Does Satan Exist?
Yes, Satan exists. Biblical Christianity understands Satan to be all too real. The Bible presents Satan in a straightforward and honest way. He is a real and present danger who sets himself as the enemy of God and His purposes – and as the enemy of God’s people.
Contemporary Christians often err, on the one hand, by denying Satan’s existence, influence, or power. This is to deny what the Bible clearly reveals. Satan is revealed to be a tempter who seeks to subvert God’s purposes and to destroy God’s people. Satan tried Job in order to discredit God and he tempted Jesus Christ in order to destroy His mission and ministry. In both cases, Satan was unsuccessful.
Satan is a real and present danger, but Christians err on the other extreme by misunderstanding Satan and exaggerating his power. Christianity is not a dualism, with God understood to be the holy deity and Satan construed as the evil deity. God alone is God. Satan is a created being who rebelled against his Creator, and even now is the enemy of God’s purposes. He led a rebellion against God in heaven and now leads a continuing rebellion against God on earth. But Satan is no equal to God, and his own defeat was fully secured by Jesus Christ on the cross.
C. S. Lewis has the Christian attitude toward Satan just about perfect in his little classic, The Screwtape Letters. Give Satan no more or less than is his due. Deny him his victory by giving him neither too much nor too little attention. In the end, he is no threat to those who are secured in Christ. We do well to mock him as he seeks to mock our Christ.
Satan exists today as a defeated foe, who still has the power to oppose God and to seek to discredit God’s purposes. His judgment by God will be awesome and terrible. As the great reformer Martin Luther majestically wrote in his classic hymn, “one little word shall fell him.” That word is Christ.
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