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How the Word of God Enables Us to Defeat the Devil

The following post is adapted from “When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy” by John Piper. 


The Word of God Enables Us to Defeat the Devil

The devil is real and terrible. He is much stronger than we are, and he aims to deceive and destroy. Jesus said, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Yet he has been decisively defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Bible teaches that Christ took on himself human nature so “that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil” (Heb. 2:14). The destruction was decisive, though not final. Because of Christ’s shed blood for our sins, the devil cannot destroy those who are in Christ.  The reason is that his accusations are no longer valid. The only thing that could sentence us to eternal destruction is unforgiven sin. But the cross obtained complete forgiveness. Therefore, the devil can only kill us, but not damn us.

Yes, he has that much power. Jesus said to the church in Smyrna, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10). Where is the victory in that? John tells us in Revelation 12:11: “And they have conquered [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” By trusting Jesus’ blood to cover all their sins, and by holding on to their faith even to death, they conquered the devil.

The devil is conquered wherever his design to devour faith is defeated. That defeat is by the cross of Christ and the Word of God. John, who knew the devil’s workings so well, said in his first letter, “I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one” (1 John 2:14). The Word of God is the power that overcomes the devil.  So it was with Jesus in the wilderness. To every temptation thrown at him by the devil, he quoted Scripture (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10). If Jesus was himself the Word of God, and could command demons so that they obey him (Mark 1:27), and yet he depended on Scripture to deflect the temptations of the devil, so should we.

It’s true, Paul says: “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16). So faith is the great devil-defeater. “Resist him, firm in your faith” (1 Pet. 5:9). But faith in what? The Word of God. The promises of God. Therefore Paul instructs Timothy, “The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but . . . able to teach . . . correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will” (2 Tim. 2:24-26). Teaching is the most common instrument that God uses to deliver “from the snare of the devil.” Teaching what? “Knowledge of the truth”—the Word of God.

Therefore, if you would have power over the devil, and if you would escape the snare of his deceit and the destruction of your faith, then do what Jesus did and what all the triumphant saints have done: Treasure up the Word of God, and wield it like a sword against your foe.

And though this world, with devils filled,

Should threaten to undo us,

We will not fear, for God hath willed

His truth to triumph through us.

The prince of darkness grim,

We tremble not for him;

His rage we can endure,

For lo! his doom is sure;

One little word shall fell him.

When the powers of darkness are arrayed against you, and aim to destroy your joy forever, nothing is more precious than to have the Word of God ready for the battle. The fight for joy is not for the unarmed.


John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is teacher and founder of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. He served for 33 years as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and is author or editor of more than 50 books, including This Momentary Marriage, Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, and Velvet Steel (excerpt).

Download an Excerpt from New Release “Glimpses of Grace”

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From the back cover of Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home:

Sometimes life feels a lot like a burden—day-in and day-out its the same chores and tasks, challenges and discouragements, anxieties and responsibilities. Dust bunnies show up on the stairwell, social commitments clutter the calendar, and our families demand daily attention and care. At times, just catching our breath seems like an impossible feat.

So where is God in all of this? Does he care about the way we unload the dishwasher or balance the budget? Do the little things like changing diapers or cooking meals make a difference? And how can we use our spheres of influence for God’s glory and our joy?

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working woman splitting time between the office and home, Gloria Furman—writer, pastor’s wife, cross-cultural worker, and mom—encourages us to see the reality of God’s grace in all of life, especially those areas that often appear to be boring and unimportant. Using personal examples and insightful stories, her richly theological reflections help us experience the gospel’s extraordinary power to transform our ordinary lives.

Special Offers and Bulk Pricing

Reminder: Today (6.7.2013) is your last chance to submit your receipt for our launch week special offer.

To redeem your free extras, simply scan and email your receipt to glimpses@crossway.org before 11:59am on Friday, June 7.*

Buying for a small group or book club? Bulk discounts are also available via Crossway.org—buy 10 books for the price of 7. Simply add the 10 books to your cart and the discount will be applied automatically.

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*Note: Any receipts that are not legible, not included, or believed to be fraudulent will be disqualified. Limited to one promotion per person.

