Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:10
Having exhorted the saints at Ephesus to a holy resolution and courage in their welfare, the apostle leads them out of themselves unto his almighty strength. The strength of every saint lies in the Lord of hosts. God can overcome his enemies without our hands, but we cannot so much as defend ourselves without his arm. God was the strength of David’s heart. Without him, David would be filled with fear at the words of the Philistine. He was the strength of his hands and taught his fingers to fight. So he is the strength of all his saints in their war against sin and Satan (Phil. 2:13). To be strong in the power of the Lord’s might implies two acts of faith. First, a settled firm persuasion that the Lord is almighty in power; and second, it implies a further act of faith that God is engaged for their defence to bear them up in the midst of all their trials and temptations. This is the apostle’s purpose; to beat us off from leaning on our own strength, and to encourage the Christian to make use of God’s almighty power as freely as if it were his own whenever assaulted by Satan. As a father gives his child his arm to steady him, so does God reach out his almighty power for his saints. God made himself known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for their support, by displaying this attribute, “God Almighty’ (Exod. 6:3). Abraham was fully persuaded that what God had promised he was also able to perform (Rom. 4:21).
Yea, God often suffers a contrary power many times to arise, in that very juncture of time, when he intends to show his mercy to his people, that he may rear up the more magnificent pillar of remembrance to his own power.
Dr. Ryken’s presentation of the Puritan view and style of life is perceptive and accurate. He allows the Puritans to speak for themselves on topics ranging from “Church and Worship” to “Money” and “Marriage and Sex.” Worldly Saints offers a fine introduction to seventeenth-century Puritanism in its English and American contexts. The work is rich in quotations from Puritan worthies and is ideally suited to general readers who have not delved widely into Puritan literature.
“Ryken’s Worldly Saints offers a fine introduction to seventeenth-century Puritanism in its English and American contexts. The work is rich in quotations from Puritan worthies and is ideally suited to general readers who have not delved widely into Puritan literature. It will also be a source of information and inspiration to those who seek a clearer understanding of the Puritan roots of American Christianity.” —Harry Stout (Yale University)
“…the typical Puritans were not wild men, fierce and freaky, religious fanatics and social extremists, but sober, conscientious, and cultured citizens, persons of principle, determined and disciplined, excelling in the domestic virtues, and with no obvious shortcomings save a tendency to run to words when saying anything important, whether to God or to man. At last the record has been put straight.” —J.I. Packer (Regent College)
“Worldly Saints provides a revealing treasury of primary and secondary evidence for understanding the Puritans, who they are, what they believed, and how they acted. This is a book of value and interest for scholars and students, clergy and laity alike.” —Roland Mushat Frye (University of Pennsylvania)