The Devil Defanged
By grace, every believer in Christ has been transferred from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). We live in the world now as children of light and endeavor to bear the fruit of that light (Ephesians 5:8-9). Yet as glorious as this may be, we know that darkness is not yet fully eradicated from our lives.
The truth is that everyone who becomes a citizen of Christ’s kingdom is caught up in a cosmic conflict of eternal significance. Praise the Lord, the Evil One has been powerless to prevent God’s adopted children from knowing salvation—but having tasted that measure of defeat, he now seeks to do everything in his power to prevent us from living as true heirs of our Father’s eternal kingdom. He is totally committed to disrupting and destroying what it means for us to “be imitators of God” (Ephesians 5:1) and to “walk as children of light” (v 8). His one great aim is to stop you trusting in Christ—to knock you off the narrow road before you reach the gates of glory.
We should not ignore the alarming terms which Scripture uses to describe the devil and the urgent terms in which we are urged to withstand him. Peter urges us to “be sober-minded” and “watchful” because our “adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan is a real and a vicious enemy. He trades in doubt, division, and destruction. He comes at us both morally and intellectually. With the ferocity of a supernaturally empowered beast, he seeks to maul us and shred our faith to pieces.
What is a Christian to do when faced with such a vicious enemy? The good news for us is this: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” Though he may still prowl, his defanging has already begun, and ultimately, he will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).
Defeat is certain for the devil and his minions—and, through Christ, victory over him is yours, Christian. In Christ, God has given you the spiritual power to “stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). He offers you indestructible armor in the gospel and His very word as your sword (v 11-17). When you fall, you are forgiven. The devil has no power over you. James puts our charge succinctly: “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
So, where is the battle for you? Is it against a particular sin or in a certain trial? Take up the means of grace God offers you in Christ—including your company of fellow soldiers—and, by simply believing the gospel of God, force the prowling lion to retreat!
7Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's2 seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
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