The Christian in Complete Armour was published by Banner of Truth Trust in 1986. William Gurnall (1616–1679) wrote a massive theological work looking deeply into Spiritual Warfare between Christians and Satan. Gurnall published the 1,240 page work in 1662.

The original title was The Christian In Complete Armour; A Treatise Of the Saints’ War against the Devil. Gurnall was Pastor of the Church of Christ in Lavenham, Suffolk, England.

This is, in my opinion, the best and most thorough treatise on the subject of Spiritual Warfare that I’ve ever read. I highly recommend that every Christian purchase a copy of Volume I ($9.99 Kindle, $12.00 Paperback) to get started or invest in the three-volume set for $26.00 (Paperback). You will not be disappointed. I think you very well may read through the volume(s) every year as an important reminder of the battle we all face every day with the enemy.

This amazing book is available from Banner of Truth as a complete unabridged edition ($43.20 Paperback) and in three modernized abridged volumes.

Here is the publisher’s description of the unabridged edition.

Unabridged Edition Description

Gurnall’s Christian in Complete Armour, certainly one of the greatest of all the Puritan’s practical writings, has been many times republished, but the best edition remains that of 1864, with an Introduction by J.C. Ryle. It is this unabridged edition which is now reprinted.

This Complete Armour is beyond all others a preacher’s book: I should think that more discourses have been suggested by it than by any other uninspired volume. I have often resorted to it when my own fire has been burning low, and I have seldom failed to find a glowing coal upon Gurnall’s hearth. John Newton said that if he might read only one book beside the Bible, he would choose The Christian in Complete Armour, and Richard Cecil was of much the same opinion.


‘If I might read only one book beside the Bible, I would choose The Christian in Complete Armour.’ — JOHN NEWTON

‘Gurnall’s work is peerless and priceless; every line is full of wisdom; every sentence is suggestive. The whole book has been preached over scores of times, and is, in our judgment, the best thought-breeder in all our library.’ — C.H. SPURGEON

‘You will often find in a line and a half some great truth, put so concisely, and yet so fully, that you really marvel how so much thought could be got into so few words.’ — J.C. RYLE

Volume I

(308 pages)

The first volume contains the following chapters:

Chapter I – The Saint’s Call to Arms

  1. The Christian’s Call to Courage
  2. The Christian’s Call to Service
  3. An Admonition to ‘Be Strong In The Lord’
  4. An Admonition to Appropriate ‘The Power Of His Might’

Chapter II – First Consideration: The Saint’s Armour

  1. The Christian Must Be Armed
  2. Why The Christian Must Be Armed

Chapter III – Second Consideration: The Nature of the War and the Character of the Enemy

  1. The Nature Of The War
  2. The Character Of The Enemy

Chapter IV: Third Consideration: A Second Exhortation to be Armed

  1. The Exhortation And The Implication
  2. Reasons For The Exhortation

Chapter V: Fourth Consideration: The Position to be Maintained in the Fight

  1. Stand – Do Not Flee Or Yield
  2. Stand In Your Own Place – Do Not Usurp Another’s
  3. Stand – Do Not Sleep

Volume II

(398 pages)

The second volume contains the following chapters:

Chapter VI: Fifth Consideration: The Christian’s Spiritual Girdle

  1. Truth Of Doctrine As A Girdle For The Mind
  2. Truth Of Heart Or Sincerity As A Girdle For The Will

Chapter VII: Sixth Consideration: The Christian’s Breastplate

  1. Why Every Christian Should Keep On His Breastplate
  2. How The Christian Expresses The Power Of Holiness
  3. Guidance For The Christian Who Desires Holiness

Chapter VIII: Seventh Consideration: The Christian’s Spiritual Shoe

  1. What Is Meant By The Gospel
  2. What Is Meant By Peace
  3. The Preparation Of The Gospel Of Peace

Volume III

(319 pages)

The third volume contains the following chapters:

Chapter IX: Eighth Consideration: The Christian’s Spiritual Shield

  1. The Pre-Eminence Of Faith Above Other Graces
  2. A Powerful Argument To Quench Fiery Darts Of The Wicked

Chapter X: Ninth Consideration: The Christian Helmet

  1. The Helmet Of Salvation – What It Is
  2. The Use Of The Helmet
  3. Applications Of The Doctrine Of The Christian Helmet

Chapter XI: Tenth Consideration: The Christian’s Sword

  1. The Weapon Itself
  2. Why ‘The Word Of God’ Is Called ‘The Sword Of The Spirit’
  3. How To Use The Sword Of The Word

I would like to reiterate the importance of The Christian In Complete Armour. We have a mighty enemy, but an even greater God. Christians are buffeted about continually by the enemy whether we realize it or not. That’s why the Apostle Paul tells us to, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Nowhere does Paul tell Christians to take the armor off, even for a little while. He tells us to “take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” When is that “evil day?”

  • It is a day when joy deserts us
  • It is a day when past sins are remembered
  • The day of affliction is a day when present sin is revealed
  • It is the day Satan comes to tempt
  • It is the day of trouble

The soul is a castle which we are each one to keep for God. We have been warned that Satan will lay siege to it. The time when he intends to come with all his powers of darkness is that ‘evil day.’ Now in order to be found true to our trust, we must plan for our defense and equip ourselves for a vigorous resistance. We cannot, without shameful, ingratitude to our God, waste those aids He provides for that evil day. William Gurnall, The Christian In Complete Armour, Volume I

I highly recommend you invest in Volume I at a minimum. When you do, I believe you will purchase the entire set. It is necessary to every Christian to understand the battle we are in with Satan and his evil forces.

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