Most cultures have a belief in some sort of manifestation of evil. For some, it may be descriptive of the immoral behaviors that someone displays. For the vast majority of others, it may be descriptive of some sort of supernatural evil entity. As Christians, we know that Satan is the Biblical manifestation of evil and that he has the power to blind people to the truth and keep them in bondage to sin. However, God has provided a way of escape from evil. The question is, how can you believe that God will release you from evil?
Where do we stand and what power do we have when it comes to evil?
First, we have to understand that evil stands in direct opposition to good. Jesus affirmed this when He responded to someone who asked him what he could do to inherit eternal life:
And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said unto him, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” (Mark 10:17-18)
We see from this encounter that Jesus described God as the only person who is good. From His definition, we can understand that anything not of God is not good. This is reinforced by the admonition to embrace God’s ministers with Godly good and abstain from even the appearance of evil:
And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22)
Likewise, we are told the love of money is the root of all evil. This is because of our selfish desire to not be content with what we have (1 Timothy 6:6-12). This is in keeping with Satan’s desire not to be satisfied with the fact that he was a being created by God. However, he wanted much more and his desire to reject good and embrace evil is what led to his rebellion against God and expulsion from heaven (Isaiah 14:11-14).
Likewise, the man we just read about who asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life was not happy with the answer. Jesus told him to sell all that he had and give it to the poor. Upon hearing this, the man walked away with sadness. Jesus explained the man’s reaction to the disciples by pointing out that the man’s problem was that he thought that by keeping the commandments and selling everything he had to give to the poor would make him able to inherit eternal life. This was too much for the man to accept because he cared more about his riches than God or his neighbor. What he was lacking was putting his faith in God, who would create in him a clean heart that would want to demonstrate his faith by doing what Jesus said. Therefore, the man walked away, forsaking eternal salvation and the power to be delivered from being a slave to the things of this world, what are evil in light of God’s goodness (Mark 10:17-31; 1 John 2:15-16).
How do worldly things fit into this situation?
The point is that as humans, worldly things are not from God and have great power over us. This is because Satan is the “god of this world” and the “prince of the power of the air.” His power is manifested by an unholy spirit that works in all humans so that we are known as “the children of disobedience” as follows:
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Ephesians 2:2-3)
We are called children of disobedience because if a person has not trusted Christ as their Savior, they do not have the Holy Spirit of God in them that a believer receives at the moment of salvation (Ephesians 1:12-14; Ephesians 4:30). Without the Holy Spirit in them, they are not born again into God’s family and made a child of God.
But, aren’t we all children of God with the power to deliver ourselves from evil?
The Bible teaches that the father of unbelievers is the devil, not God. They are powerless as mere mortals to do anything to stop the supernatural spirit that works in them to do evil. This makes them servants or slaves of sin (Romans 4). As servants or slaves to sin because of unbelief, they demonstrate that we are not all God’s children as some like to claim. It is clearly stated in Scripture that to become children of God one must have faith that Christ died for their sins as their Savior (Galatians 3:26; 1 John 2:22-23; 1 John 3:10; 1 John 4:1-6; 2 John 7).
How can we then be released or delivered from evil?
It is only when we trust Christ as our Savior that we are born again into God’s family and we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. He, the Holy Spirit, has the power to release us from bondage to the evil spirit that works in the world. Therefore, to be released from evil, we must put our trust in Christ and He will give us His Spirit. His spirit will deliver us from evil and enable to live in a way that pleases God and demonstrates our faith as children of God. This change in our heart to love God results in a change of our motivations to live a holy life because we want to be like God without elevating ourselves to be God. This change also takes away our desire to embrace evil as long as we consistently spend time in God’s Word, regularly worship, spend time around other believers, and actively pray for God’s will in our lives.
Most cultures have a belief in some sort of manifestation of evil. As Christians, we know that Satan is the Biblical manifestation of evil and that he has the power to blind people to the truth and keep them in bondage to sin. However, God has provided a way of escape from evil. The Bible teaches that only God is good. Therefore, evil stands in direct opposition to good and can be seen in the rebellion of Satan against God. We can be delivered from evil by trusting Christ as our Savior at which time, we will receive the Holy Spirit Who gives us the power to be delivered from evil and embrace living a holy life for God.
Something more for you to read: Who Are the Children of God?
Resources – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, King James Version