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  • Writer's pictureDr. Roger D Duke

A John Bunyan Devotional Thought: Are You Striving Lawfully?!

May 13

We Must Strive Lawfully!

“An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules”

2 Timothy 2: 5.

The answer in general is you must strive lawfully, “and if a man also strive for masteries [compete],[1] yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” (2 Timothy 2: 5) But you will say, what is it to strive lawfully? answer—

To strive against the things which are abhorred by the Lord Jesus. Yea, to resist to the spilling of your blood striving against sin (Hebrews 12:4). To . . . [strive against] all those things that are condemned by the Word. Yea, though they [should] be your own right hand, right eye, or right foot, in abomination and to seek by all godly means the utter suppressing of them (Mark 9:43, 45, 47).

To strive lawfully is to strive for those things that are commanded in the Word. — “But thou, O man of God, flee the world, and follow after,” that is [to] strive for “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness; fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6: 11-12).

He that strives lawfully, must be therefore very temperate in all the good and lawful things of this life. “And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible” (1 Corinthians 9: 25). Most professors give leave to the world and the vanity of their hearts, to close with them, and to hang about their necks, and make their striving to stand rather in an outcry of words, than a hearty labor against the lusts and love of the world, and their own corruptions. But this kind of striving is but a beating of the air and will come to just nothing at last (1 Corinthians 9: 26).

[1] “Masteries” is to compete in an athletic event.

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