The Good Fight
June 27, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
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 and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. - 1 Timothy 6:11-12 NKJV.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 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. - 2 Timothy 4:6-8 NKJV.
A Utah man attacked another man, who was a visitor, at a church service over the seat where he usually sat. Reportedly the man who was attacked was trying to save three rows of seats which included the seat where Wayne Dodge usually sat. Dodge and the visitor had a few words later in the parking lot where Dodge punched the other man in the face. Also, as Dodge was driving away, he tried to hit the other man with his vehicle. (Salt Lake Tribune 07.03.13; KPRC-TV 07.03.13; and various other venues)
The fight over church seats occurred in a Mormon church, but they have occurred in other churches for many reasons. Another church fight occurred in the choir of a Missionary Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Two families had a brawl right in the choir loft. Reportedly the Wednesday before there had been a verbal confrontation when someone told someone to “stop sleeping with somebody.” (WMC-TV 12.07.11)
A new phenomenon is “fight church” with churches sponsoring brutal MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) matches. As one person asked, “Can you love your neighbor and knee him in the face?” It just doesn’t seem like the right thing for believers to do…. MMA church fights may have the right goal in that they want to win people to Christ, but they are not going about it in the right way. It appears, at least to me, that they are leaving out the “gentleness” which the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul instructs Timothy to have.
The apostle Paul moved by the Holy Spirit instructs Timothy to “Fight the good fight of faith,” and “to wage the good warfare (1 Timothy 1:18).” Paul in 2 Timothy also says that he has “fought the good fight.” Now this is the kind of church fight that believers need to be involved in.
Living the Christian life according to the apostle Paul is a fight, it is a war. Ephesians 6:10-18 describes the weapons available for the battle. In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV we are given more information about these weapons and what they can do, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 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.” Our weapons are not of this world, and we do not fight as the world fights, when we fight the “good fight of faith.”
Instead of fighting over who sits where in a church, or over some gossip that someone has told, we should be busy wielding the supernatural weapons we have been given. Prayers are far more powerful than a fist. The shield of faith has given us the ability to overcome the fiery darts thrown by the enemy. Faith results in courage, instead of the fear the enemy wants us to have. Instead of our fists we fight the “good fight” with “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.” These are the most powerful weapons of all!