Monday, August 13, 2007


Bible Studies on 1 Peter

1 Peter 1:1-12 Our Salvation
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith--more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire--may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

1. What does it mean to be "elect"? What do you think it means to be a part of God’s elect?
2. What usually defines someone as a stranger? What does it mean for you to be a stranger in the world? What does that look like to others?
3. What does it mean to be foreknown?
Elsewhere Peter talks about our being chosen (1 Peter 2:7-9)
Amos 3:1 Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, 2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities (AMP) You only have I known (chosen, sympathized with, and loved) of all the families of the earth; therefore I will visit upon you all your wickedness and punish you for all your iniquities.
4. What is the new birth? What is the living hope of the new birth? How do you live this out?
5. Are we to have Assurance and why?
6. . What kinds of grief or trials have you had to endure so far? Why does God have you go through trials? How should trials impact your faith? What is the value of a genuine faith? How would your life be different if your faith became more genuine?
7. What new perspective does verses 8-12 give us of our salvation?
8. How can we encourage others with these verses?

1 Peter 1:13-21
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
· What are five attitudes or actions Peter calls us to incorporate into our lives?
· Why are these attitudes and actions essential for an authentic Christian life?
· Discuss a loss or time of struggle you have faced in the last year. How did you experience God’s presence and work in your life through this time?
How is God challenging you and growing you in one of these areas? How can your small group members encourage and pray for you in this area.

1 Peter 2:1-12 Wednesday Evening Bible Study
1. Often women experience odd cravings during pregnancy. What is the oddest craving that you have had?
2. Share about a time when you went through a spiritual drought. What are some things that you learned through that time?

1 Peter 2:1-3
Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
In verse 1, Peter urges us to get rid of some vices from our lives. Are these vices primarily attitudes of the heart or outward actions? Why do you think so?

3. Of the things that Peter urges us to get rid of, which one stands out to you the most and why?

4. He then challenges us to “pure spiritual milk”. What specific things do you think Peter is talking about? How is this related to chapter 1?

1 Peter 2:4-10
To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

5. What elements of worship are highlighted in this passage?

6. What elements of self understanding are highlighted here? What does each description of the Christian mean and what changes in behaviour should occur as a result?

7. Why do people trip and fall over the rock?

1 Peter 2:11- 12
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

8. How does your expectation effect your behaviour?

1 Peter 2:13-25 Doing The most Difficult Thing In The World
1 Peter 2:13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. 18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

A. When have you been treated unfairly, and how did you respond?

B. When we are treated unfairly we tend to revert to three natural reactions:
1. The Aggressive Pattern:
2. The Passive Pattern:
3. The Holding Pattern:

C. Should a Christian take up arms to resist an ungodly government?

D. Was Dietrich Bonhoeffer right to resist Hitler?

E. Why do we treat those in authority with respect and submission?

F. Consider the similarities between this passage and that of Lam 3:25-32.

G. What is the secret of submission?

H. When is civil disobedience appropriate?

I. What is the significance of Jesus’ example? Why does Peter conclude this section with verses 24 and 25?

Ernest Gordon, ill , building the Bridge on the River Kwai during WW2, was treated there by two special soldiers in their late twenties, a Methodist named "Dusty Miller", a simple gardener from London; and "Dinty" Moore a devout Roman Catholic. The two gave 24 hour care to Ernest. They would boil rags and clean and massage Ernest's diseased legs every day. To the great surprise of everyone, Ernest survived, and as a consequence many of the P.O.W.'s experienced a revival of faith and hope for life. Ernest, an agnostic, was impressed by Dusty's simplicity and firm Christian faith in the face of the severe treatment the prisoners received at the hands of their captors. Dusty was one who didn't lose faith and never met the cruel treatment he received with anger. Two weeks before the end of the war, Dusty was nailed to a tree and disemboweled by a Japanese guard that was flustered because Dusty would never break, and never anger. This made the Japanese guard "loose face".

I Peter 2:13-25
Life isn't fair! It wasn't fair in the first century A.D. and it won't be in 2002. When treated unfairly, I can respond in several ways.
· I can BLAME others. This aggressive response focuses on the wrongs of the person who "ripped us off." It keeps a list of wrongs and leads to resentmentà revengeà bitterness.
· I can feel SORRY for myself. This passive response centers on a "pity party." It whines and complains to whoever will listen. It invariably leads to depressionà withdrawal.
· I can POSTPONE my feelings. This "holding pattern" response places all feelings and conflicts on the "back burner." The failure to deal with the unresolved issue leads to doubtà discouragement disillusionment.
Peter writes to unbelievers who were being "ripped off" and gives them another alternative.
Remember, last week we saw God's goal for our lives. He desires that:
Our lives reflect God's LIGHT and IMAGE . 1 Peter 2:9: …that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Our lives draw unbelievers to GOD . 1 Peter 2:12 (NLT): Be careful how you live among your unbelieving neighbors…they will see your honorable behavior, and they will believe and give honor to God… (Matthew 5:16)
I. When "Ripped Off" By the Government
A Command: CHOOSE to yield. 1 Peter 2:13, 14: Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men; whether to the king…or to governors…
Reminders About Government
1. God ordained government. (Romans 13:1)
2. We are to pray for government leaders. (1 Timothy 2:1-3)
3. We may, at times, have to choose between allegiance to God or to Caesar. (Daniel 3:12-30, 6:6-28; Acts 5:29-32)
The Reason: DEMONSTRATE authentic Christianity. 1 Peter 2:15: For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.
The Principle: Handle FREEDOM responsibly. 1 Peter 2:16: Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 1 Corinthians 9:19: Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.
I should freely: · RESPECT everyone. (1 Peter 2:17) · LOVE fellow believers.
· REVERE God. · HONOR the king.
II. When "Ripped Off" by My Boss
The Command: SERVE faithfully. 1 Peter 2:18: Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.
The Reason: I am ULTIMATELY serving God. 1 Peter 2:19: For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.
The Principle: The UNEXPECTED response honors God. 1 Peter 2:20: …how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. (Matthew 5:44; Romans 12:14, 21)
III. Jesus' Example to Follow
When "ripped off," I should:
TRUST God (He has the last word). 1 Peter 2:23: When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
REMEMBER the impact of His death. 1 Peter 2:24: …that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
REST in His promises. 1 Peter 2:25: …but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. 3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. 7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
I. Jesus must be your supreme example to follow!
“Wives, in the same way… Husbands, in the same way…” Vs. 1a, 7a
For Christ To Be Your Example: · You must spend time with Him every day!

II. Wives must embrace the beauty of submission!
“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands.” Vs. 1a
Biblical Submission: Having the courage to yield my rights to meet another person’s needs. Note the use of words like faith and fear here.

4 Key Elements of Submission:
1. Why is Submission not inferiority?

2. How is Submission an obligation? “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” Eph. 5:22

3. Why is Submission an opportunity? Vs. 1-2 How does this work out?

4. In What ways is Submission a beautiful ornament? See Vs. 3-4

III. Why must Husbands embrace the value of consideration?
“Husbands, in the same way be considerate…” Vs. 7a
4 Primary Areas of Responsible Consideration:
1. Physical Provision “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives.” Vs 7a List ways this can be done daily

2. Respectful Understanding “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner.” Vs 7b Explain this idea:

3. Spiritual Equality “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life.” Vs. 7c Why is this important?

4. Prayerful Openness “So that nothing will hinder your prayers.” Vs. 7d

1 Peter 3:8 Blessings follow suffering for well-doing.
8 Now finally, all of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble, 9 not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you can inherit a blessing. 10 For the one who wants to love life and to see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit, 11 and he must turn away from evil and do good. He must seek peace and pursue it, 12 because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their request. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.13 And who will harm you if you are passionate for what is good?
14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed, 15 but set apart the Christ as Lord in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. 16 However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring you to God, after being put to death in the fleshly realm but made alive in the spiritual realm. 19 In that state He also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison 20 who in the past were disobedient, when God patiently waited in the days of Noah while an ark was being prepared; in it, a few—that is, eight people—were saved through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 22 Now that He has gone into heaven, He is at God’s right hand, with angels, authorities, and powers subjected to Him.

1. There are a few different factors that are both indicators of and methods towards Christian maturity. What are they? Can you list scriptures that tell us these factors are necessary for Christian maturity?

2. Christian Maturity also involves relational maturity. List and describe the character qualities that work towards relational maturity in the Body Of Christ.. how do these factors correlate with Ephesians 4:11-16?

3. What principles are found in verses 13- 17 that tell us how to press on when life just isn’t fair?

4. How can suffering be an opportunity for witnessing?

5. How can you enhance the lives of those who oppose you?

6. Verses 18-22 are difficult verses. What difficulties can you see here that seem contradictory to other evangelical beliefs? How may verse 19 be interpreted? The Apostles Creed says “He descended into hell” Why?

7. What is the main theme of the entire passage: Blessings follow suffering for well-doing.
How does this main theme relate to the more difficult verses 18-22?

8. What is Peter teaching about Baptism?

1 Peter 4:1-11 Living With The Promise In View
1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles--when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. 5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins." 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. NKJV

Since Jesus Christ has gained the victory, Peter urged his readers to rededicate themselves to God's will as long as they might live. He wanted to strengthen their resolve to continue to persevere.

1. "arm yourselves with the same mind" What does this mean?

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:2). If we live for pleasing people, we become puppets of their pleasure.
"Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Eph 5:17).

2. Explain several effects of Persecution, and how these effects are produced by it:

3. What are six values of the fast crowd?
“Sins of the group carry people further in sin that they would go as individuals.”
Please explain:

Some people have incorrectly understood verse 6 as teaching that after a person dies he or she will have a second chance to believe the gospel. This interpretation clearly contradicts the revelation of Scripture elsewhere that there is no second chance after death (Heb. 9:27). Peter does not say that the gospel is being preached even to the dead but was preached.

4. Explain the effects that living in the expectation of the Saviour’s imminent return produces:

5. What is a balanced Christian life?

1Peter 4:12-19 " keep on rejoicing."
Dear friends, when the fiery ordeal arises among you to test you, don’t be surprised by it, as if something unusual were happening to you. 13 Instead, as you share in the sufferings of the Christ rejoice, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory. 14 If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 None of you, however, should suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a meddler. 16 But if [anyone suffers]as a Christian, he should not be ashamed, but should glorify God with that name. 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous is saved with difficulty, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? 19 So those who suffer according to God’s will should, in doing good, entrust themselves to a faithful Creator.

A. What stories of Christian Suffering in history have encouraged your life?

B. Believers are called upon to rejoice in Sufferings.
1. Keep on rejoicing because the suffering is not a surprise but a plan.
Suffering is a testing. It is purifying fire. It proves and strengthens real faith, and it consumes "performance faith."
2. Keep on rejoicing because your suffering as a Christian is an evidence of your union with Christ.
Joseph Tson, a Romanian pastor who stood up to Ceausescu's repressions of Christianity, wrote, This union with Christ is the most beautiful subject in the Christian life. It means that I am not a lone fighter here: I am an extension of Jesus Christ. When I was beaten in Romania, He suffered in my body. It is not my suffering: I only had the honor to share His sufferings. ( A Theology of Martyrdom)
3. Keep on rejoicing because this joy will strengthen your assurance that when Christ comes in glory you will rejoice for ever with him.
4. Keep on rejoicing in suffering because then the Spirit of glory and of God rest upon you.
As Rutherford said, The Great King keeps his finest wine in the cellar of affliction.
5. Keep on rejoicing in suffering because this glorifies God.
6. Finally, keep on rejoicing because your Creator is faithful to care for your soul.
Can you find the verses that state these reasons?

C. When we are suffering for our faith we should examine ourselves about our attitudes. Which attitudes?

D. How can we commit ourselves to God when we are suffering?

1Peter 5:1-7
Therefore, as a fellow elder and witness to the sufferings of Christ, and also a participant in the glory about to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you: 2 shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but freely, according to God’s [will]; not for the money but eagerly; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you younger men, be subject to the elders. And all of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, because He cares about you.

Pastors are called Elders and Bishops (over seers). What does the role entail?

What are the implications of Peter’s self description?

How do we resist the Temptations to judge Success in terms of Power, Pleasure, Fame and Fortune?

Describe the rewards we experience in life and hereafter
An Imperishable Crown For leading a disciplined life 1 Cor. 9:25
A Crown of Rejoicing For evangelism and discipleship 1 Thess. 2:19
A Crown of Righteousness For loving the Lord's appearing 2 Tim. 4:8
A Crown of Life For enduring trials James 1:12; Rev. 2:10
A Crown of Glory For shepherding God's flock faithfully 1 Pet. 5:4

What attitudes are necessary to be truly successful?

Why does God view pride as a destructive sin?

How is submission an act of faith?

1Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. 13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

a. Why should everyone should be humble and watchful?

b. What three things do you learn about the devil?

c. What methods does Satan use to unsettle Christians?

d. What methods can we use to withstand the devil’s attacks?
How do we practically do these things?

e. What do you learn about Peter’s friends?

The tendency when suffering rains down upon us is to think that God has withdrawn His umbrella of protection and abandoned us. But Peter suggests just the opposite. He says that there is every reason to hope and to be encouraged because even in suffering God is there and at work in our lives. Our confusion during those inclement times stems from our lack of understanding about the role of pain in our lives.
Christians don't really know how to interpret pain. If you pinned them against the wall, in a dark, secret moment, many Christians would probably ad¬mit that pain was God's one mistake. He really should have worked a little harder and invented a better way of coping with the world's dangers. Phillip Yancey

Your Adversary the Devil, Dwight Pentecost compares the tactics of a physical battle to those of the spiritual one.
No military commander could expect to be vic¬torious in battle unless he understood his enemy. Should he prepare for an attack by land and ignore the possibility that the enemy might approach by air or by sea, he would open the way to defeat. Or should he prepare for a land and sea attack and ignore the possibility of an attack through the air, he would certainly jeopardize the campaign.
No individual can be victorious against the ad¬versary of our souls unless he understands that ad¬versary; unless he understands his philosophy, his methods of operation, his methods of temptation.

As prey, our primary response should be to keep on the lookout for the predator.
Satan is a dangerous enemy. He is a serpent who can bite us when we least expect it. He is a destroyer (Rev. 12: 11; 'Abaddon" and 'Apollyon" both mean "destruction") and an accuser (Rev. 12:9-11; Zech. 3: 1-5). He has great power and intelligence, and a host of demons who assist him in his attacks against God's people (Eph. 6: 1Off). He is a formidable enemy; we must never joke about him, ignore him, or under¬estimate his ability. We must "be sober" and have our minds under control when it comes to our con¬flict with Satan.s
The Greek term is diabolo. 'According to Scripture, he has great power on earth, 'being the prince of this world' (John 14:30) and 'the ruler of the kingdom of the air' (Eph. 2:2). But God has limited his activity. Through his captive subjects (Eph. 2:2, 2 Tim. 2:25-26), the devil attempted to destroy the infant church by persecution."
The Greek word translated "resist" means "to withstand, to be firm against someone else's onset" rather than "to strive against that one." The Chris¬tian would do well to remember that he cannot fight the devil. The latter was originally the most powerful and wise angel God created. He still retains much of that power and wisdom as a glance down the pages of history and a look about one today will easily show. While the Christian cannot take the offensive against Satan, yet he can stand his ground in the face of his attacks. Cowardice never wins against Satan, only courage.6
Once we have enough respect for Satan's insidious ways to sta alert and ready for his attacks, the best method for handling hin is strong resistance. That resistance is not in our own strength bu comes from being "firm in faith. "
Dwight Pentecost, in his book Your Adversary the Devil, tells us why this is essential.
If we are going to be victorious in the warfare into which we were thrust the moment we accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour, we need to understand that large body of Scripture that reveals to us the person and the work of the one with whom we are at war. It is our desire to examine the Scriptures to learn from their extensive revelation the nature of our adver¬sary, the Devil, his devices, deceits, doctrines, designs -so that we may detect his movements in our daily experience. Victory may be ours. But victory depends on knowledge.7
C. S. Lewis' book The Screwtape Letters. In the pre¬face he warns:
There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can faU about the devils. One is to dis¬believe in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.
Below is a sampling of Satan's strategy as articulated by Screwtape, a senior devil, who corresponds with his eager nephew to educate the fledgling devil for warfare against the forces of "the Enemy" (i.e., God).
Like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are, provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, with¬out milestones, without signposts.

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