“Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” -Rom. 8.33-34
The principalities and powers of the air are crafty and highly advanced in the art of destroying the souls of men. Indeed, they have been deceiving hearts and contending against truth for thousands of years, and they will not stop until they are once and for all cast into the lake of fire.
They will strike on every side in hopes of busting up the simplicity and purity of our devotional union with Jesus Christ. If we are abiding and overcoming, they will tempt us in areas of lust, fear, or offense. If we have stumbled and fallen, they will repeatedly tell us that we are washed-up, no use to the Lord, and that we might as well cancel any attempts at returning to Him for restoration. But the apostle Paul stated, “We are not ignorant of their schemes.”
The greatest safeguard against the lies of the enemy is an increasing revelation of the nature of Jesus Christ.
The enemy will present false versions of Jesus, even versions that are accurate in part, but fail to bring us into the present disposition of Christ. He is the great Judge, but in a moment of struggle, when He is reaching out to restore us, the powers of darkness will present us with the thought of His judgement seat, hoping to convince us that He is unwilling to forgive and renew our hearts.
On the flip side, when we are being tempted to sin and compromise, they will present us with a distorted version of His kindness, and blur our view of Him until we have been removed from the fear of the Lord and the gravity of sin. Our guard has been let down, we have forgotten His holiness, and the ground has been laid for a moral or spiritual collapse.
We need to combat against their lies by contending for a true and present revelation of the Son of God, as He in fact is.
Let us not believe Satan’s representations of Jesus Christ. When we are troubled in conscience for our sins, his manner is then to present Him to the afflicted soul as a most severe judge armed with justice against us. But then let us present Him to our souls [as He is], as thus offered to our view by God Himself, as holding out a sceptre of mercy, and spreading His arms to receive us. When we think of Joseph, Daniel, John the Evangelist, etc., we frame conceits of them with delight, as of mild and sweet persons; much more when we think of Christ, we should conceive of Him as a mirror of all meekness. If the sweetness of all flowers were in one, how sweet must that flower needs be? In Christ all perfections of mercy and love meet; how great then must that mercy be that lodgeth in so gracious a heart?
…. We are weak, but we are His; we are deformed, but yet carry His image upon us.
(Richard Sibbes, The Complete Works of; Forgotten Books, p. 71)
Remember, dear saint, that it is God Himself who justifies us. There is no power in heaven and earth that can bring charge against us when He is washing our souls in the indestructible power of His mercy. If you are afflicted over your sin, then you are not asleep. You are not cast off. You are not despised. Turn to the One who justifies and cleanses, the One who heals and restores, the One whose voice is above the waters. There is no charge to be brought against those who are clothed in Christ.