If you read last Friday’s brief post and watched the video excerpt of Dr. John Piper’s sermon on How to Kill Sin, hopefully you heard and realized that the daily Christian life is not one of inaction or passivity, but that of daily hand to hand combat, a war in the trenches that requires strength, perseverance, and the necessary battle skills to be victorious. Yet this battle isn’t fought against other people and it’s not a physical war in the sense that we would traditionally think, but it’s just as bloody. A familiar passage from the Apostle Paul asserts, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 ESV The term wrestle that Paul uses, though descriptive, is not quite indicative of the true battle that takes place. It describes our struggle, but doesn’t express the intense nature of the encounter, although in this passage we do get an idea of who our enemy is. Those forces of darkness that oppose the will of God and seek to destroy each one of us with every manner of evil, sin, and corrupt desires. II Corinthians 10:3-6 ESV reemphasizes the intensity of this battle, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”
Engaging in this battle requires a warrior mentality. You simply cannot be passive and sit this one out on the sidelines. Those that do are the easiest to be picked off by the enemy. No, instead we must wake up each day with the battle cry of Paul in Romans 7:24 ESV, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” This is his warrior plea after he’s just identified the war raging within him in verse 23. He hasn’t sounded the retreat trumpet here and he’s not waiving the white flag, he is lowering his head and charging the enemy because in verse 25 he identifies his King that leads him into battle, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Jesus is the one to deliver him to victory and for that reason he continues to fight. For that reason we too should fight and make all efforts to approach each day as in Romans 13:14 ESV, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” It is so critical to identify the presence of sin in our lives, so that we may be able to fight against it. To succumb to sins deception and surrender to the enemy is treasonous. Would not the Lord prefer 1 soldier who fell in battle, but got up to continue fighting than 1000 who surrendered and gave up far too easily? Continue fighting Christian, persevere to the end, so that we might be able to say with the Apostle Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” II Timothy 4:7 ESV
Ephesians 6:10-11 ESV 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
Isaiah 54:17a NKJV No weapon formed against you shall prosper