The Story: The devil is real, and spiritual warfare is a struggle (Eph. 6.10-20). But the devil has also been bound by our Lord Jesus, so that, as long as we don’t stray within the length of his chain, we’re free to plunder his holdings (Matt. 12.22-29). We are on a mission to take back the world – lost souls, sinful lives, broken relationships, ruined cultures – from the dominion of the devil, and he’s not going to take that lying down. But we can resist him by walking in obedience and humility, serving the Lord in all we do, and working hard to bring holiness to completion in the fear of God (2 Cor. 7.1; cf. 2 Pet. 1.5-11). This is hard work and can entail suffering of various kinds – even the suffering that comes as we struggle with temptation (cf. Ps. 73). But all this can be good for us if we will keep our eyes on Jesus and run our race with perseverance (Heb. 12.1, 2).
The Structure: The devil is not the ruler of this world. The True Ruler of this world has bound the devil and is in the business of putting allHis enemies and everything else under His feet for the sake of blessing and building His Church (Eph. 1.19-23). We’re on the side of the True Ruler, but we still have to contend with the pretender during this season of redemption and restoration. Know the devil’s tricks. Learn your own vulnerabilities. Practice the disciplines that can help you to resist temptation. God will grow you through each brush with the enemy of our souls, but you must remain resolute and determined to resist.
How would you explain to new believer what is involved in resisting the devil? Why must we do this?
Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Living the Glory: 1 Peter 5,” simply click here.
T. M. Moore
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.