Ephesians 6:11; Standing firm in the truth by knowing and living it – the good fight.
length: 69:05 - taught on Apr, 7 2022
Thursday April 7, 2022
And behold, there was a man with a withered hand. And they questioned Him, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" — in order that they might accuse Him.
Their whole intent was to trap Him. They (meaning the ones of the world who persecute the truth) will do the same to you. To stand firm, we stand in the truth, unafraid, for God will handle all things in His perfect justice. We have to simply stay truthful and pure, and if we fail, acknowledge it in humility and repent.
Notice that Jesus responds with truth.
And He said to them, "What man shall there be among you, who shall have one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it, and lift it out? 12 "Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."
He healed the man in their sight and then they plotted on how they might kill Him. Jesus consistently overcame them with the truth and living the truth, but it is important for us to know that most of them never stopped trying to destroy Him. Rather than changing their hearts in the face of so much overwhelming evidence that He was the Messiah, they doubled down on their own unbelief and soon enough, when Jesus’ words and miracles were so many and powerful that their old lies would no longer hold up, they started to spread the lie that Jesus did what He did by the power of Satan.
And all the multitudes were amazed, and began to say, "This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?" 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, "This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons."
A beautiful encouragement for this principle of standing firm in the truth and trusting that God will take care of everything is Psa 91.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!"
3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper,
And from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
The rest of the psalm continues to encourage in the same way. I pray that you read it and the other psalms over time.
We stand firm by relying completely on the word of God; its truth and its promises, by knowing them and walking in them, or applying them every day.
Fight the good fight is a struggle to overcome all sin, evil, darkness in the spiritual manner of Christ’s first advent - strong, yet meek, humble, submissive to the Father’s will.
We must be cautious with this statement so that we don’t jump to wrong conclusions. Overcome does not mean to eradicate evil from the world. Christ didn’t do that, though He had to the power to. We overcome in ourselves first, and then, with God’s power, stand firm and fight the good fight while reveal the light of the glory of Christ to the world that wants to put a basket over that light.
This is the same as EPH 4:1-6:9, in which Paul reveals exactly what the spiritual life looks like in a person. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (MAT 5:16). That life is the one that is strong in the Lord and in His mighty strength and puts on the full armor of God and who is able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
The pattern of how we live comes up again and again in the passages in the Scripture that reference our strength, what we put on, and our ability to stand and fight.
We cannot minimize our conduct in some self-justifying way and expect a life of strength and victory.
In an article from Jan/Feb edition of Israel My Glory David Levy writes an article entitled, “Preparation for Perilous Times.” In it he highlights Paul’s second letter to Timothy.
You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them; 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
“Continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of …” Quoting from the article, “Timothy was to stand fast in what he knew from Scripture even though the world was unraveling, apostasy was growing, and false teachers within the church were multiplying. Timothy’s knowledge alone would profit him nothing unless he put it into practice. Only if we obey the Word do we have the inner conviction, personal assurance, and stability to stand against evil men and their doctrines.” [David Levy, Israel My Glory, Jan/Feb 2022, p. 36]
Then Paul writes:
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
No lie can stand against the truth that God Himself has breathed - the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.
We are not like Christ at the Second Advent, for then He comes to judge, and perhaps that is one of the reasons why He finds no one to help Him. Who is qualified to judge rightly and perfectly but Him alone?
“They are not human antagonists whom the Church has to fear, - mortal men whom we can look in the face and meet with equal courage, in the contest where hot blood and straining muscle do their part. The fight needs a mettle of another kind. The foes of our faith are untouched by carnal weapons. They come upon us without sound or footfall. They assail the will and conscience; they follow us into the regions of spiritual thought, of prayer and meditation. Hence the weapons of our warfare, like those which the apostle wielded (2CO 10:2-5) “are not carnal (of the flesh),” but spiritual and “mighty toward God.”” [G.G. Findlay, The Epistle to the Ephesians, p. 404]
So, we will see in these passages that reveal the “fight” that it is very much in harmony with standing firm.
But flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time — He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords; 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.
This, and many other passages, clearly reveal to us the means by which we fight or stand and the weapons that we use.
What is Timothy to pursue, take hold of, keep, wait for?
Nothing in the passage seems to tell Timothy to go and get and destroy the enemy. He is to pursue something, and it is not his enemy, but righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. He is not to grab the devil by the throat and bind him somehow, but he is to take hold of something - eternal life to which he was called by the grace of God as are all believers. Timothy is not to keep evil and sin out of the world, but he is to keep something - the commandment, and with purity. He is not to wait for his own enemies to repent and apologize, or die at his feet, but he is to wait for something - the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.