The Devil Has Been Disarmed!

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Pastor Mark Mikels – August 30, 2009
“THE DEVIL HAS BEEN DISARMED!”
(Colossians 2:15)

Intro … There’s a reason that there have been so many hymns and gospel songs written about the Cross – the cross is where the price of our salvation was paid and where the promise of eternal life was given.

The Cross of Jesus Christ stands as the singularly most important symbol of the Christian Faith – it was a great moment when we hoisted our cross and placed in on the East Wall of this building … a cross that we stuffed with the words of affirmation of this congregation.

That cross all by itself communicates to all who pass by that this building houses a Community of Christians – that this place is where those who acknowledge Jesus Christ to be the Son of God and the Savior of the world can be found.

The song writer of the last century would write … “In the cross of Christ I
glory … The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “I resolved to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

Until we understand the cross we understand nothing … until we embrace the cross, we receive nothing. But once we do, we receive more than we would have ever imagined.

This month we have been examining the tremendous blessings that come to us directly (as it were) from the cross of Jesus Christ.

These are blessings that go beyond the “mere” forgiveness of sins; these are blessings that make possible the incredibly abundant life, the victorious life, the fruitful, God-pleasing life that all true followers of Christ desire to live.

The work of Jesus Christ paves the way for us to approach and embrace that kind of life – His death on the cross addressed the very issues and handled all the obstacles that would normally hinder the Child of God in the pursuit of that life. His death on the cross provided some incredible blessings for those who belong to Him.
So far we have identified three … Remember them?

Blessing #1 …
“When Jesus Died On The Cross, the LAW Died With Him.”
(Colossians 2:13-14)
Blessing #2 …
“When Jesus Died On The Cross, the WORLD Died With Him.”
(Romans 6:6)
Blessing #3 …
“When Jesus Died On The Cross, the FLESH Died With Him.”
(Galatians 6:14)

These are tremendous blessings and they open up some tremendous opportunities for us to live the life that Jesus has in fact called us to live … Copies of these messages are available on the counter in the foyer and at our Sonlife Community Church website.

Today we come to …

Blessing #4 …
“When Jesus Died On The Cross, He DISARMED The DEVIL.”
(Colossians 2:15)

”And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle
of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:15)

“Disarmed” … now that’s an interesting approach … I would have preferred that on the cross Jesus destroyed the devil but that has not been the Father’s plan. His plan is that His Children stand up to the Devil and resist His every advance … just like Jesus did and Adam didn’t.

Now here’s the deal … though the Devil’s guns have been loaded with blanks, he still waves them around and seeks to intimidate as many of Christ’s followers as he can. It’s important that we stand our ground and stare him down.

Consider the Primary Weapons He has always used …

He has always used the weapon of …

* DECEPTION …
(Matthew 13:37; John 8:44; Acts 13:9; 2 Corinthians 11:14)

He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil.

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?

And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.
It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.
Their end will be what their actions deserve.

Deception is the Devil’s stock in trade … He seeks to twist the truths of God and confuse all those who would accept them. Consider the extent to which he would go and the manner in which he would wield this weapon of Deception …

He Would Deceive GOD About US – Revelation 12:10
(“They are not worthy.”)

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers,
who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”

Now I don’t know if that has already happened or if that casting down is yet to happen … but imagine the audacity of one trying to deceive God himself … Imagine his ignorance of the Father’s own actions!

To the accusation “They are not worthy” the Father would thunder …
“In Christ, I have made them worthy”.

The devil gets nowhere with God – He doesn’t have a prayer!

He Would Deceive US About GOD – Genesis 3:3-5
(“He is not trust-worthy.”)

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, `You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.
“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and
you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

“You can’t trust God – He is not trust-worthy” …
You have to make the choices that seem right to you. He frequently holds out on you.”

Now that’s an accusation that the Cross of Jesus Christ forever squelches …
The kind of Love that would send Christ to the Cross is the kind of love that would never withhold anything of value from the objects of its love. We know the Father’s heart and we trust Him confidently and completely. The Devil is firing nothing but blanks!

He Would Deceive US About EACH OTHER – 2 Cor 2:10-11
(“They are not worthy.”)

“If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven–if there was anything to forgive–I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”
(2 Corinthians 2:10-11)

In this passage we are coming in on the tail-end of a situation in the church at Corinth … Paul had written to the Corinthians about it and they had dealt with it. Now Paul says, “I stand by your judgment”.

“I will not fall prey to Satan’s Scheme of causing us to disparage one another and to see one another as unworthy of our continued forgiveness and love.”

“Our fellow believers are worthy of our continued support and affection
simply because they are our brothers and sisters in Christ.”

Here’s one last aspect of Satan’s Attempts at Deception –these Deceptions that take the form of “false accusation” …

He Would Deceive US About OURSELVES – 2 Cor. 2:7
(“You are not worthy.”)

“The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now … you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.
I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.”

Satan doesn’t care if we get convicted by our sin for He knows how easily that conviction can turn into self-abasement and self-condemnation.

He knows how easy it is for a Christian who has fallen into sin to feel completely unworthy of any further blessing from God or further fellowship with God’s people. He knows how easy it is for the condemning voice of the law to once again be heard saying …
“You are not worthy.”

That’s why Paul instructs the church to take action – that once the believer has repented and shown proper remorse, the rest of the body should respond in love and support.

Deception … is one of the Devil’s primary weapons – distorting the truths of God in ways that create an atmosphere of accusation.

Here’s a second great weapon that he would seek to employ …

* DISSENSION …
(Ephesians 4:26-27; 2 Corinthians 2:10-11)

That is, creating disharmony in the body of Christ – Using the stresses of life and the inevitable inter-personal tensions they create to cause deep rifts between believers.

In recognition of the way the devil works, Paul wrote …

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you
are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

And again … that passage from 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 …

“If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven–if there was anything to forgive–I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”
Paul says, “I am not going to keep this thing going – I am not going to fall prey to Satan’s trap. I know how he works and how he seeks to pit one believer against another.”

Dissension among believers whether in the home or in the church brings joy to Satan’s heart – it’s the exact opposite of the harmony that exists within the Godhead and the harmony that Christ died to create in His Church. Our commitment to Spirit-Based harmony will enable us to live free of it.

The Last Weapon in the Devil’s Arsenal we mention this morning is:

* DISCOURAGEMENT …
(1 Peter 5:8-9; Ephesians 6:11)

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

Peter says that the Devil is particularly active during times of struggle and suffering – especially trials and sufferings that come as a result of us standing firm in our faith.

He would seek to “devour” our Christian life with this single thot …
“What’s the use? … I’m standing for Christ and this is what I get?”

Caught off guard we can easily take the “discouragement plunge” and knowing that, the Apostle Paul wrote …
“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your
stand against the devil’s schemes.”

And here’s the deal … once we “take our stand” against him and his deceptions and his attempts at creating dissension and discouragement, He is seen for what he is … a disarmed, demoralized foe.

Here’s how James put it (James 4:7) …
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

That’s what we want to see … the devil, turned-tail and running!

Final Thot … A DISARMED Devil is still a FORMIDABLE foe.
Don’t FALL for his SCHEMES!

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