Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12
* In a recent Barna survey of Christians, 60% said they think Satan is just a symbol of evil, and not a real, living being. Only about 26% said they believe the Devil is alive and real. We know from Scripture Satan IS INDEED a real, living being.
* The danger of thinking Satan is only a symbol, is that symbols are often not taken seriously: they are often excused away as something that is not threatening.
* The source of the murderous intent in man is the devil, for he was a liar and murderer from the beginning.
* The Devil’s aim is to make our lives miserable, cause problems, and ultimately to take away our faith in Christ.
* Just as he tried with Jesus, Satan will try to tempt us with portions of Scripture. But he will use variations of God’s Word. He will try using verses that are incomplete and/or out of context, with the real truth and meaning twisted by what he chooses to add or delete.
* Satan will be present with us in Church activities, trying to sow discord and undermine what we do. As Luther said, “Where God builds a Church, the Devil builds a Chapel.”
* Christ is more powerful than Satan and has overcome him. After the Devil tried to tempt Him, eventually Jesus had enough and ordered Satan to be gone (Matthew 4:10). Here Jesus exercised His authority as God and gave Satan a command which he had to obey.
* Three of the names of the Devil are: Tempter, Devil (which means accuser), and Satan (which means adversary or enemy).
* When Christ died on the cross, Satan’s power was limited and he was “put on a leash” so to speak. He is now powerless before Christ and God’s true Word. The only power he has now is what he is given outside that shield of protection. Satan knows His time is short, and his ultimate and eternal destruction is coming when Christ returns. Being limited and knowing his doom fuels his anger to be so active in the world today.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Holy Scripture is very clear on the point that Satan is indeed a real, living being. To regard him as otherwise is dangerous for that can foster complacency and apathy, which is often the opening he is looking for to enable an attack. He will use any method he can, including twisting and misapplying the very Word of God in order to cause doubts in our faith or tempt us. After tempting us into sin, then as the liar he is, he changes his angle and accuses us. When Christ said, “It is finished,” so was Satan. He was for the most part “hung out to dry”, for the blood of God’s Son had now made atonement for the sins of the world. The accusations of Satan are meaningless for those whose salvation is in Christ. Satan is a real enemy, but through Christ we are protected.