Wearing the armor of God
John Chrysostom, the fourth century church leader, included an imagined conversation between a Christian and Christ in one of his sermons, on Ephesians 6:11-18.
Christian: I renounce you, Satan.
Christ: What has happened? What is this strange and unexpected turn of events? Although you were all quivering with fear, did you rebel against your master? Did you look with scorn on his cruelty? Who has brought you to such madness? Whence came this boldness of yours?
Christian: I have a weapon. A strong weapon.
Christ: What weapon, what ally? Tell me!
Christian: I enter into your service, O Christ. From now on, I am bold and rebel against Satan. For I have a strong place of refuge. This has made me superior to the demon, although previously I was trembling and afraid. Therefore, I not only renounce him but also all his pomps.
William Williams wrote the following Hymn-prayer in the eighteenth century:
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Dead of death and hell’s destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side
Songs and praises, songs and praises,
I will raise forever,
I will raise for evermore.