Luke 4:13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. What does this mean? – Part II
Continued From Part 1
Explanation: By examination, we see that Jesus spoke of Satan as an entity who does tempt people and attempt to draw them away from God, and in doing so utilizes lies and deception. The Bible is replete with many such discussions, so many in fact, that if one denies the existence of Satan as a real entity, they are denying the Bible and the insight Jesus himself provided in the Holy Scriptures for our instruction.
Now that we have established that Satan exists, some may say, “Why would the devil believe that he could tempt Jesus into denying the Father and worshiping him? The response is that we should never be surprised or appalled by the acts (or attempted acts) of Satan or demonic forces. These acts are allowed to be attempted and some actually carried out, but they are within the providence of God and though we may not always understand them, they further increase God’s plan and purpose.
In light of this, some would respond by asking, “Does God ordain evil acts?” I would say, he allowed them, in that, once he allowed evil to exist, then God the creator knew that evil acts would be proliferated within his creation. Others who seek the truth may even ask, “Why would God even allow evil to destroy in this way?”
The response is quite esoteric, and difficult to understand, but I would simply offer for the seekers’ consideration, that when God created everything that exists now, out of nothingness, as the Master Creator, the Triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) said as stating in Genesis, “And God said, Let us make… After that statement he made all things, entities, all people, all places, all processes, all science, all nature, all knowledge …all that existed, exists and that will ever exist. In creating everything that exists, God designed the creation to all work in a way that no matter what decision is made, no matter what wills are employed, no matter what statements are declared, or sins committed, or allegiances broken, or alliances gained, no matter what loves are lost or engendered, no matter what created thing is lost, or dies, or rises or falls, all will result in the greater Glory of the Triune God.
This is to most people, an astounding reality, and as other realities in the bible, can scarcely be believed, if at all, and certainly not apart from a substance called “Faith”. This stated effect sits heavy on the human mind, much like, Christ’s words to Nicodemus that he had to be born again to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Nicodemus was dumbfounding and could barely hear or receive the teaching that Jesus was conveying to him, and did not believe what Christ told him. Jesus stated in John 3:12, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (ESV) Nicodemus (at that time) lacked the one essential thing needed to understand Jesus, faith.
Hebrews 11 states, “3By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible”. (ESV) Seekers will find themselves included in the very workings of the creation, as the passage from Romans 8:28 is examined, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose”. (KJV)
From this passage we see that not only did God create all that will ever exist, but that he upholds it by his mighty power (rooted in Faith) and that the creation and all the processes which sustains it, remain under God’s control. We human beings are God’s creation (created according to His purpose) and we should desire to participate in the way God created us to participate. That purpose is spelled out throughout the Bible, but some yet, may not understand our great purpose. We were created to glorify God, and that should be our driving passion, as beings creation by God. To glorify God means, fulfilling our purpose. We were made for the praise of his Glory. In other words, we were made to worship God (sing, praise, shout, live and love) all while telling of his excellent Glory for what he has created and how he sustains what he has created including ourselves. That is what is meant by … we are made to the praise of his glory (or to Praise His Glory) to love him and to enjoy him (depend on and rely on him) forever.
This is to say that we must worship him. Worship would mean, to exhibit the true feeling, actions and expressions of reverence, devotion, adoration, exaltation and esteem for God our maker. Do we, his created beings worship him in spirit and in truth, as the bible encouraged us to do? If we are to worship that way, we must follow God’s Plan for our worship. We must worship God in word (in our statements and believes) and in deed (in our actions). No person can convey expressions of reverence, devotion, adoration, exaltation and esteem and provide worship which is pleasing to God unless they believe in him. Hebrews 11:6, states “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (ESV) So, we must use the same substance God used to create everything that is, “Faith” if we want to properly worship God.
Faith will inform us that 1) God exists, you wouldn’t be able to believe in an entity that you weren’t sure existed, and 2) that God is a rewarded of those who seek him; seeking in this context would mean to inquire of how we are to properly worship God. And such inquiries would be made directly to God. For James 1:5 states “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (NIV) God is great and in his marvelous creation he has created a direct link back to himself, if one wants to participate in the faith that created all that exists. If one wants to worship God, if one wants to fulfill the purpose for humankind’s existence, and be a part of all things working for the good of God and those who love him, then each individual person in the creation must seek God for themselves.
God may be earnestly sought through prayer, but only if you believe he exists. If you seek him, he will answer you and quench your thirst for him by giving you his Word, his instruction for seekers, the Bible. The Bible (aided in interpretation by the Holy Spirit) will lead you to Jesus Christ, who is the expressed Word of God. Christ exists from the beginning, as stated in the Gospel of John 1:3-5 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. 2The Word was with God in the beginning. 3All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. 4In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. 5And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it”. (NET)
Jesus Christ the “Word” in the Holy Triune God. “Let us (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) make… The Bible will lead you to understand how you are to worship God as previously discussed and will tell you your full purpose and our Maker’s Plan for us, as summarized in the following verses form Ephesians 1:3-14…
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guaranteed of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
If you are a true seeker and want to know what God requires of you, if you believe that he exists and if you believe that he will reward you with the knowledge you seek, then pray and then seek him, he will give you the Bible, the Bible will give you the Faith you need to be obtained by Christ; with Christ seekers will receive an understanding of your purpose and how to worship him correctly in the correct worship, you will be saved and “…seal (as the passage from Ephesians states) with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” (ESV)
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