More Than Conquerors - Dave Smith

Most Christians Are Fighting The Wrong Battle

August 2021

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” —Ephesians 6:12

“Fight the good fight of faith.” — I Timothy 6:12

Most Christians are fighting the wrong fight. They are trying to fight battles they cannot win and that were already won by Jesus Christ on the cross. They are fighting against sin, the law, the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Christians are not able to stop sinning, in their own power, just by fighting acts of sin or the sin nature. No one can stop committing acts of sin by saying no to them. The only way to be dead to sin is to say yes to who Christ is and what He did on the cross (Rom. 6:2, 7, 11; I Peter 2:24).

Many Christians do not even know that the sin nature exists. Of those who do know something about it, many believe that the sin nature was removed when they got saved. Others, who think Christians still have a sin nature, use it as an excuse to sin because with a sin nature they cannot help but sin. Still others think that the only option is to struggle with sin, and the more they do, the holier they are.

But God’s prescription for victory over sin is for believers to keep their faith in the cross so the Holy Spirit will continually give them the needed desire and power (Phil. 2:13) to overcome the sin nature, and therefore not commit acts of sin daily and be able to live in victory.

Other Christians believe they still have to keep the Mosaic law, or at least the moral law. The only problem with that is, the law has to be kept perfectly to be holy by works (James 2:10; Gal. 3:10), and that not only applies to the Mosaic law, but also to all man-made laws. No one except Jesus Christ has been or ever will be able to do that, but, in Christ, believers are dead to the law (Rom. 7:4, 8:2-11; Gal. 2:19), so they can live for God.

The world is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:16). Those who love the world (I John 2:15) or are friends of the world (James 4:4) are the enemies of God. Instead of fighting to avoid that, the only answer is to be crucified to the world through faith in who Christ is, and what He did on the cross (Gal. 6:14; Col. 2:20; I John 5:4).

Some Christians try to live for God by putting their faith in who they are and what they can do. In Philippians 3:5-6, Paul listed who he was and what he had accomplished, but he finally realized what a waste putting faith in himself was (Phil. 3:7-14). The only way for any person to make himself righteous and accepted by God is to perfectly obey God, which is impossible for anyone except Christ to do (Luke 9:23-24; Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:11-20; 5:16).

Most Christians are blaming and fighting against other people thinking that they are the problem. They fight spouses, children, parents, other family members, bosses, coworkers, neighbors, and even other believers because they think they are the ones hindering them from living for God. But Ephesians 6:12 says that even though other people are sometimes used by Satan, they are not the actual enemy. Sometimes, Satan tries to make Christians believe that the very ones they should be working with are the problem. He tries to bring division where God is trying to bring unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4:3) and unity of the faith (Eph. 4:13) with the rest of the body of Christ (Eph. 2:13-22; 4:7-16) so it can be edified by believers who God is trying build together (Ephesians 2:22; 4:16).

Ultimately, Satan can only prevent believers from having victory if they allow him to because he was defeated by Christ on the cross. He tries to use deceit, temptations, which are enticements to sin; and distractions, but he is a liar. Only the truth of the living and written Word of God can overcome him (Colossians 1:13; 2:14-15; I John 3:8; 5:18).

The problem isn’t having faith in just anything, because everyone believes in something or someone. The problem is keeping the direction, or object of faith only on the cross. This is the “fight of faith” (I Tim. 6:12), and the only fight Christians have to fight because Jesus, on the cross, already won the fight over sin, the law, the world, the flesh, and the devil.


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