Good and Evil
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” -1 Corinthians 10:13
A battle encompassing the whole course of humanity, from the original beginning to the present, is a very intense and palpable war between good and evil. This conflict is exposed not only as what is true of life but also as the same theme found in every story ever told, fiction or non-fiction. Good and evil really characterize everything about life. It seems to us there are many hues within their colors, every variety of intensity between these two polar opposites; that is, there is that which is not so evil and not so good, very evil and very good, and everything between.
When it comes to the wholly “other” world around us, good equals God and evil equates to Satan without equivocation. The battle continues in both spheres, visible and invisible. Satan ensures that evil raises its ugly head at every turn. It is always the tip of the spear seeking penetration in your heart, but what is good is always the choice beside it.
Scripture tells us God created everything that is, and when He was done creating He called all of it not only “good” but “very good!” So where does evil come into this picture of all being “very good?” The answer to that question begins in the unseen world. We have only snippets of what took place there and what still takes place today.
God created non-human beings we know as angels. A portion of those angels fell out of God’s favor, becoming His enemies. Why? We do not really know. Such is within the mind and plan of God for His own purposes. His ways are high above ours, Scripture declares.
The fallen angels chose to follow a leader in their fall from heaven, namely Lucifer, the devil, or Satan as he is variously called. He represents and is evil. He became so by his own choosing. Chronologically, we do not know when Satan and his followers fell. This could have occurred when he, of his own free will, determined to tempt Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden. Satan tempted them with the same sin which beset him: “You can be as God. Just eat this fruit!” We do not know if this falling of Satan was prior to or at this point. I tend to think it is precisely when it happened, but this is unknown.
We are told Satan was created most beautiful, perhaps the finest of the angel creatures. However, apparently angels have a capacity for pride, and Satan’s ran rampant; he attempted to elevate himself above God, though he should have been aware such was impossible. In any case, Satan is a cunning foe. He has been allowed extraordinary powers (see Job 1). He is described throughout the Bible as a treacherous, shrewd, and extremely dangerous enemy, leading all your enemies. The Scripture says he seeks your destruction, he desires to devour you, and he wants to have you (Genesis 4:7).
The question for you is, “Can he defeat me?” The answer is, “Yes.” In your own strength, the victory will always be Satan’s. In contrast, repeatedly in Scripture you are told and shown that if you incorporate Jesus’ strength and His Word in your defense, Satan will “go down” in all attempts to destroy you. His onslaught will neither penetrate your heart nor overcome your salvation. If you are in Christ through rebirth by the Spirit of God and you follow His example in defeating him, Satan will never win. Jesus Himself defeated him at the cross, and as your substitute on that cross, He won the battle over Satan forever.
God made this victory over Satan a matter for your faith. That faith is a gift to you, and it must be used by you to manifest you received it. Your personal faith not only recognizes Satan is, but it brings into your grasp those weapons which truly defeat him.
Jesus’ methods of defeating him are displayed in His temptation by Satan in the wilderness. Those are your temptations as well. The weapons you are to use are shown there by Jesus and are additionally arrayed in Ephesians 6. Break them down individually, understand exactly what they are, apply them in your defense, and win the battle over evil.
Good and evil are real. Living in evil is hell. Living in good is what heaven and eternal life are about. Good is who and what God is. In the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve chose sin and by that choice fell, God kept them from eating of the Tree of Life. He did this to protect them from living forever in a state of evil, the equivalent of hell. God has set before you good and evil. What is your choice?
“And though this world with devils filled should threaten to undo us, we will not fear for He 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.”
(Second verse of Martin Luther’s hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” 1529)
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