We are not Ignorant of his devices

For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.                       2 Corinthians 2:9-11

Now we can read in Paul’s first epistle, he wrote to the Corinthian church concerning a man among them in an adulteress relationship with his father’s wife (1 Cor. 5:1-13). Paul had told the church that they should put him out of fellowship, that they weren’t to keep company with a brother who was an adulterer, that they should turn him over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh. It was not good that they just accepted and received this man into the fellowship of believers, because he was leaven, and a little leaven will leaven the whole lump. Paul never intended himself or the church to be judges of unbeliever’s outside the church, but to judge those inside. Those on the outside are for God to judge and believers to evangelize. Those who sin inside the church are to be put out of the fellowship when confronted with their sin, until they have repented. Now in following Paul’s instruction, they put the fellow out because of his lifestyle choice, but through God’s grace, the desired effect came. The man did repent, and he wanted now to come back into fellowship, having been cleansed from his sin. But there were those that were still going to keep him from fellowship. So Paul is saying: Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So now the direction is in restoring such a one, lest he should be swallowed up by much sorrow. Here is still a problem today; Christians are still reluctant to take such a one among them whose been beaten up by his wrong choices, but is seeking out forgiveness, this one needs the right hand of fellowship extended to him again.

To whom you forgive, I forgive also—Paul encourages them to take the fellow back in, lest Satan really get a hold of him and he be destroyed by him. That if they forgave him, he forgives them too in the stead of Christ. Jesus said to His disciples, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:23) Paul is representing Christ to them, what Jesus would do if He were there in Person. Forgiving such a man because of his repentance. God doesn’t require us to forgive, except there be repentance. If he or she repents then forgive them. If that bothers anyone, I’d like for you to remember Jesus statement: “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3) It’s pretty clear that repentance comes before restoration.

Lest Satan should take advantage of us—The problem with the church today, like in our text, we are ignorant of Satan’s tactics. Too many times that is, we’ve allowed division among ourselves, not realizing we are merely dancing to Satan’s tune. I think of all the problems in the church, and in a smaller scale, in the families of believers the difficulties that take place, because we do not recognize the real source of conflict. It’s source is on a spiritual plane, though invisible, yet through the discerning of the Holy Spirit in us, is revealed to those whose hearts are sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Days in which we may be feeling out of sorts with others, being tempted by our flesh to react in anger, instead of waiting on the Lord. James wrote: So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20) So we can learn that one of the devices Satan uses is our unwillingness to forgive someone who has repented, so that we would be tempted to stay in that emotion of anger, and thus nullify the grace of God in our lives. No man’s righteousness is ever earned. It is a gift from God. Paul wrote in chapter 1 of this letter to the Corinthians: For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you. (1 Cor. 1:12)

We are at risk of losing our blessings of joy and peace in the Lord during times of trials, because we fall prey to Satan’s tactics of warfare. To keep us in the flesh, to keep us in the moment, rather than looking at the bigger picture. He is a defeated foe, yet, not ever willing to surrender till he can destroy the faith and keep in havoc this world who is without salvation. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:27-28) The security of the believer is in place, but we must continue in the faith of the believer’s who are seeking out the Lord, to remain in that place of victory. He is a shield to all those whose faith is in Him. Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. (Proverbs 30:5)

Beloved friend, The devil wants to produce sin and animosity that will destroy church unity. He uses every possible approach to accomplish this—from legalism to libertinism, intolerance to excessive tolerance. Paul used a different word but had similar meaning for devices, “wiles.” Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11) It goes along with words like “take advantage” and “ignorant,” strongly implying that Satan targets the believer’s mind, but God has sovereignly provided us protection in the reading and studying of His Word. Unmasking our “adversary” the word meaning for Satan, by responding with biblical truth to every lying accusation (Matthew 4:1-11). Let us remember His promises from His Word: For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. (Hebrews 2:18)   Praise the Lord! For He is able.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!




Author: rontrujillo

Married 37 years We have six children. All of whom are adult. Three are married one of them blessed us with three beautiful grandchildren. Retired Firefighter @ Boeing Aircraft 37 years (Formally McDonnell Douglas) Born Again Summer of 1981

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