Spiritual Victory Through Christ
  By Rich Carmicheal

    A spiritual battle rages for our souls and the souls of all mankind. The struggle is "not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12). Our "adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). He is the crafty serpent who, in the opening portion of Genesis, deceived our first parents and enticed them to sin (Gen. 3:1-15), and he is the dragon and serpent of old in the closing chapters of Revelation, deceiving the nations and gathering them for war, until he is thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone (Rev. 20:7-10; Matt. 25:41).

    The devil disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14), but he is full of deceit, evil and darkness (1 John 2:13; Acts 26:18). He is a murderer, a liar, the father of lies, and there is no truth in him (John 8:44). He deceives the world and blinds the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not know the Gospel of Christ (Rev. 12:9; 2 Cor. 4:4). He distorts the Word of God and tries to snatch the Word of God out of peopleís hearts (Matt. 4:6-7; 13:19).

    He is the accuser of Godís people and he seeks to afflict and destroy us (Rev. 12:10-11; Job 2:4-7). He tempts us, opposes us, schemes against us, and tries to take advantage of us, deceive us, ensnare us, oppress us and gain a foothold in our lives (Luke 22:31-32; Acts 5:3; 2 Cor. 2:11; 11:3; Eph. 4:27; 6:11, 16; 1 Thes. 3:5; 2:18; 1 Tim. 3:6-7; 4:1; 2 Tim. 2:26).

Christís Power Over the Devil

    All around us we can see evidence of the devilís activity and impact in peopleís lives. Many are living in fear, unbelief, anxiety, confusion, oppression, darkness, deception, sin, condemnation, and so forth. Perhaps you are suffering in some way because of the influence of the evil one. Or perhaps you see his impact in the life of someone to whom you are ministering. If so, the good news is that through Christ the power of the devil can be broken! "ÖThe Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8). God anointed His Son Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power so that He could do good and heal all who were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38).

    No matter what hold the devil may have in your life or the life of others, that hold can be broken because of who Christ is and what He has already done and what He is able to do! The devil was no match, is no match, and will never be any match for Jesus. "Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).

    Consider the encounters in Scripture between Jesus and the devil and the demonic realm. In every case, Jesus wins decisively. He overcomes the strongest of the devilís temptations (Matt. 4:1-11; Heb. 4:15). He sets people free of the most severe forms of demonic possession and oppression (for example, see Mark 5:1-20). He exercises complete control over evil and authorizes others to overcome all the power of the enemy (Luke 4:36; 9:1; 10:17-19). He is fully aware of the devilís schemes and rebukes him accordingly (Matt. 16:23). He intercedes to protect His followers from the devilís attempts to ruin their faith (Luke 22:31-32; cf. Heb. 7:25). And through His death on the cross, Jesus crushes and disarms the devil, triumphing over principalities and powers, and rendering powerless the one who had the power of death! (Col. 2:15; Heb. 2:14).

Our Victory Through the Lordís Power

    Our strength and victory in the spiritual battle are in the strength of the Lord and in the strength of His might (Eph. 6:10). The power working in us is "in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominionÖ" (Eph. 1:19-21). His divine power gives us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3), and the "weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds" (2 Cor. 10:4, KJV). We are "able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil" because we wear the full armor of God (Eph. 6:11-17).

    God has "delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Col. 1:13-14). In Christ we are set free. And if the Son sets us free, we are free indeed! (John 8:36). Through the power and redemption of Christ we can be set free from the fear of death and the fear of evil (Heb. 2:15; Psa. 23:4), from oppression (Luke 4:18), from condemnation (Rom. 8:1), from slavery to sin so that we might be alive to God (Rom. 6:4-11), and from dead works so that we might truly serve the living God (Heb. 9:14). In Christ there is deliverance from evil and help in overcoming temptation (Matt. 6:13; Heb. 2:18; Rev. 12:11). And through Christ we can be sanctified entirely and made whole in our spirit, soul and body (1 Thes. 5:23).

    "Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to youÖ" (Jas. 4:7-8).