Jesus said that when Satan lies, he
speaks his native language, because he is the father of the lie.
As we saw in our first article, salvation
from sin and new life in Christ may be accurately defined as
God's total sufficiency rescuing us from our total
insufficiency. We are totally unable to save
ourselves. God has rescued us from the curse and bondage of sin
through the new birth purchased for us by Christ at the cross.
We are likewise totally unable to live a life that is
pleasing to God in our own flesh. It is God who has regenerated
us, and He is the One who equips us to live life in this present
evil world by the power of His Word and His Spirit.
This is the Christian's position, by the
grace of God. But into this picture constantly steps the one who wants to
afflict and ruin us. He is our adversary,
the Devil, "going about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may
devour" (1 Peter 5:8). He invades the life of the Christian
for one purpose: To cause us to doubt God’s all-sufficiency.
Satan wants us to think that we are somehow sufficient.
does the Devil do this? As we search the pages of Scripture we
find that he always employs one basic method, and most often it
manifests itself in one way: Satan seeks to
cause us to doubt God and His Word, and to insert the self, the
flesh, into the spiritual void that such doubt creates.
As we study what the
Word of God tells us about our adversary, we find that he is, in
fact, very predictable. Whatever he does, however he comes at us
– whether through internal thoughts or external influences – his
entire purpose is to cause us to doubt God, believe a lie, and
suffer the consequences.
That is how he seeks to bring Christians and churches to spiritual ruin.
If we understand what the Word
of God says about our adversary, this should never surprise us.
In John 8:44 Jesus told us exactly who the Devil is. A literal
rendering of the verse reads like this:
He was a murderer
from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because
there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks his
native language, for he is a liar and the father of the lie.
That is Christ’s own description of Satan:
"A liar and the
father of the lie." That is Satan’s position as he steps
into the picture, seeking to place himself between
the Christian and his God.
But not all of Satan’s lies are
outright, bold-faced lies. Satan is much more subtle than that.
Often the most insidious, sinister, and devastating lie is the
implied lie. Our adversary is the master of the implied lie. It
is one of his most clever devices. As Paul tells us in Second
Corinthians 2:11, we cannot afford to be ignorant of Satan’s
devices, because if we are, he will surely take advantage of us.
With these things in mind, as we continue this series I
want to focus our attention on three facts about our adversary. First of all, we
shall see this most clever of Satan’s devices, the implied lie,
at work in three key events in the pages of Scripture.
Secondly, it is important for us
to recognize that the same pattern of deception, and the same
tendency to fall prey to the implied lie of the Devil, exists in
the church today.
Thirdly, we need to understand that each
of us faces the constant threat of this same clever Satanic device in our personal walk with the Lord.
Satan's methods, which have not changed since the days
recorded in Biblical history, are a clear and present danger to
the Christian individually and the church corporately in our
time. But in contrast, I want to conclude this series by
reminding us of the polar opposite that we find in our
unchanging, unchangeable God and His forever-settled Word.
On the one hand, we find Satan constantly using the little
unsettling word "if". What if God’s Word is not really true?
What if God does not really mean what He says? What if I am not
really a Christian? That little, unsettling "if" of the Devil
plants the seed of doubt.
But on the other hand we find our
God and His Word proclaiming not an unsettled "if" but a firmly
settled "Amen" ─ a firmly settled "It is so" about the truths of
our redemption and our position in Christ. No if’s, no
uncertainty. As we shall see, that is the certainty of the child