Charles Spurgeon had a gift of revealing the truths and realities of God’s Word in a vivid and exceedingly practical manner. In this excerpt from his book, Spiritual Warfare in a Believer’s Life, Spurgeon demonstrates the means in which Jesus Himself used the Word to resist the attacks and temptations of Satan.
Notice first that Jesus used the Word to defend His Sonship. The fiend said, “If Thou be the Son of God,” and Jesus replied, “It is written.” That was the only answer He needed to give. Jesus did not call to mind evidences to prove His Sonship. He did not even mention that voice out of the excellent glory that had said, “This is My beloved Son.” No, but “It is written.”
I do not doubt but that you have been already subjected to the infernal “if.” How glibly it comes from Satan’s lip. It is his darling word, the favorite arrow of his quiver. Satan is the prince of skeptics, who worship him while he laughs in his sleeve at them, for he believes and trembles. One of his greatest works of mischief is to make men doubt. “If “– with that sneer he whispers this already in the ear. Never let Satan get you away from the solid ground of the Word of God. If he once gets you to think that the fact of Christ being the Savior of sinners can only be proved by what you can see within yourself, he will plunge you into despair.
The reason that I am to believe in Jesus lies in Jesus and not in me. I am not to say, “I believe in the Lord Jesus because I feel so happy,” for within half an hour I may feel miserable; but I believe in Christ because it is written, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). I believe in the salvation provided by Jesus Christ not because it always agrees with my reason or suits my frame of mind but because it is written, “He that believeth on him is not condemned” (John 3:18). Nothing can alter this truth; it stands and must stand forever. Believer, abide by it, come what may. Satan will say, “You know there are many evidences; show me one.” Tell him to mind his own business. He will say, “You know how imperfectly you have behaved, even since conversion.” Tell him that he is not so wonderfully perfect that he can afford to find fault with you. If he says, “Ah, but if you were really a changed character you would not have those thoughts or feelings,” argue not at all with him but dwell upon the fact that it is written, “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15).
“It is written.” Stand upon it, and if the devil were fifty devils in one, he could not overcome you. On the other hand, if you leave “It is written,” Satan knows more about reasoning than you do. He is far older, has studied mankind very thoroughly, and knows all our weak points. Therefore, the contest win be an unequal one. Do not argue with him but wave in his face the banner of God’s Word. Satan cannot endure the infallible truth, for it is death to the falsehood of which he is the father.
Charles Spurgeon, Spiritual Warfare in a Believer’s Life, (Emerald Books: 1993), 77–78.