We all know the hymn that starts “What a friend we have in Jesus…” And we are enjoined, all of the time, to make Jesus our “personal Savior.” And, of course, what good would a personal Savior be if he was not also our friend?
Jesus is with us always, of course. If we are born again, as all Christians must be, there’s no avoiding Jesus as our “friend.” But, in this world, Jesus is not without his rival: Satan, Hebrew for “Adversary.”
From the July/August issue of Touchstone, I came across this succinct description of how we ourselves are a battleground in the conflict between good and evil. From Bad News Bearers, by Daniel Propson:
Though many of us talk of a “personal” Jesus, we have forgotten that his enemy is just as personal, and is just as keen on being our “friend.”
The enemy is, of course, sin. It is a very part of our nature. And, just as God has made salvation personal in the man Jesus of Nazareth, so has he made sin in our world in the person of Satan.
Do you scoff at the notion of sin personified? If you accept salvation and the infinite goodness that is Jesus Christ, aren’t you being a bit hypocritical if you don’t also accept Satan’s existence? I don’t equate Jesus who was fully divine with Satan. But I do acknowledge Satan’s existence. Both walk this earth, and have since the very beginning of time.
Now, there is a huge difference between the Son of God, on the one hand, and Satan, the fallen angel. Satan merely tempts us to give in to our innately sinful natures. With Jesus, and only with Jesus, may we turn away from those natures and, metaphorically, turn towards God.
We never fully discard our sin on this side of death. That is impossible. But with faith in Jesus, we can get through; break through at the end. But, know this: evil is mighty; we must always know that its ambassador here on Earth is waiting for us at every turn.