Philippians 1:12 But I want you to know brethren, that the things which happened to me Have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.
I used to be a great fan of boxing. I loved the competition – one man versus another. I loved the visual of the sun coming up behind a lone figure running, working to reach the top of the hill, to attain his goal and be fit for battle. While boxing is single combat, the boxer is never truly alone he has a trainer. The one that is shouting encouragement, helping overcome difficulty, and ultimately there to say, ” Nice work now hit the shower. I’ll see you at sun up!” Without a relationship with the trainer, the boxer would fail; without the trainer the boxer would never venture into the ring because the battle to get there would be too great. The boxer fights alone but his trainer is always there to encourage him to press on.
As a believer, I often feel as though I am in a prize-fight. The stakes are high, higher than any event that Don King could ever dream up. If the believers win, souls are sanctified for Jesus Christ. Our opponent in this fight for eternity – the world. Oh and if we don’t fight by the worlds rules we will be kicked out of the ring; or so they think. The truth is, our trainer is feared around the world, His name is offensive to thousands and proclaiming Him as your trainer, as the one you trust could get you killed. Dont worry. If you die in the ring you win! Mathew 24:13: But he who endures to the end will be saved. So, whose rules are we playing by?
The question is why. Why do we even need to fight this battle? What is it about the gospel of Christ that so repulses the world? Reverend Billy Graham says that the message of the cross is offensive. I agree. but what is it about God that is so frightening? Why does the world go to such great lengths to remove God from its consciousness? The news today is rife with stories of persecution against believers all over the world. Persecution of believers is, unfortunately, nothing new. Followers of Jesus have been hung, beaten, burned, and shot; anything to silence the uncomfortable truth spoken by those who put their faith in Him.
The world of man has it own rule book and it is all based on the doctrine of self. If you disagree, pull up your Facebook feed; what is represented there? You, your likes, your opinions, your content tailored to…you guessed it, you. Still need convincing? Pull out your iPhone or Android device; look at the content represented there. It is tailored to the view-point of the user. This stands in stark contrast to the message of the gospel. The gospel of Christ is predicated on death to self. Galatians 2:20 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Believers know that their sin is forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. That is all sin: every sin we have committed and will commit is covered by the blood of Jesus! For those that believe this is a blessed assurance. For those who do not scripture says it is foolishness. 1 Corinthians 1:18 18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Paul hit the nail on the head, to non believers; those that are in the swoon of the world system, do not understand the selflessness on which the gospel is predicated and people fear that which they do not understand.
In short, to follow Christ is to give ourselves away. Christians give themselves away to the Lord of the universe and say as Paul did in Philippians 1:21 To live is Christ and to die is gain. To know in our hearts that no matter what we go through in this life, no matter what the hardship is our souls have been bought and paid for with a price. Those who choose to follow Christ are humbled by the free gift of salvation. As a result, the believer’s life is changed. To whom much is given much is required. Luke 12:48 This is why we do battle in the name of Him who gave Himself for us.
Grace & Peace
*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at savedIIserve@gmail.com and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*