“I thank God for saving me, a sinner saved by grace” says Mother Baptism with holy exuberance.
With a disdainful side-eye look Evangelist Comeuppance vehemently replies, “Speak for yourself. I am a SAINT, not a sinner.”
Rolling her M&M shaped eyes at Evangelist Comeuppance, Mother Baptism snaps, “Well, like you said, speak for yourself, I know God saved a wretch like me. I guess some of us think otherwise. So good to know Jesus…” And off went Mother Baptism back into the sanctuary.
Believe it or not, I heard a similar conversation like this between two Christians, minus the colorful character names of course.
Within the Christian community this sinner saved by grace proverb is common and there are even songs about it, but after accepting Jesus, are we sinners or not? Many will say yes and others will disagree. Then there is the inquisitive unbeliever who studies the scripture, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, will retort that the Holy Scriptures contain many contradictions and it is hard to come to an agreement on what is true. On the other hand, the King’s kid under the guidance of the Holy Spirit will soon discern that scripture interprets scripture. In fact as it relates to this topic, the Apostles Paul and John were on the same page. Yet we must take heed. Never are we to isolate or repeat scriptures without proper context, otherwise scriptures will be diluted into cute Christian slogans with a meaning that was never intended.
Timothy is a pastoral epistle and Paul wanted his son in the gospel to be diligent and discerning about false teachers and demonic doctrines. The particular scripture we are about to observe must be interpreted in light of Paul’s understanding about sin.
Paul wrote to Timothy:
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (I Timothy 1:15)
Yet John wrote about sin in his epistle to one of the churches:
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and the word is not in us.” (I John 1: 8-10)
The word sinner, used by Paul in the Greek was the word hamartolos, one whose lifestyle is devoted to sin and John defines sin as hamartia (Gk), which means to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honor.
So here is a pop quiz. What did Paul mean when he said Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief?
- All men are called sinners because we are not free from its persuasive powers.
- Men who dedicate their lives to sinning.
- Both A and B.
- None of the above.
Alright scholar, if you chose A, you are correct! Everyone has the case of the “can’t help its” and for that reason we are not free from its persuasive power. Paul wasn’t attempting to be self-deprecating by calling himself a sinner. What he was conveying was the wretchedness of his state and from time to time he does sin, but not intentionally. Think about it like this, if someone said to you, “OMG, your teeth are so white.” In kind response you would say, “No your teeth are so much whiter than mine. In the epistle of John, the apostle was warning the members of the church to not deceive themselves thinking that just because they serve the Lord, somehow that means they do not sin. If anyone believes that, the truth is not in them. (I John 1:6) .
The true litmus test of a believer is obedience, not self-identification. Unbelievers know us by what we do, not what we say; peradventure, if we are to call ourselves sinners, then we should be very clear as to say why we are sinners. Are you a sinner because it is your ultimate pleasure to offend God and you cannot get a good night sleep unless you have done ill will? Or did you commit an “oops” because that nasty sinful nature just creeps up on you without warning? I hope it is the latter.
Since we established that God does not answer the prayers of those who are opposed to his holiness (http://straitupword.com/2015/09/29/is-god-deaf ), we must take a look at what is typically known as the sinner’s prayer.
During the Reformation, many attempted to break away from the doctrines in Catholicism by creating their own doctrines of salvation. Notably, these creeds evolved into salvation being obtained through prayer. The rise of the sinner’s prayer exploded among many travelling evangelists in the late 20th century at large tent meetings, encouraging those who heard the word to come to the front to receive salvation.
So what is the sinner’s prayer? It is a prayer said by an unbeliever, who after hearing the gospel recites a confession and acknowledgement of being separated from God:
“God, I am a sinner and I acknowledge that. I ask that you come save me and fill me with your Holy Spirit. I believe on your Son Jesus Christ and because of that I have inherited eternal life. Thank you Lord for your love and salvation in Jesus’ name.”
There are a few things I find errant with the whole call to salvation using the sinner’s prayer. First, if someone has to ask you if you want to be saved, the person preaching wasn’t under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the word preached wasn’t a message of salvation. Some messages consist of tithes, offerings, and anecdotes of green eggs and ham, and we wonder why no one comes up for prayer?
