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C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
I'm working on an excellent book by Richard Capel, invited Westminster Divine, on temptation. You may have heard the phrase, "The devil made me do it," as an excuse to justify one's sins. This is a complete fallacy.

True enough, the devil operates in a sphere which pressed the Lord of glory to instruct his disciples to pray in this way, "Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from the evil one," of which, if the devil had no "coercive power", such a prayer would be all but meaningless; and Scriptures dealing with his work on professing disciples would be equally meaningless. "...the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him," (John 13:2).

However, I heard that little diddy while I was growing up in the liberal church over an over. The devil made me do it...

No, no, he didn't.

Capel says, "Satan must have permission from us; I mean, we must give way to his temptation, otherwise his temptation will be frustrated. Acts 5:3 says, “Why has Satan filled thy heart?” Peter expostulates the matter with Ananias, not with Satan, and asks him why he gave Satan an occasion to fill his heart with such wickedness. We must then "thank ourselves" if the devil snares us in his temptation."


Puritan Board Freshman
Exactly. Job is a perfect example. The Devil doesn't make us do anything at all. It is always us.


Puritan Board Senior
I guess I need to stop getting my theology from Flip Wilson then. ;)

Seriously, though, thanks for your work in this area, Dr. McMahon.
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