Stand Firm in God's Word - P5
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Man’s sin condemns us all to spiritual darkness and death—our nature has been twisted so we cannot help ourselves but to sin against God. By inciting man to sin, satan tried to thwart God’s Word for mankind, as he was sure God could not save mankind without denying His Word. But God answered satan with His Son Jesus Christ, Who is the one and only way for man to come out from under sin’s condemnation. Through Jesus, mankind can “open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18).
Believers are a remnant of mankind, having received a place in the Church—those set apart for God by faith in Jesus. And God has put the Church on display in the world as a fulfillment of His Word, for “we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men” (1 Cor. 4:9b). The Church lives for God, freed from the spiritual power of the kingdom of darkness and the direct power of satan, by Jesus. For when God revealed Jesus, “He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him” (Col. 2:15).
Yet as we are exhibited in this life, the world treats us “like men sentenced to death” (1 Cor. 4:9a), “like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things” (1 Cor. 4:13b), for rather than profiting satan’s kingdom, we (like Job) are a witness against it and a testimony of its inevitable judgment. Thus, satan causes Believers difficulty in any way he can while we are still in the flesh, through persecution, illness, or temptation, that we might be sifted “like wheat” (Lk. 22:31b).
As Believers, we have obtained eternal salvation, but satan knows there are painful consequences for sin in this life and at the judgment seat of Christ. Just as “satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel” (1 Chron. 21:1), he stands against the Church, trying to bring the consequences of sin upon us by inciting us to sin—like the prophet Balaam, “who loved gain from wrongdoing” (2 Peter 2:15b) by inciting people to sin. Just as he tempted Jesus, satan waits “until an opportune time” (Lk. 4:13b), and even “disguises himself as an angel of light” and “his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11:14b-15), so that “as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (1 Cor. 11:3). This is why we are to “give no opportunity to the devil” (Eph. 4:27b). How do we do that?
By submitting to God’s Spirit and His Word you are putting “on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:11), “rightly handling” (2 Tim. 2:15) “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17b), for it “is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26). It is God “who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57), not ourselves, and He “will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Rom. 16:20a).
Surely, “the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8b) no matter who stands against it! Even so, Amen.