The Wiles of the Devil (1) -- Temptation

Series: Wiles of the Devil

Introduction to the wiles (schemes) of the devil with detail given to Satan's attempts to draw us away from the faith.

1 John 2:15, 16

15  Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16  For all that [is] in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

Lust of the flesh – cravings and illegal pursuits related to sensuality. Sexual immorality, homosexuality, but even things like drunkenness, erotic images, and words are in play. Scenes of the LOF are found throughout the Bible. LOF is also seen in the world of advertising and in many of the scandals that come to light.

Lust of the eyes – looks on what one does not have and imagines vainly at what one wants. It is obsessed by the outward show of things without regard for their spiritual values. These two lusts are found together throughout the Bible. [cl] Recall Lot’s decision to choose Sodom. His motivation is “by sight” not “by faith” (Gen. 13:10-13). Anytime your decision is based without regard for faith, you should be concerned if it is based in LOF or LOE.

Pride of life – John is not speaking of taking pride in doing your work well, but is concerned with self-glory, self-love (like Haman, Est. 6:6) and self-praise. “Therefore, pride serves as their necklace…” (Psa. 73:6).

  • At the core of the pride of life is “self-will” and “independence from God.” The ultimate allurement of a proud heart is to become independent from God. This is why pride is an enemy of faith. By faith, we rely on God and His promises to save us. The proud individual doesn’t want to rely on anything or anyone.
  • [cl] Satan allured Eve through the intellectual idea of becoming like God (Gen. 3:5). If one can be “like God,” there is no need to be dependent upon God. The tenth Psalm portrays a person given over to the allurement of pride. He renounces God and then displaces God from his thoughts (Psa. 10:3, 4). These two acts bring into view the full malignancy of pride—godlessness. Pride permits one to redefine the true God as less than God and to replace the true God with a false trust (Psa. 52:7). Pride settles a person into a deluded self-deception, where he comfortably awaits an eternity forever doomed and separated from the God of mercy.
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