Master of Misdirection

This Table is set for you as a means of grace. God intends to strengthen you, not only in terms of your endurance, but also in your wits. The serpent, it says, was craftier than all the other creatures. And the Lord Jesus teaches us to keep our innocence, but to grow in our wisdom. Be wise as serpents, He says. This Table is here to help equip you in growing up into that wisdom.

Know that Satan often tempts you to one sin in order to tempt you to another. He is the master of misdirection. He tempts you to sin against the law at some point, and if you fall for it, so much the better. But the real game is to get you to sin against the gospel.

How could a true Christian have thoughts like that in his breast? Even if they were only there for a moment? In other words, he tempts you in order that he may use the fact that he has tempted you against you. He suggests the first thing, in order that he may suggest the second.

The broken body here, and the spilt blood here, are the only appropriate answer to any of this. Whether it is the first temptation—to lust, to anger, to avarice—or the second—self-doubts, melancholy, morbid introspection—what we have here on the this Table is the only answer that suffices.

I may be a poor Christian, but this body here says that I am one. I may have stumbled and fallen just this last week, but blood was shed outside Jerusalem two thousand years ago so that this wine would be sitting here for me, and anybody else just like me.

And for all those who fear that such freedom in grace may led some to abuse it, the reply to that is let them go. We know that grace can do far more damage to sin than sin can do to grace. And is that not the point?

So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.

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