Jeremiah 38:1-28; 1 Timothy 6:12-21; Psalms 89:38-46; Proverbs 21:4
NT: “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of eternal life to which you were called and about which you have made a good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all, and of Christ Jesus, who gave a good confession before Pontius Pilate, I charge you to keep this command without fault or failure until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. God will bring this about in his own time. He is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and the Lord of Lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see, to him be honor and eternal power. Amen. Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share, storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of what is truly life. Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding irreverent and empty speech and contradictions from what is falsely called knowledge. By professing it, some people have departed from the faith. Grace be with you all.” (1 Timothy 6:12-21 CSB)
At the end of his letter to Timothy, Paul challenged Timothy to fight the good fight of faith. Fighting the fight of faith was not just something Paul was calling Timothy to do. It was also something that the Lord Jesus Christ challenged the churches of the first century to do. In John’s book of Revelation, John recorded a message from the resurrected and glorified Christ to the seven churches in Asia. In each of the seven messages to the churches, Jesus mentioned blessings that would come to those who not only fought the good fight of faith, but conquered the forces that tried to lead them out of faith (Revelation 2-3). Fighting the good fight of faith is an imperative for those in the church today. As we grow ever closer to the end of the age, the pressure to compromise our faith or leave it all together grows greater and greater. In order to accomplish Christ’s great commission and bring about the end of evil on the earth, we must fight the good fight of faith and conquer by grace through faith.
How do we fight the good fight of faith? Paul gave Timothy three ways to fight against the world, the flesh and the devil in faith. Firstly, Paul said to take hold of and hold on to eternal life. We must never lose sight of what Christ accomplished for us, who we are when we place our faith in Him, and the sure hope that frames our destiny with Him. Christ was faithful to the truth of who He was and the mission for which He was sent – even in the face of certain death, and because of that, He won for us the freedom from sin and the ability to be reconciled to God and declared righteous. When we place our faith in Christ, we are made new creations who are filled with the resurrection power of Christ. As we remain in Christ by faith, we are assured a glorious future of eternal life with Him. Just as Christ was faithful even to death, we also need to remain in faith and faithful to our call, either to death, or until Christ comes again.
Secondly, we need sever our hope and security that is placed on earthly things and place our hope and security completely in Christ. Instead of living our lives to accumulate earthly treasures, we need to reprioritize our lives to store up heavenly treasures. The more we place our trust, our hope, and our security in earthly things, the more we will be pressured to comply with the world’s ways and systems. The more we realize that this world has nothing for us, and that our true riches are found in Christ, the less of a hold the world will have on us. Instead of living for ourselves and our pleasures, we will be free to live for the glory of Christ and the good of others.
Finally, we need to guard the truth that has been entrusted to us. We need to know and understand what God has said in His word. We need to know and understand the full gospel of Jesus Christ, not a watered-down, sanitized, politically acceptable version of the gospel. In knowing and understanding God’s word and the gospel of Christ, we need to guard it in our hearts from deceptions, lies and accusations from the enemy. The enemy has been challenging the word of God and accusing God’s character since the garden of Eden – and he will continue doing so until he is finally destroyed. We need to guard the truth that has been entrusted to us and defend it well so it doesn’t get misconstrued and misrepresented to future generations.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You were faithful to the truth of who You are and the mission for which You were sent. Because of Your faithfulness… because You fought the good fight of faith, I am richly blessed. It is now my time to fight the good fight of faith. The baton has been passed to me and it is my time to run my race well, fight the good fight, and finish my race in faith. Help me by grace to let go of the world and hold on to and guard what has been given to me through faith in You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.