24 August, 2005

The Full Armour of God

As Christians we must fall in love with the truth. Truth (for the sake of faith and practice) is found in the Scriptures. Jesus says in the high priestly prayer, "Sanctify them through thy truth, for thy Word is truth."

This needs to be our banner as Christians. We need to realize that the method that God has chosen for us to be conformed to his image is by conformity to his Word. This is one of the reasons that Christians need to learn to defend, uphold, cherish, and immerse themselves in the doctrine (teachings) of the Word.

Another reason that we should love the truth is that this is the spoken Word of God. This is the method that God has chosen to speak to humanity. God has given us special revelation in his son Jesus Christ and in the written Word of God in the Bible. There are NO teachers outside of these two that can teach a saving knowledge of God.

William Gurnall,(c.1617-1679) a Puritan minister wrote a massive tome that deals with the
Full Armour of God. This book is extremely practical as well convicting. As Christians we need to ask ourselves how well we are armoured.

Below is a section on love for the Word of Truth:

A true love to God will make the soul inquisitive to find out what is near and dear to God. Now upon a little search we shall find that the great God sets a very high price upon the head of truth (Psa. 138:2). ‘Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.’ That is called God’s name by which he is known, every creature hath God’s name upon it; by his created works God is known, even the least pile of grass displays his name. But to his Word God hath given pre-eminence above all other things that bear his name. The Word is the glass in which we see God; it is the ‘word of truth’ because it sets out the God of truth in all his glory. Not only is his Word the extract of his thoughts and counsels which from everlasting he took up, but it is, chiefly, the most full and perfect representation that God himself could give of his own being – that is his name or attributes. Although God’s glorious nature is seen in his other works it is nowhere else seen so fully as in his Word, and therefore he values it more than all his other works; he cares not much what becomes of this world and all in it, so long as he keeps his Word and saves his truth. Ere long we shall see the world in flames: ‘The heavens and earth shall pass away, but the word of the Lord endures for ever.’ When God will, he can make more such worlds as this; but he cannot make another truth, and therefore he will not lose one jot thereof. Let us mind this, and know that as we deal with ‘the word of truth’, so we deal with God himself; he that despiseth that, despiseth him. He that abandons the truth of God, renounceth the God of truth. Though men cannot come to pull God out of his throne, and deprive him of his Godhead, yet they come as near this as it is possible, when they let out their hatred against the truth; in this they do, as it were, execute God in effigy. But such is God’s care for his own glory that he will preserve that Word of truth which conveys a knowledge of his glory to men. However much Satan works to deface and disfigure the Word by unsound doctrine, God will maintain his especial care of his truth; whatever else is lost, God looks to his truth. In shipwrecks at sea, and fires by land, when men can save but little they use not to choose lumber and things of no value, but what they esteem most precious. Likewise in all the great revolutions, changes, and overturning of kingdoms, and churches also, God hath still preserved his truth. Thousands of saints’ lives have been lost, but that which the Devil hates more than all the saints; yea, which alone he hates them for (that is, the truth) this lives, and shall to triumph over his malice; and sure if truth were not very dear to God, he would not be at this cost to keep it with the blood of his saints; yea, which is more, with the blood of his Son; whose errand into the world was by life and death ‘to bear witness to the truth’ (John 18:37). In a word, in that great and dismal conflagration of heaven and earth, when the elements shall melt for heat, and the world shall come to its fatal period, then truth shall not suffer the least loss, but the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. There is reason we see, why God should so highly prize his truth, and that we that love him should have our minds girt with it.

Discussion points:
-How well is the church armoured for persecution?
-Personal verses Corporal Spiritual Warfare.
-How serious do we take the idea of the Word being our Sanctifier?
-Gurnall's thoughts on the way in which God cares for the earth and the Word.

5 comments:

shawn said...

"...It's like a thief breaking into a house..."

Nate said...

What do you mean Shawn...? I am not sure to what your analogy is refrencing.

Jeff said...

"...It's like a one-legged rabbit..."

shawn said...

haha.. Nate, remember when we went thru Gurnall's book and every illustration was about a theif breaking into a house?

I was just making a joke, that's all.

shawn said...

thief