Our Great Captain

From “Sermon for the Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity,” Sermons by Hugh Latimer (1535)

Paul teaches his readers to be bold and fight, for they must fight with valiant warriors… Paul speaks generally of armor, but afterwards he speaks of particularly of the parts of armor: be armed on every part with the armor of God, not borrowed nor patched, but all godly… “That you may stand,” Paul says. You must stand in this battle, and not sit or lie down. For he that lies is trodden under the foot of his enemy. We may not sit, that is, not rest in sin, or lie along in sluggishness of sin, but continually fight against our enemy, and under our great captain and sovereign Lord Jesus Christ, and in his quarrel, armed with the armor of God that we may be strong. We cannot be strong unless we are armed with the armor of God. We have no power of ourselves to stand against the assaults of the devil.

Hugh Latimer (1487-1555) was an English theologian and Bishop of Worcester. He was an early supporter of the Reformation, and one of the most admired preachers of his time. He and his fellow bishop Nicholas Ridley were burned at the stake for their Protestant convictions in Oxford in 1555, and are commemorated together as the Oxford Martyrs on the liturgical calendars of several Anglican churches on October 16. The text is adapted from the version edited by H. C. Beeching (London: J. M. Dent, 1926).


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