The Good Fight of Faith

Cecil Willis
Marion, Indiana

Paul told Timothy to "Fight the good fight d faith" (1 Tim. 6: 12). Paul further taught that the "weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh" (2 Cor. 10:4). We instead use a sword called "the word of God" 6:17). Jude admonished the brethren to "contend earnestly for the faith" (Jude 3). One thus can see that in the army of the Lord is no place for the spiritual pacifist. We are to be combat soldiers. Notice some of things against which we must fight.

SATAN --- Christ and the Devil are enemies. The Devil seeks to and Christ seeks to save. Thus their causes are in conflict. It is obvious that the servants of Christ are going to have to oppose the Devil. Peter describes the Devil as our adversary who walks about "seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8), Peter then instructs us to "withstand" the Devil, "steadfast in your faith" (1 Pet. 5:9) James tells us we must "resist the Devil" (Jas. 4: 7). Satan arrayed himself against Christ in His temptation (Mk. 1:13). Paul declares that Satan "hindered us" (1 Thess. 2:18) in the accomplishment of some of the things he sought to do for the glory of God and the betterment of the brethren. So the Devil is our arch-enemy against whom we must fight.

SIN --- Prior to one becoming a Christian he is described as being a servant of sin (Rom. 6:17). Before one becomes a Christian, "sin reigned in death" (Rom. 5:21). After one becomes a child of God, sin is not any longer to "have dominion over you" (Rom. 6:14). By his obedience to the gospel one is transformed from a servant of sin to a servant of righteousness (Rom. 18). The power of sin is therefore to be broken. Paul says that "our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin" (Rom. 6:6). Having become freed of the power of sin, we must thereafter strive against sin. The Hebrew writer says, "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin" (Heb. 12:4). One of the main purposes of the Christian is to oppose sin as he wages the good warfare.

WORLD -- The powers of the sinful world are arrayed against Christ and His servants. We must therefore be enemies of the world. John warned, "Marvel not, brethren, if the world hateth you" (1 Jno. 3:13). Jesus stated, "If ye were of the world, the world would love its own; hut because ye are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (Jno. 15:19) In our conflict with the purposes of the world, John informs us that we have the capability of gaining the victory. "And this is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith" (1 Jno. 5:4). Thus we sing, "Faith is the Victory."

When one enlists in the service of God, he must enter into the fray. His enemies are clearly defined. They seek his destruction, and it is only by fighting the good fight of faith that one can lay hold on eternal life, and receive the unfading crown in the last great day. What kind of fight are you making, my brother?


July 16, 1970