Translation of Fred Smolchuck's monthly "Fred's Epistle to the Ukrainians"
Don't you forget it ! -- Satan is our deadly enemy, and he fully intends to destroy us. Cancel the idea that he is a comical imp dressed in red tights, sporting a tail, goatee, a pair of horns, and carries a pitchfork in his hands. On the contrary, he is a powerful spirit being who leads a host of highly organized fallen angels and demons.
The Bible names him "Satan" (the adversary), and "the devil" (the slanderer). He is described as the dragon, the serpent, as a roaring lion, a liar, murderer, and the wily-crafty accuser of the brethren. He is the epitome of all that is evil, and to top if off, he hates God and God's people. Jesus warned Peter, "Satan wants to have you, to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith fail not" (Lk. 22:31).
Beware: Satan is our adversary: "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph. 6:12). He is called "The prince of this world." He is powerful, clever, vicious and determined to destroy us. We must overcome him in our personal life. But how can we ever expect to defeat him?
How can we overcome the devil?
The Apostle John received the KEY to overcoming Satan. Jesus told John that the "brethren" overcame the devil "by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony" -- and by completely dedicating themselves to Christ, even if it meant martyrdom (Rev. 12:11).
I. Overcoming the devil by "the blood of the Lamb."
What has the "blood of the Lamb" to do with overcoming the devil? By shedding His precious holy blood on Calvary's cross, Jesus broke Satan's hold on mankind. Satan had us bound by sin, but Jesus "freed us from our sins by His blood" (Rev. 1:5). It is Christ's blood that redeemed us (1 Pet. 1:19). By His own blood He obtained eternal redemption for us (Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:12).
Never minimize the value of the blood of Christ. The world may ridicule what it calls, our "bloody religion", but it is this precious blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all our sins (1 John 1:7). It is this blood that brought us to God (Eph. 2:13) and justifies us before God (Rom. 5:9).
Christ's shed blood is the evidence to Satan and to the world, of our complete redemption. The full price has been paid to set us free from sin and Satan. His authority over us has been broken. The shed blood of Christ certifies His victory over Satan.
Our claim to be under the "blood" declares Christ as our victorious leader. We should not hesitate to flaunt that in the devil's face.
II. Overcoming the devil by "the word of our testimony"
Our testimony about what? About our identity with Christ. We are no longer our own, for we have been bought with a price. We belong to Him, and the price He paid was His own blood, His life (1 Cor. 6:19,20; 1 Pet. 1:19). This calls for publicly declaring our identity with Christ. We need not be ashamed to declare Him as our Savior before the whole world.
By testifying to the transforming power of Christ in our lives we become spiritually more effective. Our bond with Christ is made stronger.
By testifying of Christ's power to save, to heal, to help, and to sustain, Satan's efforts to trip us up becomes fruitless.
By witnessing about Christ to the unsaved the devil's stronghold is broken.
We need to acquaint ourselves with God's Word and give testimony as to its verification. Jesus defeated Satan when tempted in the wilderness, by using the Scriptures to rebuff the tempter..
III. Overcoming the devil by full dedication to Christ
The more we dedicate ourselves to Christ, the weaker become the thrusts of the devil. Paul said, "For me to live is Christ." When he realized how vulnerable he was to temptation he cried out, "Who shall deliver me?" In the next breath he answered his own question with, "I thank God, through Jesus our Lord!" (Romans 7:24, 25).
Rejecting self in behalf of Christ is required of Christians. Jesus said that if we wanted to follow Him it would mean, "denying our selves." It means setting our mind and affections on "things above." It calls for loving Christ to the point of being willing to sacrifice life itself for Him. In the face of such dedication the devil doesn't have a chance.
1. Don't under estimate the devil. Be aware that he has evil designs on our lives. He hates us.
2 Be aware -- that the devil was defeated by Jesus at Calvary and at the tomb. Christ has the "keys of death and hell."
3. Remember that "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." With Christ, we will defeat the devil in our daily encounters. "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13).
4. "Resist the devil and he will flee from you!" (James 4:7) "Withstand the devil steadfastly by your faith" (1 Pet.5:9). Do it in the name of Jesus, and on the authority of His blood. Let us audibly declare our faith in God's Word, which never fails. Rebuke the devil in Jesus name, reminding him that we are God's redeemed children.
5. Loving Christ more than anything, will give us a boldness and an authority over the devil. Walking with Christ leaves the devil powerless.
Satan is clever, a great liar, even setting himself as an "angel of light." But this need not deceive God's people. We must thoroughly acquaint ourselves with God's Word. It will show us we are God's children; -- it will reveal the devil as a deceiver, a vicious enemy, -- and the Word will give us faith, confidence and boldness to oppose the devil. Jesus tells His followers, "Fear not!" "Neither give place to the devil" "Stand against the wiles of the devil." "Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
God's people need not fear the devil or be intimidated by him if they walk with Christ and boldly declare their affiliation with Him through His blood. This also calls for "denying ourselves, taking up our cross" and following Christ (Mat. 16:24).
Victory is ours! -- "and they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and loved not their lives unto the death."
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