The devil, that “crafty serpent,” uses biblical scripture to turn Christians from loving followers of Christ into hateful followers of Jesus. In this article, we’re going to identify some of Satan’s tricks so that you will be aware of them, can defend your heart and mind with Scripture, not falling for the devil’s schemes.
If there is one command Jesus gave his followers above all others it is this: to love.
“Jesus declared, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.'” – Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus summed it up quite concisely. If you follow these two commandments: “Love the Lord your God” and “love your neighbor as yourself,” the rest of the Ten Commandments fall into place. You aren’t going to go against any of the Ten Commandments because you are following these two and don’t want to hurt God or anyone else, so you put them first. It makes things very simple and it is simple: You love God and your neighbor so much that you won’t allow yourself to offend them.
The devil is a far more intelligent being than humans, and thus, understands human nature. Satan can outwit us as easily as we outwit animals.
We have to remember that if Satan tried to use Scripture against Jesus during his temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4) – Jesus who knows all Scripture, and as being God inspired it – we humans are much easier prey.
Therefore, knowledge of Scripture is our most important defense against the devil. The better we know Scripture, the better we can defend ourselves when the devil tries to use it to confuse us.
The devil uses scripture against us to make us go against that #1 command of Jesus Christ: – To love – and makes us hate instead.
The Bible outlines many practices that are sinful, even telling us that these are things of the devil. (see Leviticus, Deuteronomy). So then, since we hate the devil, we hate and condemn these practices. But then we also transfer that hate to the people themselves.
As a result, it drives some followers of Christ to hate other religions, LGBT people, and even other Christians who follow a different denomination.
But here is how the devil gets us…
We hate the sinner. But we should hate the sin – not the sinner.
“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” – 1 John 4:20
“But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” – 1 John 2:11
We need to have mercy on the sinner, to pray for them – and with love – lead them to Christ.
“But to those of you who will listen, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” – Luke 6:27-28
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
The devil knows there is only one way he can separate us from Christ, and that is to make us become hateful. Therefore, the ever-loving to others and the devil is defeated.