How Satan Gains Advantage

  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. SCRIPTURE READING: II Corinthians 2:10-17.
    2. DEFINITIONS:
      1. Ignorant:
        1. WEBSTER [1]: "Uninformed, lack of knowledge concerning a particular thing."
        2. GREEK [2]: (ANOOUMEN) "To be ignorant, not to know, to be ignorant of". I Corinthians 12:1 = "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant." … 
          II Corinthians. 1:8
          = "For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:"
      2. Devices:
        1. WEBSTER [1]: "That which is used as a means to achieve an end; a scheme or plan contrived to promote one’s interests".
        2. GREEK [2]: (NOEEMATA) "Thought, that which is thought out: a purpose or device".

        NOTE: This same word translated "devices" in II Corinthians 2:11; Is 
        translated "mind" in II Corinthians 3:14 = "But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
        II Corinthians 4:4
        = "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds
        of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

        Notice also
        : II Corinthians 11:3 = "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."

      3. Satan:
        1. WEBSTER [1]: "In Christian theology, the great adversary of man; The Devil".
        2. GREEK [2]: (SATANAS) "Always used of "Satan". The adversary of:
          1. God and Christ (Matthew 4:10).
          2. His people (II Corinthians 2:11).
          3. Mankind (Acts 26:18).
      4. Advantage:
        1. WEBSTER [1]: "Any condition, circumstance, opportunity, or means favorable to achieve any desired end."
        2. GREEK [2] (Pleonekteo) "To get an advantage of; or to take advantage
          of". It is made up of two Greek words:
          1. Pleon = "more".
          2. Echo = "To have".
          3. Thus, Satan’s effort "to have more" or "advantage over" the Church.
    3. LITERAL TRANSLATION OF PASSAGE:
      1. "That we may not be defrauded by Satan".
      2. How may we not be defrauded, or taken advantage of by Satan has been clearly pointed out in the Scriptures.
      3. Notice with me how Satan gains advantage over: Churches; Christians; and alien sinners.

  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. HOW SATAN GAINS ADVANTAGE OVER THE CHURCH:
      1. By inducing them to neglect sound doctrine and discipline when sound doctrine is not adhered to.
      2. I Timothy 6:3-5 = "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."
        II Thessalonians 3:6 = "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."

        1. This often occurs because the offender is rich, influential, or talented.
        2. The church allows these to go undisciplined for fear of driving such families away.
        3. Some look at God’s laws regarding the Church, like a spider web: Great flies break through, while the smaller ones get caught.
      3. However, if the advantage is not gained in this manner, Satan then seeks to gain advantage by the use of very sever discipline:
        1. Satan seeing that he can not get the Church to overlook, or neglect discipline, excites it to go to an extreme and use excessive discipline.
        2. He will try to excite a spirit of persecution against some of the best Christians in the Church, to weaken it and thereby gain an advantage: His
          advantage is the complete removal of meekness and love. 
          Galatians 6:1-2
          = "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
          II Thessalonians 3:14-15
          = "And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother."
        3. This is followed by having the church be unwillingness to welcome back into fellowship a penitent member that has turned from the error of his way. Note: The purpose of withdrawing is to save the soul of the offender.
        4. When the extreme of discipline is manifest the Church is then left with only the unqualified to fill positions of leadership and easily led by Satan.
    2. HOW SATAN GAINES ADVANTAGE OVER INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIANS:
      1. By inducing them to conform to the practices of the world.
      2. By convincing them that they can partake of all the gaieties, follies and amusements of the world and still be Christians.
      3. I John 2:15 = "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

      4. By producing a laxness in obedience to sound doctrine:
        1. Satan (the adversary of Christ), knows that the salvation of man depends on the truth. John 8:32 = "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
        2. Not only did Paul speak of this going to happen, it is everywhere among us today. II Timothy 4:3 = For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;"
        3. Paul even wrote in this regards in I Timothy 6:3-5 = "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."
          1. The Church (made up of Christians) is supposed to be "…The pillar and ground of the truth" (I Timothy 3:15).
          2. Satan gains a great advantage when error and false teachings is prevalent in the church.
          3. When Christians embrace falsehood, or they become indifferent to the truth, the church’s influence is tilted toward Satan.
      5. By promoting contention and strife:
        1. Satan gains a great advantage by exciting contentions among Christians that bring about strife and division.
          1. This is evident in those that follow certain preachers: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ" = I Corinthians 1:12.
          2. This is evident when we believe, or follow a different or perverted gospel (Galatians 1:6-9).
          3. This is evident when we are "…Tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive". = Ephesians 4:14
        2. Paul warned in Galatians 5:15 = "But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be no consumed one of another."
    3. HOW SATAN GAINS ADVANTAGE OVER THE ALIEN SINNER:
      1. By producing a sense of security in their worldly way of life.
        1. Live a goodly life, but not a godly life.
        2. If so many are doing it, it meets man’s approval. 
          Proverbs. 16:25
          = "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
          I Samuel 16:7
          = "…For the Lord seeth not as man seeth: …"
      2. By inducing them to put off religion to a future time, as Felix did when Paul was speaking to him in Acts 24:25 = "And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee."
      3. By producing false views regarding religion in general:
        1. One church is as good as another, therefore, chose the one that allows them freedom to do what they desire.
        2. That some worldly people are as good, if not better than some church members.
      4. By telling the aged it is too late, and the young there is plenty of time. Satan would make an excellent politician. Ecclesiastes 12:1 = "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them."

  3. CONCLUSION:

    1. SATAN IS WORKING HARD TO:
      1. Defeat the Church, the only place where the saved are (Acts 2:47).
      2. Defeat the Christian in living faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10).
      3. Deceive the sinner into thinking there is plenty of time yet. 
        II Corinthians 6:2
        = "(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time: behold, now is the day of salvation.)"
    2. ACCEPT AND OBEY CHRIST NOW IN ORDER THAT YOU MAY SPEND ETERNITY WITH HIM IN HIS BLESSED HEAVENLY HOME.
    3. DO NOT ALLOW SATAN TO GAIN ADVANTAGE OVER YOU TO FALL INTO SINFULNESS.

 

Endnotes:

[1] WEBSTER’S NEW COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY, Second Edition,
G.& C. Merriam Co., publishers, Springfield, MA, 1956.

[2] VINE’S EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF BIBLE WORDS, W. E. Vine; 
Merrell F. Unger; William White, Jr., Thomas Nelson Publisher, 1985.

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