The Battle Against Unbelief

I saw on the Jollyblogger’s site http://jollyblogger.typepad.com/jollyblogger/ where Rick Warren’s gone off again. First off, I’m not certain why big name personalities within Christendom have all decided to start making outrageous comments in the media. Pat Robertson’s time to step down and turn his ministry over to someone less likely to continue to shame the name of Christ through so-called prophecies has come. (see Phil Johnson’s arguments http://phillipjohnson.blogspot.com/2005/11/rubber-prophecies.html Phil’s theological and philosophical arguments make a good case for holding to cessasionism.)

Second, in light of Warren’s comments, I agree strongly with the Jollyblogger: the greater battle by far is unbelief. All who are Christians are involved in the fight for faith. “This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight…” (1 Timothy 1.18, NASB95). “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6.12, NASB95). And, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith…” (2 Timothy 4.7, NASB95). Faith is being satisfied in all that God has promised to be and do for us in Christ Jesus. So, we’re all fighting for our greatest delight: God’s glory. God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.

According to Romans 14.23, “…whatever is not from faith is sin.” Doing anything, if it’s not done out of faith in God and His abilities and His promises is sin. It is my conviction that unbelief is the true root of all sin. John Piper, in his book, “Future Grace” discusses this at great length and gives many examples of various sins. Each of these sins has, at its root, unbelief. For example, anxiety is unbelief that God can really fulfill His promises to care for me (cf. Matthew 6.25-30). Pride is unbelief that God is sovereign and I am not (in other words, I think I have a great deal more control that I really do). I’d go on, but I’llm simply refer you to Piper’s book.

If unbelief is at the root of all sins, then the fight for faith and against unbelief really is the ultimate battle for the believer. Asaph wrestled mightily with unbelief in Psalm 77. In verses 3-9, he’s struggling, battling with unbelief. However, Asaph knows where to go in the midst of this fight: God. In vv. 11-12, he uses a mighty and powerful weapon in this battle: remembering; seeing how God has acted in the past, trusting a God who does not change and believing that His promises are still real. Asaph ends up banking evertying upon God and His promises and ends up resting satisfied in them. God is greatly glorified, unbelief is defeated for the day and Asaph finds great joy in His God.

Fighting for faith and battling unbelief is the great battle. All others are secondary to this one. I find this true nearly everyday of my life in Christ. I wake up each morning knowing that I will fight for faith in Christ, but unbelief is going to rear its ugly head in many different ways: lust, greed, pride, covetousness… the list goes on. I feel so much like the father of the possessed boy in Mark 9, who, while having faith in Christ’s ability to exorcise the demons from his son, yet confesses that there is still unbelief to be confessed and battled.

May God help me in this fight. May God help you in this fight.

By His Grace For His Glory.

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One Response

  1. Thanks for the encouragement Kevin. The battle against unbelief is a huge one. Mark 9:24 has always been one of my favorites. Despite the fight, I have always envisioned having a faith which has risen above the battle. Until then, I am getting shelled in the trenches, seperated from my platoon, manning a machine gun.

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