‘When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he … divideth his spoils … When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man…’ Luke 11:21–24
Suggested Further Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1–10
So long as you are content with the world, and with the prince who governs it, you will go on, on, on, to your own destruction. Satan does with men as the sirens are fabled to have done with mariners; they sat upon the rocks and chanted lays so harmonious that no mariner, who once caught the sound, could ever resist the impulse to steer his ship towards them, so each vessel voyaging that way was wrecked upon the rocks through their disastrous, but enchanting strain. Such is Satan’s voice; he lures to eternal ruin with the sweetest strains of infernal minstrelsy. This is the dulcet note ‘Peace, peace.’ O sinner, if you were not a fool, you would stop your ears to this treacherous lay. For ever blessed be that sovereign grace which has saved us from the enchantments of this destroyer. The tenant of the heart is called ‘an unclean spirit.’ He is unclean, notwithstanding all the peace he gives you. Flatter not yourself to the contrary. He is ever the same, unchanged, unchangeable. Perhaps you tell me that you are not subject to any uncleanness; you do not drink, nor swear, nor lie; but remember, it is unclean not to be reconciled to God; it is unclean to be a stranger to Christ; it is unclean to disobey God who created you; and above all it is unclean not to love the Redeemer, whose most precious blood has delivered his people from their sins. At his best the devil is no better than a devil, and the heart in which he dwells is no better than a den for a traitor to hide in.
For meditation: Sin affects every part of our being; even what we regard as our good points are unclean in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6). We remain unclean until we trust in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
Sermon no. 613
5 February (1865)