Fight the Good Fight

From J. K. POPHAM:

“Fight the good fight of faith” with respect to the forgiveness of sins. This is by the blood of Jesus Christ only. “Could my tears for ever flow,” no efficacy would be in them. It is no easy thing to press your case upon God’s notice in humble sincere confession of sin when your guilt appears blacker than the confines of hell, and when innumerable sins done in your heart if in no other way, rise up against you! When under some feeling apprehension of God’s holiness, you feel you may and ought not to think of approaching so holy a Being, then, with all these things, press your case. “Urge thy suit through all unfitness.” This needs true faith, the faith of God’s own operation, “the faith of God’s elect.” Be not terrified, seeker, from the throne of God’s heavenly grace. When you seek to approach Christ and there rise up against you innumerable sins, flee not away from that throne if you are told you will not be welcomed. Yield not to unbelief when the enemy says, “There is no use in this seeking,” and perhaps when he says, and says truly, “You have been seeking for so long and have not found, therefore yield and give up, and no longer seek.” Even then press on, because this wonderful blood shall one day take from you all sin. Having forgiven you all trespasses. It is one of the subtlest of all oppositions that you may meet, with respect to forgiveness, when it is fearfully suggested to you that your sins are beyond the blood of Jesus Christ. If possible the old enemy won’t allow you to think that the sins of a creature are finite, but that the merits of the Redeemer are infinite. “Fight the good fight of faith,” in this particular.

“Fight the good fight of faith” in respect of justification. Justification is God’s act passed on a guilty person; and it is the only thing that can give a title to heaven, that can bring a sinner before God without blame, without any unworthiness, to be righteous as Christ is righteous. This is the justification that shall carry all the blessed subjects of it to eternal bliss. But you are always doing that which brings guilt, always thinking wrong thoughts, often saying wrong words, wishing wrong things, turning your face to the world and your back to God; always by the power of indwelling sin, failing; what then of justification? You will need to fight for your title. You need to fight to hold fast that which God has passed upon you, that great act of justification, by virtue of which He could, and did say for substance: Thou art all fair, there is no spot, no wrinkle, no evidence of decay, but thou art a perfectly justified person in My sight. “Fight the good fight of faith,” in respect of trust.

“Fight the good fight of faith” to the promises of the gospel. These are many; one includes them all, and yet there are many. “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5) But then one says, according to his feelings, “I am forsaken; I have not the presence of God with me; I seek Him and do not find Him; I ask Him to come and He seems to take no notice of me; I ask Him to be with me in a difficult path and I appear to be left alone; I ask Him to shine upon me and I walk in darkness and have no light.” Now, “fight the good fight of faith” here. “Who is among you that feareth the LORD,….that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and stay upon his God.” Yield not to all these contrary and contradicting feelings, fight this fight. Has God told you that He will bless you indeed? Has He promised to guide you with His eye; never to leave you nor forsake you?

Then this must be said to you:

“Judge not the Lord by feeble sense.
But trust him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.”

Blind unbelief always errs, it cannot but err; it is against God, against His truth, against His promise. Cleave to a faithful God; hold fast to what He has said to you. “God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it?” (Numbers 23:19) Did He ever say to you that He would be with you? And can He break the promise?

O! But I have sinned.

Yes, and He knew that you would sin.

But I am unworthy.

And whoever got a promise on the ground of worthiness? Whoever got a fulfilment of the promise because he was worthy?

Ask all those blessed ones in heaven how they got there. Will they bring in some little reason from their faithfulness, their sticking fast to God? No! Grace, free and sovereign grace, constant and unfailing grace, in its abundance, in its efficacy, in its blessedness, grace in all its riches, and grace alone, shall be the song. “Fight the good fight of faith” respecting the promise of God.


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