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Knowing and Serving God

August 23

THE DEVIL IS A PERSON

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.
John 8:44

The second thing that the Bible tells us about the devil is that he is a person. This is most important at the present time, because it has been the fashion for at least a century not to believe in the devil as a person. This is true not only of those who are unbelievers but also of many who call themselves Christians. They say they believe in the power of evil or an evil influence or a kind of lack in us, but they have a feeling that to believe in a personal devil is to be very much behind the times. But that is thoroughly unbiblical, because the Bible teaches us that the devil is a person.

For myself, there is one proof that is more than sufficient in and of itself, and that is the accounts we have in the Gospels of the temptations of our Lord. Now obviously our Lord's temptations came from somewhere, and when people say that temptation to evil is something that arises solely from within and from a certain lack of power or positive qualities in us, they have no explanation to offer for the temptations of our Lord. It was a person who tempted our Lord, and our Lord addressed him as such; it was the devil who spoke to Him, and He spoke to the devil (Luke 4:1-13)--not an influence, but a person. Furthermore, we find the same thing in the book of Job in the first chapter, where the devil appears quite clearly as a person and addresses God. And God addresses him.

The biblical teaching is in no doubt at all about this. Our Lord, turning to certain Jews one day, said to them, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do" (John 8:44). How often you find the phrase, "the wicked one"--for example, "then cometh the wicked one" (Matthew 13:19).

A Thought to Ponder
It was a person who tempted our Lord, and our Lord addressed him as such.

From God the Father, God the Son, p. 117.



Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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