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Monday, May 06, 2013

The Devil, our Enemy

Part of my journey in re-reading the life of Christ has taken me on a side trail that wound all the way back to the start, with Creation itself. The life of Christ does not really start in the gospels, but with Creation--actually before Creation; however, this is not the subject. Our understanding of Christ begins with Creation because, in effect, this is our beginning. He is our Creator.

Reading Genesis, one is able to suspect that most minds run on “fast-forward,” along with the text. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, rest. Then we have the details concerning the creation of man and the fall, then we have the rest of the Bible. What happened between the Creation of man and the fall of humanity into sin and death by sin? Man walked with God, man was tempted and was deceived. Was it over that quickly? I get the sense of the text that God and man enjoyed walking together for a long, long time. I will even venture that the length of time man spent in unbroken relationship was so long it would SEEM like an eternity.

Then there was the temptation. Did it happen in one fell swoop, or over the course of time? Given the outcome, I will suggest that it didn't take long.

Where I’m dwelling right now is the fact that our Savior-to-be knew of an enemy and of all he was capable. When Satan appeared in the garden, he appeared the same way Jesus would describe him later, as one who is “a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth” (John 8:44). Interestingly, there is no universal law of duality that is over Jesus or Satan that demands that one cannot exist without the other. The existence of God does not depend on the existence of the devil and most importantly, God will continue to exist long after the devil is finally put away in everlasting punishment. Satan is a created being.

This may beg the question, “well, if God created Satan then God is the author of sin. Sin is His fault.” No, sin is God’s moral law broken. God does not break His own laws, and neither does He tempt anyone. This is why The Savior is so important. His death, burial and resurrection sets the repentant free from the power of sin and into an eternity free from the presence of sin. God in Christ Jesus is the destroyer of sin.

Nothing about the devil has changed. He is still a murderer and a liar. God our Creator is the life-giver through Jesus Christ, in whom everything holds together, the Truth. Jesus makes the repentant enemy of God His children. Satan will never repent.

Here’s the bottom line:
Satan believes in God.
Satan believes in Jesus.
Satan believes Jesus died and rose again.
What makes you different than the devil?

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