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God overrules Satan’s temptation and our sin to our advantage:

God purgeth out the very sin Satan tempts to, even by his tempting.
Peter never had such a conquest over his self-confidence, never such an
establishment of his faith as after his soul-fall in the high-priest’s hall. He that
was so well persuaded of himself before, as to say, ‘Though all were offended
with Christ, yet would not he,’ how modest and humble was he in a few days
become, when he durst not say he loved Christ more than his fellow-brethren, to whom before he had preferred himself! John 21:15. What an undaunted
confessor of Christ and his gospel doth he prove before councils and rulers, who even now was dashed out of countenance by a silly maid, and all this the product of Satan’s temptation sanctified unto him! Indeed a saint hath a discovery by his fall, what is the prevailing corruption in him.

God useth these temptations for the advancing the whole work of
grace in the heart. One spot occasions the whole garment to be washed. David
overcome with one sin, renews his repentance for all, Ps. 51. A good husband
when he seeth it rain at one place, sends for the workman to look over all the
house. This indeed differentiates a sincere heart from an hypocrite, whose
repentance is partial, soft in one plot, and hard in another. Judas cries out of his
treason, but not a word of his thievery and hypocrisy. The hole was no wider in
his conscience than where the bullet went in; whereas true sorrow for one,
breaks the heart into shivers for others also.

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When Satan tempts: he picks the best season:

  1. When newly converted
  2. When in affliction (Job, Christ)
  3. When the Christian is about some noble enterprise (Ezra, Christ, Paul and Barnabas).
  4. Occasion presents.
  5. Times of blessing or chastisement (Peter’s confession, Joseph’s coat).
  6. When dying.

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Why we must be armed.

‘That ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.’  The danger, if unarmed. The enemy is no mean contemptible one, no less than the devil, set out as a cunning engineer by his wiles and stratagems. The certainty of standing against all his wits and wiles, if we be thus armed. As [there is] no standing without armour, so [there is] no fear of falling into the fiend’s hands if armed.

That the devil is a very subtle enemy.  An old serpent above other serpents. Satan was too crafty for man in his perfection, much more now in his (depravity). And as man hath lost, so Satan hath gained more and more experience; he lost his wisdom, indeed, as soon as he became a devil, but, ever since, he hath increased his craft; though he hath not wisdom enough to do himself good, yet [he hath] subtlety enough to do others hurt.  HIS
FIRST MAIN DESIGN is to draw into sin. The SECOND MAIN DESIGN is to accuse, vex, and trouble the saint for sin.

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Gurnall likens our need for continual readiness and armour on to a city about to be attacked and plundered. “You know what a confusion there is in a town at some sudden alarm in the dead of the night, the enemy at the gates, and they asleep within. O what a cry is there heard! One wants his clothes, another his sword, a third knows not what to do for powder. Thus in a fright they run up and down, which would not be if the enemy did find them upon their guard, orderly waiting for his approach. Such a hubbub there is in a soul that keeps not his armour on,  looking for this piece and that when he should be using it.

We must keep grace in exercise in respect of others our fellow-soldiers.
Paul had this in his eye when he was exercising himself to keep a good
conscience, that he might not be a scandal to others. The cowardice of one may make others run. The ignorance of one soldier that hath not skill to handle his arms, may do mischief to his fellow-soldiers about him. Some have shot their friends for their enemies. The unwise walking of one professor makes many others fare the worse. Thou art to help such weak ones, and go before them, as it were, armed for their defence; now if thy grace be not exercised, thou art so far unserviceable to thy weak brother. Perhaps thou art a master, or a parent, who hast a family under thy wing. They fare as thou thrivest; if thy heart be in a holy frame, they fare the better in the duties thou performest; for their sake who are under thy tuition, be more careful to exercise thy own grace, and cherish it. In other words he says that our need to be vigilant, using  the means of grace and the exercising our graces has a great impact on the well-being of our family and other believers-JK

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Gurnall here expounds on a principle in life: because it is so hard a work, to recover the activity once lost, and to revive a duty in disuse. ‘I have put off my coat,’ saith the spouse, Song 5:3. She had given way to a lazy distemper, was laid upon her bed of sloth, and how hard is it to raise her! Her Beloved is at the door, beseeching her by all the names of love that she would open to him but she had given way to her sloth, and now she knows not how to shake it off; she should have been glad to have her Beloved’s company, if himself would have opened the door; and he desired as much hers, if she would rise to let him in but they part. The longer a soul hath neglected a duty, the more ado there is to get it taken up;  It requires more time and pains for him to tune his instrument, than for another to play the lesson. Likewise fitness lost is harder to regain and excess weight gained by indulgence over many years much harder to get rid of! Hence the need to keep our graces in exercise and without a break use the means of grace-JK

By the way here are the so-called SEVEN DEADLY SINS:

Seven Deadly Sins (all sin is deadly!)



Sin destroys man’s liberty, for it prevents him prosecuting his chief end, which is to glorify God; as it equally hinders him from attaining his highest good, which is to be holy and happy.

Licence is not liberty, for true liberty is not the opportunity to do what we want, but the power to do what we ought. Freedom of heart lies in a course of obedience to God, for their is no satisfaction to the heart until it finds its satisfaction in the “good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2). The difference between the license of the natural man and the liberty of the spiritual man is that of being a bond-slave to sin and “the Lord’s freeman.” (I Cor.7:22), and that is determined by the chains of darkness being displaced by the cords of liberty, the fetters of sin by the yoke of Christ. And Christ’s yoke is “easy” (Matt.11:30), for it is lined with love. God’s commandments “are not grievous” (I John 5:3), for they are dictated by infinite wisdom and are designed for our highest good. Loving, pleasing, enjoying, praising God is the only real freedom and blessedness. God’s precepts must be sought-desired and attended to-if we are to “walk at liberty”.

