Understanding Satan, Part 2

"So if Satan is real and our fight is “against the cosmic powers over this present darkness,” what has God given us to protect us?"

Read Part 1 here.

In my last post, we looked at the reality of Satan, and a few of the different ways he has worked in the past. In this post I want to look briefly at three different New Testament Passages that teach us how we, as Christians, can understand and combat the working of Satan in our lives.

We ended last week’s post in Ephesians 6. Let’s go back there and take a look at the verse in context:

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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Ephesians 6:10-20 ESV

So if Satan is real and our fight is “against the cosmic powers over this present darkness,” what has God given us to protect us? Paul identifies six things

  • 1. Truth
  • 2. Righteousness
  • 3. The Gospel of Peace
  • 4. Faith
  • 5. Salvation
  • 6. The Word of God

Satan is a liar (this began with Adam and Eve), and so we must cling to the truth of Christ and what he has done through the Gospel as our defense.

Satan is an accuser (Rev 12:10), and so we must stand on the righteousness we have been given through Christ, by which we have been declared forgiven, redeemed, and loved.

Satan is a divider, but Christ is our peace and “has broken down the wall of hostility” (Eph 2:14) bringing the good news of our peace with Him and the peace we can now have with one another.

Satan is a destroyer, and through his lies and accusations he tries to lead us to believe that we don’t have enough faith or that we need more faith. But, even our faith is a gift from God (Eph 2:8) and a reminder of God’s incredible grace. Our defense against Satan is the faith that we do have (regardless of it’s size or strength).

Satan is an enslaver, but Christ has saved you and set you free. Being reminded of your salvation and your freedom from sin and guilt and shame leaves Satan powerless to entrap you again (Gal 5:1).

Satan is a communicator. He provides a “voice,” a suggestion, that oftentimes confirms the suspicions of your flesh. You feel like the accusations or lies are true, so you become convinced that they must be. But God is a communicator too. And he has communicated extensively and sufficiently through his Word. It is ultimately in his Word that we learn of the truth, our righteousness, our peace, our faith, and our salvation, which provide us such powerful protection against the schemes of Satan.

God has not left us unprepared for the battle that continually wages around us in the spiritual realm. In fact, he has given us clear instructions as to how to be protected against Satan as he works so devastatingly in our world. Still, these aren’t the only instructions. Next week we will look at two more passages that teach us specifically not only how we can be protected, but how we can actively resist Satan as well.