Satan and Sin
If you believe in God, and you believe the Bible is the word of God, then what the Bible says about Satan and sin will help prepare you to deal with sin. The Bible that reveals God, and tells us about Satan and his attempts to wage war against the people of God, is the only means through which Jehovah has chosen to reveal what sin is, and how to overcome it. As we consider the subjects of Satan and Sin, let us keep our conclusions within the bounds of God’s revelation, and not any previous conceived ideas we may have been taught or developed on our own.
The scriptures describe Satan in numerous ways: Satan is referred to as Belial, i.e., worthlessness or hopelessness. When Jesus was tempted (Matthew 4:3), Satan was referred to as the devil, i.e., an accuser, slanderer: the enemy of God and man. Most people presume Satan is a fallen angel, however, God does not reveal the exact nature of his origin, but does warn us of his characteristics and desire to destroy the works of God. Having such information will help us understand our struggles and teach us how to overcome them.
When dealing with the subject of Satan and Sin it is imperative that we understand what sin is and how Satan uses it to tempt us. Sin is “literally, a missing of the mark” (W.E. Vines). Missing the mark can been seen in a symbol of an archer. When the arrow strikes on either side of the bull’s eye, it’s a missing of the mark. As opposed to society’s attempt to make the mark (bulls eye) bigger, God is the one that establishes the mark and determines if we hit or miss. Sin can be the result of “omission or commission, in thought and feeling, or in speech and action” (Thayer’s). We either don’t do what we’re supposed to do, or do what we shouldn’t. The Bible defines sin as: a transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4); all unrighteousness (1 John 5:17); failing to do good (James 4:17); conceived lust (James 1:15) and that which violates the conscience (Romans 14:23). Satan uses his devices to tempt man through three avenues (1 John 2:15-16): The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. When Satan tempted Eve, she saw the fruit was good for food, it was pleasant to the eyes, and it was desired to make one wise. When Satan tempted Jesus he also appealed to the lust of the flesh, “command that these stones become bread,” the pride of life, “If thou art the Son of God,” and the lust of the eyes, “All these things will I give thee” (Matthew 4:1-9). These same ploys are utilized today to get men and women to turn away from God, and serve Satan.
The characteristics of Satan are exposed in God’s word. The scriptures tell us that Satan can quote scripture, appeals to human wisdom, takes advantage of man’s weaknesses, desires the souls of man, and does anything in his power to draw people away from God to worship and serve him.
The consequences of sin are physically devastating. When we look to the scriptures we see how sin resulted in the death of the son of David and Bathsheba. The sin of Herod, when he took his brother Philips wife, resulted in the murder of John the Baptist, and ultimately the sin of Judas Iscariot, after he had betrayed Jesus, resulted in him committing suicide. As devastating as sin is physically, the far more significant devastation is spiritual. Sin separates man from his Creator. The scriptures tell us, “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Death is a separation. Physically: “the body apart from the spirit is dead” (James 2:26). Spiritually, “your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2).
God is concerned about His creation. So concerned, that his Son “became flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), and suffered death on our behalf that we might be reconciled to God through him (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). God also tells us that “in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Satan would have us believe that any religion is fine, or that good moral living will suffice. God however requires two things: that we know him, and obey him. Paul referred to “the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus: who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
The next time you think about sin, remember that it was sin that caused the death of Jesus: our sins. It is sin that causes broken homes, crime, and war. And remember that Satan is the father of it all. Whom do you want to call Father.