faith

Fighting the Good Fight of Faith

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Salvation through the narrow way is a difficult journey.  It is a calling given to a chosen few by God to accomplish His purposes upon this earth.  It is a fight against darkness.  The righteous shall walk and live by faith in all that God has done and has promised.  I want to share some thoughts on this fight and the weapons of our warfare.  I pray it blesses those who have eyes to see.

1 TIM 6:11-12 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called

It is the power of the Cross of Christ that saves all men.  All shall be made alive in the end by this spiritual gift and blessing of an Almighty Good God. But those God chooses now must fight using the weapons God provides to lay hold of the eternal life right now.  This is the place of the true Sabbath rest when we cease from our own works and only do what our Master tell us to do.  His yoke is indeed easy and His burden is light.  This is because of His awesome power working through those He has ordained to eternal life right now.

Carnal man believes the power is in their ability and their decision to choose Christ on their own initiative.  But they can truly doing nothing on their own initiative.  Recent posts have shown in scores of places that man does not come to God and that it is all grace, the power of God that draws men to Jesus Christ.  Slaves of sin do not decide to free themselves as indeed they are slaves and held in bonds they cannot break.  All is in the hands of the Master Potter.  Pieces of clay cannot decide for themselves.  We all are God’s workmanship, even those that do not know Him yet (ISA 45:5).  Even Jesus could do nothing on His own initiative.  He was in the hands of His Father, who is also our Father in heaven.

John 5:30  I can of Myself do nothing

Nothing is not a complicated word.  It means nothing, nada, zip.  Pontius Pilate saw only through the prism of carnal logic and actually believed he was in control when speaking to Jesus.  Jesus corrected this man who lived in spiritual darkness.

John 19:10-11 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do you not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”

11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.

All things happen for a reason and the purposes of God.  He indeed is working all things out for the greater good of those who love Him. Eventually that will include all men and creatures that Jesus created.  But to see this and believe this now is power.  Moses came to see and to know that the very Lord who created him was the one who makes the mouths of each man speak.

Exodus 4:11  So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?

But carnal men cannot comprehend these things.  Such will always limit the power of God.

When freed of our bondage to sin by the mercy of the Lord’s choosing, we will instinctively, be bearing our new hearts from God and witnessing for Jesus Christ.  This is what Pete is now finally doing having been delivered from the kingdom of darkness.  I have been enlisted in God’s army and have become a true Soldier of the Cross.

2 TIM 2:3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Such soldiers will be given the armor and weapons of the Lord do to battle.

The purposes of the soldiers are to defend the true gospel and to take its life giving power to overcome darkness to the ends of this earth.  When the Lord is truly leading a man, such a man has a confidence and a boldness that defies the carnal mind’s understanding.  This can typically be looked upon as arrogance but it is not, it is simply boldness, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ has come, is risen and has already saved the entire world.  Praise God Forevermore.

1 COR 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

The power is in the cross.  The power of faith and salvation is all in the blood of Jesus Christ, given to all men.  But so few believe this in actuality; even those that claim the name of God.  Many false gospels of self-will, self-righteousness and an eternal hell,  all have one thing in common.  They all empty the cross of its power and by default deny Jesus is the Christ.

Many profess to be soldiers for the cross but they actually work against the purposes of God and point away from the cross and its absolute POWER to save all men.  They are mere stooges in the Potter’s hands and their folly will be shown for what it is in due time.  Their works shall all be burnt up yet they themselves shall be saved but as thru fire.  Those given eyes to see by God can spot such a mile away.  But the good things is we also can spot the real deal, the true soldiers of the cross and this is who we long to fellowship with.

Phil 3 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.

Virtually all those that I had interacted with for the past several years were all of a like mind that denies the power of the cross.  We did not do such a thing literally with our carnal words, but we most certainly did with the underlying beliefs that brought Christ down and exalted man in the plan of salvation.  The pretenders are bringing glory to themselves and stealing from God.  Their end will be destruction, which we now know is not an eternal hell but a fire that will consume the adversaries of God resulting in their ultimate sanctification.  In that we will trust and will rejoice always.

