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Getting To Know Satan

  • How concerned are you about the possibility of being robbed some day?
  • What kind of robbery are you most concerned about?
  • Which of these kinds of robbery are visible, aggressive, 'Outside' jobs?
  • What have you done, or do regularly, to reduce the risk of an 'Outside' robbery?
  • But have you ever been caught off-guard by an innocent-looking, friendly, convincing thief (a 'Con-artist', someone who you really felt you could trust)?
  • What do you do to reduce the risk of a quiet, hidden 'Inside' job like this?
  • So do we all focus our protection against robbery mainly on obvious 'Outside' risks?
  • Now let's talk about Spiritual robbery.
  • What would Satan like most to rob us of? [ Our salvation ]
  • How would he do that? [ Tempting us to sin ]
  • How does he usually work? Does he mostly use blatant, obvious temptation? For example, if we see money lying unattended on a shop counter, does Satan suggest that we grab it and just walk out (tempting us into doing a bold 'Outside' job)?
  • Or does he usually use a more subtle approach? For example, when we find we've been given too much change, does Satan suggest to us that we need the money more than the shop (tempting us into doing a quiet 'Inside' Job)? e.g."Who would know?"

1. Genesis 3:1-13
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,
3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"
4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman.
5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"
10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."
13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

What tactics did Satan use here to lead Adam and Eve into sin?

How does Satan use similar tactics on us?

[ He uses lies to sow dissention and doubt. e.g. "Don't listen to her. What right does she have to tell you how to live your life?" ]

2. 2 Timothy 4:1-4
1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:
2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.
3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

How does Satan use this tactic to lead us subtly into sin?

[ He sells an easier path to take. e.g. "If you don't like the tough message they preach, shouldn't you move to another Church where you'll feel more comfortable?" ]

3. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders,
10 and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie
12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

Where have you seen Satan try this approach to rob us of our salvation?

[ He catches our attention with apparently magical cures from Faith alone, and then uses our amazement to lead us away from the truth. e.g. "See, doesn't that prove that Faith is all you need to be saved?" ]

Why do you think God would make it easy for people to believe Satan's lies?
[ God wants to test our hearts, our conviction about the truth. He wants us to stay alert, to recognise Satan's work and to reject it, however attractive it might be ! ]

4. Luke 18:9-14
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:
10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector.
12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

What's the most successful tactic of all that Satan uses to rob us?

[ He appeals to our Pride. e.g. "You're much better than most people. How could anyone suggest that you're not saved already?" ]

What have we learned from these examples of Satan, the super 'Con-artist, at work?

What do we need to do to reduce the risk of Satan robbing us of our salvation?

[ Remember that Satan's best tactic is to feed us convincing lies. We must be on our guard. We must learn to recognise the attractive but evil thoughts that he puts in our heads. We must firmly reject them. We must focus on knowing, loving and pleasing God. We must study the Bible and live our lives according to the standards it teaches. We must help others to do the same. ]