The Sweet Dropper: Three Degrees of Victory

To make this clearer, and help us in our trial, we must know that there are three degrees of victory: first, when we resist though we are foiled; second, when grace gets the better, though with conflict; and third, when all corruption is perfectly subdued. When we have strength only to resist, we may know Christ’s government in us will be victorious, because what is said of the devil is true of all our spiritual enemies, `Resist the devil, and he will flee from you’ (James 4:7); because `Greater is he that is in you’, who takes the part of his own grace, `than he that is in the world’ (1 John 4:4). And if we may hope for victory from bare resistance, what may we not hope for when the Spirit has gained the upper hand?  – Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed

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