Arthur Pink

Studies in the Scriptures  December 1946

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It has to be God’s armour.

Bring thy heart to the Word, as the only touch-stone of thy grace and
furniture; the Word, I told you, is the tower of David, from whence thy armour must be fetched; if thou canst find this tower stamp on it, then it is of God, else, not. Try it therefore by this one scripture-stamp. Those weapons are mighty which God gives his saints to fight his battles withal. ‘For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God,’ II Cor. 10:4. The sword of the Spirit hath its point and edge, whereby it makes its way into the heart and conscience, through the impenitency of the one and stupidity of the other(wherewith Satan, as with buff and coat of mail, arms the sinner against God) and there cuts and slashes, kills and mortifies lust in its own castle, where Satan thinks himself impregnable.

Gurnall believes it absolutely necessary to add to our faith as in

2 Peter 4-7:

 “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We must manifest graces:

There is no duty the Christian hath in charge, but implies this daily
exercise: ‘pray’ he must—but how?—‘without ceasing;’ ‘rejoice’—but when?—‘evermore;’ ‘give thanks’—for what? ‘in everything,’ I Thess. 5:16-18. The shield of faith, and helmet of hope, we must hold them to the end, I Pet. 1:13. The sum of all which is, that we should walk in the constant exercise of these duties and graces.

Now godliness comprehends the whole worship of God, inward and
outward. If thou beest never so exact in thy morals, and not a worshipper of God, then thou art an atheist. If thou dost worship God, and that devoutly, but not by Scripture rule, thou art but an idolater. If according to the rule, but not in spirit and truth, then thou art an hypocrite, and so fallest into the devil’s mouth. Or if thou dost give God one piece of his worship, and deniest another, still Satan comes to his market. ‘He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination,’ Prov. 28:9.

I disagree that graces exercised are any part of the armour of God just as sanctification and good works are not essentially part of justification. I believe all the armour is put on by faith and that basically it is putting on Christ and justification in him-JK.

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The armour is God’s armour-appointed and supplied by him.

We need the whole armour of God.

No part can be left naked. A dart may fly in at a little hole, like that which brought a message of death to Ahab, through the joints of his harness, and Satan is such an archer as can shoot at a penny breadth. If all the man be armed, and only the eye left without, Satan can soon shoot his fireballs of lust in at that loophole, which shall set the whole house on flame. Eve looked but on the tree, and a poisonous dart struck her to the heart.
If the eye be shut, and the ear be open to corrupt communication, Satan will soon wriggle in at this hole. If all the outward senses [of a man] be guarded, and the heart not kept with all diligence, he will soon by his own thoughts be betrayed into Satan’s hands. Our enemies are on every side, and so must our armour be,‘on the right hand and on the left,’ II Cor. 6:7. The apostle calls sin an enemy that surrounds us, Heb. 12:1.  There is fleshly wickedness and spiritual wickedness; while thou repellest Satan tempting thee to fleshly wickedness, he may be entering thy city at the other gate of spiritual wickedness. He that could not get thee to profane the Sabbath among sensualists and atheists, will under the disguise of such a corrupt principle as Christian liberty prevail.

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How to wage this war successfully, with some motivation.

The Christian must be armed, and the reason why.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil. (Eph. 6:11).

This verse is a key to the former, wherein the apostle had exhorted believers to encourage and bear up their fainting spirits on the Lord, and the power of his might. Now in these words he explains himself, and shows how he would have them do this, not without that armour which God hath appointed to be worn by all his soldiers. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.’

So how we may in a regular way come to be strong in the Lord? By putting on the whole ‘armour of God.’  Why? That ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

What is this armour?

    By armour is meant Christ. We read of putting on the ‘Lord Jesus,’ Rom.13:14, where Christ is set forth under the notion of armour.  The graces of Christ, these are armour, as ‘the girdle of truth, the breast-plate of righteousness,’ and the rest. Hence we are bid also [to] ‘put on the new man,’ Eph. 4:24, which is made up of all the several graces, as its parts and
members.  The point is, to show that to be without Christ is to be without armour. The Christless and graceless soul is without armour, and therein is his misery. He is helpless, ignorant, in darkness and a friend of sin and Satan. So when Christ by his power converts a sinner Satan is furious and assaults him.

God at first sent man forth in complete armour, ‘being created in true
righteousness and holiness,’ but by a wile the devil stripped him, and therefore as soon as the first sin was completed, it is written, ‘they were naked,’ Gen. 3:7, that is, [they were] poor weak creatures, at the will of Satan, a subdued people disarmed by their proud conqueror, and unable to make head against him. And once the breach was made more sin followed-JK.

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Seeking spiritual strength to mortify lusts.

If thou hast sincerely waited on God, and yet hast not received the strength thou desirest, yet let it be thy resolution to live and die waiting on him.  Christ said to his disciples, ‘tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high,’ Luke 24:49. you will be endued with further power to mortify thy corruptions, and for thy comfort know,
1. Thy thus persevering to wait on God will be an evidence of strong
grace in thee.  O soul, great is thy faith and patience!
2. Assure thyself when thou art in the greatest straits strength shall
come. They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength:  When temptation is strong, thy little strength is even spent, and thou ready to yield into the hands of thine enemies, then expect succors from heaven, to enable thee to hold out under the temptation. Thus with Paul, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee,’ i.e. there is power from heaven to raise the siege, and drive away the tempter. Thus with Job, when Satan had him at an advantage, then God takes him off, like a wise moderator [who], when the respondent is hard put to it by a subtle opponent, takes him off, when he would else run him down. ‘Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. James 5:11. These are examples of I Cor.10:13 in practice-JK