For those who are struggling to find purpose today, remember these two scriptures:
“The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.”1 John 3:8 [AMP]
…and, what Jesus spoke to His Father…
“Just as You commissioned and sent Me into the world, I also have commissioned and sent them (believers) into the world.”John 17:18 [AMP]
We all go through those dark phases; times when we don’t really hear God, we don’t feel His presence, we can’t see why we are even here any more, we don’t feel like God has any use for us any more… etc, etc. It’s times like these when ALL we have is Faith. This is true faith I’d like you to remember. (Side note: It’s dangerous to live by feelings; feelings can be deceptive. Satan WILL prey on your feelings. It is something tangible, something we know is real…as opposed to simply having faith. True, we often feel emotions when His presence is with you; when we worship, when we pray. But feelings are only a by-product of God’s presence. It is something worth studying.) Stay with me as we go through this.
Here are a couple of things I want you to know. Christ came to destroy the works of the devil. Therefore, YOU have the commission to do the same. If nothing else, you have a purpose to oppose Satan’s influence in this world – mainly, his influence on you and on other people.
7 Little children (believers, dear ones), do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who practices righteousness [the one who strives to live a consistently honorable life—in private as well as in public—and to conform to God’s precepts] is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 The one who practices sin [separating himself from God, and offending Him by acts of disobedience, indifference, or rebellion] is of the devil [and takes his inner character and moral values from him, not God]; for the devil has sinned and violated God’s law from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.1 John 3:7-8 [AMP]
When people commit sin, it is a work of the devil. The work of the devil is to tempt people to sin. When they sin, his work is accomplished. So what the Son of God came to destroy is not just the guilt of sin (which might enable us to stay like we are and go right on sinning into heaven) but actually sinning. The Son of God came to destroy sinning.
Let’s try to define the “works of the devil” more precisely. What is sin? 1 John 3:4: “Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness.” The law in John’s mind here is not the U.S. Constitution. It is God’s law. It’s the expression of God’s revealed will for his creatures.
Lawlessness is living as though your own ideas are superior to God’s. Lawlessness says, “God may demand it, but I don’t prefer it.” Lawlessness says, “God may promise it, but I don’t want it.” Lawlessness replaces God’s law with my contrary desires. I become a law to myself. Lawlessness is rebellion against the right of God to make laws and govern his creatures.
So now we can see better what the Son of God came to destroy. The “works of the devil” are sin. Sin is lawlessness. And lawlessness is rebellion against the right of God to rule over us. The work of Satan is to tempt us to reject the authority of God and become like God ourselves. Satan works to nurture and cultivate the pride that puts its own desires above the law of God. This is lawlessness; this is the essence of sin; and this is what the Son of God came to destroy in you and me.
We’re on the second part of the message. The first was: What did the Son of God come to destroy? Answer: the works of the devil, namely, sin or lawlessness or rebellion. He came to give us victory over sin in our lives. The second question was: How did Christ destroy the works of the devil? We saw two answers. First, he did it by appearing as the Son of God, living, dying for our sins, and rising again. Second, he did it through the new birth. 1 John 3:9 says that when we are born of God, we cannot sin. But we saw that this does not mean sinless perfection in this life; it means that God works a change in us so that we can’t be content to go on sinning.
Then we asked, How do these two ways of destroying the works of the devil relate to each other? How does the work of Christ in Palestine relate to the work of God in my heart? Of you might ask it like this: How does the blood of Christ work together with the new birth to destroy the works of the devil in my life?
And we saw the answer in 1:7. “If we walk in the light as he is in the light . . . the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” Here the two answers for how the works of the devil are destroyed come together. Coming into the light of God is what happens when you are born again. The new birth is the sovereign work of God in which he turns the light on in our heart so that we see things the way he does. We see God as awesome in holiness, sin as horrible in ugliness, and Christ as a beautiful Savior. We bow before God in worship, we confess and turn from sin, and we embrace Christ as our hope. And while we walk in that frame of mind (in the light), the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. The works of the devil are destroyed in our life.
How are the works of the devil destroyed? Two stages: 1) The Son of God appeared and died for our sins so that they can be washed away and the devil can no longer accuse us or discourage us with them. 2) But in order to experience this salvation from sin we have to be born of God. We have to have the eyes of our hearts opened so that we come into the light and see things the way God does and agree with God about the beauty of his holiness and the ugliness of our sin and the surpassing value of Christ. When that happens, the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin and the works of the devil are destroyed.
How Can We Participate Personally in the Victory of Christ? Let me refer to one more verse and close with an illustration. 1 John 5:4 says, “Whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.” The way to participate personally in Christ’s victory over the world and the works of the devil is by trusting him—believing he is the very Son of God, with all that implies about his power to work for your good.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Pray about it. Please. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in other ways to destroy the devil’s work around you. It is an every-day responsibility to live for Christ. Be the light to the world around YOU. By being that light, you defeat the enemy’s plans.