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“It’s hard to fight sin when you can’t see what’s happening; it’s hard to beat Satan when he’s blindfolded you.”
The battle against sin, the world, and the devil is constantly raging. To be effective, soldiers go into battle armed with thorough tactical knowledge to equip them for the fighting they will face. Although we’re aware that there is an enemy, we’re often caught off-guard running for cover rather than advancing confidently like well-equipped soldiers.
Graham Beynon seeks to change this in Know Your Enemy. Graham hones our battle skills and prepares us to fight the good fight by helping us to know both ourselves and our enemy better. In six manageable chapters, and with help from historical sin-battlers, we’ll learn more about Satan’s strategy and more about ourselves and where we may be weak to attack.
The fight against sin will continue throughout our lives but it is possible to fight our enemy more confidently and more effectively.
This book is a call to holy living by resisting temptation. The focus is on the enemy operates and how to counter this. Every time we sin, we put our faith in Satan’s lies. Instead, we should remember the better promises of the Gospel. Beynon helpfully brings out the distinction between deliberate and negligent sins. The former are sins we choose to do and the latter are the good things we fail to do. Other ways he expresses the difference are overreach (wanting to be like God) and opting out (failing to be like God); vandalism and negligence; vanity and sloth. A respectable evangelical can avoid the former but fail to tackle the latter. The root cause of sin is loving ourselves rather than God. Thankfully in the Gospel God gives us a new heart that enables us to love him and others, meditating on his great love for us in Jesus Christ helps us to grow in our own love for him and strive to avoid sin. Beynon also causes us to see beyond the sugar coating to see the poison that sin is – “Reminding ourselves that sin kills is one the greatest ways to combat it.” Idols too must be identified for what they are – anything other than God that we believe essential for our happiness. Once again, the abundance we have in Jesus Christ helps us to smash these idols. Embracing that abundance and all the good things we have in Jesus Christ will help us to see how sin is “spoiled goodness” C.S. Lewis. There are some strange omissions: the armour of God, the indwelling Holy Spirit. The conclusion could be more upbeat, pointing us to the victory over sin we have in Jesus Christ and the Gospel. Nonetheless it is a very helpful book calling us to take sin seriously.
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