Fight the Good Fight (1 Corinthians #58)

Text: 1 Corinthians 16:13

Paul is describing a mentality.  It’s the backbone and resolve to just keep going regardless of the opposition.  You may lose with it, but you won’t win without it.  Carnality makes for spiritually soft people: wimpy, governed by their emotions, easily offended and very proud.  They don’t last, wear out, choose the path of least resistance, and won’t endure sound doctrine.

Inevitability of the fight

  • Your enemies have brought the fight to you.
  • Your enemies have no fear of godliness.
  • All who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
    • In the Bible, persecution is essentially any opposition ranging from mockery to physical persecution because of who you are.
    • Galatians 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.  Speaking of Genesis 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.

Implications of the fight

  • Great cross reference to quit like men is found in 1 Samuel 4:9 Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight.  Quit you like men has to do with fighting to avoid slavery.
  • You are a slave to what you don’t contend with.

Identifying the fight

  • Piece of ground the enemy is gunning for is the faith
  • Peter cutting Malchus ear off was fighting the wrong battle
    • Confusion
    • You use the wrong weapon
    • You misinterpret victory
    • You hurt people
    • Ultimately lose the battle
  • Good fight of faith
    • 1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
    • Jude 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
    • The enemy goes after faith because it yields the desired effect on the believer (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
  • The enemy will use what he can destroy you with
    • The enemy can use wealth to destroy the faith in your life, he will.
    • The enemy can use health to destroy the faith in your life, he will.
    • The enemy can use discouragement to destroy the faith in your life, he will.
    • The enemy can use disobedience in other to destroy your faith, he will.
  • All of these (and others) have a single thread in common and that is the point where the enemy enters to destroy the faith is through the flesh.
    • Know the battle front. 1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
    • 2 Peter 2:7-8 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

Instilling advantages for the fight

  • Education in the weapons of my warfare
    • Learn about my weapons so I have confidence with them.  Confidence with my weapons will help with resolve.
    • Armor of God
    • Sword of the spirit
    • All access before the throne of God in prayer
  • Exercise is an integral part of a soldier’s training.
    • The body is pushed; muscles are broken down to rebuild themselves stronger, more flexible.
    • Learn how to ignore how you feel when it hinders the task at hand.
    • Limit failures
    • Condition for the fight so you don’t wear out quickly.
  • Endurance
    • BUDS training – Mental endurance
    • Water training – go for the blackout
    • Balance and pace for the long haul
    • Paul says endure it (2 Timothy 2:3). That is, stay faithful through it.  Don’t lose sight of your hope.  Distraction is a tool of the enemy (2 Timothy 2:4)