TRUE CHRISTIANITY IS A FIGHT!

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“Let me warn everyone who wants to be saved — not to be content with the world’s standard of Christianity. Surely no man with his eyes open, can fail to see that the Christianity of the New Testament is something far higher and deeper than the Christianity of most professing Christians. That formal, easy-going, do-little thing, which most people call ‘religion’ — is evidently not the religion of the Lord Jesus. The things which He praises — are not praised by the world. The things which He blames — are not things in which the world sees any harm. Oh, if you would follow Christ — do not be content with the world’s Christianity! Tremble, tremble and repent!”

— J C Ryle

“True Christianity! Let us mind that word “true.” There is a vast quantity of religion current in the world which is not true, genuine Christianity. There are thousands of men and women who go to churches and chapels every Sunday and call themselves Christians. They make a “profession” of faith in Christ. Their names are in the baptismal register. They are reckoned Christians while they live. They are married with a Christian marriage service. They mean to be buried as Christians when they die.

But you never see any “fight” about their religion! Of spiritual strife and exertion and conflict and self-denial and watching and warring — they know literally nothing at all. Such Christianity may satisfy man, and those who say anything against it may be thought very hard and uncharitable; but it certainly is not the Christianity of the Bible. It is not the religion which the Lord Jesus founded, and His apostles preached. It is not the religion which produces real holiness. True Christianity is “a fight!”

The principal fight of the Christian is with . . .
the world,
the flesh, and
the devil.
These are his never-dying foes! These are the three chief enemies against whom he must wage war. With a corrupt heart, a busy devil and an ensnaring world — he must either “fight” or be lost!

To be at peace with the world, the flesh and the devil — is to be at enmity with God and in the broad way that leads to destruction! We have no choice or option. We must either fight — or be lost!

It is a fight of universal necessity. No rank or class or age can plead exemption, or escape the battle — all alike must carry arms and go to war.
All have by nature a heart full of pride, unbelief, sloth, worldliness and sin!
All are living in a world beset with snares, traps and pitfalls for the soul.
All have near them a busy, restless, malicious devil.
All, from the queen in her palace down to the pauper in the workhouse — all must fight, if they would be saved.

We may take comfort about our souls, if we know anything of an inward fight and conflict. It is the invariable companion of genuine Christian holiness.

The saddest symptom about many so-called Christians, is the utter absence of anything like conflict and fight in their Christianity. They eat, they drink, they dress, they work, they amuse themselves, they get money, they spend money, they go through a scanty round of formal religious services once or twice every week. But of the great spiritual warfare — its watchings and strugglings, its agonies and anxieties, its battles and contests — of all this they appear to know nothing at all.”

— J C Ryle

THE WORLD IS THE BATTLEGROUND

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“In the Western world the enemy has forsworn violence. He comes against us no more with sword and fagot; he now comes smiling, bearing gifts. He raises his eyes to heaven and swears that he too believes in the faith of our fathers, but his real purpose is to destroy that faith, or at least to modify it to such an extent that it is no longer the supernatural thing it once was. He comes in the name of philosophy or psychology or anthropology, and with sweet reasonableness urges us to rethink our historic position, to be less rigid, more tolerant, more broadly understanding.”

– AW Tozer

 

“It is impossible to be a true soldier of Jesus Christ and not fight.”

– J. Gresham Machen

 

“Spiritual Christians look upon the world not as a playground but as a battleground.”

– AW Tozer

2 Timothy 2:3-4 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

Ephesians 6:11-12 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

1 Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

PUTTING ON THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD

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“Who wears armour in times of peace? Armour is designed for those going into battle! Do not think simply putting on the grace of God will frighten the enemy away. He is not impressed by a show of force. On the contrary, the very sight of God’s armour upon your back is like waving a red flag at Satan. So to have it on for show is not enough; you must have it securely fastened at every point.

Satan is not challenging you to a mock battle; this war is a life-or-death struggle. If you do not believe me, look what he has done with God’s servants in times past. Charging full speed ahead at many a dear saint, he has battered their armour until the grace of God in them was almost unrecognizable. All this he does when he catches a saint off guard.

Do you remember what happened to Jacob when he unbuckled his girdle of truth and sincerity, and used a trick to get his father’s blessing? He got the blessing all right, but he also was repaid in kind when Laban switched Leah for Rachel. Think how much suffering he might have saved himself by keeping his whole suit of armour in place!

What about David? Oh, the battering he took by removing his breastplate of righteousness in the matter of Uriah! He sustained a dreadful wound, being shot right through the heart. And Jonah, when God wanted to send him to Nineveh, got caught without his shoes on. By that I mean he lacked the preparation and readiness with which his mind should have been shod, to have gone at the first call. Then there was poor Hezekiah. He had his helmet of hope knocked askew and so badly dented that he cried, ”I shall not see the Lord…in the land of the living” (Isa.38:11). Even Abraham had fits of unbelief and distrustful qualms that crept in at some rusty spots in his graces.

This war is a spiritual holocaust. Either you destroy the power of Satan in your life by putting on the whole armour of God and keeping it on, or Satan will destroy you.”

—William Gurnall

Ephesians 6:13-17 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

ARE YOU IN A WAR?

Ephesians 6:11-12 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

WE WRESTLE AGAINST

1. Principalities

Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

2. Powers

1 Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

3. Rulers of the darkness of this world

Daniel 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

Psalms 2:2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,

Acts 4:26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.

Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

4. Spiritual wickedness in high places

OUR POWER COMES FROM GOD’S MIGHTY POWER AS WE SUBMIT TO HIM, RESIST THE DEVIL, AND PUT ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD

Ephesians 1:19-21 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Colossians 1:10-14 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

2 Chronicles 20:15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

1 Samuel 17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.

1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.