Colossians 2 : 11 - 15, In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. NKJV
Even though Christ has paid the price for our sin and the sin of the world, and even though Christ has stripped Satan of all power over those of us who have placed our faith in Christ, we still have to wrestle with demonic forces (Ephesians 6).
Generally, when you hear of someone securing a victory over an adversary, you tend to think that the battle is over. Well, when Jesus was on the cross, and He had completed the work of His Father, He said, "It is finished." So let's break down what happened on the cross and in hell as a result of Jesus' sacrificial death.
The work of the cross and Jesus' descent into hell purchased our souls back from Satan's authority...the Devil had been given this power when man decided to sin against God's will. Whenever Jesus died on the cross and in three days arose from the dead, the work of redemption was completed and the day of grace was extended to all people.
You may ask, "If Jesus defeated the Devil on the cross, then why was he allowed to continue to operate in the earth?" This subject is separate from the victory that Christ secured for all on the cross; nonetheless, it has an impact on our lives, even today. Just because Jesus has forever settled the issue of redemption and made a way for every person to escape the torment of hell, it doesn't mean that everyone will.
Since the creation of man, God has always given him the power to exercise his freewill. He placed them in the Garden of Eden, knowing that the Tree of Knowledge was present. God delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt and led them for forty years in the wilderness before He brought them into the Promised Land. In the book of Deuteronomy, He told them through Moses that He had set before them life and death, blessing and cursing. He then told them to choose life; however, they refused God's counsel.
Yes, the work of the cross completely guarantees us an eternal victory that we can rest upon. Nevertheless, now that we have been redeemed from the power of Satan and sin, we must choose to live for God. We are required to live by faith and to use our faith in Christ to resist the strategies of the Devil. Therefore, we must choose to stand on the Word of God whenever the accuser attacks our faith in Christ.
Yes, we have the victory in Christ. However, that victory doesn't prevent the enemy from attacking our faith. The reason for this is very simple. Satan's existence didn't cease when Jesus stripped him of the keys of death and hell. Nevertheless, thankfully, there is an appointed time at the end of the age that the Father has reserved to end Satan's reign of terror on the earth and in the heavens. Therefore, as Christians, we are required to suffer for the sake of Christ while we live in this world. Our choice to live for God will serve as a witness to those who have been blinded by Satan's lies.
Everyone who lives godly in this world will suffer persecution. Even so, if we endure faithfully to the end, God will richly reward us with the crown of life. Here's the clincher: You are in the world and have chosen to live by faith in the finished work of Christ, but will you keep the faith with confidence? You see; we have to accept Christ by faith. However, we also have to live Christ by faith until our faith becomes sight. Until then, we must endure in faith and keep our assurance that what we believe is, indeed, the truth.
Now you know the reason why you need to be encouraged as a Christian. You also understand why Satan tries every trick to keep you out of prayer, the Bible, and fellowship at church. He doesn't want you to keep your confidence built up in Christ. Nevertheless, it doesn't matter what Satan wants. As a Christian, we must concern ourselves with what our Savior and Lord desires for us. Stay strong in the Lord and walk in the power of His might so that you will endure to the end.
The Cost of Living by Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery