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The Enemy of the Soul – 1 Peter 5:8-11


The Enemy of the Soul

Text 1 Peter 5:8-11
I can’t remember when I last spoke about the devil – and its never something I’d do in a Sunday service. I’d rather point people to Christ than give any credibility to the enemy of the soul. Yet it’s a mistake to ignore him. As Christians we need to know who that deceiver is, where he came from and what he’s up to. and of course, what his eventual end will be. There’s lots of Biblical teaching about the person and work of the devil that will not fall into the remit of this study so, all we want to do in this study is to see what Peter wrote’. But first…

1. How He Originated.
In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us of his pre-incarnate life, when he told his disciples that he had witnessed the origin of the devil:- Luke 10:17  Could he have been referring to Isaiah 14:12 where it seems that Satan, or ‘Lucifer’ as he referred to here was an angel who somehow thought hat he could be like God, in fact that he could surpass God, could usurp his position of power and glory. He claimed that HE COULD BE LIKE GOD! What a terrible boast. His punishment was to be forcibly expelled from the presence of God, – that event witnessed by God the Son, the eternal Logos. So, how does the devil, now fallen from heaven, do his evil work among us, on this earth?

2. How He Operates.
Peter warns us about the methods that the devil uses…

  • He prowls around. prowls around. Can you see the language here! He PROWLS. Have you ever watched a moggie, an ordinary domestic cat going into ‘attack mode’ when it sees a bird or a mouse? The mouse or the bird knows nothing of what is happening until it’s too late and it is in the fangs of the cat. Such is the verb used by Peter to describe the tactic of the devil. He prowls around.
  • He is fierce. like a roaring lion Matthew Henry:- He has no mercy… night and day, goes about studying and contriving whom he may ensnare to their eternal ruin.
    He has a mission. seeking someone to devour. He wants to claim your soul, to ruin your eternal destiny, to drag you with him into the lake of fire, where he will be imprisoned forever on the last day. Revelation 20:10  .

One of the most vicious tactics used by the devil today is porn. Particularly among young men, even young Christian men – even among pastors… Am I thinking of someone in particular – actually no, I’m thinking of thousands of people, for porn is the curse of the internet age, and one of the devil’s most successful strategies. But he has many other strategies too. What will we do?

3. How He is Overcome.
Remember that the devil was overcome on the CROSS – so Peter gives us a strategy to overcome the devil’s temptations:

  • Exercise some self-discipline. Be sober, We do have the capacity to exercise some control over our emotions, our hearts and our minds. When the temptation returns say NO! Exercise self control. I stress the work of the Holy Spirit in this, because self control is one of the Holy Spirit’s works in the Christian life. Galatians 5:22 
  • Watch Out – the Devil is About! be alert and cautious at all times. Simple watchfulness can help us to fend off such devilish attacks. It will also help if we restrain ourselves when we are tempted by the things of this world.
  • Don’t just give in – The Christian life is always a battle! 9 But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, James 4:7 We have a conscience – and with the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit, our conscience will alert us to sin, and will convict us so that we will mourn over our sin and repent of it, and seek forgiveness from the Lord. Listen to the conscience!
  • Remember that You are NOT ALONE in this battle. knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. Don’t ever come to the conclusion that the devil is after you and you alone! His evil attack is aimed at Christ and His Church – you are just a casualty of war. Speaking about the temptation of sexual immorality, 1st Corinthians 10:12.
  • Be solidly grounded in the truth! 10-11, If we take our eyes off Christ, and his saving work for us, we are lost! So continually affirm the faith that is within you. Peter specifies:-
    • The doctrine of ETERNITY. The temporal nature of everything that is here. This world will pass, and with it the temptation to sin. Present sufferings are temporary. After you have suffered for a little while. Have faith – – the temptation will be over one day!
    • The doctrine of GRACE. The saving work of Christ. We are God’s own people – called to faith by Him. the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favour], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, Christ has saved us and keeps us and for those who are truly his, he will not only save us but he will keep us until wee reach our heavenly home.
    • The doctrine of PROVIDENCE. We are protected by Him for our security comes from him alone! will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be].
    • The Doctrine of the JUDGEMENT. Ultimately Jesus will reign triumphant and the devil will be defeated! 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever.

The believer is to firmly grasp these vital truths. They will be our weapons and our shields in the battle with the evil one. Ephesians 6:10

So let us not ignore the really of the evil one, – the enemy of the soul. Neither to under-estimate him, nor to give him credibility he is not due, but let us recognise his strategies and prepare ourselves for the battle of the soul.

BobMcEvoy. November 2018

From → 1 Peter, Bible Study

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