Sermon Detail

Strength for the Journey Resist!

August 13, 2023 | Buster Brown

“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you." James 4:6-10

Many of the recipients of the letter from James had grown complacent or half-hearted in their relationship with Christ. This is evidenced by attributing failure and sin to the Lord and not themselves (James 1:13-15), a lack of watchfulness in speech (James 3), little regard for the emotionally hurting or the poor (James 1:27-2:1), lack of awareness regarding the demonic nature of jealousy and selfish ambition which led to disorder and vile practices (James 3:14-16).

“There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split second is claimed by God, and counterclaimed by Satan.”  C.S. Lewis

“Spiritual warfare is all encompassing. It touches every area of our lives…our families, our relationships, our church, our neighborhoods, our communities, our places of employment. This is virtually no part of our existence that the Evil One does not want to maintain or reassert his unhealthy or perverse influence.”  Clinton Arnold, dean of the School of Theology at Talbot Seminary

"Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil."  1 John 3:8

"Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."   1 John 4:4

We participate in the Resistance Movement when:

1. We walk in humility (vv. 6 & 10)

“They that know God will be humble, they that know themselves cannot be proud.”  John Flavell (1628-1691)

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."  Ephesians 6:10-12

2. We submit to the Lord and his instruction with gladness in anticipation of his empowering presence.

Q: What is your only comfort in life and death?

A: That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by his Holy Spirit he also assures me of eternal life and makes me WHOLE HEARTEDLY WILLING and ready from now on to live for him. Heidelberg Catechism, Question 1

3. We stand on the promises of God. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (v. 6)…. “resist the Devil, he will flee from you” (v. 7b)... “draw near to God and he will draw near to you” (v. 8a).

4. We embrace the calling to moral purity and heart devotion (v. 8b) “Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”


1. Spiritual warfare is a daily reality and all encompassing. 

2. The devil has been mortally wounded by the cross. His power is severely limited. 

"And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having FORGIVEN us all our trespasses, by CANCELING the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He DISARMED the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by TRIUMPHING over them in him."  Colossians 2:13-15

3. Our strength is in the Lord! (“I am strong because of my union with Christ” versus “I can handle this on my own.”)

4. The authority and power of the living Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit must be intentionally appropriated and not assumed. 

5. In the life of the Christian, voluntary demonization is willful disobedience and disregard for the revealed will of God. Involuntary demonization involves the known pursuit, complacent, drifting, passively-relating stance of those who claim to know Christ.


1. How do we passively relate to the forgiveness of sins, by the cross, as compared to aggressively applying the sufficiency and power of the cross to daily living?

2. How does a scientific naturalistic worldview, “a story that reduces reality to physical particles and impersonal laws, betrays life as a meaningless competition among organisms that exists only to survive and reproduce and sees the mind as no more than an emergent property of biochemical reaction.” fly in the face of a biblical worldview?  Phillip Johnson, Reason in the Balance

3. Which of the following activities are a means of resisting the Devil? 

  • Worship of the triune God
  • Singing about the wonder of the cross 
  • Intentionally looking to Christ when we take the Lord’s supper
  • Repenting of a coldness of heart 
  • Humbling ourselves by being obedient to the scripture
  • Putting the welfare of others before ourselves
  • Pondering/studying the bible 
  • Going to a prayer gathering/personal prayer