Tuesday, November 29

Should We Argue with the Devil?

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  --Romans 8:1

Today, the Church of the truly redeemed waffles in her assessment of sin. On the one hand, accommodation to the culture and infection from the numerous media outlets have desensitized much of the church to her true need for confession and repentance. She has grown lax, numb to her own sinfulness. On the other hand, without a proper doctrinal base, she has grown ignorant of the great victory wrought for her by the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. And for this cause she limps along without victory over sin, lost in the haze of truths loosely caught and even more loosely held. Therefore, she cannot truly enjoy Jesus Christ, properly worship Him, or experience the abundant joy he died to secure. 

If we are to grab the life offered us in Jesus, we'll need to deal with our sin biblically. One way we can do this is to take sin as seriously as God and confront Satan when we feel the temptations mounting. A. W. Tozer taught this: 
As for myself, I have learned to talk back to [the Devil] on this score. I say, "Yes, Devil, sin is terrible-but I remind you that I got it from you! And I remind you, Devil, that everything good-- forgiveness and cleansing and blessing-everything that is good I have freely received from Jesus Christ!"
Everything that is bad and that is against me I got from the devil--so why should he have the effrontery and the brass to argue with me about it? Yet he will do it because he is the devil, and he is committed to keeping God's children shut up in a little cage, their wings clipped so that they can never fly! (I Talk Back to the Devil, p. 6). 
Others do not believe that this is a solidly supported method from the Bible. I suppose it does have its merit in that it keeps the reality of Satan's nefarious labors ever before us. But we do not find such a confrontation taught in the letters of the New Testament. We are taught that we fight a spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6), and that Michael the archangel, when fighting over the body of Moses, cried out to the devil, "The Lord rebuke you" (Jude 9). While Scripture's main thrust is to make us aware of Satan's methods, we are not really taught to confront him face to face. Still, Tozer makes a good point. We need not be afraid of the evil one, though we should respect his power and wits. Certainly we can assert something without qualification, declare that you now are not under condemnation (not because we are so holy in ourselves), but most assuredly because we are made perfectly holy in Jesus Christ. There IS power in the blood. Be wary of Satan. Do not treat sin lightly. But make much of the grace of God which has turned our darkness into light through the finished work of Jesus. And be happy in Him!

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