• Dr. Timothy X. Merritt

Spiritual Attacks: Drawing You to Sin #2

What can you do when Spiritual Attack breaks your heart? 1) Understand that sin deceives us when it is disguised beautifully, but is no less filthy for being painted, 2) Recognize that the more sin is painted, the more dangerous it is, 3) See sin as it will appear in the future, and 4) Remember that Jesus dies because of these very sins.


Book Review: When I first learned about Thomas Brooks, the Puritan preacher, I was overwhelmed by his spiritual maturity and the authority of his insights. However, I also realized that because it was written in an old style of English, most of the message would be lost on a post-modern audience …the very people who need to hear his words the most! Therefore, I decided to undertake a massive book review project, reviewing each chapter individually and “translating” the key ideas into a format suitable for a popular audience. All these techniques of Spiritual Warfare are adapted from Thomas Brook’s book “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices” first published in 1652, now available through Puritan Paperbacks (see the Paid Link Below).



Device #2: To Paint Sin in Virtue’s Colors

Satan knows that if he presented sin as it truly is, we would all run from it. Therefore he disguises it by painting it over with beautiful colors. This way, we are more easily overcome by it and take more pleasure in committing it. It is only after we have committed the sin that the paint is removed, and we see sin for what it truly is. But by then, it is too late, and we are forced to endure the terrible consequences.


To sin is to murder God. Before we sin, Satan lurks like a parasite waiting to infect us. After we sin, Satan is a tyrant.

Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. So they bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”
So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.” Matthew 27: 1-5 (NIV)

How do we experience this device today?

  • Woke activists present demands to ostracize those who disagree with their political beliefs. We are expected to agree that right is wrong, wrong is right, and that the mentally unstable represent the ideal social good.

  • Cancel culture destroys the livelihood, reputation, and even families on the slightest provocation while claiming moral superiority. The weapons of racism, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and many others are hurled without regard for principle or consistency.

  • Dissenting voices are silenced in the name of “following the science.” Even though they know science demands dissent and constant skepticism.

  • Big tech corporations ban content that disagrees with their preferred narrative. They hide the profit motives that secretly drive their agendas.

Remedy 1: Understand that a sin is not even a fraction less filthy, vile, and abominable just because it is painted as a virtue. A poisonous pill is no less toxic because it has been given a sweet coating. A mass murderer is no less a murderer because he is heralded as a folk hero. The devil is no less evil because he sometimes appears as an angel of light.


Remedy 2: Recognize that the more sin is painted with virtue’s colors, the more dangerous it is. Sadly, millions of people today are enthralled by this dreadful device. The social, political, economic, and health consequences are profound. Just as most beautiful clothes are often put upon the filthiest bodies, so are the fairest and sweetest names put upon the most horrible vices and errors that are destroying the world. There is intolerance in the name of social justice, divisiveness in the name of unity, wasteful spending in the name of economic policy, and the loss of freedom in the name of public safety.


Remedy 3: See sin as it will appear in the future, not as it now appears. I know you can tell right from wrong, but you must choose to do it. There is objective truth that exists outside of our own perspective, and the day will surely come when the painted veneer of sin is stripped away. What once seemed sweet will now taste bitter; what you once found beautiful will be revealed as the ugliest threat to your soul. You know what’s coming; shame, pain, and horror await you. It doesn’t have to be this way.


Remedy 4: Think about this: Those very same sins that you find so attractive are the very same sins for which Jesus shed his blood. Our Savior was sacrificed to atone for all the sins of humanity, past, present, and future. That includes the sins you are committing today. He hung, nailed to the cross, with each sense assaulted because of these very sins that Satan paints with fine colors. Let these thoughts be meat and drink for you, keep Jesus’ agony in the forefront of your mind, and let it stir up your soul to flee from sin, and to repent of it.


Because Thomas Brooks offers so many remedies, and because he lists them so systematically, I built an online spreadsheet for easy referencing. Find all of the Remedies to Satan’s Devices at the Spiritual Warfare Curated Library. Be sure to link to the page as the spreadsheet is constantly being updated!
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