7467 - To Destroy the Devil’s Work - 1 John 3:8b

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Audio transcript

It’s great to have you with us today.

In our study in 1 John we have come to chapter 3, the last part of verse 8. There we find these words:

“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”

Jesus came to earth to destroy the work of the devil.

The evil character and intent of the devil, as it pertains to man, reaches back to Genesis 3, which tells about the Garden of Eden.

Remember, when God created Adam & Eve, He blessed them above all created beings by placing within mankind a human spirit. Only humans were given this place within his inner being where God would live. God is spirit, so He created people with this capacity to receive God into their life. From this position God would guide, direct and fellowship with His creature, man. This close relationship was God’s design to bless mankind, and was to be a union which also brought joy to God.

God had told Adam that the consequence of disobedience would be death. This abiding relationship between God and His creature, was destroyed when Adam and Eve listened to the lies of the devil and disobeyed God’s instructions. Some do not understand that death to Adam had two faces. The first was spiritual death — a separation from God — which Adam and Eve experienced immediately upon disobedience. The second was physical death which came upon Adam after his years upon earth. This is not annihilation, but the departure of the soul from the body.

Death is the work of the devil which Jesus came to earth to destroy.

What about spiritual death? God breathed into the first created human the breath of life. This act introduced the Spirit of God as a resident member in the human spirit of Adam. Thus, man was highly blessed, above every other created being; because God became an indwelling presence within Adam. God would guide Adam, provide for Adam, and bless Adam as long as Adam obeyed.

The intent was that both mankind and God would benefit from this close intimate relationship. The benefit to Adam was unlimited. The benefit to God was that He would experience a loving, caring relationship with this creature man who willed to obey his creator.

Had Adam obeyed, life would have been eternal. But because of disobedience, God’s Sprit departed from Adam; thus, Adam experienced spiritual death, the result of sin.

Adam and Eve lost the intimate fellowship with God, as proven when they hid from Him when He called. They gave up innocence. That’s why they devised fig-leaf clothes. Now they had a conscience which would convict them of sin and failure. Now they experienced fear. They now had a fallen, sinful nature.

And this condition became the heritage of every child born to a couple upon earth — their human spirit is empty. They need to be born again — to have God’s Spirit come and dwell in their human spirit once again.

God provided that opportunity. He sent His only Son, the Christ, to earth to be born as a human child, called Jesus. Jesus was committed to die as the atoning sacrifice on the cross. His blood would pay the penalty for sin. Then anyone who would turn from sin and by faith receive the new life offered by Jesus, would be forgiven and cleansed. Thus purified, God would one again enter man and take up residence in the human spirit. There, this new life, an eternal life, became the blessing of every person who received Jesus by faith.

The work of the devil was destroyed. Man no longer was doomed to eternal separation from God. The Triune God again became a living presence with every one who loves and obeys God.

Regarding physical death, this too became the fate of Adam and his descendants when Adam sinned. But Jesus, by His death on the cross won the victory over Satan and has destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light (2 Tim. 1:10). As Jesus said, “whoever believes in me has crossed over from death to life. The body may be placed in a grave, but the soul and spirit lives forever with the Lord.

For those who do not believe, they never possess spiritual life, so when their physical life come to an end they pass into eternal separation from God. They exist in the devil’s domain. This is called the second death.