“'I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.' Our forerunners in Christian faith showed good sense when they articulated the core of fidelity to God’s Word written and incarnate. Attentive to Scripture’s emphases, the framers of the ancient, abiding creeds (Apostles, Nicene, Athanasian) chose to trace the shape of the triune God’s person, work, and promises. They made no direct mention of the roiling complex of evil: flesh, world, devil. But every baptismal liturgy contained a dramatic renunciation of the authority of devil, world and flesh. Proclaiming the light, our fathers marked out the darkness into which light shines.
Our brethren who framed the 16th and 17th century confessions and catechisms (e.g., Augsburg, 39 Articles, Heidelberg, Belgic, Westminster) were similarly attentive to Scripture. They chose to elaborate the doctrine of Scripture, the shape of Christ’s redeeming work, the complexities of human nature, the scope of the Lord’s commandments, the basics of the Christian life, the riches of the Lord’s prayer, the nature of church and sacraments. They never focused on the evil one. In passing, they marked out the defining characteristics of evil to orient us in our conflict: (1) the adversary seeks to destroy us by our sin; (2) the flesh, world and devil are mutually consistent and co-operative; (3) Christ works to destroy this triumvirate of evil in setting us free of sin and death.
Scripture points out the person and work of Satan only as he stands in relationship to God’s purposes with us, as we live for either good or ill. The emphasis is pastoral. God passes over many questions that might intrigue us."