“The devil made me do it!”

“The devil made me do it!”  You have probably heard someone use this excuse when they do something that is morally wrong.  They didn’t use these words but they tried to justify their moral failure by claiming that they were forced to do what they did by some  external power.  They might have blamed other people, the circumstances of their life, or something they suffered during childhood.  The point is that they tried to absolve themselves of blame for their moral failures.

What does the Bible say about this?

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.  (James 1:14,15)

The source of the sins we commit is not something external but is the fruit of our own desires.  The temptation to sin comes from within us, not from outside of us.  That doesn’t mean that Satan doesn’t have a role in our sinning.  If we examine the first temptation we can see what that role is.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.  He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden,but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”  (Genesis 3:1-3)

The serpent, or rather Satan acting through him, began by questioning what God had said.  He followed this up by lying.

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  (Genesis 3:4,5)

It was only then that Eve experienced the desire that led her to sin.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.  (Genesis 3:6)

Satan tempts us to sin but we must choose whether we will act on the temptation.

When God questioned Adam and Eve about their actions they began passing the buck just a people do today.

The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”  (Genesis 3:12)

Adam blamed Eve and implied that God was to blame for creating Eve.

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”  (Genesis 3:13)

Eve was the first person to use the excuse, “The devil made me do it.”

Sometimes temptation can be hard to resist but God has promised Christians that we will never have to yield.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.  (1 Corinthians 10:13)

The most important factor in resisting temptation is submission to God.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  (James 4:7)

We must first submit and then we can successfully resist.  The best way to prepare for temptation is the spend time studying the Bible and putting it into practice.

After his baptism Jesus spent forty days fasting and afterward he was tempted by Satan.  His response is the pattern we need to follow.

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,  “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,  “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”

Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.  (Matthew 4:1-11)

Always remember that all the devil can do you tempt you; he cannot make you do anything.

Posted on March 31, 2020, in Bible study and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on “The devil made me do it!”.

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