What is the devil? Sin in the flesh.


The following three verses show that the devil is human nature which Jesus Christ himself bore:

Hebrews 2:14
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

Romans 8:3
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Ephesian 2:14-16
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

If you read the above passages carefully you will note that the following phrases are all saying the same thing:

  • Jesus destroyed the devil
  • Jesus condemned sin in the flesh
  • Jesus abolished the enmity with God

These passages are speaking of a principle of human nature – that it is related to sin. It is human nature which causes us to be tempted and when we follow temptation this leads us to sin – which rightly brings forth death. This is what James tells us:

James 1:14-15
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death

The three passages we started with also show that, Jesus partook of “flesh and blood” – also known as “sinful flesh” which is
enmity with God“. He was a man who knew all the problems which we face. As we read:

Hebrews 4:15
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

Therefore this flesh, or nature, which man inherits from his forefather Adam and its proneness to sin, is the real problem that we have. This is “the devil” (Greek: “diabolos“) of the Bible. It is this nature which any true follower of the Bible must hope is destroyed at the return of Christ.

Phil 3:21
“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

Jesus himself then bore our human nature with all its temptations to sin, yet overcame every thought and inclination to sin by fulfilling his Father’s will. He died as a sacrifice but because he was without sin he was raised from the dead and having that nature destroyed he was given eternal life. God, in His mercy, has said that if we make Christ our representative through baptism into his name, we will also have an opportunity to be given the gift of eternal life when Jesus returns to the earth to establish God’s kingdom.

For further information please read our article “The true identity of the devil