Don The Armour

June 27, 2023

They who now think it matters not much what language drivels from them, what company they walk in, what they busy their time about, how they comport with God in his worship, and with man in their dealings, but live at large, and care not much which end goes foremost, yea wonder at the niceness and zeal of others, as if there were no pace would carry them to heaven but the gallop; when once death comes so near as to be known by its own grim face, and not to report of others, when these poor creatures see they must in earnest into another world, without any delay, and their naked souls must return to ‘God who gave them,’ to hear what interpretation he will put upon the course and tenor of their walking, and accordingly to pass an irrevocable sentence of life or death upon them, now their thoughts will begin to change, and take up other notions of a righteous and holy life than ever they had before.

William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour


(Yes, that entire quote is one sentence)

Some will not think about living righteously during their life, but on their deathbed, just before they meet God, they will look back and wish they had lived differently.

As a side note, I want to highlight an important distinction regarding the type of righteousness the author refers to. This quote comes from his discussion of the breastplate, in which he identifies two types of righteousness: lawful, and evangelical. Lawful righteousness relates to the old covenant and was what the Pharisees believed in; that one can obtain salvation through strict adherence to the law (which we know is impossible). Evangelical righteousness relates to the new covenant, in which we are saved by grace and given a new heart. Our actions will become more righteous over time through sanctification by the Holy Spirit as we continue to grow closer to God. The fruits of sanctification are righteousness, so it comes from grace, not vice versa, as in the old covenant. In the quote above (and likely any quote I post on righteousness), the author is referring to the latter — evangelical righteousness.