Paul told Timothy to fight the good fight of faith. Whether you know it or not, we are in a fight. And our key opponent is the devil. One of the problems in war is insufficient or inaccurate intelligence. Thankfully, we have good intelligence. Paul said of the devil, our adversary, we are not ignorant of his devices. As Paul told Timothy to fight, we should do the same.
The Good Fight of Faith
A Fight for Sound Doctrine
In 2 Tim 4:2-4 Paul wrote that the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine. They’ll turn away their ears from the truth. This is a fight of faith. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God, Rom 10:17. Therefore, there is a fight over the words of God. Paul told Timothy in 1 Tim 1:18-20 to war a good warfare and hold faith. Then we must continue to preach the truth and stand for the truth in the King James Bible.
One of our weapons is the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. The devil has been fighting against these words ever since Gen 3. In war one of the reasons one side loses is that other side has better weapons. This is not true in our case. We will never be out-gunned. The word of God with faith and prayer is unbeatable. “And this is the victory that overcometh the world even our faith,” 1 Jn 5:4. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away,” Matt 24:35.
A Fight for the Souls of Men
Men are saved by faith, Eph 2:8-9. In 1 Cor 9:20-27 Paul wrote that his work for the gospel’s sake, v.23, was a fight, v.26. In our armor, our feet are shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Our fight is over the souls of men. The devil wants to damn them to hell. We want to rescue them from hell. If you are not actively seeking to win the lost you are not in this fight. Those men and women in Acts went every where preaching the word, Acts 8:4.
I know many of you don’t feel confident talking to others about the gospel. But remember that the ability to lead a soul to Christ is not about your ability. It’s about the ability of the gospel to save men. When people believe the gospel and trust in Jesus Christ, they are saved. So, don’t worry about your ability. Trust that the Lord can save a soul through his gospel, and then preach it. Men who lead others to Christ do so because they preach the gospel.
A Fight for the Saints of God
We live by faith, therefore, our fight is a fight of faith. When we stand for sound doctrine and we fight for the souls of men, we are going to endure a great fight of afflictions, Heb 10:32-33. Paul experienced these afflictions in every place, 2 Cor 7:4-5. When you live for Jesus you’re going to endure tribulations, Acts 14:21-22. Paul wrote, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution,” 2 Tim 3:12. The enemy is relentless in his attempt to defeat us.
In war, one of the reasons one side loses is that they lack of adequate defenses. God gave us his armor to stand in this fight, Eph 6:10-18. And his armor is more than adequate for the battles we’re in. Paul told Timothy to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, 2 Tim 4:3. And that’s what we should do.
Conclusion to the Good Fight of Faith
This fight of faith is really a fight against God, Acts 5:39. That’s why we haven’t been overthrown. The devil is no match for God. Paul eventually died fighting, 2 Tim 4:6-7. But in his death he was the victor. Death is the devil’s ultimate weapon, and death followed by our resurrection from the dead is our ultimate victory. The fight is not over. The fight will continue into the tribulation. They will be slain for the word of God and for their testimony, Rev 6:9. But that’s how they overcome the devil, Rev 12:11. In the good fight of faith we lay hold on eternal life, 1 Tim 6:12. We go on living forever.