A. Luke 16:1-8
In the parable of the unjust steward, Jesus did not, as some erroneously believe, indicate Christians should be financially dishonest. God forbid! No, what the Master communicated is that His people need to be as shrewd in spiritual matters as are worldly people in worldly matters. In that sense, “the sons of this world” set an example to be emulated.
B. 2nd Corinthians 4:3-4; John 12:31; 16:11
“The sons of this world” should be recognized as those who – whether they intend it or not – serve the interests of “the god of this world” who is “the ruler of this world”, namely Satan.
C. We said all that to say this: In a number of spiritually relevant issues, the devil has bested those who claim to be serving Christ.
I. KNOWLEDGE OF SCRIPTURE
A. Matthew 4:1-6; 2nd Peter 3:16
Although his employment of Scripture is certainly abusive, the tempter is indubitably well versed. In an instant he can perfectly recall an obscure passage and quote it verbatim. Despite the wicked misapplication, his knowledge of the inspired text far excels that of many so-called disciples.
B. 2nd Timothy 2:15; 3:15-17; Acts 17:11
Christians must get to know the text. Don’t let Satan put you to shame.
II. BELIEF IN GOD
A. James 2:19; Acts 19:11-17; Luke 4:31-35
The demons certainly believe in God, confess Christ, and even offer worship! Some pretend Christians don’t even do all that, much less go any further.
B. Psalm 14:1
The devil is less foolish than atheists because he at least acknowledges God.
C. Hebrews 11:6
If we come to God, we must believe in His existence and trust Him to reward His diligent seekers. Do you seek God any more diligently than the devil does?
III. FEAR OF HELL
A. Mark 5:1-7
Clearly, demons worried that the Lord would banish them to torments.
B. Matthew 25:41
After all, that’s the whole reason God made hell: to punish the devil and his angels.
C. 2nd Corinthians 5:9-11; Luke 12:4-5; 2nd Thessalonians 1:7-9
Yet, some who say they believe in God, blatantly mock His justice in eternally punishing sinners. Yet, Scripture shows that scare tactics are an appropriate means of motivating obedience to the gospel. Hell is real. The devil knows it and so should we!
IV. TRUST IN GOD’S PROVISION
A. Job 1:6-10
Satan understood that righteous Job was protected by God.
B. Psalm 37:25-26; Matthew 6:25-34
Those whose trust really is in God should never despair, knowing that He will fulfill our needs if we put Him first.
V. ZEAL TO WIN SOULS
A. 1st Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:11; 2nd Corinthians 2:11; 11:3, 13-15; Luke 8:12
Our adversary the devil actively stalks his prey. He wages spiritual warfare against us. He has devices at play. He is a master of disguise. He seeks to undo the spread of the gospel. Satan relentlessly pursues souls.
B. Proverbs 11:30; Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:4; John 1:40-42; 4:39-42
We are wise if we win souls to Christ. Whether we are preachers and teachers or merely students inviting others to meet the Master, there is work to be done. Does Satan out us to shame in the zeal for souls department?
By Bryan Matthew Dockens
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