THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH

Proverbs 16:32 “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”

In the first letter to the Corinthians, Paul stated:

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (YLT), “24 have ye not known that those running in a race — all indeed run, but one doth receive the prize? so run ye, that ye may obtain;

25 and every one who is striving, is in all things temperate; these, indeed, then, that a corruptible crown they may receive, but we an incorruptible;

26 I, therefore, thus run, not as uncertainly, thus I fight, as not beating air;

27 but I chastise my body, and bring [it] into servitude, lest by any means, having preached to others — I myself may become disapproved.”

Every person who accepts Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour automatically enlists in this war.

The war is a battle between the carnal self and the Godly Spirit implanted in man.

This is the only battle known by the children of God: the 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.”

Peter also affirms that our own flesh is our enemy.

1 Peter 2:11, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.”

All need to appreciate that the sinful flesh is never converted upon your conversion.

If before Jesus Christ came into your life you were a thief, after Christ enters into a man the flesh is still inclined to stealing.

If previously you were a fornicator, after Christ comes into your life your flesh will still be inclined to lust.

Again, the coming of Christ never converts the carnal body, but the spirit.

Therefore, till the days of our death, we are assured of a constant striving between this carnal body and the spirit.

Galatians 5:16-18, 24 “16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

The flesh of a converted person is still sinful flesh. Thus in such, the desires of the flesh and of the Spirit are diametrically opposed to each other. The way of life is when the Spirit has pre-eminence over the flesh.

For this reason, I believe Inspiration directed the penning of 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Let us look especially on verses 26 & 27 of that chapter from different English translations to assist us in understanding how to fight this battle of faith.

 

1 Corinthians 9:26-27 King James Version (KJV)26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

 

1 Corinthians 9:26-27 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)26 I, therefore, thus run, not as uncertainly, thus I fight, as not beating air;

27 but I chastise my body, and bring [it] into servitude, lest by any means, having preached to others — I myself may become disapproved.”

 

1 Corinthians 9:26-27 New International Version (NIV)26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.

27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

 

1 Corinthians 9:26-27 New King James Version (NKJV)26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.

27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

 

1 Corinthians 9:26-27 English Standard Version (ESV)26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.

27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control,[a] lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

 

The flesh is waging a war against the soul (1 Peter 2:11). This is the only battle God desires us to obtain victory. This is that good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12), and a victory here is a victory of the Spirit over the flesh (Galatians 5: 16-18, 24).

Thus we should fight by bringing our bodies into subjection, into servitude, under control, make it a slave lest we should be disqualified and be made castaways.

Don’t parley with carnal lusts. Crush the very thought of these lusts and be your body’s sternest master. Grant no indulgence to yourself.

My own body's sternest master!
My own body’s sternest master!

That lustful desire, that craving by the flesh for something forbidden or destructive should be crushed ruthlessly.  Again, be your sternest master!

Give no tolerance to any sinful and destructive insinuation of the flesh. Don’t allow your body to rule your Spirit. Treat it as the worst slave ever and give it place by subjection not even by a thought.

And this is possible only if Jesus Christ lives in you. He alone can condemn sin in the flesh (Romans 8:3). Submit yourself to the Lord, be ruthless to the flesh and see what God has done in you.

Thus fight this good fight of faith.

Read a related post I made a while back here: https://liftedcurtains.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/sinful-flesh-a-new-spirit-within-the-old-flesh/

 

 

 

 

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