A Trip to the Armoury

A Trip to the Armoury
Posted on May 22, 2015  in Blog, Book Reviews and Recommendations, Christian Classics, Christian Warfare, Spritual Disciplines, William Gurnall
Photo credit: dan, freedigitalphotos.net
So I’m continuing to work my way little by little through Gurnall’s book. I first wrote about this experience here. You can read the second instalment here. Independently of one another Caleb also decided to read a book on Ephesians 6 by Lloyd-Jones. He blogged about that here. You might want to get comfortable as we’re probably in for the long haul on this topic.
Every time I pick up this book, along with other books by our Puritan forebears in the same era, I wonder, “Why I don’t I do this more?”  As has been said, reading them, like mining, takes work, but you’re sure to find some gold.  Here’s another nugget for you to turn over in your mind.  In this section he outlines three reasons for our need to grow in grace as it relates to putting on the armour of God (I’ve updated some of the words ending in th, like hath, to has):
First…as in an army, especially [one] which often engages in battle; their arms are battered and broken, one man has his helmet bent, another his sword gaped, a third his pistol unfixed, and therefore recruits are ever necessary.  In one temptation the Christian has his helmet of hope beaten off his head, in another his patience hard put to it.  The Christian [needs] an armourer’s shop at hand to make up his loss, and that speedily, for Satan is most like to fall on when the Christian is least prepared to receive his charge.
Second.  Because Satan is completing his skill and wrath.  It is not for nought that he is called the old serpent – subtle by nature, but more by experience, wrathful by nature, yet every day more and more enraged; like a bull, the longer he is baited, the more fury he shows.  And therefore we who are to grapple with him, now his time is so short, had need come well appointed to the field.
Third.  It is the end of all God’s dispensations, to complete his saints in their graces and comforts.  Wherefore does he lop and prune by afflictions, but to purge, that is, fuller and fairer? (John 15:2).  Tribulation works patience (Romans 5:3); it is God’s appointment for that end.  It works, that is, it increases the saints.  Patiences enrages indeed the wicked but meekness the saints.  It is his design in the gospel; he preaches to carry on his saints from ‘faith to faith,’ (Romans 1:17), and accordingly he has furnished his church with instruments, and those with gifts, ‘for the perfecting of the saints, for the edifying of the body of Christ’ (Ephesians 4:12).  Wherefore does the scaffold stand, and the workman on it, if the building go not up?  For us not to advance under such means is to make void the counsel of God.  Therefore the apostle blames the Christian Jews for their non-profienceny in the school of Christ: ‘When for the time you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God’ (Hebrews 5:12).
He continues with a lament along these lines:
O how few are there who endeavour thus to [improve] in their spiritual state, and labour to perfect what is yet lacking in their knowledge, patience, and the rest.
What does a trip to the armoury mean for the battle weary saint?  It means engaging in the means of grace God has given us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.  It means coming battered and bruised into His throne room in prayer, through the shed blood of Christ, to find grace and mercy in our time of need.  This we can do privately, but also with our brothers and sisters who are engaged in the same battle.  It means sharpening our dulled swords by marinating our hearts and minds in the pages of God’s revealed Word.  It means coming to the Lord’s table so that, though we be famished, we might be spiritually nourished as we eat and drink while Christ is present in our midst by His Spirit.  It means asking again for a greater filling of the Spirit, as we are commanded earlier in the book of Ephesians.  It means gathering with the local church to sing the Word, pray the Word, read the Word, and sit under the sound of the preaching of the Word.
Dear Christian, God has given us these means according to His glorious riches.  Will we despise them?  Will we reject them?  Will we turn to other means to supply for us what only God can to wage war in a battle in which only Christ was victorious?  Let us take daily, hourly, even moment by moment trips to the armoury that we might be ever prepared for battle!

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