Fight the Good Fight of Faith

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1 Fight the Good Fight of Faith Sermon by Pastor Victor Jibuike Sunday, 21 February

2 Bible Text: 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. Paul s encouragement to Timothy is God s message to us today. God is telling us to fight the good fight of faith. We are called to be spiritual warriors in God s kingdom. We are soldiers in the Army of God. 2

3 Introduction Objectives of the message A call to believe in and commitment to God and to spreading His Kingdom An exploration of the nature of the Christian fight against the Devil and his forces. An encouragement to trust God who has already guaranteed our victory by sending His son Jesus to die on the cross. 3

4 Who is the Enemy? Satan and His forces Revelation 12:9-12: The great dragon was hurled down... to the earth, and his angels with him... Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short. Satan was thrown out of heaven along with other angels because of rebellion against God. Many of us have at times felt or seen Satan s fury as he continues to steal, kill and destroy. 4

5 Who is the Enemy? Nature of the enemy Ephesians 6:12: For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Paul tells us that our enemy is: Spiritual & Invisible Powerful and Evil Highly Organised 5

6 Satan s Targets Jesus Matt 2:7: Then Herod sent them to Bethlehem and said, Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me Luke 4:1-2: Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit..was led by the Spirit in the wilderness..where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Luke 22:3-4: Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot and he went to the leading priests to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. 6

7 Satan s Targets Believers 1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Satan is your enemy, a roaring lion, devourer. You are his target. The battle is active. The passive soldier losses. Therefore you must fight the good fight of faith. 7

8 Satan s objectives Enemy tactics Nehemiah 6:1-3: When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono. But they were scheming to harm me. Satan wants to prevent us from what God has called us to do in His name. He would do anything to attack us physically, intellectually, and morally, in order to stop us from living effective Christian lives. 8

9 What are we fighting for? Freedom, Liberty, Better future, Eternal life Spiritual warfare is not just for trained experts. Every believer can and must engage in the battle for God s purpose for: Yourself Your family Your friends/neighbours Our society The World. 9

10 How to fight and win The battlefield Paul compared us to soldiers for a reason. We must be prepared to learn to do battle as a fully trained and equipped soldier of our Lord Jesus Christ. However are not doing physical battle such as military soldiers do, we are doing spiritual battle and the training we do is in the spiritual realm. The weapons we use are God's weapons and armor. 10

11 How to fight and win Defensive weapons Ephesians 6:13: Therefore, put on every piece of God s armour so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. You need to put on all of God's armour to survive and win the spiritual warfare you face every day of your life. You cannot win without prayer, much prayer! 11

12 How to fight and win Offensive weapons Revelations 12:11: And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. We need to learn to know continuous victory by applying the Power that is in the Blood of Jesus and confessing God s word in any situation. 12

13 How to fight and win Basic training (1) James 4:7: Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Determine to give the Devil no foothold in your life, live close to God, remain submitted to God, confident in the fact that Jesus came to destroy every work of the devil in your life. God s word is that the Devil will run from you. 13

14 How to fight and win Basic training (2) 2 Timothy 2:3-5. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier As Christians we can sometimes get tired of the constant battle that comes with our faith walk. God says you have the ability to endure, therefore we can. We not only can, but we have full assurance that we will be victorious when we keep ourselves built up in God s Word. 14

15 The final outcome is victory Victory through the death and resurrection of Christ 2 Cor 2:14: But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. The victory over evil was accomplished on the cross. Jesus died for us and he was raised again to life. The God of this world has been judged (John 16:11). Although victory is assured the enemy will still try and stop us from living effective Christian lives in anyway he can. 15

16 The final outcome is victory Free to live a life of purpose Because our victory has been assured by the Cross, we are free to fight the good fight, to learn to follow the spirit, to serve one another in love. We are also free to fulfil God s purpose for our lives. Remember we have been called into this army for a purpose, God s purpose. His purpose is for us to walk as children of the light, and declare the good news of the Gospel wherever we go. We have been called to fulfill the great commission as ambassadors for Christ. 16

17 To close Fight the good fight of faith, to the end Satan is battling for our allegiance. We have been given God's armor to do battle, to defend ourselves from the onslaught of the enemy, and to possess our possessions. My prayer for you is that at the end of your life you ll be able to say like Paul: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 2 Tim 4:7. 17

18 For reflection Meditate on the words of this old hymn: Fight the good fight with all thy might; Christ is thy Strength, and Christ thy Right; Lay hold on life, and it shall be Thy joy and crown eternally. (By John S. B. Monsell and William Boyd, 1863) 18

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