“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world” (1 Peter 5:8,9).
The title line above is from The Lord’s Prayer and it’s really what salvation is all about. The Lord came to deliver us from all evil by His death on the Cross. At the beginning of His ministry He announced to all the purpose of His coming by reading these words of prophecy about Himself from the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them who are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” He came into the world to rescue us from the evil of sin and it’s consequences. Sin produces wretchedness and misery in our lives.
All the evil in the world is the result of disobedience to God. It comes to us through the world, the flesh, and the devil. The world and the world system are totally opposed to the ways of God. We have a fallen nature (the sin nature) and therefore cannot save ourselves. The Devil hates those that are walking with the Lord and will oppose us in every way. In this article, we will address our adversary the Devil.
We have a powerful enemy in the Devil, or Satan as he is also known. We can only resist (withstand, oppose) the Devil through faith. We cannot contend with him in our own strength. He is much too powerful. He comes against us in many ways and even masquerades as an “angel of light” (disguises himself so it looks like he stands for good), by using people (including false brethren), or coming to us with something that appears to be from God but is meant for our harm. As the above verse says of him: “As a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.” Clearly, we are faced with a very powerful adversary. Ephesians Chapter 6 says this of that which we face in the spirit world: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood (these foes are not human), but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” These principalities, powers, and rulers of this world work in concert with Satan.
The Lord gave Adam and Eve the command to not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Satan came to them and tempted them to doubt God and disobey Him. He comes to us in the same way. He seeks to get us to doubt God’s Word for he knows that our victory comes only through faith. He is a powerful fallen angel and opposed to God, and to all those that believe in the Lord and are living their lives for Him.
So, how do we resist the devil by faith? There is only one way. We must place our faith exclusively in Christ and Him Crucified. Jesus paid the total price for our freedom (“It is finished”) on the Cross. We must place our faith in His great work. Jesus said: “The thief (Satan) comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I come that they might have life, and they might have it more abundantly.” The source of this “life” is Christ (“I am the resurrection and the life”). He keeps us as we place our faith in Him daily. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 says: “But the Lord is faithful (we can depend on Him), who shall establish you, and keep you from evil.”
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (within our ability), but mighty unto God (faith in Christ and Him Crucified) to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (pride), and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (only accomplished by faith in the Cross).”
The Apostle Paul said of Jesus in Galatians: “Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world”. Truly, salvation (deliverance from all evil) is from the Lord. Victory over the world, the flesh, and the Devil is found in Him, and Him alone.
Names of the Devil– Prior to his fall (he served the Lord in righteousness for an undetermined amount of time) – Lucifer– meaning morning star (Isaiah 14:12), the anointed one that covers (Isaiah 28:14). After his fall (he led a revolution against God with one third of the angels)- Satan (Job 1:6), god of this world (2 Corinth, 4:4), Devil/ accuser (Matthew 4:1), tempter (Matthew 4:1), adversary (Job 1), dragon (Revelation 12:9), roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8), Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24), Belial (2 Corinth. 6:15), wicked one (Matthew 13:19), serpent ( Genesis 3:1), prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) and ruler of the demons (Matthew 12:24).