Please click the play button on the pink bar below to begin the podcast. No added software is needed. 🙂
Aimee Byrd’s encouragement to us in her newest book, Theological Fitness, is far from couch potato Christianity. “Let Go and Let God” is not the phrase you will hear or read from Aimee when it comes to our faith. No, rather, Aimee challenges us from the Scripture to engage in fighting faith through a fighting grace.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
Realizing that many Christians “often think of perseverance as passive endurance” Aimee hopes to help change our minds as we examine biblical perseverance from the book of Hebrews.
Aimee constructs the framework of Hebrews 10:23 by dividing it into 5 sections. The first section addressed being “Let us.” As our generation of believers has become satisfied to be secluded cyber Christians hoping to gain all the spiritual nourishment necessary from social media while never having to leave the house or our lounge pants, I am grateful for Aimee’s swinging punch right out of the ring for biblical encouragement through corporate worship among believers: “Jesus gave us the church as a gift that glorifies him and produces Christlikeness in us.”
In the next section, we clearly see it’s not time to jump out of the ring too quickly to begin congregating with the church, as Aimee gives us the exhortation to “hold fast”. It is an encouragement that our faith is a fighting grace rather than the “let it go” mentality of fake faith. We are challenged “not to mistake it for an easy believism or a passive coast until the roll is called up yonder.” Yet she is not encouraging works salvation, as she points us to Christ and the gospel, the One who has endured perfectly which we are holding fast to as well. He, the Word in flesh, is the One who models the theological conditioning so necessary to continue this grace fight.
Like any REALLY good fight, please expect to get a little bruised up and bloodied as you look at the reality of holding fast to the One who has lain hold of us. Aimee doesn’t shy away from the reality of suffering in her book as she points out through various passages “that knowing God’s truth, and the patient endurance of suffering for the sake of it. This requires conditioning, strengthening, and training.”
The Confession of Our Hope
Whew! As Aimee begins Part 3 of the book, I found myself getting energized to continue the fight as she helps us examine the “confession of our hope.” Here is where Aimee helps us grasp the importance of knowing the character of Jesus as our Lord. She asks us to examine the reality that we are currently in the “kingdom of the cross” and how “Christ’s work flows out of who He is.” She helps us to grasp not only His Lordship, but also the Trinity, the incarnation of Christ, as well as His completed work on the cross and resurrection. While Christ is now seated at the right hand of God, we are still here (practically, not positionally). Thankfully, Christ is intervening for us even now as he prepares us for the new city we will one day receive built and designed by God! These very thoughts of my “High Priest” keep me going in the grace fight here on earth, don’t they?
Just when I thought I heard the bell to retreat to the side of the ring for a breather, Aimee begins the fourth section, “Without Wavering.” Aimee explains to us that a mature faith doesn’t come instantly, but rather, through endurance through our trials as well as discipline God lovingly brings to make us more like Christ. She helps us to see divine discipline exemplifies His faithfulness in preserving us and, humbling us, and keeping us from going astray. He is the One who has “pursued us, and therefore, cannot be swayed away from His beauty.”
For He Who Promises is Faithful
It was the last section that I could almost here the theme from “Rocky” climaxing as she discusses “ For He Who Promises is Faithful.” Actually, the theme of my heart was quickly turned to “Victory in Jesus, my Savior forever…” as she explains the promise of the triune God for our eternal salvation through the covenant providing our future hope and active rest founded on the gospel and the Word…
Aimee wraps up her challenging correlation of physical fitness to spiritual fitness with the following quote…
“God is the one casting us in his great drama. We find our identity and greatest satisfaction in the knowledge and love of our Creator and Redeemer. Our great King has summoned us to appear before him. Jesus has answered the summons, “Here am I, and the children God has given me” (Heb. 2:13 NIV). Therefore, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23).”
As I reflect on my walk with Christ, I can honestly say it is no small stretch to compare the endurance necessary to enter into our spiritual rest, “good and faithful servant” to that of the strain required in the physical fitness realm. But, the reward!…Oh, the reward, will be so much greater than the reward that comes from the physical! I have no doubt this book will be an encouragement to many in the years to come, as it was to mine!