On Sunday, I shared how we can consistently see through our sin to our “identity of the moment” (Know your Sin), put that false identity to death (Fight your Sin), and turn to Christ for life and joy (Trust your Savior). Here are three easy steps to fight for true joy in Christ!
1. Know Your Sin: Look for the sinful patterns in your life and trace them to “identity of the moment” that you are looking to for worth, meaning (good pastor, faithful parent, creative person, successful entrepreneur). For instance, your sin could be sulking and your false identity could be victim. Acts 29 has recently posted some helpful “X-ray Questions” from David Powlison, which help us see through our sin to our misplaced sense of identity.
- Identify sinful patterns
- Trace patterns to your “identity of the moment”
2. Fight Your Sin. Once you know your sin/identity issue, you can begin to fight it. There are two primary ways God calls us to fight our sin. First, confess your sin to God and ask for his forgiveness for your God-belittling desires and decisions (1 John 1:9). Follow your confession to God with confession to community so you can experience healing and encouragement of the church (James 5:16). Second, encourage one another to take sin seriously, to “put sin to death” (Rom 8:13; Col 3:5). Don’t let identity-twisting sin just roll off your back. Get tenacious about glorifying and enjoying God!
- Confess your sin (to God and one another)
- Get serious about fighting for true joy
3. Trust Your Savior. Trusting our Savior for gospel identity instead of an identity-of-the-moment is the most difficult and important part of being a disciple. Robert Murray McCheyene said: “For every look at sin, look ten times at Christ.” How does Christ offer you a better identity than the false identity? My sin was sulking and my identity was victim. 2 Peter 1:3 reminds me that my identity is godly, a partaker of the divine nature. I was sulking in ungodliness because I thought I deserved better circumstances. I felt weak. Peter reminds us that we have “divine power granted to us for life and godliness.” This scripture reminded me of my identity—godly—but it does not stop there. It also offers us a Savior to trust, a counter-promise of divine power necessary to live a godly life, not a sulking life. What a relief! Our identity is godly, and our promise is divine power!
- Find your Gospel counter-Identity
- Trust your Biblical Promise
We’ve outlined these basic principles are in Fight Clubs: Gospel-centered Discipleship, a community-based, gospel-centered approach to following Jesus. Pick up a copy, find some friends, and start fighting for true joy!
My little booklet on gospel-centered discipleship won a contest at LuLu in January as the second highest selling book of the month! Thanks to all who purchased copies. As with the profits on these books, the reward will go back into supporting our church and my writing ministry (though I might treat my wife to something fun!).
RISE OF FCs & FALL OF COST
More and more churches are implementing Fight Clubs in their communities. They frequently write us asking for discounts. So, we lowered the price from 8.50 to 6.99. Plus, bulk discounts are automatically discounted at LuLu as you increase the number of copies. Check here for free Fight Club resources and coupons. Try WINTERBOOK for 10% off now.
Are Fight Clubs just for men? Nope. In our church there are more women than men in Fight Clubs. They love fighting.
Can I make copies of the book? We prefer that you not make copies. Besides, after all the discounts and reduced prices the affordability rivals the cost of making copies. Oh, there’s a cheaper eBook version too.
Do I have to call them Fight Clubs? Of course not. Call them whatever you want, just be sure to make the gospel central!
How do Fight Clubs multiply? Once you have three, add a fourth person just for two weeks and then split off into two groups or have one person go start a new one.
Do intergenerational Fight Clubs work? Yes, we’ve seen single men fight for joy with younger men. Sometimes a natural mentoring relationship emerges. The key isn’t similar struggles; it is commitment to the same gospel that addressees all our struggles, whatever age you are.
When’s the next book? I’ve contributed to Viral Hope: the good news from the urbs to the suburbs, which comes out in March. I’m working on a booklet like FC called City Groups: Gospel-centered Missional Community. And I’ll do a revised & expanded FC later this year. Lord willing, I’ll start work on my first full-length book this summer.
COOL FIGHT CLUB SIGNS
Ben Hansen, graphic artist and designer of Fight Clubs, has created some pretty cool vertical signs. If you’re interested in purchasing the files to have them made for your church, just send an email to Justin.
I guess this is VERGE day. A few points of interest…
- Missional Community Training: I will be doing some training for the Midtown Team on missional community during Verge. If you’re interested in having me do this for your team, drop me a comment or a line. We are working on getting some of our Missional Community training out in the form of more in-person trainings and a booklet on Gospel-centered Missional Communities.
- Fight Clubs at Verge: I’ve had a number of requests for Fight Clubs books to be available during Verge. I will have 150 copies available for discounted price of $5 at the Acts 29 display/table.
- Coming to Verge? Drop a comment if you’re coming. Hopefully we can meet up.