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Seems to me that many church folks give too much credit to Satan......like- "I'm under attack by the enemy".......or- "Watch out! The devil will gettcha.                                                                                      Many people don't realize that the devil can do NOTHING, without God allowing him to do it.

Years ago, I used to say, "A brand new Christian is particularly susceptible to Satan because he will attack them when they're rookie believers."

Then, Matthew Chapter 4 finally got my attention.......right after Jesus was baptized, (1). "Then Jesus was led up by the (Holy) Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil." 

(N.A.S.B., emphasis added).

If Almighty God would set up His Son to be tempted by Satan, why should any believer be spared?

I've been thinking about introducing this subject-matter for a while.....and some statements posted by Amanda recently in another thread sparked opening this discussion:

"Job lived before the cross, and many teach that the authority given to us in Christ is more than enough to fight the spiritual battle."

And - I certainly believe the devil deceives and through the deception, has power to kill, steal, and destroy. God permits it. 

I completely agree with Amanda.

What are your thoughts??

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Richard this opened up a good study for me this morning. The entire chapter answers some questions I've at times been plagued with. It seems even then some questioned their own salvation (vs. 13).

But you quoting 1 John 5 : 18 has, for me, put to rest the question of casting demons out of believers.
Richard,

IMO, the focus of many people is too much on spiritual warfare, and not enough on personal responsibility. I also believe in the finished work of Christ. Nevertheless, demonic activity and experiences are obviously at work in the present world. I believe the death, burial, and resurrection -- Christ's finished work -- changed many things, but if one actually takes time to consider it, one can get at least a small glimpse of how we shouldn't say it's "just" deception, as I've heard some people say, which could be taken to imply it really isn't that bad, which, in my POV, itself is a lie that Satan and demons would love for us to believe. Killing, stealing, and destroying is very, very bad stuff, and Satanic and demonic deception will lead to those things. It most definitely is spiritual warfare and we have personal responsibility, too. Both things are true. Also, when someone doesn't know or see the position and authority he or she has in Christ, doesn't see who he or she is in Christ, the person would be a perfect candidate, isn't it true, for Satan and demons to become real problems to?

2 Corinthians 10
English Standard Version (ESV)
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

One of the thoughts that I've had that I know can't be from God or from myself are that God hates me. If Satan or a demon can get a person to believe that, then they can go away and bother someone else because the person ensnared in the lie will stay there all on her own.

I totally agree that we, too, hold a personal responsibility for the choices we make. We have an armor  as Christians that protects us against Satan's wiles & devises but the choice remains with us. We also know that God always makes a way of escape when confronted with these temptations so we have no excuse. As a Christian we're blessed with the Holy Spirit which is the embodiment of Christ. It's the same power that raised Christ from the dead. Hebrews tells us “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" We're also told to flee from Satan & be ever watchful because he's just waiting on Christians to fail so he can then devour them. So, in the end, it's our choice and as you said, our responsibility. 

 

The things you have mentioned are true, and my POV remains the same -- it isn't either/or but both things are true. What I see is that there is spiritual warfare and we have personal responsibility as well. I also believe God is Sovereign and can do whatever God wants, and I believe not all pain and suffering happens because people neglect their personal responsibility or are being disciplined for disobedience. I am on a journey and still learning. This is my present understanding. Thanks for your input.
Max Lucado's sermon called, The God Who Stoops, fits well in this discussion, too, especially the part about the voices of condemnation in our world and in our heads, one of which is the Accuser and his evil horde. All of that is, IMO, spiritual warfare, too, not just occurring due to someone's sin, but being falsely accused, too, or accepting responsibility for the thoughts and actions of others, such as the abused child growing up with shame and guilt from blaming herself.

Here is the link to the sermon. http://www.preaching.com/sermons/11674480/page-2/

Amanda and Tammy...........

Good words, Sisters.

Grace and Peace.

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