NASHVILLE (BP) – This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.
Bible Passage: Ephesians 6:16
- What is your favorite or most reliable strategy or tactic for getting what you want?
- Do you think Satan has favorite strategies or tactics for getting what he wants? Explain your answer. If so, what would those tactics or strategies be?
- Why would it be important to recognize and understand the schemes by which Satan frequently attempts to influence individuals and groups to sin?
Food for thought:
When my wife retired from teaching, some of her colleagues gave her a stainless steel mug with “Good night nurse” printed in large letters around it. Her friends recognized that as one of her favorite expressions. Truth be told, our favorites – whether expression, music group, movie, soft drink, and so forth – become identifying markers by which we are known.
Jerry Rankin, author and former president of the International Mission Board, stresses we can know Satan by his favorites as well – particularly his favorite “fiery darts” (Ephesians 6:16, KJV). The Bible reveals schemes the devil likes to deploy in his efforts to tempt us to sin. Knowing his favorite tactics help us keep alert and avoid his traps:
Unforgiveness – To forgive is to be like Jesus. To refuse to forgive is to align ourselves with Satan instead of Jesus. When we hold on to an offense, we are playing into the devil’s hand by elevating our “right” to be hurt above our call to be like Jesus.
Anger – Paul told the Ephesian believers to be angry without sinning (Ephesians 4:26). Unfortunately, we most often nurse our anger into sin. We harbor the anger until it comes out in bitterness or a critical spirit.
Doubt – If faith is the victory, then doubt is defeat. In Eden, Satan cast doubt on the truthfulness of God’s word. Likewise, he constantly tries to make us doubt what God has said and rationalize our sin.
Pride– Since God resists the proud (James 4:6), Satan can maneuver us into opposition to God if he can ignite a prideful spirit within us.
Unholy Living – Scripture repeatedly calls God’s people to holiness. We are to be holy because God is holy. We are to remove unholiness from our lives. When we conform to unholy ways, we put ourselves on the sidelines, unavailable for duty.
Creating Dissension – Believers are to love one another, submit to one another, and prefer one another. When Satan succeeds in getting us to sow dissension, not only do we disable ourselves, we do Satan’s work for him and disable our brothers and sisters.
MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at lifeway.com/masterwork.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool or ordered at LifeWay Christian Resources.