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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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OVERCOMING SATAN

For some have already strayed after Satan. (1 Timothy 5:15 ESV)

Not only are you fighting against normal human problems, but you now have engaged in war with Satan and demons and sin itself. (John MacArthur)

Many no longer believe in Satan. They think that he is the product of the uneducated, superstitious mind. The Scriptures are largely ignored concerning Satan and his minions in our current free-thinking culture. We look at evil with enlightened eyes and see a disease which only needs the right medicine to cure it.

Evil thrives on being unacknowledged. It separates man from God. It is an unrelenting malevolence against mankind. This is a spiritual battle on a cosmic scale and most are blind to its existence. (2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV) How is the master of evil overcome? James, the brother of our Lord Jesus Christ, writes:

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THE DEVIL AT CHURCH

J. C. Ryle:

“The seed is the Word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the Word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.” (Luke 8:11-12)

Bishop J. C. RyleThe devil, that malicious spirit, is unwearied in his efforts to do us harm. He is ever watching for our halting, and seeking occasion to destroy our souls. But nowhere perhaps is the devil so active as in a congregation of Gospel hearers. Nowhere does he labor so hard to stop the progress of that which is good, and to prevent men and women being saved.

From him come: wandering thoughts; roving imaginations; listless minds; dull memories; sleepy eyes; fidgety nerves; weary ears; and distracted attention. In all these things Satan has a great hand. People wonder where they come from, and marvel how it is that they find sermons so dull, and remember them so badly!

They forget the parable of the sower. They forget the devil. Let us take heed that we are not wayside hearers. Let us beware of the devil. We shall always find him at Church! He never stays away from public ordinances. Let us remember this, and be upon our guard. (“The Gospel of Luke” 1858)

TRIBULATION!

Charles H. Spurgeon:

Charles H. SpurgeonWe cannot show our courage unless we have difficulties and troubles. A man cannot become a veteran soldier if he never goes to battle. No man can get his sea legs if he lives always on land. Rejoice, therefore, in your tribulations, because they give you opportunities of exhibiting a believing confidence and, thereby, glorifying the name of the Most High. But take heed that you have faith, true faith in God—do not become a puppet of impressions— much less a slave of the judgments of others. To have David’s faith, you must be as David. No man may take up a confidence of his own making— it must be a real work of the Spirit and growth of Grace within—grasping with living tendrils the promise of the living God. (1892, Sermon #2237)

JOY IN HELL

devilCharles H. Spurgeon:

There is joy in Hell when a saint grows idle! There is gladness among devils when we cease to pray, when we become slack in faith and feeble in communion with God. (1893, Sermon #2303)

IF THE DEVIL COMES …

Charles Haddon SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

“If the devil comes to you and you get into an argument with him, he will beat you, for he is a very ancient lawyer and he has been at the business for so many ages that you cannot match him. Send Him to your Advocate! Refer him to the Wonderful, the Counselor! Always shelter beneath this fact, “My times are in His hands. I have left the whole business to Another and I cannot dishonor Him by meddling.” Satan knows the Christ too well to go to Him—he knows the taste of His broadsword, of, “It is written.” He will not contest with Jesus if we leave Him to plead the causes of our soul!” (1891, Sermon #2205)

C. S. LEWIS ON SIN

Screwtape LettersUncle Screwtape on small sins:

“You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness.  But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy.  It does not matter how small the sins are, provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing.  Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick.  Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.  Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape.” (The Screwtape Letters, 56)

A LITTLE YIELDING

Thomas_MantonThomas Manton:

If you yield to Satan in the least, he will carry you further and further, till he has left you under a stupefied or terrified conscience: stupefied, till thou hast lost all thy tenderness. A stone at the top of a hill, when it begins to roll down, ceases not till it comes to the bottom. Thou thinkest it is but yielding a little, and so by degrees are carried on, till thou hast sinned away all thy profession, and all principles of conscience, by the secret witchery of his temptations.

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