“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (I Timothy 6:12)
J.C. Ryle, in describing the fight for holiness, explains, “Where there is grace there will be conflict. The believer is a soldier. There is no holiness without a warfare. Saved souls will always be found to have fought a fight.”
What kind of fight is the good fight of faith? It is a necessary fight. Believers in Christ cannot be neutral regarding holiness.
It is also a fight in which all believers are to be engaged. There are no exceptions. All believers in Christ face the pitfalls of pride, sloth, love of money, lust for a forbidden something or someone. The devil, the world, and especially our sinful flesh is ever near.
It is an ongoing fight. There are no timeouts, halftime, or rain delays. Worship services may be canceled due to weather of pandemics, but there is no cancellation to the spiritual fight for holiness. As Bishop Ryle so eloquently wrote, “We must fight until we die.”
I conclude today with these thoughts from Bishop Ryle. “We may take comfort about our souls if we know anything of an inward fight and conflict. It is the invariable companion of genuine Christian holiness. It is not everything, I am well aware, but it is something. Do we find in our heart of hearts a spiritual struggle? Do we feel anything of the flesh lusting against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, so that we cannot do the things we would (Galatians 5:17)? Are we conscious of the two principles within us, contending for the mastery? Do we feel anything of war within our inward man? Well, let us thank God for it! It is a good sign. It is strongly probable evidence of the great work of sanctification. All true saints are soldiers.”
And what do soldiers do? The fight the enemy. May we continue to fight the world, the flesh and the devil. While we may be at war on three fronts, may we rest assured that God has established with us His eternal peace (Romans 5:1).
Soli deo Gloria!