Wednesday, July 01, 2009

0 Comprehensive Armor Required

When we survey the world around us and all the temptations to sin that it offers, I fear we frequently err on the side of complacency and false confidence that "we can handle it". After all, we're AmeriCANs, not AmeriCAN'Ts. This is folly, as William Gurnall plainly shows in the next section of The Christian in Complete Armor. Speaking of the necessity of the Christian's being outfitted with the WHOLE armor of God, as his text says, Ephesians 6:11, Gurnall argues that the reason we must be outfitted with the WHOLE armor of God is that the enemy's attack on the church is complete: Global Thermonuclear War. Every weakness that we have, the enemy aims for - so we must prepare ourselves with God's armor - which is complete.

Hence, Gurnall writes:
"He must be armed in every part cap-a-pie, soul and body, the powers of the one, and the sense of the other, not any part left naked. A dart may fly in at a little hole, like that which brought a message of death to Ahab, through the joints of his harness, and Satan is such an archer as can shoot at a penny breadth. If all the man be armed, and only the eye left without, Satan can soon shoot his fire-balls of lust in at that loophole, which shall set the whole house on fire. Eve looked but on the tree, and a poisonous dart struck her to the heart. If the eye be shut, and the ear be open to corrupt communication, Satan will soon wriggle in at this hole. If all the outward senses of a man be guarded, he will soon by his own thoughts be betrayed into Satan's hands. Our enemies are on every side, and so must our armour be, 'on the right hand and on the left,' (2 Cor. vi. 7)" (p. 58, The Christian in Complete Armor)
The comprehensive nature of the enemy's attack is well known to anyone who desires to live godly in this world of sin. Try as you might on your own, you only have 20 fingers and toes to stop up the holes in the dike. The only recourse is God's armor, which is prescribed in Ephesians 6, and which Gurnall explores in great detail in this, his masterwork.



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