by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Study # 67 January 13, 1999 Harlingen, Texas
Thesis:Resistance to the devil is fundamentally reduced to simply affirming your confidence in the truth of revelation.
Introduction:Last week we spent most of our time on the first part of James 4:7, looking into the issues of submission to God. We noted that volitional choice is involved in submission to God, but it is not the powerhouse that it is often made out to be. The critical issue of submission is the love/faith commitment to the renunciation of our own rights and wisdom.
This evening we are going to look at the other side of the coin. There is a cosmic conflict over "wills" and "perspectives" and "loyalties". Submission to God has a correlative requirement of "un-subjection" to the devil. So we are going to look at James' command to resist the devil. There are three issues involved: the "deception" of the slanderer; the requirement of resistance; and the promise of effectiveness.
I. The Problems of Illusions: We Are Dealing With the Devil.
A. Though founded upon nothing, they never appear to be so flimsy.
1. The foundations of MUCH of what we see and hear are never questioned.
a. This is the natural state of things because life would be almost impossible if we had to "prove" everything before we could proceed.
b. The unquestioning acceptance leaves us in an almost defenseless state.
2. Much of the appearance of substance depends entirely upon simply rushing the issues so that we do not ask--Upon what is this founded?
3. Most of the appearances play off of deep commitments to status, security, and satisfaction and their "normal" roots.
B. Because they are founded upon nothing, they cannot yield the result we seek.
1. The appearance of results is often clouded by an emphasis upon "immediate" goals instead of "final" goals.
a. If we do not settle the final goal issue (what is it I really want?), when we get an immediate goal we think the process we chose is effective.
2. The appearance of results creates a bondage of significant power.
II. The Methods of Resistance.
A. There are a host of false methods that have a quasi-biblical appearance of validity, but actually appeal to the base-lusts of status.
1. These typically can be identified by a simple question: Where does the Bible instruct me to DO this?
B. There is a primary biblical method that is shown to be biblical by a simple look at the texts which give us instruction on how to deal with the devil.