On Sunday morning we looked at the third Fruit of the Spirit - peace. We saw that in the context of Galatians 5, this is a reference to peace with other people, and particularly peace with other Christians.
That’s something Satan wants to destroy. In the book Precious Remedies against Satan’s devices, the Puritan Thomas Brooks lists some of these ‘devices’ of Satan, along with remedies to help us avoid them.
According to Brooks, Satan’s ‘one great device that he hath to destroy the saints’ is,
By working them first to be strange, and then to divide, and then to be bitter and jealous, and then ‘to bite and devour one another,’ Gal. 5:15
In order to counter this strategy, the Brooks lists twelve remedies. Stephen mentioned four in the sermon - here is the full list:
To dwell more upon one another’s graces than upon one another’s weaknesses and infirmities.
Solemnly to consider, That love and union makes most for your own safety and security.
To dwell upon those commands of God that do require you to love one another.
To dwell more upon these choice and sweet things wherein you agree, than upon those things wherein you differ.
To consider, That God delights to be styled Deus pacis, the God of peace; and Christ to be styled Princeps pacis, the Prince of peace, and King of Salem, that is, King of peace; and the Spirit is a Spirit of peace.
To make more care and conscience of keeping up your peace with God.
To dwell much upon that near relation and union that is between you.
To dwell upon the miseries of discord.
Seriously to consider, That it is no disparagement to you to be first in seeking peace and reconcilement, but rather an honour to you, that you have begun to seek peace.
For saints to join together and walk together in the ways of grace and holiness so far as they do agree, making the word their only touchstone and judge of their actions.
To be much in self-judging: ‘Judge yourselves, and you shall not be judged of the Lord,’ 1 Cor. 11:31.
Above all, Labour to be clothed with humility.