Thursday, March 22, 2012

D.A. Carson Inspired Blog on Devils as Angels of Light

Sometimes the devil will attack us via suffering and trial. It is quite unlikely that he will approach us clearly and say, “this is a big lie, believe it.” More often, he will do whatever he can to take a “good” thing and have it take you away from the sufficiency of Christ. 2 Cor 11:14 – “Even Satan himself pretends to be an angel of light. 15 So it doesn't surprise us that those who serve Satan pretend to be serving God.” This is not to accuse anyone reading this that they may be serving Satan, but it is to open their eyes to the methods of Satan. In his book The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis makes the following comment:

"There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight."

2 Cor. 11 points to the truth of the former, namely, that the devil may not be involved in my choosing to spend my afternoon relaxing since I need it or reading that great book by so and so to further my Christian experience, but when it takes me away from the centrality and sufficiency of the Gospel, it is nothing but a trick, a trap into weakness and the pathway to sin. Does that mean that all things but the gospel are evil? Hardly, but we can never lose sight of the centrality and sufficiency of the Gospel. Paul counted all things as loss of the sake of the Gospel. We must only turn to good things in light of the sufficiency of the Gospel. In light of the words of Brother Lawrence I mentioned in my last post, we must keep the love of God at the forefront of our minds at all times in all occasions, so that we might not be tricked when Satan dresses himself as an angel of light. It is easy to become distracted with arguments about social justice, predestination, arguments for this or that, things that are good, but are not the heart of the Gospel.

1 Tim. 1:15 – “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"--and I am the worst of them all.” This is the heart of the Gospel.

John 3:16-18 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

So listen to the words of 2 Tim 2:20-21 – “In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.”

Beware of what is good being used for Evil (Remember Peter in Mark 8). Turn to the Gospel, to the love of God, to Jesus Christ, and make him the center, and take up the shield of faith (Eph 6) so that the Evil one, dressed as himself or as an angel of light will not be able to stand against the Gospel of the Lord.

In Him, D.P.S.

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