the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil1 John 3:8
Let’s talk about an awkward subject. Let’s talk about Satan. Many people think the devil is funny. He’s not actually real just an imaginary being with horns and a pointy tail. But the bible teaches differently. The bible shows him to be an evil, spiritual being who relentlessly attacks Christ’s saints. However, I John 3:8 says, “the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil”. So, let’s discuss Satan. What are his works? How did Jesus destroy them?
The devil’s titles give us a grip on his works. Apollyon means destroyer. Satan means accuser or adversary. He is called the serpent because he lies and deceives. So, the devil is a lying, destroying enemy of God’s people. He is a “murderer” and the “father of lies”. Our enemy has great power. He can cause physical pain as in Job’s case. He can tempt us to sin. He can blind people’s minds to the truth. Often, he infects Christian’s minds with doubts, fears and anxieties. He tricks us into welcoming sin and then harshly accuses us of failure. Apollyon terrifies sinners with God’s wrath and deludes them into hopelessness.
However, all Satan’s power is limited. He is like a dog on a chain. Christians can resist him by grace. He may only do what God permits and no more. Also, his power is derived. A jailer may be physically weak but still able to lock up a prisoner because the prisoner has broken the law. Just so, Satan’s power to accuse derives from our sin in breaking God’s law. He knows that “the wages of sin is death” so instead of scaring us himself he uses death to frighten us. Satan realises that God judges sin so he hides God’s mercy and love and reveals to us only God’s wrath.
However, the gospel teaches that Christ destroyed the destroyer! Jesus Christ kept the entire law of God. Therefore, for all who come to him by faith, he gives his own righteousness as a free gift. The guilty prisoner is now innocent. He may go free! The jailer can do nothing! No more accusations of failure! In addition, Christ took the penalty of death upon his own body. No longer is death a judgment for sin but an entrance into glory and eternal life! Even more, Jesus comes to our rescue when tempted by sin. He never failed so he knows all of Satan’s tricks and traps and can safely guide us past them.
The devil is real. He is powerful. But the Son of God entered this world and removed the old serpent’s fangs and venom. Each person in Christ can resist the devil and he will flee. May each of you know this blessing and joy.