Sermon on July 3 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: 1 Peter 5:8-11
If you were the devil, the great Deceiver, would you want people to think of you as real? Or as a joke or illusion?
If you would make the devil flee:
1. BRACE YOURSELF – AND KNOW YOUR ENEMY!
- Respect your enemy’s unique identity ‘…your enemy the devil..’ (v8b)
Watch out for two dangers: either we can make too much of the devil, or too little.
‘A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all – and more amusing’
(‘The Screwtape Letters’. C.S. Lewis)
- Realise your enemy’s cunning strategy ‘…prowls around like a roaring lion looking…’ (v8b)
Satan is actively on the lookout to both deceive and discourage Christians….
…in society. Redefine masculinity and femininity and the family as we know it will no longer exist.
…through discouragement. When you are discouraged and vulnerable, it is easier for him to get grip on you.
2. WAKE UP – AND FIGHT YOUR FOE!
- Be on guard, not offline ‘Be alert and of sober-mind’ (v8a)
The moment we fall asleep, or are slothful – that moment the dangers will stand thick about us.
You can be busy and distracted in many things, but slothful in what matters.
‘Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation’
- Face your foe, don’t flee ‘Resist him, standing firm in the faith…’ (v9a)
We are told to flee from many things but not from Satan. There is no armour for our backs!
The basis for resistance is not our strength, but the faith which is ours in Jesus Christ.
‘When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within;
Upward I look and see Him there, who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Saviour died, my sinful soul is counted free;
for God the Just is satisfied, to look on Him and pardon me’.
3. STAND FIRM – AND KEEP THE FAITH!
- Look around – and you will see an army ‘…because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of suffering’ (v9b)
Persecution is to be expected if the devil hates the gospel. But look back and around, and you will see a resistance army
‘The underground church shed its blood. We endure various attacks. But we do not ask God why He allows suffering. Birds sing, not because they have an answer, but because they have a song. We too have a new song to the praise of God.’
(Richard Wurmbrand, 1981)
- Press on – and God will get you home ‘..He will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast’
The devil never has the last say. Resist – because no plan of men, nation, institution or the devil can thwart the purpose of God.
Remember! Two thousand years ago, Jesus resurrection began a resistance movement that will not stop until Jesus Christ has the prize for which He died – an inheritance of nations. So whose side are you on? Oh church arise ,and put your armour on!
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Photo credit FreeImages.com/Krassimir Stoichev