“The principal fight of the Christian is with the world, the flesh, and the devil. These are their never-dying foes. These are the three chief enemies against whom the Christian must wage war.
“Unless they get the victory over these three, all other victories are useless and vain. If they had a nature like an angel, and were not a fallen creature, the warfare would not be so essential. But with a corrupt heart, a busy devil, and an ensnaring world, the Christian must either fight or be lost.”
— J.C. RYLE (1816 – 1900)
OH, who, of true faith, would deny? Yet, we are deceived many a time by the visibility of wanton virtue – a virtue that looks saintly yet is heinously religious.
The effective person of Christian is destined to come under siege of the devil, and for the devil to use secondary means of the world and of the flesh to root out of them the evil they are certainly capable of. The more effective one threatens to be for the Kingdom of God, perhaps all the more is the threat. But true virtue – true wisdom, which is diligence, prudence, understanding, and discernment, etc – will always be the way back, swiftly to God.
Repentance – In Name and In Nature
I cannot think of a more important Christian competency than to repent. Likewise, is there anything more fitting as we are cast into the presence of this despicable unholy trinity? No, our best defense is our best attack. We must repent in name and in nature.
To repent in name is to be known, to be identified, as someone who is, by their nature, penitent. Such a person’s penitence is not grossly submissive – i.e. submissive by nature (unless to God) – but their penitence moves them instinctually to obedience in line with the prevailing truth. This is how the truth sets us free.
As we throw off our anchor from the mooring of sin, God ensures there is wind enough to sail away. But, we, by our nature, are sinners. We will find more corrupt moorings, those placed strategically in our way, to stifle our progress, which is to sail onward to the horizon – the race God has marked out for us.
Repentance is the prime form of obedience in saying “yes” to Jesus.
Repentance is behind the commonest blessings of God.
Repentance draws us never nearer to God.
Our key weapon of attack in defense of the Kingdom, as we may be used to the extension of God’s glory, never our own, is to turn back to the will of God. That is, to love everyone, to esteem the Word of God as paramount truth, to live out the will of God, and to be faithful to Christ’s church.
Revealing and repealing the unholy trinity – the world, the devil, and the flesh – must be the modus operandi of our Christian walk. It’s called repentance. As we turn about-face from these three, we turn full-on toward the Holy Trinity – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.