When a strong man armed keeps his palace, his goods are in peace:…
I. And, if you reflect for a moment upon that blessed being, in whom is our life; the sinless man; the God in the flesh; you will at once discern what peculiar fitness there is in Him for our deliverance from this spiritual battle! a fitness nowhere else to be found, or to be imagined. As the very and eternal God, He hath all power, equal to the Father, all brightness, and glory, and all unutterable perfections dwelling within Him, as in a fountain inexhaustible, and ever flowing over on the objects of His love. As man, again, one with us, He is our brother, united by ties unspeakable in any words which human nature can supply, with those for whose sake He came down from the bosom of the eternal glory. Christ for Himself has fought it all over before us, with the very same enemy, and against the very same arms and weapons which are directed against us. And right and well it is that so it should have been ordered. As Satan's first victory was gained over flesh and blood, in the same flesh and blood it seemed good to Almighty God that he should be conquered. Christ, then, is the stronger man who conquereth the strong for us and frees the soul from its captivity, which is the first point which the text suggests to our consideration.
II. The next is the use which He makes of His victory.
III. TAKETH FROM HIM, that is, from Satan, THE ARMOUR IN WHICH HE TRUSTED. The meaning evidently is, that He deprives him of those weapons of spiritual strength and spiritual delusion, by making use of which he was enabled to keep an uninterrupted dominion for so long a time. What is Satan's armour? to what, in fact, in the soul of the sinner, does he mainly trust, in order to prevent his escape into the liberty of the children of God? Evidently this is a most important point, necessary for us clearly to understand if we would enter into the secret wisdom of this mystery of iniquity, and put ourselves on an effectual guard against it. Now, I think, that those arms of Satan are mainly three.
1. Our self-love.
2. Our unbelief. And —
3. Our indulgence in some one favourite sin.So long as we allow Satan possession of these weapons, it is impossible to expel him; he keeps a fast and sure hold, in spite of any occasional struggle, of his house and all the goods that are therein. And I am sure you must confess that, wherever this is present, whichever essential doctrine of the truth as it is in Jesus it chooses not to credit, there Satan's possession is quite secure! And it is, indeed, a powerful instrument of war in his hand, with which to repel the assaults of the gospel upon the heart, and to prevent Christ, the rightful owner, from entering in, and taking possession.
(J. Garbett, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: