“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12).
Fight the Good Fight of Faith - Meaning of 1 Timothy 6:12
The apostle suggests to Timothy, that he had other business to do than to mind the things of this world. His life was a state of warfare as he was a soldier, and was not to entangle himself with the things of this life.
He had many enemies to engage with, including Satan, and his principalities and powers; sin, and the lusts of the flesh; the world, and the men of it, and a great fight of afflictions to endure with them; as also false teachers, with, whom particularly he was to fight the good fight of faith, that so the truth of the Gospel, which they resisted, might continue with the saints.
This fight is called "the fight of faith"; partly in opposition to the law, and in which the false teachers, in the apostle's time, were so much engaged, and against whom the apostles set themselves. And partly because the doctrine of faith, the faith of the Gospel, the faith once delivered to the saints, is what they earnestly contended, strove, and fought for; and because the grace of faith, as conversant with the Scriptures of truth, was the weapon they fought with.
This may be called a "good fight", because it is in a good cause, the cause of God and truth; and under a good Captain, Jesus Christ the Captain of our salvation; for which good weapons are provided, even the whole armor of God, and which are not carnal, but spiritual and mighty; to which may be added, that those who are engaged in this fight may be sure of victory, and the crown of glory, life, and righteousness (John Gill Commentary).
What Is the Good Fight?
Those who will get to heaven must fight their way toward it. There must be a conflict with corruption and temptations, and the opposition of the powers of darkness. Observe, It is a good fight, it is a good cause, and it will have a good issue. It is the fight of faith; we do not war after the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (2 Corinthians 10:3; 2 Corinthians 10:4). He exhorts him to lay hold on eternal life. Observe,
1. Eternal life is the crown proposed to us, for our encouragement to war, and to fight the good fight of faith, the good warfare.
2. This we must lay hold on, as those that are afraid of coming short of it and losing it. Lay hold, and take heed of losing your hold. Hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown (Revelation 3:11).
3. We are called to the fight, and to lay hold on eternal life.
4. The profession Timothy and all faithful ministers make before many witnesses is a good profession; for they profess and engage to fight the good fight of faith, and to lay hold on eternal life; their calling and their own profession oblige them to this (Matthew Henry Commentary).
Fight the Good Fight - Hymn Lyrics and Meaning
"Fight The Good Fight" is also a popular, traditional hymn and Christian song, written by Rev. John Samuel Bewley Monsell, published in Hymns of Love and Praise for the Church’s Year (1863). It is primarily sung to the tune "Pentecost" written in 1864 by William Boyd. Listen to a beautiful choir performance of this hymn and find the lyrics below:
1. Fight the good fight with all thy might. Christ is thy strength and Christ thy right. Lay hold on life, and it shall be thy joy and crown eternally.
2. Run the straight race through God's good grace; lift up thine eyes, and seek Christ's face. Life with its way before us lies; Christ is the path, and Christ the prize.
3. Cast care aside; lean on thy guide. God's boundless mercy will provide. Trust, and thy trusting soul shall prove Christ is its life, and Christ its love.
4. Faint not nor fear: God's arms are near. God changeth not, and thou art dear. Only believe, and thou shalt see that Christ is all in all to thee.
The hymn is based on the King James Bible's version of Paul's First Epistle to Timothy, Chapter 6, verse 12: "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses." The hymn lyrics urge the listener to "Fight the good fight," "lay hold on life," "run the straight race," "cast care aside", and "faint not nor fear."
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