Tuesday: Christians Versus the Devil

Read James 4:7.

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

What clear promise is given to the one who stands against the devil? How does one stand against a force so much more powerful than we are, in and of ourselves? See also Deut. 4:4.

The Christian is not a helpless victim, at the mercy of the devil (can you see here, too, why it’s so important to understand the literal reality of Satan and the fallen angels?). But the Christian is not so much called upon to rise in opposition to the devil as to take a stand against him. The word translated as “resist” is the Greek anthistemi, which means “taking a stand against something.” It is an attitude the Christian takes that causes the devil to flee. That attitude has to be one of complete surrender to Jesus, who alone has the power to cause the devil to flee from us.

Study 1 Peter 5:6-10. What promise is given to the Christian in the face of an enemy who is described as a “roaring lion” seeking someone to devour? How do these texts help us to understand what James wrote above? See also Ephesians 4:27 and  Eph. 6:11.

Peter wrote these words to admonish Christians who were suffering persecution. Obviously he knew that lurking behind the persecution his readers were suffering was the archenemy, Satan. The apostle admonished his readers to resist the devil. Here Peter uses the word anthistemi, as did James but adds the modifier stereoi (hard or firm). Thus, he suggests that the devil may flee from those who present a solid, rock-like front against his attacks. A cowardly attitude will not suffice. Still, Peter knows, that in spite of a strong stand, suffering may endure for a while yet; but God Himself will perfect (mend), establish, strengthen, and settle the Christian (1 Peter 5:10).

Even with all the promises given here, we are not promised freedom from suffering, are we? What Christian doesn’t know the reality of suffering? As humans, we seem destined in this world to suffer. What crucial difference should our faith make for us amid sorrows and pain?



Tuesday: Christians Versus the Devil — 15 Comments

  1. God has given us that blessed hope in Christ Jesus, we are more than just christian save by grace we are overcomers in Christ.

  2. AS christian it is important to note that we can not overcome the devil by merely talking but by portraying a Christ like attitude in everything, in our words and actions. That then is resisting the devil.

  3. We are brand plucked out of fire and the devil want oppose our purity. Brothers it not our personal battle, it is God's. When we make firm our will to resist the devil,he will flee from us. Though the victory of Christ does not free us from persecutions, one thing is certain, we may be trumpled but not crushed. we can read from the account of Paul from 2 Cor. 4:7-17.this is an exceptional suffering for Christ and experienced many forms of hardships and as such he is the authoritative voice of this subject of suffering faith and victory in Jesus.
    Brethren when we stand firm for the Lord. He Himself will perfect, establiish, strength and settle us. We are more than conquerers in Christ.

  4. The Devil has discovered that a lot of us are more comfortable simply appearing to resist the devil, but fewer will actually put on that strong, firm resistance. almost as if we're afraid of the persecution that will match our rock-solid stand. The Lord be praised therefore, that, in spite of our weakness to "fully" and openly resist the devil, He will indeed perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle us. The victory is not just promised, it is certain! Halelujah!

    • Perhaps such a firm stand will create opposition and a closing up of the work where otherwise it might have remained open.

      “Let everyone bear in mind that we are in no case to invite persecution. We are not to use harsh and cutting words. Keep them out of every article written, drop them out of every address given. Let the word of God do the cutting, the rebuking: let finite men hide and abide in Jesus Christ. Let the spirit of Christ appear. Let all be guarded in their words, lest they place those not of our faith in deadly opposition against us, and give Satan an opportunity to use the unadvised words to hedge up our way.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, Page 64

      • I think that would depend on whether we take a firm stand against the devil or against other people. 😉

        The lesson is very balanced, quoting Paul's counsel to "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Eph. 6:11) as well as Peter's counsel to "humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:6-7)

        It is a paradox of the gospel that in apparent weakness, we are strong, but in apparent strength (our own), we are weak.

        If we remember that the greatest battle we will ever have to fight is the battle against self, we can see that no half-hearted stand will do. We will, indeed, need to be firm. Otherwise the battle is lost before it is begun.

  5. when we look at the battle at hand,we are to realise even more our dependance on christ.but we are also not to foget to do our part resist the devil and he will flee from you.

  6. This lesson is a blessing to me. It's a confirmation of God's presence and love for me that my Sabbath School lesson gives me just the message I need to address the issues I face daily. A friend reminded me recently, that our troubles are often evidence that we are treading the right path. Especially if we've found ourselves making our way back to a right relationship with God.

  7. In this lesson we are instructed what to do but not to what extent we are to do it. For that we need to go to another text in the Bible. "You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin" (Heb. 12:4 NKJV). In this verse a word with the same root as anthistemi is used, antikathistemi, whose definition is similar.

    I liken the whole thing to the power steering in a car. The power steering module has the power but no direction and doesn't turn the car until someone turns the steering wheel. When a person turns the steering wheel the module amplifies the movement just like an audio amplifier does with sound. Therefore, the little feeble effort we have then becomes a lot of power through the module.

    Our resistance to the devil is like that in some ways. We are given the power to decide but have no power to do. When we clearly decide to move in a particular direction the power of God is applied and we are then able to do what we would not be able to do otherwise (Jn 15:5). The decision is up to us and is the thing that we, "have not yet resisted to bloodshed" in doing. If we would "choose" to do what God would have us to do then power would be given to move mountains if necessary (Mat 17:20; Mk 9:23). The choice is ours to make, "for you have need of endurance" (Heb. 10:36 NKJV) in order to turn it into victory.

  8. Hello and Praise the Lord, !

    Have you ever fallen down? Maybe you were learning to ride a bike. Maybe you were running and stumbled. Maybe you were walking in the woods and tripped over a rock or a tree root. Depending on the situation you were in, it probably did not feel very good to you. It was probably unexpected. You may have even gotten some bumps and bruises from the impact of the fall. If others saw you fall, it may have even been quite embarrassing. It probably wasn't something that you would tweet about or announce on Facebook. We have all experienced a fall of some magnitude in our lives. We have all been there. Chances are pretty good too, that in the very near future, we might experience another unexpected fall. It happens. It's life. But we get back up again...God is always in control n declares that u leave the battle for Him!!

  9. Its not so much about the Christian verses the Devil. Its about the Spirit of God, given to Jesus and, we through faith, are partakers of the Power found with that Spirit, dwelling within you through the process of sanctification in overcoming the flesh, sin. As we turn away from the wiles of the devil, the attraction diminishes as we set our eyes, our path and desires upon Jesus. I no longer am attracted to smoke, but I have smoked, I no longer desire alcohol, but I have drank, I no longer desire to be rebellious before God but have been found in rebellion. When I died in the watery grave and arose, Christ arose within me and He overcame the propensity to sin that I might live without sin. Therefore I am set free and the devil can do what he may, but the Grace of God abounds more then the limited power of the adversary...I am set free


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