The Whole Armor of God: How Christ’s Victory Strengthens Us for Spiritual Warfare, Iain Duguid, Crossway, 2019. 127 pp. Paper, $14.99. Reviewed by Charles Terpstra.
The Christian life is a battle. We are in a daily struggle against the world, sin, and Satan. But God didn’t leave us to fend for ourselves. He gave us His own armor—armor that Jesus has already worn on our behalf all the way to the cross. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is now at work inside of us. This book unpacks each of the pieces of spiritual armor Paul describes in Ephesians 6, inviting us to take up the armor each day, all while resting in the finished victory of Christ and the assurance that our strength for the battle comes from Him.
With that description, Crossway introduces us to yet another book expounding the Christian’s call to arms by taking up God’s armor as laid out in Ephesians 6. The value of this book is its solid Reformed, that is, biblical and confessional, perspective, which stands out in its exposition and application of the text. With careful attention to the rest of Scripture about the nature of our spiritual battle and the manner of carrying on the good fight in God’s strength, and with plenty of confessional support (the Westminster Confession as well as the Heidelberg Catechism), the author grounds this aspect of our sanctification in the gospel of God’s sovereign grace in Jesus Christ.
Here is just one example:
We are engaged in conflict against an enemy whose strength and skill far outmatch our own. But it is a battle we have been equipped to fight in the sure knowledge that we’ve been enlisted on the winning side. We take up our cross because our Savior first took up his. We wear God’s armor because Jesus wore it first. In the final analysis, standing our ground simply means clinging desperately to Jesus Christ as our only hope of salvation. In that attitude of dependent trust is true victory. For all his power and wiles, Satan has no ability to snatch away those who are trusting in Christ, for they are the children of God, and their Father will not let them go. They have been entrusted by the Father into the safe keeping of the Son and are indwelt by the Spirit himself (p. 22).
The book is enhanced by questions in a “For Further Reflection” section at the end of each chapter. This brief but thorough treatment of Ephesians 6:10-20 would make an excellent read for your spiritual strengthening, as well as an edifying resource for young adult study groups and adult discussion groups.