2 Corinthians 6
A couple days ago I read 2 Corinthians 2:11 where Paul warns us to not be outwitted by Satan. He says, “What I have forgiven, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan, because we are not ignorant of his schemes.” Paul assumes in this passage that we understand, and are not ignorant of how Satan works. That understanding is what will enable us not to be outwitted. So, how well do we know his schemes? What are some of his schemes? Let’s look at a few this morning.
- 2 Cor 2:5-11 The scheme of Satan in this passage is unforgiveness. Satan knows if he can keep us from forgiving one another, he will render us ineffective and unproductive.
- Luke 21:34 Jesus warns us to “Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by the worries of this life.”
- Luke 21:35-36 Jesus exhorts us to “Keep alert at all times.” Don’t let the day of the Lord come upon you suddenly like a trap. Satan knows if he can keep us distracted with the cares and worries of this world, and not thinking about eternity, we will also not be affective.
- Col 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ
How do we combat the schemes of Satan? Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
Paul lived this out. He was not distracted. He remained alert. Listen to how he describes what he went through in 2 Corinthians 6:4-13
- We serve God whether people honor us or despise us (v8), whether they slander us or praise us.
- Our hearts ache, but we always have joy.
- We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, yet we have everything.
How do we endure? He was confident in God and what God was doing. He knew trials build character (Rom 5:3-5). He was confident in God’s end goal for every believer. He declared God’s goal when he defined the gifts given tot he church. The gifts were given so that “We all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ (Eph 4:13-15).
- I don’t want to be unaware of Satan’s tactics. I must continue to be alert and aware, watching for his lies and schemes. (2 Cor 2:11)
- I choose to not allow unforgiveness fester, giving Satan a foothold. (Eph 4:26-27)
- I choose not to be distracted by the cares of this world. Instead, I want Jesus to be my treasure and live to please him. (2 Cor 5:9; 2 Tim 2:4)