Successfully Fighting Sin Through Submission Part 3By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, September 17, 2023.
V. Do not confuse knowledge of truth or the acknowledgment of the truth with IQ levels. Satan can capture both the learned and the unlearned. ISA 29:11-12. Successfully Fighting Sin Through Submission 9-3-23 Page 4 A. Satan himself is “...full of wisdom...” (EZE 28:12-14). 1. Do not be deceived into thinking that a high IQ makes one superior in the war against sin. Worldly wisdom is rather commonly a barrier to submission to Christ. 1CO 1:26. 2. Satan has seen and heard things in heaven which are not lawful for us now. 2CO 12:3-4. 3. He loves to con men into thinking they have “insider information” about the invisible realm (COL 2:18), the “mysteries” of which fools think have been revealed to them alone as chosen vessels of insider information. a. This is occultism: the pretended knowledge of the invisible which has not been revealed by God. b. It stands in opposition to Jesus Christ “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words” (COL 2:3-4). 4. He ably beguiles the worldly-wise. ISA 47:10; ROM 1:22-23. a. Academic prowess can be a source of pride, the prelude to destruction. PRO 16:18. b. He will appeal to your ego to the maximum possible degree. ACT 12:21-23. c. Philosophy (love of wisdom or knowledge) which opposes the wisdom of God in Christ and in Scripture can ensnare believers. COL 2:8. 5. Though he opposes it, he knows the scripture very well and will try to use it against you. Remember his approach to Eve and to Jesus. 2CO 11:3; MAT 4:6. a. In GEN 3:1, Satan cast doubt on God’s words which he obviously knew. b. In MAT 4:6, Satan misapplied God’s words which were written for the man who loves and trusts God, not the fool who tempts God. PSA 91:2, 14. c. The fear of God is the beginning of true knowledge and wisdom. PRO 1:7; 9:10 c/w ACT 7:22; HEB 11:24-27. 6. One can know the truth and hold it in unrighteousness unto his own condemnation. ROM 1:18-19; JAM 4:17. C. Satan also ably beguiles the unlearned and unstable. 2PE 2:14; 3:16. 1. One may be unlearned in the sense of ignorance or unlearned in the sense of “...ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2TI 3:7). 2. It is possible for a man to be very learned, even in the Scriptures, yet not come to the knowledge of the truth because pride, covetousness, feelings, etc., demand that he deny or alter the words which require him to repent. Such a man will only come to whatever degree of knowledge of the truth does not conflict with his will. 3. The double-minded man who wants God but also wants his own way when God is in his way is set up for takedown through instability. JAM 1:8. D. The above points underscore the importance of knowing, believing, loving and living the truth which is ultimately in Christ (even the uncomfortable parts) to save us from deception by Satan, by others and by self. EPH 4:13-15 c/w 1CO 3:18. E. The reason that Satan is able to con both the learned and unlearned is that he cheats by appealing to something deeper in man than head knowledge: lust (pleasure, delight, desire). These are emotions, and they can be deceitful (EPH 4:22), bringing down Solomons and simpletons. NEH 13:26; PRO 7:6-23. 1. James makes clear that failure in resisting temptation is owing to our allowing lust to lead us. JAM 1:14-15. 2. This is what happened to Eve. GEN 3:6. Successfully Fighting Sin Through Submission 9-3-23 Page 5 3. Satan allures through lust: an appeal to our desire for pleasure. 2TI 3:6; 4:3-4; 2PE 2:18. a. This is how (as a professional con-artist described his tactics), Satan gets you under the ether, promising things that are too good to be true or how special you are. The flatterer is not your friend. PRO 29:5. b. In this state, feelings overrule rational thought, and we will buy his lies and rationalize away our inheritance in Christ (victory over Satan). 4. There are illicit pleasures which of themselves are sinful (e.g. intoxication) and there are legitimate pleasures for which Satan will offer a corrupt alternative fulfillment (e.g. fornication instead of marriage). a. Therefore, pleasing oneself is a potential for trouble when not governed. b. This is why we must overrule our emotions/lusts/desires with knowledge of truth. PRO 23:19, 12; PSA 86:11; 119:11. 5. Since pain is not pleasure, expect Satan to use pain to discourage you from receiving the truth about endurance, patience and deliverance while he offers you a false relief that is pleasant. EXO 6:9 c/w JAM 5:10-11; 1PE 5:10. a. Medicating away physical pain with an analgesic is one thing, but medicating away emotional or spiritual pain with intoxicants, adultery, etc. is a different matter. b. Beware also of false psychiatry that convinces you that the real problem is not your sin but your guilt so you should stop feeling guilty about sin. c. Satan will twist your mind into misinterpreting your circumstances as being hopeless so you will deem self-harm a better alternative than life. ACT 16:27-28. d. Charity is the chief spiritual gift but do not discount the importance of faith and hope to get you through this world! 1CO 13:13; ROM 8:23-25. 6. Pleasing oneself is obviously not the answer in the battle against sin since both unlawful and lawful pleasures can be used against us. a. We are, though, on safe ground when our primary motive is pleasing God, even as Jesus showed us. JOH 8:29; HEB 13:20-21. b. Even our desires and pleasures must be submitted to God to successfully fight sin. c. With God as your primary delight, your desires will be wholesome, ordered and fulfilled. PSA 37:4. Successfully Fighting Sin Through Submission 9-3-23 Page 6
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