The SBJT Forum -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 18:1 (Spring 2014)
Article: The SBJT Forum
Author: Anonymous

The SBJT Forum

SBJT: What Does Revelation 12 Teach Us About The Cross Of Christ And Persecution?

Thomas R. Schreiner is James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Associate Dean for Scripture and Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also serves as Preaching Pastor of Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

A widely respected New Testament scholar, Dr. Schreiner is the author of countless articles and many books, including New Testament Theology: Magnifying God in Christ (Baker, 2008), Galatians in the Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series (Zondervan, 2010), and The King and His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments (Baker, 2013).

Thomas R. Schreiner: Revelation 12 teaches us that the church faces persecution because of our great adversary the devil. In v. 7 we read about a great war in heaven between Michael, the archangel, and Satan. Michael defeated Satan, and he was expelled from heaven. Verse 9 reminds us of how great that victory is: For our opponent is the devil—the one who slanders us before God. He is Satan (our adversary). He is the one who deceives the whole world. As 1 John says “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). Or, as the gospel of John says he is “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31). He is “the prince of the power of the air.” Paul says that there are “spiritual forces of evil” (Eph 6:12) that oppose us.

Satan attempts to destroy the church through persecution or by false teaching. But he is a defeated enemy. John teaches that he is expelled from heaven and thrown to the earth (Rev 12:8-9). But when did this battle with Michael take place? John isn’t talking here about the original fall of Satan when he first rebelled against God. Nor is John talking about Satan being evicted from heaven sometime in the future. The key to interpreting Michael’s victory is found in vv. 10-11. “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb.’” Michael didn’t triumph over the devil in his own strength. He cast him out of heaven b...

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