With Whom Are You Fighting?

The apostle Paul calls the Christian life a fight in places like 1 Tim. 6:12.

J. C. Ryle devotes chapter four of his book Holiness to this notion.  You can read an online version of the book here.

HolinessEarly on he asks a crucial question that reminds us of the paramount importance of practicing biblical peacemaking in the local church.

With whom is the Christian soldier meant to fight? Not with other Christians. Wretched indeed is that man’s idea of religion who fancies that it consists in perpetual controversy! He who is never satisfied unless he is engaged in some strife between church and church, chapel and chapel, sect and sect, faction and faction, party and party, knows nothing yet as he ought to know. No doubt it may be absolutely needful sometimes to appeal to law courts in order to ascertain the right interpretation of a church’s articles and rubrics and formularies. But, as a general rule, the cause of sin is never so much helped as when Christians waste their strength in quarreling with one another and spend their time in petty squabbles.

Let us fight the good fight with our mortal enemies the world, the flesh, and the devil (1 John 2:15-16; Eph. 6:11) but let us eschew any strife among one another in the family of God.

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