He Knows His Conqueror

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How can we enter into Christ’s victory and prevail over the devil’s power? How can we be numbered among the “overcomers”? How can we hope to throw the enemy back, not only in our own lives but in the world he has usurped?

First, we are told to resist the devil. “Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” Again, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (1 Pet 5:8–9, Jas 4:7). We are not to be afraid of him. Much of his show of power is bluff, since he was overthrown at the cross, and we need the courage to call his bluff. Clad in the full armor of God, we can take our stand against him (Eph 6:10–17). We are not to flee from him, but on the contrary to resist him so that he flees from us. Our own feeble voice, however, is not sufficiently authoritative to dismiss him. We cannot say in our own name, as Jesus could, “Be gone, Satan.” But we can do it in the name of Jesus. We have to claim the victory of the cross. “In the name of Jesus Christ, of Christus Victor, who defeated you at the cross, be gone, Satan.” It works. He knows his conqueror. He flees before him.

John Stott, The Cross of Christ (Downer’s Grove, 2006), pages 245–246.

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