Look closely at the label to see whether the armour you wear is the workmanship of God or not. There are many imitations on the market nowadays. It is Satan’s game, if he cannot keep the sinner satisfied in his naked, lustful state, to coax him into some flimsy thing or other that by itself will neithe do him good nor Satan harm. Perhaps it is church atteendance, or good works, or some self-imposed penance by which he intends to impress both God and man. Do such impersonators believe in God? Oh, they hope they are not infidels. But what their armour is, or how they came by it, and whether it will hold up in an evil day, they never stop to question. Thus thousands perish who supposed they were armed against Satan, death, and judgment – whenall along they were miserable and naked. These people are worse off tn those who have not a rag of pretense to hide their shame from the world’s gaze.
To most of us, a careful copy of a masterpiece looks quite as good as the original. But when the master himself appears, he can tell in an instant which is real and which the imposter. It is the same with that self-righteous hypocrite who is a pretender to faith and hope in God. Here is a man in glitterin array with his weapon in his hand. With the sharp sword of his tongue he keeps both the preacher and the Word of God at arm’s length: ‘Who can say I am not a saint? Name one commandment I do not keep, one duty I neglect!’ he demands indignantly. Many are impressed by his seeming piety. It takes the Spirit’s discerning eye to expose him because Satan has so cleverly tampered with him already. He must first be disarmed and unclothed of his own filthy self-righteousness, because God’s armour can never be made to fit over the suit he fashioned for himself. On the other hand, the soul that stands naked and humble before God is fully aware of the magnitude of his need for help. Which would you say is easier: to set a freshly broken bone, or to attempt the repair of one that has already been falsely mended?
Oh, pious hypocrite, either deny the name of Christ, whose insignia you only pretend to march after, or throw away the phony armour of self-righteousness and come to Him in true repentance. Do not dare to call anything the armour of God which does not gloriy Him and defend you against the power of Satan.
-William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour