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2. He Made Us Alive (Ephesians 2: 1, 5)

 

(3) Moving from under the Satan’s Dominion to the Kingdom of the Beloved Son

 

    

Before we were saved and born again and were still dead in transgressions and sins, what were we like?  Ephesians 2: 2 says: “in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the rulers of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.”  Before we came to the Lord, we were ruled by the devil.  Whether we know it or not, every nation in the world was in the grasp of the evil one.  The devil was the ruler and god of this world, who organized the world into a set of systems including many ways and customs.  Back then what were the purpose and goals of our life?  Weren’t we just following the ways of the world?  Everyone was desperately pursuing whatever the world cherished and sometimes was trapped in the never ending, tiring rat race.  When asked, “Why are you always so tired?”  “What can I do, I was just doing what everyone else was doing,” was the answer.  Isn’t this exactly what “following the ways of the world” looks like?

The devil was the ruler of the kingdom of the air, and he was the king and god of the world.  The devil ruled us through the evil spirit that was working in our hearts to drive us into following the ways of the world and thus ruled by him.

When we were dead in our transgressions and sins, we were ruled by the devil, but through our faith in Jesus Christ, God made us alive.  We were united with the Lord in death, in burial, and in resurrection; thereby we moved from the domain of “in Adam” to the domain of “in Christ”.  Thus, to “in Adam”, I am dead and have been buried; while to “in Christ”, I have been made alive and am a new creation.  When we were “in Adam”, we were living under the rule of the devil; when we are “in Christ”, we enter into the kingdom of light headed by Christ.  Colossians 1: 13-14 say: “for he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”  Praise the Lord, through the salvation of “crossing over from death to life” we moved from “in Adam” to “in Christ”, from under the power of Satan and darkness to the kingdom of the beloved Son.  By the precious blood of Jesus Christ our sins were forgiven and we have redemption.  Hallelujah!         

1.      What is the meaning of Colossians 2: 15?  How did Lord Jesus Christ defeat the devil on the cross?  How did Lord Jesus through his death destroy the devil who holds the power of death? (Hebrews 2: 14-15; Revelation 1: 17-18)

(1)         After the fall of Adam and Eve, the whole world became the devil’s dominion and controlled by the devil.

(2)         God’s salvation plan:

·         God’s prophecy:  Early on God proclaimed that the woman’s offspring would crush the serpent’s head (i.e. the devil’s head).

·         God began his salvation plan -- the birth of the savior God sent us, Jesus Christ

                                i.         The devil used King Herod to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under in order to kill Jesus but failed.

                              ii.         In the desert, the devil wanted to tempt Jesus because the biggest threat posed by Lord Jesus’ being on the earth to the devil was that Jesus would take back the authority to rule over the earth.  The devil told Jesus to bow down and worship him then he would give the splendor of all nations to him.  He was trying to tempt Jesus to fail.  But Jesus knew he was here on earth to be crucified and through the cross to create new mankind so he resisted the devil’s temptations and spoiled his schemes.

                            iii.         We see that throughout Jesus’ life the devil was constantly tempting him.  Even in Gethsemane when Lord Jesus cried and prayed out aloud to God -- the one that could save him from death, why did he do that?  Because the devil was still tempting Jesus, saying: “Your disciples are leaving you, some will sell you out, some will flee from you, and some will disown you.  A week ago, many of your followers were shouting ‘Hosanna in the highest!’ in support of you, and when you are hung on the cross, there will only be a few people there; your beloved mother will be one of them, aren’t you afraid?” and many other things.  Thanks to the Lord that Jesus had been tempted in every way and yet was without sin (see Hebrews 4: 15).  With an attitude of absolute obedience to the Father God, Jesus triumphed over all temptations.  Lord Jesus said, “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.  Then I said, ‘Here I am – it is written about me in the scroll – I have come to do your will, O God.’” (Hebrews 10: 5-7“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.  Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” (Hebrews 5: 7-9)

(3)         The completion of God’s salvation Plan:  Before Lord Jesus was crucified he said: ”The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”  When Lord Jesus, soaked with blood and hung on the cross, he suffered through utter humiliation and ridicules; below him stood only his mother, disciple John, and a few women.  He was all alone and desolate, so where was the glory?  Hallelujah!  In the spiritual world however, something big was happening: “the earth shook and the rocks split.”  In people’s eyes, when Lord Jesus was on the cross on the verge of death, it was a moment filled with hopelessness and yet Jesus said: “It is finished!”  He accomplished the salvation plan that God had prepared since the creation of the universe – the woman’s offspring will crush the devil’s head.  The devil’s fatal wound to human was using his evil schemes to make all human beings under the control of the sin nature; while Lord Jesus wanted to save us from the sin nature through his crucifixion.  May the Lord make us understand Lord Jesus Christ’s victory at Calvary (Golgotha).  He defeated the devil on the cross!  Hallelujah!  Because by his shedding of the blood and death on the cross he accomplished an earth shattering feat, that is, he captured and disarmed the devil and his followers, publicly humiliated them, and made them prisoners in the victory parade of Jesus.  Hallelujah!  Let us praise God, “It is finished, it is finished, it is finished!”

·         What does it mean to have “disarmed the powers and authorities”?  “The powers and authorities” are the devil and his followers.  “Disarm” means to strip them of their weapons.  Thus “to have disarmed the powers and authorities” means to have rendered the devil and his followers powerless.  “Made a public spectacle of them” is to shame and humiliate them in public.  “Triumphing over them by the cross” is to make the devil and his followers prisoners in Jesus’ victory parade.

·         How did Lord Jesus, by his death, destroy the devil who holds the power of death?  Hebrews 2: 14-15: “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”  Give thanks to the Lord!  Lord Jesus Christ not only died on the cross, he also entered hades.  This is also one of the reasons why the Son of God must become flesh and live in this world, so that through his death he can enter hades – the territory of the devil and death to destroy the devil and his power of death.  What does destroy mean?  It is not to eliminate completely.  To destroy the devil means to strip him of his power or to render him powerless so that he is totally ineffective.  How did Lord Jesus destroy the devil who holds the power of death?  He entered into the territory of death and through his shedding of the blood sacrifice to proclaim victory over Satan.  He destroyed Satan’s power so that he no longer held the keys to death and hades; and proclaimed that whoever believes in him (Jesus) may walk out of hades.  Revelation 1: 17-18: “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.  Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid.  I am the First and the Last.  I am Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!  And I hold the keys of death and Hades.’”  Let me ask you a question: “Suppose Lord Jesus didn’t die on the cross, he jumped off and was alive; would that be different from being dead, went to hades and then resurrected?”  Of course they are different!  How are they different?  How was he able to disarm the evil Satan?  How was he able to destroy the devil who held the power of death?  That’s right, if Lord Jesus didn’t die, didn’t enter hades, and didn’t enter into the territory of death, how could he triumph over the powers of hades and death?  That would have been impossible!  Give thanks to the Lord, he was dead but lives again; and the keys of death and hades are in his hands.  The Bible says, “I (Jesus) was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!”

(4)         Psalms 116: 15 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”  As children of God, the days of our lives are all in the hands of God, because Lord Jesus has already triumphed over the devil, over hades, and over death.

2.      What is the significance of Lord Jesus’ ascending to heaven sitting at the right hand of the Father God and his triumph over the devil?  (Ephesians 2: 2; Philippians 2: 10)

The devil was the ruler of the kingdom of the air and held a certain power over the kingdom.  When Lord Jesus was resurrected and ascended to high heaven through the kingdom of the air, the devil couldn’t resist him (refer to Daniel 10: 13, 20).  The fact that Jesus was able to ascend to high heaven smoothly is a clear indication of his absolute victory over the devil.  He ascended to heaven sitting at the highest seat of the universe, to the right hand of the throne of God, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion.   

3.      Jesus triumphed over the Devil and set us free but why are we still trapped in fear, doubt, despair, and failure? (Matthew 22: 29; 2 Corinthians 2: 11

Lord Jesus Christ had triumphed over the devil, completely disarmed the devil and set us free.  The devil has lost his power to do anything in us.  But why are we still constantly living in fear?  Why do we have doubts, despairs, and failures?  On one hand, this is due to our failure to understand that the devil has been defeated and disarmed, and Jesus is the victor.  On the other hand, the devil knows that he has failed and he cannot directly do anything to us; therefore, he often uses lies and hidden tricks to tempt us, causing fears and uncertainties in us so that we fall into the snare that he has set up for us.  Brothers and sisters, we must never forget that we are the victors!  Because of Lord Jesus’ triumph as well as our faith in him that we are intimately united with him to also become victors, this is a very important point.  It is our inability to understand the victory through being united with Jesus that we often try to resist the devil by our own effort that inevitably will lead to failures.  If we constantly proclaim by faith: “Hallelujah!  Jesus is victorious!  Jesus is victorious!” then we will also be victorious through having a tighter bond with Jesus.  Remember, the devil is not afraid of you but he is afraid of the one who is united with you – Jesus Christ.

4.      What are the two types of schemes that the devil employs?  Ultimately, there is only one purpose for his schemes, what is it?

There are the two types of schemes that the devil employs.  One is external and the other is internal.

(1)   There are two types of external schemes:

·      One is like the roaring lion.  For example, some people when they are diagnosed with cancer, it’s like the end of the world is upon them; they are so scared and afraid that they are going to die soon and don’t know what to do.  Or something bad happened unexpectedly then people get all riled up.  What causes that?  It is the devil’s evil scheme.  In fact, as children of God we know that in heaven and on earth all authority is in Lord Jesus’ hands and all are under the sovereignty of our Father God.  He is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.  He is our father, without his permission nothing can happen to us; and all that happen to us will not exceed what we can bear, for God will give us a way out.  However, when we encounter difficulties, we feel that the devil is really powerful so we desperately call on the Lord to destroy the devil yet we forget all about the Christ to whom we are united with.  Both you and I are nobody, but our Christ is victorious.  If we are united with Christ we are victorious for sure; if we don’t unite with him then we are doomed to fail.

·      The second one is even scarier than the roaring lion, that is: pretending to be an angel of light.  What is “pretending to be an angel of light”?

                       i.      Love of the world:  Someone once said that when the world persecuted you, you turned to the Lord and loved the Lord; yet Judas used the kiss as a signal to betray Jesus.  That is to say, when the world embraces and kisses you, you turn away from Jesus.  Often when the circumstance is dire, you love the Lord and rely on him greatly; and when the situation eases up, you do not rely on the Lord any more.  I once knew a brother who loved the Lord very much, and was persecuted for believing in Jesus.  They repeatedly asked him whether he was a believer and each time he would answer firmly “yes”, and they would beat him each time.  He was never intimidated to change his answer.  However, later on he was no longer persecuted and his position gradually rose; he began to pursue fortune and fame and forgetting to rely on the Lord.  This is one facet of how Satan pretends to be the angel of light.

                     ii.      The use of heresy to confuse the truth is another external evil scheme of the devil.

                   iii.      Another evil scheme of the devil that is particularly serious: making us act according to our sinful nature (flesh) to zealously engaging in God’s work.  I feel this is more harmful than anything else.  That is, “I” am zealous for God, and “I” rely on my own zeal to do God’s work.  This often ends in church split-ups and disharmonies at home, among other things.           

(2)   What then are the devil’s internal evil schemes?

·         Our thoughts and minds:  through the conduit of our thoughts and minds the devil makes us have the feeling of unhappiness, bitterness, rage, anger, pride, or a variety of things towards others.  The devil allows these things to linger in our thoughts and minds and as time goes on they begin to nest or take root in us.  Ironically, when we hear Lord’s words and meditate over his words they don’t seem to linger or take root in us; yet these vile thoughts seem to grow in us so readily.

·         Making accusations in our conscience and convicting us:  What are the accusation and conviction of the conscience?  Often times after we have committed a sin or when the devil put an evil thought in us, then he would say to us: “Now you did it, you have sinned!”  Brothers and sisters, we take the issues associated with the conviction and accusation by the devil very seriously.  When you are listening to or reading the messages of this website and recognize that this is the situation you are in, you may write us to start a dialog with us.  In every church that I have been to, I almost always run into someone that is suffering from being accused and convicted of sins by the devil in their conscience.  We all know that we have sins, even King David was a sinner, Apostle Peter was a sinner, and so on.  But when we sincerely confess our sins, because God is faithful and just, he surely will forgive our sins.  However, after we have confessed our sins, the devil will take advantage of our ignorance and will remind us of our sins again and again by saying things like: “You are a Christian now and yet you still behave like this!” or “You are a preacher, how can you still behave like this!”  Brothers and sisters, the question is: have you confessed your sins?  If you have thoroughly confessed your sins then you should declare to Satan: “God is faithful and just, he will surely forgive my sins and wash away my unrighteousness.”  After that you may sing hymns to exalt the Lord and simply ignore the devil’s accusations.

 

(3)   The purpose of devil’s schemes:  The devil’s schemes whether they are from outside like the roaring lion, or like the angel of light; or from within through our thoughts and minds to make us harbor ill feelings, or through accusing and convicting us, ultimately there is only one purpose – to separate us from God, to keep us from being united with Christ, and to make us forget about Christ’s victory and our union with Christ.  When something happens to you and you are still living in your flesh then you will just get angrier and angrier and forget about being united with Christ.  The devil knows that he cannot make us sever our relationship with Christ, but he is constantly using schemes and tricks to weaken our union with Christ so that we become soft and weak Christians.  Isn’t it true?  Have you ever experienced the following scenario:  even when we become so zealous about God’s work we can still forget to be united with the Lord; as a result we often end up getting mad at each other.   

5.      Use Revelation 12: 10-11 to explain the basis of our triumph over the devil:

            What is the basis of our triumph over the devil?  Revelation 12: 11: “They overcome him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”  This verse tells us that there are three points to the basis of our triumph over the devil:

(1)   The blood of the lamb, that is, the precious blood of Jesus:  If I have sinned, then I should bravely confess my sin to God; God is faithful and just, and the blood of the lamb is forever effective.  God will forgive our sins and cleanse our unrighteousness.  Although committing sins is a terrible thing but to cover it up and not willing to confess is even more horrible.

(2)   The word of one’s own testimony:  After we sincerely confess our sins we should proclaim God’s word, such as: “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us”; give praise to the Lord, “who forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases”; Give thanks to the Lord, I confess my sins, the Lord “will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depth of the sea.”

(3)   “Don’t love life so much as to shrink from death”:

·         We are so afraid of our physical death, scared that we are going to die.  When doctors diagnose that you have cancer, you are scared of dying; when you forget to take your medication for a day you are worried, why?  Because you are afraid to die.  I am concerned whether I am eating the right stuff because I don’t want to have this disease or that disease; but simply put, we are all afraid to die. (This is not to dismiss that we should take precautions; rather to point out that we are constantly under the threat of unknown fears.)  Indeed, we are all slaves to our fear of death.  Thanks to the Lord, our brothers overcome the devil by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony.  Our lives are in the hands of the Lord and the death of his saints is precious in the sight of the Lord.  If God does not allow it then your time is not up and you are not subject to death.  If you want to go and be with the Lord, you need his permission.  If he says no, you can’t go.  Because Lord Jesus holds the keys of death and hades, and that is God’s exact word.

·         Scared of the death of our old-self:  Intellectually, we know that our old-self has died and been buried with Jesus but we are still not willing to let it die.  We still care about not losing face, still insist on convincing others by arguing, etc.

Brothers and sisters, if we want to overcome the devil, we must have the attitude of “not loving your own life and willing to die readily”.  When you have this kind of attitude, the devil is powerless to do his tricks on you.  Give thanks and praises to the Lord, the precious blood of Jesus has cleansed me, I am willing to die and I don’t care about losing face any more, if I am going to succumb to diseases, so be it; if you have this attitude then the devil can’t do anything to you.  Hallelujah!  “They overcome him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”  In my life I have had several major illnesses that were potentially fatal and I have also been in some situations that could have cost my life.  I thank God that I can testify to you that when you have the mindset of “willing to die, so be it” to face the devil, then you will be more than victorious in all things.  On the contrary, if we are scared or panic to the point of not knowing what to do, then the devil will be delighted because your bond with Christ has weakened.  Brothers and sisters, if you are struggling with difficulties in your life, if Satan is attacking you from the inside, then you declare this now: “I am willing to die, so be it!”  When you don’t love your life, you will see an amazing result.  Satan can no longer work on you.  Give thanks to the Lord, I confess my sins and the precious blood of Jesus has cleansed me, I am willing to die, so be it.  Forget about the external roaring lion or the internal evil thoughts, and I don’t care about keeping up a false façade any more.  I am willing to die, so be it!  When you do this, you will be fine.

6.      What is the secret to victorious living for Christians? (Refer to 1 John 5: 18; Colossians 2: 2-3, 9-10)

The secret to victorious living for Christians is: “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”  Because I am united with him thus Christ’s victory is my victory.  In the book New Life Lessons – 26 Lectures and in Lessons Topical Study Outline I have talked about the story of the fox and the tiger:  When the tiger and the fox walk side by side in the jungle, all the other animals will naturally run away from them.  So the fox says, “Look!  They are all afraid of me!”  Are they?  The truth is not because they are afraid of the fox but because they are afraid of the tiger.  Now, the devil is not afraid of you, he is afraid of the one who is united with you -- Christ.  So long as we are tightly bonded with the Lord in all things, praise and thank the Lord, the Lord will always be victorious and the devil will stay far, far away.  I also like to use the following example:  Jesus and I are sitting in a room and the devil is outside knocking on the door.  Question: Who do you think should answer the door?  Of course Lord Jesus should answer the door!  But often times when something happens (just like the devil is knocking on the door), our brain would start to churn and we start to get scared; we would start doing something and that inevitably would lead to our failing.  We fail because we try to come up with a solution on our own to deal with the situation.  What if we don’t move and let Jesus answer the door?  The moment Jesus makes his move, the devil can see Jesus through the crack in the door and he would be long gone.  Because the devil would not dare to face Jesus who has disarmed him, has made a public spectacle of him, and has made him a prisoner in his victory parade.  Now we ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten us on the victory of Jesus – Jesus has triumphed at Calvary (Golgotha), he has disarmed the devil, praise the Lord!    

7.      Why “obeying God” and “standing firm in the faith” are ways of resisting the devil?  (James 4: 7; Galatians 2: 20; Psalms 18: 44; 1 John 3: 8)  How to overcome the devil’s conviction and accusation on our conscience? (1 John 1: 9; Galatians 2: 16-17; Colossians 3: 14)

      The way to resist the devil is to be united with the victorious Christ.  Then why do we also say that “obeying God” and “standing firm in the faith” are ways of resisting the devil?

(1)   James 4: 7 says: “Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  We do not rely on our own ability to resist the devil; rather we rely on “submitting to God”.  Psalms 18: 44 says, “As soon as they hear me, they obey me.”  Therefore we should exalt our Lord on high and say: “Lord, all you have done are good.  Thank you Lord, you are capable of handling all things.”  When we encounter the roaring lion, no matter what, just praise Jesus.  When we lift up the Lord on high and submit to God, we are in fact uniting with Christ, and the devil will flee from us.

(2)   “Standing firm in your faith” to resist the devil (1 Peter 5: 9):  A firm faith means “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”  Regardless whether the devil is like a roaring lion, or an angel of light, or through our thoughts channel to get inside us, we just joyfully proclaim “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me”.  Once we make the proclamation the devil will flee from you.  All the devil can do is to use tricks to lure us to sin, but now we know the secret to defeat him, that is, to be united with Christ.  Let’s not forget this secret!  Let me say it again, Lord Jesus has already defeated the devil at Calvary (Golgotha) a long time ago, but the devil wants to use our fear and thoughts to make us forget our bonding with Christ and turns us into weak Christians.  When we declare that it is Jesus who lives in me, and all that the Lord has done are good and right; I don’t need to ask why because I know God is always right.  God was even willing to sacrifice his beloved Son for me so why would he do anything that is not good?  Praise Jesus, all things from him are good!  Although there are many things happening around me that I don’t understand, but I am willing to believe that all things from him are good and right.  This way we leave no room for the devil to work on us.

(3)   When our conscience is accusing or convicting us of wrong doings, such as:  When you were young didn’t you have that kind of bad thoughts?  Didn’t you have the thoughts of committing adultery?  Didn’t you once have a relationship with the devil?  Hey, are people like you qualified to be a preacher? …….  How do we overcome these?

·      Let us just bravely admit and concur that all those things that the devil is accusing me are indeed bad, sinning is not a good thing, and to be in bed with the devil is wrong, etc.

·      Then you turn to Jesus – my shelter, confess your sins to God. (A very important point: the devil has no right to ask you to confess your sins to him, we should always confess to God.)  Since I was “justified by faith”, I should sincerely say to God, “It’s true, I was really bad and wrong in doing those things.  Thank you Lord for pointing out my mistakes and exposing who I really am, etc.”

·      Hold on tightly to God’s promise, boldly proclaim and accept God’s grace in forgiveness:  Thank you Lord, I confess all my sins, you are faithful and just, and you will forgive my sins and cleanse all my unrighteousness.              

8.      Ephesians 6: 10-18  talk about resisting  the devil’s schemes and use the term “stand firm”, what does that mean? (Ephesians 6: 14; 2 Corinthians 15: 1, 16: 13; 1 Peter 5: 12; 2 Corinthians 1: 24)

            Some people are not fearful when they pass by a roaring lion yet they are easily fooled by the devil into believing heresy; some people can reject heresy but fall victims to lust and evil desires; and some people while trying to save those who are consumed by lust and evil desires fall into the same trap themselves; and so on.  Therefore, to resist the devil the first thing is to stand firm.  In 1 Thessalonians 3: 8 Apostle Paul said: “For now you really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.”  “Standing firm” is very important and we must be clear as to what we are standing firm in; otherwise like Matthew 23: 24 says: “You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”

(1)      Standing firm in the truth:  We must understand what the truth is.  Sometimes we thought we were defending the truth but in fact we were just arguing over trivial things.  Jude 3 says “I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints;” and 1 Corinthians 16: 13 says: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.”

(2)      Standing firm in God’s grace:  1 Peter 5: 12 says: “I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God.  Stand fast in it.”  By God’s grace we can stand firm, it is not by our own effort or struggle.  In resisting the devil, our biggest weapon is that Jesus is victorious.  I am united with Christ therefore I am victorious.

(3)      Standing firm by faith:  2 Corinthians 1: 24 says: “Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.”  The salvation plan completed by Lord Jesus is “by grace and through faith”; that is, God gives us the grace and we accept it by faith (not by our wisdom, intelligence, or analysis but with an attitude of accepting without questioning, i.e. by faith).  It is through faith that we submit to God and thereby triumph over the devil.

        Do you know what some people did to overcome the devil?  They prayed all day long, skipping meals and repeatedly asking God to tie up the devil; they ended up being pale, skinny and totally exhausted.  They just continually asked God to tie up the devil but didn’t stand firm in the truth!  How do we overcome the devil?  It is through obeying God and through Jesus’ victory.  Earlier I gave an analogy of sitting in a room with Jesus and the devil was knocking on the door.  You went by yourself to resist the devil but also called out for Jesus to come and help you.  Jesus said, “Why won’t you just sit down, you shouldn’t have to do this at all.”  If we want to stand fast in God’s grace we shouldn’t be doing anything, just sit down and let Jesus do the work.  Exercise your faith by saying:  I believe I have died with Christ and am raised up with him.  Then you should just stop and rest; let the Lord to take charge, he knows what to do.  This is what standing firm looks like.

        We are so thankful to the Lord, although we were ruled by the devil and followed the ways of the world, but because of Jesus Christ “crossed over from death to life” and moved us from “in Adam” to “in Christ”; from under the dominion of Satan to the kingdom of the beloved Son.  Lord Jesus Christ himself triumphed over the devil on the cross and his victory also became our victory.  Because of our union with him we are guaranteed to be victorious in all things, praise Jesus.

       

            Prayer: Lord, we are so grateful that the salvation is by grace and through faith.  Lord, you didn’t ask us to do anything, even to triumph over the devil is not something we could have done; all we need is to be united with your victory, to be united with Christ, then your victory will become ours.  Lord, give us wisdom so that we may realize this.  Oh Lord, you have already disarmed the devil, you have made a public spectacle out of the devil, and you have made the devil a prisoner in your victory parade.  Let us always exalt your victory.  Thank you Lord, oh Lord!  May we stand firm in the grace of Jesus Christ, in our faith, and in the truth.  Thank you Lord, in Lord Jesus Christ’s name!  Amen!   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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