“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
“Devil” is not a proper name but a functional title. It comes from two words through and to throw. This term 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 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 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. He wants to bring charges before God about the Christian’s conduct.
The devil would place cancerous thoughts in the minds of others about us. The Christian can become disappointed and disillusioned by these personal attacks; he might draw some into skepticism about the Christian life itself.
The word “devil” occurs thirty-eight times in the New Testament. The term 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.
Today, some people characterize the devil as a bizarre figure. They laugh at the devil and do 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.
As our antagonist, the devil maligns, slanders, and falsely accuses us. The devil launches litigation against our souls. He accuses us to God Himself. Occasionally he mentions our name in a very unfavorable light to God. He lays charge against 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 battlefield 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.