Second, acknowledgment and confession are intellectual exercises that fall short of doing something. True faith requires action. How many people will confess they are saved because they said the sinner’s prayer, but never return to church for spiritual instruction in righteousness? The attendance rosters for many churches are loaded with names but where are the people? Boasting about a membership of 3,000 souls saved via the sinner’s prayer is meaningless if 100% of them do not adhere to Jesus’ call to take up their cross and follow him (1).
Third, sinners are never instructed in scripture to pray a prayer of salvation. They are to hear the gospel of peace and glad tidings of good things (2), repent of their sins, and be baptized. In fact, when Apostle Paul stated “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Jesus from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (3) that was not intended to be a prayer for salvation. Paul was demonstrating what could happen after hearing the gospel preached. It is the method of justification, not a prayer for justification. The use of the future tense “shall or shalt” denotes something that takes place at a particular time in the future. Without hearing the preached word first, there can be no reason to confess and believe.
For example, let’s take a look at what happened at Pentecost (4). Peter preached the word and their hearts were pricked. They asked Peter what did they need to do in order to be saved and he instructed them to:
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (5)
To repent means to have regret before God and change your mind. It is the godly sorrow that causes you to reconsider your spiritual position against the Lord. Baptism takes place when the individual decides to associate him or herself with the ministry of the one who shed his blood. At Jerusalem, Peter was preaching to devout Jews (6) and these men associated themselves with the ministry of Moses. Baptizing in Jesus’ name is a symbolic act that serves as an outward witness to others. Not only does it mean they were associating themselves with Christ, the Messiah, they would also have the “answer of a good conscience toward God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (7) and being buried with him by baptism into death, like Christ was resurrected from the dead, they would also reflect God’s power to raise them up to experience newness of life (8). And when one is baptized with the Holy Spirit, it is an element of baptism that is performed by Jesus only. Without his spirit, no one is empowered to witness, live holy, or be sealed until his return. (9)
So what about the publican who asked God to be merciful to a sinner like him? (10) It was a warning to the self-righteous who thought less of others, not a prayer of salvation.
If we are honest, we all know that words are meaningless without action. To work the work of God is to believe on the One whom God has sent (11) because the true work was completed on the cross at Golgotha, but in order to see the inward working of faith in HD (High Definition), one must do what the scripture requires, which is to respond to the person who committed his life and the authenticity of his ministry by repentance and baptism. These are not works of salvation. It is a biblical response to the call of salvation.
- Matthew 16:24
- Romans 10:15
- Romans 10:9
- Acts 2
- Acts 2:38
- Acts 2:5
- I Peter 3:21
- Romans 6:4
- Ephesians 4:30
- Luke 18:13
- John 6:29
St. John 9:31
“Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God and doeth his will, him he heareth.”
In St. John chapter nine, Jesus saw a man blind from birth and the disciples asked him a very intriguing question. “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” (1) Funny how the disciples assumed someone sinned. Isn’t it just like us to believe adversity or sickness is a result of someone sinning? I am sure Bro. Job would have shaken his head in disbelief.
Nevertheless, Jesus replied, “Neither hath this man sinned nor his parents, but that the works of God should be manifest in him.” (2)
Without any delay, Jesus proceeds to heal the man by giving him an unconventional spa treatment: a soothing eye mask made out of spit and dirt. I can only imagine how many of us would have told Jesus, “No thank you, I’ll pass” but this bizarre means of healing reveals a few things about Jesus. It demonstrates the virtue within, his spiritual authority, and ability to heal sickness and disease.
