Now Playing: What do we oppose ?
In our Christian lives, we are sometimes known as much for what we oppose as for what we support. God has "enemies" whom He opposes: "Wherefore he saith, 'God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble'. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you". (James 4:6-8) In the end of the apostle Peter's 1st letter, he writes, "ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5), and "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world" (vv. 8-9).
However, there will always be those of whom Stephen could say, "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do ye" (Acts 7:51) There are the wicked who, "so do these also resist the truth; men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith" (2 Timothy 3:8) The apostle Paul could write, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God..." (Romans 13:1-2)
We should not resist the truth, but we certainly are to resist sin. "For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin" (Hebrews 12:3-4) There are consequences to those who resist God and not sin. "Therefore He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will? Nay, but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing that formed say to Him that formed it, 'Why hast thou made me thus?' " (Romans 9:18-20)
In the book of the prophet Zechariah, "he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, 'The Lord rebuke Thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee; is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?' " (Zechariah 3:1-2) What was the conclusion? "The angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, 'Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then ... I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by' " (vv.6-7). There is a "real enemy" who will oppose the believer, and we are to "earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude 3), "unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless..." (Jude 24).
The Lord promised His followers, "For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist." (Luke 21:15) Of Stephen it was said, "They were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake." (Acts 6:10) May the Lord help us to resist sin, but submit ourselves to Him and His Word! (James 4:6-10)