Satan appears in the garden at the beginning. He is cast into the fire in the end. He tempted David, he bewildered Saul, and waged an attack on Job. Serious students of Scripture must be serious about Satan. Jesus was.
“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8). He squared off against Satan in the wilderness. Jesus saw Satan not as a mythological image, not an invention of allegory. He saw the devil as a superhuman narcissist. When Jesus taught us to pray, he did not say, “Deliver us from nebulous negative emotions.” He said, “Deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13).
We play into the devil’s hand when we pretend he does not exist. The devil is a real devil. But—and this is huge—the devil is a defeated devil.