Christ Is Victorious
Just as the bright light of the coming Messiah is anticipated in the pages of the Old Testament, so the devil is a shadowy figure throughout it. When we reach the New Testament, we discover that Christ’s coming drew Satan out from the shadows and into the open.
In the Bible, the devil is revealed as the instigator of sin and sorrow. In fact, the word devil comes from a Greek root word which means “to throw,” as in the sense of throwing out slanderous statements. The devil, we learn, twists the truth about Christ and the character of God. The word Satan, meanwhile, can be translated as “adversary” and can convey the sense of someone lying in ambush. Our irrational fears, doubts, and evil thoughts can be traced back to this Evil One. He is the deceiver, the accuser, the liar, and the hinderer. He blinds the minds of unbelievers and seeks to cloud the believer’s mind with reminders of guilt and failure.
Satan is a powerful foe—but he is also a defeated one. The very real power of the Evil One should only ever be considered in light of the victory of the Lord Jesus. The devil has been chained by the cross of Christ. On that chain he may snarl and roar and grab for us, but nevertheless, his works will be destroyed by Christ. The apostle John assures us, “Everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18).
In our homes, most of us have a process for the disposal of garbage: it goes from under the sink to outside the back door to the end of the driveway, and then the garbage truck comes and takes it to its final destination. In a very real sense, that is the experience of the Evil One: he has been put out the back door, awaiting final destruction on the day of Christ’s revelation (Revelation 20:10). He is not yet destroyed, but he is dethroned and defeated.
In the conflicts we encounter, some of us are keenly aware that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against … the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). And those of us who are not aware of this probably should be. All of us need to remind ourselves that there is a real struggle going on and that we are part of it; and all of us need also to remember in the midst of that struggle that “the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” Take courage from the fact that Satan does not have the final say. He is beaten, and Jesus has prayed for you that you would be kept safe (John 17:15). Let that knowledge cause you to stand firm against the devil’s wiles and run to Christ for forgiveness when you give in to the devil’s lies. This is how we live in light of Christ’s victory!
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
The Temptation of Jesus
1And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. 3The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” 5And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8And Jesus answered him, “It is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and him only shall you serve.’”
9And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
to guard you,’
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
12And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
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