Tug-Of-War

Grace For The Journey

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6Jun

We have all heard of tug-of-war, and most of us have played it.  It is a contest that pits two teams against each other in a test of physical strength and endurance.  When I was in College, a group of my friends and I entered into a tug-of-War competition called the “Tug-a-Ton!”  Each team was allowed up to but not exceeding 2000 pounds of total man weight on their side of the rope.  You could have as many men as you wanted on your team as long as the total weight of all the men combined did not exceed a ton (2000 lbs).

I will never forget the team we lost to in the finals.  After a long day of tugging on the rope, everyone’s hands and forearms were pretty well tired and aching from all the straining and pulling.  The team we were up against came out for the championship match wearing special “lobster” gloves for a better grip on the rope.  The gloves were allowed, but we were too proud to wear gloves.  We fought hard for nearly ten minutes, but in the end we were pulled across the center line and into second place.

So the term “tug-of-war” can describe a demonstration of brute strength by two opposing teams, such as a rivalry between two teams.  Today, I want to employ a metaphorical use “tug-of-war” to describe the battle going on daily inside the heart of every Christian believer – a-tug-of-war between the sinful nature and the Spirit of Christ.  The Bible describes it perfectly in Galatians 5:17, “For the flesh (our sinful nature) lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”

Like two opposing teams straining at their side of the rope, the sinful nature is at war against the Spirit, and the Spirit is fighting against the sinful nature.  The Bible makes this truth crystal clear.  In  his book The Gospel For Real Life, Jerry Bridges writes, “We must acknowledge this tension if we are to make progress in the Christian life. Indwelling sin is like a disease that we can’t begin to deal with until we acknowledge its presence.  But in the case of sin, we must also count on the fact that, though it still resides in us, it no longer has to have dominion over us.”

Sin remains . . .

But it no longer reigns.

Jesus reigns, and the grace that He poured into your life when you were saved is the same grace that He continually pours into your life as He is sanctifying you.  Sin is no longer our master.  The Bible states that in Romans 6:14, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”

Jesus is our Master,

And it is His Holy Spirit

Who has power and control over us.

It is the grace of the Gospel that empowers us to keep on pulling, even when we have fallen into the dirt time and time again and feel like we have no strength left to pull. When we are weak, we are strong because of the One who is on our side.  In knowing that Jesus will never take His hands off of our side of the rope, regardless of how often we slip or let go altogether, we find the strength to keep fighting the good fight.

You see, for the Christian, the One really pulling on our side of the rope is Jesus.

  • It is His hands.
  • It is His strength.
  • It is His grace.

And Jesus has never lost a match!

He’ll pull us across the center line and into the winner’s circle!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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