The Devil’s Schemes- 2 Corinthians 2:11

The Bible clearly informs the people of God that they deal with an enemy, that there exists one who’s desire is to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). In this particular verse, Paul tells us three things about this enemy. The first is that he exists and that his name is Satan. The second is that his strategy is to “outwit” us. The third is that the Bible shows us just what his strategy (schemes) is. We will examine these points more closely in order to discover just what Paul is telling us here. We will begin with the second of these, for it serves as a foundation for the other two. Paul tells us here that Satan’s scheme is to “outwit” us. The Greek word translated as outwit here is pleonekteo, and it literally means “one who defrauds for the sake of gain”. What we learn here is that the devil’s primary (and perhaps his only) scheme is to “defraud”. He is a con man, a scam artist, a “liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44), and his primary weapon is deceit. He lives to deceive, it is the means by which he steals, kills and destroys, and it is through buying into his lies and deceptions that many believers “fall into the devil’s trap” (1 Timothy 3:7). We also learn here that his primary method is to “defraud”, that he mainly does not deal in outright lies but in half truths and counterfeit truths. He is trying to get us to buy what he is selling, but what he is selling is a counterfeit, and no one is going to buy a counterfeit if it does not look like the real thing. Satan’s lies are effective because they seem like truth, he is the ultimate snake oil salesman, convincing us that what he is selling will be beneficial, when it is in fact destructive. We will look much more closely at precisely how he operates in our next post, but for the time being we will return to the first point Paul makes in this verse, for it actually introduces us to the first point of Satan’s deceptions. Paul first tells us here that Satan actually exists, that there is a literal creature known as Satan or the devil, and this truth is the first area in which we find the devil’s deception. He first wants to deceive about the fact of his existence, he wants people to believe that though he is mentioned in the Bible, it is not as an actual being but as a “literary symbol of man’s inhumanity to man” or some other such nonsense. If he can get us to believe that he does not exist, that he is just a literary symbol, he is then free to steal, kill and destroy undetected, with us blaming other people for his lies, seeing other people as our enemies, when the Scripture clearly tells us that “our struggle is not with flesh and blood” but with “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). He also seeks to deceive us as to his nature. If he cannot get us to deny his existence, he will then try to convince us that he is equal with God, that he and God are two equal powers battling for control of the universe, when the Bible clearly tells us that Satan is a creature and God is the creator, and they are in no way equal. All of this leads us to the third point which Paul makes here, that we are “not unaware of his schemes”. The Greek word translated “unaware” here is agnoeo, from which we get the English word agnostic, and it literally means to “be without understanding”, and Paul tells us here that God has enables us to understand how the devil operates and what he is up to. His ways and methods are revealed to us in the Scriptures, God pulls back the curtain he hides behind and shows us just who he is and what he is up to, how he operates, and he operates here through “schemes”. The Greek word schemes here is noema, the noun form of the same root as agnoeo. Satan operates through our “understanding”, the battle is in our minds, and it is a battle for truth, for our enemy will try to get us to accept his understanding of what the truth is rather than God’s, he will attempt to deceive us with twisted truths, partial truths and half truths. It is therefore crucial that we know what the truth is, that we know the truth of God’s word, both what it says and what it means. If we do not know what the “real thing” looks like, we will easily accept the devil’s counterfeit and allow him to steal, kill and destroy. Our next post will examine more closely exactly how Satan goes about deceiving us, for he has used the same method from the very beginning, and we will examine Scripture so that we may no longer be “unaware of his schemes” and be ensnared in his trap.

No Comments Christianity  //  Epistles  //  Nature of Man  //  Sin and Temptation

Leave a Reply

Pure Spiritual Milk

SEO Copy... Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse nunc turpis, cursus et interdum sed, lobortis vitae nunc. Integer placerat tellus odio, non sodales arcu fermentum id. Mauris vitae eleifend leo, et rhoncus odio. Ut et arcu eu ex tempus ultricies eu vel lorem. Curabitur eu consectetur neque. Suspendisse volutpat nibh urna, sit amet aliquet augue imperdiet in. Etiam eget felis pellentesque, dapibus dolor ut, sodales justo. Mauris eu arcu lectus. Suspendisse odio ex, dignissim sit amet ornare eget, elementum at odio.