Get ready to tackle our hottest topic yet: the Devil.

The Big Lie – A Biblical word study on the Devil

What should we do about the Devil?

1 Peter 5:1-11
Ephesians 4:26-32, 6:10-20
James 4:1-10
1 John 3:1-11
Hebrews 2:5-18

More of The Big Lie

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1 Peter 5:1-11 (7/15/13)

In the overall battle between Good and Evil, it may seem that each one of us has such a small part to play that it is of no significance. That is not true. The Bible gives us specific instructions on the topic of what we should do about the Devil. My favorite verse about the Devil is one we read today: “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” What a great image! The Devil, as we learned weeks ago, is our adversary. The Devil is dangerous, like a roaring lion. And above all, the Devil seeks to do us harm. Peter gives us instructions: Watch out for the Devil! Resist him!

Ephesians 4:26-32, 6:10-20 (7/16/13)

Paul says that we should give the Devil no opportunity. He makes some specific suggestions. Work for a living, so that you don’t have to steal, and presumably so that you are too busy to get into trouble. Watch your tongue, not only so that you don’t sin by speaking evil, but also that you build up the community of the saints. Give up slander, which we know is a special tool of the Devil. Surround yourself with truth, righteousness, and above all faith, the word of God, and prayer. All these things deprive the Devil of the opportunity to tempt you.

By the way, most translations have “the evil one” in vs. 16. This is one of those places where it is impossible to tell from the Greek whether it means “the Evil One,” or merely “the wicked.” A few translations that I looked at have the latter. I think the majority probably favor “the Evil One” because of the context. Translation is a tricky business, and context can be really important in deciding what a word means in a particular sentence. Not everyone decides the same thing, so I encourage you not to argue about it, but rather to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving.

James 4:1-10 (7/17/13)

“Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.” I find that very encouraging and plausible. After all, so many people (including me, unfortunately) are so prone to believe his lies and fall in with his plans that he probably doesn’t have the time to spend on people who resist him! In contrast, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” What a promise! The Rev. Dr. Bob Templeton said, “God will come a blazing mile toward anyone who takes one step toward him in honest doubt.” (I think he was quoting someone; do you know who?) Not surprisingly, James immediately follows the promise that the Devil will flee from you with the injunction not to slander one another, which we have learned is one of the Devil’s primary tools.

1 John 3:1-11 (7/18/13)

The best way of resisting the Devil is to stop sinning. The number one job, of course, is to follow God’s Law. Very often non-believers think that means “thou shalt not”; however, the more important aspects of the Law have to do with what John calls “practicing righteousness.” Practicing righteousness is more than not doing what’s forbidden: we also have to do what is required. That still sounds like a lot of rules, but the good news is that the Law and the Prophets can be summarized in only two easy-to-remember rules. Love God. Love your neighbor. Anyone who practices righteousness in this way will have no trouble with the Devil.

Hebrews 2:5-18 (7/19/13)

The Devil is a liar, a slanderer, and above all, a tempter. We’re going to give the last word on the Devil to the writer of Hebrews. This writer presents a long and detailed argument showing new Christians that their faith in Jesus is well-founded because of his superiority to the angels, the temple, the Levitical priesthood, and the sacrifices of animals. The writer says that Jesus is able to make perfect propitiation for our sins because he understands them. By becoming just like us and dying in our place, Jesus is able to destroy the one who has the power of death, the Devil, and thus deliver us from the fear of death and the power of sin. Let Jesus help you when you are tempted, as he once was, by the Devil!

More of The Big Lie
The Son of God and the Father of Lies
The OT satan is always an adversary, but not always the Devil.
The Hebrew satan is translated various ways.
In the New Testament, both satanas and diabolos normally refer to the Devil.
Sometimes satanas and diabolos are used figuratively to refer to someone acting like the Devil.
Poneros – Evil in the New Testament
Demons cause sickness, not sin.
Sometimes Satan and demons cooperate with each other.
Neither Baalzebub nor Lucifer is a Biblical name for the Devil.
Belial means "worthless," and once it's used as a nickname for the Devil.
Satan's job description: Temptation and Lies
Our job description: Resist him!

Copyright 2013, 2017 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved. This page has been prepared for the web site by RPB.

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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