The Power of Death?
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.
When Satan successfully tempted Adam and Eve, he brought death into the world (Gen. 3:1ff; Rom. 5:12). The concept of death revolves around separation, the separation of the body from the spirit which is the physical first death (James 2:26) and the separation of God from us due to our sins which is the spiritual second death death culminating in eternal hell (Is. 59:2; Rom. 6:23; Rev. 21:8). Because we all sinned (Rom. 3:23), and our sins demanded a just punishment (Rom. 2:5-6; 3:26) for which the blood of animal sacrifices could not atone (Heb. 10:1-4), Satan had the power of death over us. In other words, we had no hope of salvation from hell.
Thanks be to God that out of his great love for us he sent his only Son (John 3:16), who left the glory of Heaven to become a mortal, flesh-and-blood Man (John 1:14; Rom. 1:3; 8:3; Gal. 4:4; Phil. 2:7-8; Col. 1:22; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 John 4:2; 2 John 7) who was tempted in every way that we are tempted, “yet without sin” (Heb. 4:14-16). By living that sinless life and then offering himself on the cross on our behalf, he became the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:1-2; 4:10; cf. Rom. 3:25; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; Col. 1:20; ). God’s righteous demand for a just punishment for our sins was met, giving us the hope of salvation and thus taking away Satan’s power of death over us!
Yes, Satan is still active and we must be wary of him (1 Pet. 5:8-9; 2 Cor. 2:11)…but Christ’s sacrifice on the cross has destroyed him so that we know his guaranteed, ultimate end (Rev. 20:10-12). Therefore, Christians need no longer fear the death that is separation from God (Rom. 8:37-39; 1 Cor. 3:21-23) because we are Abraham’s spiritual descendants due to belonging to Christ (Gal. 3:29; cf. Rom. 2:28-29; Gal. 6:16; James 1:1-2) and thus are heirs to whom is promised that glorious, eternal inheritance in Heaven (1 Pet. 1:3-5)!
How does one come to belong to Christ and thus receive these awesome blessings? Through faithful, penitent baptism into Christ and his body, the church of Christ (Gal. 3:26-29; Rom. 6:1-8; 1 Cor. 12:13; cf. Col. 1:18; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38).