Summary: Many people do not enjoy arguing, fighting or quarreling. Yet, you can tell what a person considers vital by what they are willing to fight for. The apostles found it necessary to fight the good fight of faith against "false brethren" who wanted to restri
Quotation: Paul wrote, "Fight the good fight of faith." Many people are fighting battles that are not really worth fighting.
Illustration: When I hear my friends say they hope their children don’t have to experience the hardships they went through--I don’t agree. Those hardships made us what we are. You can be disadvantaged in many ways, and one way may be not having had to struggle.
William M. Batten, Fortune.
1. Many people do not enjoy arguing, fighting or quarreling. Yet, you can tell what a person considers vital by what they are willing to fight for.
The apostles found it necessary to fight the good fight of faith against "false brethren" who wanted to restrict the membership of the church to Judaizerâs regulations.
Application:There are times when it is required to fight against extremists who would have extinguished the fire of the church of Christ. Thankfully, the apostles met in the Jerusalem council to stand up for the freedoms given in the Holy Spirit to live by grace rather than under the law. Let us be ready to fight the good fight of faith even if it involves doing things that are not comfortable.
Application: Trust the Lord to give you the courage, steadfastness and enabling power to take up the full armor of God. Allow the Lord to fight for you, with you and through you.
2. Spiritual fights are a part of duties of soldiers of Christ. There are many more enjoyable duties such as teaching, preaching or counseling, but we never cease being soldiers.
Example: Paul said it best, "Preach the word, be ready when it seems favorable and when it is not, whether it is convenient or whether it is not; whether it is welcome or unwelcome. Convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching." (2 Tim. 4:2 - Amplified)
Application: Ask God to help you follow the example of Paul and the apostles in rebuking, correcting and warning when necessary.
3. Encourage the key fighters of the faith during stressful times. We may not be equipped to fight the fights that are required, but we can encourage those who are.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you provide the moral, prayerful and mental support for the key fighters of the faith.
4. Consult with Godly leaders who can provide assistance in your good fight of faith. The Antioch church was wise to call upon the elders of the Jerusalem church to provide leadership expertise to help resolve a complicated problem.
Application: Ask the Lord for Godly counselors who will help you in your dilemmas.
5. Trust the providence of God to teach people how to be more tolerant and submissive to Godâs sovereignty. Peter was much more understanding and wise in this dispute with the Judaizers because his eyes had been opened in Acts 10.
Application: Ask the Lord to providential intervene in your fight to move in the hearts of key change agents.
6. Emphasize the freedom of the gospel given through the Holy Spirit to make wise choices. Paul wrote, "Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love, serve one another." (Gal 5:1)
Thankfully, the apostles chose not to require the Gentiles to have to conform to the excess yoke of Jewish laws for inclusion into the church. Rules, regulations and policies are useful as people voluntary submit, but not when they are prerequisites to Christian acceptance.
Application: Trust the Lord to allow the gospel to be a source of blessings, deliverance and liberation instead of it becoming a harsh taskmaster.
7. Teach about Christ as one who brings internal changes that will produce external modifications of behavior. Do not allow anyone to misuse, abuse or violate your rights in Christ.
Application: Trust the Lord to allow the Holy Spirit to work God’s transforming changes in you according to His word, His will and His way. Remember where your chief source of authority lies and fight in His power.
Concluding Illustration: British statesman Edmund Burke argued, "men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains on their own appetites. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there is without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters."
Imprimis, Vol. 20, No. 9.