Study Guide: I Owe It All To The Devil

Sunday June 3, 2012 | Greg Boyd

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

When we sin, accusations fly. However, it’s not God that is flinging the accusations at us. In this sermon, Greg shows how we owe all accusation, blame, and condemnation to Satan.

Extended Summary:

Jesus did not die to protect us from God’s wrath. It is a common misconception that God was angry and wrathful towards us, and took it out on Jesus in some scene of cosmic child abuse. While it’s true that Jesus took our place in payment for our sins, God took his anger out on sin and the devil that causes sin in this world.

God is not the one charging us with our sins. Satan is the known throughout the Bible as the accuser of God’s people. This is something important to understand because Satan really wants us to confuse him and God. Satan has been doing this since the beginning of humanity, and he won’t stop until the end of time. Satan is ugly; God is beautiful. Don’t ever forget that or mix the two.

Satan’s closest counterparts in humanity are the Pharisees and those that judge others. Whereas God is full of grace and wants relationship with humanity, the Pharisees and judgers in this world seek to set up boundaries to separate people. This separation is usually based on the law, or the list of rules that we are “supposed” to live by. Yet, where there is law, there is no love. When we depend on the rules to show who is in and who is out, we are not depending on Love to show who is in and who is out. Love fulfills the law, and we should depend on it because it is greater than the law.

We still sin. The law shows us this. When we depend on satisfying the law, we lose out on the love of God, and the law becomes a curse to us. Instead of trying to satisfy the law, we depend on Jesus, and his sacrifice that satisfied the law. Jesus cancelled the charge of our legal debt to Satan. Jesus disarmed the powers and authorities that rule this world. He replaced them with his love and grace. God didn’t do this by cancelling the debt that we owe from our sins. Rather, God cancelled the entire economy of sin and debt to Satan. By doing this, we never fall back into debt to Satan.

Remember that Satan is the accuser in our lives. Never confuse Satan with God, and anytime you feel under attack from your past sins, remember that is Satan and God has destroyed the system of debt that you used to be in bondage to. No longer dead in your sins, we are redeemed by Jesus’ sacrifice.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What additional questions and comments did you have about the sermon and supporting texts?
  2. Normally, Woodland Hills Church talks about forgiveness being about relationship and not indebtedness. Why is it important that we look at salvation from different viewpoints?
  3. The law is a curse when we depend on it to be right with God. Have you ever sinned and felt like God was angry at you? What did that feel like?
  4. What’s the difference between being accused by Satan and convicted of our sins by God?
  5. Grace and freedom can be difficult topics to deal with, especially when we have constant accusations from Satan going on in our mind. What is one way that you can remind yourself of God’s grace in your life when you are feeling under attack from accusations?