Is The Devil Real
Is the Devil Real - What does the Bible say?
Whether we call him Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub - or whether we are afraid to speak his name at all - many people are concerned about the devil.
Is the devil real? Can he assume different shapes? How much power does he have? If God is all-powerful, how could the devil have rebelled against Him and taken up dominion on earth?
The Bible, taken literally, clearly states the devil exists. Satan is mentioned by name in 47 passages (NIV). The devil is mentioned in 33 more. He is described as the one who tempted Adam and Eve into original sin in the Garden of Eden; he is the one who tempted Jesus in the desert.
Some people don't believe the Bible is literally true. When they ask, "Is the devil real?" they must rely more on personal experiences in the world.
Is the Devil Real - How does the devil work?
No one can deny that there is evil in the world. How are we to discern whether this is simply the result of human nature, as opposed to evidence of some outside force at work?
Here, again, it is interesting to look at the way Satan worked in the Bible and compare that with the issues we face in day-to-day living.
When Satan tempted Jesus, he appealed to three things: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life. First he challenged Jesus, after a 40-day fast, to use his powers to make food and satisfy His fleshly needs. Then he challenged Jesus to look at the world from a high place and offered Him dominion over all He saw. Finally, he tempted Jesus to throw Himself down from a tower, saying that surely, as God's son, He would be saved - an appeal to pride.
Whatever temptations we face, they seem to fall into these categories as well. Pornography, adultery, gluttony all appeal to lusts of the flesh. Materialism and the quest for power appeal to the lust of the eyes. And even as we strive to reach spiritual heights, we are threatened with the sinful pride of believing WE are more important than God.
Perhaps the devil doesn't appear to us in person. Perhaps he doesn't caper about with a pitchfork, with horns and a forked tail. But we may know he is there by the way he acts, just as we may know a skunk is near through its unmistakable stench.
Is the Devil Real - What is our response?
We are well advised to be on our guard. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:11-12 that we should:
"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
However, we must not forget that Jesus, through His death on the cross and resurrection, has defeated Satan. We need only accept this victory from His hands to know that we will prevail against the devil, whatever form he takes. We do this by confessing, repenting, asking forgiveness for our sins, and asking Jesus to be our Lord and Savior.
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