A Long List of Sins

Gospel for Real Life: Turn to the Liberating Power of the Cross... Every Day This is helpful in the area of sanctification, doubt, and the gospel:

“Accompanying our sincere desire to obey God will be a heightened sensitivity to our indwelling sin.  Often it is our increased awareness of sin that causes us to doubt our salvation or to give Satan an inroad into our minds to suggest that ‘a Christian wouldn’t sin like you do.’  But think about that accusation for a moment.  Satan would certainly not suggest such a thought to an unbeliever.  Rather, he wants unbelievers to be complacent about their sin.  So turn the tables on Satan and your own internal doubts.  Ask yourself if those accusations or doubts are not really a sign that you do trust Christ.”

“There is a story about Martin Luther, perhaps apocryphal, that in a dream he saw Satan standing before him with a long list of his sins.  Luther supposedly asked, ‘Is that all of them?’  to which Satan replied, ‘No, there are many more.’  Luther then said, ‘Put them all down and then write across the whole lot of them, “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me from all sin.”’

“Whether this story is true or not, it teaches us how to deal with doubts caused by our sin.  We are not to deny or minimize them.  Instead, we should take them to the cross and see Jesus bearing those sins for us.  That very act will motivate us to deal with those sins that are causing our doubts.”

Jerry Bridges, The Gospel for Real Life, p. 142.

shane lems
covenant presbyterian church (OPC)
hammond, wi

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