Justification by Grace Alone: Defense Against Satan’s Attacks (Gurnall)

 There are quite a few Bible truths and texts that help us when Satan comes to accuse and trouble us.  For example, we can think about the armor of God in Ephesians 6.  We could think about God’s promise that he’ll soon crush Satan under our feet (Rom. 16.20).  William Gurnall gave some helpful Christian advice on this topic as well.  One thing he said was this: when Satan comes to trouble and accuse you, study the “grand gospel truth” of justification by grace alone through faith alone:

“Acquaint yourself with justification in all its causes: the moving cause (the free mercy of God, being justified freely by his grace), the meritorious cause (which is the blood of Christ), and the instrumental cause (faith).  Also acquaint yourself with all the sweet privileges that flow from justification by grace alone (Rom. 3:24).  If an effectual door was opened into a person’s soul to let this truth in it would not only spoil the pope’s market but also the devil’s.”

Gurnall then gives an illustration of dogs chasing a rabbit.  Even if a rabbit hides in a hole or burrow, the dogs can follow its scent to find it.  Similarly, everything the Christian does has a scent of sin in it and Satan follows that scent until he finds us and makes us “ready to fall down in despair at his feet.”  What do we do then?   Well, we don’t point to our repentance or reformation since these are imperfect.  There are “sinful mixtures” in them.  Here’s Gurnall:

“This truth of justification by grace alone would choke all of Satan’s bullets, that you believe in him who said, ‘But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness’ (Rom. 4:5).  Therefore get into this tower of the gospel covenant, and roll this truth on the head of Satan as the woman who rolled the stone on the head of Abimelech (Jud 9:53).”

William Gurnall, The Christian’s Complete Armor, I.95.

[NOTE: I edited the above quotes for readability.]

Shane Lems
Hammond WI, 54015




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