The Armor of God

Ephesians 6Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Very few people have on all the pieces of this armor.  But to truly be a warrior for God,  we must have them all on or we can readily be defeated and overcome.  What does this armor of God really mean?  Most think this just an intellectual ascent that Jesus is the Lord, but it truly is much more than that.  I want to review in my own words of how I have come to see the weapons of the Lord given to all who believe in Him and ALL of God’s promises.

 1.  Breastplate of Righteousness:  Quite simply this is LOVE AND MERCY in your heart for all men.  This is the peaceable fruit of righteousness.  Knowing that God is love, a true agape sacrificial love and it is only by that love we exists,  then we will want to be like our Father.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness

2. Sandals of Peace:  Our walk is to bring peace to people, to show them the goodness of God and the glory of God’s plan for mankind.  He truly is the Prince of Peace not a cruel monster that torments people forever in a hell chamber.  We pursue peace with all men with this good news message, knowing that without this as our driving life force, no man shall see the Lord (Heb 12:14) in this present evil age.

and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace

3.  Shield of Faith:  This is simply put; standing on the ROCK that is Christ and His precious promises and covenants.  This is the only way one will achieve the divine nature of Christ.  Yet God is faithful even when mankind is not.  When you truly come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of the whole world, then and only then are you carrying this shield.  You will then be fearless knowing all is settled in heaven.

Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the     wicked one.

4. Helmet of Salvation:  This is putting on the mind of Christ.  God will be speaking to His people.  His sheep really do hear His voice and they follow Him.  We will do nothing on our own initiative but will follow where the Lord shall lead us.  This is this helmet given now to the chosen few.

And take the helmet of salvation

5.  Sword of the Spirit:  It is the living word of Christ formed inside of our hearts that is this sword.  It is not the dead letter pages of the Bible by itself.  But when Christ appears to us, we are made alive and given new hearts and are sent to preach this gospel in all boldness.  This is the sword of the Spirit.  The words of Jesus are life and when spoken out, will not return void, they will accomplish their purposes.  This sword will destroy all false pretenses and the devil will flee from it.

And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

Much more could be said but I wanted to just provide the cliff notes of my new understanding.  God is doing a great work in many of us right now.  In that I praise Him and in that I rejoice.  We all need to edify one another and encourage each other just as we have been doing of late.  This world is going to create battles and obstacles for each of us to continue on our military mission for Christ.  We must stay the course.  We cannot and will not get the victory with a carnal mind using carnal logic.  It says so right here.

2 COR 10:4  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,  5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ

We must walk by faith and trust in the supernatural power of God to give us what we need in the time that we need it.  That is grace, the power of God working through His saints.  In my short journey I have found this to be so very true.  All these false pretenses that come into my mind or are used by carnal men to attack the truth, are utterly destroyed when we walk wearing this armor that only God can give to us.

2 TIM 2:4   No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.

Once enlisted by the Lord, we should never get ourselves entangled back in the things of this world.  Many will come to try our faith and bring strife, dissensions and the like to bring our dead flesh back to life to defend itself or its honor.  But a dead man, now enlisted in God’s army will stay dead; they have been crucified with Christ.  The life they are now living is not for themselves but for the one who has called them and is mighty to save all men.  This is the Lord.

Paul likened this walk to a good fight and a marathon race.  We will be poked at, hated, rejected, scourged, accused and all manner of evil spoken of us, yet we must persevere to the very end.  Knowing that all men shall be saved in the very end, I can now preach this good news gospel.  It is through sharing God’s goodness and demonstrating that in our deeds that we will turn the hearts of the broken lost sheep back to the true loving God who always delights in showing them mercy.  Such a walk submitted unto the Lord, is the good fight and one that will result in a special crown of righteousness in the ages to come for those who finish.  May I be found worthy!

2 TIM 4:6-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

I have loved the Lord’s revealing of Himself to me in my heart.  It will change your life and my prayer is that all that God has chosen in this generation will be strengthened and encouraged in the battles we will fight in the days to come.

Love to all the Saints.