Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mark Driscoll Posted this on his facebook page as a note. It is so good I wanted to repost it here.

Spiritual Warfare

Note: Both NIV and ESV are used in this lecture.

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.”
— C. S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters

In each of the synoptic gospels, Satan appears as the tempter of Jesus Christ (Matt. 4:1–11; Mark 1:12–13; Luke 4:1–13). From the opening to the closing pages of Scripture, Satan is presented as an enemy of God and, subsequently, an enemy of God’s people. He is named in a variety of ways, as the following list demonstrates, with varying titles each relating to the various aspects of his work.
Satan’s Names
  • Abaddon (“destroyer”) (Rev 9:11)
  • The god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4)
  • Accuser (Rev. 12:10)
  • Great Dragon (Rev. 12:9)
  • Adversary (1 Pet. 5:8)
  • Lawless One (2 Thess. 2:18)
  • Apollyon (“destroyer”) (Rev. 9:11)
  • Liar (John 8:44)
  • Beelzebul (Matt. 12:24)
  • Morning Star (Isa. 14:12)
  • Belial (2 Cor. 6:15)
  • Murderer (John 8:44)
  • Deceiver (Rev. 12:9)
  • Prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2)
  • Devil (Luke 4:13)
  • Ruler of this world (John 12:31)
  • Enemy (Matt. 13:28, 39)
  • Satan (Acts 26:18)
  • Evil One (Matt. 13:28, 39)
  • Serpent (Rev. 12:9)
  • Father of lies (John 8:44)
  • Tempter (1 Thess. 3:5)
Foundational to our study of Satan is to recognize that he is in no way equal to God. His knowledge, presence, and power are limited because he is an angelic being (a guardian cherub according to Ezekiel 28:14) created by God for the purpose of glorifying and serving God. However, he became proud in his heart and desired to be worshiped and exalted like God. So, he declared war on God and one-third of the angels joined his army to oppose God. Judged by God for his sin, the Serpent was then cast down to the earth (Isa. 14:11–23; Ezek. 28:1–19). Upon the earth he appeared as a serpent to tempt Adam and Eve by twisting God’s word and lying (Gen. 3:1–24). After successfully tempting Adam and Eve to sin, he was judged and cursed by God for his sin and told that Jesus would ultimately come to completely defeat him, though Jesus would suffer physical harm in their conflict (Gen. 3:14–15).
The motivation for all of the Serpent’s work is pride and self-glory instead of humility and God-glory (Ezek. 28:2; James 4:6–7). Subsequently, one of his most powerful allies in opposing God’s people is their own pride. Some have speculated as to why the Serpent continues in his war against God even though Scripture is clear that ultimately he will be defeated and painfully judged. It may be that the Serpent is indeed so proud that he has deceived himself and now believes that God is a liar who can be beaten.
In his war against God, the Serpent not only has the fallen angels who are now known as demons, but also has people who are allies in his army either by demonic possession, demonic influence, or simply living according to their sinful nature and flesh (2 Pet. 2:4; Rev. 9:1; 12:3–4). Such people include false prophets who speak for the Serpent (2 Pet. 2:1), false apostles who begin ministries for the Serpent (2 Cor. 11:13), false Christians who divide churches (Gal. 2:4), and false teachers who teach heretical doctrine for the Serpent (2 Pet. 2:1).
Regarding spiritual warfare as it is experienced on the personal level, 2 Corinthians 2:11 (niv) says, “Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” Therefore, knowing Satan’s tactics helps us anticipate his work and live in victory rather than as victims.
Scheme #1 – The World
What is meant by the term “world” in its negative sense? The world is an organized system in opposition and rebellion against God. Richard Lovelace says, “The world is corporate flesh and the structures it produces.” In 1 John 2:16 the world is defined as the following:
  • Lust of the flesh (wanting physical desires)
  • Lust of the eye (wanting beautiful externals)
  • Boastful pride of life (selfish ambition)
In response to the world, Scripture instructs Christians to:
  • Not love it (1 John 2:15)
  • Not let it shape their values (Rom. 12:2)
  • Live through Jesus as crucified to the world (Gal. 6:14)

Scheme #2 – The Flesh
The flesh refers to our capacity and disposition to put self-interests above God. In short, the flesh is an internal resistance to obey God (Mark 7:21–23; Gal. 5:19–21; Col.3:5–8; James 1:14–15).
In response to the flesh, Scripture instructs Christians to:
  • Recognize that they are no longer under the flesh’s bondage (Rom. 6)
  • Walk in conscious submission to the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16)
  • Put to death (mortify) sinful desires (Rom. 8:13–16)
Scheme #3 – The Devil
“Where God is on one side, you may be sure to find the devil on the other.” William Gurnall, 1655
As Satan engages in combat against us he deftly uses his hands of pride and fear. With pride he tempts us to join him in arrogance and self-sufficiency apart from God’s grace (Ezek. 28:17; Prov. 3:34; 8:13). Satan seeks to convince us that we are equal to God and can exist happily apart from His grace and govern our lives by our own wisdom and strength (Gen. 3:5; Isa. 13:11). If we yield ourselves to pride, we will boastfully think too highly of ourselves and think too lowly of our God. With fear he tempts us to revere him more than God and submit ourselves to his lies, accusations, temptations and the like (Isa. 8:12–13; 35:3–4; Luke 12:4–5; Rom. 8:15). If we yield ourselves to fear we will think too highly of Satan and his servants and think too lowly of God and His powerful authority. Jesus said, “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:19–20). Whatever his tactics, the Serpent’s ultimate goal for believers is typically a compromised and fruitless life beset by heresy and sin (1 Tim. 4:1–2; 1 John 3:7–10) and ultimately death (John 8:44; 1 Pet. 5:8).

Ordinary Demonic
Puritan Thomas Brooks, in his book Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, speaks of the ordinary demonic as Satan coming to us as our Tempter and baiting our hook with various pleasure and temptations, including:

  • Sexual sin (2 Cor. 7:5)
  • Marriage between Christians and non-Christians (2 Cor. 6:15)
  • False religion, false teaching, false Jesus (1 Cor. 10:14–22; 1 Tim. 4:1–2; 2 Cor. 11:1–4)
  • Bitterness (Eph. 4:17–5:2)
  • Foolishness and drunkenness (Eph. 5:8–21)
  • Idle gossip and busybodying (1 Tim. 5:11–15)
  • Lies (John 8:44)
  • Idolatry (1 John 5:18–21)
Extraordinary Demonic
  • • Torment (Acts 5:16)
  • Physical injury (Matt. 9:32–33; 12:22–23; Acts 8:4–8)
  • False miracles (Acts 8:9–23; 16:16; 2 Thess. 2:9–10)
  • Accusation (Rev. 12:10)
  • Vain regrets and condemnation (Rom. 8:1)
  • General guilt vs. specific conviction
  • Second person (“you” language instead of “I”)
  • Death, e.g., food, sex, drink, recklessness (Prov. 8:36)
  • Murder/Suicide (John 8:44)
  • False spirits (1 John 4:1–6)
Christus Victor
  • “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Col. 1:13).
  • “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him” (Col. 2:13–15).
  • “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
  • “. . . in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:37–39).
  • “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).
  • “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 devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Heb. 2:14–15).
  • “But you, o Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head” (Ps. 3:3).
  • “My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart” (Ps. 7:10).
  • “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Ps. 18:2).


Post a Comment


blogger templates | Make Money Online