Study 9 Objective: Who or what is Satan, and why do Christians need to beware of him?
What values underpin your day to day living?
Do any of them reflect “the god of this age” and his values?
What Satan does
“The devil has sinned from the beginning” of his rebellion (1 John 3:8). “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks it from
his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). With his lies he accuses believers “before our God day and night” (Revelation 12:10).
He is evil, just as he seduced humankind into being evil in the days of Noah: the intents of the thoughts of his heart are only evil continually (Genesis 6:5).
His desire is to exert his evil influence on believers and potential believers in order to deflect them from “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” so that they will not be “partakers of the divine nature” (1 Peter 1:4).
To that end he tempts the Christian to sin, as he did Christ (Matthew 4:1-11), and uses deceptive cunning as he did with Eve to detract them “from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). Sometimes in
order to do so he “transforms himself into an angel of light” (11:14), pretending to be something he isn’t.
Satan seeks, through temptation and through the sway of society under his control, to get Christians to alienate themselves from God.
A believer separates himself or herself from God through choosing, out of his or her own free will, to sin by giving into sinful human nature, thus following Satan’s degenerate ways and accepting his considerable
deceitful influence (Matthew 4:1-10, 1 John 2:16-17, 3:8, 5:19,
Ephesians 2:2, Colossians 1: 21, I Peter 5:8, James 3:15).
However, it is important to remember that Satan and his demons, including all of Satan’s temptations, are subject to God’s authority.
God allows such activity to happen because God’s will is that believers have the freedom (free will) to make spiritual choices. (Job 1:6-12, Mark 1:27, Luke 4:41, Colossians 1:16-17, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Luke 22:42, I Corinthians 14:32).
How are you tempted, and how do you seek to overcome temptations?
How do you exercise your free will to follow Jesus Christ?
How should the believer respond to Satan?
The principal biblically-prescribed response for the believer to Satan and to his tempting us to sin is to “resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7; Matthew 4:1-10), thus giving “no place” or opportunity to him (Ephesians 4:27).
Resisting Satan involves praying for protection, submitting to God in obedience to Christ, being aware of how evil can attract us, acquiring spiritual attributes (which Paul calls putting on the whole armour of God), and having faith in Christ who looks after us through the Holy Spirit
(Matthew 6:31, James 4:7, 2 Corinthians 2:11, 10:4-5, Ephesians 6:10-18, 2
Resisting also implies being spiritually alert “because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8-9)