2 Tim. 4:7
7 I have fought the good fight; I have finished the course; I have kept the faith.
2 Tim. 2:3-4
3 Suffer evil with me as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
4 No one serving as a soldier entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please the one who enlisted him.
1 Tim. 6:11-12
11 But you, O man of God, flee these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, meekness.
12 Fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold on the eternal life, to which you were called and have confessed the good confession before many witnesses.
11 Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the stratagems of the devil,
12 For our wrestling is not against blood and flesh but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
In 2 Timothy 4:7 Paul mentions three items: fighting the good fight, finishing the course, and keeping the faith. A proper Christian life is threefold. It involves fighting the good fight against Satan and his kingdom of darkness for the interests of God’s kingdom (1 Tim. 6:12), running the course for the carrying out of God’s economy according to His eternal purpose (Heb. 12:1), and keeping the faith for participation in the divine riches in God’s dispensation (Gal. 3:22).
To keep the faith is to keep the entire New Testament economy of God— the faith concerning Christ as the embodiment of God and the mystery of God and the church as the Body of Christ and the mystery of Christ. (Life-study of 2 Timothy, pp. 61-62)
The apostles considered their ministry a warfare for Christ, just as the priestly service was considered a military service, a warfare, in Numbers 4:23, 30, 35 (lit.). Whenever we minister Christ to others, we find ourselves in a battle. Hence, we should not only be teachers committing the deposit to others, but we should also be soldiers fighting for God’s interests.
The word for life [in 2 Timothy 2:4] in Greek is bios, indicating the physical life in this age. To fight a good fight (4:7) for the Lord’s interests on this earth we must be cleared of any earthly entanglement. The matters of our material, physical life should not entangle us as we are endeavoring to minister Christ to others. This ministry is a fighting, and the fighting requires that we be free from entanglement. On the one hand, the priestly service is a ministry to God; on the other hand, it is a warfare against God’s enemies. As the priests were bearing the ark of testimony, they had to be prepared to fight against those who might attack this testimony. (Life-study of 2 Timothy, pp. 23-24)
To fight for the faith means to fight for God’s New Testament economy. In particular, it is to fight for Christ as the embodiment of God and for the church as the Body of Christ.
The eternal life here is the divine life, the uncreated life of God, which is eternal. Eternal denotes the nature more than the time element of the divine life. To fight the good fight of the faith in the Christian life, especially in the Christian ministry, we need to lay hold on this divine life and not trust in our human life….To bring forth God’s dispensation concerning the church in 1 Timothy, to confront the process of the church’s decline in 2 Timothy, and to maintain good order in the church life in Titus, this life is a prerequisite.
A man of God should pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and meekness; he should fight for God’s New Testament economy and lay hold on eternal life. All these matters are essential aspects of the New Testament. In contrast, the beasts in Revelation 13 and the lake of fire in Revelation 20 cannot compare with these essential aspects. We today must fight the good fight of the faith. This means that we must fight for Christ as the embodiment of God and for the church as the Body of Christ. Furthermore, we must not merely fight objectively, but fight subjectively by laying hold on eternal life. We should not do anything apart from this life. We should speak to our husband or wife and to our children not by the natural life, but by the eternal life. Even in the matter of buying a pair of shoes, we should live according to the eternal life to which we have been called. As today’s Timothys, we need to lay hold on eternal life. (Life-study of 1 Timothy, pp. 101-102)
Further Reading: HWMR The Christian Life, the Church Life, the Consummation of the Age, and the Coming of the Lord – Week 7, Day 1
Corporate Reading of “The Basic Revelation in the Holy Scriptures” Chapter 2 – Sections: Abolishing the Law of the Commandments in Ordinances; Destroying Satan and Judging the World
© Living Stream Ministry, 2016, used by permission