Fight the Good Fight of Faith is a Biblical concept in 1 Timothy 6. There are 3 aspects of this expression: Fight, Good, & Faith.

         First, Fight (imperative command). The English word for ‘agony’ is derived from this Greek word. Paul uses this word twice in 6:12 (verb and direct object). Fight means to continually ‘make effort, strive to do with intensity and effort.’[1] Paul gives this command to Timothy, a young minister of God who is dealing with a sinful world. Paul is giving a military or athletic concept to Timothy about ministry. The ministry is to be spiritually won by competing against all the world has to offer. Timothy is told to fight against ‘different doctrines’ (6:3) and ‘harmful desires’ (6:9). When ministers fight, the Church and Christians benefit (6:2). Fight means to prepare for ministry like you would for competition or war; by pursuing ‘righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness’ (6:11). Practically, this means ministry must intensely train by pursuing theology, apologetics, discipleship, prayer, evangelism, humility, contentment, and exposing error publicly. Paul tells us that we are to fight and never ‘tap out’.

            Second, Good (attributive adjective). Paul is telling us that it is a good fight because it is advantageous, desirable, and even fitting for ministers.[2] Sadly, many Christians don’t flee sin (6:11) and don’t fight (6:12) because they don’t have Pastors and Churches that attribute the fight as good. In fact, most ministers and Christians never get in the ring and lose out on the spiritual advantages. Instead, they ‘tap out’ of Church, discipleship, membership, holiness, and evangelism because they lack a godly example (6:11). Ministers think it can’t be good to tell others about their sin, or good to call out theological error and heresy, or good to be content with very little (6:8). The bottom line is that they don’t think the fight is good enough because they aren’t enamored with the character of God (6:15-16) as much as they are enamored with money and harmful desires (6:9-10). Churches today give middle of the road answers, friendly sermons, and rarely contend for the faith. Churches fear the loss of attendance, financial support, or even the praise of men and ‘tap out’. In other words, the ministries aren’t good because they don’t see that the fight is good. Rather they see the fight as bad or even dis-advantageous to their agenda. Paul tells us that we are to fight because it is good for God’s agenda.

            Third, Faith (appositive noun). Paul clarifies by added that the fight is of faith. Paul uses the term pistis, which implies complete loyalty.[3] To fight is to practically live out our faith in this world by being loyal to God. Godly ministers lead the fight by hoping in God alone (6:17) and avoiding false knowledge (6:20). We want to be able to say at the end of our lives what Paul was able to say “I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). When we fight we show our loyalty.

            Therefore, the mission of Fight the Good Fight ministry is serving Christians by equipping believers to win the battle. Hopefully you will fight the world as Christians. Hopefully you will be encouraged to see the fight as good. Hopefully you will give God complete loyalty in your faith until the end of your time in this world. Paul promises us that if we pursue godliness in this way, we will be content and gain far more than the world could ever offer (6:6). We must keep the commandment of loving God by fighting for God. Ministries that please selfish appetites or the approval of men are not in the ‘fight’. Let’s Fight the Good Fight with Paul for God! Don’t tap-out, but Fight the Good Fight of Faith.

[1] Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[2] Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[3] Spicq, C., & Ernest, J. D. (1994). Theological lexicon of the New Testament (Vol. 3, p. 114). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

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