I’m on vacation this week and just finished Atonement, which is a compilation of sermons and lectures on the topic. Overall, the book is quite good, but the first chapter by JI Packer and the last chapter by Alistair Begg are both outstanding. I just wanted to share a quote from Begg’s chapter:
What is the ground of our confidence when the evil one comes to us and suddenly fires a fiery dart from out of left field? It happens constantly to us. It is some heinous thought; it may be a thought of jealousy. It may be a thought of deep animosity. It may be an impure thought. Whatever it might be, in it comes, and it’s there. And it is no sooner in your mind when, ‘old smutty face,’ as CS Lewis called him, comes to the front door of your mind and says, ‘hey, I thought you were a Christian. How could you possibly be a Christian and be thinking things like that?’ What we normally say at this moment is, ‘well, I know I was thinking that, but you know, I read 17 verses in my Bible this morning. Also, I was thinking about witnessing this afternoon.’ My friend, if you think like that, you are Islamic. You are trying to outweigh the bad with the good! Instead, you get to say, ‘go back to hell where you belong.’ Beloved, in wearing the helmet of salvation, there is an awareness of the cross of Jesus Christ. We must find all of our confidence there.