The Defeat of the Devil
By: Loren Larson
I Peter 5:8-9 – “Be sober (mentally self-controlled), be vigilant (awake and watchful); because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour (we are faced with a very powerful adversary):
“Whom (the Devil) resist stedfast in the Faith (‘the Faith’ always refers to what Jesus did at the Cross; our Faith must be ever anchored in that Finished Work), knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your Brethren who are in the world. (Every true Christian faces the onslaught of the Evil One.)”
Every Christian Must Learn How To Fight Principalities And Powers
Every Believer will face the powers of darkness. Ephesians 6:12 makes it clear that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces. What the Believer needs to know and believe is that this battle is won by Faith. If we attempt to fight depending upon willpower, mental gymnastics, personal strength, or some man-made method of religion, we will surely lose. We must approach this battle with Faith that Christ’s Redemptive Work on the Cross was sufficient to defeat the powers of darkness. We must appropriate Christ’s Victory as our own. We must appropriate Christ’s completed Work by Faith. Then the powers of darkness will be pushed back by the Power of the Holy Spirit, God Himself, on our behalf. The same way and means by which sin has been defeated is the same way and means by which we are to walk in Victory over every attempt of Satan to steal, kill, or destroy.
At the time of the Fall of Adam and Eve, during the confrontation where God addressed the woman, the man, and the serpent (the Devil) a Promise was made that spelled out Satan’s doom. This Prophecy of a coming Redeemer said that the Seed of the woman would have His Heel bruised by the Serpent, but that the serpent’s head would be bruised by the Seed of the woman. (Gen. 3:15 – “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His Heel.”) God’s Answer to man’s Fall was the Seed of the woman, a reference to Christ Who would be born of a Virgin and thus become “the Seed of the woman.” God promised that although the Redeemer would have His Heel “bruised” the serpent would have his head “crushed” by the Seed of the woman. This Prophecy was fulfilled in part by the events of Calvary. Jesus had His Heel “bruised” but in the same event “bruised” or crushed the head of the serpent.
The Prophecy Fulfilled
In I John 3:8b, the Bible states, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the Devil.” In Hebrews 2:14, the Bible says, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the Devil.” Finally, in Colossians 2:14-15, Paul writes, “Blotting out the handwriting of Ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His Cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
No one can deny that the Seed of the woman, the Christ, the promised Redeemer was manifested in the Person of Jesus Christ. His Work (I Jn. 3:8) was to “destroy (to loose men from) the works of the Devil.” Hebrews teaches us that “through death (what Jesus did at the Cross)” Jesus would “destroy (to render entirely idle or useless)” the person known as the Devil. And Colossians declares that at the Cross Jesus actually “spoiled (disarmed, stripped of power) principalities and powers.” Based on these Scriptures, both the work and the person of the Devil, along with all the cohorts of Hellwere defeated at Calvary.
Appropriate This Truth By Faith
If the Word of God is true, then it tells us that Satan’s power has been crushed by Calvary. Hebrews 11:6, tells us that, “without Faith it is impossible to please Him (God).” We as Believers must accept the truth that both sin and Satan were defeated at Calvary based upon the evidence of Scripture. God won’t force us to believe. He offers to us the evidence of Scripture and asks us to appropriate it by Faith. Therefore, just like Salvation must be received by Faith, so too must freedom from “your adversary” and “his workings” be accomplished by Faith. Certainly he roars as a lion. And never take Satan lightly.
I heard just recently a preacher who believed what I am saying but his attitude towards the powers of darkness was unwise. He made fun of him, saying that he was a toothless lion with no bark to his bite. However, the Scripture says that Satan looks to find those he may “devour (to drink down, to gulp entire; literally or figuratively).” This word is the same Greek word that describes the drowning of the Egyptians in the Red Sea (Heb. 11:29). Therefore, the potential of the Believer being consumed by evil is very real. In all humility, with dependence upon Christ, and our Faith secure in the Cross by which Satan was defeated, we are to appropriate the benefits of Grace and “resist him in the Strength and the Power of the Holy Spirit.” If we submit to God’s Process we will be resisting steadfast in the Faith the attempts of Satan to steal, kill, and destroy. He is a strong adversary but He is no match for our Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Seed of the woman! Amen!