Resist The Devil

Resist The Devil

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Not From Around Here: The Complicated Life of a Sojourner / Temptation; Spiritual Warfare

One three-year-old’s explanation for being in the kitchen atop a chair, eating cookies: “I just climbed up to smell them, and my tooth got caught.”1

1 Michael P. Green, ed., Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 Sermon Illustrations Arranged by Topic and Indexed Exhaustively, Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989).

Last week we discovered that Peter warned us to be alert to an enemy, the devil, that is lurking in the shadows like a lion on his prey. Tonight now that we know about the Lion.. we are given strange advice… Peter does not tell us to be very quiet and hope the ravenous beast of darkness does not see us… we are to dig in and resist him! Wait… WHAT??? Yup … resist. Tonight we will discover that we as believers can use both what we know and who we know to resist the devil.

Resist The Devil With What You Know.

1 Peter 5:9 KJV

Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

You Know Retreat is not an Option

James 4:7 KJV

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Ephesians 6:11–13 KJV

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

The Greek word translated “resist” means “to withstand, to be firm against someone else’s onset” rather than “to strive against that one.” The Christian would do well to remember that he cannot fight the devil. The latter was originally the most powerful and wise angel God created. He still retains much of that power and wisdom as a glance down the pages of history and a look about one today will easily show. While the Christian cannot take the offensive against Satan, yet he can stand his ground in the face of his attacks. Cowardice never wins against Satan, only courage.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 130.

You Know You Stand On Solid Ground – Steadfast

The devil is resisted by being “firm in faith.” The concept is not that of holding certain doctrines firmly, which is a meaning of faith found in the Pastorals (e.g., 1 Tim. 1:19; 6:21; 2 Tim. 2:18), but that of remaining firm in one’s trust in God. The word “firm” originally applied to physical firmness or hardness, such as a firm foundation (2 Tim. 2:19) or solid (versus soft or liquid) food (Heb. 5:12, 14) or (in its verbal form) firm feet (i.e., feet that no longer gave way under the weight of the person, Acts 3:7, 16). Here the term is applied to character, as is its verbal form in Acts 16:5, where the new churches become firm in their commitment to Christ (= faith).1

1 Peter H. Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 191–192.

You Know Brothers and Sisters in the Faith Worldwide Face the Same Struggles.

Romans 1:8 KJV

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

One thing that will make their commitment firmer is the awareness that they are not suffering alone. It is not “just me” who is suffering or even “just us,” laments that make the suffering seem unfair and unjust, but “your brotherhood throughout the world.” Peter stresses this unity in two ways—first, by using the collective “brotherhood” (which he alone in the NT uses, cf. 2:17, his other use, or “brotherly love” in 1:22 and 3:18) instead of the more individual “brothers” (a term he uses only in 5:12), and second, by adding “throughout the world,” which phrase uses “world” in its physical and global sense (as do Mark 4:8; 14:9; Rom. 1:8; 1 Cor. 14:10; 1 Pet. 1:20; cf. 2 Macc. 3:12) rather than in its ethical sense (i.e., human culture in its independence of and hostility toward God, as in John 15:18–19; 16:33; Jas. 4:4)1

1 Peter H. Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 192–193.

1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

A pastor warned his handsome new assistant about the dangers of immorality in the ministry. The assistant said that he always did his socializing in a group setting and concluded that “there is safety in numbers.” The wise pastor replied, “Yes, that is so, but there is more safety in Exodus.”1

1 Michael P. Green, ed., Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 Sermon Illustrations Arranged by Topic and Indexed Exhaustively, Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989).

Resist The Devil With Who You Know

1 Peter 5:10–11 KJV

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 

To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

The God of all Grace

 • That called you

Philippians 1:6 KJV

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

 • That called you to His eternal glory

This effectual call is with a view to God’s eternal glory. That is, God calls us into salvation in order that He may derive glory for Himself by virtue of our being saved. He who has called us in His grace will supply all needed grace until we are ushered into the Glory. God’s eternal glory is involved in His keeping a believer in salvation.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 131.

The God Who Will Use Your Temporary Suffering

1 Peter 1:6 KJV

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

 • To Make You Perfect

The words “make you perfect” are not the translation of the Greek word teleioo (???????) which means “to perfect” in the sense of “to make spiritually mature and complete,” but from a word meaning “to fit or join together.” The predominating idea in the verb is adjustment, the putting of parts into right relationship and connection with one another. It is the same word translated “perfecting” in Ephesians 4:12, where the gifted servants of the Lord mentioned were given to the Church for the equipping of the saints for ministering work. The word was used of James and John mending their nets, thus equipping them for service (Mark 1:19). Here the word refers to God mending the lives of Christians, thus equipping them for usefulness in His service. The word in First Peter speaks of the work of the Holy Spirit in rounding out the spiritual life of the saint so that he is equipped for both the living of a Christian life and the service of the Lord Jesus.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 131.

 • To Stablish You

The word “stablish” is the translation of a Greek word whose root is akin to the word translated “stedfast” in 5:9. It speaks of a solid foundational position. Alford translates, “shall ground you as on a foundation.” Bengel has a helpful note on this verse; “Shall perfect, that no defect remain in you, shall stablish that nothing may shake you, shall strengthen that you may overcome every adverse force.” No comments on verse eleven.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 132.

 • To Strengthen You

Third, God will “strengthen” them. This is quite an unusual word meaning “to make strong,” found only here in biblical Greek (a related term appears in 3 Macc. 3:8, but that only once) and rarely in secular Greek. 1

1 Peter H. Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 196

 • To Settle You

Finally God will “settle” them, a term meaning “to found” or “to place on a foundation” (Matt. 7:25; Eph. 3:17; Col. 1:23). This is an image of security, of people who cannot be moved no matter what comes against them. As such it rounds out the result of the other terms. While we have tried to give careful definitions of these four terms, it would be wrong to try to see some new idea in each of them. What Peter has done is pile up a number of closely related terms that together by their reinforcing one another give a multiple underscoring of the good that God is intending for them and even now is producing in their suffering.1

1 Peter H. Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 196

——

When tempted, learn the lesson of the dog. Anyone who has trained a dog to obey knows this scene. A bit of meat or bread is placed on the floor near the dog and the master says, “No!” which the dog knows means that he must not touch it. The dog will usually take his eyes off the food, because the temptation to disobey would be too great, and instead will fix his eyes on the master’s face. That is the lesson of the dog. Always look to the Master’s face.1

1 Michael P. Green, ed., Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 Sermon Illustrations Arranged by Topic and Indexed Exhaustively, Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989).

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