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I have heard that I'm stronger than Satan for a few reasons.

  1. Because I have a body and he doesn't.

  2. Because he only has as much power over me as I give him.

  3. Because I am never beyond the influence of the Savior and his Atonement. There's always some heavenly power aiding me.

I'm especially looking for scriptures to back up the first reason. Maybe there aren't any. I can sort of see the story of Moses fighting Satan in Moses 1:9–22 as a scripture that backs up the 1st reason, but it fits better with the 3rd reason.

So ideally, I'm hoping to get a scripture that has specific mention of how having a body gives us an advantage over Satan. But I will probably have to settle for another answer, because a scripture like that probably doesn't exist.

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    I take it that you are looking asking for a Mormon perspective answer to your question? – Ken Graham Apr 1 '16 at 13:16
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    @KenGraham Yeah, I tagged it with lds to try to indicate that. – Pie Till I Die Apr 1 '16 at 15:20
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    As a Mormon, I've heard this several times over, but "stronger" is such a broad word. It could mean anything from "I'm able to the resist temptations of Satan" to "I have more power over the world than Satan", or even "I could beat him in an arm wrestle". – Nathan Merrill Apr 1 '16 at 17:53
  • @NathanMerrill I only care if I can beat him in an arm wrestle. The rest will be taken care of by Jesus. ;) Nah, but really, I was thinking about what it meant to be stronger when I wrote this question, and I'm glad you bring that up. I couldn't figure out what exactly I meant. But generally, I think beating his temptations is what I'm concerned about being stronger than him at. – Pie Till I Die Apr 1 '16 at 19:36
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    I think you're thinking of this quote from Joseph Smith: "All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him. The moment we revolt at anything which comes from God, the devil takes power." Latter-day saints believe strongly in the eternal importance of the physical body. – Samuel Bradshaw Apr 2 '16 at 6:51
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I upvoted rhetorician's answer because I think that is the answer. However, from you question it seems that you're probably looking for an LDS perspective specifically, so I have an answer from the Book of Mormon to add to what has been said already.

As is stated in other answers, without yielding to the Holy Spirit, we are powerless to Satan even with a body. That is what my answer will focus on supporting.

In King Benjamin's great speech to his people in Mosiah 2-4 there are a lot of things said that could help here, but two in particular come to mind:

Mosiah 3:19:

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been since the fall of Adam, and will be, for-ever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

Mosiah 4:30:

But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.

A third source that Satan can have power over us comes from Nephi, as he is talking about "secret combinations" and how Satan can bind men forever.

2 Nephi 26:22:

And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, the founder of murder, and works of darkness; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever.

Finally, in the LDS Church's Addiction Recovery Program manual, step 1 is all about how addicts are powerless to addiction and lose their ability to choose good in the face of certain evils. They're told that they're "powerless" to overcome them without God's help. That section, and the whole manual, is also full of a few good Book of Mormon scriptures about the powerlessnes of man when they don't yield to the Holy Spirit. I won't add anymore quotes from there because I think most people have a general idea of how a typical 12 step program works. My point on this one is that the Church supports teaching people that they can become powerless if they let Satan lead them long enough.

In summary, and to actually answer the question, what I'm saying is that I don't think there are any scriptures that back up the idea that we are or can be stronger than Satan. The opposite principle (that we are powerless to Satan and only God can beat him) is taught profusely in the Book of Mormon and other LDS teachings.

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Frankly, according to the Bible Christians are NOT stronger than Satan, and that is not because he is a spiritual being and they are physical/spiritual beings. If anything, having bodies makes Christians more vulnerable to his attacks, not less. As the apostle Paul observed, our bodies have "members," and since our members war against each other (Romans 7:23) Christians must allow "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus to set . . . [them] free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).

There is nothing inherently wrong with the human body, since it has been designed by God, but physical senses and appetites of necessity and by God's design interact with bodily members, sometimes in God-pleasing ways and sometimes not.

First John 4:4, quoted already in an answer, is a good starting place, but the verse needs to be unpacked a bit!

Notice in this verse that the Spirit (capital S) is greater than the spirit (lower-case S) who lives in the world (viz., the devil). The Holy Spirit, who indwells every believer, is the Spirit of Christ. Through Christ's Spirit within them, Christians are "more than conquerors" in spiritual warfare (Romans 8:37), since he fights on their behalf. Their duty is simply to stand in the power of his might (Ephesians 6:10). Jesus said,

"Without me you can do nothing" (John 15:5)

To grow and thrive in Christ, Christians must "abide in Christ" as he abides in them (John 15:4 ff.). Abiding in Christ requires Christians' heart commitment; it takes spiritual awareness of the warfare going on around them and within them; and it takes unbroken fellowship between them and Jesus, which requires frequent confession and repentance.

