Some of us can remember when Flip Wilson coined the phrase, "The devil made me do it!" Despite the fact that this assertion was part of a comedy routine, many people apparently took him seriously. In fact, hundreds of accused criminals have used that excuse to justify their crimes. It's hard to blame them. If we can prove that the devil FORCES us to do wrong, then the blame belongs to him alone.
Does the Bible substantiate that claim? It does teach that Satan tempts people to commit sin in hopes of dooming their souls to hell (Mat. 25:41). The Bible contains scores of examples from Eve in the Garden (Gen. 3), to King David (2 Kings 11), to Judas Iscariot (Jn. 13 & 18) and many more. He even tried to tempt Jesus to sin (Mat. 4:1-11).
However, the Bible also teaches that WE are responsible for the sins we commit. The apostle Paul wrote, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether GOOD or BAD.” (2 Cor. 5:10.) Moreover, “…each of us shall give ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF to God” (Rom 14:12). We must give an account for ourselves because the devil cannot “make” us do anything. He can only “dangle the carrot”. James wrote, “Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of HIS OWN LUST, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin” (Jam. 1:14-15).
While the devil can and will tempt us, it is up to us to resist or consent. This is why God “…will render to every man according to HIS DEEDS” (Rom. 2:6).
Praise God, however, that He will not allow will not permit us to be tempted beyond our ability to resist - 1 Cor 10:13, and that we have the ability through Christ (Phil. 4:13) to resist temptation. We are also told, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (Jam. 4:7).
The devil will continue to temp us (1 Pet. 5:8), but he CANNOT MAKE US SIN.
Jesus, always Jesus!