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Satan Wants You to Be Good


I count all things to be loss . . . so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith

—Philippians 3:8–9

The devil loves it when people sin willfully. He loves it more when they live morally and think themselves good.


If you desire the comfort and happiness to be found in Christ, take heed of relying upon your own righteousness. There are two ways whereby Satan leads the greatest part of the world to destruction. The one is, the open way of profaneness and ungodliness; the other is, the retired way of self-confidence. If that great enemy of souls cannot prevail with men to run with [other to] excess of riot, when he sees some through religious education, or common workings of the Spirit, to have escaped the gross pollutions of the world, he attempts their ruin another way, by possessing them with a conceit of the sufficiency of their own righteousness, tempting them to neglect Christ by resting in themselves. And though this way be fairer than the other, yet ordinarily it proves more dangerous, because those that are entered into it are not so easily convinced of it, and brought out of it; publicans and sinners are more easily brought to Christ than Pharisees. The word to which the apostle compares self-righteousness tells us thus much. He calls it . . . dung . . .

It must be an extraordinary power that will work a man that is civilized, and hath the form of godliness, to deny himself, and renounce his self-righteousness; and yet nothing doth more cross the great and glorious designs of God in the gospel, nothing is more dishonourable to Christ, and more affronts him; nothing more dangerous to the soul of sinners, than to rely upon their own righteousness for pardon and salvation. And therefore, if you would not be found fighters against God in his most gracious contrivement of man's happiness; if you would not be contemners of Christ and the grace of the gospel; if you would not be found accessory to the destruction of your own souls, take heed of depending upon your own righteousness, take heed of making anything the ground of your confidence but Christ and his righteousness.

—David Clarkson, Justification by the Righteousness of Christ, Works (Banner of Truth, 1988), 1:280–281.

Posted 2017·10·27 by David Kjos
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Posted in: David Clarkson · Solus Christus · Works of David Clarkson

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