Satan Wants Christians to Be UnholyJuly 13, 2010 at 9:51 am | Posted in William Gurnall | Leave a comment
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Wisdom from William Gurnall
Simple holiness, then is the flag which the soul hangs out to declare open defiance of Satan and friendship with God, even as the devil strives to shoot it down. And here is the ground of that quarrel, which will never end as long as Satan is an unclean spirit and the saint a holy child of God: “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).
Persecutors often try to disguise their malice under the pretense of good works; but the Spirit of God looks through their hypocritical mufflers and knows the instructions they have from hell. God’s Spirit tells us that godliness is the target at which Satan levels his arrows. Of course there are more kinds of godliness in the world than on, but Satan opposes only the true one: “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus.”
Christian blood is sweet to Satan but the blood of the Christian’s godliness is far sweeter. He prefers to sever the saint his godliness rather than butcher him for it. Yet so he will not be too conspicuous, he often plays at small game and expresses his cruelty upon saints’ bodies; but this happens only when he cannot capture their souls; “They were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain” (Hebrews 11:37). What the persecutors wanted more than anything else was to entice them into sin and apostasy; thus they tempted Christians severely before they killed them. The devil considers it a complete triumph if he can strip away the saint’s armor and bribe him away from steadfastness in his holy profession.
The devil would rather see Christians defiled with sin and unrighteousness than defiled in blood and pain, for he has learned that persecution only trims the church, which soon comes back up all the thicker; it is unrighteousness which ruins it. Persecutors, then, only plow God’s field for Him and all the time He is sowing it with the saints’ blood. – Taken from The Christian in Complete Armour, July 13. Edited by James S. Bell, Jr. Moody Publishers, 1994.