chapter Jesus says that Satan is the one responsible for sowing tares among the good wheat. (counterfeits).

B.  If anyone in this world is deceived it is because of Satan. Rev 12:9  “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 2 Cor 4:3-4 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

1. Eph 2:1-2 “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,” he is the source of the spirit of disobedience among men, and later says He is the ruler of the darkness in this world.(6:12)

III.  Satan is the Destroyer: In Revelation 9:11, the angel of the bottomless pit is called by the name Abaddon, which in the Hebrew means “destroyer”.  He seeks to destroy every good thing in your life. Peter depicts Satan as one who seeks to destroy people. 1 Pet 5:8-9  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (NIV)

A.  Satan’s ability to destroy (or completely devour) individuals comes through his ability to tempt people to sin. James 1:13-15  Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” Sin is naturally terminal. It is not just a single isolated event, but it becomes a life of rebellion and places the sinner under bondage.

    • Rom 6:11-14 – 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
    • Vs. 16-18 – 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

B.  Satan was constantly attempting to destroy the life of Jesus. From the murder of the innocent children in Bethlehem to the cross itself, Satan was involved. Satan put it  into the heart of Judas to betray Him (John 13:2), The Pharisees were following the bidding of their father, the devil (John 8:44), and Revelation 12 depicts him as a great dragon waiting to destroy the child as he was born.

IV.   Satan is the Accuser – Rev. 12:9-11 “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”

A.  One of the clear pictures of Satan in the O.T. is in the opening scenes of Job. It is Satan who is convinced that Job is not a true believer, and will fail of he is tested.  He effectively accuses Job of being disingenuous.  Job 1:9-11 –  So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing?  10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”

B.  Jesus was concerned about Satan’s efforts to destroy His own apostles. Satan always targets leaders, and those who display conviction. Luke 22:31-32 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (NKJ) Satan asked for Peter. I wonder if Peter though of this event later on when he wrote about that roaring loin seeking to devour God’s people. Peter knew what it was like to be stalked by the lion.  I see a few implications here:

  • Satan has to get God’s permission to tempt people. Satan is not sovereign, God is. That is a comforting thought, and identifies the true source of the resisting & conquering power I need.
  • God allows us to be sifted. Satan  wanted to “sift” Peter, and the other apostles as well. Sifting was the winnowing process whereby the wheat was separated from the chaff (or worthless hull of the wheat). Of course, without sifting the real wheat could not be identified and used. God allowed Satan to sift the apostles because He was going to use their wheat. (Judas obviously was all chaff)
  • A faith that fails is not one that never sins, but one that refuses to repent (return to Christ).

B.  Your Sin is Satan’s accusation. He stands condemned and wants you to be condemned as well. He knows his fate, and wants you to share in it.

Conclusion: Do you know how you will answer Satan’s accusation? Will you claim ignorance, or temporary insanity, or maybe you can tell Satan “You cannot accuse me I have never sinned?” – None of those answers will suffice. There is only one answer to Satan’ accusation of sin.

  • I Jn 2:1-2  My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.