Fight the Good Fight

Adapted from the closing address of the 7th PCC Annual Conference, 6-9 June 2006

We have been considering the War of Ages: Its Declaration, Progress, End and Healing. We have seen how we are all involved in a cosmic war that has been raging since the Fall of mankind.

We saw that many specific battles have been fought in this war. We saw how this war was fought in biblical history in all the attempts by the seed of the serpent to destroy the seed of the woman. We saw that in all these attempts, Satan was trying to prevent the birth of Christ our king.

But Christ has come; and by His death on the Cross, He has crushed the head of Satan. Satan has suffered a mortal wound.

The War of Ages has entered its last days. Christ has conquered. Yes, He is still conquering, but all that remains are moping up battles. The gates of hell cannot prevent the church militant as she marches on until the day when Christ would be presented as King of kings and Lord of lords, and every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. The victory is secure!

But make no mistake: though the victory is secured, the battle is still fierce. Satan, the seed of the serpent, is desperately trying to regain lost ground.

This is why I believe it will be helpful for us to be reminded of what our duties are as good soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ in this world. We have been deeply encouraged by the lectures we have enjoyed. And it seems almost like an anticlimax to have to be reminded of our duties to fight again.

But then we came as soldiers of the Lord and we must return to soldier on; and a large part of soldiering involves cheerful and confident obedience. And in order to do so, we must know our orders.

So then, let us briefly remind ourselves of 10 biblical orders that are directly related to the war we are fighting, that we may take heed of as good soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here is your first order:

1. Put On The Whole
Armour Of God

The apostle Paul says in Eph 6:11—"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."

Christ our King has already conquered. But Satan the Prince of the enemy army is scheming and plotting to regain lost ground. He will not succeed. But still he and his army can inflict terrible though curable wounds on us.

We must therefore equip ourselves adequately for the battle. God has provided us an amour comprising 6 pieces of equipment. We must put this armour on.

a. We must put on the girdle of truth. We must gird ourselves with the truth of the gospel, as well as with honesty, faithfulness, and integrity. Unless we know the truth and are truthful, we shall easily fall prey to the temptation of the devil to fight on his side. For Satan is the father of lies.

b. We must put on the breastplate of righteousness. Like the Roman breastplate, the breastplate of righteousness has two parts. One part of it refers to Christ’s imputed righteousness, and the other part refers to Christ’s imparted righteousness. We must make sure that we are assured of our justification in Christ and we must live holy lives in response to the work of sanctification of the Spirit of Christ.

c. We must put on the shoes of the readiness of the Gospel of peace. Though the war that we fight is a defensive war, we must be ever ready to move out not only to answer the queries of anyone who asks us of a reason for our faith, but also to present the Gospel to the lost.

d. We must take up the shield of faith as our first level of defense against the temptations that the wicked one will hurl in our direction.

e. We must put on the helmet of salvation because Satan will always try to assault our minds to make us doubt our salvation. In order to fight the battle effectively, we must be assured of our salvation in Christ.

f. Finally, we must pick up the Sword of the Spirit, which is the spoken Word of God. The Word of God becomes a potent weapon to fight against the wicked one once it is taken out of its scabbard and spoken under the influence of the Holy Spirit. We must learn to wield this sword both individually in conversation and corporately through attendance at public preaching.

This then, is the first thing that you must do as effective soldiers of Christ in the War of Ages. But your second order is:

2. Endure Hardness As A Good Soldier

Speaking to the young pastor Timothy, Paul says in 2 Tim 2:3—"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."

Now, these words are no doubt applicable to ministers. But they are certainly applicable to all believers as well, for we are all called to be the soldiers of Christ Jesus, the Lord of armies.

Therefore let us endure hardness. Let us not give up when the going gets tough. Let us rather remember that the end of the battle is nigh, and the outcome is secure. We will be victorious. And at the end of the battle, what awaits is a crown of righteousness and great joy and glory. It is worth it to endure hardness as good soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ, beloved brethren and children.

And here is your third order:

3. Humble Yourself And Cast Your
Cares Upon The Lord

Turn to 1 Peter 5. The apostle is clearly warning his reader about the spiritual war, for he says in verse 8—

"Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."

What must we do in the knowledge of this battle? Peter says:

"6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you" (1 Pet 5:6-7).

One day we shall have no more burdens to carry. But today as we fight that spiritual warfare with a full pack of burdens on our backs, we must learn to humble ourselves and to cast our anxieties upon Him.

You must not fight on as if you are able and self-sufficient. No, no, you must rely on the supply and support of our Captain. You must fight humbly.

Your fourth order is:

4. Be Sober or Self-controlled

"Be sober" says Peter in verse 8 in the text we have just considered. To be sober is to be self-controlled. Soldiers of Christ must learn to exercise self-control because the battle can often be very fierce and we can easily be tempted to sin against the Lord. "Abstain from fleshly lust, which war against your soul" (1 Pet 2:11) says Peter.

Young soldiers of Christ, take heed especially to exercise self-control in this day when Satan has many things at his disposal to lure us away from the Captain of our salvation – entertainment, internet, money etc.

Many soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought shame to their army and country due to lack of self-control. Shall we not make sure we are sober or self-controlled as we fight the battles we are called to fight that we may not give occasion to the enemy to blaspheme our King?

