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                "THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS"

                      The Devices Of Satan (2:11)

INTRODUCTION

1. When Paul wrote his second epistle to the Corinthians, he alluded to
   the possibility that Satan might take advantage of them:

   "lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant
   of his devices." (2Co 2:11)

2. Informed Christians, however, need not be in a position to be caught
   off guard...
   a. Satan's advantage is based upon one being "ignorant of his 
      devices"
   b. But if we are aware of the methods Satan uses to lead people 
      astray, we can resist him successfully!

3. What are some of "The Devices Of Satan"?  How can we defend 
   ourselves against them?

[In study we shall attempt to answer these questions.  We begin by 
noticing a "device" of Satan that Paul described later in this same 
epistle...]

I. BLIND THE MINDS OF PEOPLE

   A. REGARDING THIS "DEVICE" OF SATAN...
      1. There are some whom "the god of this age" has blinded - cf. 
         2Co 4:3-4
      2. The Spirit warned this would be done through "doctrines of 
         demons" - 1Ti 4:1-3
      3. Today, many minds are blinded to the truth...
         a. By the doctrine of ATHEISM - there is no God
         b. By the doctrine of EVOLUTION - we are simply animals
         c. By the doctrine of HUMANISM - man is the measure of all 
            things, and in him alone is the solution to our problems
      -- Those who are so blinded are hindered from receiving the truth

   B. OUR BEST DEFENSE AGAINST IT...
      1. Is actually a strong offense, involving a war for the 
         "thoughts" of men - 2Co 10:3-5
      2. Our greatest weapon is TRUTH, which can defeat the false
         arguments and free those who have been blinded into captivity
         - cf. Jn 8:32
         a. Thus the need for discussion and debate, in order to cast
            down "arguments" - 2Co 10:5
         b. Consider the example of Paul, who "reasoned" with others - 
            Ac 17:2-3; 19:8-9
      3. Other weapons involve CHRIST-LIKE ATTITUDES that are "mighty 
         in God"...
         a. E.g., the meekness and gentleness of Christ - 2Co 10:1-4
         b. E.g., patience and humility in correcting others - 2Ti 2:
            24-26
      -- "Speaking the truth in love" (Ep 4:15), we can be defeat 
         this "device of Satan"!

[Another "device of Satan" is to...]

II. GET PEOPLE HOOKED ON "THE THINGS OF THE WORLD"

   A. REGARDING THIS "DEVICE" OF SATAN...
      1. I am referring to those things described in 1Jn 2:15-17
         a. The lust of the flesh
         b. The lust of the eyes
         c. The pride of life
      2. Satan used these tactics against EVE - cf. Gen 3:6
         a. What she saw was "good for food" (the lust of the flesh)
         b. It was "pleasant to the eyes" (lust of the eyes)
         c. It was "desirable to make one wise" (pride of life)
      3. Satan also tried these tactics in tempting Jesus - Mt 4:1-11
         a. "command that these stones become bread" (lust of the 
            flesh)
         b. "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down..." (pride 
            of life)
         c. "All these things I will give you if..." (lust of the eyes)
      4. Today, Satan uses these tactics with a vengeance, tempting
         people through...
         a. Immorality (lust of the flesh)
         b. Materialism (lust of the eyes)
         c. Arrogance (pride of life)

   B. OUR BEST DEFENSE AGAINST IT...
      1. Saturate ourselves with the Word of God!
         a. This is how Jesus overcame His temptations by the devil
         b. Note how He answered each temptation by saying "It is 
            written..." - Mt 4:4,7,10
      2. Develop a strong love for the Father!
         a. For that love is incompatible with a love for the world 
            - cf. 1Jn 2:15
         b. One cannot be a friend of the world and maintain friendship
            with God - Jm 4:4
      -- By saturating ourselves with God's Word and being strong in 
         our love for Him, we will effectively submit to Him and be 
         able to resist the devil, causing him to flee! - Jm 4:7

[Yet let's not think that Satan will give up easily; there are other 
"devices" up his sleeve, including...]

