Tuesday: Christians Versus the Devil

Read James 4:7.

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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?

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Tuesday: Christians Versus the Devil — 15 Comments