You’re at church on a Sunday morning. People around you raise their hands as they sing from their hearts. You see expressions of heartfelt joy on their faces. And you long to experience these feelings with them. But it’s just not there. You talk with a Christian friend, updating each other on your lives. A […]
Look into the heart and soul of a Christian. You’ll see how God has uniquely equipped the spiritual warrior for a lifelong battle against sin. A computer. A car. An appliance. Examine an object’s structure and makeup, and you’ll learn what it was made for. What lies inside reveals the thing’s purpose. Lacking the particular […]
In every other article before this one, we’ve found a way to reword the “remedies” Thomas Brooks offers to counteract Satan’s devices. In this article, we’re going to concentrate on Brooks’ definitions and explanations of true grace instead. We could easily devote an entire blog – not just one post, but the whole thing – […]
We must remember what Job asked his wife in the midst of unspeakable suffering: “Should we only accept good from God and not adversity?” Do we dare assume God owes his children a life of ease, freedom from suffering, and avoidance of pain? Will we refuse to consider he has greater purposes in mind for the darkness that sometimes obscures his light?
Satan wants us to think that if we do not have the most fully developed, fully assured faith in Christ and in his forgiveness of our sins, we don’t really have it at all. He wants us to believe there are no degrees of faith, no growth, no development over time. Either we are fully […]
We are sometimes like the paralytic by the pool at Bethesda, lying dejected, consumed by our weaknesses, with the Source of our healing in plain sight. Satan blinds us against the power of forgiveness by shining the glaring light of our sins in our faces.
But as Brooks reminds us, “A Christian should wear Christ in his bosom as a flower of delight, for he is a whole paradise of delight. He who minds not Christ more than his sin, can never be thankful and fruitful as he should.”
And so we have six remedies available to us, weapons against Satan’s hounding our minds about the sins that so easily entangle us. It is in dwelling on our Healer rather than on our disease that we will be made whole.
Our “performances” are the outworking of that collective sacrifice. We wouldn’t use this word today. It connotes images of entertainment, of performers on a stage playing roles and delivering rehearsed thoughts and ideas. Instead, we might think of these as “good works.”
Regardless of what we call them, the acts in which we engage should be fueled by grace, not law. But this is an idea Satan despises. In his hatred of God’s grace, he uses two tactics against us.
He tries to shackle us once again to a burdensome religious obligation. So he convinces us God will not be pleased with us unless we are always dutiful, always performing.
If that doesn’t work, he uses an opposing scheme. Satan will lure us into looking not to Christ as our assurance of salvation, but to the works God produces in us by faith. We become the object of our own worship.
It is this second tactic that is the subject of this device.