III. PERSECUTE THOSE TRYING TO DO RIGHT

   A. REGARDING THIS "DEVICE" OF SATAN...
      1. Peter warned that the devil sought to devour Christians 
         through persecutions - 1Pe 5:8-9
      2. Paul worried that afflictions brought about by Satan might 
         tempt the Thessalonians to give up - 1Th 3:1-5
      3. Even today, Satan persecutes Christians!
         a. Some literally, through great suffering as Christians
         b. Others through social pressures that are often equally 
            effective:
            1) Peer pressure
            2) Ridicule
            3) Ostracism
   
   B. OUR BEST DEFENSE AGAINST IT...
      1. Encourage one another!
         a. This is what Peter sought to do - cf. 1Pe 5:8-10
         b. Paul sent Timothy to do the same - cf. 1Th 3:2-3
      2. Adopt the proper attitude:  Rejoice!
         a. Knowing that trials can make us stronger - cf. Jm 1:2-4; 
            Ro 5:3-4
         b. Knowing that those who endure are blessed by God - cf. 1 Pe
            4:12-14; Mt 5:10-12
      3. Commit yourself to God in doing good - cf. 1Pe 4:19
         a. God is a faithful Creator
         b. He takes note of our suffering, and will one day repay 
            those who trouble us (including Satan himself!), and give 
            us rest - cf. 2Th 1:4-8; Re 20:10

[There is another "device" of Satan, that often has deadly effect...]

IV. GET PEOPLE TO ENJOY EVIL COMPANY

   A. REGARDING THIS "DEVICE" OF SATAN...
      1. The wrong companions can defeat one's effort to do good - cf.
         1Co 15:33
      2. Amnon was led astray by the counsel of his "friend", Jonadab 
         - 2Sa 13:1ff
      3. Today, many Christians are hindered in their spiritual 
         growth...
         a. By the company they keep
         b. By the activities in which such company engages

   B. OUR BEST DEFENSE AGAINST IT...
      1. Realize the danger of the wrong companions - cf. Pr 13:20
      2. Heed the advice Paul made to the Corinthians:
         a. "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers..."
            - 2Co 6:14-16
         b. "Come out from among them..." - 2Co 6:17-18
         c. "...perfecting holiness in the fear of God." - 2Co 7:1

[Finally, let's look at one more "device" of Satan...]

V. DISCOURAGE PEOPLE THROUGH UNCHRIST-LIKE CHRISTIANS

   A. REGARDING THIS "DEVICE" OF SATAN...
      1. This relates to Paul's concern in our text - cf. 2Co 2:6-11
         a. A sinning brother was disciplined, and had repented
         b. The need now was for the church to confirm their love and
            forgiveness
         c. Otherwise, Satan might take advantage of this situation:
            1) Defeating the church by their unwillingness to forgive
            2) Overcoming the weak brother by his being swallowed up in
               sorrow if forgiveness was not granted by the 
               congregation
      2. Today, Satan sometimes wins many souls by this "device"
         a. Christians who are unloving, unmerciful, and unforgiving,
            become stumblingblocks to others
         b. Christians who are apathetic, sluggish, in their service 
            and devotion to God, adversely influence new Christians

   B. OUR BEST DEFENSE AGAINST IT...
      1. Place our ultimate faith in the Lord, not in brethren - cf. 
         2Ti 4:16-18
         a. This is not to suggest that brethren can't be trusted
         b. But brethren are fallible, the Lord is not!
      2. Remember that not all brethren set the proper example - e.g., 
         3Jn 9-12
         a. Imitate the good examples
         b. Don't let the bad ones discourage us

CONCLUSION

1. This is not an exhaustive list, rather only a sampling of "The
   Devices Of Satan"
   a. The Scriptures certainly reveal much more about how the "Great 
      Deceiver" works
   b. There is also an interesting work of fiction that provides some
      interesting insights; it is called "The Screwtape Letters", by 
      C. S. Lewis

2. I trust this study has been sufficient to show, however...
   a. That our adversary is indeed strong
   b. That ignorance of his devices make us susceptible
   c. That if we are not diligent, he can indeed take advantage of us!

Remember, therefore, these important words of the apostle Paul...

   "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of
   His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able
   to stand against the wiles of the devil."

   "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against
   principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the
   darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in
   the heavenly places."

   "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able
   to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

                                 (Ep 6:10-13)
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