Bella Vista Church of Christ



Randall Caselman

The Evil Triad


  Who's the enemy of God’s people? Read carefully the first three verses of Ephesians chapter two and see if you can identify the evil triad: "And He has made you alive, who were once dead in trespasses and sins; in which you used to live when you followed the ways ofthe world, living according to the prince of the power of the air, and the Spirit that is now at work in those children of disobedience: For we all lived this way in times past in the lust of the flesh, fulfilling our own evil desires of our fleshly nature." Do you see the enemy? The Triad?...


The World – And the ways of the world.
The evil within –The lustful desires of the flesh.
Satan – The prince of the air – The devil who lies.


  Let’s examine each…


  Loving the world, and the ways of the world. We’re speaking of those enticing influences which bombard believers from the outside. This Worldliness is a virus to the Christian heart. If not dealt with, it will destroy us. The world allures and entices us with its persuasive wisdom, appealing fads, and adventurous lifestyles. The commercial is: “It doesn’t get any better than this.”  We buy into the lie, and Satan begins his work.


  How do we deal with such an enemy? Jesus and John give us the answer. Jesus said that we are in the world but not of the world. We must understand that we can live in the world and at the same time have the heart, attitude, and disposition of Jesus. He was in the world, but did not give in to its ways. John writes, "Love not the world or anything in the world." The real battleground is in our affections, our attachments, our wants. Love, here in the Greek is agape, a love of the will. Paul Faulkner says, “We must grab our ‘wanter by our willer’ and be the people God calls us to be.” We must stop being infatuated with the world, dating the world, courting the world, loving the world, It’s not easy, is it?


  The evil within, our own evil desires. Here it is, as long as our spirit, our being, is housed in this body, we will struggle with our flesh nature, a sin nature triggered by: The lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and the pride of life. Denying this nature exists does nothing to make the enemy disappear; it only makes it easier for Satan to work in us! Paul says: "The flesh wars against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these two are contrary to one another. They are in conflict with each other so that we do not want to do the things we should. But if we are led by the Spirit, the acts of our sinful nature, the works of the flesh will not be present in us, which are: Sexual immorality, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, quarreling, jealousy, selfishness, divisiveness, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like." Recognize any of these sins? Well, of course! They come from within; they are part of our fleshly nature, a result of our own evil desires.


  Our daily conflict is between what we want and what He wants. James says that sin is the result of our giving in to our own lust, our own evil desires. How do we combat this enemy? Crucify him! "I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body (the flesh) I live by faith." Indeed!... Living by faith is putting to death the old man of sin and living a new life in Jesus.


  Satan, prince of the air, the devil who lies. Satan is a powerful enemy. Scripture calls him a Liar, the Father of Liars, the Adversary, the Accuser of the Brethren...

• He told Eve, “Eat! It will make you as wise as God.”

He told Cain, “Stop your fretting, act on your jealousy, get even, you’re not your brother’s keeper.”

• He told Lot, “Go for it, materialism will insure the good life.”

• He told Nadab and Abihu, “One fire is as good as another.”

• He told Achan, “You deserve better than this, God wants you to be happy, take what's rightfully yours.”

• He told Solomon, “If one wife can make you happy, think what a thousand could do.”

• He told Ananias and Sapphira, “You deserve a place of honor in this church.”

• He told Demas, “The world can be yours.”

Satan is always lying to us. What is he saying to you and your writer?


  Well, how do we identify Satan’s work in our thoughts?

• Is it something Jesus would not think or do?

• Does it squelch good thoughts and good deeds?

• Does it draw attention to me – Elevate me above others?

• Will it stifle acts of kindness?

If so, then it's from the Devil! "He that knows to do good (right) and does it not, sins." — Has been influenced by Satan. Amen?


  We can arm ourselves against such a foe by "putting on the whole armor of God: The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness (Good works and walk), feet fitted with the gospel of peace,the shield of faith, (a trust, an absolute confidence in God) the helmet of salvation (Knowing we are saved, safe in the arms of Jesus), the sword of the Spirit which is the Word, and Prayer. These will make you strong in the Lord."


  Here it is church… When Satan comes to tempt us, he never comes dragging the chains that will bind us, and he never brings the fire of passion that will consume us. Satan comes with a crown that will enthrone us, ennoble us. He comes promising:

• Pleasure...

• Expansiveness...

• Elevation

• Experience...

• Riches...

• Power... Popularity... Pleasure... Prestige...

• Freedom...

• Happiness.

He never comes speaking of consequences. In fact, he never says there are any consequences at all.


  No, this triad, the world, our flesh nature, and the Devil are not totally separate entities. Satan uses the love of the world and the desires of the flesh to capture and deceive the heart of believers. This spiritual warfare is real. This conflict is fully engaged.


  But the victory is ours. "Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."  I am praying for your victory, and I ask you to pray for mine.