Fight the good fight

Years ago now, I wrote a Minute from a Minister called, “the Forders are killers”. It was a title I hoped would grab your attention. It was about how we (the Forders) had perfected the art of killing flies. It seemed like we were invaded by them: strays and regulars. But we also had fly swatters, and we even had the electric swatters that looked like a tennis racket. Each day we would kill as many flies as we could in our home. I think, Lachlan was the best! The reason I talked about this, was in light of God’s mercy and grace in Jesus, we are called to kill something else in our lives: sin. Colossians 3:5 says “Therefore put to death what belongs to the earthly nature…” . Friends, we are to live holy lives transformed by the power of the gospel. God calls us to stand firm on the authority of his word, the Bible, not just in what we believe but in how we live. This aspect of putting to death sin in our lives though, is an ongoing battle. It’s not a one-off; a war if you will. For while Jesus’ death brings forgiveness of sins once for all, past present and future (Praise God!), our holiness must grow (Hebrews 10:14; Philippians 2:12-13). But it grows in the face of obstacles and oppression. That is why the Bible at times uses warlike illustrations: take Ephesians 6 as an example where we are called to put on the armour of God; or in Galatians 6 where it says that the Spirit’s nature and the sinful nature, within us, are at war with each other; or in 1 Timothy 6:12 it says, “fight the good fight of the faith”. In each of these passages we are also called to holy living, to being transformed by the gospel of love and grace. Brothers and sisters, we live in a day and age when it is like we are ‘invaded’ by ‘flies’, as both the gospel and holy living are under attack. Society wants us to feel ashamed of who we are in Christ, and what we believe, and therefore how we live. In these times we must stand firm. We must fight the good fight of the faith, living to please God and not man. This fight is not aggressive, though. It involves being bold and courageous, but it also involves love and compassion. We are to speak the truth of the gospel, but we are to always speak in love. Let us stand firm together. May we enjoy the power of the gospel as it brings about healing and the transformation of lives.

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