For Friday August 5, 2022:
1 TIMOTHY 6:12
1 Timothy 6:12 (NKJV)
Fight the good fight of faith.
Luther says somewhere that faith lives only as long as it strives. He had in mind this very fight of faith to hold fast to the grace of God when our heart condemns us because of our daily life.
This tension is inherent in living faith and can never be removed. If this is eliminated from faith, we have a dead faith which holds fast to the grace of God with the intellect and does not give the conscience an opportunity to condemn sin.
This struggle and this tension in connection with faith can therefore never be obviated by theoretical insight into the mystery of the Gospel. Not even a long experience of the grace of God can eliminate it.
The people who experience these difficulties in connection with believing the grace of God are not Christians of the poorest type. Luther himself, a great hero of faith, often had great difficulty even in believing the forgiveness of sins.
The more sensitive and keen our conscience becomes, the more it will accuse us, the deeper it will prick us.
A rich and long experience of the grace of God will also sharpen the conflict: Can you be a child of God when so much of His grace has been so fruitless in your heart and life? Is not this proof that your faith is dead, that you are misusing the grace of God?
Here, too, living faith will win the victory and again rest in the grace of God.
But only after a struggle.
The distress of conscience caused by sin is therefore not only the mother of faith; it is this distress which each day preserves the faith of a child of God as a living faith.
“Redeemed, restored, forgiven
Through Jesus’ precious blood,
Heirs of His home in heaven,
Oh, praise our pardoning God!”