What does it mean to “fight the good fight”?
What fight are we in, as believers? Of course, if we are not truly following Christ, then it doesn’t change things one way or the other – whether we fight the good fight or not. But, for those who follow Christ sincerely, it is incumbent upon us to fight, as 1 Timothy 1:18-19 shows us:
1. Keep our faith (a) in Christ, (b) true to God’s message, (c) clear of false teachings,
2. Have an extreme confidence that God is active and caring for us, and
3. Not allow our sinfulness to wreck our faith.
Careful out there: a lot of walking shipwrecks. Many have “rejected [their moral compass]” – and their faith is a total shipwreck. What a total loss.
* Don’t waiver because of how the many phoney baloney believers live-out their faith …the “unrepentant” and confounded, the chaff, the weeds, the “tares” growing right alongside the good wheat, content in their wayward thought. [See: Matthew 3:12, Matthew 13:verses 24-30]
* Don’t waiver because of how the undercover, unfaithful teachers teach their false doctrines …the “false teachers”, ravenous wolfs teaching their own earth-fabricated system of belief instead of staying faithful to the God-made system of justice — what God established, what He shares with us in the Bible (1 Timothy 1:3b-4).
Don’t follow the ways of the tares, so worthless they will be gathered up and burned. And, protect yourself from the wiley false teachings out there — and in here, in our Christian churches. After all, they claim to be Christians. “Watch out for the dogs!” (Philippians 3: verse 2)
The Apostle Paul told Timothy:
fight the good fight
[in contending with false teachers],
19 keeping your faith
[leaning completely on God
with absolute trust
and confidence in His guidance]
and having a good conscience;
for some [people] have rejected [their moral compass]
and have made a shipwreck of their faith.
– 1 Timothy 1:18-19
What it means to “fight the good fight”
Let’s examine these two verses, line by line, in 1 Timothy 1:18-19.
fight the good fight
To “fight” is to resist, “to engage in a struggle that involves conflict” (www.vocabulary.com). Are you “engaged”? You can sit on the couch with your faith. Your choice. But then, when you stand before God on That Day, will you feel good about telling Him “I sat this one out”?
I don’t want a “wood, hay and stubble” life (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). I want to fight the good fight now – so when it ends – I’ll have lived a life that was worth living – a “gold, silver, precious stones” kind of life. How ’bout you? Still building with stubble – instead of gold?
You could have had a gold one
You could have had new purple robes of satin
but now you’re standing on the streets of gold
your rags are smokin’ but you’re here
at least you’re here and not down there
where the others are with Satan
for they chose to go without Christ.
See the crowns bejeweled around you
You could have had a gold one
bright and shiny precious stones
but you chose to go with stubble
in that life you had on earth
so you sit in all your rubble
as the Lord of Heaven passes by.
They praise Him as they toss their gold and jewels at our Holy Holy Savior’s feet
but all you’ve got are ashes ’cause you lived a self-filled selfie life.
contending with false teachers
The “true faith” is what is found in the Bible. Straight out. Not bending it, making it say what we wish it would say (because of our particular bent). Not adding “this and that” because we like it, it sounds good, feels good, gives us a supposed clarity (which is called “syncretism“: mixing God’s ways with our own philosophy and other worthless religions).
When we find our self on That Day standing before Christ our God, what difference will it make what we thought, as opposed to what Jesus taught?
Our thoughts are pretty vain and stupididiotic at times, are they not? So Paul tells Timothy (and he is telling us through this Scripture): keep away from doctrines not found in the Bible, and do not put any credence in “myths and interminable genealogies” [e] “myths” built on speculations (See: 1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:4; and Titus 1:14). Test what preachers say (especially on TV).
“…not to teach any different doctrines, 4 nor to pay attention to legends (fables, myths) and endless genealogies, which give rise to useless speculation and meaningless arguments rather than advancing God’s program of instruction which is grounded in faith [and requires surrendering the entire self to God in absolute trust and confidence].”
–1 Timothy 1:3b-4
When you build your beliefs on speculating (mixing your own thinking with God’s expressed Word) — then you have begun to stray from Jesus’ Gospel. Really? You really want to do that – get off Jesus’ talking points, and stray off into your own? No. You don’t want to stray away from God. It’s a forever mistake.
You really think you have the universe covered? Wow.
What a fool I would be,
to merely make my earth days my focus,
when my eternity is so much longer.
Why waste my eternity
by living my earth days in sin,
unforgiven, not ready for heaven!
Source: The Life of Keith
keeping your faith
In the midst of it all, whatever it is that’s coming at you… keep your faith. Be resolute.
leaning completely on God
We don’t shoot into earth – made strong. We’re all just dumbass sheep. We are only strong when we lean on God, when we rely on the Spirit of God inside us. We really are quite defenseless on our own. But in Christ – God is able to keep us from stumbling.
“37…in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us!….”
– Romans 8:26-39 New English Translation (NET Bible)
Only in Him are we victorious over the enemies of our soul beating at our door …the world, the flesh, and the Devil.
having absolute trust in His Word
If you don’t know God’s Word on a matter, it is encumbent upon you to find out. Daily learn more. That is how we maintain “absolute trust” in what God has promised. Stand on His promises, not giving-in to fears and doubts.
maintaining confidence in His guidance
“Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]” – John 14:27
How’s your confidence level today? Are you confident that God is guiding you?
We are so slow to see how we are perceived. We’re all little lunkheads. So little time is invested back into our soul – to know who we are and how we’re doing.
Is your soul sick? Or are you healthy? Getting healthier? What in you is healthy? What in you needs God’s healing touch, some tender loving care and attention? – Source: A Healthy Soul
having a good conscience
We were all born with a conscience. Are you listening to yours? We mess with our conscience when we sin and don’t confess it to God. Things pile-up if we don’t keep current with God.
“It is humility before God, confession of personal unworthiness and sins, repentance before God, that then brings us to a resulting victory in Christ, renewal, filling of the Spirit… that then keeps us learning the Truth, listening in humbleness to His “still, small voice”, rejecting error and human philosophies.” – Source: Humbleness Before God
I want to live a Jesus life – “so that in me as the foremost [of sinners], Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example or pattern for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:16) Got a life? What’s it for? See: The Life of Keith
not rejecting your moral compass
Guard your life. It’s the only one you’ll ever have. Don’t live an unguarded life.
Through Christ I am now a new creation of God, and He, by the Holy Spirit, has a special place inside my soul. Like no other “god” could have done, He made my spirit alive so that now I am free from His condemnation and I am no longer a slave to sin. (Romans 6:6; John 8:34) – Source: The well-guarded soul
not making a shipwreck of your faith
Don’t let sin in. Don’t let it.
“Sinning will always degrade, belittle, deflate, weaken, and destroy your inner soul. Sin is beguiling, attractive, a big deceiver, and full of hollow promises.
The flesh lurks in the dark corners of your mind – and snaps out, ugly and fierce. Sin’s snares are always ready to tear apart your soul.” – Source: A Healthy Soul
A healthy soul sails cleanly through the rough seas. You wreck your ship when you don’t listen to the master of the ship. Jesus is the master of my ship. How ’bout yours?
The Good Fight – by J.C. Ryle