1. In Matthew 24:44 the Lord teaches us to be ready and to stay ready for the judgment. 2. To be prepared for judgment we must resist our adversary. 3. In our lesson we are studying these passages written by Peter. 4. These verses reveal some instructions that will help us resist Satan.
I. VERSES 6 & 7 TEACH US TO REMAIN HUMBLE
A. Notice how much emphasis is placed on "humility." 1. (vs.5b) "Be clothed with humility." 2. (vs.6a) "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God." B. We normally do not associate humility with resisting someone; however, we are engaged in a spiritual war, and humility is essential for Christians. C. Why must we remain humble? 1. If we do not remain humble, God cannot help us (vs.5c -- "God resisteth the proud"). 2. We learn from 1 Corinthians 10:12 that a person who thinks he can stand on his own is headed for a fall -- "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." 3. Humility will lead us to depend upon God. 4. When we depend upon God, He will help us. a. (vs.5c) God gives "grace to the humble." b. (vs.6b) "In due time," God will exalt the humble. c. (James 4:10) "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." D. (vs.7) Those who humble themselves before God will be able to do something that others cannot do. 1. We are told to cast all our care upon God. 2. The reason we are to do this is because God cares for His children. 3. He loves us, and He wants to help us in our struggles with Satan. 4. God cannot help us if we fail to remain humble before Him. 5. Notice in vs.10 what God will do for those who depend upon Him.
II. VERSES 8 & 9 TEACH US TO STAND AGAINST THE DEVIL
A. Being "sober" and "vigilant" indicates that we are to be watchful. 1. We are to be watchful because we have an "adversary" [enemy]. 2. Our adversary is Satan, the devil. a. He is pictured as a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. b. He is fearless, he is restless, and he constantly searches for victims. c. Christians are not immune to his attacks. 3. God loves His children, but Satan wants to destroy us. B. Satan uses many devices to try to destroy people. 1. (Genesis 3:4) He lied to Eve when he tempted her to disobey God. 2. (1 Chronicles 21:1) He provoked David to number the Israelites. 3. (Job 1-2) He accused Job before God and caused him to suffer badly. 4. (Luke 8:12) In His parable of the sower, Jesus said that the devil is able to take God's Word out of our hearts to prevent us from being saved. 5. (Acts 5:3-4) He convinced Ananias and Sapphira to lie before God. 6. As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 2:11, "we are not ignorant of his devices," therefore we must be watchful. C. (vs.9) In addition to being sober and vigilant, we must resist Satan. 1. (James 4:7) "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." 2. Jesus showed us in Matthew 4:1-11 that Satan can be resisted. 3. The key is resisting Satan steadfastly "in the faith" (Ephesians 6:16 -- "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked"). 4. It will also help us to remember that other people have faced the same temptations that we face and remained true to God.
III. LET US MAKE SOME OBSERVATIONS FROM PETER'S LIFE
A. (Luke 22:31-32) Jesus told Peter that Satan was after him. B. For a while Peter did not humble himself before God, and he denied Jesus three times. C. Peter finally did humble himself before the Lord, and he corrected his mistake. D. Peter learned a great lesson that day, and he went on to become one of the Lord's strongest and most dedicated followers. E. Satan continued to afflict Peter in various ways, but Peter remained humble and was able to overcome Satan's devices.
1. Jesus and Satan are both interested in us -- they want us to spend eternity with them. 2. May God help us to follow these instructions so we can overcome Satan and be prepared to face the Lord in judgment!