You Don’t Have a Holy To-Do List

But here is the good news: it is not your ministry, church or people.  You do not have to create and protect a personal legacy, but simply to distribute and guard Christ’s legacy entrusted to his apostles.  You don’t have to bind Satan and storm the gates of hell.  Christ has already done this.  We’re just sweeping in behind him to unlock the prison doors.  You  don’t have to live the gospel, be the gospel, do the gospel, and lead the troops to redeem culture and reconcile the world to God.  We are not building a kingdom that can be convulsed with violence like other realms, but we are “receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken” (Hebrews 12:28).

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 119-120

Both Satan and the Holy Spirit Will Point Out Your Sin

So get this clearly: both Satan and the Holy Spirit will point out your sin.  But they do so in entirely different ways and for entirely different purposes.  I’ve heard it like this:

Satan starts with what you did, and tears down who you are.  The Holy Spirit starts with what Christ has declared over you, and helps you rebuild what you did.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 51

It Is Ridiculous, Yet Powerful and Gripping All at Once

Furthermore, Christians have a very powerful adversary.  Satan is old and experienced at his craft. He has been tempting people for centuries, and he delights in his skill and the power God allows him to exert over those he cannot ultimately defeat.  It is interesting to explore the characteristic sins we struggle with and see how effective Satan is at drawing  us into a cascade of thoughts that ultimately leads to sin.  We can even step back and evaluate this, diagnosing it and teasing it apart, yet get sucked right back into it and the next moment and flounder helplessly toward its inevitable conclusion.  It is ridiculous, yet powerful and gripping all at once.

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 166

John Newton’s View of Abiding Sin

Far from laying blame on God for our sin, however, [John] Newton viewed the abiding presence of our fallen sinful nature and the constant activity of Satan as explanation enough for our indwelling and continuous sin.  He also reasoned that, if this is true, only God can get the credit when his Spirit moves with a fresh act of grace to engage believers’ will so that they want to obey, and then provides the actual strength to follow through in obedience.

Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 139

Unbelief Is the Head of the Serpent

…only unbelief is called sin by Christ, as he says in John, chapter 16, “The Spirit will punish the world because of sin, because it does not believe in me.”  Furthermore, before good or bad works happen – which are the good or bad fruits of the heart – there has to be present in the heart either faith or unbelief, the root, sap and chief power of sin.  That is why, in the Scriptures, unbelief is called the head of the serpent and of the ancient dragon which the offspring of the woman, i.e. Christ, must crush, as was promised to Adam.

– Martin Luther

as quoted by  Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location 2315

This Is Our Mission

As a victorious warrior of Christ, your life is about being on kingdom mission with Jesus to help set other captives free. People are not ultimately your enemy; rather, they’re held in captivity by your enemy, and they need to be set free. Jesus doesn’t leave us to our own devices to fight this war. He leads the charge through his defeat of Satan, sin, and death and equips us with powerful weapons.

– Driscoll, Mark; Who Do You Think You Are? Finding Your True Identity in ChristThomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, copyright 2013; Page 222