FROM THE PERSPECTIVE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF SALVATION

 

Zech 3:1-2

 

'Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! … is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?"'

 

This indicates that Satan has no right to accuse those whom God has saved.

 

John 8:32,36

 

'you will know the truth and the truth will set you free … So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'

 

In the context, this 'setting free' is necessary because people are enslaved by Satan. Christ, [= the truth] set's people free from this slavery to Satan and sin. This is not about setting them free from demonization, but from their domination by and allegiance to Satan.

 

John 12:31

 

'Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.'

 

Jesus said this just before his death/resurrection. By that death Satan, the prince [= ruler] of this world, is 'driven out' - he is robbed of his role and his authority, he no longer has jurisdiction over the inhabitants of this world. [At one level this is true in a cosmic sense; at another level it becomes true for each individual as that individual is saved.] One's eschatological perspective affects one's understanding here.

 

John 14:30

 

'for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me' [KJV: 'hath nothing in me']

 

Satan had no hold on Jesus: because there is nothing in Jesus that comes from Satan, Satan had no power to [1] tempt him to give up the cross, and, more significantly, [2] no accusation against him that would render his substitutionary death invalid. There was nothing in Jesus that would give Satan any right to hold him in death. Thus Jesus stated: 'the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.' [verse 31]. It is only on the basis of this perfect life that Jesus, free from any guilt and accusation himself, could bear our guilt, pay our penalty. He knows that this 'prince of the world' is and will be defeated by the cross.

 

John 16:11

 

'and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.'

 

Anticipating the impact of his death Jesus states that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of judgment because by Christ's death the 'prince of this world' stands condemned [= judged; perfect tense = has already been condemned and is still in that state of condemnation]. By Christ's death Satan is shown to be wrong, defeated and disempowered. Those who belong to Satan are left without a leg to stand on. All their allegiance to Satan and his ways is shown to be wrong, and that they also stand under the same judgment that fell upon Satan.

 

Acts 26:18

 

'I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me'

 

The gospel set people free from the power [authority] of Satan with the result that they receive forgiveness of sins and are numbered with the sanctified - with those who belong to God.

 

Rom 8:31-39

 

' If God is for us, who can be against us? ...Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?...Who is he that condemns?...Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? '

 

Because salvation means that God has declared us 'not guilty/acquitted' in Christ and removed us from the condemnation generated by the law of sin and death, no accusation against us can legally stand. Nothing, no one, not even Satan, can ever again separate us from the love of God.

 

2 Cor 4:4-6

 

'God...has made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ'

 

God replaces the blindness caused by Satan [verse 4] with his glorious light, so that we now see God in seeing Christ.

 

Gal 1:4

 

Christ 'gave himself to rescue us from this present evil age'

 

Satan is called the 'god of this age' – so this verse implies that Jesus rescues us from his jurisdiction.

 

Eph 1:20-21

 

'the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church'

 

The power of God exercised in the death/resurrection of Christ placed Jesus Christ 'far above' all other powers and authorities. All things are under his feet. He is head over everything. Paul prays that we will know and understand this great and mighty power. He wants us to know that the authority of Christ over all other powers, his subjection of all other powers, is 'for the church'. This is the perspective in which we should think about Satan and demons. They are under the surpassing power of Christ, and this supremacy of Christ over them is for us, the church.

 

Eph 2:2-6

 

'in which you used to live'

 

God has made us alive in Christ, rescuing us from the 'ruler of the kingdom of the air' and from the 'spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient'. Before this rescue we were 'dead': now we are 'alive'.

 

Col 1:13

 

'he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the son he loves'

 

This clearly teaches describes God's saving work as rescuing us out from Satan's dark kingdom and making us stand in the kingdom of Jesus. The Christian is no longer under the authority of Satan. We have a new king and are members of a new kingdom. We are beyond Satan's jurisdiction.

 

Col 2:15

 

'And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.'

 

By the cross Christ disarmed Satan and demons of their authority, publicly demonstrated both his superior power and their disempowerment, and demonstrating his victory and their defeat. The resurrection is public evidence that Christ is in charge - not Satan or demons. The Greek text speaks of Christ leading these conquered/defeated foes captive in a triumphal public procession.

 

Heb 2:14-15

 

'so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death - that is, the devil - and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death'

By his death Jesus defeats/destroys Satan.

 

Satan prior to this held the power of death. [He still holds it over those who do not know Christ.]

By his death Jesus liberates all those whom the fear of death [along with condemnation and judgment] were held in slavery by Satan.

1 John 3:8-10

 

'The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning because he has been born of God. '

 

This must never be interpreted to teach perfection or eradication of sin: but it does clearly indicate that a person who is a true believer is a person who now has a radically different attitude to sin. He no longer keeps on sinning. He now has a different Father, and will increasingly and in an on-going manner be evidencing the nature of his new Father, and his new identity, rather than that of the old one. What Satan previously automatically generated in us - rebellion against God, sin and evil - he is no longer able to do, because Christ came to destroy his work.

1 John 5:18

 

'the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him'

 

This describes the safety of those who are born of God. Jesus, the one born of God, keeps us safe. Satan cannot harm us. Because Satan is the prince of demons we can safely assume that this includes keeping us safe from them as well. Greek: 'harm' 'hapto' touch, bring in contact, fasten, meddle, lay hold of, handle, have intercourse with.

Rev 12 10b

 

'the accuser of our brothers … has been hurled down'

 

Depending on one's eschatological viewpoint, this may be understood to have effectively happened at the cross, where Satan's right to accuse has been removed [Romans 8:31-35; Col 1:22]

 

 

From the biblical description of the salvation we receive from God and through Christ, we learn: 

[1] Salvation = being rescued from the authority and the kingdom of Satan . Satan has no longer any rights or authority over the Christian. 

[2] Salvation = removal from accusation and condemnation: no one can ever again accuse or condemn us for our sin, nor ever again separate us from God and his love. Not even Satan can do this.

[3] Salvation = a reversal of the spiritual blindness and ignorance of God caused by Satan

 

[4] Salvation = a change of fathers – from Satan to God.

 

[5] Salvation = being delivered from death and from the fear of death

 

[6] Salvation = being rescued from the place where Satan rules, from Satan's dark kingdom, and being placed in the kingdom of Jesus

 

[7] Salvation = being set free from Satan's authority and domination

 

[8] To be saved = to be given a whole new life: a new allegiance, a new alignment, a new nature – that is no longer aligned with Satan but with Christ, that is no longer biased towards sin, but towards godliness. Our automatic walk in the ways of Satan has been stopped.

 

[9] Salvation = being kept safe by God with the result that Satan can't touch/harm us. 

 

[10] The death/resurrection of Christ = the destruction of Satan's power and authority

 

[11]  The death/resurrection of Christ = the triumphant display of the superior power and authority of Jesus Christ

 

[12] The death/resurrection of Christ = a demonstration of the power and authority of Christ over Satan and demons that is active on behalf of the church. We belong to Jesus, and they are all under his feet.

The very nature of salvation assures us that we are safe from Satan's authority, power, domination, enslavement and harm. To believe that Christians can be demon possessed necessitates a re-definition of the meaning and significance of salvation and the death/resurrection of Christ.