Yes, believers can choose to surrender control to the devil and his influence, but without an awareness of their vulnerability to his attacks they can surrender more control to him than they think they do. Forewarned is to be forearmed. Knowing that the devil prowls about as a lion seeking to devour true believers (1 Peter 5:8) requires spiritual diligence on their part. Do they therefore need to fear the devil? Yes and no.

Yes, Christians need to fear the devil because he is powerful, hateful, and well organized. His "world system" exerts a powerful influence on earth, and believers need only to read the headlines of today's newspapers to realize he is indeed very active in wreaking havoc in people's lives and in society at large.

Jesus likened the devil to a sheep-stealer who comes only to "steal and kill and destroy" (John 10:10). Jesus, on the other hand, comes only to give his children an abundant life. That abundant life is within reach of every Christian, but sometimes spiritual strongholds and besetting, entangling sins in their lives (Hebrews 12:1) short circuit that abundant life in Christ.

For that reason, believers must come back again and again to the cross of Christ, where Satan was defeated. As the old hymn puts it,

Nothing in my hand I bring,

Simply to thy cross I cling . . ..

So no, Christians need not fear the devil. When they cling to the cross of Christ, crucifying their old natures by taking up the cross daily (Luke 9:23), victorious living for them becomes a reality as the atoning blood of Christ and their whole-hearted witness to the truth of God come together through faith. Revelation 12 says the following:

Then 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 brethren [viz., Satan] has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. And they [i.e., believers] overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death" (vv.10-11 NASB Updated, my emphasis).

The blood of the Lamb is the atonement to which you referred in your question. The word of their testimony comprises the truths to which Christians cling, truths which assume 1) that their testimony is informed by the truth of God, and 2) that they are prepared and willing even to die for that truth.

In conclusion, Satan is a formidable foe. To fail to recognize this truth is to underestimate his influence and power, and failure in this regard opens believers up to his influence and attacks. The solution is to put on by faith the complete armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-17):

  • God's truth, which guards the loins

  • the breastplate of righteousness

  • battle shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace

  • the shield of faith

  • the helmet of salvation

  • the sword of the Spirit

Having done these things, believers are then simply to "stand firm" (v.14), which means they are not in attack mode; rather, they are dependent on God and his armor to defend them.

  • I want to disagree with much of what you have said, but then it occurred to me that perhaps you were saying most of it in the context of the OP's #2? This certainly seems to me that is the direct context of Romans 7. Are you simply saying Satan does not have the authority to influence us against our will or overcome the defense of the Holy Spirit, but by underestimating him and not guarding against him in the Holy Spirit we are essentially opening the way for him to exercise influence against us? To clarify, I do not believe we are stronger by ourselves, but that He who is within me is. – Joshua Apr 1 '16 at 14:21
  • @JoshuaBigbee - I'm struggling to see what you're disagreeing with in his answer - you've basically just rephrased exactly what he's written: Christians aren't stronger, but by submission to the Spirit we are "more than conquerors" (cf. Rom 8:9,37), but by laziness and neglect we fall under satan's influence. – Steve Taylor Apr 1 '16 at 14:40
  • @SteveTaylor I'm not disagreeing, I'm clarifying and confirming that is the position he is coming from. Should be "I wanted to disagree,...but" and note the question mark. It important to clarify these points. For example I could disagree with what you just said based on saying a Christian's starting point is with the Holy Spirit, since that's what makes differentiates them as a Christian. Therefore the Holy Spirit is not only implied, it is necessary. So saying Satan is stronger than Christians is incorrect. That's why I brought it back to the OP's language in #2. – Joshua Apr 1 '16 at 15:10
  • @JoshuaBigbee: I think we're on the same page. When I say (or imply that) Satan is stronger than Christians, I simply mean that when they let down their guard, so to speak, they become vulnerable to his attacks. The Holy Spirit, in us, is obviously more powerful than Satan, but the Spirit, in a sense, needs their cooperation in the battle. Again, their role is primarily defensive, although their use of the "sword of the Spirit" (i.e., God's word) is an offensive weapon, just as it was in Christ's temptation in the wilderness. "It is written," Jesus said again and again. Don – rhetorician Apr 1 '16 at 17:07
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    This is not the LDS answer. – ShemSeger Apr 3 '16 at 13:56
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I John 4:4 says " you belong to God..the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world".

Hope this helps!!

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The passage you're looking for can be found in in 1 Corinthians, chapter 10, verse 13:

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Its message is reinforced is 1 Nephi 3:7:

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

From these two we see that, with the Lord's help, it is always possible (if not necessarily easy or popular) to escape from every temptation of the devil and obey every commandment from God.

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Some good points made so far. I'll just add this scripture.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7 (KJV)

Again, this doesn't mean that humans are naturally stronger, but that God has complete power over the devil. By putting our lives under God's power, we have the ability to drive the devil away.

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