Thursday, August 23, 2007
THE SUBTLETY OF OUR ENEMY: THE DEVIL
When most religious people think about Satan’s efforts to keep sinners in a lost condition, they think only of those acts they consider sinful. We have an example of this in John 8:1-10 where the Scribes and Pharisees brought a women they caught in an adulterous affair before our Lord. These self-righteous religionists boasted they had caught her “in the very act” of adultery.
That is the problem with unregenerate sinners. Because of the deceitfulness of their sinful hearts, they only consider the outward acts of ungodliness to be sinful before God, never even considering their state or position before God - “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” (Matthew 23:27-28)
There is no way you could have ever persuaded the Scribes and Pharisees that they were just as sinful, matter of fact, even more sinful than the woman they accused before our Lord.
Now because of man’s natural reasoning which thinks it’s better to keep the law, than to break God’s law, Satan finds a strong ally in man which he easily leads down the broad way to eternal condemnation. Like these Scribes and Pharisees, Satan has absolutely no problem with you being moral, sincere, dedicated, and even faithful to worship the god of your imagination. He’ll encourage you to keep God’s law, love God with all your heart, and even love your neighbor as yourself, and he’ll encourage you to feel good about your accomplishments. His one desire is to keep you ignorant of or not submitted to Christ’s Righteousness imputed (legally charged), that Righteousness worked out by Christ alone through His perfect life and His substitutionary death at Calvary. Paul put it like this: “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
As long as you think any part of your salvation is conditioned on what you do, including your faith, Satan has you blinded to God’s redemptive glory, i.e., how He can be just and justify the ungodly - “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:22)
Who are we to look to?
Notice verse 21 - “A Just God and a Saviour.” Any other god than this God, is a god of your imagination and you will follow him to your eternal ruin.
But praise God, there are some whom God “hath shined (through the preaching of the Gospel) in their hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)
This revelation of Christ to the heart is eternal life - See John 17:1-3.
By Richard Warmack