Continuing where we left off last time, we quote again from Dutch theologian and churchman Abraham Kuyper on “fighting the good fight” as members of the church of Jesus Christ:
The battle for the Lord must begin within ourselves; only then can it kindle outward and be sincerely waged with equal fervor against enemies all around.
Our impassioned battle cry must ever be: Friend or enemy! All that is from the Evil One is your enemy, everywhere and in all forms – in your flesh, in your thoughts, in your very virtues, in the disrupted social conditions, in the schools – lower as well as higher – in your homes, and also in the church of your Lord.
Are you zealous for the church with great enthusiasm, while neglecting the evils which creep into your home, your friendships, your social life, and worst of all neglecting to fight your own personal spiritual battles? Then you are living a lie.
To ‘war the warfare of the Lord’ and to ‘keep the watch of the house of the Lord’ is to battle in every sphere, in every manner, in all relationships; every moment, always and everywhere standing against Satan, always and everywhere and in everything on the side of God.
Many will be ashamed upon reading this, even as our own soul bows in shame at the writing.
For who of us would dare say that his own hands are clean for the battle?
But let that not dishearten! For we must feel ashamed. God’s Word must bring upon us, again and again, a conviction of sin that burns as a fire into our very inmost being.
Only let us take care that our principles remain founded upon the true foundation.
If we fight for the church of God and neglect the evil within our own hearts, however men may attempt to justify such action, we incur the judgment of God.
When we acknowledge our own guilt, acknowledge the justice of the accusation against our false zeal, then pardon is assured us. And the Lord our God will lead us on.
Each must ask himself: Does my zeal for the church flow from my inner battle against sin and Satan?
He who truly takes up the fight against sin and Satan in his own heart and in his personal life, must necessarily fight sin and Satan in the church also.
He who looks on unconcernedly while untruth and sin grow rampant within the church of his Lord is also weak, half-hearted and sickly in his own spiritual battle.
The good fight must be fought in every sphere. In the church and without. Wherever the shadow of Satan falls, the soldier of the Lord is called to prompt action.
Dr. Abraham Kuyper in the chapter titled “The Church of Jesus Christ” (and the section headed by “Fighting the Good Fight”), found in The Practice of Godliness, (translated and edited by Marian M. Schoolland; Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1948), pp.59-60.