Friday, November 30, 2018

Satan is the Father of Lies

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire” (John 8:44a).

Until recently, it was not fashionable to believe in the existence of Satan. Times have changed. If anything, contemporary culture is more fascinated by Satan than by God and runs the risk of elevating Satan to the status of another god. The Bible teaches us that Satan is an angel, a creature of God, and that he led part of the angelic host in rebellion against God. In his hatred of God, he has enlisted the human race, as we see in Genesis 3, where in the guise of a serpent he enticed Adam and Eve to sin and lose their fellowship with God.

How does Satan entice us to sin? He causes us to question the goodness of God and whether there is a way better than God’s. Because this is not and cannot be true, Satan is, as Jesus said, “the father of lies” (v. 44).

Satan does not appear to people in person, at least not very often. Usually, he promotes his lies through the mouths of people who have taken his side throughout history, people who share his belief that God is unfair. Often these people are found right in the church itself. That is how it was in Jesus’ day, when Satan’s agents were active members of the most conservative of the Jewish groups—the Pharisees.

The Pharisees opposed Jesus at every turn. John 8 records one of Jesus’ rebukes to them. Having told them that God was not their Father, Jesus identified their father as Satan. Jesus went on to explain that Satan’s purpose in enlisting men is the destruction of humanity. Because human beings are made in God’s image, Satan hates all humanity. Ultimately, those who enlist on his side are only destroying themselves.

In the past, Frank Peretti’s two novels on spiritual warfare have consistently topped the Christian book-selling market. The fascination many have with Satan and demonic forces is easy to see in our culture. Sometimes the result of such emphasis is a surrendering of our responsibility for our sins. However, our own proclivity to sin is such that we need no help from the father of lies or his agents. We sin adequately all by ourselves. Today and this weekend recognize and admit your personal responsibility for your sin.