After washing the mud from his eyes, the man began to see. Notwithstanding, the Pharisees thought this act of grace to be a blasphemous spectacle because Jesus performed the miracle on the Sabbath. Furthermore, they didn’t believe the man was born blind, so they called the parents to confirm his infirmity. Because they feared the Jews, the parents redirected the focus back to the son. The religious rulers said to the man:
“Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.” (3)
A sinner? Yes, they called Jesus a sinner because he had compassion and restored this man’s eyesight. A sinner because he deviated from the Law of Moses and instead demonstrated grace and healing. Irritated by the Pharisees badgering him about his deliverance, he abruptly tells them that he already told them and, of course, they were offended. Insulted by his response, they shifted the focus from the miracle and the miracle worker and replied,
“We know that God spake unto Moses” and then accused Jesus to a fault, “as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.” (4)
And no, they didn’t mean they were clueless as to what part of the Galilean hood Jesus grew up in. They meant his spiritual point of origin. They question Jesus being the Son of God and doubt the man was born blind from birth, but who were the blind ones?
The man who was born blind said:
“Why herein is a marvelous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened my eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” (5)
After giving these religious rulers a lesson in Hermeneutics 101, this raises the question, who is a sinner?
The word sinner is defined as hamartolos (Gk). It is one who is not free from sin or devoted to sin. Preeminently sinful and especially wicked. Specifically of men stained with certain devices or crimes.
This is not who Jesus was and the miracle he performed was proof of that. But we do not rely on the ability to perform miracles to affirm sonship because Satan can perform miracles as well. Scripturally, Jesus is the Son of God because he was driven by the Spirit to be tempted of the devil in the wilderness, which gives undeniable evidence that as many as are led by the Spirit of God they are the sons of God. (6) Jesus said “Father I know you always hear me” (7) when he raised Lazarus from the dead showing he performed the works of Him who sent him. (8) Furthermore, Jesus learned obedience by the things he suffered.(9) His lifestyle was devoted to please the Father and that is the life of a worshipper.
If the man who was born blind was here with us today, he would say:
“Listen, if Jesus was a sinner, God wouldn’t pay him no mind. There would be nothing that he could say or do that would cause God to grant his request.”
In other words, God does not attend to or give consideration to a man or woman whose lifestyle is devoted to sin. God hears the prayers of the righteous. His ears are always open to their cry, but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil and (10) in the day of their calamity they will be mocked. (11) Many will profess to be children of God, but mere profession won’t cut the mustard. Obedience to God’s word does. Saying “I believe in God” or “I believe God” doesn’t make one a child of the King any more than someone quoting the Qur’an a devout Muslim. If you see someone whose lifestyle is contrary to God’s word and they brag about how God answered their prayers, believe them not. Their prayers may have been answered but it wasn’t God who answered them.
It is not that God cannot hear. He hears everything, but he will not grant the request of a man or woman whose lifestyle makes them a companion of the world and an enemy of God. (12)
- John 9:2
- John 9:3
- John 9:24
- John 9:29
- John 9:30-31
- Romans 8:14
- John 11:42
- John 9:4
- Hebrews 5:8
- Psalm 34:15-16
- Proverbs 1:26
- James 4:4
I was watching an episode of Atlanta Plastic and one of the prospective patients mentioned something that I have heard frequently but this time it seized my attention. Without rehearsing the context of the conversation, it was around attending church and the patient stated, “God says come as you are.” That was a pause for consideration.
First, this saying is un-biblical and we must be careful to recognize spiritual sayings that sound scriptural or deemed as equivalent to scriptural authority. Second, the intention behind it is to help the unbeliever or those weak in the faith overcome real or perceived obstacles that would hinder one’s relationship to God, i.e. going to the altar to get prayer or not having the appropriate attire to come to church. The problem with this reasoning is therein lies an assumption that a relationship exists with an unbeliever. It doesn’t. They are enemies of God and of the cross. That is why they need to hear the gospel preached. For the weak believer, there could be a variety of things happening from misunderstanding to outright rebellion. Whatever the issue is, the preached word will reveal, address, and correct it.
But let’s dig deeper spiritually and realize that coming to God as we are is really a death sentence. It is veiled arrogance and presumption that God should just accept us because of who we are. This is where we fall short in Christendom. We are accepted in the beloved because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, not because of who we are or what we have done. Without the Father extending his unmerited favor through faith, we were all destined for eternal destruction.
Many might not be able to grasp the deadliness of the “coming to God as I am” concept because it is often tied to religious calisthenics. So let’s take a peek into the Old Covenant and see God’s response to Nadab and Abihu.
