By Billy Graham • June 1, 2004
The answer to your question is–both! Yes, we are responsible when we yield to temptation–but Satan is also in the background tempting us and seeking to mislead us. Let me explain.
When we sin, the Bible says we alone are responsible for the decision we made to ignore God and go our own way. We can’t blame anyone else–although we often try. When Adam and Eve sinned against God in the Garden of Eden, Adam tried to blame Eve (and also God) for what he had done: “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it” (Genesis 3:12). But he alone was responsible for his sin–and so are we.
At the same time, Satan is always behind the scenes, probing our weaknesses and tempting us to sin. No, he doesn’t cause us to sin, but he does everything he can to make it easy! Never forget that Satan is our enemy–his one goal is to turn us away from God. And that is what we do when we sin–we turn away from God.
When we come to Christ, however, God Himself comes to live within us by His Holy Spirit–and that means we have a new power or ability to resist temptation. The Bible say, “the Spirit helps us in our weakness” (Romans 8:26). That doesn’t mean we will never sin again–but when we are tempted, we can turn immediately to Christ, and He will help us. Is He living in your heart?