THE THREE ENEMIES OF HOLINESS

Bible Reading: James 4:1-17; 1 John 2:15-17

An important key to purity and holy living is learning to say “No!” to the enemies of purity. The enemies of the Christian are not flesh and blood, but spiritual. The Bible uses three words to describe these enemies. They are the world, the flesh and the devil. All three attack in different ways and interact together.

The world is not just wrong places to go or wrong things to do – it is a spirit. It is an invisible yet surrounding atmosphere in which we live, and which erodes faith, dissipates hope and corrupts love!

The flesh is the world within us, that demands our rights, wants to rule where God should be enthroned. It is the self-life that demands gratification and says that its way, not God’s way, is the best. However, as someone has declared, “Self-gratification never brings true satisfaction.”

The devil is the ruler of a world system opposed to God. His was an anointed archangel in heaven but his downfall was pride – he wanted to take the place of God! He rules over his evil system through fear and control.

These three enemies are different but function together. The Bible teaches us how to handle each of them and we will look at how to handle each of these enemies over the next few days. We are to be transformed be the renewing of our mind so that we are not conformed to the world. We are to put to death with help of the Holy Spirit the works of the flesh and we are to resist the devil and he will flee from us. For each of these enemies Jesus has the answer and has won the victory for us on the cross.

Questions:

Where has your greatest battle been as a Christian? How have you been doing in winning that battle?

Why is the world at enmity with God [see James 4:4]?

What are the three elements of the world that we face according to 1 John 2:16?