Foundations for a Christian Worldview: Begin Here (5)
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3.4, 5
And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 12.17
A caveat is in order at this point: Taking up the challenge of living a Christian worldview is not for sissies.
All who are the offspring of the woman of Revelation 12 will be eager to grow in the Christian worldview. In John’s vision, the woman symbolizes both Eve and Mary, and the saints of the Old Testament and those of the New. To clarify further, John explains that they are the true children of the Church who “have the testimony of Jesus Christ” and “who keep the commandments of God.”
To have saving faith is to know and love Jesus, and to walk the path He walked, the path of the commandments of God (1 Jn. 2.1-6). The Law of God, which was ordained from of old, marks the path of good works every believer must walk (Eph. 2.8-10). Christian worldview begins here.
Moses reported that evil, suffering, and death came into the world when our first parents rejected the commandment of God and chose to follow their own best ideas. They listened to the tempting voice of the serpent, which excited their lusts, and ignored and rebelled against the commandment of God. The serpent – Satan – hates God, and he hates those whom God loves. And, since the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 12.5), the devil has resolved to “make war” with those whom God loves, those who have the testimony of Jesus and keep the commandments of God.
This is nothing new; the devil has hated believers from the beginning, and he hates them still, and seeks to devour them by every means (1 Pet. 5.8).
Don’t be surprised, therefore, as you work to improve in living the Christian worldview, to find that the serpent of old will reach deep into his bag of tricks to try to prevent you from realizing your goal. He hates you, and he will do whatever he can to keep you from entering more deeply into full and abundant life with Jesus Christ.
Trials and sufferings
The apostle Paul explained that those who know and serve Jesus must arm themselves for conflict (Eph. 6.10-20). We only enter the Kingdom of God, which is the realm within which we live our Christian worldview, through many trials and sufferings, many of which come to us as direct assaults from the devil (Acts 14.22; 1 Pet. 5.8). All who have the testimony of Jesus are the special objects of the devil’s rage, and they may expect, in the process of learning to be long-suffering, to be long-bothered by the enemy of our souls.
But again, let’s be clear: John identifies those who “have the testimony of Jesus” as those who also “keep the commandments of God.” There is no separation between Jesus and the commandments of God; no burnt bridge between grace and Law. No growth in the worldview of Jesus apart from the commandments of Jesus. Confessing Jesus and keeping His Law go together, and identify those who are the targets of Satan’s wiles.
If we profess to know Jesus, but have no grounding in the commandments of God, while we will not be totally free from temptation or trial, we may expect that the devil will bother us but a little. Merely professing faith in Jesus is no threat to the devil’s lies, for without keeping the Law of God, we manifest no hope or truth to the world, but merely a kind of feel good belief the we possess eternal bliss beyond the grave. Such faith does not challenge the devil’s designs. He seeks the very throne of the Lord, to rule the world according to the lie, which insists that God is irrelevant or non-existent, and therefore His Law and Word do not matter, and His salvation, if there is such a thing, is only for the weak or naïve.
Merely having the testimony of Jesus does not challenge the existing world order, with its preference for lies, deceit, and half-truths. Merely professing faith in Jesus is not a worldview, but merely a subjective hope.
But testify of Jesus and liveas He did, according to the Law of God, and the truth of God and the Christian worldview will increasingly pervade and transform all your relationships, roles, and responsibilities. The hope of glory will be evident in all your ways, and the light of truth will shine in the darkness of the devil’s domain, everywhere his lies have left people groping and grasping, uncertain, confused, and without hope.
And, be assured, he will not take kindly to such incursions. The devil will never be very far from trying to work you woe.
Arm yourself with truth – all of it
You may expect to be long-bothered by the enemy of our souls if you confess Christ and keep the commandments of God. The Christian worldview is built on the cornerstone of Jesus Christ and the foundation of God’s commandments. This is where the front lines of Kingdom advance encounter and overthrow the enemy of our souls.
So get ready. Temptations and trials lie ahead for all who profess faith in Jesus and keep the commandments of God. Arm yourself with all the counsel of God, beginning in His Law. Look to Jesus, seek Jesus, grow into Jesus, and live for Jesus as Jesus lived in this world. Thus, despite trials and sufferings and resistance of many kinds, you will grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, and in the Christian worldview.
It’s a struggle, that’s for sure. But, oh, what glory awaits those who – here and now as well as then and there – take up this cross daily and follow their exalted King.
Questions for reflection
1. How do you expect to experience the devil’s opposition to your faith? Are you prepared to resist him?
2. Confessing Jesus as Savior and Lord, and keeping the commandments of God, are two sides of the coin of saving faith. Explain.
3. How should you “arm yourself” against the devil every day?
Next steps – Preparation: James (Jms. 4.7) and Peter (1 Pet. 5.9) say we should “resist” the devil, who seeks to distract and subvert our faith by temptation and trial. When either of these come against you – temptation or trial – what will you do to resist the devil and stand firm in your faith? Share your answer with a Christian friend.
T. M. Moore
The Christian worldview focuses on Jesus. Do you know Him? Our book, To Know Him, can help you answer that question confidently, and equip you to tell others about Jesus as well. Order your copy by clicking here.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.
Whom the Devil Hates
- T.M. Moore
- March 18, 2019
Warning: temptations and trials ahead.
Foundations for a Christian Worldview: Begin Here (5)
T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.