Romans 7 Lesson

Satan Is The Ruler Of The Earth

SATAN IS THE “RULER OF THE EARTH”

Did you know that Satan is referred to as the “ruler of the earth” several times in the Bible?

It is not something that we hear a lot, but that is exactly what the Bible says. Consider the following four scriptures: and consider what implications they have for us as we follow Christ and seek out a path to heaven:

  1. “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” - 1 John 5:19,
  2. “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ .” - 2 Corinthians 4:4,
  3. “The ruler of this world will be cast out.” -John 12:31,
  4. “I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me .” - John 14:30.

In these four verses, Satan is referred to as:

  • “The evil one,”
  • “The god of this world,”
  • And “The ruler of the world” twice.

Knowing this, we need to pause and consider what the implications are for those of us that are seeking to go to to heaven. Understanding that Satan is the ruler of the earth explains a lot of the tragedies and evil that we see on a day-to-day basis. When we understand that God is permitting Satan to rule the earth for a period of time, it helps explain why bad things happen to good people.

SATAN’S RULE ON EARTH WILL COME TO AN END

Satan is permitted to have power on earth for a period, and then his reign will end. The Bible does not provide us with an explanation of why God allows this to happen, therefore, we must accept this reality as God’s will and plan accordingly.

The Book of Revelation tells us that after his reign, Satan will be defeated and condemned for all eternity:

  • “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. ” - Revelation 20:10.

SATAN IS CONSTANTLY SEEKING TO WREAK HAVOC

Make no mistake, the devil wants to destroy us! Peter wrote about this in his first epistle:

  • “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8.

Nobody is immune to the attacks of Satan!   Not even the Apostle Paul. In Romans 7, Paul provides us with insight into his own struggles with sin. He admits that although he understands the Law, he struggles to keep it, just like the rest of us.

  • “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.” – Romans 7:19-20.

ONLY JESUS CAN SAVE US FROM OUR SINS

Paul refers to his struggle against sin as “waging war” and making him a “prisoner of the law of sin.” (Romans 7:23)

In the very next verse, Paul asks an important question:  

  • “Who will set me free from the body of this death?” – Romans 7:24.

This question is like another question that we find in the Book of Revelation.

  • “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to break its seals?”  – Revelation 5:2.

The answer to both questions is Jesus!

Jesus is our Lord and Savior.   He alone can set us free from sin and he alone can save our souls.

It all comes down to our faith in Jesus.   Just like Paul, our bodies are tempted by sin.   The temptation is not a small temptation, quite the opposite.   As Paul said, it will wage war against us!

The good news is that through Jesus, we are liberated from our sin by the grace of God.   No matter how strong the war between good and evil may be in our earthly bodies, God’s grace is stronger.

Consider the following two scriptures:

  1. “But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans 5:20-21,
  2. “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.  Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9.

We could exhaust ourselves trying unsuccessfully to keep the Law, but that is not what God wants us to do.   Listen to the following words spoken by Jesus:

  • “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Mathew 11:28-30.  

CONCLUSION 

God allows Satan to be the ruler of the earth for a period of time until he is defeated and banished for all eternity. This explains why bad things happen to good people and why there is so much chaos and pain in the world.

Satan’s reign will eventually come to an end (Revelation 20:10), but until then, he is relentless in his efforts to destroy us.

The good news for us is that if we resist the devil, he will flee from us and move on to an easier target (James 4:7).   The even  better news is that Jesus defeated death on the cross and has promised His followers an eternity in paradise with Him, God, and all the saints.

We will conclude today’s lesson with the following words of hope spoken by Jesus:

  • “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” - John 14:1-3.

Comments

Joe R

This passage from Romans truly illustrates the importance of recognizing our dependence on Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. If I was able to simply follow the instructions of the Law, there would be no need for Jesus to redeem me from sin. However, that is simply not the case since the fall of Adam. I was born into the bondage of sin, but Jesus died on the cross for my transgressions. Although the Law provides parameters to be obedient to God, Jesus provides us with an example to follow so that we can truly live as conquerors. The Law makes me think about how when I am told what not to do, I find myself thinking more about that thing which I am not supposed to do. On the other hand, Jesus' teachings demonstrate what TO do and His life serves as the ultimate example. Namely, loving God with my whole heart, my whole mind, and my whole soul and loving my neighbor as myself. I think Romans 7 is an important reminder that living as conquerors means that we must battle with the temptations of the flesh on a daily basis in order to be victorious AND by calling on the name of Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit we can live lives that give honor and glory to God our Father.

Reply
John
Joe R

Beautifully articulated. Thank you for sharing!

Reply
W L Scott

Satan will attack us while we live on earth but the more God the Father through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit's words are make their home within us and our spirit grows larger than the desires of our flesh then his power to harm will reduce. As we study, pray and fast then we will find heavenly desire grow stronger which mean our flesh dies. Then we'll be able to discern between the works of the spirit and those of the flesh. By being born-again the process should start bring us complete and remember God is complete and that is our goal . I love you!

Reply
Joe R
W L Scott

So true! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, W L Scott. This reminds me of the importance of not just studying the Scripture and praying, but prioritizing fasting to strengthen my relationship with God. I recognize this as an area to improve moving forward.

Reply
Dan W

Yes, it is the devil that wants to destroy us... God doesn't want anyone to perish but all to be saved. Remembering this will help motivate us to not be discouraged but to take heart. The struggle between good and evil is real, but it is a struggle that God helps us to overcome, through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Reply
Joe R
Dan W

Amen!

Reply
John

I feel the Spirit working in me since I took on this most recent study of Romans. In my own life, I was way out of balance. Too much focus on my own "works" and not enough focus on my faith in Jesus. As I work on correcting this balance, I notice that I am much more relaxed and at peace. Faith in Jesus is my focus of late and I'm better for it. I think that is what Jesus meant by His "Yoke is easy, His burden is light." That does not mean that works are not important - the Bible says that, "Faith without works is dead, being alone." But it is Jesus that saves me, not my works. So that is my primary focus.

Reply
Michael
John

Boy those are great comments John - and just what I needed to hear tonight. This pandemic has my anxiety higher than i'd like. But focusing on Jesus comforts me. Thank you!

Reply