Nadab and Abihu were sons of Aaron (the High Priest) and were consecrated and ordained to the priesthood to offer sacrifices unto God, live holy, and teach the statutes of the Lord to the children of Israel. Shortly after their ordination,
“Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out a fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.” (1 )
Now we might be inclined to believe the Lord was a tad bit harsh in his judgment but we have to consider a few things: 1) God’s people are called to serve him according to knowledge and that knowledge is based on God’s word. 2) God’s instructions are not subject to private interpretation or subsequent amendments. 3) Service to God is worship. Any deviation is irreverent and merits judgment.
How does all this tie in to what they did and why God devoured them by fire? According to Exodus 30, Aaron was assigned to burn sweet incense before the Lord every morning and it was a special incense (2 ) that was solely for God’s pleasure. This incense was not for personal use or public consumption. There is a lot of theological speculation as to Nadab’s and Abihu’s reasons for burning the incense, but through their actions we see they rejected God’s word, didn’t follow his instructions, and deviated from God’s original plan. There was no communication that in the event Aaron couldn’t burn the incense they would serve as substitutes and perform the service whenever they deemed fit. Unfortunately, their arrogance and presumption blinded them to the holiness of the Lord and cost them their lives!
This ultimately points to God’s holiness and our ability or inability to see that. God is holy and is to be feared. This doesn’t mean we are to be timid because we are exhorted to come boldly before the throne of grace obtaining the help we need (3 ). It means in acknowledging his holiness, we approach with such reverence that it causes our spirits to tremble in awe and wonder.
Under the Old Covenant, Israel had to approach God by way of sacrifice and offerings but under the New Covenant, New Testament believers approach God through One sacrifice: Jesus Christ the righteous. So if you are going to present yourself to the Lord, do so humbly and in his Son’s name.
- Leviticus 10:1-2
- Exodus 30:34-38
- Hebrews 4:16
Have you ever heard “the devil made me do it?” I grew up hearing it and behind this statement is the denial of any personal responsibility for bad behavior and the belief that absolution is automatic. In Christianity, we don’t say the devil made me do it per say. The rhetoric sounds more like this:
“I bind the spirit of poverty in the name of Jesus.”
“We come against the spirit of jealousy.”
“Command the spirit of fornication to go by the power of God.”
All of these commands sound spiritual, but are they scriptural? What does the Apostle Paul say?
“For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that I do If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more that I do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would do I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” (1)
The Christian needs to consider the reality of the inner conflict between our natural and spiritual natures. When we accepted Christ by faith, the sinful nature still remains but we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the righteousness of the law by faith. If Paul spoke in modern day vernacular, it would read like this:
“You know, I’m struggling with some things. I do evil when I want to do good things but I always end up doing the bad things and I hate that! I know I should be doing well and I desire to do right but I just can’t because I don’t know how to. You see, the desire to sin is within me and I can’t escape it. The good I should do, I don’t and the evil I don’t want to, I bulls eye every time and I know the reason why. Because sin lives in me.” (paraphrase mine)
So how do we deal with this internal struggle?
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (2)
Desire, sincerity, right attitude, and good works will not eliminate the sinful nature. Only submission to God through the Holy Spirit will. In Christian circles we call it sanctification. Sin is a spiritual issue and it manifests itself in a myriad of ways but the only way it was sufficiently dealt with was though Christ’s sacrifice. By grace through faith and our acceptance of the perfect and completed work of Christ as the sacrificial Lamb of God, our sins were remitted and the Father declared us not guilty. From that point on by the power of the Holy Spirit we can bring sinful desires under control (3) and treat them as if they are a threat to our spiritual life. That is how you kill the flesh.
Calling demons by name and commanding them to flee will not rid us of sin, no more than it will exempt us from being responsible for transgressing God’s Word. There are principalities, powers, and satanic influences in the air (4) who seek to inhabit and rule through humanity, but to deny, shift, and deflect any personal responsibility is dangerous and unbiblical. This borderlines the argument of demonic influence versus demonic possession. We will get into that once I have more direction from the Holy Spirit of how to approach this issue scripturally and succinctly, but for now, the apostle Paul has given us great insight that our internal warring is a result of a conflict of two natures.
