Todd Clippard

Topic(s): God’s Sovereignty, Satan

While it would seem that it is perfectly obvious that God is much more powerful than the devil, in practice it often seems otherwise because the devil, or Satan, wields so much power today. Since our world is filled with pain and violence, He often seems to have more followers working actively for him. If the devil is not more powerful, he frequently seems as powerful as God, and definitely more popular.

The Scriptures warn us that we must be on guard against Satan. In his warning about false teachers, Paul said that Satan is transformed into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). The devil is so deceptive that he may appear to be as beautiful as an angel of light. Peter warned, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan, whose very name means the Accuser, seduced Eve in the Garden, tormented Job, and even tempted Jesus to worship him. John called the devil that old serpent which deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9). The devil is powerful, and hurtful to God’s children, but his power comes only as God has allowed him to have power.

Satan is not deity or a god. He is not omnipotent. When he tested Job, God limited what he could do. First he could not touch Job’s body: “Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand” (Job 1:12). Second, he could not take Job’s life: “Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life” (Job 2:6). When he is finally cast into hell, he will be powerless to resist. “The devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10). Our Lord created the world, and all things that are in it. “For by him [Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (Colossians 1:16). Satan, God’s creation, rebelled against God. “The great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9).cleardot.gif

James commands: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). This should encourage us to resist the devil, and help us to realize that Satan’s power is limited. John the apostle gives wonderful encouragement to Christians concerning the battle with Satan. He writes: “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he [the Lord] that is in you, than he [the devil] that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Our Lord is much more powerful than the devil, and when we rely on Him, we can stand against Satan. We must be ever watchful, however, because our adversary is walking about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour us. Although he can make good appear evil, and evil appear good, he will flee from us when we resist him and stand in the Lord.

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