Satan • The Bible introduces Satan from a point of existence, rather than a point of origin- he is “on the scene” from the beginning, cf. Gen.3. • While the Scriptures have little to say about his origin, they have much to say about his purposes: • To blind people to the truth, 2Cor.4:3-4; • To lie, deceive, and even to disguise himself to mislead, 2Cor.11:3,14; • To destroy, 1Pet.5:8; and • With all his power and tactics, to kill, John 8:44. • Thus, in every way, Satan is completely opposed to God and His purposes, 2Cor.6:14ff.
Given all these things…. • How is he so successful in his opposition to God and His people? Isn’t a “roaring lion” easy to identify? • Think about it this way: • God has invested His power to save in the gospel, Rom.1:16-17. • If Satan can just distort the truth of God’s word in the minds/hearts of people, its power to save is thwarted, Gal.1:6-9. • How, then, does Satan accomplish this distortion of the truth of God’s word? • Sometimes, he does so by changing just one word…
Consider Satan’s first distortion of truth, • Gen.3:1-7. • Let’s analyze what happened: • Satan started with truth, v.1; cf.2:16; • And Eve supplied the rest of the truth, including the consequence of disobedience, vv.2-3; 2:17; • Then all Satan did was add one word to her correct restatement of God’s word… • Do you know which word Satan added? “You surely shall not die!” v.4cp.2:17 • After further impugning God’s motive, the deception and destruction was complete, vv.5-6. • All Satan did was add one word to the truth!
Modern “Nots” in Satan’s “Tale” Accomplished by just adding one simple word: “Baptism does notsave you.” cp. 1Pet.3:21 “Baptism does notwash away sins.” cp. Acts 22:16 “You do nothave to be baptized.” cp. Acts 2:38 “There is notjust one body/church.” cp. Eph.4:4; 1:22-23 “Denominationalism/division is notwrong.” cp.1Cor.1:10-13; John 17:17-21 “It does notmatter what you believe and practice as long as you’re honest and sincere.” cp. Matt.7:21; John 3:36 “God does not care how you worship Him.” cp. John 4:23 “Your heart is notwrong- follow it.” cp. Matt.15:19; Acts 8:22 “Millions of people can not be wrong about Jesus’ requirements for salvation, His church, His doctrine, and His worship.” cp. Matt.7:13-27
Now, Do you see how Satan works, even in the disguise of “truth,” “religion,” and “right,”? 2Cor.11:13-15 Only two questions remain: • If you have been previously deceived by Satan or his emissaries into believinga lie, will you now believe and obey the truthof God’s undistorted word as we’ve read it together today? • If you haven’t believed Satan’slies, will you now go and help those who have by sharing the truth of God’s word with them?