If you ever find yourself in a position of great, intense struggle and are not sure how to scripturally diagnose it, remember when in doubt walk the WORD out.
- Romans 7:15-20
- Romans 8:1
- Colossians 3:5
- Ephesians 6:12
What do you think about when you hear the word witchcraft? Harry Potter? Psychics? Wicca and voodoo? What about reality TV star mediums? Many may dismiss it as fraudulent while others seek to make contact in the beyond to gain some esoteric knowledge only known to a few. This work of darkness not only hides behind the veil of human flesh deceiving and manipulating the unsuspecting, vulnerable, and ignorant; it ensnares the soul to be entangled in a web of spiritual destruction and demise.
Witchcraft is experienced on a daily basis from well-meaning friends, family, co-workers or associates. It besets us without warning or proclamation. Some parents want to control their adult children through financial or emotional manipulation. The un-seemingly harmless person who plays the victim card when in repeated distress. The annoying social vampire who swallows up your time and energy talking about him or herself, violating personal boundaries forcing friendship. It is the silent treatment, outbursts of anger or crying fits in hopes to allure and manipulate you into doing things the other party wants you to do. And the manifestations of it are endless.
The work of witchcraft is both natural and spiritual. In the book of Galatians, witchcraft is a natural desire:
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such the like. “ (1)
Witchcraft is also spiritual, referring to the work of sorcery such as seeking and conjuring up of spirits. Many believe when a medium seeks to have communication with the dead that they are in contact with the dead, for example a dead relative who can confirm their present circumstances or portend their future. Or believing that the spirit of a dead loved one is co-existing with them. Both assumptions are false. The living and the dead do not co-exist in the same realm nor should they have direct contact with each other because of the very nature of the worlds they both exist in.
In the book of first Samuel, Saul’s army was afraid of the Philistines and he sought counsel from the Lord, but “…when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.” (2) When Saul could not get an answer from God, he requested the aid of the witch at Endor to communicate with the prophet Samuel from the dead about his outcome with the Philistines. All who practiced occultism (human sacrifice, divination, necromancy, enchantment and spells, mediums (aka consulter with familiar spirits), and magicians) (3) were to be excommunicated and put to death (4).
The witch at Endor knew this and asked for Saul (disguised) to swear that her life would not be harmed. After Saul promised she would not be punished, in verse 10 the medium asks who she should bring up but in verse twelve she was startled by what she saw because Samuel rose from the dead without her conjuring up a spirit to feign as if it were the prophet Samuel. The witch told Saul that she “saw gods ascending out of the earth,” (5) this means she saw individuals (be it men, angels, or demons) who were connected to the spiritual world. Samuel was not raised from the dead by this medium and this was not an exception to the rule. Witchcraft is hateful to God, has been and always will be forbidden. Although the Scripture does not divulge how he came from the dead, we do know he was raised from the dead and told Saul of his outcome.
The only One who has been given ALL power in heaven and in earth is Jesus Christ, who is the true Potentate, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Only at his command principalities, powers, and rulers submit.
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and for him.” (6)
Human beings do not have the divine right to resurrect from the dead or exercise control over demon spirits. Only believers in Christ Jesus have the power to expose, excommunicate, and bind demonic forces. No Christian should be talking to demons or seeking counsel from the dead.
Christians need not practice religious syncretism because the Word of God is sufficient for past, present, and future knowledge. It is possible for Christians to have spiritual experiences but these supernatural encounters will not violate the law of God.
In the story about the Rich Man and Lazarus, the rich man was in hell and asked Father Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his living relatives to not come to hell. Father Abraham responded to the rich man, “they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them,” (7) but the rich man pressed that if one from the dead brought the news they would listen. Abraham said, “if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.” (8)
- Galatians 5:19-21
- I Samuel 28:6
- Deuteronomy 18:9-12
- Leviticus 20:27
- I Samuel 28:14
- Colossians 1:16
- Luke 16:29
- Luke 16:31
Christian exhortation usually starts off with “the devil wants your stuff so praise God in advance for the victory,” or “don’t let the devil steal your praise.” Then the encouragement shifted from the devil desiring houses, cars, land, and praise to “the devil wants to steal your faith.” I am fully persuaded that it is none of the above. I believe the devil wants your position in the kingdom that has been secured by faith in Christ Jesus.
As heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, we are afforded the privilege to sit with Christ in heavenly places (1) have dominion over demonic influences (2), spiritual gifting for the edification of the saints and the maturation of the body of Christ (3) and to proclaim the good news (4)* of Jesus as Savior, Lord, and the soon returning King. But what continual angst does Satan have against God that he would continually seek to thwart the kingdom of God?
“Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou was created, till iniquity was found in thee.” (5)*
“And [Jesus] said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” (6)
When Satan was lifted up in pride, he lost his place and position in heaven. There was no appeal or reversal of that judgment. In fact he took down a portion of the angelic host “who kept not their first estate but left their own habitation, [whom God] hath reserved in everlasting chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” (7)
Since the Garden of Eden, we see how Satan has declared war against God and all of humanity with his sole purpose to kill, steal, and destroy, (8) but God counterattacked by sending Jesus, the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world. Now through him we have access to Father God, eternal life, and the rule of God’s kingdom. For man (and woman) to be restored is unbearable, so he battles against the saints by launching wiles, schemes, and tricks in three areas of our lives where we are all vulnerable: our needs, our pride, and our desire to be recognized. Let’s take a look at Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness.
Area of Need:
“If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” (9)
This one is a no brainer. Jesus was in the wilderness without food for 40 days and nights and then he became hungry. Of course he would want to have some food in the middle of the wilderness no doubt. But the key here is not so much his hunger as it is his reliance upon the Father to provide. As the God-man he could have easily spoken the word and it would be so; however, he would have relied upon his ability than the Father’s providence.
Area of Pride:
“If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down.” (10)
Here we have the first reality television show staring Jesus, and the host Satan misinterpreting scripture to prompt Jesus to make a fool of himself by showing off his miraculous powers. Since the first temptation didn’t work, Satan tries the old switch-a-roo by using another object of temptation which is closely related to the last tempation.
Desire to be recognized:
“All these things will I give thee if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” (11)
Ah! Now we get to the root of the matter. Notice Satan didn’t say this time “if thou be the Son of God” because he saw his previous attempts fail, but what he is after is still the same. In this scenario he uses riches, glory and fame of which already belongs to the Lord. In exchange for these “gifts” Satan wants what is rightfully due to God: worship.
What do we see through the example of Jesus that Satan oftentimes does to us? Here is a perfect opportunity to lure Jesus off the straight and narrow and present to him the riches of the world. All he has to do is forget who he is, whose he is, and his purpose all in exchange for a piece of bread, instant fame, material possessions, and submission to a fallen angel who is eternally damned. Doesn’t sound so inviting when put like that.
What Satan was able to accomplish through the serpent with Adam and Eve he failed to do with Jesus because Jesus knew:
- Who he was (Identity)
- Why he was here (Purpose)
- What he needed to accomplish (Destiny)
You never have to prove your identity because that was settled on the cross. All you have to do is live a life that pleases the Lord. Proving your worth to people who do not believe in your God and promote the idea of greatness and self-worth through works is secular garbage.
So the next time you are beset with temptation, do what Jesus did. Resist the devil, remain faithful to God, and obey his commandments. You are and will be destined to rule in the kingdom which is and which is to come.
Stay encouraged and be faithful. The King is coming!
- Ephesians 2:6
- Mark 16:17-18
- Ephesians 4:11-16
- Only spirit filled believers in Christ Jesus are authorized to promote the word of God. Anyone who professes to be commissioned and is not a Christian is a false prophet
- Ezekiel 28:15. This would be considered a double reference. Ezekiel was talking about the King of Tyre but revealing the influence he was under (Satan) as demonstrated by his pride and arrogance.
- Luke 10:18
- Jude 1:6
- John 10:10
- Matthew 4:3
- Matthew 4:6