Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Devil Is Real – But Defeated

1 John 3:8

He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

Life ChangeThe devil is real and not a figment of someone’s imagination. Some churches try to suggest that the devil is not real – that he/it is merely a personification of evil as a whole. Not sure what Bible they read – if they read the Bible at all – but the Bible tells us over and over that the devil is real. Please do not fall prey to false teachers and false religions. Run as fast as you can from a pastor or church that doesn’t believe that the devil is real!

According to Scripture – the devil tempted Jesus after His baptism.  Matthew 4:1-11 – 1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

If the devil is the tempter must we yield to him? Of course not!  1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

We ultimately have power over the devil – he is not all-powerful – he is not a deity – but rather a fallen angel. Revelation 12:7-11 – 7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down — that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

In Sunday’s sermon and Tuesday’s Bible Study we mentioned sound doctrine. The devil is real – not all-powerful – and under the control of the believer through Christ. We are tempted – but we do not need to yield. We can stand strong against the devil’s temptations and follow Jesus’ example. We can have eternal victory – but we can also have victory here and now – as we place our trust in Jesus.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive look at the devil – but rather something that will cause us to think. The devil is real – but can be and ultimately has been defeated!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

May 16, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. The Devil, you say. Uh, the Bible says. I agree. At the UMC we attend, we are studying The Screwtape Letters. Great book, a senior Devil is advising a junior Devil how best to trouble a believer. If we do not believe there is a Devil, this leads to believing there is no sin, no need for a Savior, no hell, no reason to repent of our sins. Thanks, Ray, for reminding us about the reality of the Devil and its part in temptation.


    Comment by Favorite Son | May 16, 2019 | Reply

  2. Of interest, when a sermon of mine was listened to in order for me to become an official lay speaker in the UMC…. In my sermon I briefly mentioned Satan and the way I did so, there was a clear assumption the Devil is a real entity. AND after when I got feedback on my sermon, this was criticized! It was said that some may just view the devil as a metaphor for evil (etc) and what I said could be offensive or make people uncomfortable. I almost thought I was not going to be approved! I was, but mainly because one person in the group stood up for me – and also emphasized that belief in a real Devil is orthodox Christian teaching that Methodists are suppose to believe. AND I LIVE in the Bible Belt – not in a more liberal/progressive area of the US.


    Comment by Laura | May 16, 2019 | Reply

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