LOTS of years ago, Flip Wilson had a line that got a few laughs. He’d tell a story and convey exactly how the devil made him do something that he shouldn’t have. I have been thinking about that line and if I believe demons or “the devil” really is the culprit in my wrongdoing. Yesterday, I made the comment that I think we give the devil way too much credit. After all, he can only be one place at a time, and furthermore, why would he pick on someone with as little influence as me? I was fairly convinced that I can be my own worst enemy sometimes in my actions (and yes, I do believe Satan is alive and well and there is real evil in this world, but I wasn’t sure it all started with him saying, “I’m gonna get her today…”) My friend was troubled by this because she believed that all evil is caused by the devil. We talked about this for a while and I started to change my mind. I think I balked at the idea because I believe we have to take responsibility for our sin. When we let our guard down in an area, it opens the door to our evil desires. And that is the part that we have to take up with God in repentance. But that is not the same thing as recognizing (and acknowledging) where evil comes from. What we concluded was that evil is all around us (1 John 5:19) and Satan is prince of this world, but we have the power and the choice to overcome evil. (Romans 12:21) And the Lord will rescue us from every evil attack. (2 Timothy 4:18) Does all sin come from the evil one or is human nature sometimes responsible? What do you think?
Just came back to see if there were any more responses. I love what Paulina added!
Re: Does all sin come from the evil one or is human nature sometimes responsible?
Your question is simply complex! I like the way Ephesians 2 addresses elements of this subject.
Prior to salvation, according to scripture, we are dead in trespasses & sins and lived gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature following it’s desires and thoughts. Although we don’t/can’t realize it, God painfully does. I’m thinking God’s analysis of man in Genesis 6.5 “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually'” tells us loud and clear that we sin by our choice. We make that choice because we are in bondage to our sin nature thanks to Adam & Eve. In spite of our desire for things to be different, for us to choose things that are good, we (I) don’t. Even our good works are predetermined so that we may walk in them. Thank God for grace!
I really enjoyed your Scripture verses! My Stephanie does the same each year.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.
Some very good points to ponder, Mark. So thankful for grace, myself!
Hmmm….The devil didn’t make me do it. I did it myself with his encouragement! Paulina
Good question. As I’m thinking through it…well, I’m still thinking through it. Sin came into the world through a choice made. This is a sinful world and there is evil all around us. Did Satan create it? Hmmmmm. Still thinking through it. I think he (Satan) takes advantage of the world’s sinful state.
But, I DO know that sin no longer has power over us as believers. Because of what Jesus did, we don’t have to pay the penalty for our sin.
Our choice is are we going to live according to the new nature we have–Jesus Christ’s nature? Or are we going to live the way of the world?
I’m still thinking on Satan’s part in all of this.
I agree, Sheryl. Thanks for your good thoughts on this! Our sin has definitely been remedied, and it’s our choice. The only question that really matters, your “Are we going to live according to the new nature we have in Christ?”
I’m pretty black and white so I believe it does come from Satan. Yes, we do have to take responsibility for it, but we also have to have a clear understanding of the author. Yes, he wants to get us every single day. He wants us to quit and join his team! People usually say, “The devil made me do it” so they can minimize it (in my opinion).
SO glad to see you blogging today!
p.s. I believe little old you have a LOT of influence! More than you even imagine! People are watching you! xoxo
How about that! I managed to ink out a little post after the long abandonment. Thanks for your thoughts on this. It really had Cathy, Trisha and I thinking and asking for a little wisdom.