I’m preparing to teach a Sunday School series through Ephesians and Joshua. To that end, I’ve been reading The Christian in Complete Armour by Puritan William Gurnall (1616-1679). Spurgeon said of this book, “every line is full of wisdom; every sentence suggestive. The whole book has been preached over scores of times, and is, in our judgment, the best thought-breeder in all our library.”
I agree. It is easily one of the most thought-provoking, sermon-inspiring books I’ve read.
However, it’s full of Lordship Salvation, too. Here’s an example:
“Cowards never won heaven. Do not claim that you are begotten of God and have His royal blood running in your veins unless you can prove your lineage by this heroic spirit: to dare to be holy in spite of men and devils” (Vol 1, p. 26).
I really appreciate the theme of having a heroic spirit. It’s a manly and Biblical theme. Men need to hear about it. So do women. But especially men. The Church and its values has become feminized (a subject for another day). Men need to hear about heroism.
However, as much as I appreciate the theme, it is unfortunate that Gurnall makes assurance of salvation depend upon heroism, or not being a coward.
Gurnall is wrong. Cowardly believers can claim they are begotten of God. Why? Because we are born-again by faith, apart from works. Assurance of that is based on what He promised, and not based on what we do. Heroism has nothing to do with it. The only hero in salvation is Jesus.