The Prince of This World

In 2 Corinthians 4:4 Satan is called “the god of this age” and “the prince of this world” John 12:31; 16:11, which brings about the question: In what sense is Satan a god and/or a prince?

First, Satan is not God’s equal. Rather, according to Scripture, Satan is a finite created being not a creator Colossians 1:16. He was the first sinner 1 John 3:8. Therefore, as Christians there is no need to fear the god of this age, just look in 1 John 4:4 where it says “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

As described in Matt. 12:22-30, we clearly have two Kingdoms in conflict. But all praises to God that our Lord Jesus Christ, through His death on the cross, made a spectacle out of the powers of darkness as stated in Col. 2:15 – “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” What this means for us is that we engage in spiritual warfare simply by pursuing Christ.

Moreover, Satan, whose name means “adversary,” is the god of this age in that he is the supreme exemplar of evil. In the words of Jesus, “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” -John 8:44. Indeed, all the sin of the world is patterned after Satan: “He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning” -1 John 3:8. It is he “who leads the whole world astray”-Revelation 12:9.

Scripture warns us to stand firm against the devil and the evil forces of this world  by employing the full armor of God, which is metaphorical language for knowing the truth, exercising our faith, and practicing righteousness in our daily lives (Eph. 6:10-18. 2 Cor. 10:4-6). To engage in spiritual warfare is to believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and to lead lives characterized by honesty, purity, prayer, Bible study, evangelism, giving, etc.

Satan is the effective ruler of all who willingly subject themselves to his masterful deceit (2 Corinthians 4:4; 11:3). If we do not belong to the God of the ages, then we are of Satan—the god of this age.

The bottom line is that we must completely submit ourselves to God through faith in Jesus Christ, who by His life, death, and resurrection has already defeated Satan (Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8). What remains is to simply resist the devil, for then, the Bible says, he will flee (James 4:7).

God’s Peace!

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