Mark Driscoll preached at the Charisma Conference 2018 from Luke 4 and explained how Jesus' temptation in the wilderness shows us five weapons that can be used to defeat the demonic.
He framed the encounter between Jesus and the devil as a continuation of the battle that began when the devil tempted Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. He said that same spiritual battle continues today.
"All of the conflict, all of the drama, all of the trauma and all of the strife in all of human history is the result of a battle according to the Bible," Driscoll said. "We know the story and we know that God created men and women in his likeness, but [he also] created angels to be ministers on his behalf."
The first weapon, Driscoll said, is the "person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit." Driscoll, who has been strongly associated with the Reformed movement, has recently embraced the more Spirit-filled aspects of Christianity and has a new book, Spirit-Filled Jesus, being released in October through Charisma House.
Driscoll said for years that the Trinity has been misrepresented as "the mean one, the nice one and the weird one." But that trivializes the role of the Holy Spirit, who empowered Christ to endure the devil's temptations when He set aside divine power.
"When Jesus is tempted, He's tempted like you are," Driscoll said. "When Jesus grows in wisdom stature and favor, He has to learn and grow as you do. Jesus never cheated. Jesus didn't avail Himself to His divine attributes on occasion, but it was always to benefit someone else: He would bless them, heal them or something else. ... He retained His divinity, He lived out of His humanity, and He lived by the person, the presence, [and] the power of the Holy Spirit."
Driscoll also spoke of spiritual warfare, saying it was the devil's mission to push humans to the breaking point of their humanity. However, he said the same Spirit that empowered Christ in the wilderness can empower believers today.
"Jesus also needed help and He went to the helper," Driscoll said. "When you need help, you can go to the helper, and you can experience the same life legacy and learning as Jesus. Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit."
The second weapon Driscoll highlighted was knowing your spiritual identity. He said the devil's earliest trick, since the garden of Eden, is getting the children of God to question their identity. He said many believers forget that identity is something they live from, not for.
"You work from your identity, not for your identity," Driscoll said. "Satan comes along and he wants to question the father's love for you and Jesus' sacrifice for you. It's demonic. ... Don't allow Satan to question things God has already said."
Third, Driscoll said it's important to maintain a godly perspective regarding temptation. He compared Satan to an expert fisherman, putting specific bait on the fishing line in order to best tempt Christians.
"When you are tempted, godly perspective says I see the hook under the bait," Driscoll said. "...I know if I come and partake in that, I will be reeled in to death, I will be separated from God's presence. It seems like I will gain everything, but I will lose everything and have nothing."
The fourth weapon is Scripture, though Driscoll cautioned that the devil will attempt to steal that weapon and use it against you. He pointed out, throughout the Bible, how Satan often misrepresents and misquotes the Bible in order to obfuscate God's truth and lead humans astray.
"Satan knows the Bible, but he doesn't know the Lord," Driscoll said. "Sometimes the most dangerous people know the bible but don't know the lord."
The fifth and final weapon Driscoll mentioned was faith to trust God. He said God uses Satan's temptations as tests for His followers.
"I don't know what your test is, but when your test comes, you need to invite the Holy Spirit, because it was the Holy Spirit that empowered Jesus to pass his test and He will empower you to take your test," Driscoll said.
But there's still hope for those who give in to temptation and "fail" that test: "What God intended to graduate you, Satan used to disgrace you. You're haunted by it. You're grieved by it. God, I failed my test. I have two pieces of good news: Right here, Jesus took your test. Jesus took your test. Did he pass this test for you? He did. And then He'll send the Holy Spirit to you to help you retake your test. This is the good news of Jesus."
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