In this sermon, part of the series on “Travels with Jesus,” Pastor Neil admonishes us to take the Devil seriously. We can resist the Devil. Here are some excerpts:
…The devil (diabolos is the Greek word for “devil” in the New Testament) is not a myth. He is not a fiction or a fable. He is not some kind of impersonal force. The diabolos is for real. His name is Satan, which means “Adversary.” He is a real spiritual being who is the sworn enemy of God, the sworn enemy of Jesus, of the church, and of every believer – every person – who knows God and loves God and seeks to walk with God by faith in Jesus.
The devil is real. He is powerful. But he is not all-powerful. He is not omnipotent. He is not co-equal with God. God is omnipotent. The devil is not. As powerful and influential as Satan is, he is not equal in power or stature or authority to God. The devil is your enemy – an enemy you and I must take seriously – but he is a defeated enemy. His final defeat was assured at the cross where Jesus died for us.
The devil’s defeat was assured in the death of Jesus and His resurrection from the dead. The devil is still hard at work in this world, and there may be times (like now, perhaps) when we wonder if he has been or will be defeated, but God’s Word assures us that, while the devil remains a foe to be taken seriously, he is ultimately a defeated foe. Satan will not win. He will not usurp God’s throne. In God’s perfect time, Satan will be banished from God’s world. Forever.
In the meantime, we must do battle with him. People who deny the devil’s existence or discount his efforts to ruin us spiritually (and in any other way) do so at their own peril. Because Satan is real and powerful, we’ve got to take him seriously without living in fear of him. As followers of Jesus, we don’t need to fear the devil, because the Bible assures us that the One who is in us – God the Holy Spirit – is greater than the one who is in the world (1 John 4:4)…
When you are tempted (remember, temptation is not an “if,” it is a “when”), you don’t have to surrender to it. You don’t have to give up and give in. God gave you His Word of God to protect and guide you. You have the privilege of prayer. You have the presence and power of the Holy Spirit at work in your life. And you have the promise – the assurance, the certainty – of God’s unfailing, steadfast love for you. May God give you the grace and power to resist and overcome every temptation you face this week.
Pastor Neil has much more to say about this topic. Please click on the link below to hear the sermon in its entirety.