What does the Bible say about Satan?

Last updated on October 20, 2022

Many people today say that Satan is not real and is just a myth that ancient people believed. This is not true and the Bible is very clear about who Satan is, his power today and his ultimate defeat by Jesus. In fact, the one person in the Bible who confronted Satan the most and spoke about Him the most seriously was Jesus Himself.

Where the story begins

The story begins in Genesis in the Garden of Eden when the tempter (another word for Satan or the devil) in the form of a serpent persuaded Eve to disobey God by eating the fruit in the middle of the garden (Genesis 3:1-6). This led to God’s curse on people and sin entering the world leading to the judgement of death. God also cursed Satan, and Genesis 3:15 holds out the hope that one day a son of Eve will crush the head of the serpent.

The crushing of Satan

This crushing of Satan was dramatically accomplished by Jesus. The gospel writers show us that Jesus (unlike Adam and Eve) effectively resisted the devil over 40 days in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus exercised authority over Satan and his demons by healing, restoring and delivering those in the grasp of the evil one (for example, Mark 5:1-20). Jesus secured victory over Satan at the cross and in his resurrection, undoing the deathly effects of the fall on humanity.

Satan still exercises control

We live now in a time where Satan still exercises control over the hearts and minds of people who are not Christians while also having power to tempt Christians and bring them to physical harm. He reaps destruction and organises evil in the world at large. But we live in the real hope that Jesus has won the victory, His Spirit and His Word help us to resist the devil and in the end Satan and his army will be destroyed and thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10).

What is Satan like?

In terms of who Satan is and what he is like, popular views of Satan as a devil with horns and a pitchfork are not biblical. Also, ideas that we must resist the devil with superstitious charms or special objects like crucifixes are not found in the Scriptures. The view that Satan was an angel who confronted God and fell from heaven before the creation of the world is not spelt out in detail in the Bible but is supported by passages like Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 28:11-19 and Luke 10:18.

God is in control

The Bible explains that God is always supremely in control. As we read in Job 1, the devil and his demons activities are limited by and subject to God. The New Testament doesn’t describe people fighting the devil or demons in isolation, but rather points to Jesus as the Christian’s one true deliverer. As Christians all over the world pray every day: “Our Father… deliver us from the evil one, for yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever, Amen” (Matthew 6:9-13).

Thanks to GospelImages for the painting.

Share post