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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Fight the Good Fight of Faith



Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

—1 Timothy 6:12 (NKJV)


The Greek word that was translated as “fight” here is “agonizomai.”  It means “to struggle and to compete for a prize, to contend with an adversary, or to accomplish something (Strong’s Concordance). It comes from the same root word from which “agony” and “agonize” are derived. 


There is a struggle in the Christian life. The struggle isn’t with God. We have peace with God in Jesus Christ. The struggle is with ourselves and with the enemy’s lies. There is no exemption from this fight. Those who refuse to fight, lose.


Some people think there is no such thing as a good fight. They are only interested in the things that come effortlessly. The Christian fight is good because it has already been won by Jesus. When we fight the good fight of faith we are enforcing the victory Jesus has won. And this is a good fight.


This phrase, “lay hold on,” is speaking of seizing the opportunity. Just as those who have been thrown a rope for their rescue have to “lay hold” of that rope to be pulled to safety, so we have to “lay hold on eternal life” to reap its benefits. God gives us eternal life by His grace, but we have to put forth effort to “lay hold” of it.


“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3).


In this prayer, Jesus prayed for us to know that eternal life is more than living forever. Eternal life is knowing God now in every aspect of our lives. Eternal life is intimacy with God, our Father, and with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. 


“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9).


We are “called” into fellowship with Jesus Christ. We must seize the opportunity we have now. We don’t just sit and wait for His promise of tomorrow. 


God calls and equips us by grace. It is not according to our ability (2 Timothy 1:9). We were created with a specific purpose, and our God-given gifts and talents are uniquely fitted to accomplish that purpose. 


Even though God’s calling is by grace, Paul said that he labored more abundantly than all the other apostles and that kept God’s calling from being in vain (1 Corinthians 15:10). We either take advantage of God’s grace, or we frustrate the grace of God.


Fight the good fight of faith. This fight has already been won in Jesus’ perfect work of Grace. Jesus has given you His authority to overcome your flesh and the enemy. You cannot be much closer to Him than Jesus living inside you. Know Him and agree with His victory overcoming the flesh’s and the enemy’s attempts to destroy you. Lay hold of what is yours in Christ. Seize the opportunity to know God intimately as He knows you.


When you know God intimately, you believe you have already won your battles over the flesh and the lies of the enemy. You fight the good fight of faith from a position of victory. Your calling to fulfill God’s purpose in your life is not in vain. Your works are alive because He is living abundantly in you. You have seized knowing Him now. You don’t see defeat and death. You only see victory and life. Eternal life is won. 


You cannot fight the good fight of faith from a position of defeat. That is not a good fight. That is a fight you have already determined in your heart you have lost. Jesus has done His part to secure your victory.  Victory is victory. There is nothing more to be done. Take hold of the eternal life Christ has given you. Seize it now. Fight the good fight of faith. Confess your hope without wavering to yourself and to others  God, who called you, is faithful (Hebrews 10:23, 1 Corinthians 1:9).  


“Your kingdom come,” Jesus prayed to His Father. “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).


What is God’s will on earth? Is it the same as it is in heaven? Fight the good fight of faith. God who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.



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