Is Satan Only Responsible for Tempting us to Sin?

By Brian Lowther

In my last post I suggested a list of five possible answers you might get if you were to ask people,  “Are the destructive germs that cause disease the work of Satan?” Below are my reflections on perspective #1, “No, I think Satan is only responsible for tempting us to sin.”

Though it does seem pretty clear that one of Satan’s chief responsibilities is temptation, the first thing that comes to mind in response would be a brief (and by no means exhaustive) list of scripture references that describe Satan doing anything other than tempting us to sin. So here goes. 

Satan is portrayed as being:

  1. “the god of this age/this world [who] has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel,” 2 Cor 4:4
  2. “the ruler of the power of the air,” Eph 2:2
  3. “the prince (or ruler) of this world,” Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11
  4. “the accuser of the brethren” Rev 12:10
  5. He is portrayed as possessing all the kingdoms of the world, Lk 4:5-6
  6. He is said to have control of the entire world, 1Jn 5:19 
  7. He is portrayed as being the one behind:
    • death, Jn 10:10; Heb 2:14; 1Pet 5:8
    • murder, Jn 8:44; 1Jn 3:12, (though this can be tempting people to murder)
    • lying, Jn 8:44, (though this can be tempting people to lie)
    • persecution, Eph 6:12-13
    • sickness and disease, Job 2:7; Lk 13:16; Acts 10:38
    • physical ailments such as:
      • inability to speak, Mt 9:32-33; 12:22, Mk 9:17-25 
      • epileptic symptoms, Mt. 17:18; Mk 9:17-22
      • blindness Mt 12:22

He and his fallen army are portrayed as having supernatural capabilities to:

  1. obstruct Kingdom work, 1 Thes 2:18
  2. hinder prayer, Dan 10:13
  3. do counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 2 Thes 2:9
  4. deceive, 2Cor 11:14;  Rev 20:8
  5. choke faith, Mt 13:19; Mk 4:15
  6. demonize people, Mk 1:26; 5:1-20; 7:26-30; Lk 4:33-36; 22:3; Acts 16:16-18. 

To illustrate, I’ve created this pie chart that categorizes the works of the devil. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Posted on March 27, 2012 and filed under First 30.