“Fight the Lord’s battles.” 1 Samuel 18:17
Suggested Further Reading: James 3:13-18
It is the Christian’s duty always to have war with war. To have bitterness in our hearts against any man that lives is to serve Satan. We must speak very strongly and sternly against error, and against sin; but against men we have not a word to say, though it were the Pope himself. I have no enmity in my heart against him as a man, but as anti-Christ. With men the Christian is one. Are we not every man’s brother? “God hath made of one flesh all people that dwell upon the face of the earth.” The cause of Christ is the cause of humanity. We are friends to all, and are enemies to none. We do not speak evil, even of the false prophet himself, as a man; but, as a false prophet, we are his sworn opponents. Now, Christians, you have a difficult battle to fight, because you fight with all evil and hostility between man and man: you are to be peacemakers. Go wherever you may, if you see a quarrel you are to abate it. You are to pluck firebrands out of the fire, and strive to quench them in the waters of lovingkindness. It is your mission to bring the nations together, and weld them into one. It is yours to make man love man, to make him no more the devourer of his kind. This you can only do by being the friends of purity. Smite error, smite sin, and you have done your best to promote happiness and union among mankind. Oh, go, Christian, in the Spirit’s strength, and smite your own anger—put that to the death; smite your own pride—level that; and then smite every other man’s anger. Make peace wherever you can, scatter peace with both your hands.
For meditation: “Blessed are the peacemakers.” (Matthew 5:9) Men need to hear of the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) who alone can give them peace with God and, as a result, peace with man (Ephesians 2:14-17).
Sermon no. 250
1 May (1859)