Giving the Devil His Due

(2 Corinthians 2:9-11 KJV)  For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye are obedient in all things. {10} To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; {11} Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

This passage has to do with the former disobedience of the Corinthian saints and of one particular situation. It is about the forgiving and receiving back into the assembly a man who sinned. The man repented and got things right and the assembly did not want to let him back in.

The whole purpose of the discipline was to get the man to correct his errant ways, which he did. Now, they need to welcome him back as a restored brother.

Paul writes and tells them that they must not harbor animosity in their hearts toward him because if they do then Satan would gain an advantage over them. Paul said that they were not ignorant of Satan's devices; he taught them enough to be aware of Satan's plan of evil. The Corinthians knew enough to know that if they held animosity in their heart toward this man that Satan would take advantage of them. They had an understanding of what Satan was doing.

Device = a plan, a scheme; it means to be thinking in your mind.
Ignorance = having no knowledge in your mind. It is not to know something, not to understand.

We need to be aware what Satan is doing, what his plans are, what he is scheming to do. It is not good to be ignorant of Satan's overall objective and his devices to obtain that objective. We need to understand what the adversary is doing if we are to understand what God is doing.

Your Christian life will not operate based either on ignorance of what God is doing or of what the adversary is doing.

In this study, first we will see the overall plan then get the big picture of the adversary is doing and the genius of Almighty God in handling that. Lastly, we will focus on the particular aspects of how it affects our walk, ministry, and warfare today.

(Ephesians 6:10-12 KJV)  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. {11} Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. {12} For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

In order to stand against the wiles of the devil we need to know what his strategies and schemes are. If not, how will you stand against them? As a member of the Body of Christ, do you know what you are up against? What are principalities and powers? Why do we wrestle against them and not use traditional weapons of warfare? Do you know what is going on in high places?

Do you know that as a member of the Body of Christ you make an impact in high places? In your every day life even when you think no one is watching, you make an impact in the heavenly places as a member of the body of Christ. We are not to be ignorant of this impact.

We will not be able to function properly and to our full capacity as a member of the Body of Christ unless we know our purpose in God's plan. Satan's plan is to keep us ignorant of how we are designed and equipped to counteract his evil plan.

Conflict in the Universe

When you trusted Christ as your Savior, you took sides in the conflict of the universe. Who we are as members of the body of Christ in God's plan and purpose is wrapped up in the genius (wisdom) of God's design in dealing with Satan and his principalities and powers. It is essential that as members of the body of Christ we know Satan's plan and policy of evil, not so we can grasp who we are as members of the body of Christ but so we can effectively wrestle as Paul tells us in Eph 6.

(2 Corinthians 2:9 KJV)  For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.

Paul had a purpose when he wrote to the Corinthians; he wanted to see what they believed and whether or not they would be obedient to do what he wrote to them.

We now have the completed word of God and when we read it, it checks us out to see if we will be obedient. It discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) When we believe God's word, by faith we will see that word  work effectually in us.

If we do not obey the written word of God to us, Satan will get an advantage. Paul said, "You are not ignorant of what Satan is doing and you should not let him get the advantage." You keep Satan from getting the advantage by being obedient to the word of God.

To be obedient to the word of God is to get the profit out of it. To get the profit out of the word of God we need to read it God's way, not our way.

(1 Corinthians 14:37 KJV)  If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

In the dispensation of grace, a man is spiritual when he acknowledges what Paul wrote as the commandments of the Lord.

(1 Corinthians 11:1 KJV)  Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

There is something special for the members of the body of Christ in the epistles that Paul wrote.

(2 Timothy 2:15 KJV)  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Why is it so important that we rightly divide the word of truth? It is so we will have God's approval. This is the one thing we do that will gain God's approval.

(Romans 8:38-39 KJV)  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, {39} Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The love of God in Christ Jesus is manifested in the doctrines of grace. Notice the things Paul mentions: death, life, angels, principalities, powers, things present, things to come, nor any creature. Angels, principalities, powers, heights, depths are creatures (Eph 6). Satan's policy of evil against the Body of Christ cannot change who you are in Christ. We are not to be ignorant of what Satan is doing.

If you are ignorant of Satan's devices, he will get an advantage over you and win a battle in regard to your life. However, if you know what Satan is up to and how he is responding to what God is doing then you will be able to function as a member of the Body of Christ as God would have you to function. Then as God demonstrates His genius and glory in you, the details of your life will impact the high places.

When you have this new mindset, then you will appreciate Col 2:15 in a new way.

In the Bible, all doctrines lead back to the cross! The cross is the center of everything that God intends to do. It is the foundation for all. There is no way to understand the cross without understanding God's grace. God's grace is all that God is free to do for you through the crosswork of the Lord Jesus Christ.