“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” – 1 John 3:8
There is something in the hearts of little boys that loves to play “war.” NERF Guns. 1st person shooter video games. As a kid of the 80s, I had a small arsenal of plastic guns and several pairs of camo pants. I looked like a miniature Rambo without the muscles. I spent hours in the backyard pretending to fight off the forces of evil.
The Bible tells us that the war between good and evil is anything but child’s play. We live in the midst of a cosmic struggle between Almighty God and Satan. If you think the devil isn’t real, then he has you right where he wants you. Plus, you’re overlooking a critical aspect of the Christmas story.
John wants us to see Christmas from a different perspective. He tells us that the Incarnation, Jesus taking on flesh was an assault on the works of the devil. What are the works of the devil? The verse above indicates that the devil has been working his evil since the beginning.
The devil’s purpose is to be in rebellion against God. He is a liar and a deceiver. Ever since the Garden of Eden, he’s tried to enlist men and women in his insurrection against God. He continuously seeks to entice us to sin, entangle us in bondage, and blind us to the beauties of God’ssaving grace. His ultimate goal is for us to suffer spiritual death, eternally separated from our Heavenly Father.
In light of the strategies of our adversary, former White House aid and author, Charles Colson, likens Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem to an “invasion,” similar to D-Day during WWII. However, rather than sending an army of angelic warriors, God humbled Himself and became a helpless baby in a manger. He established a beachhead in Bethlehem. This was His initial step in securing a victory against the devil. The manger led to the cross and the cross led to the empty tomb. Those who trust in Jesus experience new life and are forever free from the penalty and power of sin. Hallelujah!
The “D-Day” of Christmas occurred over 2000 years ago. In reality, Jesus has “destroyed” the works of the devil. The word “destroy” means to render inoperative or to rob of power. We war against an enemy who, in the end, is already defeated.
On the other hand, sometimes it seems the devil’s power is anything but inoperative. We look around the world and see evil, injustice, and brokenness. Even when we look within, we have to admit that we still wrestle against sin. The battle rages on, doesn’t it?
As you find yourself in the skirmishes of good vs. evil, let me give you 3 suggestions this Christmas:
- Celebrate Jesus for coming.
- Cling to Jesus and seek to walk away from rebellious sin. In doing this, we show the devil and a watching world that we belong to Jesus.
- Anticipate the victorious, second-coming of Jesus. On that day, the war will be over!
Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director of RFTH