The Devil Made Me Do It!

Flip Wilson, a comedian, popularized that phrase back in 70s. It’s funny because we all would like to blame the wrong things that we do on someone else. But in reality we only have ourselves to blame. The devil doesn’t make us do anything.

The prophet Jeremiah explained that the heart is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9). The New Testament affirms this truth through the apostle Paul; “For I know that in me (that is, my flesh) nothing good dwells…” (Rom. 7:18). Paul said this after he had been a believer for a number of years. My main enemy is myself. The devil certainly influences and tempts, but it is my heart that is deceitful above all things. My heart is even more deceitful than the devil.

Many Christians fail to understand that God didn’t remove the old nature (flesh) when we were saved. As an unbeliever we only had an old nature. The Christian, however, has both an old and new nature. When you were saved, God didn’t make your old nature better, nor did He remove it. He gave you a new nature “which was created according to God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). If we only had a new nature, we would not sin.

Do you struggle with sin? If you do it’s because you have two natures. “The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Gal. 5:17). It’s that old nature that is the cause of our sinful behaviors and action. However, when walking in the Spirit you cannot sin.

Regardless, we are still responsible for our decisions and actions. As believers, we can’t blame our old nature when we sin. It’s our responsibility to begin to learn how to live out of the new nature by faith. This can only happen when we begin to read the Bible, the word of God, learning to understand truth, applying it to our daily living, while depending on the Spirit of God for the power to do what God says we should do.  

Failure to mature and grow as believer won’t keep you out of heaven, but it makes one unfruitful and dysfunctional in life (II Pet. 1:8). There are consequences for sin and sometimes they can be disastrous. Most importantly, though, your life will fail to glorify God.  

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