Monday, March 22, 2021

A Sobering Sampling of a Noteworthy and Helpful Book, “The Enemy Within”, by Kris Lundgaard

Remember that the mind is the watchman of the soul, commanded to judge and determine whether something is good and pleasing to God, so that the affections can long for it and the will can choose it. If the mind fails to identify as sin as evil, wicked, vile and bitter, the affections will not be safe from clinging to it, nor will the will from giving consent. This is one side of the castle wall, the first line of defense: to keep in mind that every sin is a forsaking of God (Jeremiah 2:19), to never forget the polluting, corrupting, defiling power of sin-to be shaken to the core by how much God loathes sin.

When Paul said Christ's love compelled him (2 Corinthians 5:14), he described the other side of this first defense: the mind must stay fixed on God, especially on his grace and goodness towards us. His love propels, fuels, drives us to obey. It is the fountain of our obedience, and our highest motive to finding out what pleases the Lord and doing it.

In order to walk before God, this is the mind's first duty: to know and hold on to the evil of sin and the love of God. This is how Joseph stood up against overwhelming temptation.

By now you may have guessed that the law of sin in us, as much as it hates God and as deceitful as it is, doesn't throw up its arms in surrender at this first line of defense. The flesh has its explosives ready to undermine the wall. Its first and most wretched attack is to abuse God's grace in order to make sense seem less sinful, less dangerous, less threatening,

You must understand this: the flesh weakens conviction against sin by separating the remedy of grace from the design of grace. The scriptures teach nothing more clearly than that God's design in showing mercy is to make us holy people: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2: 11-12). But God also provides a remedy for our lapses: his loving pardon gives us peace, so that we know that if we do sin, “we have no one who speaks to the Father in our defense” (1 John 2:1).

The flesh works to make you forget the design (that you are saved to be holy) and think only of the remedy (if you sin you'll be forgiven). It preaches half a gospel (a twisted gospel) to us: “Go ahead and indulge-it's already paid for.” Those who fall prey to such deception are evidently many, since the Scriptures go to such lengths to condemn it (Romans 3:5-8; 6:1-4; Jude 4).

You know the flesh has made a breach in your defenses when your heart is hardened by its deceitfulness (Hebrews 3:13) so that you are careless about sin.

Jesus blood alone can deliver from sin. Live in his blood and you will die a conqueror-you will, by the good provision of God, live to see your lust dead at your feet. Here's how to work your faith:

By faith, fill your soul with thoughts of the purpose of Christ's death.
By faith except help to come from Christ.
Set your faith particularly on Christ death, blood, and cross-that is, on Jesus as the slain lamb.

In your struggle against sin, never forget your duty-but neither forget the power of the Spirit. The killing of the flesh is your duty, but his work.

“If by the Spirit, you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13)

As you by faith apply all the means of grace God has given to kill the flesh, remember that it is the Spirit who works in every part to bring the victory from Christ.

Page 64-65; 143-147
Kent Kloter

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