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Firm in Faith

1 Peter 5.9
Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
 The Christian response to satanic opposition is not panic or fear but firm resistance. Resist means "to withstand" or "to stand up against." It is a term of defense and victory. Theologically Jesus Christ's death and resurrection won the decisive victory in the war against the powers of darkness. This however does not mean that the battle is over. Because of the cross, believers have the assurance that these evil powers have been disarmed. Believers share in Christ's authority over them. This does not mean that Christians have an automatic immunity to the influence of Satan and his demonic powers; otherwise Peter's counsel regarding resisting him would make no sense.

To resist the devil effectively we must draw on the power of Christ and not yield to Satan in our lives. Furthermore to resist the devil the believer must be standing firm in the faith. We should draw strength from what we believe. 1 Peter overflows with reminders of the firmness of the faith of believers. We have been chosen by God the Father (1.2), given a new birth into a living hope (1.3), and provided with an inheritance that can never perish (1.4) because we are shielded by God's power (1.5). Furthermore we have been called out of darkness into God's wonderful light (2.9). God Himself is building up individual believers into a spiritual house (2.5). He views His followers as a holy and royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people belonging to Him (2.5,9).

This is the kind of faith in which the believer must stand firm. Regardless of personal suffering, we must join many other Christians suffering in other parts of the world in standing firm together in a united and active resistance to the assaults of the devil. Followers of Jesus Christ need to trust the God who provides them with this faith.

Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ who are truly suffering for their faith in countries where Christianity is illegal or greatly persecuted. You may not know them by name, but God does!

Pastor Jeff
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