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Fight the Good fight

Fight the Good Fight

Anybody wanna fight? Some of us don’t want to be fighters. I know I didn’t. In middle school let’s just say I was a chicken when it came to fights. But there is a fight that is a worthy one. Not against others, but against evil. Friends, our faith is a fight. It is a fight against sin. A fight against false doctrine and the sins that so easily corrupt. A fight against the resistance we so often face as we seek to share God’s truth that we have been entrusted with. As Paul said, we have to be aware that this walk will be a fight and we need to choose to fight the good fight.

Notice the word “good”. We don’t want to get sidetracked in things that just don’t matter. Paul is reminding Timothy and us today that it will not be easy, but we will need to fight. If we are not trying to resist and fight against evil, we will fall prey to it.

1 Timothy 1:18-19, “18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies previously made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the good fight, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and have shipwrecked the faith.”

Bible Reading of the Day: 1 Timothy 1-3

As we are starting the book of 1 Timothy, let’s get a little background information on this book. This  is from gotquestions.org:

Author: The Book of 1 Timothy was written by the apostle Paul (1 Timothy 1:1).

Date of Writing: The Book of 1 Timothy was written in A.D. 62-66.

Purpose of Writing: Paul wrote to Timothy to encourage him in his responsibility for overseeing the work of the Ephesian church and possibly the other churches in the province of Asia.

Brief Summary: This is the first letter Paul wrote to Timothy, a young pastor who had been a help to Paul in his work. Timothy was a Greek. His mother was a Jewess and his father was Greek. Paul was more than just a mentor and leader to Timothy, he was like a father to him, and Timothy was like a son to Paul (1 Timothy 1:2). Paul begins the letter by urging Timothy to be on guard for false teachers and false doctrine. However, much of the letter deals with pastoral conduct” (gotquestions.org).

The Apostle Paul wrote 13 letters in the New Testament, typically to churches, but there were a few addressed to people and this is one of those books. The relationship between Paul and Timothy is a great example of Christian mentoring. Paul is writing to Timothy to give him instructions as to the work he is to do and how to do it.

Fight the Good Fight—of Faith

3 “As I urged you when I went to Macedonia, remain in Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach false doctrine 4 or to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. These promote empty speculations rather than God’s plan, which operates by faith. 5 Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and turned aside to fruitless discussion. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, although they don’t understand what they are saying or what they are insisting on.”

Paul reveals one of the traps we still see today within the church. People can want to pursue controversy or speculations rather than the truth. This is not the good fight Paul is talking about. People can become deceived and turn away from the pure Gospel. But notice the purpose and the goal of our instruction: love. The goal of our teaching isn’t to be right, though we pursue good doctrine that agrees with the word of  God. The goal is love.

Fight the Good Fight—Love

Now our world will take such a goal and twist it, but 1 Corinthians 13 reminds us what love looks like. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, “4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”

Love is humble and sacrificial. It puts others first and it is not easily offended. It is not about oneself, but about others.

Scripture of the Day: 1 Timothy 1:8-9

8 “We know that the law is good when used correctly. 9 For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders.”

The Law reveals our need of God. There is no one perfect who keeps the whole Law. But there is a perfect Savior Who redeems us and who fulfilled the Law on our behalf. In this fight the good fight approach to our faith and life, one of the paramount beliefs we need to have at our foundation is an honest, humble view of self.

1 Timothy 12-16

“12 I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because he considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry— 13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate his extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in him for eternal life.”

Fight the Good Fight—Be vigilant with sin

The fight for faith includes a fight to be honest of our need of Christ’s redemption. We have to be vigilant with sin.

And Paul tells us how to live out this fight for faith:

1 Timothy 2:1-4

“First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

In 1 Timothy 3 there is a list of qualifications for overseers and deacons.

7 Furthermore, he must have a good reputation among outsiders, so that he does not fall into disgrace and the devil’s trap.”

Application

  • Fight the good fight of faith.
  • Resist evil and put on love.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan Day #231: 1 Timothy 1:1-3

Scripture of the Day:1 Timothy 1:9

Listen: https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/1Tim.1

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