We are now in chapter 20 of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology. If you are now just joining us, we are working through Grudem’s book chapter by chapter to help us have a more comprehensive understanding of God’s Word. I would encourage all of you to purchase the book and read it for yourselves, but if you cannot, I hope you will go back and read the last 19 blog posts from the beginning.
Today we are briefly talking about a dark topic, Satan and Demons. As it relates to this, we should have a spiritual healthy and Biblically grounded relationship with this doctrine of darkness. By this I mean that we should be aware of what God’s Word says about this topic and implement Biblical strategies, but we should not be overly interested it. Perhaps a helpful comparison would be teaching child about fire. They must be aware of its existence, but you do not want them playing with matches.
One thing we must understand is that Satan and demons are created beings. They are not equals to God. He made them and rules over them. (Colossians 1:16; Job 1:6). When they were first created they were not evil, however, at some point they rebelled against God. (2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6) This would have taken place before Genesis 3. This leads to a question of why? Isaiah 14:12-15 may be helpful. Some believe this text has two layers, a present context and a heavenly context. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north;c 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
Whether this is expressly referring to Satan or not, we do not know, but we do know that what is described is the root of sin, “I will make myself like the Most High.” And we also know that Satan is the Father of Lies (John 8:44), the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4), and desires Jesus to worship him (Matt. 4:9). What Satan is peddling to the world is the same poison that he drank himself, you can be your own God. The problem with poison is that it ends in death, and this is the reality for Satan and for all those who resist God and his plan of salvation.
On top of this, Satan desires your death. We are told he is our adversary “seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8). Unfortunately, many times this lion looks more like an angel, for “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). This is why the Apostle Paul tells us to “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). And the weapon that accompanies that armor is the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (v. 17), and this is how we resist Satan and push back the darkness, not only in our lives, but in this world. It is the Word of God that must take center stage again, as it once did in the Garden.