Soon after writing 1 Corinthians Paul wrote another letter to the Corinthians, called 2 Corinthians in the New Testament. In it he warned the believers to be aware of Satan’s schemes so they aren’t tricked and defeated (2 Corinthians 2:11). The brother who was living with his father’s wife and was disciplined by exclusion from church fellowship (1 Corinthians 5:1-5) evidently repented and was restored to fellowship (2 Corinthians 2:5-6). Now Paul encourages them to forgive the man and treat him with love and acceptance (2 Corinthians 2:7-10). If they don’t forgive him, Paul says Satan will use that to work against them (2 Corinthians 2:11).
LESSON FOR TODAY: Many believers today are ignorant of spiritual warfare, some even deny it exists, or that believers are immune from Satan’s attacks. Nothing could be further from the truth. We must be soldiers who know how to use the equipment our commander provides in order to defeat those who would destroy us. Ignorance of how Satan works plays into his hands and leads to sure misery. Learn spiritual warfare, teach it to others, and use it whenever necessary.
LESSON FOR TODAY: Paul is warning them that Satan will use their unforgiveness as an opening to attack them. One of the leading causes of demonizing is unconfessed anger. Anger includes any form of unforgiveness, bitterness, hate, jealousy, gossip, criticism, etc. Paul says these can “give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:26-27). He tells the Corinthians that if they don’t forgive each other Satan will use that to “outwit” them (II Corinthians 2:10-11). Jesus Himself said that those who don’t forgive others will be turned over to tormenting demons to bring them to repentance (Matthew 6:14-15; 18:34). This anger includes anger toward others, parents, self, or God. There can be no removing demons who claim this access until all anger is truly confessed and put under the blood of Jesus. This is one of the first things that usually comes up when we counsel people and pray for their deliverance. Do NOT take this lightly! Don’t rush through this step. Spending time praying for God to show anger and unforgiveness is time well spent.
by Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer, Christian Training Organization