Tag Archives: contend

Win the Battle, Lose the War #1484

8 Scoffers set a city aflame, but wise men turn away wrath. 9 If a wise man contends with a foolish man, whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace. (Proverbs 29:8–9, NKJV)

We know it is possible to “win the battle but lose the war.” That is the predictable outcome when we are driven by pride to “get in the last word” of a dispute. Instead of calmly choosing words that edify and seek a godly solution to the matter, yielding to the temptation to rip into the person who has hurt us only fans the flames of wrath and malice (Ephesians 4:29-32). Tongue control results from heart control, and the wise person discerns when contending becomes fodder for the fool (Proverbs 26:4). “A man of understanding will hold his peace” at such times (Proverbs 11:12). When tempted by the passion of anger to remove restraint and “burn down the house” (so to speak), be wise and turn away from wrath. Rule over the impulse of wrath (Genesis 4:6-7). “Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still” (Psalm 4:4). The victory of faith lasts into eternity, but there is no peace in the fleeting satisfaction of the fool’s rage.

A Common Salvation from a Singular Faith #1449

3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 3–4, NKJV)

Jude was eager to write to faithful brethren about “our common salvation.” But, an even more pressing need arose that required his immediate attention. His epistle gives a stern warning and a strong indictment of false teachers who had slipped in among them unnoticed. Their teaching was corrupting the grace of God, offering sinful abandon rather than the self-control of holiness. This was nothing less than a denial of God and our Lord Jesus Christ (v. 4). Please note, there is a common salvation and a singular faith that we must contend for and from which we must not deviate. Just as there is only one way of salvation, there is only one faith (Acts 4:12; Ephesians 4:5). The ecumenical movement is a direct assault on both of these gospel principles. Unless we contend (struggle intensely) for the gospel that was fully and finally delivered to the world by the apostles and prophets of Jesus, we have already abandoned our common salvation for the whims and impulses of men. The enemies of truth are afoot. Let us “fight the good fight of faith” and “lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:12).

Contend with them #596

Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but such as keep the law contend with them. (Proverbs 28:4, NKJV)

We are witnessing many in our country forsaking the law for criminal activity. Many are showing caustic and even violent disrespect for the police and other law enforcement officers. They praise the wicked, and by their actions and consent, evil spreads. Law-abiding citizens must struggle against those who honor lawlessness; to do otherwise invites more mayhem. The same is true when God’s law is rejected and people “call evil good, and good evil” (Isa. 5:20). When the Scriptures are forsaken for the false hopes of the deceived, those who keep Christ’s law must “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). This struggle is not fought with the armaments of this world, but with the mighty weapon of truth, the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17; 2 Cor. 10:3-5). Be careful not to praise the wicked. Contend for the truth, never forsaking it.

Contend Earnestly #579

Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but such as keep the law contend with them. (Proverbs 28:4, NKJV)

There is a battle raging between good and evil. The battle line of this war can be seen by how both good and evil people view God’s law. The wicked reject the rule of God’s law over their lives because they love iniquity. Therefore, the wicked praise others who join them in abandoning God’s law. Evil men will praise you when you join them in their evil. But, those who obey the law of God do not praise evil, they contend against it. Faithful Christians cannot remain silent in the face of evil. We must join Timothy and “wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience” (1 Tim. 1:18-19). The battle against sin must be fought and will be won by the power of the Lord’s strength (Eph. 6:10-17). Jesus fought the battle against evil. His apostles fought the battle against evil. Faithful Christians fight the same battle. The person who refuses to “contend earnestly for the faith” against sin is refusing to love the law of God and the soul of the person who sins against it. Truly, the person who refuses to contend against sinners will be praised by the wicked.