 

 

 

June 7, 2013 | Posted in: Books,Family,Joy,Parenting,Publishing,Women, Wives, Mothers | Author: Ted Cockle @ 2:32 pm | 0 Comments »

Glimpses of Grace – Launch Week Special Offer

This week marks the official release of Gloria Furman’s first book, Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home. Furman reminds women of the gospel’s extraordinary power in ordinary life, helping homemakers see and savor Glimpses of Grace Cover the miraculous in the mundane.

Lauren Chandler shares the following in her foreword:

Glimpses of Grace is not a how-to. It is a true friend’s invitation to see and know the Lord’s steadfast love displayed in every wave, big and small. Gloria offers encouragement rooted in her personal experience and wisdom from saints who have weathered the storms decades and even centuries before us. May you catch glimpses of his steadfast love and find an anchor for your soul.

Launch Week Special

In honor of the book’s release, we’re excited to offer something special. Purchase a copy of Glimpses of Grace from your favorite local or online retailer from June 3-7 and receive a free Glimpses of Grace ebook as well as one of Gloria’s favorite resources—the ESV Study Bible Online (available on ESVBible.org)!

To redeem your free extras, simply scan and email your receipt to glimpses@crossway.org before 11:59am on Friday, June 7.*

Learn more | Preview an excerpt | Watch the video | Buy Now

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*Note: Any receipts that are not legible, not included, or believed to be fraudulent will be disqualified. Limited to one promotion per person.
June 3, 2013 | Posted in: Books,Children,Family,Giveaways,Joy,Marriage,Parenting,The Gospel,Women, Wives, Mothers | Author: Ted Cockle @ 9:27 am | 0 Comments »

Five Ways Peace with God Changes Our Lives

Adapted from Andy Farmer’s Real Peace: What We Long for and Where to Find It.

That peace is hard to find shouldn’t be a surprise. Peace is the elusive human goal. We want peace. Really, we need peace, because we’re alienated from the one source of true peace in the cosmos—our creator God. And peace has come through the intervention of God in his own self-sacrifice—a divine atonement—that resolves the enmity between us and God. What does it mean for me, and for you?

We all have a story. What I hope you see is that all of our stories ultimately lead to the question of whether we know the Prince of Peace. That is the key to every human story. Religious people, irreligious people, spiritual or secular, we all need peace with God. When we have peace with God, it changes our lives. Here are five ways how:

Peace with God . . .

  1. . . . gives us ENDURING CONFIDENCE that things are the way they are meant to be between us and God.
  2. . . . gives us an ACCESS TO GOD by the Spirit that enables us to experience true peace in every trial of life.
  3. . . . has given us a PERMANENT PLACE in his community of peace that will shape the way we do life in a strife-filled world.
  4. . . . CREATES A PASSION in our hearts for his mission of peace among people who are still at war with him.
  5. . . . provides ENDURING HOPE that the peace we experience in part now will be all we know in eternity.

 

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May 22, 2013 | Posted in: Books,Fear and Anxiety,Joy | Author: Ted Cockle @ 9:04 am | (3) Comments »

Journey to Joy – Launch Week Special

“True happiness comes from within.” At least that’s what our culture tells us while beating the drum of self-esteem as the route to real joy.

But what if this is wrong? What if true joy comes not from within, but from without? What if it comes from God himself?

Embedded in the Bible is a little-known guidebook to the lasting joy we long for. The Psalms of Ascent—a set of 15 Psalms that share honestly about the heights and the depths of life while celebrating the faithfulness of God.

In Journey to Joy, pastor Josh Moody helps us to engage and explore Psalms 120 – 134, offering practical counsel, perceptive insights, and personal experience as a fellow pilgrim on the joy-filled journey to the father heart of God.

To celebrate the book’s release, we’re pleased to offer the digital edition for only $0.99 through Monday April 29. You will find the discounted ebook on Crossway.org and participating ebook distributors.

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April 25, 2013 | Posted in: Books,Joy | Author: Ted Cockle @ 11:39 am | (2) Comments »