Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Distortions of Truths

Satan is a tempter and a deceiver. He twists everything out of context and corrupts.

As a preacher by the name of Mattie Montgomery points out in one of his sermons, Satan doesn't tempt Jesus to break His morals, he says "If You are the Son of God..." and so he tries to get Jesus to doubt who He is.
He also refers back to the Garden of Eden, when Eve was tempted to eat the fruit, and how he told her that she would be like God in knowing good and evil, but God created Adam in His likeness, and so Eve, being formed after Adam, is of divine design.
But this has led me to consider other thoughts along this same line.

It's not just Jesus and Eve that he does this to. It's all of us.
How many Christians can say without presenting a falsehood that they've never felt like they're not a child of God?
None. That's how many.
Satan is good at what he does. He's been sinning from the beginning--he's got experience. Jesus, however, came to destroy the works of Satan. Here's a flipside: through Christ, all things that exist were made (John 1:3). Jesus has more experience creating than Satan has destroying.

Nonetheless, Satan is a pretty good deceiver. I'd be lying to say i've not come under the influence of his lies from time-to-time.
He uses truth to back his deception, though. As seen in the temptation of Christ in the wilderness, he calls out scripture (And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” Luke 4, ESV).

A similar kind of temptation has been used against me, though to a lesser degree. Satan has twisted my hearing of the Word of God to his own will, and he does this with many.
Though i believe all who confess and forsake their sins, believe Christ was crucified for their sins and was resurrected by God is a Christian, it's hard to deny the fact that there's dissension within the Church. Baptists, Lutherans, Pentecostals, Methodists, and the list goes on. All part of the Body of Christ, but also far from the unified Church He seeks. I believe denominations are where Satan has come in and caused division, though i don't count any of these more or less Christian sects than another. We're all children of God, but we have strife between us, and that comes from Satan.
Are you Methodist? You're a Christian.*
Are you of an Assembly of God? You're a Christian.*
Are you a Baptist? You're a Christian.*
Denominations aren't bad in themselves, so long as the focus is set solely upon Christ. It's the separation that's bad.

I've been convinced at times by Satan that i could never be worthy of the kingdom of God.
He used a very blatant truth to discourage me.
I agree with Satan here; i am unworthy of the kingdom of God. That doesn't mean i should give up, though, but rather that i should press on all the more to imitate Christ.
If you feel you're unworthy of the kingdom of God, embrace that. Accept it as fact and utilize his words as motivation.
When trying to get in shape, one who is out of shape will convince themselves one of two things: 1) "I'm out of shape, i can't work out," or 2) "I'm out of shape, i must work out."
Will you use this attack to motivate yourself, or become lackadaisical from it?

Here's where the Gospel can be used against us; Jesus, talking to the Rich Ruler in Luke 18, ended by saying "One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."
Sounds pretty tough. Ought to earn us our way into Heaven, right?
That doesn't earn us a thing. Satan has come to me through verses like this to try and tell me that i can inherit the kingdom of God by earning it, and i want everyone to know that no sacrifice, no work that you do, can make you deserving of Heaven. The act of Christ did earn you Heaven. It's His grace alone. It's not by anything you can do. You are a sinner. What right have you to enter the kingdom of God? No, it's only by Christ's actions that we can be saved.
"What is impossible with man is possible with God." (Luke 18:27)
Soli Cristo!
All He asks is that we adhere to His Word.

* Minding that you do the will of God, which is confession and repentance, belief in Jesus as the Son of God, and so on.

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