As followers of Jesus Christ, we have an adversary. He is the one who is called the devil or Satan. The Hebrew word transliterated, satan, was not originally aproper name. It simply meant “adversary.” In time, however, satan, became a proper name. Satan is the Adversary. As such, Satan is our opponent, enemy and foe. He is against us as Christians because he is against Jesus Christ. For example, the resurrected Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus while he travelled from Jerusalem to Damascus to arrest followers of Christ. Jesus asked Saul, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:4). Although Saul was persecuting Jesus’ followers, Jesus aligned Himself with His people and asked, “Why do you persecute me?” In the same way, we align ourselves with Jesus when we claim and follow Him. Consequently, Satan, Christ’s enemy, is our enemy. The devil hates Jesus. The devil hates us.
As our Adversary, Satan is a slanderer, deceiver, and accuser. These three roles are related because the devil insults and lies about God, and indicts us before God. In Job 1:6-11, Satan accused Job of honoring God for personal advantage. In John’s vision of the ongoing cosmic battle between God and the devil, Satan is described as “the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night” (Revelation 12:10). In a sense, Satan attempts to deceive God about who we are as Christians. He points out our sin and our shortcomings in following the Lord. He slanders us and our motivations in claiming Christ. The devil is deliberate in his hatred of us and in his charges against us.
Without Jesus, Satan is correct in his assessment. His slander of us is justifiable because of our sin. As sinners, we are against God. Nonetheless, thank God for Jesus because our loving Intercessor conquers our hostile Accuser! The author of Hebrews wrote “we have a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Hebrews 8:1). Throughout the Old Testament, the priests made sacrifices for themselves and God’s people as intercession for sin before God’s throne. Jesus is our priest and sacrifice. As Satan accuses Christians, Jesus Christ is at God’s right hand, interceding on our behalf. He overcomes the devil and his hateful scheming. In John’s revelation of the cosmic battle and the End Times; it is clear who wins the ultimate victory—Jesus Christ and those who follow Him! For example, in Revelation 12:11, John wrote of Christians, “They triumphed over him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb.”
I think all of us can feel “accused” at times. Maybe you feel unnecessary guilt, or you are down on yourself. Past sins, mistakes or poor decisions haunt you without relief. Remember that there is a difference between conviction and accusation. The Holy Spirit perfectly convicts us of sin so that we will turn from our sin and to God. The devil wrongly accuses us so that we forget Jesus and our position in Him as His followers. And remember, we triumph over our Accuser and Adversary by the blood of the One who intercedes for us!