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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Don't Give Place to the Devil

Today we will be concluding our series Learn to Discern by working our way through Ephesians 4:25-32 in a message titled Don't Give Place to the Devil (click sermon title for audio link).

This text will sum up for us the walk that we will walk if we are discerning. It is a snap shot of how a discerner lives, talks, and interacts with others. In light of this study John MacArthur has stated, "The only reliable evidence of a person’s being saved is not a past experience of receiving Christ but a present life that reflects Christ." And we have seen this to be true. Being a Christian truly is evidenced in what you are doing right now, even more than what you have done or said in the past. It is a life that backs up your profession of faith that is necessary if we are to be salt and light in this dark and dying world.

A few weeks back we studied Jesus parable regarding defilement and we learned that we must discern or we will indeed be defiled. There is no middle ground. We must hear, understand, and obey the truth if we are to please God and fulfill His commands in loving Him with all we are and our neighbor as ourselves.

But what happens if we do continue to fail to discern? Simply put, we give place to the devil. Another way to say that is that we do not give the devil an opportunity to use us for his purposes. If we fail to discern, and we do not understand or live according to the truth, if we continue living and walking in the futility of our minds as the lost do, then we give the devil an opportunity to use us!

Paul wrote about the same thing in 2 Corinthians 2:9-11:

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.

If we are ignorant of the devices of the devil, if we are failing to discern and are dull of hearing, then Satan will take advantage of us. What a frightful thought. But we see that if we are walking as we should, if we are discerning, then we are NOT ignorant of Satan's devices and we can resist him and he will flee from us!

So in the end of this study we see that not only is discernment necessary, not only is it a sin to fail to discern, but it is in fact a truly negligent thing to walk in ignorance and give place to the devil. A child of God should be always on guard, never wanting to give the Father of Lies an opportunity to use us for his wicked purposes.

Until the sermon is posted then, here is the outline for the message:

Don't Give Place to the Devil
Ephesians 4:25-32

This is the walk of a discerner:

I. Speak the Truth - vs 25

A. Lying includes exaggeration, cheating, foolish promises, betrayal, flattery, and making excuses!
B. Truth sets you Free – Rev. 21:8; John 8:32, 44; Eph 4:20-21

II. Be Angry without Sin - vs. 26-27

A. Deep determination and conviction, not wrath
B. Good or Bad Anger?

1. Motive + Purpose = Quality of Anger
2. Ps. 69:9; Mark 3:5; Matt. 21:12; John 2:15

C. Anger’s Ultimate Expression – Matt. 5:21-22
D. Sinful Anger is focused on self
E. Righteous Anger is focused on others
F. Beware prolonged anger (bitterness) – 2 Cor. 2:11; Heb. 12:15

III. Work for Good and Giving - vs. 28

A. Stealing vs. Labor – 2 Thess. 3:10-11; 1 Tim. 5:8
B. Work at what is Good (no harm) and Give (help)

IV. Speak Edification and Grace - vs. 29-30

A. Corrupt = rotten and putrid
B. From the Heart out the Mouth – Col. 3:8; Ps. 141:3; Matt. 12:34; Mark 7:14-23; Phil. 4:8
C. Edification and Grace – to build up
D. If we fail at points I, II, III, and IV then we grieve the Holy Spirit!

V. Forgive as We Have Been Forgiven - vs. 31-32

A. Get rid of these in your relationships with others:

1. Bitterness - smoldering resentment (hurt p-r-I-d-e)
2. Wrath – rage (emotion)
3. Anger – holding on to internal hurt (decision of the will)
4. Clamor – loss of control, outbursts
5. Slander – (Gk: blasphemia) defamation
6. Malice – a general term for all kinds of evil

B. Be Kind
C. Be Compassionate – Feel for others
D. Forgive – Matt. 18:21-35

Summary and Conclusion - Col. 3:1-17


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