Not by His life, not by His example, not by His teachings, not by His miracles, did the Lord Jesus bring the devil to naught. But, as the Word says, “He partook . . . of blood and flesh, that through death He might bring to naught him that had the might of death, that is, the devil” (Hew 2:14). This glorious truth, that through death the Lord Jesus brought to naught the devil, is emphasized throughout Paul’s epistles.
In Romans we see Him having become a propitiation “through faith in His blood” (3:25), bearing our sin, putting its guilt away; and we read, “Dead to sin” (6:2); “Our old man crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin” (6:6); “For he that hath died is released from sin” (6:7); “We died with Christ” (6:8); “Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive into God in Christ Jesus” (6:11); “Ye also were made dead to the Law through the body of Christ” (7:4; “We have been discharged from the Law” (annulled—katargeo: 7:6).
If this great word katargeo, “brought to naught,” is to be used concerning the bondage in which Satan held us, it must include both the removal of sin’s guilt and power, and the taking us out of that Adam in whom was involved our responsibility.
During our Lord’s earthly life He was “tempted in all points as we are, apart from sin.” But at Calvary, by God’s act, He was made to become sin, the thing itself, for us! Satan was deluded at that hour into jubilance! Christ’s lips had testified that God had forsaken Him. He had lifted not a hand to defend Himself. He had committed Himself to “Him Who judgeth righteously.” At last He said, “It is finished!” and “He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” Thus He “suffered for sins once, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.”
What now could Satan do? Of those he had held in bondage, the sin, the guilt, that liability to death under judgment which made the “bondage” possible, had all been borne by a Substitute; and He of God’s appointing! Those who believe on Christ were free—as free as their Substitute! And Him God raised form the dead, and received at His right hand—“crowned with glory and honor”! What right then has Satan over believing ones? None whatsoever! Let them be “subject to God,” and believe, thus resisting the devil, and he will flee form them. Astounding witness to Satan’s defeated condition!
When our Lord rose from the dead and was received up into glory, He went up as the Victor Who had brought the devil to naught! Nothing now but unbelief or disobedience, or ignorance of their liberty, can hold believers in bondage to Satan. All his basis of accusation before God, all his power to terrorize believers on earth is nullified, for the judgment for them was over at the Cross. Satan has no power, no rights over you. None! He may hinder you; he may oppose you—he did and does oppose all testimony in Christ Name.
But the Father has reckoned to you the full Value of the Lord Jesus’ entire work; and neither guilt, nor bondage, nor fear belongs to you at all! You are in Christ, and you are therefore accepted in the Beloved. “The sting of death is sin,” but the Lord Jesus bore the sin, and put it away. “The power of sin is the law,” but those in the Son died unto law that they might live unto God” (Gal 2:19). And you are in a Risen Christ, Who is all in all to you: “righteousness, sanctification and redemption”! If, therefore, you are not as free from the devil’s bondage of fear as the Lord Jesus is, it is either from ignorance of His work, or lack of reliance thereon!
- Wm R Newell
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ. -MJS