[forthright] Is Satan a Christian?

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From: Forthright Magazine <ba@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2004 14:15:52 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross

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COLUMN: Square One

Is Satan a Christian?
by Richard Mansel
    
We often hear when someone dies, He didn't go to
church but he was a good Christian man. Millions
consider themselves Christians even though a large
percentage have no religious affiliation. Let us
consider what a Christian is in light of
Scripture.

First, is someone a Christian if they believe God
exists? In Genesis 3, Satan speaks of God as
alive. Therefore, saying that we simply believe
God exists does not make us a Christian, because
that would make Satan a Christian.

Second, are we a Christian if we believe God is
powerful? In Job 1:10, Satan acknowledges that God
controls what happens to man. Satan was there in
heaven, saw creation and knows the power of God.
Accordingly, simply believing God is powerful is
not enough to make one a Christian because that
would make Satan a Christian.

Third, are we a Christian if we read the Bible? In
Luke 4:10,11, Satan quotes Psalm 91:11,12. So
reading the Bible, in itself, does not make
someone a Christian because then Satan would be a
Christian.

Fourth, are we a Christian if we believe that
Jesus Christ is the Son of God? James 2:19 says,
"You believe that God is one. You do well; the
demons believe, and shudder" (NASB). On several
occasions demons spoke to Jesus or others
affirming their belief in the deity of Christ
(Matthew 8:28-31; Luke 4:31-35,40,41; Acts 19:11-
17). Therefore, simply believing Jesus is the Son
of God does not make someone a Christian because
then Satan would be a Christian.

Fifth, are we a Christian if we attend church?
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:12-15 that Satan
transforms himself into an angel of light while
demons transform themselves into ministers of
righteousness. Where would these ministers go to
steal the flock away from God? At least part of
the time they would be at church with the saints.
Accordingly, simply attending church does not make
someone a Christian, or Satan would be a
Christian.

Sixth, are we a Christian if we do good deeds?
When we do good deeds we often have personal
motives for doing them. Besides that, we notice
Matthew 4:1-11 when Satan tempted Jesus. Satan's
motives were evil, but consider that he was
willing to feed Jesus, protect him if he fell and
fulfill Jesus' desires. Consequently, simply doing
good deeds does not make us a Christian, or Satan
would be a child of God.

All of these things are part of being a Christian.
But none of them alone makes a Christian. Instead,
we must become a new creature (John 3:3-5), which
is accomplished by dying to self and being born
again in Christ (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3,4;
Galatians 3:27). When we arise from baptism, we
are a Christian through the gift of God.

A Christian will live for God by bearing fruit for
his kingdom (James 2:20-26; Revelation 2:10).
Scripture requires that we express love for God by
bearing fruit in service to God in a variety of
ways (cf. John 14:15). When we coddle people by
perpetuating the image that anyone who is a good
person is heaven-bound, we further Satan's plans
and dilute the cause of Christ.

Serving God is an absolute not subject to the
whims, emotions, and reasons of men. We are a
Christian by the plan of Christ, not by the
changing definitions of men. Let us always stand
for that truth.

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