But our fifth order is:

5. Be Vigilant or Alert

"Be vigilant" (v. 8) says Peter in the same verse. To be vigilant is to be alert or to watch.

Our enemy is prowling about like a lion… waiting to devour whom he may. You know how lions hunt don’t you? They do not run after their prey like cheetahs. They wait. They wait for their prey to be inattentive or to be trapped in the mud hole. They wait quite patiently. Sometimes they even wait for days and weeks.

This is how our enemy operates too. He is waiting for his opportunity to attack us. He is waiting for us to drop our guard or to become entangled in some cares of the world.

Therefore beloved brethren, let us ever be vigilant. Let us bear in mind that the War of Ages will affect every aspect of our lives. Do not allow, for example, the demands of work, or of the education system to trap you or to rob you of your spiritual alertness.

I am quite convinced, for example, that the public education system in Singapore can become a mud hole in which we may get trapped and become easy prey for the wicked one. Let us open our eyes and be alert.

And sixthly, let us…

6. Lay Aside Every Entangling Weight And Sin

The apostle Paul says:

"No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier" (2Tm 2: 4).

What are the affairs of this world? They are the businesses, entertainment, and systems of this present world. Some of these things may be harmless in themselves. But if we are not careful we can get entangled in them so that we can no longer fight the war effectively.

The apostle to the Hebrews is warning us of the same thing in chapter 12:

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [or entangle] us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…

The metaphor here is a race in the arena. But the principle of warfare is no doubt present. The apostle says in verse 4—" Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." Is this not the language of war?

So our sixth order as soldiers of Christ is: Lay aside every weight and sin that entangles us. Weight and sin is quite different you will realise. Sin is lawlessness. It is a transgression of, or lack of conformity to the law of God. To lay aside sin is to repent of it.

Weight on the other hand involves things that are not necessarily sinful in and of themselves such as entertainment, business, work and education.

These things may be harmless in themselves. But sometimes they can begin to interfere with our spiritual walk and warfare. The television is the most obvious for it tends to eat up our time which we could otherwise use for the cultivation of our souls. But there are other things too.

We must be alert to these things. We must consciously lay aside anything that entangles us and hinders us in the war. It may be painful and difficult to do so, but we must seek the Lord’s grace.

Our seventh order is:

7. Bear The Testimony Of Jesus Christ

The apostle John says in Revelation 12:17 –

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Who are those whom the devil will make war with? Not everyone who names the name of Christ. No, no; there are many who would call the Lord Jesus, "Lord, Lord", who know Him not. Satan will not make war with them. Rather he will make war with those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony of Christ Jesus.

So our seventh order must be: obey Christ’s commandments. And bear testimony of Christ by being living epistles for Him.

All who behold us, seeing our cheerful obedience and testimony of Christ Jesus should be drawn to seek after Christ. In this way, Christ the Captain of our salvation will be magnified in our heart and in the heart of all who behold Him.

Your eighth order is:

8. Look Unto Jesus, The Captain of Your Salvation

The apostle to the Hebrews calls Christ Jesus the Captain of our salvation in Heb 2:10. In Hebrews 12:2, he exhorts us to:

[Look] unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Christ has conquered. He crushed the head of the serpent when He died on the Cross and rose again from the dead. Therefore, to fight the battle effectively, we must look to Him.

We must follow His example. We must find encouragement in the fact that He also faced a great fight and has prevailed. So let us hope in Him and find strength in Him for our battle. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" says the apostle Paul.

Ninthly, our order is to

9. Seek First The Kingdom 
Of God

The Lord Jesus Himself says in Matthew 6:

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

What is it to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteous? It is to give priority to the glory of Christ rather than to our own convenience and wealth.

It is easy for us to forget to do so, once we have returned to the reality of life. But I want to urge you to remember. As good soldiers in the kingdom of God, remember to put the honour of your King first in all that you so.

When you do so, you do not need to worry about tomorrow. The Lord will take care of it, for He holds tomorrow. He has already won the battle.

But finally, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus, take order to:

10. Pray Always

The apostle Paul ends his description of the armour of God by calling us to pray always (Eph 6:18). We must likewise conclude our ten orders with ‘pray always.’

Be much in prayer. Remember that much of the spiritual battle that we have to fight must be fought on our knees. Remember how the first seal in Revelation 6 reveals Christ riding on a white horse conquering and to conquer (Rev 6:2), while the last seal reveals half an hour of silence until the incense of the prayers of saints ascend up before God (Rev 8:4).

God has appointed that we should participate in the on-going cosmic battle through payer. We must pray not only for ourselves but for one another corporately and individually.


Here then are the 10 orders again:

Put on the whole armour of God.

Endure hardness as a good soldier.

Humble yourself and cast your burdens upon the Lord.

Be sober or self-controlled.

Be vigilant or alert.

Lay aside every entangling weight and sin.

Have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Look unto Jesus, the captain of your salvation.

Seek first the kingdom of God.

Pray always.

Beloved brethren, let us take orders. Let us fight the good fight with the strength of the Lord and a firm assurance that we are more than conquerors in Him who loves us and has laid down His life for us. Let us fight together as comrades in arms—upholding one another in prayer, encouraging one another, helping one another as fellow pilgrims seeking a better country. Let us fight together with the blessed hope of everlasting rest ever before our eyes. May the Lord help us! Amen.

—JJ Lim