Text: “…Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s…Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the Salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.”
Good morning, actively contending Christian! Not for you the weekly, or bi-weekly, sitting on a non-participating pew of a church-building; going through the motions of being a Christian; attending, legalistically, never-ending ‘church-meetings’; preaching to the converted; and going through every rite of ‘religion’ laid down to you by often well-meaning, but just as often, foolish clerics.
No! You have been saved from Hell’s fires and an Eternity of terrible punishment and torments by the risen Christ Jesus, and being thus gloriously delivered, you are very keen to share the Gospel with other sin-enslaved captives of self, sin and Satan.
Praise God for your zeal to serve the Living Lord God! Praise God for the leading of God the Holy Spirit, pointing you and directing you to GET OUT THERE to contend for the true Christian faith. Thank you, dear Lord God, for actively contending Christians!
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common Salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort (urge) you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3)
How are the unsaved, unregenerate, perishing souls of our nation ever going to receive knowledge of Christ’s great Salvation, if you and I are constantly found merely sitting in what has been called ‘Holy Huddles’, ensconced within some obscure building which has been designated by mere men as ‘the church’?
All those who have been redeemed by Christ’s precious and sinless Blood; quickened from having a dead spirit to be a living spirit by God the Spirit’s regeneration; granted, by God’s grace, the gifts of repentance from our sins and faith to believe and receive Christ’s full Atonement Sacrifice for all our sins; and born again of Him – WE ARE THE CHURCH!
Christ does not live within buildings made by man’s hands of cement and stone and wood. Christ lives within His Church, and you and I who are born again in Christ Jesus, have Christ Himself living within our hearts (the whole essence of our being, not the blood-pump in our chests), and only, and at all times, by God’s free and wonderful gift of grace.
Christ is the only Person Who can call us to be ‘members’ of His Body – the true Church.
“For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me (Paul), as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:9-11)
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him/her shall God destroy; for the temple of God is Holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
‘Yes, Dr McClinton, I hear what you are trying to teach me, but I am of a naturally shy, reserved, nature, and don’t feel I could go out and actively contend with others for the Salvation of their souls – I just wouldn’t be strong or brave enough to do so!’, I hear some say.
To such dear ones, in Christ, I repeat the promise of the Lord God: “…Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s…Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the Salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17)
When we go forth to witness for Christ; when we seek to faithfully present the glorious Gospel story and the promises of the Lord God to other members of our families; to neighbours; to associates in the work-place – we are NEVER called to do it in the power of our own puny flesh, or the strength of our own human personalities. We go forth to do Spiritual Battle in the Name of Christ Jesus, and in the full power of God the Holy Ghost. Praise His Name for the privilege!
“But ye (true active-service Christians) shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me (Jesus Christ) both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Verse 28. “Thy God hath commanded thy strength. Thy strength is thy best – all that is within thee; all that thou canst do, and be, and become; and all that thou hast – the two mites, if these be all, and the alabaster box of spikenard, very costly, if this be thy possession…By that which God is in Himself, by that which God is in us, by law on the heart, and by law oral and written, by the new kingdom of His love, and by all His benefits, Thy God Commands thy strength.” (Samuel Martin 1871)
The Lord God is not asking you and I, mere mortals and so prone to sin and failure, to do anything miraculous, or to achieve anything momentous in His service. He is only asking you and I to be faithful with His Word, in His Word, and by the guidance of His Word at all times, inspired by God the Holy Spirit.
It is our God-given task to be faithful and obedient to His direction. It is God’s own Divine power to fulfil His faithful promises to us, as clearly given to us in His infallible Word.
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom; preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine… But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
When other souls refuse to hear what you and I have shared with them of the Gospel, that too is okay – for there are many that not only will not hear, but by God’s decree, cannot hear the Gospel message and receive Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:14) However, our duty to such souls is done, when once we seek to clearly show them Christ’s Salvation.
Thought: Better to be a Christian contender, than a Spiritual coward. Come out of that comfortable ‘holy huddle’, begin to actually prove yourself in the army of the Living Christ Jesus? Be an actively contending Christian, to the glory of the risen Lord Jesus.