Devil and Satan
1st March 2008, mgh
4) Defeating the Devil
The faithful followers of Jesus are described in Galatians 5: 24. “They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” In doing this the devil, in metaphorical terms, is defeated.
Jesus was proclaimed to be sinless. In his life he overcame all sin and was obedient in every way to his Father's will. In this way he was worthy of obtaining eternal life. He had overcome all the propensities that are normal to man which lead to sin and thus to death. He had overcome the “power of death”, which is human nature, that results in man disobeying God and falling short of God's requirements that can give people the opportunity to obtain a life beyond the grave.
As a perfect man he became the means by which we can obtain forgiveness for our shortcomings and sins. His death and sacrifice achieved this.
From the time of Adam and Eve, who sinned, provision was made for the forgiveness of sin. This was the slaying of the lamb. In the O.T the law that was given to the nation of Israel through Moses, clearly showed that for man to gain redemption or salvation, he had to be obedient and sinless. The Law showed that man was prone to sin and to be disobedient. To obtain forgiveness, God gave laws by which the sacrifice of animals and the shedding of blood was required for forgiveness. In offering the animal, the offerer should have realised that he was worthy of death, but the offering and shedding of the animal's blood allowed for forgiveness and a recognition of his unworthiness.
Jesus, who was obedient in all aspects of this Law, is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. By his sacrifice and the shedding of his blood, he became the perfect sacrifice, which animals, despite their physical perfection could not be. Jesus, having our nature, displayed the perfection that God required. By the shedding of his blood he fulfilled the requirements of the law and became the means of salvation for sinful humans. By identifying with his death and resurrection through the act of baptism, which a complete immersion in water, signifying a death to the ways of sin and rising to a new way of life, we have the opportuniity of life. Through his sacrifice we have access through prayer to God, as he is the mediator of a new covenant between God and man. See Jesus and Salvation.)
If we do not understand the implications of the term 'devil', and blame an external force for our actions, weaknesses and failures, we are making excuses for our behaviour and our sins. To put the blame on someone else, some supernatural force is unacceptable in Biblical teaching. The evidence from the Bible demonstrates that the devil and satan stand in general for human sin in all its forms. The more we recognise our need of deliverence from our human nature and weaknesses, the more we will appreciate the Gospel message which Jesus preached. This message is the hope of God's Kingdom on earth (The Kingdom), the promise to the faithful that is found in the pages of the Bible (Promises), . We are dying creatures, but we have been offered the hope of a future life instead of eternal death (Gospel).