Beginning this Sunday (March 16) I’m planning to take a four-week break from our church’s current sermon series (The Story of Jesus) to give way to a short series entitled Fight Clubs.
In more than five years of serving as pastor of our church, I have seen how Christians struggle in many areas of their life. Wives are struggling to respect and submit to their neglectful and abusive husbands. Husbands are struggling to love their wives and be faithful in their marriage. I have heard men (young and old) confessed to me that they are struggling with pornography and sexual fantasies. I cried with men who fell into sexual sins over and over again. I have seen how young people who were passionate in the ministry became consumed with materialism and professional ambitions. I grieve the lack of commitment and demonstration of sacrificial servanthood in many of our church members – and those who are getting bored by prayer, worship and Bible reading.
What do I do as pastor? Should I just accept this reality and resign myself to the fact that there is nothing I can do? Or will I help the church as a shepherd of God’s wandering, broken, wounded and struggling flock? Yes! I will help our church “fight the good fight of faith” and say to them what Paul wrote to Timothy, “But as for you, O [men and women] of God, flee these things (‘all kinds of evils,’ v. 10). Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith…” (1 Tim. 6:11-12 ESV).
And these words are words not just for members of our church, but also for me (I’m a member of the church too!). I’m like Timothy hearing God tell me through Paul, “Derick, fight and put to death your remaining lustful desires, your pride, your self-righteousness, your self-reliance, your selfishness, your love of comfort. Fight the good fight!”
So, this sermon series is for me, for our church, and for all Christians who are struggling against sin and struggling to trust the only Savior of our soul. That means it’s for all of us.
Here’s how I planned the sermon series…
Part 1 (March 16): Why Fight: Motivations for Fighting in the Christian Life
Part 2 (March 23): How to Fight: Biblical Strategies for Fighting Sin
Part 3 (March 30): Why Fight Together: Motivations for Linking with Others in this Fight
Part 4 (April 6): How to Fight Together: Strategies for Fighting Sin Using Fight Clubs
(I am grateful to Jonathan Dodson for his teaching on “gospel-centered discipleship” and on forming “Fight Clubs” to help us in this fight of faith.)
Question: What excites you in this sermon series? Are there some insights, ideas, strategies in fighting sin that you want to share?