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christianity is a fight

October 27, 2011

I searched Google for images using the word “discipleship”. Here is one of the top images I got.

Looks pretty peaceful, doesn’t it? I’d love to be walking on the beach about right now.

The problem is, if we only have serene, pastel-y, quiet images that guide our understanding of discipleship, we will be woefully unprepared for the actual life that Jesus calls us to live. It is true, that God provides his followers with “the peace that surpasses understanding” (Phil 4). But that’s not the full story.

God also explains a life of discipleship to be a “fight” (I Tim 6:12). In other places, the Christian life is described as a “battle” (Eph 6) or a long, arduous race (I Cor 9). These are all difficult things that require you to be alert and constantly vigilant.

If you’ve ever been in a fight, you know that a fight is dangerous. You know you have to be careful or you could get hurt.

I boxed in college. I loved the workouts. I would jump rope, work the heavy bag and run long miles on the road. I got into great shape while the theme from “Rocky” played in my head.

But the problem came when I stepped into the ring. When the bell rang, there was another guy throwing punches at me. It was a whole different ball game.

Such is the Christian life. It is a fight. Our enemies aren’t other people, to be sure. But we do have actual, true enemies. Our own sin, the cultural pressures of the world and the devil himself are our three arch-enemies to be fought against.

But unless you realize you are in a fight, you won’t make a lot of progress. Instead, you will get pummeled and be very disillusioned about the Christian life.

Here is a helpful chapter excerpt from J.C. Ryle’s book “Holiness”.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2011 5:27 pm

    Could you provide us with an image or two that would do greater justice to Discipleship than this peaceful one? =)

    • John permalink*
      October 27, 2011 8:31 pm

      Anything from the Rocky movies.

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