Repelling Satan’s Temptations with Scripture (Winslow)

In Octavius Winslow’s book, The Sympathy of Christ, he spends some time discussing Christ’s temptation (Mt 4:1-11). Winslow comments on Christ’s temptation and then explains how Christ understands our temptations (Heb 2:18, 4:15). He even gives practical insight into fighting off Satan’s temptations in a Christ-like way. For example, Winslow says we must beware of Satan misusing Scripture as he did when he tempted Christ. Winslow also notes that we must also repel Satan’s temptations with Scripture, as Christ did before us. Here are his comments:

Learn to meet Satan’s suggestions, to answer his arguments, and to repel his temptations by the “sword of the Spirit, which, is the Word of God.” He too can quote and apply Scripture, only to misquote and misapply it. You may, therefore, safely infer that if he seeks to give Scripture point and force to a vile insinuation- quotes a promise or cites an example from the Word of God in support of some infernal suggestion, some dark design, some horrid temptation- he has by fraud and subtlety stolen from the arsenal of truth weapons with which, by perversion and wicked ingenuity, to accomplish his dark, nefarious design. Lend not your ear for a moment to a temptation that comes clad in Scripture authority. Suspect the cloven foot of Satan.

The Word of God is very pure. It is on the side of holiness, of uprightness, of goodness, of love. It inculcates the fear of God, confidence in God, and love to God. It teaches the protection, the sufficiency, and the sympathy of Jesus. It unfolds many exceeding great and precious promises; announces many gracious and free invitations; and it is designed to support the tempted, to comfort the mourner, to soothe the sorrowful, to hold out the promise of pardon to the guilty, salvation to the lost, and to reveal the hope of glory to all those who humbly and simply believe in Christ.

The moment, then, beloved, that a text of God’s Word is suggested to your thoughts in favor of sin, of distrust of God, of disbelief of Christ, of self-injury, repel it with the holy indignation of a believer in Christ from the threshold of your mind, as from the Evil One, prompting you to evil, and seeking to slay you with the very weapons God graciously provided for your defense! O yes! God’s Word will fortify, strengthen, and support you in temptation. It is the Book of the tempted. Like its Author, it is divine, invincible, and holy. 

…Fly, tempted one, to the precious Scriptures. They are your grand arsenal, richly stored with every species of weapon with which to foil and vanquish your powerful, sleepless, subtle foe. “Your word have I hid in my heart, that I should not sin against you.” Above all, fly to the Christ of the Scriptures, and nestle your tempted spirit beneath His sheltering wing.

Octavious Winslow, The Sympathy of Christ, p. 328-329.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015

One Reply to “Repelling Satan’s Temptations with Scripture (Winslow)”

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: