“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
because your adversary the devil
The word “devil” is not a proper name but a functional title. It comes from two words through and to throw. This conveys the idea to strike through. Therefore, “devil” comes to mean to thrust through, as thrusting a sword through the body of someone. The Devil is one who traduces, calumniates, slanders, accuses, and defames.
The word “devil” also means adversary. The idea “adversary” meant an opponent in a lawsuit (Matthew 5:25; Luke 12:58; 18:3). The idea then is to accept a complaint against someone for a legal review. The Devil–who is actively and continuously hostile toward us, legally accuses us before God.
The Devil would place cancerous thoughts in the minds of people about us. If he can make us disillusioned by these personal attacks on us, he might draw us into apostasy.
The word “Devil” occurs thirty-eight times in the New Testament. The name does not appear in the Old Testament; it is strictly a New Testament word. The Devil is in the Old Testament but under a different name.
Christians need to grasp their legal rights before God.
We can laugh at the Devil and not take him seriously. However, he takes us very seriously. The Devil is just as real as Jesus Christ is. If you do not believe in the Devil, it is because you probably do not believe in Jesus Christ. The Devil is not like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. He is a real person.
The Devil launches litigation against our souls. He accuses us to God Himself. As our antagonist, the Devil maligns, slanders, and falsely accuses us. Occasionally he mentions our name in a very unfavorable light to God. He accuses us and slanders us (Revelation 12:9,10). However, the Devil is a disbarred accuser. Every time he mentions our name before God, the Lord Jesus steps forward and appeals to His blood (Hebrews 2:14,15; 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2). Justification means we are legally right before God forever. Case dismissed.
We have three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the Devil (1 Corinthians 16:9). The world is our external foe, the flesh is our internal foe, and the Devil is our infernal foe. God expects us to come off the field of battle victorious over all three opponents (1 John 5:4). Do not become broken and old before your time. These three foes will take their pound of flesh if we allow them.