“Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
in the faith
Satan aimed at the faith of the Asia Minor believers. He sought to destroy their faith by making them disillusioned by their suffering. Peter now says that their faith will sustain them against the assault of disillusionment.
Making a phalanx of our faith means that we make the whole body of truth found in the Word of God be our phalanx to orient to suffering. We stand, but we stand in the faith.
“For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ” (Colossians 2:5).
The word “faith” here means the whole realm of truth as taught in Scripture. The basis of the believer’s resistance to the devil is the Word of God. Application of the principles of the Word to experience is the foundation for dealing with the devil.
We resist the devil in the faith, not in the flesh.
“If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister” (Colossians 1:23).
“For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:5-7).
We fight personal disillusionment by the whole body of truth found in the Word of God.
The purpose of the trial is not to weaken our faith but to strengthen it. One of two things will happen in suffering: we will either collapse or develop character.
God has a prescribed means for defeating the devil – the Word of God. The Lord defeated the devil on the mount of temptation three times by saying, “It is written.” The Savior quoted three verses to the devil, which sent him scurrying.
Be resolute in your faith, for Satan wants to destroy your faith. He wants to draw us into apostasy. He does this by making us disillusioned by suffering. Be grounded in your faith. The way to win the war with Satan is with our faith in the principles of God’s Word (Ephesians 6:16).
The Christian must maintain his ranks with his faith or be vulnerable to attack from the devil. He needs to be stable as granite in his faith. He should stand in formation even though he is under attack by his enemy, the devil. He continues to function even under fire because he has the resources to fight in the Word of God.