Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Christian Has No Clothes

In commenting on the fact that God sends us into battle and gives us the provisions we need to be protected and to protect others (indeed, to even advance into maturity), Horton notes this sad condition within evangelicalism.

"According to recent studies, we learn the following: Most evangelicals do not believe in absolute truth, so the belt of truth is missing. Most evangelicals believe that 'in salvation, God helps those who help themselves' and think that human beings are by nature good, so gone is the breastplate of Christ's righteousness. Few evangelicals define the Gospel as God's saving work. Instead they turn their focus to their own subjective experiences and activities, so gone are the shoes of the Gospel, and the shield of faith. We are far too preoccupied with practical tips on the family, finances, self-esteem, and entertainment to be interested in the doctrinal category known as 'salvation', so gone is the helmet that protects our head in battle. And when it comes to popular movements in Christian circles, the objective teaching and proclamation of Scripture is too often considered less spiritual than the direct whisper of the Holy Spirit to the individual heart" (Michael Horton, We Believe, 153).

We have been completely stripped of what we need to overcome the schemes of the devil to separate us from Christ in American evangelicalism. As such, we are like lambs to the slaughter. Instead, let us continue to do as the Apostle exhorts us to do.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly [places]. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil [one]. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints (Eph 6:10-18)

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