Grace and the Devil

The greatest hindrance to faith is again and again just the pride and anxiety of our human hearts. We would rather not live by grace. Something within us energetically rebels against it. We do not wish to receive grace; at best we prefer to give ourselves grace. This swing to and fro between pride and anxiety is our life. Faith bursts through them both. By our own strength we cannot do it. We cannot deliver ourselves from pride and anxiety about life; but there will always be a movement of defiance, not last against ourselves. If we summarize all that opposes as the power of contradiction, one has an inkling of what Scripture means by the devil.

--Karl Barth

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