Bring Your Sinful Desire to the Gospel

“Bring your lust to the gospel—not for relief, but for further conviction of its guilt; look on Him whom you have pierced [Zech. 12:10; John 19:37], and be in bitterness. Say to your soul:

‘What have I done? What love, what mercy what blood, what grace have I despised and trampled on! Is this the return I make to the Father for his love, to the Son for his blood, to the Holy Ghost for his grace?

Do I thus [repay] the Lord? Have I defiled the heart that Christ died to wash, that the blessed Spirit has chosen to dwell in? And can I keep myself out of the dust?

What can I say to the dear Lord Jesus? How shall I hold up my head with any boldness before him? Do I account communion with him of so little value, that for this vile lust’s sake I have scarce left him any room in my heart? How shall I escape if I neglect so great a salvation?

In the meantime, what shall I say to the Lord? Love, mercy, grace, goodness, peace, joy, consolation—I have despised them all, and esteemed them as a thing of naught, that I might harbor a lust in my heart.

Have I obtained a view of God’s fatherly countenance, that I might behold his face and provoke him to his face? Was my soul washed, that room might be made for new defilements?

Shall I endeavor to disappoint the end of the death of Christ? Shall I daily grieve that Spirit whereby I am sealed to the day of redemption?’

Entertain your conscience daily with this treaty. See if it can stand before this aggravation of its guilt. If this make it not sink in some measure and melt, I fear thy case is dangerous.”

-John Owen

Be Killing Sin or It Will Be Killing You

“Be killing sin or it will be killing you”

“There are two great things that are suitable to humble to souls of men. The first is due consideration of God. And the second is a due consideration of yourself. Of God, look at His greatness, his glory, His holiness, His power, His majesty and His authority, and of ourselves, to understand our mean, lowly, insignificant abject sinful condition.”

-John Owen, Overcoming Sin and Temptation, ed. Kelly M. Kapic and Justin Taylor, 282

Satan’s Devices to Keep Saints Doubting and Questioning –Part 4

Satan’s Devices to keep saints in a sad, doubting, questioning, and uncomfortable condition. –Part 4

7. By reminding the saint of his frequent relapses into sin formerly repented of and prayed against:

For remedies, consider that

A. Many scriptures show that such relapses have troubled saints
B. God nowhere promises that such relapses will not happen
C. The most renowned of glorified saints have, on earth, experienced such relapses
D. Relapses into enormities must be distinguished from relapses into infirmities
E. Involuntary and voluntary relapses must be distinguished
F. No experience of the soul, however deep or high, can in itself secure the soul against relapses

8. By persuading saints that their state is not good nor their graces sound :

For remedies, consider that

A. The best of Christians have been most tempted by Satan
B. All the saints temptations are sanctified to them by a hand of love
C. Temptations cannot harm the saints as long as they are resisted by them

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Satan’s Devices to Keep Saints Doubting and Questioning –Part 3

Satan’s Devices to keep saints in a sad, doubting, questioning, and uncomfortable condition. –Part 3

5. By suggesting to saints that the conflict that is in them is found also in the hypocrites and profane souls:

For remedies, consider that

A. The whole frame of a believer’s soul is against sin
B. A saint conflicts against sin universally, the least sin as well as the greatest
C. The conflict in a saints is maintained for several reasons
D. The saint’s conflict is constant
E. The saint’s conflict is within the same faculties
F. The saint’s conflict is blessed, successful and prevailing

6. By suggesting to the saint who has lost joy and comfort that his state is not good:

For remedies, consider that

A. The loss of comfort is a separable adjunct from grace
B. The precious things still enjoyed are far better than the joys and comforts lost
C. The glorified saints were once in the same condition
D. The causes of joy and comfort are not always the same
E. God will restore the comforts of His people

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Satan’s Devices to Keep Saints Doubting and Questioning –Part 2

Satan’s Devices to keep saints in a sad, doubting, questioning, and uncomfortable condition. –Part 2

4. By suggesting to saints that their graces are not true, but counterfeit:

For remedies, consider that

A. Grace may mean either the good will and favor of God, or the gifts of grace
B. There are differences between renewing grace and restraining grace, between sanctifying and temporary grace

1. True grace makes all glorious within and without
2. The objects of true grace are supernatural
3. True grace enables a Christian, when he is himself, to do spiritual actions with real pleasure and delight
4. True grace makes a man most careful, and most fearful of his own heart
5. Grace will work a man’s heart to love and cleave to the strictest and holiest ways and things of God, for their purity and sanctity, in the face of all dangers and hardships.
6. True grace will enable a man to step over the world’s crown, to take up Christ’s cross; to prefer the cross of Christ above the glory of this world
7. Sanctifying grace, renewing grace, puts the soul upon spiritual duties, from spiritual and intrinsic motives
8. Saving grace, renewing grace, will cause a man to follow the Lord fully in the desertion of all sin, and in the observation of all God’s precepts
9. True grace leads the soul to rest in Christ, as in his ‘summum bonum’ –chiefest good.
10. True grace will enable a soul to sit down satisfied and contented with the naked enjoyments of Christ.

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Satan’s Devices to Keep Saints Doubting and Questioning –Part 1

Satan’s Devices to keep saints in a sad, doubting, questioning, and uncomfortable condition. –Part 1

1. By causing saints to remember their sins more than their Savior, yea, even to forget and neglect their Savior:

For remedies, consider that

A. Though Jesus Christ has not freed believers from sin’s presence, He has freed them from its damnatory power
B. Though Jesus Christ has not freed believers from the vexing and molesting power of sin, He has freed them from the reign and dominion of sin.
C. It is needful to keep one eyes on the promise of remission of sin, and the other eye on the inward operations of sin
D. Believers’ sins have been charged to the account of Christ as debts which He has fully satisfied
E. The Lord has good reasons for allowing His people to be troubled with sinful corruptions
F. Believers must repent of their being discouraged by their sins

2. By causing saints to make false definitions of their graces:

For remedies, consider that

A. There may be true faith, even great faith, where there is no assurance
B. The Scriptures define faith other than Satan tempts the saints to define it
C. There may be true faith where there is much doubting
D. Assurance is an effect of faith, not faith itself

3. By causing saints to make false inferences from the cross actings of Providence:

For remedies, consider that

A. Many things, through contrary to our desires, are not contrary to our good
B. God’s hand may be against a man when His love and His heart are set upon him
C. Cross providences are sent by God to work some noble good for saints
D. All the strange and deep providences that believers meet with further them in their way to heaven

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Satan’s Devices to Keep Souls from Holy Duties – Part 4

Satan’s Devices to keep souls from holy duties, to hinder souls in holy services, to keep them off from religious [activities].

7. By casting in vain thoughts while the soul is seeking God or waiting on God:

For remedies, consider that

A. The God with whom we have to do is great, holy, majestic, and glorious
B. Despite wandering thoughts it is needful to be resolute in religious service
C. Vain and trifling thoughts that Satan casts into our souls are not sins if they are abhorred, resisted and disclaimed
D. Watching against, resisting and lamenting sinful thoughts evidences grace and the sincerity of our hearts.
E. We must labor to be filled with the fullness of God and enriched with all spiritual blessings
F. We must labor to keep up holy and spiritual affections
G. We must labor to avoid multiplicity of worldly business

8. By tempting Christians to rest in their deeds:

For remedies, consider that

A. Our choicest services have their imperfections and weaknesses
B. Our choicest services are unable to minister comfort and aid in days of trouble
C. Good works, if rested upon, will certainly destroy us as the greatest sin we commit
D. God has met our need of resting place in Christ Himself

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Satan’s Devices to Keep Souls from Holy Duties – Part 3

Satan’s Devices to keep souls from holy duties, to hinder souls in holy services, to keep them off from religious [activities].

5. By presenting to view the fewness and poverty of those who hold to religious practices:

For remedies, consider that

A. Though saints are outwardly poor, they are inwardly rich
B. In all ages God has had some that have been rich, wise, and honorable
C. Spiritual riches infinitely transcend temporal riches, and satisfy the poorest saints
D. Saints now appear to be ‘a little flock,’ but they belong to a company that cannot be numbered
E. It is but as a day before these departed saints will shine brighter than the sun
F. The time will come even in this life when God will take away the reproach and contempt of His people, and make those the ‘head’ who have been the ‘tail’

6. By showing saints that the majority of men make light of God’s ways and walk in the ways of their own hearts:

For remedies, consider that

A. Certain Scriptures warn against following the sinful examples of men
B. Those who sin with the multitude will suffer with the multitude
C. The soul of a man is of more worth that heaven and earth

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Satan’s Devices to Keep Souls from Holy Duties – Part 2

Satan’s Devices to keep souls from holy duties, to hinder souls in holy services, to keep them off from religious [activities].

3. By presenting to the soul the difficulty of [doing] religious duties:

For remedies, consider that

A. It is better to regard the necessity of the duty than the difficulty of it
B. The Lord Jesus will reveal Himself to the obedient soul and thus make the service easy
C. The Lord Jesus has Himself engaged in hard service and in suffering for your temporal and eternal good
D. Religious duties are only difficult to the worse, not to the more noble part of a saint
E. A glorious recompense awaits saints who serve the Lord in the face of difficulties and discouragements

4. By causing saints to draw false inferences from the blessed and glorious things that Christ has done:

For remedies, consider that

A. It is needful to dwell as much upon scriptures that state Christian duty as upon those that speak of the glorious things that Christ has done for us
B. The glorious things that Christ has done and is now doing for us should be our strongest motives and encouragements for the [doing] of our duties
C. Other precious souls who have rested on Christ’s work have been very active and lively in religious duties
D. Those who do not walk in God’s ways cannot have such evidence of their righteousness before God as can those who rejoice in the service of the Lord
E. Duties are to be esteemed not by their acts but by their ends

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Satan’s Devices to Keep Souls from Holy Duties – Part 1

Satan’s Devices to keep souls from holy duties, to hinder souls in holy services, to keep them off from religious [activities].

1. By presenting the world in such a garb as to ensnare the soul:

For remedies, consider that

A. All things here below are impotent and weak
B. They are also full of vanity
C. All things under the sun are uncertain and mutable
D. The great things of the world are hurtful to men owing to the corruption of their hearts
E. All the [happiness] of this world is mixed
F. It is needful to get better acquainted with, and assurance of, more blessed and glorious things
G. True happiness and satisfaction do not arise form worldly good
H. The value and dignity of the soul is to be a subject of contemplation

2. By presenting to the soul the dangers, losses and sufferings that accompany the [doing] of certain religious duties:

For remedies, consider that

A. All such troubles cannot harm the Christian
B. Saints now glorified encounter such dangers, but persevered to the end
C. All such dangers are but for a moment, whereas the neglect of the service of God lays the Christian open to spiritual and eternal dangers
D. god knows how to deliver from troubles by troubles, from dangers by dangers
E. In the service of God, despite troubles and afflictions, the gains outweigh the losses

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.