Is your faith really the faith the Bible tells us to fight for?
“Dear friends, I wanted very much to write you about the salvation we all share. But I felt the need to write you about something else: I want to encourage you to fight hard for the faith that was given the holy people of God once and for all time.” Jude 1:3 (NCV).
When Jude wrote what he did, he wasn’t thinking of “modern day Christianity”. He was writing about the faith that was given the holy people of God, once and for all time! Once and for all time, meaning, don’t come later on and say that Christianity is different from the original faith that has been given to us! Read what is written in Jude 1:17 (NCV): “Dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said before.”
What are you really fighting for?
So what exactly is this faith that the Bible says we have to fight for? What are you actually defending when you stand up and say, “I’m a Christian?”
Being a “Christian” means being a “follower of Christ” - to have the same mind as Christ. Peter writes, “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from [stopped with] sin.” 1 Peter 4:1. “The flesh” is the sinful human nature we are born with. To “suffer in the flesh” means that you, like Jesus, take a firm decision that you will rather suffer when you are tempted to sin, instead of giving in to that temptation. By doing this you can actually stop sinning!
Peter describes it as “suffering”, because when you say No to the sinful lusts and desires in your human nature, you are going against what you want to do by nature, and that is painful. But this suffering leads to something good – we stop sinning, we become free from sin. It means truly following in Christ's footsteps. The faith that this is possible is the faith the Bible talks about. Now that’s a faith worth fighting for and defending!
Read more: Aren’t Christians supposed to follow Christ?
You can’t defend your faith if you live in sin
A life of giving in to sin – giving in to what the Bible calls "sinful lusts and desires" – is like living in a dark prison cell. How can you convince people that your faith is the faith the Bible speaks about if you still remain in this “prison cell” – if you are still giving in to sin? Everyone can see by the words that come out of your mouth, by your actions and your reactions, that you are bound by your sin, that you haven’t stopped with sin, that you are not free!
When the Jews told Jesus that they had never been slaves to anyone, Jesus answered them, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” John 8:34-36 (NLT).
Start to live like a Christian – Free from sin
“Truly free” means free from sin! Not just free because Jesus forgave your sins, but also free to get up in the morning, and say No to your own will. Free to take up your cross and follow Jesus like it says in Luke 9:23. Free to overcome as He overcame. Then your life is a testimony of the faith you are fighting for and defending.
Thankfully we are not alone. “He’s able to help those who are being tempted, since he himself experienced suffering when he was tempted.” Hebrews 2:18 (CEB). Jesus knows what it’s like to be a person with a human nature like ours. He knows what it costs to come to an overcoming life, and that’s why when you pray to Him, He will help you to overcome the sinful thoughts and reactions coming from your nature.
Every temptation is an opportunity to overcome, and each time you overcome you will become more and more free from sin!
If this is what you want, then don’t waste any time. Pick up your Bible and read for yourself. Pray and ask God to give you the faith the Bible speaks about, faith that it’s possible to become free from sin. Then start to live like a Christian – a Christian with a faith worth fighting for and defending.