The Devil Made Me Do It!
James 4:7

Intro: Remember Flip Wilson’s character Geraldine?
A. She would confess to something bad then howl “The devil made me do
1. Funny for a TV show, but is it true?
B. We know that the devil is real
1. Matt 4 & Luke 4 narrate the face-to-face meeting Jesus had with him so
either devil is real or Jesus was hallucinating and the Bible is false.
2. Far as I can tell, Jesus is the only Bible figure to have a direct
confrontation with the devil.
C. We know the devil’s work.
1. His name (Satan - adversary, opponent) indicate his work
against God and man. - 2 Cor 11:3
a. John 8:44; 10:10; Rev 12:10
2. We know that he uses demons to aid him in his sinful work -
Luke 11:14-18
D. Let’s look a little more closely at the devil’s work and ascertain
how he might work today.

I. Satan’s Work In NT Times
A. He, and his demons, worked directly through the possession of
1. Mark 5:1-9
2. Obvious that the demons were able to completely “possess”
people, seize their spirit and control.
a. Sometimes this was connected with disease but a person
could be possessed w/o disease.
3. Last case of possession recorded - Acts 19:13-ff
B. He worked through indirect methods
1. Matt 16:21-23
2. Peter wasn’t possessed but was accused of “being” Satan by
suggesting things that aided the devil’s cause.
C. Obvious that Satan is powerful
1. He blinds minds and holds people in His power
a. 2 Cor 4:3-4; Acts 26:16-18
b. More about how this works later...
D. In spite of His “power” Jesus is more powerful still
1. Luke 10:17-19; Matt 12:28-29
2. Jesus has tied up the “strong man” by the work He accomplished
in His life, death & resurrection
a. John 12:31-32
b. “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the
works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8

Jesus dealt the devil a crushing blow (Gen 3:15) at His
resurrection, how then does Satan work today?

II. Satan’s Work Today
A. I believe that the devil no longer tempts men through direct
confrontation as he did Jesus.
1. I further believe that the Bible teaches that Satan’s power
has been severely limited and that he no longer possesses the mind, spirit,
and will of people as he did in NT times.
B. Demon possession was a temporary phenomenon.
1. Demons were aware they only had a little time to work - Matt
a. Perhaps demon refers to time of judgment, but the
principle is that the demon knows that there are limits to his time of
2. Foretold by prophecy
a. Zech 13:1-2
b. “After that the Only Begotten Word of God appeared to us,
the dull and childish toys of idolatry perished and were utterly destroyed,
and with it were taken away the strange and impious devices of the false
prophets, who were full of the evil, unclean spirit, and could be readily
detected as laboring under a kindred disease to the idolaters. For both had
one president of impiety, Satan.” (Cyril, bishop of Alexandria 412-444)
c. Just as spiritual gifts passed away, so the power of the
unclean spirit passed away with the revealed, confirmed word of God.
C. The devil still works ... through indirect means. - Eph 2:2;
1. In possession, a person’s will is no longer free. But Bible
teaches us that man controls his spirit and his decisions and thus has the
power to resist.
a. James 4:7; 1 Pet 5:8-9
b. The devil may be like a roaring lion, but he’s a lion
chained to a pole. He doesn’t have near the power he once did.
c. How, then does he work?
2. Just as the Holy Spirit dwells in us through faith, influence,
and obedience to God’s word, so the devil “lives in” people through
influence of evil.
a. 1 John 2:15-17; 3:7-10; 5:19
3. As long as we bend to the influence of sinfulness, the devil
will continue to hold us in his power.
a. Consider Matt 12:43-45
b. Jesus’ point is that if a “spirit” finds a way to gain a
foothold, he will. But consider that if we “fill the house” with the
influence of God and His word, the devil will have NO place to get in!
c. The devil will only have as much hold and influence on us
as we will let him.

Conc: Jesus has won a decisive victory for us - Col 2:15
A. Why would we want to undo that great work by giving in to the
tempter? - 1 Cor 10:13

By Zeke Flores

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