Fight the Good Fight

In the likeness of Christ, Christians are to be peaceful people.  Our Lord committed no violence nor did He revile or threaten anyone (Luke 9:56; 1Pet. 2:23).  He taught His disciples, "[W]hoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also” (Matt. 5:39).  His apostle Paul wrote, "Never pay back evil for evil to anyone…If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.  Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God” (Rom. 12:17-19).  Certainly, it is not in the scope of a Christian’s mission to do physical harm to others.

However, Christians are to be fierce warriors for truth just as our Lord Jesus was.  Jesus was called the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6), yet He said of Himself, "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34).  The sword of Jesus was not made of steel or brass, but instead it was the word of God, which is "living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).  Now we who are Christians have also been given the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17), and it is our duty as soldiers of Christ to wield that sword with courage and strength (2Tim. 2:3).  We must become expert swordsmen to fight for the Lord, "accurately handling the word of truth” (2Tim. 2:15).

The war we are to fight is in the spiritual realm, and it is spiritual in nature.  When we became Christians by the grace of God and faith in Jesus, God "raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6).  This means that we have entered the spiritual realm and stepped onto the spiritual battlefield.  Our battle is a fight of resistance against Satan and his forces of evil.  Notice Ephesians 6:12 – "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

To prevent all of this from seeming like an imaginary fantasy or an invisible dream, let’s consider this fight in practical terms.  This is a battle of ideas, beliefs, and faith that is fought within the minds of men.  We are fighting for influence over people’s core beliefs, including our own.  When Paul charged Timothy to engage this battle, he specifically said, "Fight the good fight of faith” (1Tim. 6:12).  Faith is the substance of this fight, whether it is the faith in Jesus Christ that is advanced by soldiers of Christ or the faith of unbelief, atheism, agnosticism, and error that is promoted by Satan’s army.  This is a real fight in the real world, and we must have our minds on guard.  The word of God warns us, saying, "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ” (Col. 2:8).

Thankfully, God has equipped us with powerful weapons for fighting these battles.  Notice 2Corinthians 10:3-5:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.  We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…

The word of God is our weapon, and it is divinely powerful and effective for fighting this war.  Rather than being taken captive by the philosophy, deception, and tradition of men, we are to tear down their captivating fortresses with the word of God and take captive every thought for obedience to Christ.  To speak plainly, this means that we must believe the whole message of the Bible while rejecting and contradicting the ungodly teachings of the world.  Whenever and wherever the godless doctrines and practices of evolution, humanism, feminism, homosexuality and other perversions, abortion, divorce, covetousness, greed, deception, violence, or other aberrant beliefs and behaviors are found, Christians must war against them with the sword of the Spirit.  This means we must fight the good fight in homes, communities, schools, churches, businesses, governments, and wherever the minds of men are influenced.  Satan’s fortresses are found everywhere, and we must tear them down wherever they are.

Therefore, "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3).  If you are a Christian, then you must get in this fight on the side of the Lord.  Engage your enemy!  If you carry out this mission in the service of the Lord, then at the end of life you will be able to confidently say, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2Tim. 4:7-8).  Christ has already defeated Satan and death to give us the victory (1Cor. 15:55-57; Heb. 2:14-15).  Now will you fight the fight of faith in Jesus to overcome the world (1John 5:4-5)?

Stacey E. Durham


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