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Repent and Believe by Thomas Brooks

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Repent and Believe
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Reviewer: 
Joseph J. Adrian

This "Pocket Puritan" book, first published in 2008, is taken from Thomas Brooks' larger work "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices." Precious Remedies is not only one of the great Puritan works on spiritual warfare but is also on a very short list of the greatest books published on that subject. The method Brooks employs is to give the device that Satan uses to deceive people; he then gives various ways to combat that deception. Concerning repentance, the Prince of Darkness wants to convince us, ". . . that the work of repentance is an easy work." Not only is true repentance not an easy work, but for fallen rebellious man, it is an impossible task in his own strength—-"there is no power below that raised Christ from the dead, and that made the world, that can break the heart of a sinner." Repentance is part of "the Saving Work of God," therefore, it is a supernatural work. Left to ourselves, none of the fallen sons of Adam would ever repent. Like faith, repentance is a gift from God——"Him has God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel" Acts 5:31. A second remedy to deal with Satan's lie that repentance is easy, is in considering the nature of true repentance. When the salvation of a sinner is examined, it is often spoken of in terms of conversion. What is the nature of the conversion where repentance is to be found? It can be stated in relatively few words——turning from sin to God. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord" Isaiah 55:7.

Another major pillar in God's saving work is faith. What lies and deceit does Satan use to keep men in unbelief? "By suggesting to the soul the greatness and vileness of his sins." My father is 97 years old. He remains an unbeliever to this day. About 30 years ago I proclaimed the Gospel to him once again, and his response to me was, that he was too great a sinner to be saved. I cited the example of Paul, who was seeking to destroy the young Church. God took one of the greatest sinners and He used him to be one of the pillars to help establish the Church of Jesus Christ. One could make the case that the Apostle Paul was the most useful Christian (next to Christ Himself). It may sound humble when one declares themselves so great a sinner that they cannot be saved. What it really is, is pride and arrogance (dressed in the garb of a humble frame). For it is a denial of God's power to save (a lost rebellious sinner). Romans 1:16: "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes. . . ." The sinner's response should be quite the opposite——the greater a sinner you believe you are, the more you need the only Savior of sinners. Thomas Brooks powerfully states it thus, ". . . it is spiritual madness, it is the devil's logic to argue thus, my sins are great, therefore I will not go to Christ. . . ." It is, no doubt, insane when one hears the Gospel not to flee to Christ for mercy immediately!!!

These "Pocket Puritan" books are ideal to use as an evangelistic tool, to seek, by God's Grace, to have men and women brought from darkness, into God's glorious light by His sovereign power.