From TeachingtheWord's Bible Knowledgebase

Satan's "If" vs. God's "Amen"

Satan's Use of the Implied Lie

by Dr. Paul M. Elliott


Part 2 of a series. Read part 1.

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.

Satan Enters the Picture

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.

How 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.

Satan's Methods Should Be No Surprise

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.

A Historic and Present Danger

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 of God.

Next: Satan's "Ifs" in the Pages of Scripture



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