Father God:

Few things are worth fighting for in life. In particular, few things are worth discord and ruffled feathers among your people. The clarity of the gospel, of course, is worth fighting for. Since it was worth the death of your Son to you, the gospel should be a precious treasure to us. When that treasure is contaminated or spoiled or corrupted in any way, we should fight to restore it to its brilliance and beauty.

Since it was worth the death of your Son to you, the gospel should be a precious treasure to us.

So help us, Lord, to contend for the full humanity and full divinity of Christ (Gal 4:4). Help us to contend for penal substitution – and the corresponding view of sin’s sinfulness and all humanity’s desperate need for a Savior (2 Cor 5:21). Help us to contend for the beauty and power of justification by faith alone, and help us to resist relying upon any work added to the perfect, finished work of Christ (Rom 3:21-26). Help us to lift up the gospel of grace and behold its free-yet-costly beauty. Help us contend for your glory for the joy of your people in all of this, Father.

Yet let us not be content with gospel doctrine, Lord. Help us also to fight for gospel peace and unity within our fellowship. Having been reconciled to you, may we be reconciled to one another (2 Cor 5:18). May we display the radical grace and love of the gospel in the way we love, care for, and forgive one another. May the gospel move us to self-sacrifice and self-denial, that we would consider others better than ourselves because Christ looked not to his own advantage but to ours (Phil 2:3-4). May our relationships look – to the watching world and even to the heavenly beings – supernatural (Eph 3:10). May others look on us and gasp in wonder at how such natural enemies (of God and each other) can be drawn together in love and unity through Christ (Eph 2:11-18).

Amen.

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