Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #260 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading 1 Timothy 6 today and our focus is on How Do We Fight The Good Fight of Faith? ? We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Santiago, Chile, Jalisco, Mexico, parts unknown, Congo, Tanzania, Russia and Iran, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monterey, California, Columbus, Ohio, Austin, Texas, Houston, Texas, Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Fight the good fight of the faith, Paul tells Timothy in today’s chapter. What sort of images does that conjure in your imagination? Does this mean that we are to vigorously go after our enemies, whether they be Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, paedobaptists, cessationists, charismatics, etc? I don’t think so – it seems that this command of Paul is not telling us to fight/contend with other people, remembering that our enemies are not flesh and blood. Who are we supposed to fight, then? Here’s the command:
11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Timothy 6:11-14
This is not the only time Paul uses military type language to exhort and spur Timothy on – just a few chapters ago in 1 Timothy 1:18, we read, “18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience.”
So what kind of fight is Paul calling Timothy (and us) to? We know it is not the kind of battle that humans normally have – a fist fight, or a word fight or a weapon fight, because of passages like:
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 2nd Corinthians 10:4
We don’t use weapons of the flesh like sticks and stones and insults and 9mm Glocks -our weapons aren’t human – they aren’t of the flesh. I think we see a tremendous clue as to what kind of fight Paul is talking about directly AFTER both of the times he exhorts Timothy to fight the good fight/wage the good warfare. Notice:
12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life 1 Timothy 6:12
wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith 1 Timothy 1:18
This seems to tells us with great clarity that Paul is describing holding on to the faith as something of a fight. This is exactly how Charles Spurgeon sees it:
We’re told to “take hold of eternal life.” Observe that this precept is preceded by another: “Fight the good fight of the faith.” Those who take hold of eternal life will have to fight for it. The way of the spiritual life is no easy one; we will have to contest every step of the way. “Contest the good contest of the faith” would be an accurate rendering of the passage, and a contest it is against the world, the flesh, and the devil. If we live unto God, we will need to war a daily warfare and tread down the powers of death and hell….We have to fight the good fight of faith, but our great adversary is not slow to begin the encounter. We are pilgrims in a strange land, so we must expect to find rough places on the road to heaven. Satan seizes opportunities. When he finds us weak, as the Savior was through long fasting, and when he finds us in trying circumstances, as the Savior was when hungry in the desert, then it is that he comes to tempt us….
We fight the good fight by firm faith in the Lord our God: “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith.” That fight is the fight of faith, fought for the faith, and by the faith. “Contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints.” “Hold fast the form of sound words.” It is worth fighting for, even if we come to resistance unto blood. He who dies for the faith has laid down his life in a worthy cause, and he shall find it unto life eternal. We can only hope that we shall be able to live unto God by faith in him, and faith in the great truths which he has revealed to be the object of our faith. When I say unto you, “Lay hold on eternal life,” do not imagine that this is to be done in a dream, or accomplished without arousing your utmost energies, nor even then without that divine assistance which only faith can receive. As my text follows the command to “fight the good fight of the faith,” it teaches us that the best way of contending for the faith is, for ourselves personally to lay hold on eternal life. You cannot defend the faith by mere reasoning: victory does not come through an array of arguments which have been aforetime used by men of learning; you must yourself possess the inward life, and exhibit the force and power of it in your daily conduct, if you would be successful in the holy war. Men who forget the divine life soon cast away the divine truth. If the life be not in us, we may make what profession of orthodoxy we like, but we shall, in all probability, before long, turn aside, like others, unto crooked ways. Well are the two commands joined together: “Fight the good fight of the faith, lay hold on eternal life.” It reminds me of our Lord’s words, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
C. H. Spurgeon, “Eternal Life within Present Grasp,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 33 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1887), 73–74.
Spurgeon, The Spurgeon Study Bible: Notes (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 1626.
Bible Memory verses for the month of September: 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2nd Timothy 3:16-17
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