As Ephesians 6 – the key spiritual warfare passage – makes explicit, Satan focuses his efforts on extinguishing or corrupting our faith in Christ. That is why all of the weapons he lists for the believers’ struggle have to do with the objective Word of the gospel rather than on our own cleverly devised, if superstitious, technology. Satan’s favorite holiday is not Halloween but Christmas and Easter – in fact, every Lord’s Day when Christ gathers his people to himself. He foments external persecution an internal corruption of God’s Word and the believer’s faith. The Antichrist himself will assume his throne not in a capital of secular power but in the sanctuary of God (II Thessalonians 2:4). From Genesis to the Gospels, Satan’s favorite haunt is not wild parties and seances, but God’s courtroom, where he can accuse believers night and day. That is why it is so significant that Christ cast Satan out of heaven by his victorious ascension. It means that in heaven where our salvation is determined – there is no prosecutor, but only a defense attorney for the people of God.
Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 176-177
The plain truth in Romans 8:29 is that God, before the foundation of the world, singled out certain sinners and appointed them unto salvation (II Thessalonians 2:13). This is clear from the concluding words of the verse: “Predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son.” God id not predestinate those whom He foreknew were “conformed”, but on the contrary, those whom He “foreknew”” (i.e. loved and elected) He predestinated “to be conformed.” Their conformity to Christ is not the cause, but the effect of God’s foreknowledge and predestination.”
– Pink, Arthur W.; The Attributes of God; Kindle Edition; page 25
What we won’t have without the new birth:
- Without the new birth, we won’t have saving faith, but only unbelief (John 1:11-13; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 2:29; I Timothy 1:14; II Timothy 1:3)
- Without the new birth, we won’t have justification, but only condemnation (Romans 8:1; II Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 2:17; Philippians 3:9)
- Without the new birth, we won’t be the children of God, but the children of the devil. (I John 3:9-10)
- Without the new birth we won’t bear the fruit of love by the Holy Spirit but only the fruit of death (Romans 6:20-21, 7: 4-6, 15:16; I Corinthians 1:2; II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 5:6; II Thessalonians 2:13; I Peter 1:2; I John 3:14)
- Without the new birth, we won’t have eternal joy in fellowship with God, but only eternal misery with the devil and his angels (Matthew 24:41; John 3:3; Romans 6:23; Revelations 2:11, 20:15)
– John Piper, Finally Alive, Christian Focus Publishers, copyright 2009, page 60-61
In short, only God performs true miracles, Satan does counterfeit miracles. This is precisely what the Bible calls them in II Thessalonians 2:0 when Paul writes that “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders.” Of course, unless one is discerning, such signs can be deceptive and may be mistaken for miracles (Matthew 24:24).
– Geisler, Norm and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, copyright 2004, page