November 15, 2010 by Dwight Bernier
As we are planting missional communities, which are roughly 10-15 people, we also know that we need closer, more intense and deeper relationships. This leads to fight clubs. In fight clubs, we are committed to helping one another put to death their sin by the power of the Spirit (which the people in the fight club should have) and pointing one another back to Jesus. It is extremely important to be known by others and know others – their sins, their vulnerabilities, their struggles, their idols and how they best hear and see the gospel.
So fight clubs really have three rules:
– KNOW YOUR SIN. You can’t fight or put to death what you don’t know is there. And often, we don’t see our own sin. Ya, we see where we mess up and fall – but we don’t see the sin underneath the sin. We don’t see that we freak out BECAUSE we are trying to serve the god of control rather than trusting God, meaning we don’t have to be in control. So, we need others to help us see our sin, especially the ones that we don’t see as we walk through everyday life.
– FIGHT YOUR SIN. We put to death our sin by the power of the Holy Spirit as Romans 8.13 says. But we also have others help us fight our sin. We call one another to to be killing sin, because if we aren’t, then it is killing us (John Owen). Jonathan Dodson says that fighting sin ‘is a habitual weakening of the flesh through constant fighting and contending in the Spirit for sweet victory over sin”. Fighting sin is not legalism nor perverse introspection, but instead it is a “fight for true joy, lasting happiness, for life”. It is a real call to fight for enjoyment of God, which leads to the third rule of fight clubs.
– TRUST YOUR SAVIOR. Rather than trusting practicality, the fleeting promises of our flesh, or what some counselor says, we trust our Savior. We trust Jesus and His sufficiency. We are truly promised life if we put to death the deeds of the flesh. God is not calling us from bad things to something good. He is calling us from death to life, from living for our sin to living because of our Savior. And we are called to enjoy Him forever! God is truly the greatest opponent of sin as all sin is against Him. And so, He gives us His Son to free us from sin, then gives His Spirit to help us be pointed back to the Savior and away from the sin that promises to be a better savior.
So fight clubs are necessary for all believers. We need people that will know us and help us know our sin, who will help us fight our sin and will point us back to the gospel. And these people won’t let us enjoy anything less than the gospel. But fighting sin is painful. This is not a call to some new program – this is a call to Jesus and His gospel. And Jesus calls us to community for the purpose of holiness (I Thes. 3.11-13; Hebrews 12.10-11).
We need others to help us fight sin.
**To read more, see Jonathan Dodson’s book Fight Club.