Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
(540) 473-2325

Fighting the Good Fight

Strength to overcome the temptations we face as believers is readily available. The Lord has told us through Paul that he will not lay more on us than we can handle, I Cor.10:13. But we have to have the attitude of the Apostle Paul to understand how we can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us, Phil.4:13.

The Set Up to Sinning

When we feel spiritually weak due to discouragement, and life gets to be more than we want to deal with then we can be sure a temptation is coming our way. The old sin nature never waste an opportunity to entangle us. It stands ready to resume it’s former place as the master of our lives. Paul appealed to each one of us when he said, “Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom.6:11. Our eternal relationship to God positions us for victory over sin, but our earthly roots seek to pull us back into sin.

Paul exclaimed the law of the old sin nature in Romans 7:15-25. He said “For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do.”

He saw how we are in a constant warfare with our old nature. No matter how well our intentions may be, or how gifted we are, if we are under the control of our sin nature everything we do is meaningless.

If we delight in the word of God, we should likewise detest the work of sin. Paul knew that no matter how long he served the Lord, that he would have to fight the good fight of faith to win the crown.

He said in I Cor.9:26-27 “I therefore, so run, not as uncertainty; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air [ shadow boxer]; But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway, [rendered useless].”

The believer must take responsibility each day for exercising self-discipline, whether it be over the sins of the flesh, the mind or the tongue. Sin acts like an itch, and when we scratch it, it only satisfies temporarily. The more we scratch the more we itch and spread the sin. Resisting sin becomes a daily challenge for every believer, but if we start justifying our sin, or saying we are too weak to resist then we have thrown in the towel, and the fight is over. God has the answer and it is found in his word. “ Thy word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against thee.” Ps.119:11.

God’s word in our hearts provides us with spiritual discernment and we recognize the trap of sin and Satan. By keeping our sins confessed we readily recognize temptation for what it is and we follow Paul’s advise and flee those things. All God can do is warn us and then it’s up to us to yield to his righteous standards. The more we resist temptation, the stronger we become and the happier we become. But do not fool yourselves into thinking you can psyche yourself up to resist sin by your own will or your own strength. It takes spiritual maturity to recognize our many sins and it takes time and faithfulness to develop the instincts that see sin sneaking up on us. Do not let sin steal your Christian joy.

I know I sound like a parrot sometimes, but when I see inconsistency in a member’s church attendance I see defeat written all over their faces. When I see consistency in church attendance and attention to the word being taught I see joy in your faces. I see determination on your countenance and I know you are fighting the good fight of faith, and I know you will receive the crown of righteousness at the Judgment Seat of Christ, II Tim.4:8.

The Pastor
September 2007