October 23 I Friday
1 Timothy 3
“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.” —2 Corinthians 11:13-15
The Pharisees in Jesus’s day were religious and devout. They were experts of the law, having studied the Old Testament and memorized whole portions of it. As far as the Pharisees were concerned, they believed their works pleased God and brought them salvation.
Yet, in one of Jesus’s confrontations with the Pharisees, he called them “sons of Satan.” Jesus criticized them saying, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on My own; God sent Me. Why is My language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:42-44).
The best lie is 99% true and 1% false. Satan’s lies are small at first, but they become bigger and more devastating over time. Satan is someone who tempts us into sin; he is the deceiver who leads people into error. Satan has twisted God’s own Word creating confusion and leading people to follow him. We see this in Genesis 3, when Satan deceived the woman by twisting what God said, thereby confusing and leading her as well as her husband into sin. Satan masquerades as an angel of light. This tells us that the teaching of demons comes to us as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Just as he used Scripture to tempt Jesus while He wandered in the wilderness for 40 days, Satan can pervert Scripture as he tries to lead people astray.
2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” The god of this age is Satan. He masks his lies with religious acts, where we can do enough good to earn our salvation. Jesus, therefore, rightly criticized the Pharisees, because the gospel sets us free from the religious pursuit of earning our righteousness before a holy God. We stand before God, holy in His sight, because of what Christ did on the cross. The righteousness of God that we receive when we believe is simply because of what Jesus did.
May we heed to the words of James 4:7, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Prayer: Dear God, thank You that Your gospel sets me free from the religious pursuit of earning my righteousness before You. Resisting the devil, I submit to what Christ has done for me on the cross and choose to follow You. Amen!